Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fare thee well, my darling best friend Maureen!

19 Jul: Brampton, Ontario. MAUREEN PEREIRA. Born on January 10, 1943 in Nairobi, Kenya. Passed away peacefully at her home. Beloved wife of the late Eugene of 48 years. Devoted mother of Karl and Tamara, Gavin and Danielle. Cherished Nana of Maya, Nicholas, Elise, and Ethan. She will be missed by her faithful companion Kasper. Dear sister of Pam Gonsalves (Donald), Dr. Cajetan Moniz (Ingrid). Predeceased by her parents Xavier and Mabel Moniz. Deeply missed by her extended family and friends. 
Visitation: July 29 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Catholic Cremation Services, 6933 Tomken Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1N4. Funeral Mass: Tuesday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. St. Marguerite d’Youville Parish, 2490 Sandalwood Parkway East, Brampton, Ontario L6R 3A4. Celebration of Life To follow the Funeral Mass at The Speranza Banquet Hall 510 Deerhurst Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6T 5H9. Cremation: Assumption Catholic Crematorium, 6933 Tomken Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1N4. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Heart & Stroke. Condolences to pereiragavin@gmail.com

WHEN Eugene Pereira passed away on February 23 this year, the whole of the Goan community who knew him but especially the Kenyan Goan community, with many of whom he grew up, were in the deepest mourning for one who was often the heart and soul of many a party (especially in a duo with that other entertainer Norman Da Costa). Eugene was simply a very important and dedicated member of the Canadian, UK Goan communities. A few days ago, we lost his wife Maureen, another very special person in the community which is now in a double shock just as much as her sibling Pam and Caji. Karl and Tammy, Gavin and Danielle, Maya, Nicholas and Elise had given their all helping their mother and grandmother through life after Eugene, I can only imagine their sense of loss. Our condolences and prayers to all of them.

I suspect I will receive many tributes, here is one written by her best friend, ALVIRA ALMEIDA, in non-stop tears and sobs:

Fare thee well, my darling friend!

This was Maureen just two weeks ago. Thanks Cynthia! Precious foto.

Eugene and Maureen had been our friends forever. Eugene and l go back to the railway quarters days in Nairobi of the 1950s. My Donald insists he knew Maureen before me in Parklands.

Maureen and l shared a bedsitter in London around 1965. We never quarrelled. Maureen was a neat and meticulous and l always in a hurry. Maureen would remind me to keep things tidy. She was kind and forgiving. We went to parties in a big group and eventually, Eugene and Maureen gravitated towards each other. The inevitable happened:  they fell in love and got married. Reggie and Vivi, Maureen and Eugene and Don and l spent a lot of time together.

Maureen was always the excellent hostess.

And if l was in Toronto for my birthday in January, Maureen usually had a huge feast and shared a birthday date with me.  She usually brought a special cake for me when she came to England to visit her mum. Don and l were fortunate to spend time with them.

Maureen always came laden with gifts. A kinder person you would not meet. We missed Maureen and Eugene when they decided to move to Toronto but our friendship had no boundaries. We always made it a point to visit each other.

Maureen was quite straight forward. Her family was her focal point and she couldn’t do enough for them and, of course, they reciprocated.

Maureen was very artistic in the presentation of her food.

We really couldn’t do enough for each other. Eugene drove for miles to pick us whilst Maureen got everything ready.

I loved her towel arrangements and she would have given most hotels a run for their money. When my son Alistair moved to Toronto, Maureen used to give him packed meals. Eugene’s and Maureen’s generosity knew no bounds.

l think Maureen was the only one who told me off when l was in the wrong. She was also very forgiving, moving quickly as two sisters.

When l visited Toronto in May I was so privileged to spend a day with Maureen. The weather was ghastly but we shared one beautiful sunny day together. We reminisced so much, we could not stop talking. However, it was easy to see that Maureen was still hurting because she couldn’t come to terms with losing her eternally beloved, Eugene. She said without the support of Karl and Gavin and their families she could not cope.
That day l spent with Maureen was wonderful. Once again, she cooked a feast. When it was time to go, we arranged that when Maureen came to England to visit her siblings Pam and Caji and their respective families, Maureen and I would visit Malta.

Little did l know that that was the last time I would hug my best friend. Her loss was too hard to bear even with the wonderful support of the children and the grandchildren.

The gardener was there that last day I saw her, and Maureen tried to supervise her in vain because we were so engrossed in our conversation. I was not to know that that was the last time I would see my darling friend alive.

Yes, we emailed and spoke on the phone but l did l know that your life had been shattered beyond repair and you could not carry on without your beloved Eugene.

Donald and l will miss you forever. Rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Maureen and Eugene were good customers to Ferrao Auto Repair as well as became good friends to Danny and myself. Our condolences to Karl and family, Gavin and family. It's a great loss to lots of us. Rest In Peace 🙏🙏 friends.



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