Friday, August 9, 2019

Stars Next Door CHAPTER ONE Intro


Over the next several weeks and months I will post the whole of the book for you to read at your leisure... free of charge: ENJOY!!!!

IN CASE you did not know, I began my journalistic life as a sports reporter before going on General News reporting: Court, Local Government Affairs (councils), local and national politics, Parliament, and the whole spectrum of life that abounded Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania before spending considerable time investigating various aspects of life wherever the story was to be found. However, most Goans still remember as a sports reporter covering, as far as they were concerned, men’s and women’s hockey (local and international), soccer (especially those involving the Goan clubs) cricket, table tennis, tennis, golf, a little rugby union and whatever else came my way.
Over the past 30 years or so, I have hankered for someone to come along and write the complete anthology of the Goan (both male and female) in sport in East Africa. I have always felt, like the true histories of the Goans -- from the earliest migrations with the Omani Arabs to the final exodus first in 1966, then in 1968 and then by dribs and drabs after 1970 – which were never officially recorded in the written word and much later with the advent of the electronic media (tape recordings), histories of sport and musicians would go the same way, and it probably will.
This little offering does not any way compensate for the loss of the histories of the Goan community in the African diaspora. Like everything else, that too will be lost to the swirling sands of time, carrying away memory into the depths of forgotten infinity.
I am ashamed to admit that this effort is really very minor comparatively … it is not the academic tome I would like it to have been. A lot of photographic evidence, no the majority, has been lost to the sands of time for one reason or another. For example, I was desperately looking for a photograph of one of the great Goans of our time, school teacher and genius hockey coach Anthony D’Souza and I was about to give up in a well of tears, each drop representing the depth of my disappointment, when Silu Fernandes, hockey international and a student of D’Souza’s, came to the rescue. In other instances, folks are well into their 80s and some are approaching their 90s where memory recall is beginning to get difficult, let alone putting it down on paper. Where photographs were available, they were often unusable because in the 1950s and 1960s the little Kodak took little pictures or little pictures were printed because larger ones were too expensive. These were then scanned at 96 dpi rendering them almost unusable because the required scanning for better reproduction is 300 dots per inch (dpi). Others would have nothing to do with this project, perhaps imagining some negative motivations.
All I ever wanted to do was put down on paper so future generations can access this somewhere, sometime, and probably say: “I didn’t know that”, “My parents never told me” as is the reaction to my debut novel Yesterday in Paradise.
The publication of this minor anthology has been assisted in some way by a sports supporter in Mombasa. I will remain forever grateful.  Mike Fernandes, also in Mombasa, did a fantastic job cataloguing much of the Goans Sports history there.
The first few pages are dedicated Seraphino Antao, without a doubt (until another double gold medallist at the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games comes along) the great Goan athlete ever. I was encouraged along the way by that penman doyen Vivek Menezes and Seraphino’s brothers Rosario and Joe. They also provided great access to the Antao family photographic albums.
I am also indebted to the following:                                                                            

Hartman D’Souza: John Noronha : Hilary Fernandes: Silu Fernandes: The family of the late Alu Mendonca: Alu’s sister Theresa Mandricks: Avtar Singh Sohal, Kenya’s legendary hockey captain: Edgar Fernandes: Bertha Fernandes: Casimiro Joanes: Norman Da Costa, veteran journalist: Delfine Da Costa: Jacinto Fernandes: Jason and Juliette D’Costa: Donald Almeida: Ian Fernandes: Theo De Souza: The family of the late Joe Gonsalves: Theresa Costabir: Edmund Silveira: Leo Rodrigues: Paulie De Souza: Philip De Souza: Warren Mcmahon: Richard Rattos: Henry Braganza: Les Scott: Mona Dias and her siblings: Max De Souza: Jessel Mandricks: George De Souza: Marq De Souza: Jimmy Van Rosi

However, nothing would have been achieved without the dedication and skills of our publisher FN Noronha and the hundreds of well-wishers around the world. 
Thank you.
Cyprian Fernandes, Sydney, Australia

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