Thursday, July 30, 2020

RGI/GI combined Marrieds V Bachelors circa 1940

RGI/GI (combined) Bachelors v Married circa 1940


Back row” Lazarus Fernandes, Carvalho, Rex Rodrigues, Braganza, Rommel D’Souza, Alex Rodrigues

Middle row: Tony Pereira, A Hendricus, Balthasar Gomes, Frank Dias Querin Menezes, Joe D’Sa

SeatedL Marian Gama, D J Paes, Vince D’Sa, Tamatur Braganza, Victor Lobo, Manuel Mendonca, J B Caldeira: on the ground S C Mendes, A C D’Souza.

Standing back 5th row: Gracias, A P Fernandes Michael Fernandes, George

Back 4th row: Leo D’Mello, Paul Fernandes, Joe D’Mello,

Back 3rd row: Mario Carvalho, J B Caldeira, Balthasar Gomes, A Hendricus

Back 2nd row: P C D’Mello (umpire), Will Fernandes, Maurice Gracias, A C D’Souza, John Gracias, Joe Mathias, Joe Lobo, Gaudence Almeida (umpire)

Seated: N Quadrus, Jack Mendes, Vincent D’Sa, Carvalho, Victor Lobo, Manuel Mendonca, Frank Dias


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The many faces of Ben Mkapa, the late president of Tanzania/John Nazareth/Trevor Grundy

Two stunning reads, worth a bit of your time.

A clinical examination of the life and times of the former president.

The Elvis fan by John Nazareth

Ben Mkapa (President of Tanzania 1995-2005) – Death of an Elvis fan

Ben Mkapa died on Friday July 24th, 2020. He had a reputation of having worked “diligently to turn around Tanzania’s economic fortunes” that culminated in the country become a lower middle income country by the World Bank recently.

But Mkapa was young once and this is his story.

Mkapa attended studies at the Makerere University College (it was then part of the University of London) graduating with a BA in English in 1962. Among his collegemates were Peter Nazareth (Professor University of Iowa and Uganda’s foremost author), Adolf Mascarenhas (Professor University of Dar es Salaam), Henry Kyemba (former Principal Private Secretary to President Obote, and former Minister in the Amin government), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Kenya’s foremost author), Bhadur Tejani (Kenyan author – and the Uncle of Canadian MP Arif Virani).  John Nagenda (Uganda cricketer and writer).

Educational institutions is where the different races got a chance to mix and be friends in pre-independence East Africa. Ngugi in his memoirs “Birth of a Dream Weaver” (2016) said that as a Kenyan this was the first chance he had got to befriend other races – Kenya being strictly separated as a colony unlike Uganda. (Uganda’s separation was more a state of mind. People kept their place, but were not compelled to.) He was delighted that when he put up his first play at Uganda’s National Theatre, several Asians volunteered to play roles in it.

Friends in Makerere took part in many group activities – the Makerere Jazz Club (where Nazareth was President). They hosted Louis Satchmo Armstrong when he visited Uganda 1960. (Ugandan weren’t used to autograph hunting at the time, but when some presented Satchmo with their autograph books, people grabbed any piece of paper to get one. Some even used Bronco toilet paper. (For the uninitiated, Bronco was not the soft toilet paper we have today. It was hard and could be written on. Many of us used it as tracing paper.)

There was the Elvis Presley fan club that was pretty popular too.


Mkapa was a popular man in Makerere. His friends nicknamed him “The Cat” a play on his name (paka = cat in Swahili).

Fast forward to 1995; Mkapa has just been elected President of Tanzania. Professor Nazareth wrote to Mkapa a few months later to congratulate him and renew their friendship.

To backtrack Professor Peter Nazareth had launched a university course entitled "Elvis As Anthology" in 1992 at the urging of an African American colleague from the University of Iowa? The course became a worldwide phenomenon with Nazareth interviewed on radio and TV in the US, Canada, Germany, Israel, Australia, Thailand… Nazareth intended it to be a one shot deal. It continued for over 20 years.

So in his letter to Mkapa he tells him about his Elvis course – “Are you interested in seeing some of it?” “Of course!” So Nazareth sends the course. A few months later Tanzania released Elvis stamps!!!


Which reminds us that behind famous people or icons are real people with sometimes simple likes as dislike. Mkapa’s tenure was not without controversy, but Tanzania came out better for him. Besides his economic prowness was the fact that he followed the example set by Tanzania’s first President, Julius Nyerere – two terms and you are out. This is something one rarely sees in the world today.


Honorary Ben Mkapa RIP.



John Nazareth

28 July 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Moira v Batu's XI Nairobi December 4 1954

Four Lobo brothers, Joe, Victor, Francis and Johnny Lobo played for Moira as well as Blaise D'Cunha

Monday, July 13, 2020

A Spice of Life in India -- Marilyn Rodrigues

“A Spice of Life in India”

By Marilyn Rodrigues

Namaste/Namaskar—'The spirit within me honours the spirit in you.’

My journey to incredible India indeed ignited my spirit and inspired me to embrace and celebrate all that this vast and colourful country had to offer.

An assault on the senses is the only way to describe a place as vibrant and as varied as the sought-after spices that flourish across its land—from my tiny ancestral state of Goa to the lush land of Kerala and up along the northern ‘Golden Triangle’—India is a showcase of energy, industry and life!

The adventure began in Betalbatim, Goa where grand Portuguese-inspired mansions in shades of turmeric orange, mustard yellow and red capsicum, peppered the rural landscape. Clove-brown water buffaloes could be found partially submerged within the swampy rice paddy fields accompanied by salt-white egrets. And, soft golden nutmeg-hued sand cushioned my path on the beach that stretched as far as the eye could see. Even the crabs had an impact with the many coriander-shaped designs that they created just beyond the sea’s reach.

Goa introduced me to a world where the car, motorcycle, bicycle and tuk-tuk scattered like tossed cumin seeds, horns incessantly beeping, crisscrossed the roadways. Further, I was overwhelmed by the extent of the Catholic churches in Old Goa. They were all stunning; glorious and gracious structures, some with garlic bulb-like domes which dotted the tree canopy.

After a few days in Goa—Panjim, Margao, Betalbatim, Benaulim—I flew to Cochi, Kerala at the strong recommendation of friends. This city is located on the south-west side of the country.

The cinnamon-shaded soil that coated the soles of my shoes in Goa continued in Kerala; an Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and British-influenced state. From the Chinese fishing nets that extended over the Arabian Sea like star anise; to the tamarind-tinted backwaters of Alleppey; the iridescent green tea covered plantation hills of Munnar and the exotic conservation area of Periyar Sanctuary—Kerala is like the masala of it all! I thoroughly delighted in the beauty and topographical diversity of this part of India. The fifth oldest Jewish synagogue in the world is also surprisingly located in Kerala.

Flying from Cochi through Mumbai and onto Jaipur, in Rajasthan, took an entire day. Yet Jet Airways made things quite seamless and enjoyable. Chai following a curried chicken and rice lunch contributed to my satisfaction and taste buds!

The walled city of Jaipur was painted pomegranate pink in 1853 in honour of the royal visit of Prince Albert. The current Maharaja—Sawai Bhawani Singh—resides here in a massive City Palace where he receives guests (including tourists) regularly. On the steep, winding road to Jaigarh Fort, the arid, barren grounds up the hill are home to allspice-toned boars, bright cardamom-coloured wild green parrots, flamboyant peacocks with chanothi leaf-like feathers, mace-pigmented & crested Brahminy Mynas and dark vanilla-tinted monkeys. The largest cannon on wheels in the world, that can fire a range of 35 kilometers, rests here as well.

It was thrilling to next find myself on the back of an Indian elephant who was adorned with a saffron-shaded blanket. Amber Fort was the destination. The vantage point was spectacular and the experience outstanding as I rocked back and forth with each gigantic step; holding on tightly!

Before leaving Jaipur, I was treated to a passing view of the Palace of the Winds—Hawa Mahal; another gingery-splattered structural asset. I also had the chance to see some brilliant gemstones polished to perfection and could not resist in bringing one home—a crystal clear, certified blue topaz which hails from Rajasthan’s lovely capital of Jaipur.

And then, my driver navigated the car safely to Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, after passing herds of not only holy cows on the highways but also clumsy-looking camels!

The most beautiful, most romantic building in the world is in Agra, a jewel in India’s crown of history and architecture—the breathtaking Taj Mahal. So unbelievable that this grandiose building was constructed as an elaborate tomb for love lost and yet millions gravitate to it to proclaim love for one another. Magic exudes from this sugary-coated castle of the departed.

Not too far away is the, just as remarkable, red sandstone Agra Fort which goes on and on like fields of red chili plants. The lace-like walls offer a strong yet visually delicate backdrop for selfies. And the camera doesn’t get a break as the grounds include a Fish Palace, where the emperor entertained himself by fishing; the Gem Mosque, which housed the Shah’s harem of women, the Royal Chambers; the Palace of Mirrors where the women of the court bathed; the Vine Garden and…the fort is endless and enchanting.

A ride in a rickshaw-type of vehicle pulled by a camel was memorable but so were the elephants, monkeys, loose dogs, cows and people I viewed along the roadway. The sensation was overwhelming.

My final destination was Delhi which introduced itself 2 hours in advance in the form of a thick, yellow, fenugreek seed-coloured haze. Pollution from nigella-hued brick factory smoke spewed non-stop beside the highway. This capital city offered me as a tourist a chance to shop in a maze of bazaars. Chandi Chowk was chaotic and treacherous, but bargains were to be had in a market that sold not only live chickens, car tires and shoes but also spices and carpets. A Maharaja spicy chicken burger at the Mcdonald’s allowed me to step away for a few minutes, from the pandemonium.

Delhi’s Red Fort was interesting; a visit to Jama Masjid—the largest mosque in India, valuable, and I was honoured to visit the site where a burning flame memorializes a world idol, Mahatma Gandhi. Yet, hands down, it was the lotus flower-shaped Baha’i Temple that provided me with pause, delight and a welcome reprieve from hectic Delhi.

It is said that over 50 spices are contained within a proper Indian curry. So, it is no wonder that this extraordinary country exudes a similar variety in landscapes, people, architecture, religion, wildlife and food! Salutations Mother India. Your spirit is enlightening and so very engaging. Namaste and thank you, until I return again.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Blaise D'Cunha/tributes/foto gallery






1958 v Non White South Africans in Kenya

1968 v MCC

    Europeans v Asians 1958-59

Blaise D'Cunha


JOHNNY LOBO, national and club teammate: I met Blaise at the National Bank of India (now Kenya Commercial Bank KCB) in Nairobi around 1947.

He told me he was from Pakistan and that his brother was the Manager of N.B.I. in Kericho. I immediately connected that they were from Moira in Goa the same village that I come from.

 We spoke about Cricket at length and then I asked him if he would like to join us for a match against the Nairobi Club which he agreed to do. The match was N.C. vs Kenya Goans and I was Captain for that game. Nairobi Club won the toss and chose to bat. In the early part of the innings they looked solid at 60 for no loss and so I decided to bring in Blaise.

 T.M. Bell who had already scored 50 was facing Blaise and on the third ball was clean bowled. The next man was also cleaned bowled. I have never seen cricket players running to the pavilion to change and come back as umpires just to see Blaise bowl.

 In the end, he took 10 wickets all of them clean bowled.

RAMESH SETHI, former club cricket teammate: I played alongside Blaise in the Kenya Commercial League when we represented the Education Department. I used to travel from Nakuru. We won the Commercial League often because of his bowling. He was almost impossible to read. With R B Patel, we used to run through most batting line-ups. Our best win was against Barclays Bank when we scored 444-4 and bowled them out for 128. It was a memorable game for me too, I got a career-best 239 not out

.Initially, I played for the RGI, then for the Railway Asian Institute and two years with the Sikh Union before joining the Indian Gymkhana. He was a master spinner, very accurate and had a huge googly, which accounted for batsmen who couldn’t read it and were bowled when they left the ball.

 A lovely gentleman with a wicked sense of humour. I can still picture his bowling action, with a characteristic limp in his run-up.


NORMAN DA COSTA: Journalist, who played alongside Blaise and Johnny for the Railway Goan Institute.




Winners of the Rubie Shield for the Fifth Year in succession

Anand J, C. Pereira, G. Raza FH, B. D’Cunha, P. Aswani, F. Mehta, F Pinto.

O. Ferro, J. Britto (captain), P. Mendes, Fr Modestine, E. D’Mello, Govind D.J. R. Nazareth. Jack Britto was talented sports all-rounder who was a Pakistani hockwy Olympian who also played for Malawi.

Kenya in South Africa

Above: 1956 East Africa v Pakistan Cricket Writers Club: Note the great Hanif Mohammed, Wallis Mathias!

Sitting: Gafoor Ahmed, Saludin, D.W. Dawson (captain), H.E. Afzal (Pakistan High Commissioner), Sir Evelyn Baring (Governor of Kenya), Basheer Mauladad (President Kenya Muslim Sports Association), A.H. Kardar (captain CWC), Ramanbhai, Hamid Jalal (Manager CWC)

Standing front row: Hernimann (umpire), Mehboob Ali, G.B. Jhalla, Ramesh Patel, Gursaran Singh, B. D’Cunha, Anwar Hussein, Hanif Mohammed, Waqar Hassan, Halim, Alimudin, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Imtiaz Ahmed, Robinson (umpire).

Standing back row: J. Fawkes, Jabbar, Salaudin, Giles, Jaffer, Mahmood Hussein, Umar Qureshim, Wallis Mathias, Ikram Ilahi, Sher Mohamed Khan.


Above: 1958 Kenya v MCC
Sitting: J J Warr, Chandrakant Patelm, F R Brown, (capt MCC) A M Davies (President Kenya Kongonis CC) Dr G T Hicks (President Kenya Cricket Association) D W Dawson (capt KCA) S C Griffith (Manager) G B Jhalla.
Standing first row: G H C Doggart, Rasik Patel, G W Cook, Gursaran Singh, C J M Kenny, B D'Cunha, D R W Cook, Gafoor Ahmed, P E Richardson.
Standing:  R Watkins (MCC coach), Daljit Singh, J Fawkes, G Rabbanim Ingleby-Mackenzie, J Caudlem R E Luyt, J A Bailey.

Kenya v Tanganyika 1958

Sitting: Ramanbhai Patel, Alban Fernandes, T M Bell (captain Kenya) Harbans Singh (President KCA) R B Donaldson (captain Tanganyika), G B Jhalla, Mohninder Singh
Standing: F W Corroyer (umpire)  R B Patel, L D Lyndsay, I T Harbottlem Gursaran Singh, C D Patel, Halim Mohamed, Don Pringle, R J B Yeldham, J L Porter (umpire)
Standing: G Solanki, R H Chambers, W H Bennet, P R Prodger, T G Dodd, Nazir Hussein, Ali Hamidi, B D'Cunha, R D.Patel

1956-57 Kenya v Tanganyika

Kenya v Tanganyika 1958

Thursday, July 9, 2020


Rosalind Mascarenhas (Fortunata Rosalina Fernandes)
14 October 1937 -- 25 June 2020

Rosalind was born in the coastal village of Anjuna in Goa on the Arabian Sea. Her early years living and growing up in Catholic Goa and the famous Anjuna beach with its ‘laid back’ atmosphere certainly influenced Rosalind’s appetite for strong values, a good life of traditional cuisine, fun, and adventure. Rosalind was the only girl amidst her brothers. With her violinist father’s support of the Choir at St Michael’s Church, Rosalind grew her own talent with singing both at church and social gatherings. With her mother, she enjoyed the love of flowers, especially the Jasmin which they used to make into garlands. Rosalind married Rui Mascarenhas who was from Mombasa, on 20th January 1958. Their early married life started in Dar es Salaam during the '60s. Life with husband Rui’s cousins created delightful memories.

Egged on with Rosalind as a daring crusader, the families enjoyed beach gatherings and feasting on authentic home-produced delights. Rosalind was but a young mother and of course had a zest for life and play when she first came to Mombasa in 1966. With husband Rui and her four boys, they lived in an apartment on the floor above where Rui’s parents and siblings had been living. The warmth of the extended families across two dwellings was a lifestyle that was reminiscent of village Goa. Rosalind and family were soon part of the Barry Road neighbourhood in Ganjoni. She took part in street games like seven tiles, hopscotch, cricket and many a game punctuated by a quick halt to let the traffic go by. Rosalind’s love of cooking, especially traditional Goan sweets made her even more popular.

These were the early years of Kenya’s independence from Britain. Most Goan and Indian Asians went through the angst of thinking about their futures, especially their very young children. This was the time of emigrations where families and friends prepared and departed for distant shores. Rui led his family’s exit by moving to Mossley, Lancashire, UK in 1967. The Mascarenhas’s (Rui’s Dad and Mum) and D’Souza’s (Cosmas and Rose) were long time family friends and then found themselves as street neighbours where the bonds grew stronger. 1968 was the year that both families had planned to emigrate to the UK. Tragedy struck in the guise of a road accident on the final weekend of Rosalind and her boys’ departure from Mombasa.

Sadly, this cut short a full physical ability for an active young Wife and Mother of four incredibly young boys. Rosalind was bed bound and eventually evolved a life from the wheelchair whenever this was possible. Even in those early traumatic days following the calamity, Rosalind showed a strength of purpose, faith, hope, duty, and commitment to her family. Conversations and letters of exchanges would show the emotional roller coaster of unprecedented hope and despair and struggle that Rosalind herself was managing. Plans were made and on 28th July the D’Souza’s left Mombasa. They joined the Mascarenhas’s in Nairobi and together boarded the plane headed for Gatwick Airport, London. Rosalind was medically cared for on the plane whilst each of her four boys was looked after by the D’Souza children.

The two families were met by Rui and his sister at Gatwick Airport outside London. In multiple taxis, they headed for London Euston Station for the train journey to Manchester Piccadilly. The very emotional reunion then saw Rui and Rosalind head via ambulance to the then Lodge Moor Sheffield hospital. The rest of the entourage proceeded to Mossley. Rosalind’s initial years in the UK were inextricably linked to the spinal specialist care at medical centres, and latterly the Sheffield Northern General Hospital. Those early periods saw an unending array of hope, will and disappointments in helping Rosalind adjust to such physical limitations and consequences of paralysis. The will power, determination, courage, strength, responsibility, and leadership Rosalind demonstrated left everyone who met her in absolute awe. Anything that can be said of how Rosalind’s poise, presence and inspiration affected others is truly an understating of the reality.

Rosalind was special because she was truly herself. Her impact on others, from everything she loved, cared for, shared, and helped with, elevated her in all who knew her and came to know her as nothing short of a wonderful phenomenon. Some triggers for happy memories of Rosalind the wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, friend include: Her fruit cake and batika coconut cake, Christmas sweets, her fish curry, her laugh, her nails, her love of Elvis Presley, how she was always wanting you to eat more. The huge meals and then chocolate at the end! Her Woodworking and Canework skills, her love of flowers and gardening, her incredible agility with the wheelchair, her beloved Cockatiels and budgies – two favourites being Joey and Jeanie.

Above all, when Rosalind was talking to you, it was as if she was looking and communicating directly to your heart. Her sense of humour, her laughter, her unreserved directions, and sheer energy to perform and achieve is surely an inspirational story of iconic measure. Rosalind resonated with dignity, grace and magnanimity that surely is a model for us all. Rosalind is survived by her loving family: Husband Rui, her sons and their partners and her grandchildren.

PS: We are in unprecedented global pandemic times. This significantly impacts any intentions to formally farewell a loved one both culturally and legally. A compliant private funeral will be held at Mossley Cemetery. At some stage after that, the family will make available a tribute in photographs via internet accessibility for those family and friends who wish to pay their respects and reflect on Rosalind the person they remember. Please register your interest to have this access to:

The harm in writing we don't think twice about

 Before you write your next phrase that you take for granted, ready this: