THESE ARE tough times for the Vanishing Tribe of East Africa (Goans, now in their 70s, 80s, and 90+). With the passing of each one us, the Grim Reaper appears to march ever closer. Nonetheless, we remain true to our faith and our trust in the Maker is renewed with each prayer. However, with the passing of the icons of the community, we feel the loss on any even greater personal basis. It is our loss as much as it is for the family and extended family.
The loss of Crescent Fernandes causes such grief and a sense of loss that is often reserved for the greatest amongst us, for royalty and greatest brains and achievers in the world. Crescent was no royalty, no earth-shattering achiever but he was nonetheless our own, personal hero. He was always larger than life (and I don’t mean his size). He was one of us, the one we most admired.
The phrase “the world is poorer for his passing” was never truer than with Crescent departure from this earth. He will always be remembered for the great work he did in supporting the community both in the UK and in Kenya.
He was always there when you needed help. This was especially of anyone in sports. He made sure they were never wanting.
He was perhaps one of the last few alive who went to the Catholic Parochial School in Nairobi. He never ever forgot it for a moment. He was a great supporter of St Teresa’s Eastleigh. He grew up with a large, wonderful family not too far away from the church and schools. His folks were amongst the earliest migrants to this quarter which grew into a Little Goa.
He was our hockey player. He was not an international but, in our eyes, he was even though he never played for Kenya. He was the organiser and brought players together (the Caltex team, for example). He was a dedicated club member both at the Nairobi Goan Institute and the Railway Goan Institute. He enjoyed a game of cards (when he was not playing sports).
He was an insurance agent and a financial adviser, and we were happy to put our faith in him and even happier to collect the money when the insurance or investment matured. I know of many, many people who remain indebted to Crescent for encouraging them to invest in an insurance policy which came in handy especially when migrating to the UK, US and Canada when forced to leave Kenya.
But perhaps more than anything else, he was blessed with a great memory and he was the unofficial keeper of much of the Goan history, especially Kenyan Goan history. Any time my memory made me struggle, I could always turn to Crescent especially on my Facebook page and while writing my various books. What I could not recall, names, places, events, Crescent would, as a matter of course.
We are all shattered, a little broken, somewhat wounded, even a little betrayed by the inevitable and as we apply the balm of prayer to soothe our aching hearts and our pained hearts, let us take comfort that he is in a better place. He booked that place the day he was born. A good man to the last and we shall all weep for him and missing more with every drop.
His departure leaves a huge gap in the memory of Kenya stakes. Now it is left to a few like Tony Reg D’Souza, Felix Nazareth, John Noronha, Oscar D’Souza, Braz Menezes, Mervyn Maciel, Amand Rodrigues and a few others who may have dropped off my brain’s memory card.
condolences to Thelma, the children, the extended family and all who mourn his passing.
Eunice O’Mahony: was a class act, a wonderful listener, and the epitome of patience. He is going to leave a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to have him in their lives. I'm grief-stricken for Thelma and the kids.
Remembered most fondly ... most especially his love for Community.
Heartfelt condolences to All the family.
May his soul Rest In Peace.
May his soul Rest In Peace.
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.
May his Soul Rest In Peace! A treasure trove of Goan history is lost
A bright light in the Community has just been extinguished. Besides being a close mate worked with him on many committees where his dedication and love for Community were paramount. Condolences to Thelma and the whole family. God Bless.
Our sincere condolences to the family. May he Rest In Peace
Our Very Sincere Sympathies to Thelma and all the familyR.I.P. Dear CrescentThinking of you all at this very sad time and sending our love. Sandy & Oscar Antao
May his soul RIP
Very sad news. He will be greatly missed. Our condolences to Thelma and family. May he Rest In Peace.
May He Rest In Eternal Peace. He was a Gentleman & A Scholar.../
Sad news. Sincere condolences to Thelma and family. May his gentle soul rest in peace Sara and Raymond
Our Very deepest sympathies to you Thelma, Carol, Douglas and Christopher & spouses. The sudden death of our beloved Crescent shocked us all. I for one could not believe the news as he sent me the most beautiful birthday message on my birthday on the 27th of July followed by two other FB messages and I thought I would reply today but he is no more like you would say Gone with the wind. You all are in our prayers. RIP dear Crescent. Johnny & Maura Lobo.
OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHIES THELMA AND FAMILLY. MAY CRESCENT'S SOUL REST IN PEACE.. I can still picture him when he visited us in Arusha on a flying visit to visit his cousin in law Dora.
RIP Crescent Sidney n Digna Australia.
My heartfelt sympathies to Thelma and all the family & may Crescenti 's soul rest in eternal peace. He advised me about my finances when I was beginning my medical career. Malachy De Souza M.D.
I keep remembering the phrase, title: "The last of the Mohicans".... I did not know him but I'm sure my parents did. RIP.
Our very sincere condolences to Thelma and family. May God keep his loving arms around all of you through this period of deep grief. May Crescent's beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.
May his soul rest in peace
RIP Crescent. My deepest condolences to Thelma and your family. I pray they find peace in this time of loss.
Deepest condolences To you Thelma and family. Crescent will be missed. RIP
I am terribly shocked and saddened to hear that Crescent is no more.
Crescent and I played hockey as well as soccer for Old Mutual. He was a good friend, never to be forgotten. My sincere condolences to Thelma and all the family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Condolences to Thelma and the family on the passing of Crescent. May his soul rest in peace.
Thoughts and Prayers go out to dear Crescent. May his soul RIP. Deepest condolences to Thelma and the family.
Deeply sorry to learn of Crescent’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Thelma and the family. May he rest in eternal peace.
I remember him fondly... a good friend of my dad... at the Goan Institute when we were just kids... An icon for our club.. a gentle giant...may he rest in eternal peace and let the perpetual light shine upon him.
Sincere condolences to Crescent Fernandes' family. May his soul rest in peace. I don't think I ever met him but his brother Thomas was a very dear friend but we have lost touch over the years. Our prayers are with you all.
You couldn’t have put it better! Indeed ‘ the world is a poorer place for his passing ‘ - lived by all who knew him! R. I.P.
Sincere condolences to Thelma & family, many happy memories of Kenya days, Rest In Peace dear friend
Our deepest condolences to Thelma and family. Rest in peace crescent.
May his soul rip and eternal light shine upon him
Our heartfelt condolences to Telma and the rest of the family
Our heartfelt sympathies to Thelma and the family on the passing of Crescent. May his soul rest in peace.
Our heartfelt sympathy on the sad loss of a man who dedicated so much, for the love of our Goan community in Kenya
He always had a kind word & encouraged me when I played hockey for the GI in the 70s
He will be remembered & missed by all who knew and loved him R.I.P.
Heartfelt Sympathy to Thelma and all the family
Sincere condolences to the entire family may his soul rest in eternal peace
Yes so shocked Uncle Crescent is never forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers to Aunty Thelma and the whole family may his soul rest eternal peace till we meet again Amen
This is certainly a great loss. He will always be remembered.
Crescent was a class act, a wonderful listener, and the epitome of patience. He is going to leave a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to have him in their lives. I'm grief-struck for Thelma and the kids.
Norman and Delfne Da Costa: