Thursday, October 28, 2021

Remember when a shilling felt like a million


East Africa … that was life! And we loved it!


A short story of Goans of East Africa (2021 version...worth a read. A carefree life in East Africa. This is how we Goans grew up in East Africa !!! What a life it was! We were innocent, frank and straight with people at home, at school and within the community and society.

Our childhood was like an adventure. No school loans, grants, financial aid or scholarships. Instead, it was filled with lots of fun, excitement, enthusiasm, trust, expectation, commitment and responsibility. Although not so very easy - always filled with some hardship - life was beautiful and excellent.!!!

Our love and respect for our parents was second to none, and our respect for our teachers and elders in the community and society was in our genes. We integrated socially and culturally with people from all religions, class or creed.

In essence, we enjoyed life.!!! All the wonderful kids who were born in the wonderful East Africa and survived the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's. The present-day nappies, diapers and liners were never heard of! We bounced ourselves without a bouncer and slept peacefully without a baby-cot.

We sucked cow milk from a soda bottle without it being sterilised or warmed in a bottle warmer. We slept during our sleep times, be it day or night without monitors or beepers. There were no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, nor locks on doors or cabinets. We rode our bikes without helmets, gloves and guards.

As children we would ride in cars which had no child safety door-locks, seat belts or airbags. Sometimes we even sat on each other's laps!!! We shared one soft drink with jugus in it, among four friends, from the same bottle and NO ONE actually died from that.

We would share bhajias, mogo chips and dips or ate chapatti and rice from someone else's plate of curry without batting an eyelid. The best was a rolled roti with sprinkled sugar. We had raw mangoes with salt that set our teeth on edge or a grilled makaai and mogo and drank orange squash. We ate at roadside stalls, drank madafu water, ate everything that was "bad" for us from karangaa, kachri, makaai, mhogos, chana bateta, bhel puri to maru's bhajias and samosas. Yet we weren't overweight nor fell sick.

We were always outside playing freely and burning our calories keeping fit, fine and happy. During holidays we would leave home in the morning and were allowed freedom all day, as long as we were back home at a given time - never later than 7 pm - wearing our rubber slippers from Bata. We dare not be late.!!!

We were innovative and creative and made kites using old newspapers, playing traditional games like bantas, santa kukdi, pakda/pakdi, hututu, football and gilli-danda. We were taught to be content with what we had. We played, ran and walked barefoot without being concerned about it. If we got cut and bled, we used tincture of iodine or spirit on the wound and that was ok for us. We did not wash our hands ten times a day. And we were OK.!!!

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, video games, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround-sound, mobile phones, desk top pcs, laptops, I-Pods or I-Pads ! No internet or internet chat rooms, no TV, no hi-fi or Wi-fi!! We just simply made do with a 2 or 3 band Radio placed in the family sitting room to be shared by all.!!! We ate what was put in front of us. No menu, no choice, no fuss, no waste and no leftovers.!!!

After dinner every night in almost every household the school-going children had to recite the Times-tables from 2 to 12 before going to bed !!! We had very loving, caring and wonderful friends. Their loving parents, whom we fondly called UNCLE and AUNTY, treated us no differently from their own children !!! Fruits fallen from trees on the ground, never washed were eaten without a second thought - and yet we never had any viruses or infections of any kind.!!!

We were used to bathing using a bucket, a koppo and Lifebuoy soap. We did not know what a shampoo, conditioner or a body wash was... Bicycles were ridden everywhere in town with someone sitting on the carrier or the cross bar to school, cinema or playgrounds.

This generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers, inventors, winners and most successful people ever! The past 50 years has seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas with mostly successes.!!! We had patience, understanding, discipline, respect, maturity, wisdom, motivation, commitment and responsibility.

Above all we learned and survived the hard way guided by our parents and grandparents, who oversaw our development with their experience, guidance, encouragement and blessings.!!!!! Worth passing this on to others who have had the good fortune to grow up in East Africa. Those were the days … 

(these days, we call it nostalgia, once it was just a way of life, no need for labels, hey we did not know life required a label, but we will always celebrate the memories). PS, apologies for the some of the spellings … could be sus!



Bottom of Form



Wisdom from the beaks of birds


From the beaks of birds


By Emiliano Joanes

One day, last summer, I was blissfully relaxing and enjoying the morning sunshine on a park bench amidst the flora and fauna in Parc La Fontaine, Montreal.


There was a profusion of birds. Ducks, seagulls, cormorants, red-wing blackbirds, robins that I was amazed to see living in perfect harmony with each other. There were no territorial fights over land and water. I was fascinated to see a duck and a seagull close to each other.

During a nano-second moment, the duck lifted its wings, stretching its neck that seemed to say,


“Do you see those humans over there?” The seagull replied, “Yes, I see them. I hate them!”


The humans were discarding their empty lunch bags and paper towels into the pond despite the garbage bins that were placed around the park.


“It is so sad to see these humans with no concern for us,” commented the duck. The seagull with infinite wisdom said, “These humans have been polluting our awesome planet since their industrial revolution.”

The seagull also added, “It is hard to believe the humans with all their Gods cannot live in harmony with each other. They are constantly warring!”


The duck with a heavy heart remarked. “There are eighteen eggs waiting to be hatched. Do you think it will be safe to take the ducklings into the water for a swim?” The seagull with tearful eyes said, “The water is part and parcel of our lives. We can hope The Creator will keep us safe.”


“There is word around that the “wise men” of the human race are working round the clock to save our planet,” the seagull hopefully remarked.



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Monday, October 25, 2021

CASA de G>O>A, a tradition lives on! A new history is born!


                                                   CASA de G.O.A.”


(Goans around the world are celebrating the achievement and the celebratory opening of Casa de G.O.A in Toronto. It continues a tradition Goans have achieved in most countries they have called home … as early as the mid 1800s. Blessings, always.)


            What an amazing feat for the Toronto Goan Overseas Association. After half a century, our dynamic leader, President Selwyn Collaco, his dedicated committee and an army of volunteers have brought us to new heights, a significant and epic moment of progress!

            As a founding member, a committee member and a volunteer in the early years, I feel a sense of deep relief and joy.  Our early most difficult years, in the sixties and seventies, of intense effort and vision were not in vain.

As we watched the Inaugural Opening of “CASA de G.O.A.” from around the globe, Canada’s leaders recognized our Goan community with such high respect, we felt a deep sense of pride and belonging, as our ancestors did in Africa and India.  The Goan community deserve to be on the Canada Census as “GOANS” finally!  This effort achieved by President Selwyn and his committee!  Canada’s leaders showed their authentic recognition of our Goan community with words such as “…active and engaged community that has made lasting and important contributions to our city and region…” “Your contributions have enriched our culture and energized the economy…” “Thank you for connecting & serving fellow Ontarians through your community service.”

            These meaningful words have shown us how we have made significant progress in these fifty-plus years of existence.  In the early sixties and seventies, our founding visionary father, Roque Barretto used innovative ways to bring Goans from across Canada together, a difficult task for us new immigrants who were trying to assimilate in a new country in the sixties.  He made a significant plea, in a major Toronto newspaper, with a key advertisement call.  In response to this call, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) telephoned Roque and inquired about the reason for the meeting, the location, and most of all the RCMP wanted to know more about the Goans!  The difference of the perception of the Goans in the sixties, vastly differs with the perceptions of who the Goans are in 2021 – Progress indeed!

  Through Roque’s persistence, with assistance from the two other founding fathers in the sixties, Wilfred Monteiro and Aloysius Vaz, and numerous founding members, the quest to form the G.O.A. continued with passion.  Roque Barretto personally financed and shouldered the liability costs for initial rentals of halls (when our apartments could no longer hold meetings). He also personally financed the Ontario Provincial and Canadian registration fees for the flagship field hockey teams in the early formative years.  The founding Goan Overseas Association Men’s and Women’s Field Hockey Teams provided the momentum for the formation of the G.O.A.  These were immeasurable efforts by our founding fathers, now leading to our exquisite “CASA de G.O.A.”. This is indeed progress.

            President Selwyn, his committee members and numerous volunteers and their families have carried the torch with their years of sacrifice and passion.  This has culminated into a major transformation of the structure at 20 Strathearn Avenue, Unit 5, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. An empty structure has turned into a meticulously- designed home, so magnificent and warm, the warmth even transcending the waves across the globe.

            The past presidents and committees, the founding fathers and members, and in particular, President Selwyn’s paternal aunt, the most dynamic first Goan Overseas Association woman leader, President Zulema de Souza must feel ecstatic that their continued decades of personal sacrifices and passion were not all in vain.

            As my family and I watched the hoisting of the G.O.A. flag next to the Canadian flag high above our Province and our beautiful, adopted country, Canada, we were spellbound in a deep sense of joy. Our early days of struggle were well-worth the effort. Progress was indeed in the making.

            We reminisced about the first time our late father, Lazarus Fernandes, who was a most patriotic and dynamic founding member of the Goan Overseas Association, talked with the founding fathers about forming a Goan Association.  He played a key advisory role in the sixties, to the founding fathers (two of them being his cousins) in the formation of the Goan Overseas Association.  He had significant expertise in Goan organizations and the formation of Goan newspapers in Africa and India.  Lazarus Fernandes, in his vision, in the early days, proposed that our newly formed Goan Overseas Association should have a flag, which would be a symbol of spirit, strength, stability and progress. This resolution was eventually passed at the founding meeting. Our father would have been supremely overjoyed at the sight of our majestic GOAN OVERSEAS ASSOCIATION flag flying high above in our great country, Canada!  “CASA de G.O.A.”  - a sure sign of progress!

            Thank you to our President, Selwyn and your family for your vision, your patriotism, your strength, your zeal, your authenticity and acclaimed ethical values.  Thank you to your highly dedicated and hard-working committee members and their families for their numerous hours of selfless hours of service to our G.O.A. community. Thank you to our army of amazing volunteers who provided their esteemed expertise so spontaneously to our organization.  Your decades of effort have led to our significant progress. You have taken us to a new highly innovative level!

            The words of our most admired Indian Prime Minister, the late Mahatma Gandhi, resonate loudly in “CASA de G.O.A.”.

“If we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history. We must add to the inheritance left by our ancestors.”


Mitelia I. Paul, Ed.D, OCT, NBCT





Saturday, October 23, 2021

The photoart of Emiliano Joanes

 Glimpses of a beloved country, Canada.

Trevor Fernandes: Hockey star next door




Trevor Fernandes missed being part of the Indian hockey team for the 1972 Olympics due to an injury. Twelve years later, he made it, this time with United States. (with thanks to Marcus Mergulhao and Times of India)

DREAM COME TRUE | At 33, Trevor Fernandes was United States’ oldest and most influential hockey player at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles

In 1965, when the Pakistan national hockey team embarked on a tour of East Africa for a series of friendlies, they had a stopover in Zanzibar.

Pakistan was a strong side and took control of the match no sooner Zanzibar’s initial enthusiasm had died down in the first five minutes. The Asian champions took the lead too, but the hosts soon levelled scores at the Mao Tse Tung Stadium.

The equaliser was scored by a 15-year-old Goan school boy, Trevor Fernandes.

Having seen him make an impressive debut against Dar es Salaam, the home fans were not alarmed. Pakistan eventually won the clash 2-1, but it was the “promising, bright forward” – in the words of local newspapers -- who grabbed all the attention.

Trevor was a champion athlete in school at St Joseph’s Convent. He played football too; represented Kikwajuni Sports Club in the first division, but hockey came naturally. His father, Reginald Theoten, was the national coach, while brother Mervyn and sister Beryl both played for Zanzibar.

The Fernandes family moved to Goa in March 1967 and Trevor, who studied at St Anthony’s High School in Monte de Guirim, worked his magic again.

“When I came to Goa, it was not just hockey for me, but football too,” says Trevor, who played football for Academica, a top-division team, and hockey for Dempo-Souza.

Despite the limited opportunities and poor infrastructure, Trevor stayed focused and excelled wherever he played. At first it was with St Anthony’s where he helped them win the Inter-Schools tournament. As goals started to flow from his stick and everyone took notice, it was only a matter of time before he was picked for the All-India Schools XI team.

His journey had just begun. “The infrastructure for hockey was quite poor. There was absolutely nothing, no facilities, no coaching. Whenever we went for nationals, Goa were in the bottom half,” says Trevor, who has his house in Calangute, but now settled in United States.

It was while at St Joseph’s College in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, that Trevor’s career really took off.

At the Inter-Zonal league finals of the All-India Inter-University hockey tournament for example, Trevor scored the first six goals as Bangalore University demolished Benaras Hindu University (East zone champions) 7-0.

In the final, Trevor was at it again, this time scoring the only goal against Bombay University to deliver his team the title.

The star act meant Trevor was the top pick for All-India Universities team that toured Australia in 1971. On that tour, he scored fifteen goals in five matches to emerge as the highest goal-scorer.

Wherever he played, goals followed. Trevor soon broke into the India team for the Pesta Sukan regional hockey championship in Singapore. He also played Test matches against Great Britain, all this when he had not even turned twenty-one.

“Blessed with an athletic body and possessing quick reflexes, Trevor’s game is a connoisseurs delight,” Sportsweek, a popular sports magazine in the seventies, wrote in one of its reports.

It was not hyperbole. Trevor was a genuine talent and one of India’s leading centre-forwards during his school and college days. However, he was unlucky not to make it to the World Cup (1971, Barcelona) and Olympics (1972, Munich) with the Indian hockey team.

“In 1972, I picked up an injury during the Olympics camp and was not selected. I was confident that I would eventually make it,” says Trevor.

Life, however, had different plans for him.

His hockey career was temporarily interrupted when, as a BSc graduate, he moved to the United States for further studies.

“I could have achieved a lot more in hockey, if I had stayed in India,” feels Trevor. “I was still very young. Goan families emphasised on education and mine was not an exception.”

When he landed in Seattle, United States, it was football that he embraced. There was no hockey in sight, so along with his brothers Mervyn and Hector, he stuck to football.

“There was no hockey here, so we got together and formed a club team with those who played the game in their own countries, mostly Ireland and Scotland,” says Trevor.

That proved to be a blessing in disguise. When Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1984, United States had a hockey team of its own. Trevor, at 33, was the oldest, and without a doubt, their most influential player.

Guess who United States played in their opening game? India. It ended in a 1-5 defeat against the defending champions, but for Trevor, being at the Olympics was a dream come true.

STAR TURN | Wherever Trevor (left) played, goals followed. He made his India debut at age 21 when he travelled with the team for the Pesta Sukan championship in Singapore


"I could have achieved a lot more in hockey, if I had stayed in India. I was still very young. Goan families emphasised on education and mine was not an exception."


Thursday, October 21, 2021

A self-made Goan photo journalist: Emiliano Joanes


Emiliano Joanes

Have camera, will shoot

I was born in Nairobi and studied at the school at the Dr Ribeiro Goan School. I taught myself photography, overcoming the setbacks that came along the way. Colour photography was new then and had not arrived in Kenya. I applied to study Colour Photography at the Germain School of Photography in New York. To my surprise, I was granted a scholarship. It was an 18-months course right in midtown Manhattan. I passed with flying colours.


A Masai woman arrives to collect water during a drought and finds the river bed dry

Two Masai women collect water while their mules wait patiently in the hot sun to carry the water to the village (boma)

By Emiliano Joanes

I wanted to get into photojournalism by working for the English newspaper, the East African Standard but it meant asking God to change my skin pigmentation. However, I decided to take sports pictures of the English playing rugby, cricket, and soccer.

Fortunately, for me the newspaper showed English sport taking place on a weekend.

I went to the club on Ngong Road where a rugby match was in progress. From the road, I looked to see if there was a photographer taking pictures. No one. I moved close to the field.

The good thing about rugby one can get bags of action shots. I had no clue how the game was played. What captured my imagination were the moments when the players formed a circle bending, facing the ground clinging to each with ball hidden between the arms and chests.

Next thing you knew the circle exploded like an atomic mushroom with the ball tossed high in the sky with the players making a grab for it. I aimed for that picture, got it, besides other midfield action shots, went home, set up the darkroom in the bathroom. I printed three action shots one was the circle that I came to know later was called the “scrum.”

On Sunday, I presented my pictures to John Downes the Sports Editor who introduced himself to me later said, “Did you take these pictures?” I replied yes. He looked at the pictures again and the contact sheet and asked again, “Did you take these pictures?” Again, I spoke the truth, but I added, “I could not write the captions and I did not know how the game was played.” By this time, I was prepared to swear on the Bible that I did take the pictures. “Leave it to me.” he said. The prints and contact sheet were curling because I had hung them on the clothesline to dry.

Next day, I saw my picture of the scrum on the sports page of the East African Standard.

I did a cricket match the following weekend. After that, at a soccer match. When I saw an East African Standard photographer, I made a complete U-turn and headed home.

John Downes told me that in the future he would tell what sports event he wanted me to cover. He also gave me letter to show to anyone who would not allow me to take pictures. The best part of it was to hand him the film that was processed in the newspaper darkroom. That was a relief!

A couple of months later, I received a letter from Kenneth Bolton, the editor asking would I be interested in joining the photographic team and if so, to go for an interview with John Perry, The Chief Photographer. As the saying goes, next it was history.

Working among a sea of white journalists was challenging. I assumed that they wanted to see If I met the challenge. I did better.

Two years down the road, I had two pictures in the World Press Photo competition on a photo essay I did on a drought in a Masai village. I also had a picture in the British Press Pictures of the Year competition an essay on ostriches in the Nairobi National Park.

What I found amusing was my picture of Nairobi University student riots that I entered in the Pravda newspaper that won a prize – 500 rubbles. The picture was of mounted police raising the front hoofs of his horse that I shot of the students between the legs of the horse. I think this was more for propaganda that the photo was selected.  

Africanization was in full force at the newspaper. All the English reporters and editors left.

I left the newspaper and emigrated to Canada when I could hear the drums of uhuru playing in the distant horizon.

The historic Jazz Swingers of Dar es Salaam


Jazz Swingers of Dar es Salaam


Dar es Salaam (Abode of Peace) was founded my Sultan Majid Bin Said in 1865, give or take a year or so. Very much like the magical island of Zanzibar (island of black people), Dar has always fascinated anyone who has heard of it, read about it, or was told about it the first time. Over the next few days, I hope to bring you some historic stories and photos about the Goans of Zanzibar. Thanks to Kenneth Mascarenhas for collecting material (from a brochure for the GI's golden anniversary) from Mervyn Lobo who lives in the US. The first is a brief history of the once famed G.I. Jazz Swingers by Banu Colaco.


At the New Year’s Eve function on December 31, 1947, more than 500 members and their families came to the Goan Institute, only to discover that the band hired for the occasion had not turned up. I had migrated from India earlier that year and played the drums and the violin for the Dar es Salaam Goan Musical and Dramatic Society. In desperation, the Management Committee asked me for my help and I scraped a group together, went back home for our instruments and began playing just after 10 pm. Our group had Jerry Luis on his accordion, Jimmy Fernandes on guitar, Lacy (Brandy) Caldeira on drums and I on violin. We had the crowd dancing till the early hours of the morning.

As the function was a huge success, the then president asked if I could form a band to play regularly at club functions. I agreed and persuaded the Management Committee to spend the then princely sum of 10,000 shillings for the purchase of a new piano and drum set. Thus, the GI Jazz Swingers band was formed. The initial group consisted of Jerry Luis (accordion), Tony Ferns (piano), his brother Neri (drums), Jimmy Fernandes (guitar) and myself (violin). The following year my brother Paxy (who had come from India) joined us and in 1950 we were joined by Manu Rodrigues. Manu played a sweet violin and arranged the music, but it was his delightful crooning that won him many admirers, mainly female.

Over the years that followed, there were many comings and goings and Jazz Swingers moved from being a string band to a swing outfit.

As the popularity of the Jazz Swingers grew, the band’s services were sought by various other organisations and clubs. For a while we had a monthly contract with the Tanganyika Broadcasting Corporation. However, the gig (engagement) that brought the Jazz Swingers’ name into the forefront was our weekly gig at the “Ocean Breeze” which was the city’s most popular restaurant and nightclub.

In 1959, (I remember them in Nairobi) the Jazz Swingers together with their families toured Kenya and Uganda and played at the Goan Institutes in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kampala and Entebbe.

With the advent of the 1960s, the band started to break up and eventually disbanded as some of its members were transferred from Dar es Salaam and others migrated to Canada, the USA and elsewhere.

However, we had a few last hurrahs. In 1984, Terence Pereira, who was the President of the Organising Committee for the annual Tanzanite Dance, persuaded members of the Jazz Swingers who were resident in Toronto (viz Manu Rodrigues, Jerry Luis, Nelson Fernandes, Luis Pereira, Paxy Colaco and myself and Gil Vaz who was visiting from the US to get together and play few sets at the function.

The GI Jazz Swingers are proud to have been part of the history of the Dar es Salaam Goan Institute.

The above piece was part of a congratulatory message on occasion of the Dar es Salaam Goan Institute’s Platinum Jubilee.

The history of the Jazz musicians of Dar es Salaam is captured beautifully in a book:

Waiting for the Sunrise
Goan Jazz Musicians in Dar es Salaam
by Judy Luis-Watson

Waiting for the Sunrise by Judy Luis-Watson is now available at (in both print and ebook versions). For buyers based in India, we recommend you order via Goa,1556. Details from jazzgoandar at In Goa, a special print edition is also available via

Goss from a very long time ago …

Wonder if anyone can remember some of these!

(THIS excerpt from a Dar GI celebratory brochure will probably fuzzle minds of folks who are not familiar with the vintage. I reproduce it in honour of the folks gone past and a remembrance of the ways it used to be.)


Do you know that…

The Alexandra Cinema Hall, where the first two general meetings were held, was situated at the corner of Makuganya and India streets … we still talk shop there, don’t we?

Two gold crosses were buried in the premises of the Institute, one each occasion of the two foundation-laying-ceremonies … no treasure hunt please, lest we should lose our only means of a redemption!

The first streams of what is now the St Francis Xavier’s School, Chagombwe, were conducted in the premises of the old building on this site … quite naturally, as it has always been the aim of the Institute to promote intellectual activities!

A very elderly founder-member resident in Dar es Salaam, Mr A M Madeira (ex-Customs) now runs the Institute Bar … excise and tariffs come to him naturally.

Another founder member, Mr A E L Fernandes, has gone into farming … stronger foundation in self-reliance.

Chartered Architect Tony Almeida had said that the present building of the Institute was of a quality, that would need no apology anywhere in the world … of course, a thing of beauty, is a joy forever.

There were 620 children in the age group 1-12 years for the Christmas party in the Institute Hall last year … there were many more outside awaiting entry into that age-group.

It is customary to celebrate the anniversary of the Institute on the occasion of New Year’s Eve …ah ha, so that is the origin of the two free drinks … and then after killing two birds with one stone can it be said that we are not frugal in spirit?

Head Steward Mohamed Athmani (alias Fupi) is now 49 years old and has been in the service of the Institute for 31 years … he is heading for a double golden (or a golden double).

Mr Dominique De Souza designed the cover of this brochure (on the occasion of an anniversary celebration is presume) take a bow, Dominique, take a bow.

And finally, do you know that we are 50 years old today? You don’t say! Well happy birthday then, ad multos annos and all that, and lead us Kindly Light, onwards to a diamond and platinum. S.Z.S.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Goan Estate: remembered with pride (special photographs).

THERE ARE many Goans, once the younger generation but today the older generation, who will remember with pride the Goan Housing Estate in Pangani, Kenya. The estate, if I am right, was the initiative of the  Goan  Overseas Association. Like everything else Goan, the estate was cause for celebration but had its detractors. I think it was originally going to be called the Dr Ribeiro Goan Estate. It never happened.

From another friend: "The Goan Estate only became a reality solely because of the determined lobbying efforts of the late Dr A C L desousa. Dr Ribeiro had absolutely no part in the venture. It was Dr desousa's brainchild. He lobbied Dr Gregory, the Mayor of Nairobi in 1955, to secure the land, secure funding, etc, and created the Goan Estate consisting of 26 semi-detached homes a reality.

"An official opening ceremony was held the centre oval. Dr Gregory was the guest of honour and the estate was named The Dr De sousa Goan Estate. However, the brahmins of the estate objected to the naming and boycotted the ceremony. They went as far as hanging black flags from their balconies. They conveniently forgot that without Dr De sousa, there never would have been a Goan Estate in the first place."

I thought the Goans who lived in the estate were a pretty happy lot. Sometimes, time does make liars of us all. They belonged to the Nairobi Goan Institute, the Railway Goan Institute or the Nairobi Goan Gymkhana. They worshiped at either the St Teresa's church in Eastleigh ( a 10 or 15 minute walk) or the St Francis Xavier's Church at the start of Forest Road and a stone's throw from perhaps the best Goan initiative, the Dr Ribeiro Goan School.

One way or another there was plenty to be cheerful and celebrate about this group of Goans who lived a few steps away from another group: the Goans who lived in the Nairobi City Council flats which have since been raised recently and in their place more than 1000 flats are being built.

As time continues to march on, so does the memory of the Goans who gave so much to the building of modern Kenya.

I am indebted to Tony Reg D'Souza, Eva Fonseca, Antonio Desousa, Filandro Fernandes and a few other people who have helped to remember the Goans who lived in the estate. I am sure there will be one or two or three names missed from the list below and I will update them as I soon as I am advised.

Today, there are still a couple of Goan families still living in the estate. We are not done yet!

Two versions of the residents"

The Goan Estate had at its heart a rectangle (some said it was a triangle) and all the houses faced this green playground. Twenty-six families purchased homes here, two to each block.


In the last block in this line were Mr. & Mrs. Peter D'Costa, Edward, Gladys, Glafira, Guenivera, Benjamin, George and Gileta.  To their right were Mr. & Mrs. Botelho, Joy, Grace, Ruby and Jude.
Next door to them in the next block were Mr. & Mrs. Francis D'Cruz, Valerie, Clive and Desmond

To their right, in the next block, were Mr. & Mrs. Francis D'Cruz, Valerie, Clive and Cedric and on their right was Mrs. Rosendo and her 2 daughters (her husband died a few years after they moved in.

To their right, I think it was Mario and Wavell and family on the left side and on their right were Mr. & Mrs. Remedios, Joyce, Jean, Marian, Joseph and Morris.

To the right of the Remedios home and the last one on this line were Belinda and her family and I do not remember who their neighbor was.

Now to the next line on the left-hand side of the estate were Mr. & Mrs. John Nazareth, Olga, Paul, Ophelia, Sonny and Olivia and to their left were Mr. & Mrs. Monteiro and their daughter.  

To the Monteiro's left were the Abreu family and in their block were Mr. & Mrs. J C J Dias, Ivera & Ino.  Mr Dias was a school committee member.

In the next block were Mr. & Mrs. Costa Correia and family and Marilia Pegado and family.

Next to the Pegado's were Mr. & Mrs. Fernandes, Armando, Renato and Vera and next door were the Mr. and Mrs. Goes (Leo and Elizabeth). Next to them was our house Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Fernandes (Joanna, Astrid, Mitelia, Yasmin and Lactancio). Next to us was Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Fernandes (our dad's brother) (Eugenia, Luis, Sandra, Filandro and Zelia). 

On to the third line, were Mr. & Mrs. Tavares (headmaster/teacher at Dr Ribeiro Goan School) and family, their next-door neighbors were Manny Rodrigues and family.

In the next block were the D'Mello family, and their next-door neighbor was Mr. & Mrs. Anthony D'Souza and family (teacher at DRGS).

To their left in the next block were Mr. & Mrs. J F D'Souza, Victor, Henry and next door, were Mr. & Mrs. Borges with their 2 daughters. 

In the last block on this side were the Quadros family and next door were Mr. & Mrs. Felix Noronha, Sonya, June and Fernanda. 


CLIFFORD COSTA CORREA: Thank you for your blog and sharing these pictures. The Goan Estate was a fun place to live and it was indeed a very close community. Many of us that lived in the Goan Estate moved to the UK, Canada, USA & Australia but many of us remain in touch, thanks in a large part to Filandru Fernandes who from time to time organizes "Zoom calls" and we get a chance to talk about the "fun time" we had growing up in the Goan Estate. The Goan Estate looks different now but these pictures brought back fond memories and I am impressed that Tony, Eva, Anto and Fil were able to identify virtually all the residents in the Estate. The only one I would question was the house next to Anthony D'Souza, I thought it was Walter D'Cruz but I could be wrong! Thanks again, great memories!

‘I think the field is more round than oval and it was fun playing on the grounds even though it was about half the size of a soccer field. As far as Christmas, I have some memories of Santa arriving in a convertible and all the kids gathering up on the grounds. A few Christmas Carols and sometimes a skit prepared by the kids, which would provide entertainment for adults and kids alike. Most homes over Christmas would have a star hanging proudly by the stairway in the hallway that could be seen from the street. As we grew older Christmas Day was more about “house hopping” and many of us would go door to door to share a glass of Christmas cheer, needless to say by dusk we were all feeling no pain but we were still ready for the dance at the GI. The Goan Housing Estate was a great place to live, a close & supportive community.’


Whether there were any hard feelings with the adults after the boycott, I could not say but if there were it did not seem to last.  I do remember when the black flags came out on the day, feeling ashamed and I wondered what Dr. Gregory would think of us as the Goan community being so ungrateful to a passionate Goan pioneer who did so much to make the Goan Estate a reality.  For us the kids, we were all friends and the boycott did not matter.  We just were friends and always had such fun playing all sorts of games in the middle oval every opportunity we had.  I will say that there are some here in Toronto who conveniently choose to say the black flag boycott did not happen!

The photographs below have been provided by Eva's friend Baldip Khan, a classmate from Dr Ribeiro's. She still live in Kenya.

The last two pictures are pure nostalgia!



  PAUL NAZARETH A dedicated clubman Paul Nazareth is typical of the young Goans who grew up in East Africa and Nairobi and Mombasa in ...