Personal Tributes
to Pascoal

Family Trees

About the Author



About a fortnight after their wedding-day the threat of war in Europe, which had been lurking for quite some time suddenly became a grim reality with Hitler's invasion of Poland.

This did not deter our young couple. When it was time for Pascoal to return to Kenya, he set out sailing in a P&O British India (B.I.) steamer with Esmeralda at his side.Even at this early phase in the conflict air-raid precautions were being taken. And when they disembarked at Mombasa, the port city was observing heavy black-out. As they moved to Nairobi, hearing the war being so heatedly discussed, the fear seemed to loom heavily like an ominous cloud over them.

But they had to move on. By train they travelled together to Kisumu, and then went further to take up the new posting in Eldoret. It seemed like the middle of nowhere - the threat of war receded.

They spent the first two years of their married life in the country-side town of Rumuruti, an administrative outpost about 150 miles northwest of the capital Nairobi.It was a very lonely spot, inhabited by the Kikuyu tribes and a few Goan families.

Pascoal's place of work was the District Commissioner's Office - just a simple wooden structure with a corrugated iron roof. Very conveniently the Government quarters were situated directly opposite the office. Their immediate neighbours were the Noronhas.

Newly married couple
(extreme right) in Eldoret


Esmeralda soon discovered that she was pregnant. There was no doctor to confirm that; however, she managed quite well seeking Mrs. Noronha's advice. It was considered advisable for her to go to the neighbouring town of Nakuru, which was somewhat better developed and could at least offer some medical facilities. One month in advance of the birth she left Rumuruti.

In Nakuru Esmeralda was the guest of another Goan couple: R.R. De Souza and his wife. They had no children but did their best to make arrangements for her delivery. When her time came, an Indian doctor and a local nurse attended her. It was a normal birth...... on 15 August 1940 a son was born to Esmeralda and Pascoal. Both were so delighted, particularly at the auspicious date - the feast day of the Assumption of Our Lady! So the baby boy was promptly given the name Assumption Joseph. Although there were no problems at his birth, the little one caught pneumonia and some intestinal infection which nearly cost him his life. A German physician, who had settled in the area for several years, was brought in for consultation. Apparently he felt the outlook was grave; the baby was restless and kept twitching. Fearing the worst, he merely administered an injection and declared that was all he could do; they would have to leave the rest to Fate. He went away leaving the two young parents utterly distraught.

Seeing their plight, one of their friends, a plucky young bachelor Stanley Carasco offered to try an old home remedy. There was nothing to lose - the child seemed on the very brink. But there was no point in giving up hope altogether. He got some linseed and ground it coarsely, boiled it well until the oil surfaced, spread it out on a piece of cloth, and while that poultice was still warm, he wrapped it round the baby's chest.

Then he stated:"Now we have placed him in the hands of the Lord!"

The baby slept very soundly. Next morning when the doctor returned he was absolutely amazed to see the little one cheerful, playfully stretching out his limbs. "This is not my doing - it is a miracle!" - he joyfully exclaimed.

They returned to Rumuruti with their "Morgad"/Beloved. It was sheer delight watching their very own darling little "Sanoo" grow with each passing day. Assumption was far too big a name for everyday use.

And then, before long, Esmeralda found herself pregnant once more. This time she decided she would go home to have the baby. Pascoal could not be relieved to accompany her. The war was still raging but bravely she travelled alone by sea with her little son and returned home safely to de Mello Vaddo.

On 5th January 1942 Pascoal's father Caetano breathed his last. He was interred the same day in the cemetry of Anjuna. He was 68 at the time.

But life goes on..... fifteen days before he was expected, on 24th January 1942, the second son of Pascoal and Esmeralda was born in the nursing home of Dr.Antonio Rosario at Porvorim, another village of Bardez. The baby was given the name Timothy. Esmeralda stayed on in Goa with her two infants for the next three years in the company of her mother-in-law.

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