.to me he is so wonderful. By: Bijoo The earliest memories of my Dad must surely go back to when I was seven years or slightly older -the formative years really. I then quickly sensed a close bond between us. And it manifested itself in many ways, the principal ones being flagrant and unabashed bias and a mutual understanding that we could do no wrong! The existence of this sentiment in our relationship did not cause me to feel any dissatisfaction, and that it continues apace today.well, I feel fairly guiltless! My admiration for Dad is unconditional. I have been, and continue to be in complete awe of his presence and general persona. Going back over the years, I can vividly remember for instance his unrivaled oratory; whenever he spoke in public, be it a wedding toast, symposium or a subject of urgent concern, my stance on the sidelines was that of a dutiful supplicant, simultaneously chewing nervously on my fingernails and lapping up every profundity. "He has always offered advice and help to the rest of his relatives." Pascoal Coutinho, London, England

I was always proud to acknowledge him as my father when any lesser mortal enquired after the identity of this eloquent gentleman who had managed to capture the rapt attention of his audience! His powerful grasp of the language always encouraged me to consult him on matters of school debate or just simply grammatical construction. I somehow always knew that he would have the answer, and perhaps even some refreshing ideas. Quite often, when preparing for a debate, it would occur to me that perhaps some bombastic vocabulary with which to humiliate my opponents, would be in order. I would then garner a few, ostensibly devastating words and prevail upon Dad to put them into sensible context -which he did, with devastating effect! His oratory skills and power of persuasion have always placed Dad in good stead, especially when it came to public relations. I remember in the late 80's when my Mum and he were on a short visit here in Toronto, he expressed an interest in addressing the local chapter of the Lion's Club, with a view to soliciting funds for the Goa chapter, to help them in their war on drugs. We all expressed the opinion that is would not be possible, and at best, he would make no impact. Undeterred, Dad called up the Lion's Club (who incidentally were very pleased to hear from him), and set up an address date. On the day, he took a cab to the location and made his debut! His speech, deportment and sophistication so impressed his audience, that he immediately received pledges of support from the organization! One member was so singularly taken up by his performance, that he insisted on giving him a ride home! How pitifully wrong we all were!! Dad excelled on many fronts -as a husband, father, family mentor, public servant and promoter of the "Goan factor." As a husband, he has stood the test of time -always there for my Mum -always supportive through every family or other travail. Dad's unique ability to lead by example made him a father to be proud of. He instilled in us all the highest possible ideals, and hopefully we have lived up to at least some of his expectations. For me personally though, I cannot begin to be thankful for his unwavering belief in me. I have always been able to turn to him for a helping hand. When I found myself in an invidious position -especially at school -he would always rush to my rescue, ameliorating my infraction with the teacher or headmaster, and would invariably extricate me from dire possibilities! When my academic achievements (or lack of them!) cast me in the worst possible light, Dad always took the position that things were not as bad as they seemed. Perhaps I was a little spoilt -in fact,at the 'tender' age of twenty one Dad bought me a car- a Fiat 600 (sometimes referred to as a Baby Fiat!). Evidently Dad would give me almost anything that I wanted--but then, better me than anyone else! At one of the most critical junctures of my life in Kenya, it became apparent that I would have to proceed to the U.K. to further my education. The problem however was securing an entry visa. The only person who could possibly help me was my Dad! He immediately got on the case! His first encounter at the British High Commission was not very promising. A certain Mr. Kirchener, who we discovered later was a mere tyro, demanded that a letter be produced from the Kenya Department of Education, "recommending" that I be granted a student visa. Given the political climate and the general disdain that Asians were regarded with, it seemed that all was lost. After much "wire pulling" Dad managed to obtain a letter from the Department of Education simply stating that they had "no objection" to my proceeding to the U.K. Triumphantly Dad presented this letter at the B.H.C. "But this is not a letter of recommendation!" thundered the frightful Kirchener! It was back to the drawing board and more influence peddling! This time Dad enlisted the help of Mr. Desmond O'Hagan C.M.G., his close friend from "the good old days," and coincidentally, adviser to the British High Commission at the time. A word from him and helpful letter of recommendation from the Education Ministry saw me on my way to England. Clearly, Dad's influence was certainly something to be reckoned with! As a family mentor, immediate and other family members often sought his counsel on various matters. Neither was there a shortage of friends and assorted strangers who simply had to "consult Pascoal" before any decision could be made. The British Colonials in Kenya quickly recognized Dad's potential and rewarded him with well merited promotions in the Civil Service. Soon he was rubbing shoulders with the best of them -and carving out a favorable and lasting impression with many a colonial bureaucrat! As a result, his influence was far reaching -which he used to unselfish advantage. He never failed to ensure the well being and security of any of the Goan cadre (of which there was a large segment) in the British administration; nor did it stop there: he actively recruited and placed Goans in the Service. Indeed, amongst many of them, he came to be regarded as the "Godfather," because, after all, at the end of the day he could fix anything! The only difference of course is that he never called on anyone for a reciprocal favour!! During his time in the Colonial Service Dad had some pretty interesting experiences, and as a result, some mind boggling stories! One that readily comes to mind is the time the British were handing over power to the local Africans. By all accounts, the process was, in many instances, anything but amicable or civilized. Mr. Robin Wainwright, the outgoing British administrator in the Ministry for African Affairs became somewhat perturbed and agitated when the incoming African replacement began showing signs of unholy haste in trying to assume his new position. The story goes that Mr. Wainwright, in a fit of pique, threw the office keys in the general direction of this individual, uttering expletives as he left in a huff! This person was none other than the arrogant and eccentric Kitili Mwendwa, a diminutive figure who liked to be referred to as the "Learned Mwendwa!" Interestingly enough, he went on to become the Chief Justice of Kenya, but soon fell from grace, as increasingly his name became synonymous with criminal activity rather than the rule of law! From conversations, it's clear that Dad's regard for him was less than favourable. Mr. Wainwright was extremely helpful in later years, after he had retired to Gloucester, in England. When I was studying in the U.K., I was unable to take up any kind of employment because I was not a British citizen. Initially, this was not a problem, simply because I knew I wanted to emigrate to Canada, and my eldest brother, Sanoo, who was already a practicing physician there, had undertaken to ensure that I would be able to join him upon graduation -which he did. However, when I did graduate, matters of the heart took a firm hold of me, and suddenly I wanted to live in England! Quite the conundrum, by any standards! Once again I turned to my Dad for help -after all, he could do anything -up to and including arranging a work permit for me so I could live and work in England, thereby sorting out the turmoil in my personal life!! What a Dad! In characteristic form Dad assured me that it could all be arranged -even though his preference was that I proceed to Canada, and not look back! Accordingly, he wrote a letter to Mr. Wainwright and explained my predicament. Within a few weeks of writing, Mr. Wainwright responded, assuring Dad that he had seen to it that I would have absolutely no problem obtaining a work permit. It turns out, that on my Dad's account, Mr. Wainwright made a special trip to the home office in London to plead my case. His influence was such, that he was able to quickly receive an unequivocal guarantee from the highest source, that my case would be dealt with favourably. Unfortunately though, having inconvenienced all involved, I opted to proceed to Canada. This whole episode did however illustrate to me, even more clearly, how far Dad would go for me and also, more than ever, made me realize the scope of his influence. In many conversations, it has emerged quite plainly that Dad has only the greatest admiration for some of the British colonials he worked with. He had a particular fondness for Sir Richard Turnbull, who he always described as 'a great friend of the Goans.' This was not an exaggeration by any means, because he his best remembered by the East African Goans for his generous speech in the Kenya legislature, where he said that one could sleep soundly in the knowledge that the keys of the safe were in the hands of a Goan! The Kenya Goans never forgot this warm tribute, and so to honour him in later years, they arranged a lavish dinner party. Sir Richard was clearly moved by this outpouring of affection, and interrupted a hunting safari so he could attend. Unfortunately, on the day of the reception, Dr. A.C.L. de Sousa, a well known and influential community spokesperson passed away, and so a few individuals, most notably Dr. Jules de Mello, made the decision to cancel the reception without apparently consulting the organizing committee -of which Dad was a member. Sir Richard arrived -but there was no reception! Most within the community regarded this debacle as "the unkindest cut of all", especially so because it was Sir Richard! There appears to be a "prima facie" case of high handiness, certainly on the part of Dr. Jules, but the record will I'm sure show that he acted in good faith, and was only prompted to act in the way he did out of deep respect for Dr. de Sousa who was almost deified by large sections of the Goan community. Nevertheless, this fiasco left an indelible mark on my Dad, and even today he speaks sadly about the whole event. Dad has always emphasized the "Goan factor." He aggressively promoted the Goan identity in the social, academic and cultural arena. As president of the Goan Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, he introduced the community to new levels of social sophistication. In the academic area, he tirelessly laboured to ensure that exacting standards were maintained at the Dr. Ribeiro Goan School in Nairobi, so that every Goan would have the opportunity of a sound education -something he considered to be an urgent requirement. Being a product of Jesuit school, his emphasis on education can be well understood. Mens sana in corpore sano" - a healthy mind in a healthy body - was his guiding theme - a clear testament to his Jesuit training. The "Goans Overseas Association" or G.O.A., as it was commonly referred to, was a governing body set up to oversee all the affairs of the Dr. Ribeiro Goan School. As a member of this association Dad had to confront quite a few thorny issues. One such issue dealt with the displacement of Rev. Fr. Frank Commerford as principal of the school. It is not immediately clear what the reason was, but whispers at the time had is that he had begun to show an unseemly interest in the social structure of the Goan community. The G.O.A. took a dim view of this alleged interest, and so took the very unpopular step of relieving him of his duties at school. The students became incensed and promptly went on strike, disrupting normal school activity and engaging in random acts of vandalism. Dad was completely shocked by these turn of events. He quickly brokered an agreement whereby Fr. Commerford would return on a temporary basis, pending the arrival of a replacement. This approach seemed to pacify all concerned, though the hurt caused all round lingered for the longest time. My brother Tim was very strongly affected because he and Fr. Commerford had a very close relationship. On the cultural level, Dad always exhorted us not to forget our identity -wherever we might be domiciled. I can safely say that his words have not been lost on us. Our family diversities notwithstanding, the Goan factor has always prevailed. So, what can I say! Simply. "Dad, you are the best!" My lovely and always wonderful wife Hyacinth, and beautiful and precious daughter Hazel, both agree! And to my beautiful Mum, let me simply say that Dad and the rest of us could not have done it without you. Whenever we were down on the canvas, you were always there to offer solace and encouragement. As a Mum, we probably made your task almost thankless, but boys will be boys etc!!! Thank you for being a great Mum, albeit strict-but always tempered with a great deal of love and caring. We are all the better for it. But most of all Mum,our love, and thank you for being you!
My recollections of Mr. Pascoal DeMello MBE. By Pascoal Coutinho I need to go back to 1967/68 when at the age of 17/18 I was doing my A Levels in Nairobi Kenya. Mr DeMello was our neighbour at the time. I was and still am a close friend of his younger sons Raymond and Stanley. I have. Since 1984 come to know and respect Dr. Assumption DeMello and his wife Madeline who are also good family friends. At that time I failed to appreciate Mr. P. DeMello's advice on his famous words to his two younger sons and myself, i.e. "It's a rats race to get into university" and "Its a survival of the fittest". He always advocated that without formal academic qualifications we would not do well in the future. Only much later in life, in 1970 and then later in 1978 I realised the full significance of those words. In 1970 I failed to get admission into an Engineering Degree Course and again in 1978 when I graduated and was job hunting. Even till today those word are very relevant - survival in the academic and work environment has got very difficult. In to-day's environment to some perhaps those words would come across as common-sense, however at the time in Kenya it must be remembered that the situation was quite different, Asians obtained jobs without much difficulty and life was a lot more comfortable. When compared with the UK it may still be. I remember him most for his encouragement to study and his efforts specifically towards Raymond and Stanley in trying to obtain admission for them towards places at A Levels and University. He always discussed and encouraged career aspirations, though at times I felt he tried to steer his sons towards careers of his choice. It must also be remembered in those days career advisers were non-existent and one had to make a decision on ones future with very little information available. Mr. P. DeMello was cool in most difficult situations, and offered sincere advice to all his family and friends. A few of the people I knew sometimes failed to appreciate his wisdom and grasp of the politics at the time. He was (and I believe still is) very astute in his planning and knew the workings of the Government very well. Even this could be an understatement to his level of knowledge. My Dad once told me that Mr. DeMello helped over two hundred and fifty Goans to obtain jobs in Kenya He has many genuine friends and of course going with that he possibly has fallen out with some people though I have not met any. In his retired life in Goa. he has continued to help the people of Anjuna and Goa. I have not been to Goa recently, last was in Dec'91. Prior to 1991, I visited Goa every two years. At my last visit Mr. De Mello appeared quite frail. From previous visits and including the last, I found he took an active part in village life, was a Member of the Lions Club and tried to help East African Pensioners with advice on any problems they encountered. He also wrote letters in the local Goa papers on domestic issues and in support of the local Goans. He also took an active part in the Anjuna Church. He has been a very good support to his family too. All his sons respect him and till to-day frequent Goa to see him. He is a proud family man and always has a good word for all his sons. He has always offered advice and help to the rest of his relations. When my Dad expired in 1987 he had advice for me at the time and continues to comment on various issues of life. His wisdom is still respected. I have a lot of time and respect for Mr. DeMello and a stop over in Goa without visiting Mr. DeMello is unthinkable. P.S.Coutinho 53 The Vale Southgate London N14 6HR 17th Jan '96
A Man for AII Reasons By Stany & his wife Kathleen My earliest impression of my father was that of a benevolent and influential patriarch. Not unlike many Goan families in .Kenya at the time, our home was busy with a singular focus on providing the best possible life and education for the children. The Catholic Church defined the moral authority that Mum and Dad impressed on our lives, While my mother certainly dominated the domestic scene and indeed had considerable, if not ultimate domain over family matters, she was able to create a credible impression of unitary decision-making, But it was plainly evident that few if any decisions were carried out without her implicit approval. Dad's ability to make his point without having use overt power but rather common sense and logic, established him as a reasonable man , who read widely, learned quickly, and was able to see useful .and important connections to the. bigger picture. He was exceptional in his outlook and ability to envision the future, His outstanding dedication and loyalty to the British Government and his commitment to establishing an effective civil service was recognized by a range of honours from being presented to the Queen Mother, to being awarded the Most Excellent Order of Member of the British Empire. This was no small honour for a non-European at the time, and I can still recall the beaming trio of my brother, Tim, my Mum and Dad setting off to Government House to have the award officially conferred upon him by the last British Governor of Kenya, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, In his service with the government Dad rarely let a day go by without reaffirming his desire to return to the village. of his birth in Anjuna, Goa. He was also able to foresee that the future generations would need higher education if they were to succeed in foreign lands. Dad saw a limited future for the new generation in Kenya and counselled young families to think about opportunities overseas. This was also consistent with his belief that new experiences would broaden thinking and acting, He provided many a Goan with a helping hand in finding work. in the civil service. :There was always a steady stream of grateful Goans, and other Indians, who would drop by the house to pay their respects for the advice and favours he was able to provide through his position in the government. Dad was a natural community organizer and leader. Our home was often the sight of many late night meetings where together with other select Goans who lived in the vicinity such as Christie de Souza, Jacques, Thome Pereira, Jerome de Souza they worked out strategies for the social welfare of the Goan community in areas such housing and education. As the President of the Goan Institute it was awe inspiring to hear the stirring speeches he delivered at the Club, all decked out in his very impressive black dinner jacket and bow tie, He loved his mother tongue, Konkani, and often broke from his prepared English text to make a special point or deliver a joke in Konkani. Mom was equally stunning in her evening dress and beautiful matching hat, and dress shoes. Her cautious and reserved nature suited these important occasions well. This was the hey day of the Goan community in Kenya. The Goans had a unique status and reputation for honesty and hard work, they even had special mention in the official census of the country. As Goa was still a Portuguese colony, its citizens were accorded a favoured status in the 1950's and 60's. Consequently diplomatic corps from the British and Portuguese government had a special relationship with our community. It was not uncommon for such dignitaries to grace social functions hosted by my parents, Both Mum and Dad were violin players and accomplished ball room dancers. Friends and relatives still recall their fond memories of watching them elegantly glide across the dance floor to the music of Steve and the Blue Notes at the Christmas and New Years dances in Nairobi. Our house was also the hub of much domestic discussion. As a successful civil servant, whose self- taught writing and oral skills were in great demand in the community, he was also frequently sought out at home. Relatives, friends and other acquaintances dropped by often for advice on issues ranging from potential career changes, immigration problems to marriage and relationship issues. Aunty Bennie and Manuel, Mum's younger sister and brother both lived with us. This was especially wonderful for me as the youngest, Bennie had taken over parenting responsibilities for me given that Mum had her hands full with three other growing boys. As I now reflect on this time, I recognize how seriously both my parents took their responsibilities to guide. and secure a future both for us and for our relatives. Dad's sister Maria and her husband who for some unknown reason were just referred to as Pius's mother and father were the other relatives who also visited often. Dad was very proud of the fact that his nephew, Alu was an outstanding field hockey player who represented Kenya at four Olympic games, My God-Mother Agnes and her husband Anthony together with their three children were also frequent visitors. Paul Lobo was a young man recruited from Goa by my Dad into the civil service who became a trusted friend and was treated very much like a family member. What is remarkable is that almost 40 years later while many of the relatives have passed on, the rest continue to have the same regard and respect for both my parents, The untimely death of Uncle Cyprian, Aunt Bennie, Auntie Luizinha and Uncle Manuel were serious loses to my parents. As a family, our connection and regard for extended family was well established and encouraged by both Mum and Dad., This has continued to day with our connection to the many of the relatives in England including, Regina and her children, Mike and Jenny and Aunty Carmel's children Leslie and his wife and more recently Joyce and her husband. Both Mum and Dad were single-mindedly focused on education. All of us have had the benefit of a college education and have gone on to find successful careers in our own fields of interest. The progressive and unconditional acceptance of our follies and triumphs has been the singular tribute to my parents. From broken engagements, failed marriages to disappointments in a range of other areas, not once did Mum or Dad disown their children, Their strong faith and enduring optimism has allowed them to ride over these tempests and find warm regard for us all in our achievements and efforts. This generosity of spirit has been inspirational. It has continued to sustain the ability of both Mum and Dad to engage in the many of their social contributions to their community and village. Numerous projects with a strong social justice dimension continue to engage his attention. Both in their senior years at the time of this writing (Dad is 89 and Mum is 76) they continue to amaze and inspire us all with their boundless energy and spirit. Dad is truly a MAN FOR ALL REASONS! Mum has always had a good sense, of humour and has often effectively covered up her enduring support and love for Dad, feigning constant and great surprise at all of his many achievements.
FOND MEMORIES OF A FAVOURITE UNCLE & HIS LOVELY WIFE By Agnes Coutinho, San Francisco, USA Uncle Pascoal was a very influential man with the Government of Kenya. He had the powers to recruit suitable candidates for jobs from overseas and he very kindly offered my husband one, not once but twice. Something impossible, he made possible. We left Karachi for Kenya in 1959 with 3 young sons and they both helped us in many ways. Their four lovely sons have always kept in touch with me and I am very proud of them. We had many happy times together for the decade or so we were in Kenya. Their many kindnesses can never be forgotten and I am very grateful. If I'm in the United States today, it is due to them. Uncle has helped many a soul in Kenya and continues to do so in Goa today. God Bless them both and his Family. Best regards Agnes
RECOLLECTIONS By Paul Lobo, Bombay, India My temerity to travel to Bombay stealthily in 1956 when the borders between Goa and India were sealed, to take up a trainee appointment in Bombay, gave my late mother sleepless nights in Chapora. However, all was not lost as a ray of hope kindled after my first meeting with Mr. And Mrs. Pascoal de Mello, who promised me that they will try their best to take me to Kenya for employment with the Provincial Administration. That promise was redeemed on that rainy day of 6th July 1957 when I flew to Karachi to board S.S. Karanja on 10.7.57 for my onward journey to Mombasa and then by E.A. Railways to Nairobi. I arrived in Nairobi on 19.7.57 and was received with great enthusiasm by the de Mello family and was treated as a member of their family. I am eternally grateful to them. I stayed with them for 49 days. I was initially posted to the Ministry of African Affairs and on 8.9.57 I was transferred to a district which was not very far from Nairobi. I will always cherish the days I stayed with them in their newly constructed mansion in Nairobi South 'B'. I remember reciting the Holy Rosary with them in the evenings and after that it was time for supper and discussion. Mr. and Mrs. De Mello discussed the value of good nutrition and partaking wholesome meals. They discussed with us the virtues of hard work, punctuality, responsibility, integrity and honesty. Very often the value of good education was commented upon, the fruits of which are very visible (one son of Mr. & Mrs de Mello is a doctor, the second is a Professional Engineer, the third is a purchasing agent and the fourth is a lecturer at the University of Seattle, Washington. We often discussed the merits and demerits of spending retirement life in Goa and to hold on to our ancestral properties in Goa. In June 1963, six months ahead of UHURU (Independence) in Kenya, Mr. de Mello initiated correspondence with the Ministry of Education for my transfer to the Education Department as he knew fully well that the days of the Goan "karanis" in the Provincial Administration were numbered. He succeeded in his efforts and I was transferred to the Education Department on 13.1.64 (Prior to my transfer, I was interviewed for nearly two hours by Education Officers). Mr. de Mello is a man of letters. He contributed frequently to the "Goan Voice" of Nairobi. In Goa he writes articles to the Heraldo, Gomantak Times and The Navhind Times. He was President of the Goan Institute. He was a member of the Goans Overseas Association and Dr. Ribeiro Goan School Board of Governors. In Goa, he took part in the Panchyat elections in Anjuna but was not successful. Mr. and Mrs. de Mello contributed funds for the major renovation of Anjuna Church and for the installation of a full size statue of Fr. Agnel. He listens to the grievances of poor and downtrodden and often helps them with financial aid. He recruited 24 young Goans in 1955/56 for the Provincial Administration of Kenya. I will always cherish my days with them in Nairobi and the days I spent in eleven districts of Kenya (-Nairobi Extra Provincial, Kiambu, Meru, Lodwar, Lokitaung, Isiolo, Garissa, Mandera, Ngong, Embu, Gilgil). I returned back to India on 24.5.89. For all this extraordinary generosity and trust - we salute you and say a big THANK YOU and GOD BLESS. - Paul Lobo
Further recollections from Paul Lobo . . . . 1. They were an example and friend to their children. They were never irritable nor impatient with them. They were understanding and showered all loving care and attention on them which was reciprocated by their children. They did not pester their children too much to do their lessons. At the time of examination they were given emotional support and understanding. They made their home such a cosy place that their children when they migrated to foreign lands had happy memories of home from which they have come. The bonds of friendship which they cultivated among their children are growing stronger day by day as the four brothers are united in their resolve not to let down the good name and honour which their parents have accomplished in Kenya and Goa. 2. The task of clearing the table, washing the plates, etc. and wiping dry was given to their eldest two sons (Jul/Aug. 1957). They did their job thoroughly and without a murmur. Dignity of labour was ingrained in their children. 3. Mrs. de Mello, when she was physically tired in mind and body prepared a glass of steaming hot milk to all members of her family just before retiring for the night. I am cherishing this happy memory. 4. TRUST. I was given the responsibility to look after their house for nearly two months in their absence on holidays in Europe - just before they settled down in Goa. --Paul