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Wednesday, June 30, 2010



Apt and precise, your beautiful verse says it all about your Grandma Benedicta.

The origin and meaning of this rare and unique Latin name Benedicta is 'Blessed'. We can proudly say that in reality your Grandma, blessed as she was with five children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson, she lived up to her name by always blessing them, especially on the conclusion of the recitation of Holy Rosary in the evening, and unfailingly also when we said our sad goodbyes.

Dahlia, I'm sure you'll be doubly blessed too, all the more because you carry her name forward by having 'Benedicta' as your middle name.




Church of St. Anne, Parra, Bardez, GOA. India
Built in 1649
The cemetery is on the left.



by Dahlia Fernandes

I can remember
You so clearly
So many memories
Rush right through me
Your kindness, your heart
Your belief in prayer,
Your smile, your laugh,
All showed that you cared
The peace in your voice
Every time we would call,
Your strength to live
Left a mark upon us all
You will always hold
This place in our heart
Your grace and your beauty
We felt though miles apart
You showed us all
The magnitude of Love,
You were my angel from afar
Now my angel from above.

Dahlia Benedicta Fernandes

Monday, June 28, 2010


'Her hilarious side'
Cheerful and smiling
Born: 26.09.1934
Died: 29.6.2010
(Parra, Bardez, Goa - India)

It comes an an abrupt end to a wonderful life of living, loving and caring, fun and laughter, ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, and lastly amidst a long sequence of illnesses that she endured and smiled through them all with patience while looking forward to live.

May be it hasn't sunk into me as yet, but I know what a family meant to this one-of-a-kind mother with the kindest of all hearts, always wishing and praying for the well-being of all the members of her family.

It was 36 years ago when she had first telephoned me in Dubai, UAE, where I met her daughter. Her first words in a conversation over the telephone are the ones that I still remember very well: "Baba" she said, "from what I've heard I'm very happy that my daughter has found a nice boy like you in her life". And before she put the phone down she said: " I'm waiting to see you".

Having lost my own mother the previous year before I decided to marry her daughter, little did I expect what a loving mother-in-law I would have in the following years who treated me more like her own son, loved and took care of my three young kids - her grandchildren. I was truly blessed with a new "mother- in-lieu" of the one I had loved and lost.

The good and the loved ones die young, and it breaks my heart to know that this loving and kind-hearted mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grand-mother is no more with us. She passed away in Goa today at the age of 75 years, exactly 18 months to the day, from the day of her husband's death.

She leaves behind four daughters and a son, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild, four sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law and a sister/brother-in-law, all of whom she loved very dearly.

I had spent sometime with her during my vacation in Goa recently, which was in fact in December 2009 and in January 2010.

I last spoke to her on the phone just 2 days ago. And whenever I called, her favourite parting words would invariably always be: "I'm praying for you, my son, may God bless you".

Who do we all have to pray for us,
and worry about us now?
None perhaps in this world,
but from heaven surely yes,
and those will be the kind of prayers,
and comforting words
from our loving
Benedicta Caetana Barboza
Born: 26.09.1934
Died: 29.06.2010
(wife of late Fredrick Charles Barboza,
composer and lyricist of Konkani songs,
and actor of Konkani Tiatr)

Rest in Peace.
We will miss you.
We will cherish your memories
and treasure the legacy you have left behind.

Tony Fernandes
Mississauga, ON. Canada

Friday, June 25, 2010


Pyrographic Drawings
on Coconut Keepsake/Snack Serving Bowls

Bowls and Pyrography (Wood-burning Art)
by Tony Fernandes - TonFerns Creations

The First Beat Group in the U.A.E.
It was way back in the early seventies that I heard about a pop music band called Gemini 4 that comprised of 4 young lads. It was the first beat group at a time when the place was known as the Trucial States of Oman.

I worked in Abu Dhabi at that time. Three of my young friends had formed an amateur beat group, and I was a novice in their band being the fourth. But the instruments that we wanted were not available in Abu Dhabi during those days then. So one fine weekend my friends and I decided to travel all the way to Sharjah, one of the seven Sheikhdoms, where we were told to meet an agent called Mr. Carvalho, who directly imported Hofner guitars from Germany. Mr. Carvalho
 also owned a tailoring shop. Having purchased a Hofner Galaxy rhythm guitar, a Hofner bass guitar and a Hofner amplifer RV50 from Carvalho, we left the equipment at a friend’s house there. At the same time we had also decided to take the opportunity to hear the beat group called Gemini 4 while we were in Sharjah over the weekend.

Having nothing much to do early that evening, my friends and I decided to go for a walk along the narrow road by the Sharjah Creek, pausing to watch the dhows continue to load and unload their cargo until after sunset. It was then that we thought we should go back to our friend’s house and relax for a while before proceeding to hear out this band that everyone in Abu Dhabi spoke so highly about. 

The venue that this beat group played at was then known as ‘Sea Face Hotel’ - a structure that was converted from an imposing old fort with rooms, a sprawling courtyard and a night-club attached. It was located along the wharf, facing the entrance of the Sharjah creek. Having been told that it was not so far away from the place where we were supposed to stay for the night, we decided to walk to this hotel. In our attempt to take a short cut we trudged through the dark lanes in ankle deep sand for about half a kilometer, and finally arrived at the venue nearly exhausted. Taking a deep breath, my friends and I made our way through the gates, and just as we were about to enter the night club, I saw a tall man at the door just to make sure the right type of people were entering the club. We sat at our tables and ordered a round of drinks. After some time the same tall man at the gate approached the stage, picked up a guitar, joined the band and started playing.

The band played the current hits of the time. One song that was a huge and raging hit was ‘Happy Together’ by the Turtles, and it was in this night club at that great splendid evening that I heard the first cover version of the song by the Gemini Four. Other hits included Scot McKenzie’s ‘San Francisco’ (Be sure to wear flowers in your hair), Marmalades’ ‘Ob la di, ob la da’, Booker T & the MGs' Time is Right, Bee Gees’ ‘Don’t Forget to Remember Me’ and the best 'Shadows' and 'Ventures' music ever!

Making the group of four were the lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist/singer, bass guitarist and a drummer.

The new Sea Face Hotel was later opened along the main street called Al Arooba Street where the Gemini Four continued playing in the following years.

In the mid seventies I moved to Dubai, then known as United Arab Emirates, where I heard them play at several shows, like Christmas, New Year, Easter and May Queen Ball, Autumn Ball, Weddings and other events.

That was forty years ago. And I have not "forgotten to remember" this wonderful foursome bunch of musicians of the fabulous days of my youth. Those were indeed the days my friends.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Way back in the first half of the 80's I raced home from work. Particulary every week. The reason for the hurry was due to no other reason than to catch up with my favourite TV series of the time: The entertaining, adventurous and flawless: 'The A-Team'. The episodes were really exciting and thrilling to watch. This series was one of the favourites of my children as well, who would wait for me to come home and be a part of the excitement. Those were the good and happy times in Dubai, U.A.E. We thoroughly enjoyed all the episodes. We found them to be full of fun, intrigue and adventure. We admired the daring challenges of cigar-chewing Mr. Hannibal Smith, giggled at the fear of flying of the tough Mr.T, and merrily laughed at the wild antics of the ace flyer Murdock.

Twenty-eight years later, we are far away from the above. We are in Canada and my eldest daughter telephones me and says she wants to take me for a movie as a Father's Day treat. I agree. I leave the movie selection to her discretion as I have no doubt that she would well know the movies I would like to watch : she is a movie connoisseur - not only an admirer but a critic too! On that day, I asked her what movie were we going to see and she replied: "You'll see, you'll like it, you just come".

So I try to keep up, and finally succumb, to her usual fare of delightful surprises. Willing and waiting to be surprised we go to the AMC theatres, and I'm supposed to guess which movie I'm going to see. I look around at the various electronic titles of movies scrolling above the theatre entrance doors of the vast complex. I busily carry on munching on the pop-corn as I try to guess.

And astonished I truly was when we finally head for the appropriate theatre. Yes, I'm sure you must have definitely guessed it already. It was indeed to watch a movie re-make of the action-packed serial hit of the eighties. It was none other than the fabulous "THE A-TEAM". Really enjoyable.

Thank you, Denise.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

GOA - Memories of My Homeland

GOA - Memories of My Homeland
By Tony Fernandes
Published: 2004
Publisher: TONFERNS Creations
134 pages, Canadian $ 10/-
ISBN 0-9735515-X

This book is a collection of 19 nostalgic English poems, 6 English Short Stories, 12 illustrations, a 10-page Goa in Pictures section, 150 Goan Proverbs and Sayings, and a glossary of Portuguese, Latin and Konkani words used in the book.

This book will certainly take the reader to blessed times with evocative glimpses into a blissful era that has aged, perhaps, but is not forgotten. Written in narrative verse, it will bring back memories while you delve into Goa's unique culture and traditions, with glimpses of Goa through illustrations and photographs.

Some of the poems are: Over the Centuries, A Visit to my Old Village, Vespers, The Home-Coming, The Harvest Day, Intruz (Carnival), A Village Wedding and many-many more.

Contact the Author at:


To read reviews, please click on:

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I grew up in the fifties with a very practical and extremely loving father - may he rest in peace - they had a name for him in the small village where I grew up – the official repairman around the house or perhaps a repairman for our entire community. There wasn’t anything that he could not fix. His dreams were not grandiose but focused. Being a man of small gestures he would be more interested in getting the ancient door of the cupboard fixed than buy a new one.

My Dad never spoke when he was angry. I knew he was not pleased with something that I did, when I noticed from the corner of my eye that his face was a little stern, and would not say anything for about 15 minutes. In today’s terms I would call that ‘silent treatment’.

Dad in his favourite khaki shorts, tee shirt and a hat, that’s how I picture him. A hammer, pair of pliers in hand, for Dad it was always the time for fixing things – I don’t ever remember seeing him idle - a curtain rod, the kitchen stool, the cane chair, rake handle, screen door, replacing the weak rung on the bamboo ladders, and the broken tile on the rooftop or repairing the pedal of my bicycle. He could fix it all. I definitely have carried this trait of his though, but not one of anger management.

It was a way of life, and a good way of life back then – I would modestly say we were not rich, but I felt we were a little better than the poorest around us. In spite of hardships, I admired my Dad and Mom’s acumen in putting food on the table for me, and sometimes it made me wonder what life would be for me when I grew up to be of their age. But honestly little did I care about it at all then. I had many years ahead, so I thought at the time - everything would fall in place in due course. Re-fixing, renewing, simply had not shown up on my radar. The future of life’s calendar was little to be concerned about. Not at least for now.

My Dad tenderly and lovingly gave; and which I took so much for granted while growing up into a man. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up without we knowing it, but then it just goes away...never to return. So today...while we have is best we love it.....and care for it.....and fix it when it's broken.....and heal it when it's sick.

In my home, we had a great team. My Dad was the captain and played centre-forward. My Mom, aunts, brother and cousins held their own positions and they all did their best in their own way. And while I ran around the entire football field, my father guided me on a positive path and position to get to the goal...and with the ball!

Tony Fernandes

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Picture taken in the lounge of Fernhills Palace,
a Welcome Heritage hotel, situated at Fernhill, Ooty,
the Nilgiris (Tamilnadu - INDIA). Circa 1986


The child is the father of the man’

During my days in school we were given a line - a phrase or idiom - that we thought was a huge problem to analyse and fathom its true meaning. This was done after reading English Text or Poetry in class. Certain lines had to be underlined or highlighted as we read them. These would later be studied in detail to find the meaning of the subject phrases or idioms.

One question that invariably appeared in all tests and examinations went typically like this:
Explain with reference to the context: ‘The child is the father of the man’.
This line from William Wordsworth’s poem ‘My heart leaps up when I behold’ had always intrigued and perplexed me as a child. It has been interpreted in so many ways by so many. But as I see it today this phrase means a lot to me. It applies a lot to my own life and my children, albeit in a slightly different way from my wife’s point of view as well. In this case, for convenience, we could re-phrase the line: ‘The child is the mother of the woman’.

My eldest daughter has worked her way up in her career, walking in her mother’s footsteps in the accounting department. And to sum it all up, it is with extreme pride that today my wife works in the same firm as my daughter’s. The pinnacle of a mother’s joy is to see her daughter grow and become what she had always prayed and envisaged her to be, but the height of the crowning glory would be to watch and admire her daughter command and conduct a seminar in the same company.

Considering the fact that my wife’s major was accounting, then there must definitely be truth in the meaning and definition of the above phrase, that what we are when young, in many ways, eventually gives shape to what we become when we grow up.

I am no accountant, but in all confidence and pride, I can surely say that my daughter has picked up many of my artistic traits too. Hence there is so much truth in the phrase that we can safely surmise: ‘The child is the father of the man’.
Tony Fernandes

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Canadian Farm

Canadian Farm
Pyrographic Drawing on Coconut Shell
by Tony Fernandes

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


There must be a promulgation of an international law to control and prevent teenagers (inexperienced or otherwise) from deciding to go solo on a whim, in deciding to circumnavigate the globe by sea or air. When they run into trouble or when they come across situations when nature lashes out with fury in terms of bad weather, it causes a huge stress on the resources of other countries in putting their own men and women at risk to search and rescue these irresponsible youngsters who embark on this voyages solely with their parental approval, may be just for fun, fame and silly adventure. May be they are, after all, just too young to know the unpredicatable situations out there in the mightly oceans.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


In recent times we've been hearing that more and more people are working from home. In the comfort of their own home that is. Back in our younger days we had not heard of a convenience of this nature.

So I say, if that's the case, then all of the world leaders should have stayed home; I mean mansions and palaces, secure, safe and sound. And the G20 and G8 meetings could be conducted from their cosy confines. That would have saved such a lot of time and money too.

And there would be no protests.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010


The Art in the Park Show in Windsor was closed by the organizers on the second day. Humbled by nature's quest, no one cursed the storm. Everyone took it in stride in the aftermath that was apparent as the vendors helplessly looked through the park fence at their flooded booths. No one complained and they understood each other's torment in their eyes and sadness without showing it on their own faces.

It was an 'Act of God', as the insurance companies say. It was not the fault of the Organizers. They did their best to help the vendors to salvage whatever they could. No one could believe what happened overnight. A feeble but heartfelt 'good-bye, see you next year' was heard as we meandered through the park gates, after painstakingly loading up our van with whatever was worth taking back. Sadly though we had to leave behind our new tent.

What intrigued me most though, was the impassive and sustained disappointment that was noticeable on the faces of the vendors who seemed to have succumbed to their untimely seal of closure in acceptance of their fate. We vendors are a resilient lot in the face of difficulty. While a sudden lull and hush prevailed around the perimeter of park, at a time when everyone would have happily and enthusiastically been getting ready for a good show, their calm and composure in the face of adversity was admirable. That shows how patient we, vendors, are - many of whom travel long distances to get to the venue to set up on the eve of the show. They were adamant to remain positive and did not give up either because, they too said: " See you, next year".

Perhaps everyone had hoped that the second, and the last day of the Craft show, would have brought in some revenue for all of us, but I hope that the sales made on the first day have at least paid for the booth. The way we were hit was something I had never expected. I always think that somehow it invariably always rains on weekends, and this weekend was no exception. It was abruptly brought to a halt before the second day started. This was in sharp contrast to the nice time and dinner we had at Koolini's along with our friends the previous evening. What a calm and cool evening before the storm!
In accompanying my wife at her craft shows during the last seven years, I had never experienced a disaster or a shut-down of this nature, although we did escape from an apparent tornado touchdown at a show that we did in Cobourg in 2004. We had heard many co-vendors who related instances of similar bad weather conditions during outdoor venues, but this was our first experience.

There was nothing that could be done to go ahead with the show as the park had virtually turned into a lake, flooding the vendors tents, some of which had collapsed. The exhibitors were horrified to see the scale of water-logged booths. I hope the other artists and artisans have not lost or suffered damage to their artwork.

The overnight gusty winds and torrential continuous downpour of lashing rains within a span of two hours created great havoc throughout the park. Though we lost our tent, we were lucky that our products were not damaged. It could have been worse. We thank God for sparing us from greater loss and distress than we suffered, and for getting us safely back to our home in Mississauga

Thursday, June 03, 2010


The expression and experience.
The man and his poise,
commitment and passion -
fully absorbed in his art.
TORONTO. Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Wall Hanging
Hollow, Longitudinal Cut-away
by Tony Fernandes
Size 10" x 7"
1/8" thick plywood strips
from used fruit crates.
Veneer hoops, varnish stained,
pyrographed grapevine drawing