Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Lansdowne Park
Ontario, Canada
Photograph by Tony Fernandes
Please double click for an enlarged view

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


21st October - 24th October 2010
Lansdowne Park
Ottawa, Ontario.
Please double-click on pictures for larger views.

Monday, October 18, 2010



(Please double-click on picture for an enlarged view)
Photos by Tonferns 2001


Rainy days and Mondays, they say, even in a song. But rainy days at school, added by a Monday meant a very boring day with a tendency of getting us and our spirits down. So, in this eventuality it would mean that there would be no outside play during breaks in the afternoon, or games in the evenings down the hill at the twin football fields. This was because of the fear that the boys would get sick if they got wet in the rain on the way back from the playgrounds. Boarders would have then to succumb to being confined to the long corridors or verandahs of the school buildings and pass their time with improvised games or read in the classrooms.

But for Felicio, who was a day-scholar, it was a different story altogether in sharp contrast to a boarder's routine. He tried his best to avoid the rain, or let it succeed in getting him down! For Felicio, who had to trek nearly 2 miles through the fields, be it through from light drizzles to torrential downpours of the monsoon season, it was nevertheless an arduous task.

Rising early in the morning Felicio glanced at the time-table stuck to the wall a little above his small study table in the dim morning light, sorted and selected his text and copy books for the day, while mother prepared his breakfast and also had his ‘tiffin’ ready.

Dark clouds loomed overhead with signs of impending showers of rain. So, for Felicio it seemed it was necessary to foresee the inclement weather conditions and have the books packed in a clear plastic bag which his mother had bought for him from Bhobe’s Stationery Shop in Mapusa. From the nearby ‘Tintto’ at Parra, Felicio had acquired thick rubber bands from the cycle repair shop, to hold the books together around in the plastic. He would then place this pack in turn into another bag that he would sling over his shoulder. And as if that was not enough, there was the raincoat and an umbrella. Felicio considered himself fully armed, before he set out on the long and usual hike to the school on the top of the hill.

Cumbiem Morod, Guirim. It was a modest and vibrant little ward of Guirim, where Felicio lived. There were 10 or 11 other boys in his village that went to the same school. They met at the point in the village where the worn paths crossed at the centre of the village near the small chapel by the well, waiting for the other boys before they started their onward march to the school, while Felicio, being the youngest, brought up the rear of the bee-line.

Handling and keeping the books, the ‘buthi’ (tiffin) and himself dry from the elements with a raincoat and an umbrella was quite a feat for little Felicio. Often they would stop and seek shelter in the balcao of a house on the way, whenever the showers very heavy. At the same time they were afraid of waiting for too long, as they would then arrive late to school.

Day-scholars who got their uniform wet in the rain would often be sent home by the headmaster, because of the risk of getting sick due to the dampness. Felicio experienced this on many occasions, and would always try to avoid being sent home.

Sometime in mid-July of circa 1956, the day had begun with intense precipitation combined with strong winds, and the rain water had somehow found its way and seeped into Felicio’s uniform through a tear in the side-pockets of his rain coat.

And so, as nature had its way, Felicio had found his day!

A rainy day had finally gotten him down. But it had an extra benefit and enjoyment of taking the long way home - walking along the main road passing partly through Guirim and Parra Jaknnim, because cutting through the fields as usual was impossible due to the flooding of the pathways through the fields that led to his humble home.

Although the years seem to have drifted away I cannot but help reminisce our bathing time after playing at those grounds when the “Boarding Father”, assisted by student volunteers, would toss on us water in buckets, drawn from the well near the grounds. Then upwards on the winding path through the cashew fruit trees up the hill we trudged again for days, months and years on end. When we at last made to the hill-top just before dusk, far down below we could still the farmers tending to their vegetable patches and rice crops in the fields.

All the electrical work was done and maintained by a dedicated Friar. His name was Bro. Diogo. Tube lights were first installed in the chapel in the late fifties. The generator, or dynamo as it was popularly known then, was used only in the night up to 11 pm. and sometimes when the skies darkened in the daytime during the rainy season. A new “dynamo” with more wattage was installed in the late fifties to cater to the additional demand created by newly added classrooms. As the old one could no longer take the full load it was then put on stand-by in case of an emergency.

An interesting and nostalgic moment that I recall is being fascinated by the pump house diesel engine that turned a long v-belt connected to a powerful water-pump that pumped water up to the school premises from the square shaped well – a remarkable engineering feat those days. As young boys we would put our ear on the pipe that ran up the hill to hear the faint murmur of the engine and the water gushing through it. The school also had a lightning conductor installed on the side of the steeple of the chapel. This provided safety not only for the school premises, but also protected the surrounding villages from severe lightning strikes.

Tony Felix (Felicio) Fernandes

Guirim, Cumbiem Morod,
(Story of Circa 1956)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Pork & rosemary wrapped in Prosciutto topped with
Pear chutney
(blended with apple and raisins)
on a bed of butternut/acorn squash. Roasted Potatoes and Beets, Grilled Polenta, Walnut & Pear Spinach salad with Poppyseed dressing.
Photograph & Serving prepared by Denise Fernandes
For a larger view, please double-click on picture.

Friday, October 15, 2010



Wow! Could I have 3 jars?

Etobicoke: Where are you guys located?

Mississauga: Is this vindaloo?

Brampton: (No one sampled—we did not sell a single jar).

Oakville: I don’t eat curry.

Hamilton: Can I have your card?

London, On: Oh! Ten Dollars?

Milton: Blank stare.

Guelph: Wow! I’ll take a jar now.

Barrie: What do you do with these?

Cobourg: What are these?

Ottawa: These are great.

Windsor: Great! I take 3 for 27.

Balls Falls:
Jordan, ON :
We are going to buy more again.

Indian: We make our own.

Italian: Do you have Zuchini?

British: I’ll take a jar.

Goan: My Grandma does Pickles, but do you have Goan Balchão?

Mexican: This is not hot enough.

West Indian: You call this hot?

Brazilian: Is this the hottest you’ve got?

Thai: No eye contact

Others: More blank stares

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BALLS FALLS, Jordan, Ontario

Lower Falls, Jordan, Ontario
Experience adventure as you discover Ball’s Falls mid 19th century industrial hamlet atmosphere. Featuring the original Ball family home, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a church, black smith shop, carriage shed and more.

Incredibly breathtaking view of the majestic Twenty Mile Creek as it plummets over both the upper and lower falls.
As the falls tumble delightfully over high cliffs, they can be viewed at close proximity from above or below. The character of the falls changes dramatically with the seasons, ranging from a raging torrent in the spring to a thin veil in late summer, with access to the Bruce Trail.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, India.

Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, Italy, in 1181. He died there on 3 October 1226.

The chapel on top of the hill at Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, India, is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi.

My Alma Mater - St. Anthony’s High School – is also situated on the top of this idyllic hill, well-known as Monte de Guirim, amidst peaceful and sylvan surroundings. It is named after St. Anthony of Padua, who was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.

The school, situated in the district of Bardez, North Goa, is run by Franciscans - the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

The touching hymn,’ Make me a channel of your peace’ and otherwise known as ‘Prayer for St. Francis’ was written by Sebastian Temple (1928-1997) who grew up in South Africa and later moved to London, where he worked on news broadcast relating to South Africa. After converting to Catholicism and adopting the Franciscan lifestyle, Sebastian became a Secular Franciscan and spent much of his time composing music for worship. He is best remembered for “The Prayer of St. Francis”

Pictures by Tony Fernandes

Sunday, October 03, 2010


is a metaphor for the Christian response to urban problems. The wolf can be any problem that presses the people into a fear-based fight or flight response; a problem which the population consistently fails to solve, and which tears them apart day and night without mercy. Whatever is "tearing a community apart" - that is its wolf.
The wolf kills to satisfy its hunger, but it does so in a lawless and uncontrolled way, bringing judgment on itself and fear to the people, generally the lawless meeting of an out of control need.
This is where St. Francis of Assisi steps in.
The wolf is challenged, forced into submission and made to stop its rampage of destruction. Instead it has to beg for food to sustain itself for the rest of its life and dies in poverty.
Picture above: Life-size figure of
St. Francis of Assisi and the wolf.
(Garden opp. Alverno Friary - top of the Hill of Guirim)

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Friars of Monte - 'Habitual' Humour

Imposing School Building
of the Nineteen Sixties
St. Anthony's High School
Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, India.

'Bridging the Wings'

(Photos by Tony Fernandes)

'Habitual' Humour.

Fathers and Brothers in Uniform
during my time at Monte

They were unique with other exceptional and brilliant qualities besides their regular titles. They were fully devoted their vocation and dedicated to their professions in their chosen fields and proudly donned their distinct dark brown ‘habits’ contrasting with the white cords around their waists, hoods, sandals and ‘crown-cuts’. They were excellent in the arts - talented and innovative, having good organizational skills.

Here below is an appreciation, albeit somewhat on the witty side.

Monte de Guirim. 1953 - 1964

Fr. Pacificus Principal
True to his name, he could calm a storm.
As a builder and strict supervisor, he added and supervised the new school building.

Fr. Diogo, Principal
Excellent English and Konkani Preacher.
Clear delivery. Held audiences spellbound for hours.

Fr. Ambrose, Headmaster
Excellent English Teacher. Suave Administrator.
He taught more with good advice and words than a cane.

Fr. Patrick, Headmaster
History/Good Hockey Player
Known for providing students with the latest eventful news in politics and science at the end of the period. He must have also been the fastest running Friar on the Western Coast of India - in a habit, hockey stick in his left hand, and with the ball from one end of the field to the other.

Fr. Ephrem, Boarding in Charge
Excellent Math Teacher. Euclid of Monte. Absolutely applied the rule of law. Strict disciplinarian. Good marksman with a cane. Superb aim with a piece of chalk even at 50 feet.

Fr. Chrysostom, Physics & Chemistry
Scientist of Monte de Guirim.
Well-known for authoring a special Chemistry Book for School use. NASA would have been envious of his laboratory in its heyday which included a Leyden Jar, microscope, telescope and even a skeleton in the cupboard!

Fr. Fortunato, Geography
Mobile Atlas without a GPS. Ask him a place from Timbuktu to Buenos Aires and he would take you there.

Fr. Columban, English
Excellent Orator. Good diction. Font of knowledge. Witty. Always put things in a humorous way. I think he could have easily put Mark Anthony to shame.

Fr. Ireneus, Religion
Charismatic English and Konkani Preacher
Well known for his short, sweet and to-the-point sermons with chosen words.
Could easily and instantly turn an atheist into a believer!

Br. Vitalis, Art Director
Michaelangelo of Monte
Great Artist / Brilliant Innovator / A Friar with ideas galore!

Br. Peter, Infirmary in Charge
Well known throughout Goa for snake-bite cure.
Snakes might have been terrified of his curing prowess.

Br. Peter, Religion
No Bro. Peter - No Catechism
No Religion - No salvation.
Excellent Religion teacher.

Br. Polycarp, Infirmary in Charge,
Our Doctor in the House - A One-man Team of the Red Cross
From minor Band-Aid to Inoculalion.
From sickness to well-being.

Br. Titus, Engineer
No Bro. Titus, no lights, no water. Unassuming technical wizard. Knew the power generator, the water-pump system and anything mechanical inside out.

Br. Salvador, Music Director
Transportation Guru/ Very Good Driver / Swimmer.
Tough and bold Music Director. Could sense and pinpoint a false note from a distance.
Standing in the wings, unseen by the audience, conducted the entire presentation of the School Drama for two consecutive days. A combination of Yehudi Menuhin and Sterling Moss of Monte de Guirim. Fastest driver on the Western Coast : Monte to Mapusa in 5 minutes.

As Educators: Providing schooling for students from all over Goa, irrespective of caste or religion.
As Administrators and Teachers: Providing a sense of community and belonging to the village of Guirim and also to the surrounding areas.

Tony (Felix) Fernandes - Ex-Student of Monte 1953-1964