Picturesque Goa

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TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


           It was a great pleasure in attending a well-organised function by a totally dedicated committee of members and volunteers. It was none other than the annual celebration of the feast of St. Anne, and this for me was much more than just attending a party. This is what comes as a complete package of a celebration of this nature, starting with a Solemn High Mass, followed by snacks, drinks, food and dance, when feasts of their local churches are celebrated by Goans all over the world when they are far away from home. 

           The village of Parra in Goa has a beautiful, famous and historic church that is dedicated to St. Anne. Parra is a village in Bardez sub-district, North Goa, India. It is located near the town of Mapusa and surrounded by the villages of Guirim, Nagoa, Anjuna, Arpora, Saligao and Assagao. A resident of Parra is fondly called 'Porrikar'. Attached to this Parish are the villages of Canca and Verla. 

           Having been brought up in Guirim, and also having an aunt and cousins living in Parra, I have very fond memories of attending the annual feast of St. Anne that is celebrated at this church on a very grand scale. 

           In this instance, it is even more than fitting in the celebration of the feast of St. Anne - an annual event organized at a banquet hall in Mississauga, Ontario, by the Parra Assocation of Toronto for the last four decades - a wonderful celebration far away from home.

           My greatest surprise at this 40th Anniversary celebration, besides seeing and meeting friends, was identifying a familiar voice that sounded very much close to home at the Homily. Aided by a nod by my wife standing next to me, I was quick in placing the voice and delivery from an excellent preacher. The familiar voice was none other than of Fr. Emidio Pinto, who I was immediately able to recognise - a former Vicar of St. Anne's Church, Parra, and presently the Vicar of St. Diogo's Church of Guirim/Sangolda. A very touching moment was reserved for me at the end of the Mass - when I joined in the singing of a very nostalgic and touching Konkani hymn of all time that I sang long ago as a child - 'Santan Tujem Suffoll Jinnem', that brought a tear to my eye.

           Although missing out on the usual fun, gaiety and enjoyment at the 'Feri'* of a traditional feast in Goa - this function was nothing short of the best: a beautiful choir, tasty food, music, dancing and above all meeting good old friends reminding me once again of the good old days and times of yore.

~ Tony Fernandes, Canada

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*Feri - A fair held outside the churches and chapels in Goa during a feast. Traditional roasted gram, and other sweets and delicacies along with toys are sold. Also fetes and raffles are organized by the young and the old alike. A happy time especially for children.

Monday, July 29, 2013


'Summer Reflections'

at the Weston Quarry Gardens
Don River Valley, Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto.

“Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium.
There is no life without water.”

 ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian Biochemist

Sunday, July 28, 2013


“If you do not change direction,
you may end up where you are heading”

― Gautama Buddha

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Inglewood is a dynamic little village in Caledon, Ontario. Though small in size, it is very active. It draws people from around the area with amenities that include an indoor arena. Beautiful scenery. Located on the west side of the road to Orangeville on HW10 (Hurontario Street), it is about 10 minutes from the northern border of Brampton, north of Olde Baseline Road. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Welcome to Caledon. First tornado warning.

And by the way, we are happy we have survived our first tornado warning for Caledon since we moved here. The warning has just been lifted though the clouds have not.
Nature's way of welcome, eh?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Summarizing our own mortality
while we grieve for our loved ones,
we naturally comfort those who have lost theirs,
but we also have to contend with the fact that
we will have some day to leave this world
for others to grieve for us in return,
when our own days on earth are done.

When the final summons
Beckons at my door
To leave for another shore
I know it’s God’s call I can’t ignore.

It will be my life’s journey’s end,
Sudden and abrupt
Unannounced and undecided
I will have to leave in haste.

This departure I cannot
Adjourn, defer or halt
No luggage to cart
No time to prepare
Or say good-bye
Before I acknowledge
My final roll call.

Today I lament for loved ones
That I have lost long ago
But in turn will have to obey God’s command
When I have served my tenure and
And my time on earth is done.
Let me therefore do good,
Pardon my friend or foe
For it may be too late to do so
When God knocks on my door
And I am unable to look back;
I have got to go.

When I am gone
My friends and family
May in turn
Grieve in pain and sorrow
And remorse so deep,
So help me God to be good to others today
In whatever I do or say,
So that I may be remembered
When the chapel bells for me
 toll tomorrow.

From up above I will only silently see
Unable to communicate or respond
Direct, guide or tell
But perhaps I could only wish
And hope there is at least one good thing
That I will be remembered by
If at all.

(Poem excerpted from my book: 'GOA - Memories of My Homeland' - Poems & Stories)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Many Goans have traveled far and wide all across the globe.
Nevertheless, with strong family ties
to their folks and friends back home,
some sort of a prayer for the well-being of those
they left behind may have automatically come to them.
 Here is my own.


Into your hands O Lord
My loving family I place
Take good care of them
With your fondest grace.

Shelter them while I am gone
Guard them while I am away
Shield them from troubles and ailment
Grant my humble request, I pray.

Let happiness always reign
In my humble abode when I am not around
Their smiles preserved
And laughter ever abound.

Thoughts about my family
Forth I will always carry
With your blessings O Lord
Keep us all in unity.

Guide me well on my voyage
O Lord to you I pray
And bring me back safely
To be once again with my family.

Should from my journey
I be destined not to return
Then to Your will, I will surrender,
But remember Lord,
Look after my folks, have concern.

Friday, July 12, 2013



Birthdate: January 30, 1947
Birthplace: Candolim, India 
Death: Died July 9, 2013 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

'Friar of our times'

Requiescat in Pace

I am deeply saddened to hear this tragic news about the premature passing away of my friend Fr. Godwin Lobo, OFM Cap, my classmate of long ago at St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim, Bardez, Goa, with a kind, friendly and humble nature and a heart of gold. Being a very bright student, a true scholar and one who always stood first in class, he was an inspiration to many students.

Whenever I visited my Alma Mater at Monte de Guirm while on a holiday to Goa, I often went to meet him. At times he used to visit me at my place in Parra - Bardez, during the early 1990's. 

After my coming to Canada we corresponded via email once in a while, but we lost touch after he left for Mexico, till until recently when we got in contact back again on Facebook. He often asked me to come to visit him in Yecora, Mexico.

There are some remarkable and outstanding qualities of Fr. Godwin. I first knew him in the late 1950's. I found that for someone who did not speak much Konkani, after arriving from Africa to study as a boarder at Monte de Guirim, and who after some years, to be able to deliver a powerful sermon in the Konkani language, was astounding.

Born in the same year as mine - 1947 in Goa - and younger to me by a shy of 21 days, he went on to be a priest, subsequently rising to be the Headmaster of the School he studied at, and was at Monte till 31st January 2005. Active with Indian Red Cross Society, Goa, he traveled to Rome, Netherlands, France and U.A.E. Retiring on 31st January 2005 he was the first cyber Goan to get on the super cyber highway from Camorlim!

I'm very deeply grieved by the news of his death, more so because he was one of us - a very intelligent student who we looked up to, a brilliant preacher who we listened to, and above all an adventurous Friar of our times. His mastered diction and delivery in English, Portuguese and Konkani was superb. I haven't had the chance of hearing him speak in Italian and recently in Spanish, but I'm sure he had mastered that language too in just a short while.

During all this years that have gone by, I thought only the old Friars of Monte who taught us - like Fr. Ambrose, Fr. Pacificus, Fr. Ireneus, Fr. Ephrem - pass away, but not one so young and dedicated like Fr. Godwin. I am sure his passing away will definitely leave a void in the hearts of the people of Yecora in Sonora, Mexico. 

We'll miss you Fray Godwin. Rest in Eternal Peace. Keeping riding high on your horse to greater heights of glory and dedication to God.

Most heartfelt sympathies to all family members, relatives, students, Teachers and Fathers of Monte, and all those who knew him.

'He was a kind and loving Father - when will come such another'.

Here's a excerpt from a poem in my book 'GOA - Memories of My Homeland' published in the year 2005, and incidentally, as if by premonition, it goes as follows:

Will I get a chance to play
With my buddies in the rain
Will they run with me once more
As an encore
Or will I hear
Behind my ear
Someone whisper
That they are no more?

To read the Ode to Monte de Guirim on this blog
in its entirety please click on the following link:

Pleas click on the following interesting links pertaining to Fr. Godwin,
for an insight into his chosen mission, especially in Mexico.

Thursday, July 11, 2013



Yes, we have finally moved. To a place called Caledon. From Mississauga, after living there for 15 years. Reasonable reasoning: Downsizing. Nothing else. Mississauga will be fondly missed. And our folks who live there, especially my grandson, Ari.

Now, the other day when I mentioned this to somebody, she said "Where's that?" 

No. It's not in Scotland.

In fact it is not too far away from Mississauga, and just to give a rough idea, it is a town in the Regional Municipality of Peel in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, one of three municipalities of Peel Region. The town is located just north-west of the city of Brampton.

For your easy referral and orientation, look at it this way. All regional roads from Mississauga invariably lead to the north, though slightly north by north-west, mainly first into Brampton.

And then, from there on, all roads lead to Caledon!

One major highway though, takes you from Mississauga straight into Caledon in just 25 minutes. It is called 'the 410' (and colloquially, fondly referred to as the Four-Ten). There, as it nears Mayfield Road, it takes a sharp turn westward and ends right there (suddenly dropping its maiden digit 4 from its assigned number 410) and before you know it, it conveniently merges into Highway 10 or Hurontario Street to the north, which can eventually lead you on to Inglewood, Orangeville and beyond.

Coincidentally, our new life begins where this highway ends. And for a good reason. New retired life begins at Strawberry Fields - fortunately a brand new community. Will it be for ever? I'm not sure about that. We'll see. There's a whole new story about the Strawberry Fields. And where have they gone? Answer: It has, my friends, gone to Real Estate and a new township everyone!

Caledon is somewhat urban, though it is primarily rural in nature. It consists of an amalgamation of a number of urban areas, villages, and hamlets; its major urban centre is Bolton, located on its eastern side adjacent to York Region.

Though our move has been a very moving experience, we hope to reap some benefits from down-sizing as far as expenses are concerned, and use the experience gained by this change perhaps in our next life. But I haven't yet been able to down-size much yet by way of the loads of photo albums, numerous speakers, mixers, photo equipment, tools, paintings and picture frames.

That's all for now. Come visit my blog whenever you have the time in the future. I'll post some new pictures of the countryside of Caledon some days later. I still have lots of sorting to do. The loads of boxes of things have been overwhelming. Right now I feel as if my life is full of boxes.

Please click on the following link to my favourite track by the Gipsy Kings, the title of which has been inspirational for the title of this article. Let's walk down the streets of Caledon of mine.

I feel as if I've been on the move ever since I left the shores of Goa once upon a time at the age of seventeen, moving from one country to another, saluting the flags ( one home in one city to the next. Life goes on!   

Thursday, July 04, 2013


When I mentioned to visitor to my booth that this wood-burning drawing on the box above was done by me using my hand, he blurted out: "Are you serious?" 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Image result for tonferns pyrography
No kidding, but this man who visited my Art Booth and admired my work said that he had tried his hand at Wood-burning or Pyrography, which is an art of decorating wood or other materials with patterns or drawing burnt into wood resulting from the controlled application of a heated stylus attached to a hand-held pen. This, he said, was when he was in his teens and since his work did not turn out to his satisfaction, he gave it up. So I told him that perhaps it's too late now anyway, and that he was probably not using the right type of matches for his craft at the time!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


This one of a kind visitor to my booth was not interested in my art - he was more keen in knowing where I originally came from!