Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Great Jim Reeves - Unforgettable!

                 Image result for jim reeves

Jim Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas, on 20 August 1923. He died in a plane crash during a violent thunderstorm on 31 July 1964. He was well-known for his warm, velvety, baritone voice and often referred to respectfully as ‘Gentleman Jim’. Among his various other numerous hits and touching songs were ‘Adios Amigo’, ‘Welcome to My World' and ‘Am I losing you’. His Christmas album still remains as the best of all time. 

During the 1960's, if one walked into a Goan family home that had a 'radiogram' it would undoubtedly have been a Jim Reeves 12 inch vinyl record spinning on the 6-LP stackable record changer.

                In the 1970's compact cassettes arrived on the scene followed by CD's in 1980's. Some of his recorded tracks were released by his widow, Mary Reeves, after his death with additional instrumental back-up.
Incidentally, MARY REEVES was born on 20 Jan.1929 and died on 11 Nov.1999. 
Today, walk into any Goan home at Christmas time, and it will be Jim Reeves' Christmas album, in all probability, a CD. 

                Forty-fours years after his death, his songs still continue to sell on CD's. The inscription on the pedestal of his life-size statue at his memorial in Carthage, Texas, reads as follows:

"If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain."

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Coming full circle with music.


Seven years to the day, today, my children presented to my wife and myself, tickets to see and hear Anne Murray at the concert in Toronto on Friday, 25th April, 2008, as a surprise gift in advance for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day   

It was way back in 1970 on a test transmission of an FM station in Dubai, then a sheikhdom in Trucial States of Oman, now known as the United Arab Emirates, where I first heard Anne Murray’s songs on the radio. Her records and cassettes, and later, CDs were available in music shops there.In the 80’s we often watched her shows aired on TV in the U.A.E.

Anne Murray’s hits, 'You Needed Me' and 'Could I have this dance' have been the most popular songs sung at weddings and at dance galas in the U.A.E. where many of my FB have lived and worked for many years.  Her songs were also popular in among the music loving community of Goa, a Portuguese colony for 451 years in India till 1961.

When we immigrated to Canada we brought along with us modest collections of Anne Murray's records, tapes and CD's.
It has been a long musical journey of sorts for us listening to Anne Murray’s beautiful voice - first on the radio, then cassettes and LP's (45 years ago) and later CD's and finally live in concert.
My children grew up hearing her songs that I played at home through the years. I was also a DJ playing at weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and first communion parties and 'Blue Bird' was my signature opening number on many occasions. My youngest daughter, Dahlia Fernandes, is a budding singer/song-writer having produced a CD of her own songs. This is a tribute to Anne Murray, appreciation and gratitude for bringing joy in our life through her songs.
Tony Fernandes
(Poems & Short Stories) Published in Canada

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Prof. Lucio Rodrigues

The great Prof. Lucio with my humble self
born a century ago (April 15,1915)

 One of the most interesting characters I've met in my life.
It was the summer of 1964 in Goa. After appearing for the Secondary School Certificate Examinations of the Poona Board in Mapsa, I was eagerly waiting for the results that were to appear in Navhind Times on the 28th of May, but unfortunately on the evening of 27th May, sad news came over the radio that Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru had passed away. The S.S.C. E...xams results were not published on the 28th as a mark of respect for the great leader, and postponed for the next day – the 29th of May. In celebration of my passing my SSCE, my elder brother took me to Panjim for lunch, and later went to Prof. Lucio’s house in Panjim, when I had the opportunity of meeting the great man for the first time, nearly 51 years ago. I immediately realised that he was truly a very remarkable, impressive and extraordinary personality that made a profound impact and influence on me. I was 17 years old.
The great personality Prof. Lucio with my humble self.

At that time Prof. Lucio was a lecturer at Elphinstone College near Kala Ghoda in Fort, Bombay. I often visited him at his home in Colaba on my way home from college. In later years Prof. Lucio was the Head of the English Department of Dhempe College of Arts & Science in Panjim. During my holidays to Goa, I often visited him. His study and library was massive. He was constantly busy with Konkani folklore music and literary research. I was astonished the way he played the guitar. Plucking was his forte. He taught me the first guitar chords that I ever knew, and as a good gesture I ruled music notation sheets in return for the great virtuoso on my drafting board. He recorded his songs playing on his Hofner Framus acoustic guitar, and a Framus removable electric guitar pickup. Among his electronic collections were a Grundig radio and a flat-bed 5 inch reel-to-reel Grundig tape-recorder.

I was lucky to have been there to attend his wedding at the Tourist Hotel in Panjim and also having stayed at his house in Anjuna where one evening I had the privilege to join him in singing the Litany along with other people in the village. The news of his premature death came as a shock, and his achievements in a life that was cut short, left an indelible impression. I visited his grave in Bombay in 1974.
Prof. Lucio's grave, Bombay - 1974.

The famous novelist Graham Greene met Prof. Lucio and stayed at his house in Anjuna, Goa.

The soil and soul, the Goan folks, their tales and traditions of Goa lived in the heart of Prof. Lucio Rodrigues – one of the finest, most fascinating and enlightening characters that I have ever met in my life.

A function to pay tribute to him is being held at the Xavier Centre of Historical Research, Porvorim, Bardez, Goa, at 5.30 pm on Wednesday (Apr 15). The function is open to all.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Our Loving Santana - First Death Anniversary

on her
Born: 28 September 1946
Died: 15 April 2015 

We think of you in silence,
We often speak your name,
But all we have are memories,
And your picture in a frame.

Your resting place we visit,
And put flowers there with care,
But no one knows the heartache,
As we turn and leave you there.

In all the world we shall not find
 a heart so loving and so kind,
so soft a voice, so sweet a smile,
an inspiration so worthwhile, 
sympathy so sure, so deep,
a love so wonderful to keep.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Story of my Sculpture of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

The Story of my Sculpture of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
 by Tony Fernandes
 (The shortest story ever told, so please read). Thanks.
It was late autumn of the year 1991. A three feet tall statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, in transit from the Philippines, arrived in Sharjah, with a broken right hand which was unfortunately damaged and broken into pieces at the wrist, near the lower portion of the tunic from the outstretched arm.

In need of urgent repair of this statue, my sister-in-law asked me for help - if I could make a new right hand, and I said I would definitely try. A slab of white sculpting clay was provided to me, and in right earnest I assigned myself a task which I considered as a challenge, privilege and a blessing, all at the same time.

So, by looking at the left hand of the statue which was intact, I had to inversely sculpt a mirror image, and attach the new hand, in situ, with glue and wire reinforcement drilled into the existing sleeve of the tunic. After completion of the new right hand I painted it in matching colours of the left hand, much to the delight and approval of the committee.
Now, here is where the story takes a new turn, and of course, for the better. A small amount of white clay remained from the above project, and a new idea was born; a new thought and a new challenge came into being. I did this by undertaking the work of sculpting an image of Jesus Christ on the Cross from the left-over clay by using holy pictures as references. Then I made a wooden cross and fastened the finished work to it.

Ever since that time this image has adorned the walls of every new home that we have dwelt in, and accompanied us into every home that we have moved into. It goes along with our family from house to house, continent to continent, and has also been to India and back to Canada, and presently adorns the wall of the foyer of the house where we presently reside.