The first St. Michael’s Church was founded by Fr. Barnabas in 1971 and was originally just a small chapel close to the British Air force base in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
In 1973 Fr. Barnabas shifted it into the British Officers’ Mess. The kitchen of the church was converted into the Parish House.
Father Barnabas was succeeded by Fathers Attilio, Edmund, Antonino, Felicio, Godwin and Angelo. The congregation increased along with the space to accommodate all of the parishioners.
It was during the tenure of Fr. Felicio Diniz as the Parish Priest in the early 1980's when I was an active member of the community centre. I had made the sign on my own accord out of plastic letters and a metal cross cast into Plaster of Paris. I handed over the plaque to Fr. Felicio who then had it fixed to the wall at the entrance of this church.
Now here's where the story about this plaque takes a different turn. Some years after I left Sharjah a magnificent new church was built nearby, and the old one was demolished. On my visit to Goa after many years my wife and I stayed with her sister Lourdes and bro-in-law Leo when we noticed this plaque in the show-case in their living room. I was greatly surprised as to how this piece of work would cross the Arabian Seas into Goa. Lourdes then related to me how she had salvaged it just prior to the time when the bull-dozers moved in for demolition of the old church.Thanks and kudos to Lourdes for saving and keeping this sign - a sure sign of the times - and a Sign of the Cross of more than 30 years ago.