This website is about the GOAN Christian Community of Pakistan. Every Goan has ancestral roots in Goa, India, formerly a Portuguese colony. All Goans of Pakistan are predominantly Catholic. Although the 'Christian Community of Pakistan' has contributed immensely to nation-building; this endeavor is solely dedicated to researching, highlighting and archiving the GOAN community's historical background, cultural heritage, significant achievements and contribution to Pakistan, before and after independence.

 
Education


This was probably the foundation on which the Goan eminence in pre and post partition was built upon. The schools which the Irish fusiliers built in the mid 1850s and those constructed later in the 20TH century by various other Orders of Priests and Nuns, almost one in every parish, were the bastions of early education for Goan families. If there is 100% literacy in Goan families today, it is because of the vision of the people in the early years to build schools and educate children of all strata - the rich, poor and not so rich or poor.

The schools which were to have the greatest influence on the people of Karachi and elsewhere in Pakistan in the early days were St. Patrick's High School (1861) and St. Joseph's Convent School (1862); St. Francis Grammar School in Quetta, the Convent of Jesus & Mary in Sialkot (1842), St. Anthony's in Lahore and Presentation Convents in Peshawar and Rawalpindi (1852) and Murree to name a few. Almost every affluent family, the Sindhi Vaderas, Baloch warlords, the Chaudhrys of Punjab, the Pathans of NWFP, the businessmen of Karachi and a mix of communities sent their children to these great schools and boarding houses.

That is why, 62 years later today, you will find Presidents, Prime Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, Judges of Supreme and High Courts and/or Senior Ministers, and prominent men and women who have been ex-students of our schools and colleges - and predominantly taught by Goan teachers.

Goan teachers have given more to Pakistan during its teething years than any other community. I would like to name those who completed 50 years of service, Patrick Mendes, Katty Gomes, O.B. Nazareth, Rominha D'Mello, Rita deSouza and Antoinette Dias (Fr. Melito's sister). In Hyderabad, we have the unique example of the husband/wife duo of Bertram deSouza and Angela deSouza, both completing 50 years of dedicated service to education - could it be a record of sorts?

Two Goan teachers who deserve praise are Oswin Mascarenhas, the first lay-person (the only one so far) to become the Principal of St. Patrick's High School (1993 - 2000) and formerly, also the principal of St. Patrick's College; and Ettie Gonsalves-nee-D'Souza, the first lay-person to become the Principal of St. Joseph's Convent Primary School (1965 - 1972).

There are so many distinguished teachers (each one special to us); therefore, I have listed them separately ( www.goansofpakistan.org ) so that their names remain etched in memory forever - in the minds of those who are still present and of all future generations in time immemorial as the true torchbearers who laid the foundations of a nation. If you know of anyone to be added on to this list, please send me an email at meninr@gmail.com

Most Sindhi vaderas used to keep their wards with Goan families while they studied in our schools, the famous example is of Mohammad Khan Junejo (later to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan) staying with the family of O.B. Nazareth in the Depot Lines area, opposite the Capri Cinema. When Junejo came to St. Pats in the 1980s on becoming the PM (1985-1988), he acknowledged this fact and thanked the family for looking after him.

Of course, there were several other schools and vocational institutes which more or less served the same purpose, namely the JufleHurst School, St. Lawrence's Boys School, the Girls School and Boarding House, Our Lady of Fatima School, the Marie Colaco School, the St. John Vianney School, St. Xavier's School, St. Rita's School and others. We must remember the late Fr Egidio Trindade who built St Paul's Urdu High School, the first Urdu school of the Catholic Church for boys. Goan parish fathers, during their terms at various 'ilaqa' churches, have been instrumental in building many more schools for the Urdu-speaking community. Today, the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) has about 40 schools under its banner.

I must not forget the St. Xavier's Shorthand & Typing Institute on Preedy Street in Saddar run by Julian Fernandes and his sister-in-law Irene D'Costa. (*) Thousands of young ladies (including Muslims, Hindus, Parsis) who acquired success in their career jobs as Secretaries, Stenographers and Typists owe much gratitude to this Institute for their skills and speed on the keyboard. I am sure it is of great use today, a recent survey indicated that 78% of desktop and laptop users work with two or three fingers on the keyboard!

Opening colleges was not easy but the Church did it with vision and conviction. Fr Stephen Raymond was the first Principal of St Patrick's College when it opened in 1952, to be followed by Fr. D'Arcy D'Souza and Oswin Mascarenhas. Fr. Raymond also headed the Teacher Training College (PTC and CT). The Institution of the Daughters of the Cross also established St. Joseph's College for Women in 1952, one of the most distinguished women's colleges in the country. Both these colleges were nationalized in 1972 by the government of Z.A. Bhutto, only to be brought back into the fold of the Catholic Church after 33 years through a sustained 6-year 'denationalization' campaign (1999 to 2005) which was initiated, conceived and spearheaded by this writer. Earlier, Bishop Anthony Lobo launched the Notre Dame Institute of Education & Training College with the help of Mercy Sisters of Australia.

"Fr. Luperc Mascarenhas wanted to add Commerce to St Patrick's College in the late 1950s and the late Archbishop Alcuin van Miltenburg asked him, "What do you know about Commerce". Fr. Luperc had post graduated from Oxford in Arts like Cardinal Cordeiro, Fr. Raymond and Fr. Francis deSouza. Fr Luperc said he would search in the community and find people. He could find only a couple of people who did commerce, Dacian Mascarenhas and Lenny Pinto. But he took courage and pushed the Archbishop to allow him to launch the Commerce section. It was started and within a few years there were Commerce graduates in the community," recalls Fr. Bonnie Mendes

Newer schools include the St. Peter's High School owned and managed by the one and only Simon D'Lima (who President Pervez Musharraf recalled at a recent reunion at St. Pats, where D'Lima shot to fame, "I was forever punished and made to kneel outside the class by Mr. D'Lima for not scoring high in Math"); St. Michael's Convent School, conceived by Bishop Tony Lobo, promoted as a Clifton branch of St. Patrick's High School but built, owned and managed by Peter Misquita; and lastly the St. Anthony's Boys School expanded and built by Fr. Robbie D'Silva, about 15 years ago.

Today, we have some Goans in education who have secured top-notch positions such as Dr. Berna Dean-nee-Menezes, who after spending several years with Aga Khan Education Board was recently appointed as the Principal of Kinnaird College in Lahore - one of the most prestigious women's institutions in Pakistan. One of the youngest ladies to be appointed principal of St. Lawrence's Girls School is its former student Christine Martins. Michael Alphonso, the principal of St. Lawrence's Boys School and Amy Gonsalves, principal of St. Patrick's Girls High School (formerly the St. John Vianney School in the cathedral compound) have served the CBE dedicatedly.

Among the unique academic distinctions achieved by Goans are of Fr Archie deSouza becoming the first priest to study Islam in Rome, leading the field of Christian Muslim dialogue (post-2000 and 9/11) when such a concept was absolutely new both within the Church and in the country. In 1952, Noel Misquita became the first Pakistani student at the Harvard Business School and in 1999 Beverly Martis-D'Cruz became the first Goan girl-student in Pakistan to be accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The latest academic achievement in the community is that of teenager Brian Jude Joseph (son of Willy who played the keyboards for Kaynotes) whose brilliant result of 11As and 5As in the O and A Level examinations of 2008-2009, also earned him a place plus scholarship at the MIT.


Goans in Education Today (Away) - Patrick Dias - After earning a master's degree from the University of Karachi, Patrick Dias did his PhD at Université de Montréal. He joined McGill in 1970 as an associate professor. In 1976, he was named chair of the Department of Education in English and in 1989 became a full professor.
Dr. Ron Britto, Professor, PhD (1966), Brown University, Macroeconomic theory, Business cycles, Risk and uncertainty. Dr. Joseph D'Cruz serves as Professor of Strategy in the faculty of Management. He is the Director of the Global Executive MBA program at the University of Toronto, and is a full member of the Faculty of Management Studies.

See list of Teachers...
 

 

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