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 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 (
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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