In the days we grew up, students of our school, St Britto’s in Mapusa, saw their institution as being a major rival of St Anthony’s at Guirim. Both have been prominent schools in Bardez, particularly in the ‘sixties and ‘seventies and later. Currently, there are a number of past-pupils scattered across the globe from institutions such as these. And there have been some alumni publications coming out too.
In part, one suspects, this might be driven by the expat interest in the ‘old boys networks’ from this region. You simply get more nostalgic about the region, the further away you are from Goa!
‘Yesterdays at Monte: Jogging Down Memory Lane’ (Aug 2006, pp 78, Rs 100, Vikram Publications Limavaddo, Porvorim, phone 241 3573) is Edward de Lima’s book on St Anthony’s at Monte Guirim. Many readers might know Lima from his long teaching association with what used to be the DMC College in Mapusa/Assagao. He was also a long-time NCC instructor, and has done has PhD not too long ago on the work of the Hubli-based intellectual, writer and educator Prof Armando Menezes.
As he puts it: “Life those days was simple and hard, but we enjoyed ourselves in different innocent ways.”
This book focuses on, among other things, lunch at school, annual concerts, Mocidade Portuguesa (there was recently an interesting debate in cyberspace over how one could interpret
this organisation and its politics), corporal punishments, the school’s debating society, the “brown hair episode”, retreats, and the author’s teachers and classmates.
There are other ‘old boy’ initiatives that have come up too.
“Those Good Ol’ Days!” (pp 82, Rs 150, published by BMX, the Britto’s-St Mary’s-Xavier’s alumni network) is the 2006 compilation of tributes from ex-students of students from three of the best known institutions at Mapusa. It shares some articles in common with ‘Britto’s Retro’ (pp 208, Rs 50), which focuses almost entirely on St Britto’s.
Since this columnist has been involved with the latter two publications, it would be unfair to comment on their quality or lack of it. One can however say that it was great fun working on them; it was amazing to see how readily alumni from these institutions were ready and willing to share their memories. Cyberspace, and the internet, helped to bring them all together.
Publishing these as copylefted (free-to-copy) books also make sure that the content remains in the public domain, roughly speaking. That’s a very exciting idea, and gives hope that
these thoughts and words can get life of their own, keep on getting quoted and even reproduced in toto when needed to.
Check out the same at Carvalho’s Petrol Pump at Mapusa (the Britto book) or Broadways at Sant Inez (the BMX book) if interested. They’re priced at Rs 50 and Rs 150 respectively,
with some interesting photos of the yesteryears.
Maybe alumni networks could play a more active role in building links and encouraging the growth of institutions that gave generations a quality education at a pittance. It’s nice to see so many — occasionally or consistently — active alumni groups, including from institutions like the Goa Medical College, People’s High School, Don Bosco’s in Panjim, Loyola’s in Margao, the old Lyceum, and others.
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