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.

 
Stage & Drama


The 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were the golden periods of Goan contribution to stage performances, classical, jazz and blues music in Pakistan. The musicals and operas produced by talented Goans of that time were of a very high standard - world class! These included the W.G. Gilbert (Writer) and Arthur Sullivan (Composer) Musicals - the Mikado, with music by J. Vincent Lobo and directed by Teresa D'Abreo; the Gondoliers, with music by Charlie Lobo; and Trial by Jury, Pirates of Penzance, music by Prof. Terrence D'Souza; Iolanthe and the HMS Pinafore.

All of these famed Savoy operas were held at the KGA Hall, which also boasted of having one of Karachi's largest all-wooden floors for ball-room dancing. The imposing building, designed by Moses Somake, was completed in 1888 at a cost of Rs. 14,013 (which included the price of the land). Later during the opening ceremony held on Easter Sunday, a 50-piece orchestra conducted by Arthur J. Fernandes enchanted the large gathering of the representatives of the city.

"1936 was in many ways an important year for the community. Not only was the name of the Association changed to the KGA (Karachi Goan Association), the year also marked its Golden Jubilee. What better way to celebrate this important anniversary than by staging one of the most delightful of the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoy Operas - The Gondoliers! A distinguished audience which included the governor of Sindh, Sir Lancelot Graham and Lady Graham, attended. In 1941, after nine months of grueling practice, the members staged another Gilbert and Sullivan opera - The Pirates of Penzance. On opening night, the governor of Sindh Sir Hugh Dow and Lady Dow attended along with the entire Sind cabinet. There was a standing ovation when the final curtain came down..." (A Fiesta of Entertainment - Karachi Megacity of our Times by Hamida Khuhro and Anwer Mooraj)

Here is the cast of The Gondoliers (1939) - Ivo D'Souza (The Duke of Plaza-Toro), Ester Menezes (The Duchess of Plaza-Toro), Doris Noronha (the Daughter), Dominic Soares (Luiz, the attendant), Cyril de Souza (Grand Inquisitor), the Venetian Gondoliers: Joe Soares (Marco Palmieri), Walter Rodrigues (Giuseppe Palmieri), Edward Vaz (Antonio), Felix D'Silva (Francesco), R.C. Fernandes (Giorgio) and Vigilius Mascarenhas (Annibale). The Contadine included, Winnie Lobo (Gianetta), Eugene de Souza (Tessa), Dorothy Nazareth (Fiametta), Madge Pinto (Vittoria) and Mary D'Silva (Giulia). Agnes Ferro played Inez (the King's Foster Mother).

The Chorus of Gondoliers: Messrs. A.R. da Costa, H.A. D'Souza, Leo Falcao, E.R. Fernandez, M.C. Fernandes, P.C. Fernandez, O.J. Fonseca, S.M. Gomes, A. Mascarenhas, Eric Mendonca, J.F. Moniz, J.S. Oliveira, Geo Pereira, P.F. Pinto, V.E. Raymond and Val Rodrigues. And the Chorus of Contadine included Misses Bertha Braganza, Theresa Braganza, Isabel Caldeira, Doreen Castellino, Gwen D'Abreo, Bridget Dias, Cicely D'Silva, Angell de Souza, Ethel de Souza, Sylvia Fernandez, Georgina Fonseca, Matilda Lobo, May Lobo, Josephine Nazareth, Joyce Noronha, Hilda Pereira, Betty Rodrigues, Ivy Rodrigues and Phyllis Rodrigues.

On the other hand, the St. Patrick's Dramatics Society (SPDS) under the direction of the late Fr. Tony Lobo, produced such wonderful plays as A Man for All Seasons, Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, The Mousetrap, The Happiest Days of our Lives, Dry Rot, House on the Lake and Cinderella - a tradition which carries on to this day at St. Pat's but more suggestive of its glorious past at the Karachi Grammar School (Primary), thanks to headmistress Norma Fernandes (now retired), who acted in some of the SPDS plays in the early/late 50s.

Later in the mid-70s, Pakistan also had the unique distinction of having produced the world's most recognized musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in Karachi with Bobby Fredrick in the lead role, Victoria de Souza as Mary Magdalene and the brilliant Arthur Turner as Judas. Macbeth, a satire, was another blockbuster stage production in 1976 directed by Walter D'Souza and with Clare Braganza in the lead role of Lady Macbeth. I had a small role in that play, that of Banquo...

This site is owned and operated by Menin Rodrigues, Karachi, Pakistan. For feedback, please write to: menin100@gmail.com