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.

 
Sports


The five hockey players whose names will standout as legends in their own right in pre-partition India were Goan boys from Karachi. Lawrie Fernandes, Pat Mendes, Julius Tellis, Marceline D'Costa and P.P. Fernandes (Olympian) who on their day, were far superior to the famed Dyan Chand. Nazareth Castellino under the bar was like a stone-wall. Another name that was to be reckoned with was of Jack Gonsalves, apparently a challenger to Peter Paul's prolific skills.

These spectacular hockey wizards masterminded St. Patrick's School team winning several major hockey tournaments played in India, including the Beyton Cup, Dewar Shield, The Cabral Shield, Yousuf Ali Tournament, the Aga Khan Cup and other trophies. The KGA Gymkhana Ground, a 30,000 square yard plot on M. A. Jinnah Road, is a prized piece of leased land. Though still surviving, the KGA must make a concerted effort to conduct year-round sporting activities to save it from the city's very active land grabbers' mafia. The beautiful pavilion was built by Augustus D'Cruz at a cost of Rs. 8,150/- a princely amount in 1925.

A number of Goans have represented Pakistan and contributed to sports with unique distinction since 1947. The well-known personality of O.B. Nazareth was dominant; he drafted the constitution of the Hockey Federation; was the first Secretary of PHF and the Co-Manager of the country's hockey team to the London Olympics in 1948. Milton D'Mello was also in the London squad. Another brilliant Goan forward was Jack Britto who donned the green shirt at the Helsinki Olympics of 1952.

Several hockey players in latter years, late 60s, like Terrence Andrade, Evarist D'Souza and goal-keeper Victor D'Lima played top-class hockey for the Karachi teams in the national championships but missed selections in the national squads. Two priests who made a mark in hockey at the national level (at times playing in cassocks) were Fr. Melito Dias and Fr. Leslie Colaco.

In cricket, Mathais Wallis and Antao D'Souza played test cricket for Pakistan and brought many laurels for the country. Wallis was recognized as having the 'safest pair of hands' by none other than the great Sir Garfield Sobers and considered to be the best slip fielder Pakistan ever produced. The two 'gentlemen' cricketers were spotted and coached by that mountain of a man Jacob Harris - a dreaded figure on the cricket ground of St. Pat's.

Wallis played 21 test matches for Pakistan and some his historic performances include his match-winning innings of 64 & 45 runs against the mighty West Indies in the Dacca (Dhaka, Bangladesh) Test of 1959. He also gave valuable support to Hanif Mohammad's marathon (world record) innings of 337 runs at Port of Spain in 1958; and scored a century when Hanif played his world-record first-class innings of 499 runs at the KPI ground in Karachi in the 60s. He also served as a national cricket selector and was the captain of the National Bank of Pakistan team.

Recent feedback reveals that Anthony Stanislaus D'Mello founded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Cricket Club of India, which is housed in the Brabourne Stadium, Bombay (Mumbai), and built by him. Meanwhile, there is information about Blaise D'Cunha, a former Karachi Goan who played international cricket for Kenya and East Africa.

Michael Rodrigues, now a General/Vascular & Cancer Surgeon in the US was a National Boys Singles Table Tennis Champion three years in a row (1956-1959) and 3-time National Men's Singles Champion again three years in a row (1960-1963); he also captained the Pakistan TT team at the Asian Championships in Bombay 1960, South-East Asian Tour 1963 and the World TT Championship in Yugoslavia 1965. Leslie Baretto has also been noted as an All-India Table Tennis Champion in the 1940s. Among the ladies, Yvonne Fernandes played several national tournaments and won the national double and mixed crowns.

In badminton, the 40s were dominated by a number of Goans playing both for leisure, as well as at the national championships, notably the mixed double pair of Giles Morris and Katty Franco-nee-Gomes who won the All-India Mixed title. The lanky Mennen Soares played for Pakistan in the All-England Thomas Cup World Championships in late 1950s. Later Marie Therese Braganza won the National Singles Title in 1954 and Gemma Rodricks won the titles in 1958 and 1960. The fleet-footed Coral Barboza was brilliant on the court to be crowned the national singles and doubles champion in 1974. The names of Josephine Alexander (her immaculate drop shots) and Iris Rodrigues also come to mind.

The Billiards and Snooker scene at the KGA and the Goan Union was full of rich rivalry and brilliant skill-play. There were many good players from the very early years but it was later in 1987, when the tactical Lenny Dias made a breakthrough and represented Pakistan at the Asian Billiard Championship in Bombay, and in 1988, teenager Earl Cordeiro won the first Pakistan National Junior Snooker Championships. Before partition, Bertie Gomes was the All-India Billiards Champion.

Goan track & field athletes included sprinter Gordon Vaz, middle-distance runner Carmen D'Souza in the 50s; sprinter Paul Alphonso, high jumpers Michael Gomes and Paul Francis in the 60s; and later long-distance runners Melvyn Pinto, Ivan D'Souza, and high jumper Ronald Andrade who all represented Karachi. A mention must be made of John Permal's supremacy as Pakistan's champion sprinter (fastest man) over 100 & 200 meters for ten long years (1964 to 1974) - though like others mentioned in this piece he was not a Goan.

In the domain of track & field athletics in the late 50s, 60s and 70s, Goan girls were very swift and went on to win the titles of 'fastest women in Pakistan' (West and East wings) several times in a row. Henrietta Braganza won the 100, 200 meters and Long Jump events in the 1956, 1958 and 1960 National Games. Sprinters who were crowned national champions included, Lauretta and Alzira D'Sa, Maria Lawrence, Anita Fernandes, Sophie Fernandes, Delores Almeida, Rosie D'Lima and Sylvia D'Mello, and in latter years Cheryl Lucas. In the early 60s we also had Asteria D'Sa who excelled in many sports and was quite a trailblazer.

Sisters Rose Mary and Bernadette Pinto were also fast runners and quite a force to be reckoned with. In the 1974 National Athletic Championships in Lahore when 800 Meters was introduced for the first time in Pakistan for women, Romaldina Fernandes took the gold. A mention must be made of Connie Yeo who won the 400 Meters title twice at the National Games.

Our boxing superstars of pre-partition India included Bertie Gomes and Hannibal DeSouza who threw power-packed jabs at their opponents and punched their way to win the All-India Fly-Weight Championships belts in the 1940s and 1950s.

Our girls took to field hockey like fish to water and when Karachi wanted to field a women's hockey team at the first National Women's Championships in the early 80s, more than half the team were made-up of Goan ladies. 12 girls represented the province of Sindh at the Nationals in 1980-81 which included Bernadette Pinto, Lolly Almeida, Blossom Fernandes, Carol Pinto, Venus Coutinho, Patricia Coutinho, Ernestine Lucas, Dolla Wallis and Cheryl Menezes. Two former Goan stalwarts of the game, Gerry Nazareth and Bernard Fernandes coached the Karachi women's teams with great dedication, with Nelson Coutinho providing financial support where necessary.

Luke Andrades was another Goan who contributed immensely for the promotion of sports at KGA, the Sindh provincial level and also toured with the country's boxing teams abroad. The popularity of the 'Grand Master Ashraf Tai Karate Center' at the KGA Gymkhana (now in its 34TH year) was a brainchild of Luke. Ashraf Tai told me recently, "Thanks to KGA and Luke Andrades, my first Center here has so far produced about 35,000 exponents of the martial art, and about 500,000 in other Tai's Centers all over Pakistan." 

 

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