Muscat: Milestone - MCCP Completes Two Glorious Decades of Service
Pics: Henry Martis and Dilip Correa
Daijiworld Media Network - Muscat
Muscat, Aug 6: The year 2011 – 2012 is one of the most glorious years for the Mangalorean Catholic Konkani speaking community living in Oman because the Mangalorean Catholic Centre of the parish (MCCP – Sts Peter and Paul Church – Ruwi), a synonymous identity for the Konkani speaking Mangalorean Catholics living in Oman, symbol of their unique unity and the first and the only Mangalorean Konkani based organization under the patronage of Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ruwi, has completed splendid twenty years of its existence in the Sultanate of Oman.
“It is a great year of celebrations and joy for every Mangalorean living in Muscat,” says the current president of MCCP, Stanley T H Fernanades (known as Dattu – big brother for every Mangalorean in Muscat) “Twenty years ago, we started this tiny organization as a tiny new born baby, providing utmost care and attention. But today, thanks to the tremendous support by our benefactors and selfless service by countless members of past and present, we have reached the zenith of fame and popularity. We serve every sphere of the Konkani Community in Oman and offer a helping hand to the needy at the Diocese of Mangalore. Truly, we are world famous now for protecting our Konkan culture, promoting the Konkani Language and promising a new hope to every new member of MCCP. To celebrate this great year, the current Executive Committee of MCCP has presented some of the finest programs for our members. Last but not the least, it is my wish of many years to see every Mangalorean in Muscat coming under the banner of MCCP. May our wish come true.”
As Stanley Fernandes rightly remarked in the above statement, in the past twenty years, various vibrant teams and dynamic leaders have led MCCP from a tiny start to today’s sparkling significant status of energy and efficiency. The 20th year celebrations are under the motivating leadership of Stanley T H Fernandes and its dynamic executive team.
MCCP, as many members truly believe, is a strong and uniting string that holds hundreds and thousands of Mangaloreans working in this beautiful desert country – Sultanate of Oman. It is a bond of love that binds several Konkani speaking people under one umbrella and one banner. It is a platform available to many Mangalorean Children to exhibit their talents, express their views and entertain themselves by mixing with their own community children. It is moving with an ideology – United to serve the Community.
A Brilliant Beginning; A New Era in the History
It started in the year 1992. A few charismatic and enthusiastic Non-Resident Mangaloreans, leading them were Walter Monterio, Robert Coutinho, MickMax and Gerry D Mello, met and decided to have an association to cater the needs of the Mangaloreans in this country. “It was when I saw a young Mangalorean man near the church gate, desperate and distressed, wanting to meet someone to extend a helping hand at him, I thought of having an organization to help the Mangaloreans in Oman” Gerry D Mello, a veteran Mangalorean, currently settled in Canada, once mentioned to me. In fact, Late Rev. Father Augustine Antao, then parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ruwi and the Konkani Community’s spiritual director, came forward to offer his wholehearted support and blessings. He permitted to carry out MCCP activities and programs under the church patronage in the church premises. With this a new chapter was inscribed in the history of the Konkani Speaking Mangaloreans of Muscat
For Every Catholic Konkani Speaking Mangalorean in Muscat
The members of MCCP are the Konkani speaking Mangaloreans residing in the Parishes of Sts Peter and Paul – Ruwi and the Holy Spirit – Ghala. In fact, the Konkani speaking Mangaloreans living in the Batinah region up to Barka City are also members of MCCP and many a times actively involved in the programs. The main objective of MCCP is to unite the Mangalorean Catholic families under one banner and to actively involve them in the parish activities as one Mangalorean Konkani group with a distinct identity.
At present MCCP has reached a membership of 400, with more than 1,200 associate members enjoying the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood. An Executive Committee of around ten members approved by the spiritual advisors and Core Team members and endorsed by MCCP members during the annual day, plan and execute the various activities throughout the year with the active participation of the other members.
The Core Team; The Power Behind the Scene
Time to time, whenever the need arises and guidance required, MCCP Core Team under the direction of the Spiritual Directors. Fr Wilson Rumao – Assistant Parish Priest of Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi and Fr. Albert D Silva – Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Church Ghala, lead the Executive Team and gives direction. The present members of the Core Team are Henry G. Martis, Stanley T H Fernandes, Donald Pinto, Suraj Rebello and Clarence Pinto.
Past Presidents, The Leaders and Trend-Setters
The growth of MCCP for the last twenty years is really praiseworthy. From a tiny beginning, it has reached pinnacle of success and fulfillment. The contribution and selfless service by many leaders and committee members have prompted this enormous growth. The following leaders have served as the presidents of MCCP in the respective years :
1. Robert Coutino - 1992 - 1993
2. Oswald Soares - 1993 - 1994
3. Walter Monteiro - 1994 - 1995
4. Brian Nazareth - 1995 - 1996
5. Henry G Martis - 1996 - 1997
6. Oswald Soares - 1997 - 1998
7. Stanley T H Fernandes - 1998 - 1999
8. Donald Pinto - 1999 - 2000
9. Oswald Soares - 2000 - 2001
10 Henry G Martis - 2001 - 2002
11. Leo Quadros - 2002 - 2003
12. Donald Pinto - 2003 - 2004
13. Henry G Martis - 2004 - 2005
14. Henry G Martis - 2005 - 2006
15. Suraj Rebello and
Clarence Pinto - 2006 - 2007
16. Stanley T H Fernandes - 2007 - 2008
17. Clarence D Pinto 2008 - 2009
18. Suraj Rebello - 2009 - 2010
19. Monica Dantis - 2010 - 2011
20. Stanley T H Fernandes - 2011 - 2012
It is very essential to indicate the significant service and noteworthy leadership offered by Gerry D Mello, presently settled in Canada, to the growth of MCCP. He was one of the strong pillar of the community rendered great support and help during every difficult time of MCCP and given accurate advice whenever deemed necessary.
The Executive Committee 2011 - 2012 : One in a Million
The year 2011 – 2012, being the 20th year, was the major year in the history of MCCP. Therefore, eminent leader and community advocate Stanley T H Fernandes took the mantle of leading the team and carry out the exceptional events for the milestone year.
The Executive Team members for the year 2011 – 2012 are
Vice-president sports and finance : Eulalia Pinto
Vice-president : Lawrence Alva
– Cultural, spiritual and community services
General secretary : Prescilla Menezes
Honorary treasurer : Benedict Pereira
Internal auditor : Wilson Mark D Souza
cultural secretary : Ambrose Ivan Moras
sports secretary : Prem Colaco
Spiritual secretary : Mariete P N Fernandes
Community services secretary : Ophilia Lazarus
United in the Christian Spirit, committed to the Parish Family
Since its inception, the members of MCCP have actively participated in various activities of the parish of Ruwi and Ghala. It also extended a great support to the “Feast of the Nativity celebration committee” to organize “Monthi Fest”, the feast of the Nativity of Mother Mary, which is celebrated in the best traditions of Konkan region with showering of flowers by the community children, blessing of the new corn, and distribution of sugarcanes.
MCCP members support and participate in all the parish activities, in both parishes, such as food festivals, Christmas Carol singing in Konkani, Parish raffles and many other annual events. It is really heartening to see the Mangalorean community comes out as one of the highest contributor to the parish fund from among all the communities of the parish.
Charity begins here, spreads everywhere
In a true Christian spirit, for the last 20 years MCCP extended a great financial support to the needy and less fortunate brethren both in Oman as NRIs and back home in India.
MCCP scholarship fund for the children of their members is annually awarded to those children of the members who secure highest marks among them in the different streams of studies in the 10th and 12th standards under CBSE syllabus.
MCCP has assisted in raising Rs.10 lakhs for starting a CBSE school project in Mangalore. MCCPs leaders have supported and assisted the Mangalorean priests to collect donation for many projects in Mangalore diocese.
It has adopted seminarians from Jeppu Seminary, Mangalore supporting the cost of their training of the priesthood. It has also succeeded in getting few more burses from the community members to meet the expenses of other seminarians.
MCCP has also extended the financial support for the “Free distribution of Holy Bible for Youth”, a project promoted by the Bishop of Mangalore. It has contributed finance to the T.B. Sanatorium at Moodabidri, St. Victor’s Higher Primary School Building at Nellikar in Karkala, for the development of a village for tribal at Ujre, for the missionary works in the adivasi tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh, support to HIV center in Mangalore, Seon Ashram in Mangalore, many church and school projects and for various humanitarian causes when approached by the priests or genuine representatives.
MCCP has also helped the bereaved families of the Mangalorean community in Oman and also the stranded expatriates to reach back home and join their families.
Exhibition of culture, Exposure for Talents – Era of Konkani Renaissance in Muscat
MCCP always gave a top priority to the promotion of the Konkani culture, Language and Heritage. It strongly promoted their mother tongue, Konkani and thus organized majority of the functions in Konkani language. This inspired the community children to learn their mother tongue and adapt the culture and heritage of the Konkan region.
As the children occupy an important and special place in MCCP’s annual programs, it is an annual feature to conduct the competitions for them in elocution, essay writing and drawing. They also have singing, fancy dress and quiz competitions, which are open to adults. These competitions are keenly contested by the members and their family. Annual Christmas Party is one of the events the members’ children eagerly await to participate. Santa Claus and his team distribute lovely Christmas gifts to all the participating children.
MCCP has appreciated the good work carried out by the members and time to time honored them in various occasions.
Many artistes from India, like Konkan Kogul late Wilfy Rebimbus, Konkan Maina Meena Rebimbus, Sangeeth Samrat Henry D’Souza, Konkan Kala Ratan Eric Ozario, Yodeling King Melwyn Peris, Claude D’Souza, Anitha and Rony D Cunha were invited by MCCP to Oman to stage musical programs. Konkani Utsav, two unique and mega musical shows of local talents staged under the leadership of Henry Martis were well appreciated by the audience in Oman.
Muscat’s Konkani Music Prince Oswald D Souza and eminent Konkani writer Walter Monterio’s joint composition – Parameshwara is an epic MCCP anthem, sung in all MCCP programs. This song has been rated as one of the best composition of Oswald and Walter Monterio.
Konkani Dramas titled Sikeram Driver by MickMax, To Kaim Asa (Where is he? ) by MickMax and Xegunachi Sun by Walter Monterio and Jivit by Arthur D Souza were played in the Main Church Hall by some of the prominent actors of Muscat including A L Monis, Walter Mendonca, Walter Pinto, Valerian Peres, Helen Sequeira, Stany D Souza, Peter Misquith, Jacintha Mendonca, Joachim Lasrado and Peter D Souza. The new breed of talented artistes has emerged recently and performed to offer scintillating stage programs. The members are Deepak D’Souza, Walter Pinto, Walter Mendonca, Lancy Lobo, Flavia D’Souza, Jecintha Serrao, Peter Fernandes, Alwyn Pinto, Asha Noronha, Victor Baptist Pais, Ravin Rodrigues, Sunil D'Souza, Astrin D'Silva, Helen Sequeira, Sylvester Alva, Edward (Eddu) Mendonca. Philomena Saldanha, Asha Noronha, Melwin Lobo, Dilip Correa and Shalet Noronha
MCCP has groomed a talented choir, Konkani and English, under the able leadership of Apolinaris D Souza, world famous Konkani Composer, Singer and Motivator. The prominent choir members are Oswald D Souza, Jane Ida Pinto, Nirmala Goveas, Victoria Soares, Dolphy Vaz, Ronald Lobo, Anitha Lobo, Valerian Peres, Stany Soares, Clita Crasta, Lancy Sequeira, Jovita Sequeira, Flavia Castelino, Jessy Castelino, Arun Pinto, Jacintha Serrao, Flavia D Souza, Ivan Moras, Lancy Pinto, Naveen Mascarenhas, Philomena Saldhana, Vivian Fernandes, Joachim D Souza, Morvine Quadras, Zino Micheal Saldanah, Vincent D’souza, Peter D’souza, Reena D'souza and Astrin Virginia D’silva. Harold Rasquinha, well known composer and singer, had offered his services in the past for many years to lead the Konkani choir for Monthi Fest celebrations.
Dance is one of the beautiful forms of expressing joy and MCCP has always given the top priority to this talent and encouraged the members to exhibit the same in many programs and functions. Sonia D Souza, one of the most gifted and ebullient choreographer of the community, gave a new dimension to the dancing skills by discovering many new talents and trained innumerable children and adults of the community. Deepak D Souza, past member of Wilfy Nite troupe - Mangalore and Prescilla Menezes, the first lady president of the first Ladies Toastmasters Club in Oman, are also well talented choreographers having a great passion towards dance and stage performances. Sachin Joy, Zeena Pereira and Pramila Pais are the recent additions to the list of choreographers in the Mangalorean community who have given beautiful performances in the recent programs.
Programs and Presentations
A special educational program “Taste the Toast” was presented to develop the public speaking ability of the members and thus inspired to form a successful Toastmasters club and Gavel Club. “It’s my voice” – a new, first of its kind and innovative voice workshop for singers on learning the art of healthy singing by Jossie Moras LTCL – A voice teacher, music educator and a choral director inspired many other organisations around the Gulf region to organize such programs.
“Meet the Future”, an educational and career guidance workshop in the year 2011 by a renowned Economist and Education specialist Dr. Norbert Lobo of St Aloysius College, Mangalore for the students of Standard 9th to 12th to understand their career interests and guide to determine their future studies was a great success. This program was formulated by Monica Dantis, then president of MCCP
MCCP successfully organized the preliminary and semi-final rounds of Gulf Voice of Mangalore – Konkani Music World’s premier Talent hunt competition for last four years.
MCCP has its own website, www.mccpoman.com and fully managed by a website team. This website, time to time, gives ample information about the activities and programs conducted by MCCP.
MCCP always enjoyed a great financial support from many donors and benefactors in Oman. It is worthy to mention that Stanley Fernandes with his power of public relations has secured some excellent sponsorships of the prominent Mangaloreans and organizations based in UAE in this year.
One in the Spirit to Glorify Him
MCCP’s Spiritual Day or Day with the Lord – an innovative spirit-filled program during the Lenten season, a brainchild of Suraj Rebello and his team of 2009 - 2010, gives an opportunity to the members to move closer to the creator.
During the spiritual day, MCCP artistes present spiritual tableau with different spiritual themes and illustrations from Bible.
The Konkani Community also organizes a Konkani Retreat by renowned preacher from India and MCCP offered its support to this spiritual program.
Fun in the Sun, Makes us One
Suraj Rebello, past president of MCCP and an inspirational activist of the community and Dolly Gomes, vibrant member of the community, take a lead role in organizing the annual sports programs for the members.
The cricket tournament is an important event in MCCP’s annual calendar and majority of the members, young and old, participate in this joyful event. Apart from Cricket, MCCP also organizes Volleyball tournament for Men, Throwball for ladies and annual fun-games for all the members. The Mangalorean Day event, an annual event with lot of games and entertainment, attracts many members active participation.
MCCP teams, ladies and Gents, have participated in various local and international sports events. This year, MCCP Men and Ladies teams won three trophies in Volleyball, Throwball and Tug of war, inter-community tournament conducted by Kudla Friends – Muscat.
20th Year Celebrations: A Great Year to Remember
To mark the celebrations of 20th year, then newly formed MCCP Executive Team planned and formulated some unique events for the year. The annual theme – “Together for Stronger Community” was accepted and plans were devised to enthrall the members. A grand Inaugural Day program was held on 18th August 2011 and then, series of other events were held at different venues. Utsav was a mega entertaining event with many top dignitaries from various Gulf countries and India were invited and honored. A power packed Konkani Musical program by Yodeling King Melwyn Peris, Dream Boy of Konkani Music Rony D Cunha, multi-lingual Mangalorean Star singer Anitha Samson and youth sensation Kevin Misquith was organized at Grand Hall of Al Falaj Hotel.
Moving on to a greater glory : Work today for a better tomorrow
MCCP is moving on with greater spirit and stronger unity. Its leaders and members have enjoyed of working together with unselfish dedication and diligence to take this organization to a greater glory. Without any prejudice or doubt, we can say, MCCP will move on to attain a greater glory and thus accomplish the desires of many Mangaloreans every year join this great organization.