Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A R SOUZA FERRAO - Birth centenary celebrations begins



The “Pai Tiatrist” – Joao Agostinho Fernades (JAF)indoor auditorium, Margao, which was packed to capacity reverberated at exactly 7.30 P.M to the echoes of the tiatr “Gouyo Put”. The tiatr staged 57 years ago, bringing back nostalgic memories of that famous Konkani playwright, a musician, singer, composer , director, the hat donned , well attired bespectacled gentleman, late Augusto Remedios Souza Ferrao (b: 1.6.1909 d: 6.3.1978) a native of Ambora Raia, whose inaugural “Souza Ferrao Birth Centenary Celebrations “ under the auspices of the A R Souza Ferrao Cultural and Charitable Trust and the Tiatr Academy, Govt of Goa got underway. .

This time round his tiatr was directed by veteran Konkani playwright Shri. Anilkumar and others viz; Fatima, Jessie, Angela, C D Silva, Ben Evangelist, Anthony San, Marcus Vaz, Mil-Mel-Nel, Xavier Gomes Conny M, Antush Comedian Jesus.

The inaugural function began at 6.00 P.M with the lighting of the traditional lamp . Ms Flora Wilma Souza Ferrao welcomed the gathering and explained the objectives of the Trust.

Ms Ovita DSouza gave a brief narration of the life of her grandfather A R Souza Ferrao

Alzira D Costa, Sasha Rebello, Sonali & Sunny Fernandes grand children of Antonelio Conceicao Fernandes (s/o Pai Tiatrist )and Priyanka offered bouquets to the dignitaries.

Ciriaco Dias a Konkani playwright since 1942 minced no words to express his disenchantment towards the tiatrist from Mumbai who were not bestowed any State awards till date. Some of them are dead and others will soon follow suit he said. He reminded the Government that it is the tiatrists of yesteryears who sacrificed every thing for the benefit of the society with no monetary returns. He chided the Government for merely appointing committees and launched his tirade against those that constituted such committees who displayed a lackadaisical attitude towards the sentiments of the tiatrist. he however said that CM Digamber Kamat had stood by his promises and would surely rectify such obstacles.

Chief Minister, Shri. Digambar Kamat the Chief Guest speaking at the inaugural function assured the Tiatrist of all support to their cause. His Government has released grants for the Academy to have their own premises a promise he made at the inauguration of the Tiatr Academy on 16th February, 2009.

Later he released a book on A R Souza Ferrao which gives incite in to the life and times of A R Souza Ferrao and several pictures.

CM also inaugurated a website on A R Souza Ferrao on the ocassion

Deputy Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly, Mr. Mauvin Godinho, Guest of Honour , speaking on the ocassion said that unless the audience extends support to the tiatros this aspect of Goan culture will not flourish.

Mr. Rico Rod ( Ricardo Vincent Rodrigues ) the inimitable comic faced, comedian a native of Sirlim supported the views of Cyriaco and paid a tribute in memory of late M Boyer (who they fondly called Manu) with a song unaccompanied by music.

Mr Tomazinho Cardozo President of the Tiatr Academy tried to convince the audience on the technicalites that prevented the Goa Government from awarding the Bombay based tiatrists. But this did not find favour with the audience.

President of the A R Souza Ferrao Cultural and Charitable Trust thanked the audience.

Special momentos were given to the CM, Dy Speaker, President of the Tiatr Academy and Rico Rod. A special momento was also given to Anil Kumar who had willingly agreed to re-act the play on today's ocassion.

A maid Lourencin of Mr A R Souza Ferrao who used to look after their house in Fatorda and was always available at the beck and call of A R Souza Ferrao and other tiatrist who practiced there was given a cash award on the ocassion.

Mr Domnic De Souza compered the programme. The family of Pai Tiatrist were special invitees on the ocassion.

Flora Wilma Souza Ferrao the daughter of Mr. A R Souza Ferrao who otherwise lives in Arossim speaking to this writer at her Maddel Grande , Margao residence, candidly admitted that “ while the tiatr audience remembers him for his stage performances , her father indeed was an excellent musician . Yes - Music - was his forte he loved to participate in Goan folk songs and dances “ . Indeed in a befitting tribute to his musical prowess the second day programme at the same venue and time will be devoted to Konkani dance, song ,and music by eminent , Mandos Dulpods by Goyche Noketram - Marianella Mascarenhas e Dias, Instrumental music on by Theresa Figueiredo, Goretti Pinheiro Chernol Mendonca, Antonio Fernandes, Lourdes Soares, Celina Andrews and Marisa Andrews. Cansauleche Kala Mogi and songs from several films viz Amchem Noxib, “Nirmonn” ‘Sukachem Sopon’, ‘Kortubancho Sonvsar’,
‘Boglantt’ ani ‘Bhuierantalo Munis’.. She also confirmed that the song “Sorg Tujea Doleani “ lyrics were by her father Souza Ferrao sung by Lorna Cordeiro with music by Chris Perry.

“Dad was the first Konkani artist whose musical programme in Konkani was broadcast by All India Radio Bombay on 11.November 1936. Later Columbia Gramaphone Co Ltd also recorded his songs” . She added – “while Dad was employed with P & T as a draughtsman, it is here he met my mother late Antonette Pinto (died on 9.5.1987) who also worked in the same office– a love marriage indeed . . In Goa the family moved from Ambora Raia several years ago to Fatorda to carry on their business. At this house which was otherwise closed while they were away, at Mumbai, Konkani tiatrists used the premises for their practices.


According to Wilma as she is commonly known “Dad worked wonderfully well in any female role and his attire in the role of a “kunbi” was par excellent”

What made them think of these celebrations and setting up the Trust. “Dad had donated most of his tiatr and music proceeds for social and charitable causes. My brother Henry now abroad and myself are well settled in life . We did begin by donating a hearse 2008 to the Lions Club of Majorda-Cansaulim- Velcao - that was thirty years after his death. Indeed he died in Bombay in 1978 of an undetected illness which was later diagonised as “white” jaundice. The other plans of the A R Souza Ferrao Trust is to set up a Music School for youngsters at dads house at Fatorda, which is now being developed. An area specially carved out for the “tiatrists” to continue with their practice as before, and there are plans to stage his “ tiatrs” original plays” . “Many of his works were destroyed when an adjoining building collapsed on their building at 5 Oak Lane, Near St George Hospital at Flora
Fountain ----added her husband Mr. Ivor De Souza and a native of Arrossim and the President of the Trust.

The other members of the Trust now registered on 6.1.1989 as - Charitable and Cultural --are Mr. Jerry Covaco, Vice President, Ms Ovitta D Souza Secretary, and Mr. Henry Souza Asst Secretary and Flora Wilma Souza Ferrao Treasurer.

When quizzed specifically why none of the two children Wilma and son Henry ventured into tiatrs – well Wilma admitted that “there were several intercine rivalry among the Konkani playwrights that often surfaced and destroyed creativity and talent. Dad was a disillusioned man when some of his close colleagues parted ways and this hurt him immensely until he died”

Today ironically even as the mortal remains of Padmashree Manuel Santana Aguiar 78 a veteran Konkani playwright await burial (on 2nd at 3.30 p.m.) at Santemol in Raia, and the birth centenary celebrations of A R Souza Ferrao are underway in the Pai Tiatrist - JAF hall it is a sheer coincidence that the duo who acted in tiatrs of Pai tiatrist could be watching the celebrations from their heavenly abode.

Sidelights of the event:
The function started at 6.00 awaiting the CM
A one minutes silence was observed in memory of departed soul M Boyer.
The almost one hour and fifteen minutes speeches to an extent bored the audience.

from the Pai Tiatrist auditorium

GODFREY J. I. GONSALVES,
BORDA, MARGAO, 403 602, GOA. (INDIA)
+91 98221 58584 (24 HRS)
gonsalvesgodfreyji@yahoo.co.in

June 1, 2009

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the www.goa-world.com website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.