Mangaluru: A cocktail of events including an award presentation, book release, skits, music, songs and dances designed to usher in the Christmas spirit marked the Reunion 2015 by Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) at the Boat Club, Sultan Battery on November 21, 2015.the stage, with minimum of props and with the swaying coconut trees and tranquil backwaters of Gurpur river estuary formed the natural backdrop for the variety of events presented to an enthusiastic audience overflowing the river-front open ground.
The evening programme started with divine invocation prayer by Patricia Lobo, Editor of CASK’s monthly magazine, Mangalore.
Welcoming the audience, Capt. John Prasad Menezes, President of CASK, specially noted the star of the evening, Dr Michael Lobo, who, he said, has made the Mangalurean Catholic community proud with his multi-faceted achievements. He invited the audience to savour the cocktail of joy marking the season of thanksgiving for God’s blessings.
This was followed by the release of selected reprinted collection of seven books from about 30 written by the late Fr Sylvester Monteiro, SJ who was Rector and Principal of St Aloysius College and Provincial of Karnataka Jesuit Province. Titled Sadanchi Sheet-Kadi (Daily Rice-Curry), it has four books in Konkani, two in Kannada and on in English. The book was released by Fr Denzil Lobo, Rector of St Aloysius college Institutions and the first copy was presented to Florie Monteiro, wife of the late Stany Monteiro, younger brother of the author. Responding, Florie thanked CASK for reprinting the books and inviting her to receive its first copy.
Speaking prior to the book release, Dr Derek Lobo, immediate past president of CASK, recalled how, while speaking at the birth centenary celebration of the late Fr Monteiro, he had made a sporting offer to re-publish his two books on CASK platform. He said Dr Aloysius Monteiro, now a retired UN official, younger brother of Fr Monteiro, had pursued the offer ending in the reprint of seven books in one volume.
Speaking on the occasion. Fr Denzil Lobo noted the virtues of head and heart of Fr Monteiro and his humility in thought and action. He said that the book contains a wealth of earthy wisdom and guidelines on soft skills. He said that Fr Monteiro was a dedicated priest and an authentic human person who inspired holiness and the virtues he exemplified are reflected in the collection of books being released. He hoped that many would benefit from reading and digesting it. He praised CASK for publishing the collection which was later presented as a memento to the audience.
The centre of celebration at the Reunion was the presentation of CASK Award in recognition of the multi-talented and achievements-filled Dr Michael Lobo who has excelled in many fields including mathematics, music, and authoring monumental books on Mangalurean Catholics and their genealogy. The award was presented by Walter D’Sa, a veteran office bearer of CASK and for many years its Treasurer.
Prior to reading the citation, Lovie Rebello, who conducted the award program, described Dr Lobo as a genius among the Mangalurean Catholic community with several books to his credit and having prodigious memory. She said that it was not enough to have a sharp mind but to use it well and that Dr Lobo has put it to excellent use and has distinguished himself in many fields by using his gifts of words and numbers.
Responding to the award, Dr Lobo traced his long association with CASK in various capacities, starting with the celebration of 200 years of the liberation of Mangalurean Catholics from Captivity by Tippu Sultan. He said that he was overwhelmed by the award presented to him. He noted that the celebration of CASK Centenary in 2014 and its post-centenary outreach programmes have added new dimensions and hoisted it to great heights of service. He said that many of his projects are work in progress and there is much to be finished. He also said that his latest project involves study of monuments in the cemeteries of Mangaluru.
The spirited evening celebrations included variety of entertainment programmes and ended with sumptuous dinner.