CASK Annual Reunion Enliven the Catholic Tradition and Culture
Mangaluru: If you were wondering why the attendance at the Sunday morning English Mass at St Aloysius Chapel, and Milagres Church was kind of low- the reason behind this was that a few hundred of Catholic faithful stayed back late Saturday night partying at the Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) Annual Reunion Bash, that they could not wake up early Sunday morning to sober up and get ready for Sunday Mass. Yes, it was a Saturday evening full of music, dance, entertainment, food and drinks- and as always CASK did throw a glittering and glamorous “Annual Reunion Bash” on Saturday, 19 November 2016 at Lobo’s Riverview-Morgan’s Gate, Mangaluru from 6:30 pm until everyone decided that they had enough of everything- fun, frolic, food and drinks. And of course it was a grand occasion which will be remembered by all these revellers who made it to this gala fun filled evening.
As they say about Reunions-they can be excitedly anticipated or painfully dreaded. Either way, the first hour or so can be awkward as people shuffle in from all over. Reunions include time for catching up and renewing old relationships. Getting past that awkward hour will get a little easier, if there is lots of fun and easy reunion ice breaker games. And for that matter, the reunion bash of CASK was organised in such a way that everyone had a good time, it was not boring and there were no complaints. Well organized with lots of fun and frolic, especially kudos to the compere Audrey Pinto who simply rocked and kept the evening live and entertaining.
And the ideal place for this Bash was Lobo’s Riverview Resort, which boasts the rich tradition of Cascia Tile Industry and scenic beauty of Mangaluru riverside making it a unique Tourist Destination at Mangaluru, and also an ideal place for get-together and parties. Located at the heart of Mangaluru without the hectic and Chaotic City life, revelers at this event experienced a whole new world- quite suitable to relax and recreate. The venue was well decorated against the backdrop of Netravathi River/Ullal bridge, with the trees lighted with strings of multi-hued bulbs, a few Christmas decorations including the crib, and also a Santa Claus relaxing on a swing. The enchanting venue did set the mood to have some fun and frolic, along with few cocktails, snacks, and of course, ending with sumptuous dinner.
The crowd was predominately mixed- Vintage and young revelers of CASK, joined by their spouses, relatives, sons, daughters, grandkids, friends and well-wishers. In between entertainment, the guests shared news and views about Donald Trump, about the inappropriate handling of Central government by PM Modi, about demonetization of Rs 500/1000 Indian currency as the organizers didn’t accept them at the party, about their children and grandkids etc, which was much better than the present youth exchanging gossip via SMS or WhatsApp through their mobiles bought by their parents?
To enliven the atmosphere there was not only live music but also few spot games, comedy act, floor dance and lots of friendship cum fellowship, together with a sumptuous spread of food that added spice to the occasion. There were folk and traditional Konkani songs rendered by the group “Sumell” of Mandd Sobhann- the World’s Premier Konkani Cultural Organization. Also, Christmas came early this year at this function, where a skit with a Christmas theme was enacted by kids of CASK members, which was loudly applauded by the crowd. The main attraction of the evening was “The Caskers Award Nite” (just like the Oscars Academy Awards), beautifully and meticulously put together by Rajni Lobo, where the following recipients were conferred with the “Caskers Awards”- namely:
Leena Fernandes is an attentive mother and a devoted wife. This lady is truly Kodial at heart! She loves her country, it’s culture and has brought up her children with complete and in-depth knowledge of all religions, so that they may appreciate and grow up in harmony. Firmly believing that we all children of God. An Indian patriot in the true sense of the word.
She is a counsellor to so many young people and their families. She is a very silent philanthropist, who aspires for no plaques or loud applause…just the satisfaction of seeing a smile on the faces of people whom she helps. A master in 4 local languages, a voracious reader, an excellent cook and the list simple goes on. At the age of 55, when most people think of retiring, this dynamic lady, decided to pursue an MBA. She is a past president of the CASK association and the first ever non- Jesuit principal of St Aloysius college.
But apart from these various accomplishments, we are here to celebrate the love & dedication to which she has looked after and continues to look after her husband of 52 years. She is a source of inspiration to young women everywhere. And THAT is what we are celebrating, the camaraderie and togetherness of a long and successful marriage.
They say: “Matches are made in heaven, and executed here on earth, by Betty Sequeira, she is a household BRAND name in Mangaluru. In every Mangalorean household…there is an order of events that happens in everyone’s life: A Child is born, joins preschool, Starts regular school, goes to high school, goes the college, graduates from college, goes to meet Betty Sequeira…
It all began with Betty trying to find a match for her own daughter who was blessed with good height but found it difficult to find anyone to match that height. And so the quest of a mother began and it was during this hunt, that she realised what most parents go through and once her own daughter was settled, she began to help all those who approached her to find a suitable life partner. In fact, she took this mission of hers a step further and started helping the underprivileged brides and grooms find good life partners and out of the goodness of her heart, she would also hand make Kariamanis for them. She is 89 years and till today has made a total of 1512 matches, out of which 11 matches are children of people, she has brought together. She is a matchmaker, a social worker and basically a wonderful lady. After accepting the Award, Betty Sequiera said that she has not only united couples in matrimony but also united few dozen girls with Jesus Christ to serve as Nuns?
He is 94 years old. He is someone who has lived his life true to the age old mantra of eating moderately, exercising consistently and living life wholeheartedly. That is how he manages to look so wonderful. What does he do for exercise you ask? Well….he dances with very young women! And the best part is that THEY can’t keep up with him! He’s light on his feet and quick to the rhythm, he can honour and waltz better than anyone half his age! But he also practices yoga and has some good old desi meditation.
Lovingly called as Abba Joe, just as he is sweet with the ladies, he is as tough as the chief traffic warden of Mangaluru City, and when he blows a whistle, he brings to an immediate halt the bus driver who has been reckless! The ladies love him…the bus drivers fear him…but everyone admires him.
A lot can happen over coffee and a lot DOES happen over coffee every Monday at the Golden Girls meetings. What started with a casual meeting among friends, grew in strength and purpose and they have become a force to reckon with. With friendship as their motto, and service to neighbour as their mission, the golden girls have completed 10 years togetherness and service. This bevy of “Vintage” girls, consists of: Renee Noronha, Diana Albuquerque, Una Mascarenhas, Nola Coelho, Mariette Mascarenhas, Vilma Pais, Frana Pinto, Sylvia Noronha, Cheryl Saldanha and Flavia Saldanha
Each member brings something special and unique to the group with their varied talents and personalities. They are a special entity and always stand together, undertaking various projects and making this world a better place. They have been recognised by the media, been written about in the press, been talked about across the globe and also been rewarded for their good work. They are not just a group of girls, they are the GOLDEN GIRLS!
Prior to the cultural part of the evening, Richard Rodrigues-president of CASK speaking during the occasion appreciated the support and encouragement shown by the CASK members and the community, and requested them to continue with the same trend in the future years, and raise the name of CASK which is the oldest Catholic Laity Organization in South India, established in July 1914, to greater heights. The “Bubbly and Smiley” Nayana Fernandes- the Vice President of CASK delivered the vote of thanks.
To sum it up, the renowned Annual Reunion 2016 of CASK was a spectacular show of unity and entertainment with songs, dances, music and skits in English and in Konkani. This year CASK collaborated with Mandd Sobhann for the Entertainment programme. In addition, the Reunion was also aimed at fund-raising for the various welfare and social service activities of the Association targeting the marginalised sections of the society. CASK Reunion 2016 will go unparalleled in history, while the snapshots incorporated here speak for themselves. Many exclaimed, “Oh what an awesome reunion it was!”. Quite overwhelmed with the response showed by the CASK members and their invitees, and excellent arrangements made by the organizing committee, I will keep attending the next Reunion bash for sure! I hope you will too – until we meet again at the next CASK Annual Reunion 2017 celebration, cherish all the fun and frolic you encountered at this bash.
About Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK):
With over 1250 CASK members spread across India and several countries of the world, every year the Association organises an Annual Reunion of its members in November each year. The Catholic Association of South Kanara(CASK), it is the oldest Catholic Laity Organization in South India, established in July 1914 and Registered under the Societies Act in 1925. CASK publishes a monthly magazine entitled “Mangaluru” since July 1927, one of the oldest monthly magazines in the country with the credit of uninterrupted publication for 90 years. The Bishop of Mangaluru – Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza is the Patron of CASK.
Over the last 102 years, CASK has worked towards fulfilling the following Objectives of the Association:
– Promote the educational, economic, cultural, social and general welfare of the community;
– Render assistance to the underprivileged and vulnerable groups of society, irrespective of religion, caste, creed or any other distinction;
– Support the publication of books, periodicals, and other literature authored by community members and also support preservation of the Konkani language, literature, culture, heritage, arts, architecture, music and fine arts;
– Act as the voice of the community in upholding its rights and privileges;
– Inter-act, network and function as a link to unite the community spread across India and abroad;
CASK also organises regular programmes for its members and also special programmes for students, youth, women and other target groups. CASK celebrated its centenary during 2013-2014 and successfully launched and implemented the following programmes in honour of the Centenary, which still continues:
* “Promotion of Blood, Organ and Whole Body Donations” in collaboration with Fr Muller Hospital. CASK is involved in Creating awareness to encourage people to donate blood and pledge organs and organises Eye and Paediatric camps.
* “Personality Development Programme” for School/College Students. During the last 5 years, CASK has conducted this programme in 15 schools and 3 Colleges in Mangaluru. Nearly 1,500 students have been the beneficiaries of this programme so far.
* “CASK Education Fund” has been substantially scaled up in order to provide an annual scholarship to deserving students irrespective of religion, caste, creed or other distinctions. Each year 100 scholarships are provided at Rs 5,000 each, primarily for the purchase of books and extra coaching.
* “Provision of Safe Drinking Water in Schools” – Most rural schools, both Government and private do not have Purified Drinking Water facilities for its students. CASK has installed Safe Drinking Water Units in 6 schools last year and plans to cover 6 more schools this year.
* “Footwear for Barefoot School-Going Children” – We have observed that approximately 20-25% of students attending Rural Schools and a few city school come barefoot to school, thereby exposing the children to snake-bite and infections like hookworm. CASK provided footwear to 500 children of 4 schools last year and plans to cover more schools this year.
The above are some of the ongoing projects. CASK plans to scale-up the above projects and needs support from its members and well-wishers to do such impactful charitable work.
The Present Office-bearers of CASK are:
R C Rodrigues – President; Nayana Fernandes – Vice-President and Convenor – CASK Reunion 2016; Capt Vincent Pais – Vice-President; Mario Saldanha – Secretary; Dr Anand Pereira – Joint Secretary; Walter D’Sa – Treasurer.
For more details of CASK and how you can be a member call: RC Rodrigues at 9845084202 or Nayana Fernandes: 9844075758