News : Nancy Mendes
Pics : Hejjenu, Digital media company

To keep the Konkani culture, language, tradition and heritage alive in this distant land of Canada, Canara World Foundation has been consistently hosting various cultural events under the brand of ‘Canara Kala Saanz’ for the past 17 years.

Canara World Foundation (CWF) was eager to host an event soon after the pandemic restrictions were lifted. This time too, CWF came up with a novel and noble idea of including our faith in the event. On October 23rd 2022, over 300 guests of the Mangalorean community of Ontario, witnessed another historical feat by CWF at the St. Thomas Aquinas Auditorium, Oakville, as they honoured the Mangalorean Priests who are serving the archdiocese of Toronto, Hamilton, Haldimand and the surrounding areas.

The event began with the grand Eucharistic Celebration led by revered priests: Fr. Godwin Pinto, Fr. Henry Alva, Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas, Fr. Ranjan D’Sa, Fr. Roshan D’Souza, Fr. Sunil D’Souza & Fr. Vincent D’Souza, of the Carmelites, Capuchin & Holy Cross order.

Soon after the mass, the priests were brought back to the auditorium, by the President of CWF Max Mendes with pomp & splendour to the sound of applause and the beats of the Konkani music.

Flavian Pinto the founder member of CWF, commenced the cultural part of the program, by welcoming the Priests & guests. He beautifully summarised the importance of our faith and how our priests are the major contributors and partners in the various journeys of our lives from the cradle to the grave and thereon.
The curtain raiser was a tribute song “Yajakaank Sanman”, dedicated to all the Mangalorean priests serving in Canada. The song was especially composed for this event by the renowned Mangalorean poet Gerry D’mello, accompanied by music from Ashith Pinto. It was melodiously sung by Anita Prabhu, Gerry D’Mello, Lara Rebello, Manohar Pais, Marita Correa, Sonia Monteiro & Wilson D’Souza.

Nancy Mendes, then invited on the stage, all the Priests, CWF’s Committee members, representatives of the different leading Mangalorean organisations of Toronto viz:

Nelson D’Costa; Chairman of Canadian Canara Vision Inc. (CCVI)
Walter Lobo; President of Konkani Catholics of Brampton (KCOB)
Melwyn Sequeira; President of Konkan Organization of Toronto
Maxim D’Mello; President of Mangalorean Association of Canada
And the 2 main sponsors of the event:
Kevin D’Souza of Desjardins Insurance & Raymond Yates of Saveright Financials.

Miriam Pinto gave a brief Introduction of the Priests and CWF gifted them with a token of appreciation which was handed to them by the Main sponsors and representatives of the different organisations.

The evening was splendidly woven with hilarious comedy from Flavian Pinto, Lawrence Pinto, Precilla D’Cunha, Nancy Mendes, Santosh D’Souza & Ronald Monteiro and a medley of Konkani songs composed by lyrists from back home and sung by the local singers: Anita Prabhu, Babita Pinto, Gerry D’mello, Lara Rebello, Manohar Pais, Marita Correa, Sonia Monteiro & Wilson D’Souza. They were complimented by the maestro of music Joyson D’Souza and the Comperes of the event were Gerry D’Mello & Flavian Pinto.

Max Mendes eloquently summed up the evening with a vote of thanks in Konkani, thanking all the Priests, CWF’s committee members, artists, singers, musicians, participants, sponsors, volunteers, caterers and the vendors.

The evening was signed off with a scrumptious Mangalorean dinner catered by the top-rated restaurateur Loy D’Souza of Konkan Delite.

The Kodak moments were well captured by Hejjenu, Digital media company.

It was as though the Mangalorean community was thirsting for a dose of cultural entertainment after more than 2 years of hiatus, as this was evident from the smiles, compliments, applause and accolades from the guests on a well-planned, organised & executed program.

The sponsors of the Event were:

Kevin D’Souza : Desjardins Insurance
Raymond Yates : Saveright Financials

Max & Nancy Mendes : Maxmendes Group Real Estate
Flavian Pinto : Sunlife Financials
Ravi Fernandes : Trinity Autobody Collision Centre

Jack & Ophelia Barbosa : Green PI Inc.
Nelson D’Costa : Canadian Canara Vision Inc.
Mr. Ronald & Dr. Dorothy Rego and family

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