Alumni of the Norman Godinho Junior School in Kampala, Uganda, flocked to Toronto for a memorable reunion on May 17th.
This junior school was founded in 1933 by the Goan philanthropist Norman Godinho. The school is functioning to this day and Norman Godinho Jr., who attended the reunion, spearheaded a fund-raising drive to cover much needed repairs. 450 ex students and their families attended this reunion. They came from all over the world - Britain had a large delegation of 79 and there were delegates from Goa, Uganda, France, Switzerland, Israel, from all over the US and Canada. 17 former teachers attended and they emotionally acknowledged the gratitude of their former students. It was also gratifying to see four members of the Godinho family attend.
Presentation of plaques to the Executive Committee and others for their outstanding contribution by Stan DeSouza (Chair)
The organizing committee consisted of Stan DeSouza (chair) Greta Dias, Lino Fernandez, Novarro DeQuadros and Osbert Remedios. These five talented individuals managed a flawless reunion that will be talked about for a long time. Many generous donors contributed to the various functions with financial assistance and attractive prizes.
Class of 1950 reunite on Stage in Toronto and sing a traditional NGS folk song.
The first event was a thoroughly enjoyable variety show that included classroom skits and vignettes right down to authentic school uniforms and teaching styles of the ‘50s. Other performances included Elvis impersonators, a Michael Jackson impersonator, a violin duet and many other group and individual talent demonstrations that regaled the audience
for the whole afternoon. It was heart-warming to see former school mates meet and reunite after decades.
The Gala Dance on May 18th was an elegant affair with some 450 people in attendance. The huge hall was beautifully decorated and the place mat (a laminated school group photograph circa 1950) is now a collector’s item. Again, there was a lot of meeting of old friends from all over the world. Valuable prizes included airline tickets, vacations and personal electronic equipment.
On May 19th a picnic was arranged in one of Toronto’s many lovely parks. There were games, nostalgic snacks such as ‘mogo’ and ‘mandasi’ and a delicious catered hot lunch. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. With the thermometer hovering around 0°C, it was likely the coldest May 19th on record for Toronto but the warmth of the NGS alumni made up for the cold weather.
The NGS golf tournament attracted 20 golfers on May 21st. The venue was the beautiful Indian Wells championship course nestled below the cliffs of Mount Nemo in Burlington. It was a delightful day with generous sponsors providing prizes and refreshments.
Besides the organized events, there were many house parties and gathering at a local Goan restaurant the “Bayleaf” where the fellowship and reminiscing continued.
Attendees are invited to visit the website www.normangodinhoschoolreunion.org to view photographs and to order a yearbook and T shirts.
Report by Al Lobo, Toronto