May 31, 2008 – Dominic’s, in the city of South San Francisco, was the venue for the Golden Wedding
Anniversary celebration of Thomas and Sebastiana (Seby) Pereira of San Francisco. The Banquet hall
located on Oyster Point, commands a wonderful view of the San Francisco Bay. And, being a sunny day,
sailboats wafted along in the breezes on the shimmering Bay waters.
Greeting the guests at the entrance,
the handsome couple was a remarkable sight in their sartorial outfits. Seby appeared to be draped
in a magnificent Parisian couturier’s gown. Thomas by her side, was smartly clad in a black Tux that
seemed to have been tailored to his fine physique. Some readers may well recall Thomas at Barclays Bank,
Mombasa. Their children, Cynthia, Anita., Phillip and Brian together with Lisa (daughter in law) and
grandson Nicholas, also did justice to the occasion in their fine clothing.
The restaurant itself was beautiful
to behold. The color scheme of the room was cream and gold. The Pereira family had given attention
to many minute details. An artistically scripted page, standing aloft on the entrance table,
indicated the table numbers at which the guests would be seated. A delicate arrangement of orchids
graced the center of each table. (The ladies were delighted to receive orchid bouquets that Seby so
generously handed out as they departed the hall.) At each guest’s place on the table, there lay a
place-card with hearts dangling with a gold toned bell.
Fil da Cunha, the Pereira’s
very good friend, had the honor of being Master of Ceremonies for this memorable occasion. The celebration
commenced with Renewal of the couple’s Marriage Vows and Blessing of Rings officiated over by Rev.
Father Al Furtado.. On completion of the Blessing of the Rings the crowd delighted in tinkling their
glasses while loudly calling for Thomas to kiss his bride. He did so very readily like a pro – which he
naturally is after 50 years of wedded bliss! Archie Dennis and Dorothy De Souza then serenaded the couple
with a duet that had been especially composed for them. This was followed by the traditional Konkanim
“Bessaum Tumcher podom”. Thomas and Seby then together cut a beautiful, three-tiered, 50th Anniversary
cake that graced one corner of the banquet room.
Brian raised a moving, yet humorous
toast to this parents. He thanked them on behalf of his siblings, for their love, hard work, sacrifices,
and caring during their early years in Mombasa. When the family moved to San Francisco the couple
continued to guide the four children in good, old-fashioned values while encouraging them to further their
education. He related a few anecdotes of the couple’s courting days and concluded by saying all four
siblings were very proud of their parents.
Tony’s Mascarenhas (Seby’s brother)
and Philomena Dias (Thomas’ sister) both delivered loving and warm speeches. Thomas, visibly overcome with
emotion, gave a brief , loving and gracious response. He said that he and Seby were in turn proud of
their children and their accomplishments. He acknowledged and thanked Fr. Al for the service, his kind
words of wisdom and for making him hold Seby’s hand during the ceremony. He assured everyone that the
pulse reading was normal!! Thomas thanked Fil for being the M.C. and carrying out his duties with the
precision of a Swiss watch. Finally he thanked all his relatives and friends for gracing the occasion
and helping to celebrate such a milestone in their lives.
Fil and Wenda da Cunha surprised the
celebrants with a plaque with the number 50 outlined in Toblerone chocolate bars. In Mombasa, this chocolate
was Thomas’ favorite way of enticing Seby to go out on dates when his eyes and heart saw no other girl!
The serious part of the celebration
having been completed, the floor was soon packed with couples dancing to their hearts’ delight. Roger Jones of
DJ Dynasty provided a wonderful spectrum of romantic and lively music which brought the crowd to the dance
floor throughout the evening. We were loath to stop dancing when dinner was announced. However, who could
resist the aromas of the sumptuous spread at the buffet tables? Laughter, chatting and a warm liveliness
pervaded the hall throughout the evening. Undoubtedly, the flow of ‘spirits’ contributed a good deal to that!
Dancing resumed after dinner and even through serving of coffee and a slice of the delicious Anniversary
cake which the couple had cut earlier.
Reluctantly, the M.C. announced when
it was time for the wonderful evening to come to an end. What a wonderful evening it had been! The memorable
celebration will not fade quickly from the memory of those fortunate who had been invited to it.
To Seby, Thomas and their offsprings,
our warmest congratulations and love. May you both be blessed with many more years together.