Menin Rodrigues invited all former students, teachers, administrators of St. Patrick’s High School and St. Joseph’s Convent School in Karachi to the Feasts of St Patrick & St. Joseph 2nd Canada Reunion. The reunion afternoon was open to all. The event was held on the afternoon of March 17th. 2019 in Mississauga. Tickets went fast and the event was sold out.
Mr Rodrigues, an alumnus of St. Patrick’s, is an established businessman who owns a busy marketing communications firm in Pakistan. He has been a stalwart community builder of Catholic Karachi and life-long volunteer. Menin was instrumental in helping denationalizing St. Patrick’s College, St. Joseph’s College for Women, and St. Lawrence’s Intermediate College; bringing these institutions back under the local Catholic Board of Education (CBE). He actively led the team that restored of the Monument to Christ the King, the white marble structure in the grounds of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi recognizes these events as being momentous milestones in the history of Pakistan.
Along the way, Menin has found the time to become a community historian. He runs the website www.goansofpakistan.org as a hobby, and he has also published a couple of well-received books and collections about the Karachi Goan community, parishes, and schools
In 1985, Menin was instrumental in restarting the Alumni Association of St. Patrick’s High School and St. Patrick’s College. The alumni organization was dormant for a few decades. The new group is called ‘The Old Patricians (TOPs)’. The advent and proliferation of Internet and social media in Pakistan propelled the group’s growth. It quickly grew to have close to 10,000 registered alumni. It is estimated their social and news announcements immediately reach about a 100,000 people across the world.
In 2008, TOPs started a St. Patrick’s Day Annual Reunion event in Karachi. The social event grew to be hugely successful. It is now an exclusive annual event and attended by students, teachers, clergy, and alumni, many of the latter are now the elite of Karachi society. Karachiites and Alumni in other cities around the world soon duplicated this effort. When a group in the USA decided to hold a joint reunion with the Alumni of St. Joesph’s College who are now also now spread out in cites across the world, the idea was immediately adopted many of the groups.
Menin Rodrigues has recently immigrated to Canada with his family.
Last year Menin organized the first St. Pat’s and St. Joe’s Reunion in Canada. And why not? Numerous alumni and teachers have been living in Canada for now over fifty-years. The first Feasts of St Patrick & St. Joseph Canada Reunion was hugely successful. Over 300 Canadian-Karachiite and friends attended the inaugural event.
‘To give back and reconnect with your school and class mates is something what memories are made of,’ writes Menin.
‘It is about recalling those halcyon days of yore, complete freedom, living your life in a gay abandon and doing good, bad, and indifferent; nevertheless, it’s all about, ‘those school boy days.”
This year the afternoon event opened with a Holy Mass at 11:00 am. There was be plenty of time to meet and greet students, teachers, and friends. A special choir made up of past students of the two schools will contribute to the Mass and then sing the official school songs. This is sure to be an emotional experience for many.
A special ceremony was planned to recognize and honour senior-most School Teachers who now reside in Canada. At least 10-teachers reveived a special certificate from the His Eminence, Joseph Cardinal Coutts Archbishop of Karachi.
There was informative historical presentations, prizes and surprises. One of the surprises was performance by 1970’s popular Karachi dance-circuit band the Black Jacks consisting of Sabby Patrick, Bosco D’Souza, & Danny D’Cunha.
Keeping with his lifelong commitment to community building, Menin Rodrigues has committed that the proceeds from the years event in Canada will go to support Providence Home, Karachi, which is managed by the Daughters of the Cross. It is a refuge for girls. At any one time 20 to 30 Catholic girls aged from six to fifteen live in the home. All the girls are all from broken families. The nuns and local staff provide the girls with a homely environment and support their education. The schools of Catholic Board of Education provide a substantial discount on educational expenses for each girl.
Keep up the great work Menin.
Goan Canadian-Karachiites, Patricians and Josephians, should support efforts like this in a far greater number. Alumni and Teachers get out there and have some fun. •
Interview with Menin Rodrigues. Menin is organizing a St. Pat’s and St. Joe’s Reunion in Canada. Keeping with his lifelong commitment to community building, he has committed that the proceeds from this years event in Canada will go directly to support Providence House in Karachi.
Article, Interview, Albert Peres (c) Goa Culture List
17th March 2019
The Providence Home (Daughters of the Cross) Karachi