Goan Overseas Association (GOA) – Sydney in Australia celebrated the feast day of St. Francis Xavier on 29th November, 2015 at the Our Lady of Queen Peace Church, Greystanes.
“GOA- Sydney since its inception 39 years back has always celebrated the feast day of our Patron Saint maintaining the strong bond of Goans with St. Francis Xavier whose body lies in veneration in the Basilica of Bom Jesu in Old Goa”, Alwyn Henriques, Vice President and Director Marketing GOA-NSW said.
Around 230 members and their guests attended the special community Mass which was celebrated by Goan Priest Rev Fr Vincy D’Costa from Navelim Goa and now based at The Good Shepard Parish Church in Plumpton, NSW. The GOA-NSW Choir group including musicians and vocalists was led by Rachael Menezes and comprised of Konkani Hymns dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. The GOA-NSW youth group actively participated in the Mass by engaging with the Readings and Prayers of the Faithful.
President of GOA-NSW, Tony Colaco spoke at the end of the Mass and thanked FrVincy, the choir led by Rachael Menezes, with the Acolytes, Altar boy and girl being the members of the Association. Event Directors Ralph Vaz, Marianne D’Souza & Paul Dias ensured that the mass and social celebrations went smoothly. After the Mass the members posed for the traditional Group photo outside the Church with Fr. Vincy.
Thereafter the members assembled in the Parish Camilleri Hall for a cultural and social event, Children’s Christmas tree and Lunch. Malcolm Britto of Mapusa fame entertained the audience with live music supported by Roy Rosario and Elvis D’Sa on the Vocals. Clinton Colaco & Michele D’Souza from the youth group compered the event. The GOA-NSW Music group headed by Marianne D’Souza and Naina Lobo entertained the members and guests with traditional Christmas Carols. The cultural event was graced by the arrival of Santa Claus who brought cheer to all the kids by distributing Gifts and lollies. Traditional Goan Christmas Sweets made by the wives and family members of the Executives Committee and various members were distributed to Goan Seniors and Pensioners who attended the event. Goan sweet boxes were also sent to Goan pensioners living in Retirement Homes. The event concluded with a Round of Bingo and Raffle Draw.