It was a Sunday with a difference! One where people came together with a mission – To discover… to learn… to bond.

Rather than spend a lazy Sunday at home doing mundane stuff, the various communities of St Anne’s Parish participated in an event titled ‘Discover Treasure’ on March 2. The task at hand was to discover treasure strewn all over the Parish precincts – Malla, Palam (Pali Hill & Ambedkar), Rajan, Sherly, and Scheme. Five Communities traversed the length and breadth of the Parish to discover Personalities, Localities, Grottos and Crosses, Gyms (not the popular modern ones!), Grind masala on the good old grinding stones, take a bath with water drawn from a fresh water well, kneel in prayer before Crosses in public view and much more!  This they did and enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the process.

The key objective of ‘Discover Treasure’ in St Anne’s was to bring the Parish Family together. It was an exercise in Building Community. From 10 am to 4 pm (including lunch and prize distribution) the five teams in colorful attire with mascots, cheerleaders and supporters chased clues and executed tasks that also included planting trees in Malla Park, and gully hockey on Convent Street!

The design team of six did much research and worked with an extended team of members from the various communities. They included in the clues, treasures and trivia several long forgotten personalities, as well as Crosses and Grottos steeped in history. How many of us had heard of Mary Sequeira the Olympian hockey player of repute recently felicitated by the Government of India and the Government of Goa? Or, Eva Gonsalves and her recipe for that special Targola cake? Or, Wilbur Samson? Or, the first lady magistrate of Bandra, the late Mrs Bridgette Rodrigues? Or, the dear French Teacher Angela Ferro? Or even the original place of the Grotto in our Church Compound? That’s not all at some sites, participants had to recite the Act of Faith, or go in search of recent confirmandi, or even seek out a religious congregation residing in that locality!!!!

All the participants did make their discoveries. After all they had planned very well and were ably supported by their respective base camps with who they were in constant contact thanks to cellular technology.  They loved the challenge and the excitement, and the communication inputs from their supporters at base camp kept them running from one clue to the other – on foot, on motor cycle, on bicycle… Safety was taken care of by the senior members of each community and the event was concluded with no incident whatsoever! Truly the hand of God was on all that participated. We were truly protected!

The beautiful aspect of the event was the hospitality that each community extended to all other communities that visited their locality. There were ‘watering holes’ at Prithi Kunj (Rajan), Hill Croft (Malla), Zeba Garden (Shirley), Allied Building (Scheme), and Vincir (Palam). They provided the sweaty Action Team Players with water, soft drinks and sandwiches. Thanks to the hospitality of each of the communities there were no incidents of fatigue or de-hydration.

StAnnes Photo Montage

By 1.30pm the teams had to report to the Control Center located in the Parish Parlor. Here the photographers and videographers of each team had to download their pictures and videos onto computers, and Team Leaders hand over Trivia and other related material. And the counting of points began…

It did take some time as there was much data to be collated and cross checked too. The first prize of Rs 20,000 went to Rajan Community, the second prize of Rs 15,000 went to Malla Community, the third prize of Rs 10,000 went to Sherly Community. We also had two consolation prizes of Rs 5,000 each which were awarded to Scheme (4th place) and Palam (5th place). The prize money has to be used for any community building activity that may be decided by the Community.

The Core Team thanks: Each and every participant. The Animators (Oscar Cardoz, Rudy Reynolds, Bernard Fernandes, Felix D’souza, Luis Miranda, Caroline Cabral, Lourdes Fernandes). They got together 5 teams of 15 players each. The Action Team Leaders (Joseph D’sousa, Neil Valles, Maryann Barretto, Giles Drego, Mark D’sa). This event would never have been possible without the generous support of our donors – Vijay & Shirley Lazarus, Mitsy & Capt Deep Willy D’souza, Luis & Fiona Miranda, Joyful Noise Trust, Dwayne Fernandes, and Robert D’souza. Thanks to Audrey D’mello and her team we were able to treat 307 family members to biryani and lime juice.

To sum up, ‘Discover Treasure’ aimed at bringing one huge family of St Anne’s together. In the spirit of Christian Love, Brother and Sisterhood the bonding was evident on the happy faces that sat together and applauded each other as the results were declared. There was happy banter good spirited ribbing! At the end of the day it does not matter who came first or second, rather that in this coming together of brothers and sisters we are all winners! We can truly sing ‘We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord… And they’ll know we are Christians by our love… by our love!

To Fr Clement D’lima a big thank you for your style of management and leadership that brings out the best in people.

Congratulations St Anne’s Parish – the only Parish on the Hill! Truly you are loaded with treasure!

Joe Cordo