Time given to us is the most valuable currency exchange on Planet earth
If you can read this, you must thank our teachers that you can tell the time
and also know the meanings of a cross or a tick, numbers and alphabets, shapes
and colours. Those fortunate that wake up each morning, depending on
temperature and the elements, may participate in events be it Birthdate or
Anniversary, your position in civil society is measured in Time. For example,
if you did not give people a Time to be at work (or Church) they would not turn
up at all or on Time converting energy into work to claim their worth into
Money and the daily exchange rate as the sun sets with night prayers around the
world. For our people to forget their troubles there is always the next Dance
where the Bar is a Goldmine garnished with Gossip blended in delightful music
and cuisine to keep us going?
Religion has been a fountain of all our Education, at Church (people meet and
greet/club together) one may have served in the Legion of Mary and introduced
to the committee structure of President, Secretary, Treasurer Committee
members. In their various Duties like recording of minutes on a minute book
and confirming the minutes before being signed off like proposer and seconder
this will have enriched the thinking and behaviour of Committee members into
Adulthood for civilised society around the world.
Most people will tell you that they have better things to do with their time
rather than striving to do things better. Remember Time is given Free by God
and when converted into an exchange rate for money the definition of Duty is
lost in the translation of Paid or Voluntary work.
This Christmas will be the 10th Anniversary when the GOA UK administration was
overrun by, in my opinion and what I have observed as, people with little
It is also about 10 years since GOA UK, a voluntary run and self-supporting
organisation, ran together with the NRI office the Global Goan Conference which
was at the same time as the Goan Festival in the UK. The Goa taxpayer’s money
of £8k through the NRI office was fully accounted for but ten years later, I
have yet to see a full account of revenue, including sponsorship, and
expenditure of the GOA UK for this event. Recently, the Director of NRI
Affairs, Ulhas Kamat, expressed disappointment when he said “We organised
Global Goan Conventions in the past until 2011 and encouraged them to invest in
various sectors in Goa”.
The reason why there has been no investment is that the Goa NRI Office,
particularly in relation to the convention at Cranford, UK, had no opportunity
to gather intelligence on the organisation they were dealing with in relation
to its membership both in quality and quantity and whether this reflected our
people here, living in the UK . It is my honest belief this organisation does
not represent us at all. The curry will not taste right unless the masala is
One will recall that the efforts of Francisco Borges from Belgium suffered a
similar fate. Office bearers of the Welfare Section of the G.O.A. asked for
sponsors for him running in the London Marathon which in 2014 raised 53 million
GBP for charity. Only 8 sponsors came forward raising around GBP 230 (two
hundred and thirty GBP pounds), for Goan Welfare.
>From the trustees report of the Annual General Meeting 2015 of The Goan
>Welfare Society (GWS) under “Fund-raising efforts” the following was noted
>“Regrettably, a fund-raising function, organised by the Goan Association (UK)
>in August 2014 at Harrow Leisure Centre proved to be most unsuccessful and
>made a loss of nearly £3,800 due to poor attendance at the event.
>Fortunately, the Charity is not liable for this loss”. This dance had a band
>brought all the way from Goa. The report does not indicate who was liable
>for this loss and members of the Goan Association (UK) as underwriters now
>have an opportunity to find out if these figures can be verified. Almost every
>event over 10 years is posted as a Loss.
Our organisation was once the flagship of the Goan Community in the United
Kingdom. However, in recent years, all I can see is that it has been infested
with the mentality of cockroaches that, in the absence of a Flit pump or heavy
duty insect repellent, have been allowed to thrive. A solution would be for
the small number of its members or the majority of non-members to take the
stance and clear this infestation by starving it of money and finding the time
to take an active part to put the ‘G’ back in Goan.
As a previous active member of the Goan Association and of the community since
1974, wherever I go I am continually being asked by members of the community
“Where is the £0££Y going” as our people talk about non-transparent and
unaudited internal and external audits for revenue and expenditure . The
complaint that their enquiries in the absence of any service level agreement
and dereliction of duty by office bearers going unanswered cannot be ignored.
The midnight oil has been burnt since 1966 by honorary volunteers working in
harmony with our community, searching for premises. Fundraising was made
through socials, an annual building raffle and debentures. Hard work and
sacrifice was finally rewarded when premises in the form of a clubhouse,
grounds and caretakers bungalow were purchased. All monies collected from our
community were given in “good faith” for community purposes in the UK and
contributions from sister organisations abroad and individuals cannot be
forgotten . However, following the sale of these assets, a large part of
these funds was not reinvested for community purposes as intended but was used
to purchase commercial “Buy to Let” flats in a tower block in Ilford with the
entire community in UK being left homeless with absolutely no community base or
place to meet. The youth have also been left to fend for themselves.
Even passports expire every Ten years as the features of people change and a
new photograph is required. In time the Permanent OCI an iGoan will also change
like the iPhone and iPad.
You are the link amongst the Jet age and the Bullock cart society in a time
warp if you really care about our community; do not allow matters to continue
as they are. Students of Accountancy and Public administration will find this
story fascinating for their projects. If you are a life member or ordinary
member of GOA UK Limited contact the company secretary for your membership
status in case you have been deleted . If you have not seen a copy of the
accounts request for one from the office bearers. Lessons are learnt but
never applied its in our DNA. If you agree, the success or failure of a
company is down to people like you and the time devoted. Life members and
Ordinary Members kindly direct your enquiries in the first instance by 30
The Company Secretary
G.O.A. UK Limited, The Firs, 17 Firs Drive,Cranford,Hounslow,Middlesex, TW5 9TA
Email a copy to mel...@orange.net for the record and any continued action. I
have had complaints that people do not get replies to their enquiries.
Melvyn Fernandes (Escola Ghela)
18 October 2016