The grand finale of Mangalore Konkans Silver Jubilee Celebrations – “Celebrations 25” concluded with a glittering extravaganza held at Dubai’s Hotel Crowne Plaza, in the midst of well attended dignitaries and crème of Mangalorean community in the UAE.
It was an apt occasion to celebrate the 25 years of eventful journey of Mangalore Konkans – an affiliate of Indian Welfare committee in Dubai befitting its illustrious existence and the selfless service towards the community in the UAE and in India. The year long celebration comprising of sports meets charity events, culinary and talent contests and seminars etc concluded with a spectacular display of pomp and grandeur.
The event was presided over by none other than the ever popular Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo – the people’s man, who had flown all the way from Mangalore and was an excellent choice to grace this memorable occasion. His presence made the occasion more meaningful and noteworthy. M K Lokesh – Ambassador to the UAE who will be leaving the UAE shortly was the guest of honour
The service provided by Mangalore Konkans has benefitted thousands of beneficiaries throughout the UAE and in India and the event was a proud moment for the past and present members of the association, which had its humble beginning 25 years ago (1988) and the joy of fulfillment was visibly evident on the faces of its members throughout the well organized programme.
The eventful evening, packed to capacity, commenced with a meaningful song specially composed for the occasion with its colourful audio visual presentation which was a prelude to the forthcoming programme of the evening. Due to the presence of diverse communities and languages among the audience, the event was presented in both English and Konkani. Chanel D’sa presented a beautiful ballet dance symbolising the Silver jubilee.
The Chief Guest J R Lobo, M K Lokesh, Padmashree B R Shetty, Ronald Colaco, James Mendonca, President of Mangalore Konkans, Tracy Rodrigues – Chairperson – Silver Jubilee Year Events and Aboline D’Cunha -, Vice President of Mangalore Konkans lit the lamp followed by cutting of the cake and opening of a champagne bottle to symbolically commomerate the 25th Silver Jubilee.
The evenings procedings were meticulously planned by Tracy Rodrigues – Chairperson – Silver Jubilee Year Events under the guidance and leadership of ever smiling James Mendonca – the dynamic president of Mangalore Konkans.
MLA J R Lobo, raised the Silver Jubilee toast. In his brief speech Lobo applauded the service of Mangalore Konkans and said that he was previleged to be part of the rare silver jubilee celebration of a renowned organization overseas. He also urged the Mangaloreans based in the UAE to involve themselves in the development of Mangalore city making it into to tourist hub of the south.
It was an appropriate occasion for Mangalore Konkans to honour the stalwarts of Mangalorean community who have rendered their services in various ways inrrespective of religion, caste and creed throughout the past years.
During the occasion the great philonthrophist, NRI businessman & Entrepreneur Ronald Colaco was conferred with a special award ‘Konkan Ratn’ in recognition of his enormous contribution to the Christian community and Society at large. His outstanding contribution towards humanity, was duly acknowledged and will be remembered for a long time to come. As a philanthropist Ronald Colaco has contributed millions for the general welfare of the people irrespective of caste, creed, race or religion. The title bestowed on him was appropriate as he has proved himself as a real “Jewel” among Mangalorean Konkan Community.
As a man of vision and foresight Colaco established International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations (IFKCA) of which he is the founder Chairman. IFKCA was set up with the solemn idea of protecting the interests of Christians and fostering unity among the different denominations of Christians.
Ronald Colaco thanked Mangalore konkans for their magnanimity in selecting him to be honoured with the title of “Konkan Ratn”. He appreciated Mangalore Konkans for their charitable and humanitarian work during the past 25 years.
Also during the event 4 other outstanding achievers based in the UAE were honoured.
Lawrence Mendonca, – a humble businessman from Dubai, the pioneer entrepreneur in UAE and being a torchbearer to many others from the coastal region to have their own successful ventures in the UAE. His diversified business ventures have earned a name for himself for his honesty, hardwork and integrity.
Padmashree Bavaguthu Raghurama Shetty (B. R. Shetty), an outstanding community leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist, who has made a mark in the UAE and all over the world. His contribution in the medical field has revolutionized medical facilities in the UAE.
It was his foresight that led to the establishment of UAE exchange in 1980 as B R Shetty was able to identify the problems faced by expatriates in the UAE who wanted to remit money to their families back home.
Dr B R Shetty is a champion of education and sports and has shown abiding interest in promoting both these fields. He has also been a pillar of support and benefactor of various UAE based associations.
Walter Nandalike of Daijiworld, who has managed revolutionise the web media and has created a revolution of sorts in linking the world especially the gulf and the coastal region, providing information, news and views at the click of a button, it is the web portal Daijiworld.com. The brain behind this media revolution is the young, daring and debonair Walter D’Souza Nandalike, who is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of this popular website. (In his absence, Wilma D’Souza accepted the award)
Vincent Fernandes – for his contribution towards Konkani language, culture, song composition, music and innovative ideas. His multi talents have showcased his hidden talent and imaginative intellect as a singer, composer, dancer, actor and producer in the UAE.
On behalf of award recipients Dr B R Shetty thanked Mangalore Konkans and narrated his association with the Christians and appreciated their service to the society in every field.
The evening was packed with unique entertainment comprising of music, songs, dance and fun all the way.
To commemorate their Silver Jubilee, Mangalore Konkans initiative to create a new fund, an unique concept to pledge support for their new venture named “Fire of Benevolence” was initiated during the occasion, where by possible sponsors and donors were asked to pledge their support by filling a form, reserve their name on the leaves of a tree drawn on board towards their humanitarian and social cause towards the aged, socially deprived people of undivided Dakshina Kannada The novel idea garnered lot of enthusiasm and support from the audience.