THE STATE OF GOA

**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mestre Father Archie

Comment: A man who knew, embodied and exhibited the spirit of joie de vivre, Fr Archie was a khoro Goemcar. He loved music and was proud that his race was so musically inclined. He gave a fillip to music and musicians where ever he went.
He now serenades the saints. Bessau poddonv re Father Archie-cher.
Despite being a Goemcar to his very core, it feels strange to call this man of GOD Padrtiu Archie. To his thousands of fans and admirers he will always be Father Archie.

A renowned music maker and mestre par excellence.

Fr Archie loved and preached music. Tanga-born Fr Archibald Fernandes hailed from a very rare breed of Catholic priests given to preaching music. “Goa certainly needs revival of music schools of yesteryears in our churches, since we have quite a few priests ingrained in music,” he told us way back in 2004. Fr Archie spent “enjoyable times playing with the talented boys” with who he strung together big-time bands – Green Sleeves (1973 to 1979) and Cascades – unbeatable at their superb performing style.The Fransalian priest mixed music and education admirably. As an educationist, he served as a principal of various schools – SFX High School in Siolim, St Thomas High School in Aldona and St Francis de Sales High school, which he had founded in Pune. He was also the principal of St Francis de Assisi High School at Shivaji Nagar in the same city.He played the saxophone famously. Being a music teacher, the group could not hope for a better guide and mentor than Fr Archie. He bemoaned the fact that there were “extraordinarily talented musicians among the priests”, who did not venture out to play”. Fr Archie preferred to be unusual. He even played for the Grease for two years while in Muscat.The revered bandleader’s father – Manuel Fernandes – played the flute and his mother – Petronila (Nelly) – excelled at the keyboards as does his sister Sheila. Archie and his brothers (Eddie and Ronnie) plumped for the haunting harmony of the saxophone. The eminent tunesmith regaled music aficionados throughout his priesthood. Even when he was being ordained priest 1965, he was in the thick of music.The ever jovial Fr Archie, suffered sickness stoically for quite some time, and eventually signed off from planet Earth, for greener pastures up in heaven on May 13. Fr Archie’s mortal remains will be laid to rest on May 15 in Pune.

From the Gomantak Times, as printed by Goacom.

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