‘Few Memories of the past in the centenary year of our parish’

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By Ivan Menezes


Bellevision Media Network


Moodubelle, 29 December 2010: When I got a call from a friend asking me to write something about my experience of childhood which I spent in my beautiful village Moodubelle, I was taken aback  for a few seconds as I did not know how  to reply to my friend for his unusual request. My immediate reaction was just to  say a big “no”. However, after a pause, I felt that this is an opportunity to revisit my childhood and adolescent days in my favourite village and decided to put down few lines from whatever memories I had of those golden and olden days. I reflected for some time and made up my mind to switch on my mental button for ‘action replay’. However, I feel a little confused as I do not know exactly from where to start and where to end. There are lot of memories and interesting episodes. Still let me begin from somewhere….



At the outset, I should profess that I have been blessed with this beautiful place called Moodubelle, a village of enormous natural beauty as the word ‘Belle’ means beautiful. As I have been told by my father and other elders, Belle had grown from wilderness into an active village following the establishment of the parish of St. Lawrence a century ago. The school, high school and the junior college all have given the village a new outlook and a status. After the construction of the new church building, the look of Moodubelle has changed  and it will make progress in the near future.  As we celebrate the centenary of the foundation of our parish let us pray  God to keep us all united no matter whatever religion and status we have in life.


When I look back to my childhood and growing up days in Moodubelle, I feel that such days will never come back and I have to be satisfied only with those sweet memories. Belleans are fortunate to have such good quality educational institutions with best teachers. With the  English Medium School Moodubelle has joined the league of advanced educational system that would enable the village children to face the competitive world.



When I started going to School, there was only  the Kannada medium School . The school being roughly one kilometer away from our home and I usually walked with all my other siblings and my neighbourhood friends.



It was a long walk for me then but I did not mind because I was having fun with my group. We all shared the same fascination of plucking others’ cashew nuts and mangos during the respective seasons while going  to and coming back from the  school. It was a great fun altogether. Most interesting was that during summer, the bitumen (dammar) of the road getting melted we used to stick the mango seed  to our unprotected foot and walk on the road and we used to enjoy the sound that these seeds made while walking something like the sound of the boots.



I also remember the then parish priest Fr. Alexander Lobo who was very strict and very particular about children attending daily masses. Every one  residing within one kilometer distance from the church were mandated to attend daily mass without fail. It was really difficult to miss these daily masses, as Fr. Lobo used to maintain an attendance book and every one had to sign the attendance book. Those who failed to attend the daily masses were summoned by Fr. Lobo to his office and were given punishment with his special cane stick. This punishment was enough for the children not to miss the daily masses even if they were sick. Looking back to those days, I feel that Fr. Lobo was doing the right thing as the discipline that he inculcated has gone a long way in shaping the future of many young men and women like me. He was very much concerned about the studies of the SSLC students and made special arrangements for their studies and coaching in the school itself for better results. Fr. Lobo even made arrangements for  accommodating students at night time in the school and even providing food for them. The outcome of these measures was reflected in the final results which were 100 per cent.




When I was in the 5th grade, I joined boys sodality... and Fr. Herald Menezes was the director then. He was a person with loving disposition, nice and simple. At that time there were around  35-40 altar boys in the sodality. Sodality meetings were conducted every Saturday at 3.30 in the afternoon. However,  we used to reach the church at about 2.30 pm to start playing cricket or lagory in the church premises.Fr. Menezes had the habit of taking nap in the afternoon. When he used to get disturbed due to our shouting while playing, he would shout back and ask us either to play silently or go away.  Some of our sodality members were specialized in plucking cashew nuts from Sisters’ Covent and pear, papaya’s from the church garden. There were also members in our Sodality group who would go to the church kitchen and eat fruits and sometimes cheese or other items especially during Easter and Christmas night mass.



I was also an active member of CYM which is today known by the name ICYM. At that time   Charles Qadros was the adviser and there were about 30 to 40 members in the group out of whom around 20 were girls. Almost every Sunday we used to have CYM meeting and after the meeting and once in a month we also used to have tea and buns from the Duga Bhavana hotel. Yes no doubt my teammates also contributed lot to the parish. We used to conduct talent shows, cultural and sports activities, and all the members were very quite active. CYM was the place where we could explore our talents. Every year we had a challenge of collection of funds from Carol singing, sale of ice cream during the parish feast day and collection from the stall, lucky coupons etc.... At that time there was no concept of collecting sponsorships. We had good funds and we used to spend  part of the amount for a decent picnic with the priests and other elderly people and Sisters from the Convent. I should not forget we had super talented youths in our CYM batch who were specialized in plucking tender coconuts (Bonda) from college campus. Many of them used to be caught by the priest and get punished as well.



Nowadays people are migrating to different parts of the world. No one can forget their roots in Moodubelle. I sincerely feel and believe that there is no better place than our Moodubelle. It is a blessing from God to live in such a wonderful Village with excellent Belleans.  We are living in safe village with the blessings of St. Lawrence. We are thankful to all our Parish priests, assistant parish priests and the Sisters who served our church since last 100 years. As we celebrate the centenary of our parish,  I once again  congratulate to all the parishioners and pray God and St. Lawrence to keep our parish and Moodubelle village safe and united in brotherhood.



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Comments on this Article
Avith Lobo, Mooodubelle Wed, December-29-2010, 8:56
Nice Article Ivan.
Vally Boliye, Moodubelle Wed, December-29-2010, 7:20
Ivan, happy to read your article. yes those were the golden days of our childhood and the church compound was really beloved for us as a lot of sentiments are attached to it. I regret for todays children and youngsters who are missing these lovely opportunities to improve their personality by wasting time in the peth (market). One thing is very sure for me - the one who was around St.Lawrence doing good deeds will be surely blessed.
Baptist Sequeira, Belle Wed, December-29-2010, 6:49
Ivan you have nicely put the memories of our childhood man. You may be remebering our "chrism" dothorn where we tried to steal "Pera" guvava fruit and Fr. Hery gave good award for that. Also our caralls singing , "Kokkada" sodality trip all these may be never forgettable right? Thanks for putting your memories here and made us to cherish them all again.
Manoj Dsouza, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, December-29-2010, 2:23
Very Nicely written Ivan.Congratulations, Some parts of the article i felt as if you are doing a open confession!!!! Realy enjoyed reading your article and Yesss... you definetly took me to my childhood with this article. Thank you and keep it up.
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