The Bandra Gymkhana
PLATINUM JUBILEE 1935-2010
Photo Courtesy: Warren Fernandes
The Bandra Gymkhana
PLATINUM JUBILEE 1935-2010
Chief Editor: Darryl D’Monte
Compiled, edited & written: Naomi Fernandes
Cover, Jacket & Platinum Warren Fernandes
Creative Director: Debbie Fernandes
Editorial Assistance: Cornel K Gonsalves
Photographers: Ken Aguiar
Photograph Sources: Bandra Gymkhana Archives
Golden Jubilee Souvenir BEIA
TRACE - by Teddie J Rodrigues
Ajit & Mohini Rodrigues
Typing Assistance: Gerard Murzello
The Bandra Gymkhana on the occasion of its Platinum Jubilee.
For PRIVATE CIRCULATION among members.
This edition is published in April 2010.
All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in
part by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording
or otherwise without permission
Designed and Printed by:
Warren & Debbie Fernandes
at Synergy Creations,
Sona Shopping Centre, 17, 2nd Floor, Hill Road,
Bandra (W), Mumbai.
email: [email protected]
A ny major anniversary in the life of an institution
is an occasion to look back, all the more so when the
event in question spans three-quarters of a century.
This is also particularly significant when the institution serves a
community whose identity is so closely defined by its culture and
Over these decades, the Bandra Gymkhana has served as a focal
point for the community. In this Souvenir, we have traced those
earliest beginnings when land and funds had to be sought to set up
the institution and all its facilities.
Countless events through the year have brought residents of Bandra
and beyond to throng the Gymkhana on a variety of occasions, as
photographs reprinted here demonstrate.
Equally importantly, the Gymkhana has provided a venue for
sports – the five tennis courts in particular are the envy of other
gymkhanas in the suburbs.
But we have also decided to track the past 75 years in the history
of Bandra, since the Gymkhana has stood witness to the many
changes in our suburb.
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Naomi Fernandes for
collecting all the information and photographs that have
been printed in this Souvenir and even writing several
sections of it.
We also have to thank Warren & Debbie Fernandes of
Synergy Creations for designing and printing this brochure,
a task well beyond the call of duty.
We can only hope that this Souvenir becomes a collector’s
item, which members treasure even as Bandra Gymkhana
strides confidently towards completing a century in 2035.
Darryl D’Monte 5
FOREWORD By Darryl D’Monte 5
SECTION I BANDRA GYMKHANA - FIRST 75 YEARS
Of Beginnings and Blessings 9
Of Salsette and Sagas 37
Of Memoirs and Messages 83
Of Memories and Moments
Of Stars and Sports
Of Facilities and Fellowship
IN THE BEGINNING - Bandra Gymkhana is inaugurated on 4th May 1935 in the presence of Lord & Lady Brabourne
SECTION II BANDRA – The LAST 75 YRS 114
From Vandre…to Bandora…to Bandra 120
- by Jennifer Mirza
Vestiges of Old Bandra
- by Olga Valladares 140
Memories and Histories 142
- by Mariam Dossal
East Indian Folk-Lore
Old Wives Tales
Romancing the Past
- by N. Fernandes
75 Years of Memories
- by Marie D’Souza
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM... 741
Of Beginnings & Blessings
Milestones in the History of
22nd April 1934 4th May 1935 4th May 1960
Inauguration of Opening of Silver Jubilee
Inauguration of Opening of Bandra Silver Jubilee
Foundation Stone Gymkhana
Twenty five years of
The plans of the Pavilion On the 4th May, 1935 existence. The Bandra
of the Bandra Gymkhana His Excellency Lord Gymkhana celebrates.
were completed on 4th Brabourne, Governor of
November, 1933 and Bombay inaugurated the Photo Courtesy: Marie Rodrigues
on 22nd April, 1934 the pavilion.
foundation stone of the
Pavilion was laid by 10
Mrs. Bell in the
of the Hon’ble Mr. R.D.
Bell, Home Member,
Government of Bombay
Presidency and a former
Suburban District. His
Grace, Dr. Joachim R.
Lima, SJ, Archbishop of
Bombay, blessed it.
The Bandra Gymkhana
4th May 1985 8th Sept 2004 6th April 2007 4th May 2010
Golden Jubilee Blessing of Extension Opening of Platinum Jubilee
Foundation Stone New Facilities
Golden Jubilee Blessing of Extension Opening of New
Foundation Stone Facilities
Fifty years milestone
in the annals of the His Eminence Cardinal The opening of the
history of the Bandra Simon Pimenta, New Facilities began
Gymkhana. Emeritus Archbishop of with Thanksgiving Mass
Bombay, blessed the and the blessing of
Extension Corner Stone. the entire premises of
the gymkhana with a
Platinum Jubilee Programme
1 May – Music Talent Contest
4 May – Annual Thanksgiving Mass / Sing Along
5 May – Wednesday Nite Special
6 May – Kidz Day Out – Wall painting / Fancy Dress
contest / Bandra Gym Prince & Princess contest
7 May – Cultural Program
8 May – Merlin & All Stars
9 May – Super Super Super Bumper Housie
Our beloved founder The Bandra
Dr. D. A. D’Monte Gymkhana
The Formative Years
- by Ajit Rodrigues
T he Bandra Gymkhana crosses a
significant milestone in the annals
of its history as it completes 75 years
on the 4th of May 2010.
The metamorphosis of the Bandra Gymkhana
over the last 75 years is the result of decades
of grit, determination, dedication and the
selflessness of its founding fathers and
The Gymkhana owes its very existence to
the benevolence of the late Dr. D.A. D’Monte,
a visionary and a philanthropist par
excellence. As far back as in 1922,
Dr. D’Monte had conveyed about
7592 sq. yards of land to the Society
to be used for a garden and a hall.
Five years later, the Salsette Society
earmarked about 2600 sq. yards of
land for recreational tennis courts. In
1927, the Society started an informal
club known as the Bandra Club on these
tennis courts. However, the General
Body of the Society in its meeting in
Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
The first trustees of the Bandra Gymkhana
were Dr. D. A. D'Monte,
Leo Rodrigues, the erstwhile
Administrator General of Bombay
and J.S. Pereira.
1930 declined to formalize the lease of these D. J. Ferreira (standing)
courts to the Bandra Club.
Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
At this stage D. J. Ferreira, a prominent
solicitor and Chairman of the Society sought
the intercession of Dr. D’Monte and his wife,
Dr. Cecilia D’Monte, in playing a dominant
role in the setting up of “a good Catholic club
which would promote the cause of sports,
competitions, tournaments and provide social
Tenacious negotiations took place thereafter;
and the outcome blended the philanthropic
wishes of Dr. D’Monte with the objectives of
the SCCHS Ltd and the requirements of the
Registrar of Co-operative Societies. In the
process, Advocate J.R. Athaide, then leader
of the Bombay Suburban District Bar was
persuaded to surrender his adjoining plot to the
Society while Dr. D’Monte granted an additional
plot of his own for the combined project. These
lands together with the Society’s tennis courts
and the 6000 sq. yards originally given in 1922
The opening of the Pavilion by His were combined to make up one large
Excellency, Lord Brabourne, Governor plot of 10,998 sq. yards, to be known
of Bombay on the 4th May 1935 was a as Dr. D’Monte’s Park.
red letter day in the annals history of Upon Dr. D’Monte’s request, the
the Bandra Gymkhana. Society leased 5819 sq. yards of the
land (upon which the present tennis
courts and building now exist) to the original
trustees of the Bandra Gymkhana for the
purpose and objectives of building the Bandra
The first trustees of the Bandra Gymkhana
were Dr. D’Monte, Leo Rodrigues, the erstwhile
Administrator General of Bombay and J.S.
Dr. Cecilia D’Monte On 22nd April, 1934 the foundation stone of the
Pavilion was laid by Mrs. Bell in the unavoidable
Photo Courtesy: Golden Jubilee absence of the Hon’ble Mr. R.D. Bell, Home
Souvenir BEIA Member, Government of Bombay Presidency and
a former Collector, Bombay Suburban District.
His Grace, Dr. Joachim R. Lima, SJ, Archbishop
of Bombay, blessed it.
An eminent architect, Elias Cosmas Henriques,
then Consulting Architect to the Government of
MILESTONES Dr. D’Monte had conveyed about D. J. Ferreira, played a dominant role in the
7592 sq. yards of land to the setting up of “a good Catholic club which would
Society to be used for a garden promote the cause of sports, competitions,
and a hall. tournaments and provide social recreation”.
Bombay, designed the Pavilion which had the His Excellency Lord Brabourne,
three-fold advantage of being used for social, Governor of Bombay
cultural and physical activities. It was the first
Pavilion in Bombay to have an indoor Badminton Photo Courtesy: Golden Jubilee Souvenir BEIA
court. The family of Joseph Ignatius Fonseca of
Mahim contributed Rs.5000 towards the cost to Plaque in Bandra Gymkhana hall
commemorate his memory.
The Pavilion was named after Dr. D’Monte
in recognition of his gift of land as well as
a contribution of Rs.5,000 and a loan of
Rs. 15,000. He also gave in memory of his
deceased brother Monsignor D’Monte a sum of
Rs.8,000 as a gift, the interest on which was to
be utilized towards the upkeep of the Reading
Room. The cost of construction of the Bandra
Gymkhana’s building including the Pavilion,
furniture, crockery, cutlery and linen for 500
members amounted to Rs.70,000 a princely
sum in those far-off days and a good yardstick
of present day inflation.
On the 4th May, 1935 His Excellency Lord
Brabourne, Governor of Bombay inaugurated
the pavilion. His presence bore eloquent
testimony to the importance of Bandra in a
politico-administrative sense, thus drawing
The Society leased 5819 sq. yards of On 22nd April, 1934 the foundation
the land (upon which the present tennis stone of the Pavilion was laid by
courts and building now exist) to the Mrs. R. D. Bell, Dr. Joachim R. Lima, Sj,
original trustees of the Bandra Gymkhana. Archbishop of Bombay, blessed it.
coverage. There was
thus much jubilation in
the township of Bandra.
The Governor, in his
the generosity of
Dr. D’Monte and lauded
the “long-sighted Monsignor Braz D’Monte
policy” of the Salsette
Catholic Co-operative Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
Housing Society Ltd. An excerpt from his
speech is worth reproduction.
On the 75th anniversary of that day, we now
eulogize Dr. D’Monte for his generosity. We
also remember with gratitude the Bandra
Gymkhana’s Founders, Patrons, Benefactors,
Donors, Life Members, Associates and
all members, past and present who have
contributed to give the Bandra Gymkhana its
present iconic status.
IN THE BEGINNING -
Bandra Gymkhana is inaugurated on 4th May 1935 in the presence of Lord & Lady Brabourne
Photo Courtesy: Golden Jubilee Souvenir BEIA
Speech by His Excellency, Lord Brabourne,
Governor of Bombay
H aving secured its lands and streets, and made possible the
building of houses, including a school, the Society decided
to keep open a sufficient area for a park and to provide
means of recreation. I cannot pass by this stage of the Society's development
without mention of the liberal gift of land and money made by Dr. D'Monte, the
President of the Gymkhana, and it is in no small measure due to his generosity
that the founding of the Gymkhana has become possible. The inauguration of
a scheme like this, the negotiation for arranging finance and for executing the
plan, and the hundred and one difficulties that arise, are only known to those
who have a deal with them. I understand that a great part in bringing all these
to a successful conclusion has been played by the Chairman of the Society, Mr.
D.J. Ferreira, who has ungrudgingly given his services and his legal experience
for the benefit of both the Society and the Gymkhana. To him and all the other
benefactors who have contributed to the successful founding of the Gymkhana
and the construction of the Pavilion, I offer my hearty congratulations.
In conclusion, I wish all prosperity to the Salsette Catholic Co-operative
Housing Society Ltd. and to the Bandra Gymkhana, and I hope that this
Pavilion which I am now about to open will long contribute to the enjoyment
of the members."
Inauguration Day 4th May 1935
Photo Courtesy: Golden Jubilee Souvenir Bombay East Indian Association
Silver Jubilee Celebration
Photo Courtesy: Marie Rodrigues
Over the Years
Golden Jubilee Celebration
Blessing of Extension Photo Courtesy: Joy Pereira
Opening Nite of New Facilities
D’Monte, Late Eric
Bocarro & Cornel
K Gonsalves, Hon.
Gen. Secy. lighting
D’Monte with Baba
Siddique, our MLA
at the opening
Rev. Fr. Vernon
His Eminence Cardinal Simon Pimenta, Emeritus Archbishop Distinguished
of Bombay and Managing Committee Members. Guests
Photo Courtesy: Warren Fernandes 20
Of Salsette and Sagas
A n ardent believer in
co-operative movements and
the founder of many Catholic
Co-operative Societies in the Island of Salsette
and other parts, F. A. C. Rebello started the
Salsette Catholic Co-operative Housing Society
in 1918, with the object of acquiring for its
members plots of land in the vicinity of Railway
Stations in Salsette for residential quarters, with
the necessary conveniences and amenities.
Layout of Kantwady Scheme
Ignatius D’Monte With rare foresight, he realized that the original
Christians of Bombay, Salsette, Bassein and Thana
Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza who came to be known as East Indians in 1887 when
the Bombay East Indian Association was founded,
were slowly but steadily being driven out of their
original holdings in Bombay (a great part of which
belonged to them) and he felt that the same fate
would overtake them in respect of their lands at
Bandra. Although he was not an East Indian, he was
deeply interested in the welfare of this community,
having spent many years of his life amongst its
members. The idea he conceived was to get the
Society to become the owners of all the plots in
Bandra in this area and, as these plots belonged
almost entirely to the members of the East Indian
Community, Goans and Mangaloreans, to parcel
them out amongst the members of the community
The area to be acquired was 69 acres. F. A. C.
Rebello and those who worked with him soon found
that the only way of acquiring some of the lands
was to induce the owners to bring the same into
the Scheme of the Society. One of the largest
owners was Paul C. Gonsalves, and were it not for
his willingness to bring his lands into the Scheme
and for the personal influence he exerted on other
owners towards that end and for his readiness from
time to time to agree to certain proposals of the
Society, it would have been very difficult, well nigh
impossible, for the Society to secure the lands which
it has now acquired.
The Society purchased some lands and persuaded
other owners to agree to bring their lands into the
Scheme but the difficulties in the title of the owners
loomed large and the only solution was for the
Society to apply to Government for the acquisition Prof. J. F. R. D’Almeida
of the whole area under the provision of the Land
Acquisition Act, so that the lands would be free from Photo Courtesy: Golden Jubilee BEIA
encumbrances and other complications as to title.
The government was pleased to give favourable WITH PAPAL BLESSINGS:
consideration to the application and extended the Leo Rodrigues (Extreme Left)
provisions of the Act to the area required by the
Society and gave over possession of all the lands to
the Society pending the acquisition.
The first road to be constructed was Perry Road,
named after the very popular Collector E. W. Perry.
The Government contributed towards the cost of the
construction of that road as it served to give access
to the lands in the Danda Government Scheme. The
Scheme, however, was vast, the total area involved
being 69 acres, and the resources of the Society
being limited, several years elapsed before progress
could be made, in spite of the strenuous work of
F. A. C. Rebello, Ignatius D’Monte, Leo Rodrigues,
and Prof. J.F.R. D’Almeida, all once Presidents
of the Bandra Municipality, of Dr. P. A. Dias, the
then Chairman of the Society and President of the
Municipality, of J. R. Athaide and others. It was
only five years after the formation of the Society,
when the members who, despite the uncertainty
of the security, continued to bring in funds by way
of deposits and the members of the Managing
Committee personally guaranteed the repayment of
Rs.65,000 that the construction of the other roads
could be taken up.
At the time the Society was formed, the land all
comprised fields, in many places not better than a
bog. Today the whole area is the prime residential
area of Bandra covering over 250 plots.
The authorities of St. Andrew’s took up a plot
measuring nearly 5 acres and erected its magnificent
school known as the St. Andrew’s High School,
retaining the remainder for its playgrounds, now
the pride of Bandra and the envy of several other
educational institutions. The establishment on the
grounds of that school, which was formally opened
Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
by Sir Leslie Wilson in 1927, one IN THOSE DAYS:
of the most popular Governors, St. Martin’s Club now known as the
gave a great impetus to the work
and is doubtless a valuable asset Bombay Municipal Corporation
to the Society.
The lands having been acquired Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
and the roads marked out, the
Society was in a position to EVENTFUL OPENING: The
divide the lands into plots and electrification of Bandra
give leases of the plots to its
members. Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
In 1929 an arrangement was arrived at between
the Society and the Municipality of Bandra whereby
the Society lent Rs.40,000 to the Municipality to be
repaid in 10 years, the Municipality undertaking to
lay the water mains in the grounds of the Society
and build Pali Market. The Municipality also took up
some lands and erected Pali Market.
In 1930 the Electric Supply Company extended
electricity to the grounds and the members had all
amenities for suburban residences.
For years together, J. S. Pereira carried on the
arduous duties of Secretary of the Society with
great credit to himself and
to the satisfaction of all its
members. In 1931, because of
his appointment to the post of
Principal of the Dr. Antonio da
Silva High School at Dadar he
had to give up the Secretaryship
but his interest in the Society
and its affairs continued
unabated. He was the Hon.
Secretary and Treasurer of the
Gymkhana and his outstanding
capacity for work, tact and suavity of manners was
always an asset to the Society and the gymkhana.
Looking back on the history of the Park and the
Gymkhana it may be said that from the very
beginning it was felt that a Scheme like this must
have by way of amenities not only educational
institutions and playgrounds, but also a Park
and Tennis Courts in order to keep pace with the
intensive sporting activities of the times. The Society
therefore resolved to have a Park with Tennis Courts
attached to it.
With that object in view the Society entered into
negotiations with Dr. D.A. D’Monte in the hope of
obtaining from him, 6,600 yards of land of which
about 2,600 yards belonging to the Society could be
laid out as a Park, to be known as the Dr. D’Monte
Park a portion then being used for the purposes
of Tennis Courts and a Gymkhana. All the layouts
accordingly provided for a Park and Tennis Courts.
Negotiations between Dr. D’Monte and the Society in
reference to the Park and Tennis Courts seemed to
have come to a head in 1927. As is not uncommon,
however, certain difficulties cropped up in the course
of the final arrangements, and as the years rolled by
the feeling grew that the object which Dr. D’Monte
and the Society had in view would not be met unless
in addition to the Park and the Tennis Courts there
was a Pavilion in which badminton could be played
in all seasons and which could also house a Billiard
room and a Reading room and provide a meeting
place for members and their families. The result was
that Dr. D’Monte was good enough to part with more
land and only a year before the inauguration of the
gymkhana, arrangements were completed, whereby
Dr. D’Monte gave to the Society 7,592 yards of land
in all, of the value of about Rs.35,000 the Society Lord Leslie Wilson at the inauguration
adding its own land measuring about 3,400 yards, function of the electrification of Bandra
thus bringing the total area to 11,000 yards.
The Society retains for the Park proper 5,200 yards Photo Courtesy: Marie D’Souza
and has leased 5,819 yards to the Trustees of the
Bandra Gymkhana which came into existence in
1934, the Gymkhana erecting a Pavilion on 2,700
yards and utilizing the remaining 3,100 yards for
The large open Park, the extensive Tennis Courts,
and the erection of the Pavilion on its grounds are
incalculable assets to the Society, and will always
bear eloquent testimony to the happy termination of
the negotiations with Dr. D’Monte.
With inputs from the 1935 Bandra Gym Inaugural
Photo Courtesy: Warren Fernandes 30
Objectives Of The
The Bandra Gymkhana was a creation of The
Salsette Catholic Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. as
evidenced by its Indenture of Lease dated 4/05/1934
which was for (a) A member of the Salsette Catholic
Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., and of the family
of such member, (b) A member of the Bombay East
Indian Community and the family of such member,
and (c) Associate Member, Casual member and
We compliment the Bandra Gymkhana on completing
75 years on the 4th of May 2010. The Salsette
Catholic Co-op. Hsg. Soc. Ltd., has contributed to
development in Bandra since 1918. The Society has
• Planned and executed the Kantwadi Scheme
in 1920, comprising 70 acres of land, and
demarcated and developed 200 residential plots
and the land for Pali Market, St. Andrews School
and Holy Family Hospital extension.
• Constructed roads and loaned Rs.40,000/- to
the then Bandra Municipality for providing storm
water drains and electricity in the Kantwadi
• In 1935, on land donated by the late Dr. D. A.
D’Monte, The Bandra Gymkhana and D’Monte Park
were established as amenities for the Society’s
• Purchased the land for Virendra Colony on B.J.
Road and Duruelo Convent High School in TPS III
• Constructed the Bank of India building on Hill Road.
• Constructed three residential buildings in the
• Administered the Nirmala Colony properties on
behalf of the Basilica and now handed back vide
A.G.M. Resolution dated 9 August 2009.
• Permitted plot holders to construct multi-storeyed
buildings and form sub-societies within the
• Instituted the Platinum Jubilee Scholarships for
academic achievers, a medical aid scheme and a
Holiday Home scheme.
• Built the D’Monte Park Recreation Centre for the
Salsette Society members and the members
of Societies within the Society who have duly
registered and assigned their Co-operative
• The Society does not allow the use of outside TDR
on any of its plots in the Kantwadi scheme unless
generated from the Kantwadi scheme itself.
• The Society has expanded its vision recently,
joining St. Sebastian Homes Co-operative Society
Ltd., Virendra Sahakari Griha Nirman Ltd, in
fighting jointly and in coordination with our
elected representatives, to repeal the high N.A.
Taxes and succeeded in getting a Stay Order
dated 12 August 2009 from the Hon’ble Chief
Minister. Further, joined various other societies
of Bandra, Khar and Santa Cruz on the issue of
the exorbitant rate of N.A. Taxes, addressed at a
meeting held on DPRC grounds on 27/03/2010,
which was finally stayed by the Hon. Revenue
Minister, brought up on the floor of the house by
our MLA, Baba Siddique in April 2010.
Father of Co-Operative
- by Robin Saldanha
A man simple in appearance, with austere habits, a noble mind,
and a magnanimous heart, whose formidable work for the
Catholics speaks of his selfless dedication and welfare for the
community at large.
Francis Anthony Cyril Rebello was born in 1863 at Kallianpur (South Kanara). He
graduated from the University of Madras in 1883. He came to Bombay in 1886
after three years of service at the Office of the Accountant General Madras, and
joined the same office in Bombay. His abilities drew the attention of the successive
Accountant Generals who marked him out for rapid promotions. He retired in 1921
as Accountant General of Bombay. He was also appointed a Justice of Peace and
“If today a large number of Catholics in Greater Bombay are in a
sound economic position, possessing their own houses, clustering
around churches and schools and deriving much benefit from
their investments in property, it is due to one man who devoted
his whole life to the economic and social uplift of the Catholic
Community. This man is F. A. C. Rebello, the grand old man
of the Catholic Community, the Father of all Co-operative
movements among Catholics in Western India,” says Dr. Cosmos
It is difficult to list the numerous Co-operatives and Societies which
have flourished under his initiative, diligence and expert advice: credit,
housing, educational, religious and agricultural in Honavar, Dharwar,
Belgaum, Pune, Bassein, Bombay and Karachi. He founded the following
Co-operative Credit Societies: Salsette, Mangalorean, Karachi, Karwar
and Poona, The Bombay Urban Co-operative Credit Society (now Citizen
Co-Bank) and Bassein Catholic Co-operative Credit Society Ltd (now
Bassein Co-operative Bank).
A firm believer that the Catholics should possess their own land; he founded
various Co-operative Housing Societies: Salsette, St Sebastian’s, Mangalorean
Garden Homes and St. Anthony’s, Chembur and Dharwar. The Bombay Catholic
Co-operative Housing Society Ltd, at Santacruz was in chaos after F. L. Silva left
Bombay and Mr. Rebello’s valuable services were required to reorganize it.
The Salsette Catholic Co-operative Agricultural Association had bought large areas
of land at Sahar, for its members to start their own farms. The Government later
acquired the land for the airport. He also founded the Nasik Catholic Sanatoria,
which built several cottages as holiday homes at affordable rents. He also acquired
large tracts of land at Nasik for subsidized Catholic housing.
He was the first man in the then Presidency to apply co-operative principles to
education and founded the Bombay East Indian Co-operative Education Society
and the Mangalorean Education Society. His assistance to religious orders was
immense. He gifted his home at Mount Mary’s to the Franciscan Hospitalier Sisters,
and stayed as a paying guest at P. V. Domingo’s house. He donated another plot of
land at Santacruz to the Sisters of St Theresa’s Convent and his land at Damaun to
the Bishop there. A man of much landed property, including a
1500 acre coffee estate in the south, investments in a rubber
estate in Malaya and large tracts of land in the suburbs of
Bombay, he could have lived a luxurious retired life but chose to
work for welfare of his Catholic brethren. As a person who made
the maximum use of the time given to him, his motto in life was
“Laborare est Orare”.
He organized the First All India Catholic Conference in 1920 at St
Xavier’s College, Bombay and the 2nd Conference at Old Goa in 1922.
The result was the birth of various Catholic organizations to promote
and safeguard the interests of the community.
He was Chairman of the Bombay Catholic Workers Organisation and Mgr
Pera its President. He formed several Committees for the working of the
BCWO, an Educational Comm’ to look after the welfare of the schools in
the Diocese, a Catholic Young Men’s Assoc, which established two youth
hostels in the city, a Women’s Guild, an Employment Bureau, etc. The
Government recognized his services and decorated him with the Kaiser-I-
Hind in 1933.
Mr Rebello was a confirmed bachelor but took on the arduous task of
educating his brother Peter Rebello’s 13 children with strict discipline and
values. All the Rebellos distinguished themselves in their respective fields. The
youngest, Sr. Marie Alex, ICM, in a convent in Madras will be 100 years old in
Mr Cyril Rebello, who passed away in November 1934 “was an
outstanding figure among the Roman Catholics of India and a great social worker”,
according to The Times of India.
Of Memoirs and Messages
1934 - 1938 Presidents of
Dr D A D’Monte
1938 – 1943
D J Ferreira
Dr D A D’Monte D J Ferreira
A graduate from Brussels and Sir Dominic J. Ferreira, was a leading
London, Dr. D.A. D’Monte was Solicitor, and a partner in the firm
presented by the Secretary of State Daphtary, Ferreira and Divan. A
for India to Queen Victoria in March Member of the Bombay Legislative
1886. The first East Indian to serve Assembly and a Government nominee
on the Bombay Legislative council, in the Legislative Council and the
he was a member of the Municipal Bombay Municipal Corporation, he
Corporation of Bombay for over was also Chairman of the Salsette
35 years and was President of the Society. He was a Knight Commander
Bandra Municipal Board. A Justice of of the Order of St. Sylvester.
the Peace and Hon. Magistrate, he
was created a Knight of St. Gregory Photo Courtesy:
the Great in 1925. The D’Monte East Indian Golden Jubilee Souvenir 1887-1937
Park was his everlasting gift to the
Gymkhana and the Salsette Society.
The Bandra Gymkhana
1943 – 1953 1953 – 1959 1959 – 1962
Leo Rodrigues J S Pereira J R Athaide
Leo Rodrigues J S Pereira
Leo Rodrigues was a Solicitor and J.S. Pereira was the Principal of St.
Senior Counsel practising on the Andrew’s School. As Trustee of the
Original Side at the Bombay Bar. He Bandra Gymkhana from its inception
was Administrator General and Official till his death in 1978, he was
Trustee of Bombay, and also the painstakingly diligent in executing his
President of the Bandra Municipality duties and was largely responsible
for several terms. He became a for the layout of D’Monte Park, the
Member of the Legislative Council tennis Courts and the Pavilion. He
after independence. He was conferred was also the Gen. Secretary of the
the title of ‘Knight Commander of the Bandra Gymkhana in its nascent
Order of St. Gregory the Great’ for his years. He was conferred the title of
services to the Church. ‘Knight Commander of the Order of
St. Gregory the Great’ for his services
to the Church.
J R Athaide J.R. Athaide (popularly known as ‘Robbie’) was an advocate
and one of the pioneers of the Salsette Catholic Co-operative
Housing Society, being its first Hon. Secretary and thereafter
its Chairman. A member of the Bandra Municipal Board for
several years, he also served on the Standing Committee.
1962 – 1963 1963 – 1965 1966 – 1970 1970 – 1973 1973 – 1975
J S Pereira J T Ferreira
N J Alvares J S Pereira J T Ferreira
J T Ferreira Aloysius Rodrigues
J T Ferreira was a Solicitor and Aloysius Rodrigues was a Marine
partner of the firm Daftary Ferreira Engineer with Scindia Steam
& Dewan. He was an active member Navigation and retired in 1965. After
in the Billiards and Card room and retirement, he devoted his time to
popularly known as Pop. He was also the betterment of the Gymkhana.
the Trustee of the Bandra Gym.
Photo Courtesy: Ajit Rodrigues
Hyginus Correa was a
well known Advocate and
drama was his forte. He
was a Municipal Councillor
for a number of years.
The Bandra Gymkhana
1975 – 1978 1978 – 1980 1980 – 1984 1984 - 1986
Aloysius Rodrigues Hyginus Correa H J D’Penha Roger C B Pereira
H J D’Penha Roger C B Pereira
H J D’Penha (popularly known as Roger C B Pereira is the Chairman & CEO of Roger Pereira
‘Harry’) was Principal Information Communications Pvt. Ltd. He is also the Convenor of the
Officer to the Government of India Collaborating Chambers of Commerce, Co-Chair of The
and Chief Censor during 1975-77. British Business Group; Vice Chairman & Member of the
He retired as Chief Press Advisor to Board of Governors: Bombay First; He is an Advisory/
the Government. Board Member of St Elizabeth’s Hospital, St. Xavier’s
College & P.P.E.S. (U.P.). Formerly Roger was a Founder,
N J Alvares CEO & MD of R&PM:Edelman; Burson-Marsteller Roger
Pereira; the President, CEO & Director of Shilpi Advtg.
N J Alvares was President from 1962 Ltd.; the Advertising Agencies’ Association of India and
to 1963. The Advertising Club, Bombay. He was also the Founder
President of The International Advertising Association
(India Chapter) & member of the International Board of
Directors, New York and USA in addition to being a
Co-Founder & Chairman of The Advertising Standards
Council of India and the list goes on.
Roger has had the distinct honour of being President of
the gymkhana during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations
in 1985 and is currently the Chairman of the Platinum
Jubilee Celebrations Committee as also being newly
appointed as Trustee of The Bandra Gymkhana.
1987- 1990 Presidents of
Raphael B Donald
1990 – 1994
Col Donald Stanley
Raphael B Donald Col Donald Stanley
Raphael B Donald was Jt. Secy. Col J D Stanley (popularly known
(Retd), Government of Maharashtra as ‘Donald’) retired in 1970 as
– Urban Development Department; Commandant of the Maratha Light
he has been one of the founding Infantry Regiment and has now
members of the Bombay Catholic settled in Belgaum.
Sabha and Chairman & President
of various social and charitable
The Bandra Gymkhana
1994 – 1995 1995 - 1996 1996 - 1998
Ajit Rodrigues Norysca Wassoodew Hyginus Correa
Ajit Rodrigues Norysca Wassoodew
A graduate of IIT, Bombay, Ajit Norysca Wassoodew has been one
Rodrigues earned a Master’s degree of the first ladies to be elected by
in Engineering from Cornell University topping the polls and assuming the
and thereafter a Master’s degree in post of Hon General Secretary and a
Industrial Administration from Purdue double honour when she became the
University (U.S). Upon returning first lady President.
to Bombay, he established Artech
Instruments and Controls Pvt. Ltd.,
which manufactures electronic
instruments. He has been a Trustee
since 1981 and is the present
Chairman of the Salsette Catholic
Co-operative Housing Society Ltd.
1998 – 2001 2001 – 2004 2004 – 2006
Michael Ferreira Raphael B Donald Aurelius Mendes
Michael Ferreira Aurelius Mendes
Padma Bhushan Michael Ferreira A versatile man was Aurelius Mendes.
B.A., L.L.B, is a 4 times World God fearing and down to earth he
Billiards Champion, 7 times National was one of the youngest presidents
Champion, holds 14 World Records the gym ever had. His love for sports,
and winner of the Shiv Chhatrapati cultural activities and socials and his
Award, Dronacharaya Award, Padma voice at sing alongs was the life of
Bushan & Arjuna Award. the party. He ran a successful travel
and tourism company and traveled
all over the world. He was taken to
his heavenly abode at an early age;
during his second term as President.
We miss his joie de vivre at the
The Bandra Gymkhana
2006- 2007 2007 - 2010
Fabian D’Souza Neil D’Monte
Fabian D’Souza Neil D’Monte
Fabian S D’Souza has a degree in Neil D’Monte is a proprietor of a
Textile Engineering from Victoria forwarding and clearing firm Unitrans
Jubilee Technological Institute of Freight International and was on the
the Mumbai University. He is the Parish Council team of St. Theresa’s
Managing Director of an Indo- for two terms.
Japanese Textile Engineering
Company; ENS Spindle Manufacturing
Pvt. Ltd. Fabian has traveled
extensively over the world both for
business matters as well as personal
From the Platinum Jubilee
Jubilee - Roger Pereira
I t was sometime in the early ‘50s. The
Chief Guest at the inter-school Elocution
Competition was delayed. Mrs Ettie Rodrigues, to
keep us, mischievous schoolboys and girls busy,
asked us to write essays on: ‘If I was President of
the Bandra Gymkhana!’
Twenty-five years ago, I happened to be the
President of this great institution. And I tried
recalling what all had we wished for. Of course,
aspirations change through the years. But, there
were two constants. Being as good as the best
in the city. The Bombay Gymkhana was my
ideal, then. It used to host the Aga Khan Hockey
tournaments that I loved watching. And having our
very own swimming pool. The Bombay Gymkhana
didn’t have one then!
The visionary and hard-working team that has
been at the helm of the Bandra Gym has achieved
this. And much more! Market feedback is always
the best barometer. Twenty-five years ago, there
were very few who sought my assistance to
become members of this institution. On the other
hand, I received several requests for membership
of the club by the sea because the promoters
were very good friends.
Today, as we celebrate our Platinum Jubilee, isn’t
it wonderful to see how things have changed?
Phenomenally! Becoming a member of this
Gymkhana is now # 1 on the priority list of most
non-members living in the queen of the suburbs. Indians and expats.
During our Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, let’s raise a toast to Cornel K.
Gonsalves, Raphy Donald and their teams. As I had said in my personal message
to Cornel when the new facilities were completed, when I was President, 25
years ago, we could only dream of what we have today. Cornel and his team
have even surpassed the dreams that Raphy, Ajit and I had 25 years ago.
Raphy, till recently, and Ajit for a long time to come, have been the continuing
links. And let’s not forget architect Shashi Prabhu’s contribution. The mock
Tudor style gives the whole structure a touch of class.
Twenty-five years ago, I requested my dear (now late) friend Josie Mendes to
design a logo for our gymkhana to reflect our communication goals. The theme
we had chosen was: Love, Peace, Harmony. Over the last 25 years, if there is
one thing that’s crystal clear, it was that the message hasn’t worked. So we
thought that whilst we should not give up, we must try another route. So we’ve
suggested we leverage our heritage. If our parents and grandparents could
get together as a community and create this wonderful institution 75 years
ago, what stops us, the current generation, from taking it to further heights?
Together? Now that the recent Managing Committees have provided us such a
wonderful head start!
Once the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations are completed, we will move towards
the next phase of our new ‘corporate’ id that will be designed to capture the
spirit of the renewed 75-year-young Bandra Gymkhana.
When I was first requested to chair this distinguished committee, we kept thinking
and wondering what can we do to make our Platinum Jubilee Celebrations really
memorable. Cornel, Leon, Denita, Naomi, Joanne and their teams are experts
in devising events that will be special. Then Darryl got this brilliant idea of
roping in Neale Murray and his Fountainhead to add memorable entertaining
value. We need to give each one of them a warm round of applause in gratitude.
One of the ideas we came up with was to commemorate the first 75 years of our
Gymkhana and the last seventy-five years of our beloved Bandra. As an idea,
terrific! But when we looked at the cost estimates, we nearly gave up. Thanks
to Darryl, Cornel, Leon, Naomi, Joanne and their teams, we have something
to remember this very special occasion. Something we’ll love to share with our
grandchildren. And they with theirs. God bless our Gymkhana, each and every
one of our members and their families. Ad multos annos.
MESSAGE Celebrated Past…
FROM Greeting The Future
- Ajit Rodrigues | Darryl D’Monte |
Ajit Rodrigues Roger Pereira
Darryl D’Monte S eventy five years of existence is by
any yardstick is an achievement for any
Roger Pereira institution. The Bandra Gymkhana has flourished
and expanded much in these years, and yet, has
never strayed from the aims and objectives laid
down by our founding fathers. We can indeed be
proud of our heritage.
The running of the Bandra Gymkhana has not
always been smooth sailing. It has had its share
of trials and tribulations. There were lean years
when finance was a major issue, but these
were overcome by the resilience, endurance,
perseverance and dedication of the office bearers
during that time. Turbulent times have been
overcome by the goodwill of members.
The splendid facilities that we enjoy today are
the fruit of the hard work and perseverance
of a large number of dedicated office bearers
who have served us over time. For years the
Gymkhana was compelled to run on shoe- string
budgets. While the need for enhanced facilities
was always recognized, this had to be balanced
with the ability of the community of members
to bear the costs. Prudent financial planning
culminated in the opening of the new facilities
two years ago. For this we owe tremendous
gratitude to the dedication and competence manifested by the projects
The Gymkhana has a number of achievements it can be proud of. From
its inception it became the centre of sporting, social, cultural and literary
activities in Bandra, its layout and facilities greatly enhancing what could
only be village level activities before. Sporting activities flourished, producing
over the years even world champions such as Michael Ferreira in billiards,
and players of national stature in tennis, badminton and table tennis. The
The Gymkhana has a number of achievements it can
be proud of.
annual suburban tennis and badminton tournaments conducted by the Bandra
Gymkhana were among the best run tournaments in Bombay and attracted
the best of players and dignitaries. On the literary and cultural side the
Bandra Gymkhana was renowned for its well organized debates, symposia,
variety entertainments and musical functions. The Inter-school Elocution
Competition soon became and continues to be the most respected event of its
On the social front the Bandra Gymkhana is second to none. It has always
provided for and organized dances, socials and get togethers which have over
time become the most sought after events to attend. The Gymkhana has also
provided the premises for celebration of marriage receptions for its members.
In fact, we can happily boast that hundreds of happily married couples met
their life partners at functions organized at the Bandra Gymkhana!
The Gymkhana today has ample facilities which make it the meeting place in
Bandra. Though primarily a Catholic club, the cosmopolitan ambience clothes
it with a unique cultural identity that is refreshingly egalitarian and which we
must strive to preserve.
On this 75th anniversary, we celebrate the past and greet the future with a