Gaspar Almeida’s straight forwardness and ethical behaviour stands out among the vibrant Goan and the Indian community! There is hardly any Goan organization left where he has not contributed or assisted in some way or the other – be it for sports (football and cricket), cultural or social. “You see several Goans now in the forefront, he confides, “well, I nominated, groomed and guided them” over the years! He studied at Victoria High School, Mahim-Bombay and completed S.S.C.E. St. Joseph’s High School, Arpora-Goa at the age of 14 years, and later graduated at DM’s College of Commerce, Mapusa-Goa. Gaspar landed in Kuwait in 1981 directly with the M.S. Al-Essa Group. His father, Geraldo G. Almeida worked in Kuwait since 1961 for the same establishment. At this time he received training through Pitsman’s Institute London, and later joined M.A. Al-Kharafi Industries and Establishments. Presently he works as the ‘Department Head’ for M.A. Al-Kharafi Group’s international marketing division. He is simple, frank, open hearted, fast at the keyboards and a dedicated person, always in the forefront! It is these attributes that helps him to assist the community and through his social contacts.
Together with Ulysses Menezes of www.goa-world.com website, they pioneered the only online Konkani international music station in 2000, and the first Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter – the finest having the largest subscriber base for the Middle East-based Goans in 1994.This tall and resourceful Goan was hand-picked for a special guest appearance role in the first Konkani e-cinema “BLACK” produced by the award winning director T-Bush. He was also the lead publicists with Gasper Crasto for the film. “Computer technology changes at lightning-fast speed. So it's no surprise that the way computer generated images depicted on the silver screen has developed rapidly in recent years”. And “BLACK” has created history for Konkani cinema, propelling it in futuristic film genre as envisaged by T-Bush Films International.
Gaspar is the longest elected Hon. General Secretary of the Goan Welfare Society (GWS) – a unique record to-date for any Goan. “I am elected ‘unopposed’ always”, he coyly smiles. It’s a rare honour for this Goan who is known for his simplicity and style. He has immensely contributed towards scores of Goan/Indian organizations including Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) as Vice President and earlier Gen.Secretary, as President of Saligao Sports Club (Kuwait), as Secretary of Young Goans Association (Kuwait), Member of Goans International Worldwide – a cyber organization since 1995, as committee member of CRY-Child, Rights & You–FOCC Kuwait Chapter, as member of Writers Guild Kuwait, and as coordination committee member of India’s 40th anniversary celebrations in Kuwait, and PR & Exhibitions Coordinator in Kuwait and Lebanon, among others.
Events like ‘Goa Day’ in Kuwait has been promoted by him, and he fondly claims that it was through the internet media and the www.goa-world.com website team that this concept has now taken wings and is organized now in the Middle East, Europe, Australia, India and the Americas annually. A special mention has to be made on Gaspar - He assisted scores of Indians in the post-invasion period to get their previous assignments and jobs to many new comers. It was by sheer opportunity, having stayed back during the occupation period that he was able to do this yeomen service specially to the Goans in Goa and Mumbai.
Writing for Konkani and English publications in Goa and Mumbai, Gaspar says his favourite Konkani magazine is ‘GULAB’ – now in its silver jubilee year, and the Konkani weekly “V-Ixtt” and he loved Khuswant Singh’s articles and RK Laxman’s Cartoons. “I have been reading Konkani magazines like ‘Dor Mhoinneachi Rotti’ since I was 8 years”, he recollects. We are the third generation subscribers to this periodical! My favourite Indian English newspaper is “The Indian Express”. Having contributed for English newspapers in Kuwait covering Goan/Indian sports, cultural and social events, Gaspar has also been nominated as the representative/special correspondent for Middle East Construction – a U.K. based trade publication.
The best article penned by him in English titled “Another Sunday” depicting a short family story – summing up a day’s throughfare based on his village lifestyle in Parra, Bardez, has been translated in over 15 Indian languages including Konkani (in three scripts), Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, etc. and also in French. He says. “I will publish it in print some day” when more translations are done. Presently it is online in ‘blog’ format and on several online writers’ websites. He likes to contribute to websites such as TGF www.thegoanforum.com, www.daijiworld.com, www.mangalorean.com and www.colaco.net which promotes Goans and Konkani. “At www.goa-world.com we are happy to have promoted several English and Konkani writers/poets/ contributors and small business endeavours of Goans in Goa and abroad since 1994”. As an example, he mentioned having contributed to a historic research paper “Goans Away from Home – Migration to the Middle East” by Fatima da Silva Gracias –Lusotopie 2000”!
Having had the opportunity to visit many European, Middle East, Asian and the CIS countries during his official business visits and holiday tours, he says “I like ‘Cyprus’ and the lifestyle of Cypriots”. They have vast similarities to the Goans in all walks of life.When asked for his views on the Goan community in Kuwait, Gaspar proudly says, “Goans, have craved a name and prestige among our Kuwaiti brethren especially in business and the services industries. Goans have excelled in important positions as administrators/quality control managers in contracting companies, engineers/ technicians/planners in construction and consulting enterprises, professionals/ marketing executives in trading, IT and consumer products industry, doctors/nurses/ medical professionals in hospitals, blood bank, health centres, as school principals and teachers, photographers, as executive/services personnel in the airline, travel and hospitality trade, and not to forget the services of those in the domestic sector since the early ‘60s!”
He has always strived to improve the Goan and Konkani image – more importantly of that of tiatrists (stage artistes), composers, sportsmen and musicians. He has been known to have countered those who create ripples and controversies in the community. “I go out of my way to get the facts right”. When questioned if these had any impact on him personally, he laughed, “You see, I have no enemies of my own making”.
To a curious observer, many-a-times one sees him as ‘special invitee’ at social and sports events and Konkani dramas/musicals, both of the professionals and the amateur lot. “I like to call a stone a stone”, his well known popular remark sums it all. And it is very much evident when he is specially called in to write a review for the press and internet media.
His wife, Dorothy DeSouza Almeida, excelled in studies being a second state ranker at the higher secondary Goa Board exam while at St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa-Goa. Presently, she works as Administrator cum Business Development Co-ordinator for Parsons Brinckerhoff - International Engineering Consultants, having worked earlier for the British Business Forum (BBF) as Administrator.
They are blessed with two children, son Dwane John and daughter Charmaine Melrose studying in Jabriya Indian School. While Charmaine is a studious girl with flair for painting and writing, Dwane is keen about cricket and sports. Gaspar enjoys life with full satisfaction and once back in Goa, wishes to establish a specialised PR firm to promote Goa’s leisure industry. It’s his ambition and I wish him the very best.
A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem.
This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the www.goa-world.com website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.