Mangaluru, Feb 4: Pompei Youngsters Club (PYC) of Our Lady of Pompei Church – Gurpur Kaikamba will be celebrating the golden anniversary of its existence with a grand valedictory ceremony on the Sunday, February 5 at the Our Lady of Pompei Church from 4 pm onwards.
"We have planned a beautiful and magnificent spiritual and cultural programme on February 5, to conclude the glorious celebrations of the 50th anniversary year of our beloved Pompei Youngsters Club," says Lawrence Praveen Lobo, head of the PYC Golden Jubilee Celebration Steering Committee, a businessman, investment expert, and managing director of Lawrence Lobo Financial Services. "Throughout the golden year, we organized some fabulous programmes and attractive events to unite the old and present members of the club and also to offer opportunities to exhibit the talents of our members and parishioners,” he adds.
Pompei Parish of Gurpur Kaikamba was established in the Mangalore diocese in the year 1921. Though the parish had many talented youths since its beginning, there were no organized set-ups to direct the youths to hone their talents. As per the available records, in the year 1936, around 50 Pompei parishioners came together to play volleyball and other traditional games. In 1967, under the guidance of the late Fr J S T Rodrigues, a youth organization titled ‘Jolly Club’ was formed to present Konkani and Tulu dramas, organize singing and elocution competitions, etc. The late Stany Pinto, Mudare, a high-profile sports personality of that time, was the president of the organization. Richard Rodrigues, famously known as ‘Richa Master’ was the mentor of the club.
The present-day Pompei Youngsters Club commenced its glorious journey in the parish on November 23, 1973, under the guidance and blessings of the late Fr Gratian L D’Souza, the parish priest. In fact, there were a few talented and vibrant youngsters who wanted to come together under one banner to showcase their talents and also present the entertainment programs for the parishioners. The late Steevan Pinto, a talented actor and social activist, led a few of these enthusiastic youngsters of the parish and became the first president of the Pompei Youngsters Club. Arthur Menezes and Valerian Peres were the secretary and honorary treasurer, respectively. "Our beloved Pompei Youngsters Club was formed by a few talented, enthusiastic, and energetic youngsters of our parish in 1973 to offer opportunities to showcase their talents and unite them under one umbrella," says Valerian Peris, one of the founder members of the Pompei Youngsters Club who later years of his life served as the president of the famous Mangalore Konkans, Dubai. "A few like-minded friends gathered, discussing constructive thoughts and possible avenues of starting a youth club in our parish. We narrowed down a few suggestions on the name and finally decided to name it as Pompei Youngsters Club. With the blessings of Pompei Mai, backing from our then parish priest, the late Fr Gratian D’Souza, we started the organization in one of the classrooms of our Pompei Higher Primary School,” he says.
From that humble beginning in the year 1973, the Pompei Youngsters Club has grown to become one of the finest youth organizations in the Mangalore diocese. During the last 50 years, it has been instrumental in inspiring the many youths of the parish to shape their futures and careers. Numerous programmes like sports events, singing competitions, distribution of school books to the poor children, Christmas celebrations, arranging youth workshops for talent development, and presenting Konkani and Tulu dramas were organized by the Pompei Youngsters Club during the past 50 years.
The grand golden jubilee valedictory celebrations of February 5, under the able direction of Fr Rudolf Ravi D’Sa, present parish priest of Our Lady of Pompei Church and director of Pompei Youngsters Club, will commence at 4pm with a thanksgiving high Mass by Msgr Lawrence Maxim Noronha, vicar general of the Mangalore diocese, as the main celebrant. The high Mass will be concelebrated by many prominent priests of the diocese and neighbouring parishes. With the generous contributions of the donors, well-wishers, and especially the past members of the Pompei Youngsters Club, a memorial project has been built near the church and it will be inaugurated after the holy Mass.
Msgr Lawrence Maxim Noronha, vicar general of the Mangalore diocese, will be the president of the felicitation and cultural programme on a specially decorated stage that will follow after the Holy Mass. Retired Justice John Michael D'Cunha, the famous permanent judge of the Karnataka high court and past member and president of Pompei Youngsters Club in the early 1980s, will be the chief guest. There will be many distinguished dignitaries gracing the occasion as the guests of honour. All the past presidents of the Pompei Youngsters Club will also be honoured during the programme. There will be a hilarious Konkani drama, ‘Kuvaleachi Vaal’ written by Amar ChaFra presented by PYC youths. Delicious and sumptuous dinner will be served after the programme.
The full programme has been meticulously planned by of the Golden Jubilee Celebration Steering Committee under the leadership of Lawrence Praveen Lobo and James Daniel D’Souza as the convener and co-convener respectively.
Pompei Youngsters Club’s executive team members of this year with their president - Austin Pinto, secretary- Reena Crasta and animator - Joel Pinto are actively leading the preparation of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
Finally, James D’Souza says, "I am sure that it will be a magnificent re-union of old and new members of the Pompei Youngsters Club. We expect many old members traveling from abroad and faraway places to attend this great and unique programme. This programme will be one of the best in the history of Pompei Youngsters Club."