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from A Veronica Fernandes, Kuwait

Kuwait, Aug 22: Members of Goan community closely associated with the late Johny Misquith Suratkal, who died last week in his home town Mangalore, mourned the death of their colleague and friend by organizing a condolence meeting in Kuwait City on Monday, August  21.  The meeting was attended by friends, colleagues and well-wishers of Johny Suratkal, including Mangaloreans, namely, Kuwait Canara Welfare Association vice president Ida and former president Lawry Pinto. 

Everyone who attended the condolence meeting described Johny Suratkal as a genuine Konkani-lover and kind-hearted man.  Fidelis Fernandes, president of Konkani Heritage Kuwait, speaking first eulogized Johny Suratkal for his enormous contribution to the development and promotion of Konkani in Kuwait and assured of any help to keep Johny's memory alive.  He also assured of his assistance on behalf of KHK and also on his personal behalf in case any move is made to help his family back home in Mangalore.  Similarly, Elvino Rodrigues, president of Kuwait Konknni Kendr in his speech highlighted the plus points of Johny Suratkal towards his cooperation to KKK in the promotion of Konkani language. 

Ida shared her sentiments on her personal rapport with Johny Suratkal who was one of the founders of KCWA and how she enjoyed working closely with the departed soul in the promotion of activities towards the cause of the community.  Lawry Pinto, a very close friend and associate of Johny Suratkal, expressed his deep sorrow over this sudden death.  Having returned from Mangalore where he had been to attend to the funeral of Johny Suratkal, Lawry described the entire proceedings during the funeral and assured the gathering that something would be done to help his family.  I personally feel such sincere and dedicated activists and genuine Konkani lovers who neglected their personal and family affairs and embraced literary pursuits should not be ignored.  It is the duty of the community to assist Johny Suratkal's family in whatever way they can since Johny Suratkal was the only bread-winner. 

Rosary Ferns, a renowned Tiatrist and singer with tears in his eyes, disclosed how deeply he was shocked to hear of the death of Johny Suratkal and in case any move is made to help his family back home, he said his contribution would be certain. Earlier in the beginning, Mario Rebello conducted the prayer for the soul of the dead.

A Veronica Fernandes while compering the proceedings described how Johny Suratkal helped to bridge the gap between Mangalorean and Goans thru Konkani.  He also described Johny a great journalist and a Poet of high repute. 

In his death Veronica said Konkani lost a great stalwart and questioned thus: will we get again such a decent, nice, dedicated and sincere Konkani Mogui?


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