The Goan Association of New Zealand (GOANZ) completed its 21 years of establishment this year and will host its annual general meeting on Saturday, March 10, to evaluate its performance for 2017 and plan for 2018.

GOANZ was established in May 1996 and has since aimed to foster the welfare of the community and promote the cultural knowledge, traditions and customs of the Goan community in New Zealand.

The association is looking forward to having more engagement with the community in 2018 by organizing more events for both the youth-children and the elder members of the Goan community. GOANZ current team is headed by Calisto Vaz as the president, Milton D’Souza as the treasurer, Maria Crasto as secretary and Sushila Pinto as the coordinator of the association.

The association since April 2017 organises a community mass every two months on a Saturday night at St Therese Parish in Three Kings followed by a fellowship in the parish hall accompanied with light refreshments.

The community also celebrated World Goa Day at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall on in August last year and Goa’s patron saint, St Francis Xavier’s feast earlier in December 2017. The feast began with a Holy Mass hosted by two Goan priests in New Zealand, Fr Cyprian Fernandes from Dunedin and Fr Raphael Lobo from East Coast Bays Parish in Auckland. Both events saw over 300 people, mainly GOANZ members and a few from other Indian communities present there.

GOANZ Committee (Picture Supplied)

The association will hold its first mass for this year on Saturday, March 10 followed by the AGM and will call out to the community looking for at least 6-10 members to form a sub-committee.

The association plans to hold a soccer tournament in the first half of 2018, World Goa Day social and dance in August, a picnic in October, talent hunt for GOANZ children and seniors, and St Francis Xavier’s feast mass in the first week of December followed by a mini-fair and a fun Goan Carnival in February 2019.

GOANZ has recently signed an agreement to sponsor a Konkani radio show called ‘Susegad Danpaaron Planet FM 104.6, every month over the next financial year. The show is hosted by Richard Miranda, Hector de Souza and Baptist Lobo, the trio called 'The Good Guyz' and is broadcast on Planet FM every Saturday at 3.45 p.m. and is available online too.

Community members can join GOANZ and can email their information to goa_nz@yaho.co.nz before June 2018.