Lured by the sea… and its stories


It sounds near unbelievable, but 700 Goans died in fatalties in the high-seas during World War II alone.Thanks to the research of Cliff J Pereira , you now have detailed accounts of how many Goans died on which ship.
(For instance, 61 Goans died on the British SS Khadive Ismail, sunk in 1944 by a Japanese submarine, 63 aboard the British SS Rohna destroyed by German aircraft fire in the Mediterranean, 60 aboard the MV President Doumer, flying the flag of Aden, and sunk by a U-boat in the North Atlantic in 1942, 44 aboard the British SS Calabria (also sunk by the German U-boat U-103 in the North Atlantic under Captain Shutze and so on. Goans were killed aboard British, Indian, Norwegian, Dutch,Hong Kong, South African,Egyptian and even a Kenyan Ship — the SS Oltania II.)
Take a look at this fascinating story of the Britannia pieced together by journalist Melvyn Misquita.
But Goa’s history with the sea is not just connected with World War II, or even just the 20th century. It goes back to beyond the Portuguese period.
Guess what? Drawn by strange stories and the lure of the sea, a network of Goans of a younger generation are working to set up a cyber maritime museum. Together with Melvyn, one of the moving spirits behind this initiative is Cliff J Pereira. Read a longish story about the work he’s doing and why his interet here.
Mario Alvares is one of those who’s behind this initiative and he’s the person behind Goan.Name genealogy site. The XCHR, the Xavier Centre of Historical Research, is also backing this initiative. Besides this foursome, also present was Cecil Pinto, and myself, for the first meeting that got underway.
It resulted in the launch of a Goa Maritime Museum mailing list. There’s space for a lot more to come up here.

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