ON THE DEATH OF GEORGINA JAQUES By A. Veronica Fernandes, Kuwait

With deep regret and shock I pen down this obituary on the recent death in Goa of Georgina Jacques on 4th of this month. When she was young she was the Jewel of Emisora de Goa during Portuguese time. After the exit of Portuguese rule in Goa, Emissora de Goa was changed to All India Radio Panjim, Goa.
As a young school boy of Primary level at Escola Primaria de Abade Faria, Candolim, I was the great admirer of Georgina Jaques’ beautiful and melodious voice. She was also a very good Tiatro artiste at Emisora de Goa. Every week during those golden days, Emisora de Goa used to air three Tiatros a week, each Tiato of 30 minutes duration. As an enthusiastic boy I was very much longing to see her in person but was finding next to impossible because during those days to go from my home village to Panjim Altinho at Emisora de Goa was like going to China. That was the beautiful era of beautiful ‘Caminhao’ travelling. Finally my wishes thru the practice of telepathy at an early age worked very well and I got the golden opportunity to see her in person at Emisora de Goa.
Besides schooling at Portuguese school in my village in the morning, I was also doing my schooling at Escola Parochial in our village Church where I was a member of our Church Choir. Being the youngest boy of our Choir with males and females, my vocal chords were helping me to sing beautifully. I was at my best in singing Motets and because of this distinction I was selected by our Choir Mestiri, Santan Desouza as a member of our Choir to record 3 Motets and one solo ‘Veronica’ song – "Ecce Vidimus", all in Latin. This recording programme was done at Emisora de Goa , Altinho Panjim somewhere in 1959 under the leadership of our Mestiri. Our local Pe. Cur from Chinchinnim Pe. Marcos Menezes supervised the whole programme.
After finishing our recording few of us had an opportunity to witness the recording of Konkani songs by Emisora troupe where I saw Georgina Jacques singing as the lead singer the Konkani version of 'Marina – Marina – Marina'. Along with her for chorus were Jacinto Vaz, Alen D'Costa, Johny Sylvester, Baldino Araujo, Young Menezes, Dioginho D’Mello, Ansu Rodrigues and others. Antoninho (Anthony) D'Souza the music director of Emisora De Goa was conducting the whole affairs and to see him directing by moving in opposite directions both his hands with meticulous precision and maestro’s rigidity was superb. This song was very beautiful, earlier I heard from Sinquerim Aguada Pakles the Portuguese version of this song. This song in Konkani goes like this:
Marina – Marina – Marina, sobit tuje dolle gharxe.
Marina – Marina – Marina, sogllech tujea mogan zaleat pixe.
Tontte kudde tirse, nodor martat palxe,
Punn tum anxe sodttai oxe, oh Na – Na –Na –Na – Na.
Soglech tujea mogan, tum polletai ragan,
Ani zabab ditai lagan, oh Na - Na - Na - Na - Na.
The other song I saw Georgina reording on that day was the "Dulpod" along with Izmenia D’Mello, Dioginho D’Mello, Jacinto Vaz, M. Dod de Verna, Baldinho Araujo and others. The Dulpod was in the form of "Duologue", lead singer being bother and sister Izmenia and Dioginho D’Mello and conductor was again Antoninho D’Souza. He was strict in his job. It goes thus:
Sodanch eun zonelar bostalem,
Kon go tem, kon go tem
Tuvem taka choilam go,
Na
Choilam go,
Na
Noureak apoitana .......
It was a great opportunity at that young age for me to see those great musical giants and Herculean singers. They are now gone forever from our midst either thru death or thru old age and thru their going All India Radio, Panjim is become rubbish compared to what it was as Emisora de Goa.
Now coming back to Georgina Jaques singing prowess, she was one of the female singers and Radio artistes along with her other female colleague Ansu Rodrigues, brightened the image of Emisora de Goa which was sought by Goans of all walks of life not only in Goa but also in other parts. Georgina Jaques was not only a beautiful singer but more than that she was beauteous spot among the young girls of her era. Beauty had in her voice, beauty had in her body. She must be a young school going girl during that time and yet performing as a regular artiste at Emisora de Goa means something extra ordinary and that too in the company of Goa’s giganatic Konkani Stage artistes namely Baldino Araujo, Dioginho D'Mello, Jacinto Vaz, Young Menezes, M. Dod de Verna and Kid Boxer. Goa and Konkani Stage is yet to produce such Himalayan artistes. The weekly schedule for her was very tight and at that young age she was coping up means really great.
Government of India owes her 3 months salary which was not paid to any of those Goan artistes employed at Emisora de Goa by the Portuguese Government, from October to December 1961. In view of the forcible annexation of Goa by Bharat, all the financial obligations of the invaded land falls on invaders, that is Bharat of "Fotting" Nehru of "Fotting" Congress Party.
In 1959 the great Goan Mandoist Cruz Noronha from Siolim came down to Goa from Bombay for his vacation. While on holiday he met his "ghaum bhau" Antoninho D’Souza who encouraged Cruz Noronha to record some of his precious Mandos and Dulpod at Emisora De Goa. Cruz first declined citing non availability of a good female singing partner in Goa of his choice. Antoninho immediately recommended the name of Georgina Jaques and when Cruz Noronha gave her audition test, Cruz Noronha was highly impressed by Georgina’s superlative singing talent. Finally with Georgina Jaques during his short vacation in Goa at that time, Cruz Noronha recorded 10 Mandos with Dulpods, all most beautiful, all most charming and all most excellent. For these 10 Mandos Cruz Noronha was paid Rupees One thousand by the Emisora de Goa. This was the highest amount paid to any artiste in Goa during that time by the Emisora de Goa.
After finishing the recording at Emisora de Goa with Georgina Jaques, Cruz Noronha who was our close relative, told my father in my presence that "If I had to know earlier in Goa there is such a magnificent female singer, I would have come to Goa every year to record more Mandos and Dulpods". Such was the rich compliment given to Georgina Jacques by the great Goan musician, singer and Mandoist Cruz Noronha who was known then as Cruz Jajwala since he was playing Drums in his own band.in Bombay.
Georgina Jaques rightly deserves such a rich compliment from such a rich musician Cruz Noronha. Georgina, "Bhoini Moje", in your death Goa lost one great female voice.
May your soul rest in peace.

3 comments:

A to Z said...

My condolences to Georgina Jaques family. She was very talented and brought up a beautiful family. WE WILL MISS YOU GEORGINA JAQUES. May your soul rest in peace.

Ajaques21 said...

Thank you for your kind words, it was nice to read so much about my mother. I am her eldest son and feel really proud reading your article.

Trevor said...

May future generations forever remember her rich contributions to our culture.

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