Mervyn & Elsie Maciel
2011-09-07 08:20:17 UTC
I am at a loss to understand where Gabe got the idea that I,
("the good Bwana-Karani-Boran) and the dusky Shashtikar
(should this not be Shashtikan?) -"talked and an idea was formed"
This assumption is miles away from the truth.
The fact of the matter is that the oral history project, had already
the support of the Royal Geographical Society and historian and good
friend Dr. Margaret Frenz, and I was then asked whether I could enlist the
support of former colonial officials of the Kenya Administration. I was only
pleased to oblige, and being a member of the Kenya Administration Club
here in the U.K., I approached a former District Commissioner who,
his own delight at the project, had no hesitation in supporting it.
While I agree that someone like Stella, who has first hand East African
experience, could well have undertaken the job, I must say, in fairness to
Selma, that she, with no experience there, *can and will do* an excellent
job with the support of the community at large. One has only to refer to her
masterly work,"Into the Diaspora Wilderness"
to see how, someone who has never set foot on East African soil, was
able to record so much of our own history in those lands.
As Goans, we should be proud that some individuals(me excluded!) have
taken it upon themselves to record and preserve a slice of our past for
the benefit of future generations. Oral history is so important and it is a
pity that none of us felt the need to record such stories earlier, even
though, many years ago, I had encouraged our Goans to come forward
with their experiences. This was after my wife and I were interviewed
by the BBC for a television programme. We were latterly also interviewed
by the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, and
finally, by the ABC network of America. Our stories are housed in
It is a pity that when some from among our community volunteer
to take on such tasks, we are so lacking in support.