The History Of The Goan Overseas Association
Author: John Nazareth
Date: 2012-06-20 15:33:20
Category: all categories
Metatags: African Diaspora, Christian, Immigrant, Indian, Indian Christian, Resilience, South Asian, Toronto


Goans have traditionally been a highly socialized community, forming socio-cultural clubs wherever we go. Our roots are social, emanating from our traditional village system of government (or "communidades") in Goa that continued for over 1000 years - well after similar such systems were destroyed in the rest of India. In Ontario, this penchant for organized social lives has manifested itself in the Goan Overseas Association (GOA), which is celebrating 25 years since its inception. It is the vehicle through which Goans express their collective joys and aspirations. Hence, its activities tend to be all-encompassing: social, cultural, sporting and welfare (looking after the unique needs of its troubled). The GOA is highly democratic association with an elected Executive (through sometimes vigorous campaigns) and a strong tradition of accountability to its members.


Twenty-five years in the life of an association is a matter of pride and joy. Beginning as a defined body in 1970 with just a few members, the Goan Overseas Association has now grown into a full-fledged organization of more than 1100 members representing at least 4000 people - or over 40% of the Goan community in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This is one of the highest participation rates among non-religious cultural organizations in the country. And so it is hard to imagine its humble beginnings.


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