Mangalore, the official organ of CASK, launched in 1927, has an unbroken record of publishing to this day.
An insight into its survival and growth.
Mangalore, the magazine, first saw the light of day in July 1927. The Association had by then been in existence for 13 years under the Presidentship of Bishop Paul Perini and under three Vice Presidents, Rao Sahib A.J. Lobo (1914-17), Joachim Lawrence Saldanha (1917-20) and Rai Sahib E.C.M. Mascarenhas (1920-28) who, in his penultimate year as Vice-President, took over as the first Editor of the magazine. The following year, Rai Sahib E.C.M. Mascarenhas was succeeded both as Vice-President and as Editor by Dr. L.P. Fernandes, who held both positions for the next 14 years.
From the start, Mangalorewas intended as the organ, not merely of CASK but of the community as a whole – not necessarily residing at the home town, Mangalore. The early issues covered activities, chiefly of a statistical and financial nature – membership, subscriptions, grants for elementary education, scholarships for higher studies, etc. There were reports of activities of other associations, educational institutions etc. Letters to the Editor were a staple feature from the start, the very first from Ceylon. Short news items would be grouped together in features such as In and Out of News and Notes, whereas more significant pieces of news might merit several pages in the magazine – for example the award of the Knighthood of St. Gregory on S.L. Mathias in December 1927 and the consecration of Valerian D’souza as the first native Bishop of Mangalore in February 1928.
Within a year of its launching, the magazine was already making its way to Mangaloreans abroad, as is seen in a letter published in the April 1928 from a CASK member in Basrah, Mesopotamia. The issues of the 1930s are replete with news of Mangaloreans in the Presidency capitals of Bombay and Madras, both of which had already formed their own associations which, likewise, survive to the present day. There were also occasional news items of Mangaloreans in other parts of India….and the world. The June 1935 editorial dwells on the Quetta earthquake that took the life of two family members of a Mangalorean, John Isidore Lobo – his Chinese wife and their youngest son. The March 1936 issue reported on a Mangalorean wedding in Dar-es-Salaam (Aloysius Tellis&ElfreidaAlvares). Further afield, in Ireland, Dr. A.J. D’Abreu was a regular contributor to the magazine; he had joined CASK as a life member in 1917 and he kept in touch with the home town till his death in 1971. His widow, Lucy, is still alive in Scotland -aged 112 – and will complete 113 in May (This was in 2005).
Another major objective of Mangalore was to create an awareness of our historical background and distinguished ancestors. Many eminent scholars contributed historical articles to the magazines, even series of articles such as Peeps into the Past. These historical articles, despite being secondary sources of information, were of considerable value to me (Dr. Michael Lobo) in building up the history of our community – especially with regard to the 19th century, a period for which few primary sources of information are in existence.
In 1942, Dr. L.P. Fernandes was succeeded by Rao Sahib A.L. Pinto both as Vice-President and Editor, who in 1945 was, in turn, succeeded in both positions by his brother, Dr. P.P. Fernandes. M.S. Sreshta became the first Lay President of CASK in 1951. Also, in 1949, for the first time, the two duties were separated, Cyril Gonsalves taking over as editor, a position he held till 1956 when he was succeeded by Chevalier Aloysius Kannappa who had earlier held the position of President, CASK (1952-54) – succeeding M.S. Sreshta. Then, in 1961, for the first time, the duties of Editor were handed over to the CASK Secretary: J.F.B. Frank (1961-67), Lawrence Pereira (1968-72). During this period, much of the real editorial work was carried out by Michael Saldanha.
For a few years, in the 1970s, the editorship reverted to the President: J.M. Lobo Prabhu, but from 1977, it has been chiefly in the hands of the Secretary – with or without the help of an editorial board. F.J.M. Pinto was Secretary /Editor from 1977 to 1983 with an editorial board comprising – at different times, Miss Mary Agnes Saldanha, Mrs. Enid Saldanha, Professor Charles Saldanha, Mr. J.J.V. Fernandes, Mrs.Irene Lobo and Mrs. Rosemarie Albuquerque. Oswald Kamath took over as Secreatary/Editor in 1983 and Dr. Anthony Mathias in 1986 with Mary Agnes Saldanha staying throughout as a leading member of the editorial board – and writing most of the editorials. In 1989, the platinum jubilee year of the foundation of CASK, Mr. F.M. Menezes, retired Asst.Commissioner, took over as President of both CASK and the editorial board. Since 1995, the magazine has been in the hands of a single Secretary/Editor: as per the list below.
Whereas individual editors have naturally impressed their own stamp on Mangalore, the overall contents have not changed significantly since the magazine was founded in 1927 – a blend of news items, historical and biographical articles, and some features of general interest – the focus being the Mangalorean Catholic community. The magazine is now in its 78th year (86 now) – something of a record.