All that I Am ~ by J. Alan Goveas


© Legendary Musicians of Karachi

Category ~ Legendary Musician of Karachi

Music for me started when I was about 11 years old way back in March 1960; at the time I was living in Saddar.  My Dad planned a family vacation to Goa and Bombay.  It was in Goa at Mapusa, where I picked up my first instrument a “PUCK HAMONICA”.  As time passed I could play a few songs and slowly realized I had a natural talent, what I like to call a gift from God to play by ear.

I would play the “DRUMS” by sitting on the bed and kicking my heels against a “‘TRUNK” under the bed and beside me was a small cardboard suitcase (which I use to carry my books to school) I used for a “SNARE DRUM” and for a cymbal I used a STAINLESS STEEL PLATE (in which I still eat from).

The drum was played with my right hand, while in my left hand was the harmonica which when played together, would sound like a “ONE MAN BAND” from afar.  At times, I would put rubber bands around a book, strum on it and that was my ‘make believe’ guitar and sing-along.

In 1964, when our family moved to Our Lady of Fatima parish; I met Roland D’Souza and George Green who played the piano and guitar respectively.  We formed a small pass-time band.

We asked our (then) parish priest, Rev. Fr. Kieran Smith to help us form a band, which he willingly encouraged and supported by obtaining donations and instruments from America.  Soon the first parish band was formed by the name of “THE YOUNG ONE” with Desmond Saldanha on the Rhythm Guitar, George Green on the Bass Drums, David on the Drums/Piano, Gabriel Rodrigues on the Accordion, Julius Saldanha on the Piano, Alex D’Souza on the Drums and Tambourine, Roland D’Souza on the Piano/Guitar and myself on the Harmonica/Drums.  We performed at many private functions; weddings, concerts, Midway House Hotel and twice a week for our parish tombola and also for the Fatima senior choir for Sunday and special masses.

Musicians like Alan D’Souza, Bosco D’Souza and Michael Pascal were very hard working young lads and would volunteer just for anything and at any time. These three young men became the shinning lights that would light a blaze in the hearts of many and many generations to come, that’s when I decided to teach our kids music who showed interest and formed the 1st Girl Band of Fatima Parish  “THE BUTTERFLIES” consisting of Marian Pereira, Ludy D’Lima, Ela Lewis, Margaret de Andrade, Cryslan Fernandez and Betty Paulius.


At parallel was a younger group of girls that formed a junior band called ‘The Noise Makers’ and for the boys a band group called “THE FABS”. The Butterflies performed for Christmas at Radio Pakistan, Parsi Weddings and Naujot Parties at Hotel Metropole.

The Drifters
Watching Sohail Rana’s TV programme with children singing, I was inspired to organize the “St. Dominic Savio Choir“ under the patronage of the club which exists till today.  The musicians were Alan D’Souza, Bosco D’Souza, Michael Pascal, Allen James, Terrance Gervesiaus, Malcom Joseph. The choir performed at Aged Homes, Dar-ul-Sakun, Holy Family Hospital, Karachi Goan Association, Karachi Goinkars Academy, Pakistan American Cultural Centre where Mrs. Asma Ahmed, Director for Cultural Entertainment  supported me a great deal.  I directed numerous live Christmas and Easter pageants, and a play called “The Story of Fatima which was staged at the Holy Family Hospital Auditorium on 28th October, 1983.While all this activity was happening I became a Night Bird and joined Peter Paul’s Band (May his soul rest in Peace) called “THE CAPTIVATORS” where Peter Paul was on the Lead Guitar, Mario Rebello on Drums, Terrence Simpson on Rhythm Guitar, Allan Alboque Left Hand Bass, Mr. Gomes (May his soul rest in Peace) on the Saxophone, Dawn Davis  – Crooner and myself on the Key Board.  We played at the Village Restaurant, and at Midway House and still recall the time during the 1965 War we carried on playing at Midway House while the war was going on at the request of the Management.  Also, played at Hotel Metropole (Samar).  I still play at Pearl Continental hotel alongwith Ralph D’Aranjo, Ferdinand Goveas and Melvin Clements.
For the kids I was just a simple Gardener who sowed the seeds on a fertile ground and allowed the seeds to bloom.  My advise to the kids was always to “DO YOUR BEST, AND GOD WILL DO THE REST”I have passed on my music to my three sons, Ferdinand, Gratiano and Giles who not only play at Church for the services, but also for informal gatherings, weddings, banquets, five star hotels and some of the top bands in the music industry of Pakistan.
This article was published when Alan Goveas was still living in Karachi

8 thoughts on “All that I Am ~ by J. Alan Goveas

  1. Nice write up. Truly you have spread talent among the children and children who are adults now. Continue the good job Alan.

  2. We still remember when you used to give your precious time to us to come and visit janniville and teach all the kids i still remember those days. i wish time would have not past so fast .Uncle Allan i am really thankful to you for all what you have done for us .

  3. It was a real shock to hear of Alan’s passing away. A beautiful soul he had so much to offer besides music. Always full of life and a pleasant personalty. May his soul rest in peace. He will be sorely missed. God give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss. Amen

  4. Alan was a kind big hearted and simple person, natural talent where music is concerned, his sons will carry on his passion for music . R I P

  5. Thank you Alan for your dedication, passion & love for music. You will live on in the lives of the musicians you have touched. Eternal rest grant unto Alan O lord, may perpetual light shine upon him & may his soul rest in peace. Amen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s