Maximiano Paes – Recounts the past glory of Vasco and its Clock Tower
Our appeal for citizens to join in the effort to Save the Vasco Clock Tower and restore it to its former glory elicited an eager response from a senior citizen of the neighbourhood.
74 year old Maximiano Paes, (Maxi as he is known by friends and family) has been living in this town since childhood and began working here from 1959. He recounted his experiences of the Vasco of yore.
He did his B.Com graduation from Pune in the pre Liberation era. He joined the Chowgules in 1959 and a year later joined the Salgaocar Group. He retired as a Senior Accounts Executive from this organisation. He recalled his experience of being stopped and questioned at the Polem border check post, when he was coming home on holiday from college, as a Gandhi cap was found in his baggage.
Did you know that Mother Theresa had visited Goa? Maxi had the unique fortune of being part of the team that received her at the airport and was greeted and blessed by her.
Maximiano is a man of courage and fortitude. Citizens may recall the gruesome incident of murder and robbery at Dabolim on the night of 7th July 2011 by a gang of armed men. It was Maximiano’s wife who was killed in that incident and he himself was grievously wounded with severe head injuries. Maxi has miraculously survived this trauma and tragedy with considerable equanimity.
He had vivid memories of the Vasco Clock Tower in the days when it chimed every hour and showed the time with accuracy. The chimes could be heard all around town and at twelve noon it chimed twelve times. He recalls that there was a clock maintenance mechanic who looked after the mechanism and wound the clock spring every week. The clock was functional for many years after Liberation until the mid 70’s. It’s maintenance seems to have discontinued subsequent to the expiry of the maintenance mechanic.
Maxi remembers that as young boys they used to go into the tower to see the clock mechanism and a big pendulum swinging inside and would be shooed out by the watchman on duty in the market.
Maxi recalled that the Clock Tower and the adjacent and surrounding precinct was a very well planned area. No encroachments or illegal structures or stalls were permitted in the area. The vegetable market was in the open space in the inside courtyard of the structure and the fish and beef, pork and mutton stall was located around this precinct. He recalls that there was a spring on the location that now has a temple which was then an open space.
“This Municipal market structure was considered one of the best public market in South India”, says Maximiano Paes.
Can we now restore it to its former glory?