Jackferns Dry Cleaners – Ensuring your creases are stiff and straight
What can be so exciting in a story about a laundry. This is a narrative of hard work, and diligence to keep the home fires burning.
Joaquim Santan Fernandes was born in 1937. After his schooling at the Catholic Education Institute that had its premises in a place where the now current Apna Bazar is located and thereafter to a premises above the Bank of India on Swatantra Path.
In 1950 he joined the Salgaocars as a khalasi in the first of their barges that started operating in Goa.
In 1960 he got a job at the airport in the aircraft maintenance section .
However Liberation in 1961 necessitated his shift to an alternative avenue of economic sustenance.
Joaquim started a laundry catering to the washing, ironing, dry cleaning and dyeing requirements of the citizens of this town. He started his operations in a garage in the Gladstone building and thereafter shifted to the Guia Building which was constructed some years later.
In the early days of his operations the washing was done at the Housing Board Colony at Baina. Joaquim used to carry the heavy load of clothes on his bicycle to and fro. For dyeing cloth and garments he used to make a trip to Mumbai which he combined with his purchasing for his general store. He has now shifted his working area to Dabolim where he resides.
Life in the early days was tough. Heavy coal irons were then used, and washing was done manually. Things are easier now with washing machines and electric irons.
Joaquim reminisces on the times gone by. He recalls that he used to pay his labour 10 paise for a shirt and 25 paise for a three piece suit. He now needs to pay several hundred times that amount to get work done. Moreover labour is now difficult to get too.
Joaquim Fernandes is a man of many colours. He used to organise Tiatr shows in Vasco from the 1990s upto 2012 at the Natraj Theatre and the Damodar Hall in Vasco. Demand for his shows was good but he always felt the need for a good hall in Vasco.
Joaquim Fernandes has weathered the storms and enjoyed the calm days of his eventful life. He is an example of the quintessential vintage Vascoite, who have in their own modest way contributed to the wellbeing of our town.