About Catholic Gymkhana
The year 1912. A meeting of ‘the Catholic Community’ was held in the Goan Union School Hall, Dabul on Saturday, 5th October to consider the Goverments offer of a site for a Catholic Gymkhana.
Mr. Frank Oliveira B.A. L.L.B., Presidency Magistrate of Bombay was unanimously voted to The Chair.
At this historic meeting a resolution was passed tendering ‘the grateful acknowledgements of the Catholic Community in Bombay to Government for the generous grant of a site for a Catholic Gymkhana, which grant the said community hereby accepts’. Thus was born The Catholic Gymkhana.
A Provisional committee of some eighty members was formed and there were close to ten meetings between 5th October, 1912 and December of the same year, with Mr. Frank Oliveira always in the Chair, of the ‘provisional committee’.
The ‘committee’ went about their tasks of framing rules and encouraging folk. Sometime in early January, after officially taking over the plot and measuring it they sent a letter of thanks once again to the Government for giving us ‘300 sq. yards over and above’.
At a General meeting held on 29th May, 1915, which was attended by more than 40 persons it was proposed that there be a ‘Managing Committee in lieu of the provisional committee’. Mr. Frank Oliveira continued as ‘Chairman’ and held the post until 11th December 1928 when he resigned from the Managing Committee.
There were a series of Chairmen in the next decade or so and the enthusiastic members of the Managing Committees that followed did a great deal to improve the facilities and introduce a social and sports culture .
The Catholic Gymkhana was soon in the forefront of all sporting, cultural and social activities, and its membership grew.
In the early seventies the building as we know it today was built during the tenure of Dr. J. Leon D’Souza who often described the Gymkhana as ‘my baby’.
The Gymkhana, by now, was well known for its excellence in sports – Football, Hockey, Billiards, Cricket, Badminton, Tennis, etc. The Christmas and New Year’ Eve Dances and other social functions at The Gymkhana were legendary.
Mr. Angelo G Pereira took over the reins from Dr J. Leon D’Souza. During his tenure much work was done to improve the interiors of The Gymkhana. In the year 1993 Mr. Norman J. D’Silva was elected President and was arguably one of the most popular Presidents that The Catholic Gymkhana had. The good work initiated by the previous managing committees continued under his leadership. In 1993, Dr. Victor F. Rodrigues took over as President of the Catholic gymkhana right until 26th September 2012. Mr. David C. Gomes took over as president from 27th September 2012 till date.
In the past decade or so The Gymkhana has seen a sea of changes. Today, The Gymkhana boasts of a state-of-the-art 3500 sq foot Air-conditioned hall, A popular air-conditioned Party room., A terrace [Roof Top] Garden, which is The Gymkhana’s pride. There is a well stocked Bar, A Diner and a Lounger on the first floor. Members can avail of Indoor sports facilities like Badminton, Air-conditioned Billiards & Snooker, a well appointed Card room and a Gymnasium with steam bath facilities.
Regular Sports activities, including it’s very popular Annual Athletics meet, Football, Hockey, Rink Football, Inter club cricket, Cultural functions, like singing ,instrumental ,and art competitions and social sessions like Karaoke evenings, Music nights and Housie make The Catholic Gymkhana a home away from home for many.