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A million dollars will not make the celebration of Christmas the same this year as it has been in years gone by. With the Pandemic still raging and making human affection difficult to express, today more than before. It is indeed going to be difficult to reach out in the same way we did last year yet everyone around is the same only a year older, a little more frail or forgetful or may be still the age that Santa would bring a gift for me….or will Santa be around this part of the world this year with all the international travel restrictions?


With jobs gone, income drying up and meeting needs becoming difficult Christmas isn’t very high on the lists of “things to do”. Homes have become the only place for a little bit of fun and engagement with the family but “Homes” have a different connotation when we speak of those who find it difficult to have a “meal a day”.   This may seem a pathetically exaggerated picture but sadly it’s a true picture for many of our community. Our idea of sitting back on a sofa and sipping a cup of tea is a pleasure probably only replicated with the sky as the roof. Children have been away from school many home from boarding school and in homes which are already bursting at the seams overcrowded and inadequate, academics have taken a beating and with the inadequate means at their disposal taking classes online are a luxury on a smart phone which is probably a third party hand down with a screen now disfigured and worn out keypad where our kids need to learn their alphabet every time they need to key in a response to an examination question.


Making a Difference at Christmas is going to be easier today than ever before as there are more families who will need A “Gift of Love” at Christmas. At CAISS we are organizing this for at least 200 families. We received support from across the world. More than ever before people gave that little bit extra at Christmas.

We invited all of the 200 plus families to come to the to the office which was specially decorated to collect a special dry ration and an extended Christmas Hamper which had all the Christmas goodies including candy, chocolates, cookies and the very famous 2lbs of Christmas Cake "baked by Yvonne and Jessie". All of our families got a special Christmas gift generously donated to us by Cosmos Hockey Club from Malborne and their friends. This was enhanced by the Canadian Social Service for Anglo-Indians. Everyone missed the lunch and fun of the day but we tried to make up for it with a relaxed tea and snacks at the Centre.

CAISS also share the sprit of Christmas with all those who support us in the city by sharing some cake and good wishes at a time it was difficult to meet at the festive season. The CAISS family also met for a dinner with staff and their families and this was the one occasion that everyone met at this festive time.

Christmas 2020 will be remembered for sometime now and we HOPE that 2021 will bring a new dawn.



The Pandemic made our catch line Reaching Out with Care even more meaningful yet it meant we needed to walk that extra mile. We needed to reach out to those who needed us. In this strange situation that we find ourselves across the world today we have the opportunity to reflect in the quietness of our hearts about the many blessings we have and have taken for granted, things we do not turn back to thank our Creator for, our families and friends, our work, our resources, our homes, our vehicles, our phones, our food and this list will go on. The fact that we can take a walk outside which today is a privilege is something we never accounted for in our balance sheets.


With the images we see in the media today which send a chill down our spine we do need to thank God for his many blessings on us.


Today, more than ever before we at CAISS find ourselves completely inadequate in reaching out to our community and those who need us at this time. The needs simply overwhelm us and thus our response will always be incomplete and stretching ourselves thin is the only option to meet at least some of the most emergent needs.

CAISS has been able to respond to the situation by reaching out to the poorest of our families and have been able to go out to the homes of our seniors to give the rations. We have given 140 rations to families who needed it most. We have also given around 200 dry edible rations to the homeless on the street. The need continues to rise as the lockdown continues.


We at CAISS need to take utmost care at this time as the target group of this programme are seniors above the age of 60. This being the most vulnerable group identified at this time we have had to close down regular distributions and resort to door to door visits where ever possible. We managed to secure special permission for a vehicle to travel during this time and were able to reach out to a number of the families we assist at this time.

CAISS has been able to respond to the situation by reaching out to the poorest of our families but with limited funds we were unable to reach out in a way we would have liked to. Our seniors were in a most difficult situation during this time with the restrictions of the lock down. With the spiralling case loads and the numbers hitting the roof we at CAISS were forced to keep suspended the regular  distribution activities however we were able to continue out outreach activities to families at their homes. This too was dangerous as we were putting ourselves at risk while we travelled across the city.


Having to deal with the most vulnerable group of those above 60 at this time we had to be extra cautious. We were able to reach out to 70 families at this time.


We were fortunate to work with the Ministry of Disaster Management and distribute rations and other articles to around 100 families apart from our regular families. We were also able to mobilise cooked food which we were able to provide to those on the street. The Youth Members of our committee were able to come out and help with this outreach programme.



An ecumenical thanksgiving service was held at the iconic St. James’ Church to celebrate World Anglo-Indian Day on Wednesday the 2nd of August at 5.30 PM IST.The service was coordinated by The Calcutta Anglo-Indian Service Society here in Kolkata and held in collaboration with the International Federation for Anglo-Indian Associations and the Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations in India, this was the third edition of this unique hybrid mode service which brought Anglo-Indian leaders and members of the community together from across the world.

The service was presided over by Clergy from different churches both Catholic and CNI and again from across the globe as Fr. Brent Otto joined in from the US, Fr. Nigel Pope from Australia and Fr. Nicolas Dias from Delhi while Fr. Pat Walsh, Fr Orson Wells and Fr. Shreeraj Mohanty led the community in Prayer in the Church assisted by Suprotim Chatterjee the deacon at St. James’ Church.

The Service was Prayerful and Solemn especially while remembering the people of Manipur and the recent developments in Haryana.

Leaders and Members of the community joined in to pray for the various intentions and give thanks for the many blessings the community has received over the past year. Mr. Gordon Maher President of the International Federation, Dr. Charles Dias President of the National Federation and Mr Barry O’Brien President in Chief of the All India Association shared their message and brought greetings on the occasion, a message from Mr. Derek O’Brien MP was also read out at the service.


We are indeed grateful to Mr. Gordon Maher the President of the International Federation and his team for joining us and mobilizing the folk in Australia to join the service. We are grateful to Joy Gasper who helped us communicate with the partners of the federation across the world and who joined the service to say their prayer or bring greetings from across the continents. We thank Mr. Joe Bailey, Mr. Rod D’Croix, Mr. Peter Lovery, who participated in the service.

There was a very meaningful inclusion in the offertory prayers while acknowledging the unique nature of the community members of the congregation add a rose each to an empty vase on the altar which was then offered on the altar signifying the collective commitment to come together with all the differences which may be there and offer to God a single symbol of our unique identity.This Service was a wonderful opportunity for the community across India and the world to connect to celebrate their unique heritage and culture and join in the efforts being undertaken to take the community forward into the future.

The Convenor of CAISS Mr. Colin Fitzgerald thanked all those who had supported this initiative to bring people together and all the two hundred guests and members present at the service for joining in to celebrate the occasion with the community, especially Mr. Derek Fernandes and the Choir for adding solemnity to the proceedings. Mr. Farrell Shah and Ms Maria Fitzgerald for handling the technology that kept the entire diaspora connected.

The service was unique in more ways than one and will definitely be a permanent fixture to the annual calendar of Anglo-Indian celebrations acting as a reminder to all that this small yet vibrant community which has contributed greatly to the building of this country remains resolute and strong in facing the challenges of the future together as ONE.



The Christmas season always brings along with it a special feeling as it arrives each year this Christmas was extremely special as we were out of the lockdowns Covid 19 was now a manageable reality and things were getting back to normal. The buying, shopping, giving and getting new things had begun, the parties and not to mention the food & the rich plum cake were a few of the things everyone was looking forward to.

At CAISS apart from thinking about ourselves at Christmas, the society reached out to its members & beneficiaries with a full throttle schedule of programmes at Christmas. The ability to make time for someone else, to ensure a smile on their face, even if it was for a  moment or two during the ‘rush’ of the season is indeed rewarding in its own way. It is with this in mind that we organized the following events during the Christmas season.

Seniors Shout out & Tea /Distribution of Jumble

Sunday 4th December 2022

CAISS Office

The Christmas feeling was ushered in as early as 4th of December when CAISS organized the Seniors Day for collection of  Assistance and Tea along with this was the Jumble Distribution for our beneficiaries at the CAISS office from 10 a.m. onwards. Usable items such as old clothes, household articles, shoes & bags were distributed. We express our sincere appreciation to all our members who generously donated items thus contributing as much as they could & to all our youth who volunteered their service to ensure the distribution of Jumble went off smoothly.


Christmas Bornfire

St.James’ Church Vicarage Lawn

Saturday 10th December 2022

It was that time of the year again, the season of good will, the feeling of love and togetherness. Preparations had begun well in advance. Even for the second event of this season, the “Bonfire and Carol Evening”

The St. James Church Vicarage lawn was lit up for the event. It was after two years of the restrictions that we once again welcomed our members and their guests as we came together to enjoy the evening.

Once most had gathered on the lawns of the church the bonfire was lit. When everyone had gathered around, the fire was lit from a string coming down from the as if from nowhere. It looked as if a shooting star came and gave light to our bonfire. Another beautiful spectacle it was. Throughout the whole evening we were entertained with games and fun. Of course the lit up Christmas tree caused a furore and one of the games that evening was to guess the number of lights on the Christmas and the young and old devised all the means possible to reach the magic number 200 to 3500 was the guessing range that says it all. We are indeed grateful to our singers for the evening who rose to the occasion and lifted the spirits of everyone present that evening. Noel very kindly organized the food for the night and of course no need to mention it was a finger licking dinner which was served to the people with a hot soup as the pre cursor and the very vastly famous “fruit cake” the best kept CAISS secret recipe specially baked by Yvonne & Jessie (this year of course Jessie added an Australian finish to it) served as desert. The typical continental food was food for the soul for all the foodies. To sum it up in a sentence, it was a great way to start the festive season.


Christmas Carnival

Dilip Maat, Picnic Garden

Friday 16th December 2022

The annual CAISS Carnival was given a miss sadly more because of a lack of manpower than anything else but we did join together with the Catholic Association of Bengal to have a wonderful Christmas Carnival at the Dilip Maat in the heart of Picnic Garden 5 p.m. onwards. Apart from raising funds to meet expenses of various outreach activities of the Society, the Carnival brought people from all walks of life to work as a team, fostering a sense of unity and togetherness. The Carnival began with a prayer by Fr. Orson Wells the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Vailankanni Church after which it was declared open. There was a footfall of about 1200 people this year who enjoyed the delicious food items that were on sale ranging from pastries to patties, momos to puchkas and chilly chicken to vindaloo. The stage was set a blaze with some of the best of Calcutta’s singers entertaining all present.  Adults and children alike tried their hand at various games that had been organized at different stalls set up by CAISS. A wild fire stall that was organized saw many people trying their luck at the gifts that were on display. A few people were lucky to carry back exciting prizes. Clothes were sold at the White Elephant Stall. Our appreciation is expressed to those who came forward and ensured the Carnival went off smoothly especially all our youth who came forward to help, as well as to those who attended the Carnival. Thank you to the Catholic Association of Bengal for joining hands with us to have this fun filled evening. A Special thanks to the Counselor of the local ward 66 and the minority cell of the ward for actually taking care of all the arrangements and the expenditure involved in making the event possible.


Children’s Christmas Tree & Family Lunch

Loreto School, Entally

Sunday 18th December 2022

The Christmas Family Lunch was held for all our beneficiaries both old & young as well as for their siblings and family members on the Sunday before Christmas as always at the Loreto Convent Entally School grounds. Around 700 + persons thoroughly enjoyed themselves that day either dancing to good music in the hall or playing games in the compound outside. The day began with an opening prayer by the Convenor after which a snack and tea was served.

The children enjoyed playing games at the various counters that had been set up. The youth enjoyed a game of football. The seniors were taken into the Hall and entertained with singing, dancing and a few party games, while the teenagers and little ones enjoyed themselves outside. There were two Khoi Bags for the very tiny ones.

Just before lunch time Santa Claus arrived and distributed gifts to all the children and sweet bags to the children between the ages of 0 months to 12 years and a gift envelope of Rs 100/- each to the youth between 13 and 18 years of age, a special thank you to “Santa” when he reads this as he joined us especially for this occasion. This was then followed by lunch we are indeed grateful to Noel and his band of faithfull followers who always willingly handle this mammoth task of cooking this meal for all of the CAISS family is isn’t a joke to be at it purchasing, carrying, cutting, cooking and serving the Lunch consisting of a Pea Pulao, Chicken Curry with gravy, Cauliflower Bhaji, Salad and an Orange for the multitude but the surprise is the baskets left over at the end which are then distributed, this meal was enjoyed by all. They were also served ice cream after the meal. A special ration, cakes, gifts and goodie bags were given to all the families. Our sincere thanks goes out to the people who sponsored the items for the “goodie bags”. A special thank you to all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event possible packing the ration bags the goodie bags decorating the hall and looking after all the arrangements.


Family Christmas Evening & Dance

Jamuna Banquets

Tuesday 27th December 2022

The Christmas Family Party was held on 27th December at the Jamuna Banquets starting at 8:00 p.m. With a live band in attendance almost 300 people danced the night away. Mouth watering snacks were on sale. A draw was held for the Lucky Guest & Lucky Member tickets and the winners of these took home exciting gifts. It was an enjoyable evening for both members & their guests.

The Calcutta Anglo-Indian Service Society hosted the Christmas Dance for members and their guests on at The Jamuna Banquets, Kolkata. Every year CAISS organizes this Christmas Dance but this year it was special, since the CAISS family was getting on the dance floor after a gap of two years. The Dance started at 7pm.

The night was kept alive and the people were kept in groove with the live band, lead by XXXXXXX. The music good and kept the dancing going all evening the dance started off with our Convenor welcoming all present which was followed by the snowball for the evening. All the members and non-members were given favours and chocolates as they entered the hall. The snacks on sale were delicious courtesy Jamuna Banquets.

Before the night came to an end, the draw for the lucky member and guest was announced. They were gifted a hampers. The table decorations which added the Christmas warmth to the décor were a much sort after item, to say the least “so as not one remained after the dance”.

The night came to an end with the Band playing their last song three times over. On an ending note, all the members and guest were thanked for coming. CAISS is ever grateful to Mr. Murli Punjabi and his Business Associates at the Jumuna Banquets for allowing us to use the hall at the most talked about secret rates in town. We were truly blessed to have a wonderful mix of members and guests at the dance this year and from the feedback we got everyone had a wonderful time.


Good Ol Calcutta Memories

Victoria Memorial Lawns

Friday 30th December 2022


Joining hands with the Catholic Association of Bengal this year we were able to pull off another impossible Celebrate the warmth of Christmas at the Victoria Memorial something quite unheard of. Good Old Calcutta Memories at the Victoria Memorial Quadrangle will always be a beautiful memory.  What better way to celebrate old Christmas memories of Calcutta but with Usha Uthup as she took us down memory lane of her evenings of festive season in Calcutta. She enthralled the packed quadrangle with some of her all time favorites.  Mr. Shahenshah Mirza also added to this with his memories of the Christmas in Calcutta which was interesting to hear.


The Christmas program included Christmas carols sung by the Assembly of God Church Choir and a The Calcutta Choir led by Dilip Rozario to who sang Christmas Carols in Bengali.  Peter Gomes brought the curtains down on the wonderful evening with getting the entire crowd present to join in singing “we are the world”.


We are grateful to the Victoria Memorial authorities for allowing us to have this most memorable evening and relive “Good Ol’ Calcutta Memories” as this program was streamed live many old Calcutta folk called and wrote back to thank us for taking them back in time.  This program would not have been possible if Mr. Shahenshah Mirza had not coordinated it for us.  This program saw many dignitaries sit through the evening and enjoy the Christmas Carols, once again our closely guarded secret Christmas cake and Hot Coffee was served on the cold winter evening.  Among the dignitaries seen clapping was his Excellency the Dy. High Commission of the UK, the Hon. Special Secretary, Government of West Bengal, His Excellency Council General of Italy, the Hon. Member of Parliament Nadimul Haque and many more. We would like to thank Rev.Phillip Bari and Fr. Devraj Fernandes for leading us in prayer. 

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