by Karen Laurie
MUMBAI, NOV 13, 2017: 'Dare to Dream' and they did! The students of Don Bosco High School, Matunga - numbering over 2000 - with their army of teachers put up a dream show for the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco, when he joined them for the celebration of the school's 75th Platinum Jubilee celebrations; so much so that he said, " It's for the first time in my Salesian life, that I am seeing an entire school coming on stage. Never before have I seen 2400 students on stage at one time. Congratulations! Congratulations!"
Youth armed with drums, guitars, tambourines and saxophones, played in complete harmony, welcoming the Rector Major and other dignitaries comprising of Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Superior of South Asia, Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Mumbai, Father Horacio Lopez, Rector Major's Secretary, Father Crispino D'Souza, school Rector and Father Roy Noronha, school Vice Principal.
The Don Bosco High School campus gave the Rector Major a glimpse of the city of Mumbai, on his maiden trip, as it brimmed with people and seemed starved for space. Every one busied about - excited parents looked for seats with the best view, enthusiastic children took instructions before their big act and vigilant teachers added their final touches. On November 12, at 7:30pm, this was the place to be.
After felicitating the dignitaries, a coffee-table magazine commemorating the Institution's Platinum Jubilee was released. Then the curtains opened to the big show, 'Dare to dream', a musical about one of the most successful child superstars in history, The Jackson 5 and one of them Michael Jackson who went to become the King of Pop. Their father spotted their talent early on and honed their skill to turn them into America's singing sensation.
The tiny tots from kindergarten with their prayer song, 'Footsteps walking with me', thanked God for always being by their side. The staff and students together rose to the occasion and welcomed Father Artime with a Spanish song.
The musical then belted out tracks like 'My girl', 'ABC' and 'Rockin Robin' that had classes one, two and five grooving and moving. Classes three and four, performed to the foot-tapping beats of 'Sugar pie honey bunch' and 'Kansas city'.
Not to be left behind, standards six, seven and eight, jumped and danced to 'Twist and shout', 'Dancing in the street' and 'I want you back'. And the big act was left for the big boys of classes nine and ten, who set the stage on fire with 'Blame it on the boogie' and 'Billie Jean'.
"It is a tradition that 10th standard don't get a chance to participate in annual day. This is the first and only batch that has got to participate. We had a great bonding between us and the teachers. We never thought that such a great personality like the Rector Major would come to see us and the compliments we received were really good," Herschel Menezes, student of class ten, who was part of the musical, said.
The whole school shimmered and shined to give out one message loud and clear: Every child should live his dream. With the Jubilee anthem and waving of Jubilee flags the curtain fell on the musical, but the show was not over yet.
All present were treated to a fine surprise, including the Rector Major, when the school Principal Father Bernard Fernandes, handed him a guitar and Father Artime, willingly obliged the gathering with three Spanish songs.
The crowd was ecstatic as the Rector Major exuded good humour and bonhomie. The living Don Bosco exemplified the Salesian Preventive System of Education by accompanying the young with loving kindness.
"I was pleased to see the teachers among the boys all the time. Being Salesian educators is having the capacity to stay with the young," Father Artime said, adding, " Thank you parents for the confidence you have in our capacity and way of educating your children. We promise you our concern are your sons."
Dominic Savio Menezes, father of Herschel, said, "My son was one of the main cast and this was a different annual day. We had Don Bosco with us. I don't have words to express the feeling. Don Bosco School is not just about academics but children are also taught to dare to dream."
Father Fernandes, on behalf of the gathering, addressed the Rector Major, "We thank you for leaving behind fond memories of love and the spirit of Don Bosco. Bless us all as you leave this place with your gentle blow of peace," he said.