The first Apostolic Carmel Alumni – Western Province Meet was held at Carmel College Nuvem, Goa from 3rd to 5th November 2014. 16 Representatives from Delhi, Chandigarh, Gandhidham, Nagpur, Gandhinagar, Mumbai and Goa attended the meet.

The serene atmosphere and scenery of the hillside College took our breath away, literally. All the Sisters of Carmel Convent gave us such a warm welcome. The hostel accommodation and the meals prepared with such love made us feel at home right away.

The first day started with a warm welcome from the college students through a cultural programme that was well organised and truly appreciated. This was followed by presentations by all schools and colleges which gave us many insights into the status of the various alumni associations across the western province, along with the projects being carried out. This really opened up the meet as we got a lot or ideas from one another and could request for assistance too. We also realised that there were common areas where we experience difficulties and how we can work together to find solutions.

The afternoon saw the entire group visiting some of the iconic Goa sights, singing, snacking and overall having a great time bonding. The camaradie was so good, it was as if we’d always known each other.

The second day opened up with the group welcoming Sr. Pearl-Anne who was the visionary behind the meet. This was followed by an intensive yet very informative session with Fr. Robert Das SJ, national co-ordinator for JAAI (Jesuit Alumni All-India) and Mr. Bobby Jacob, President, VOBA and JAAI representative, who shared their experiences regarding the alumni associations of the Jesuits. Through the group sessions we went through comparative Memorandums of Association to understand what each association could incorporate in their respective memorandum. It was a great time sharing ideas with other associations and helping the one’s that are just starting.

The afternoon saw the group going out on a shopping spree to Margao and the experience of travelling by the local buses.

As the final day dawned, the participants were enlightened by the knowledge and support that they had received over the previous 2 days. Sr. Pearl Anne gave the group an insight into the history of Mother Veronica, the current structure of the Apostolic Carmel and the vision of the important role that the Alumni will play in the future.

We elected our first governing body with a total of 9 representatives across the zone. From that executive committee, Anjali Heredia (ACAB) was unanimously elected the President and Ms. Anupreet Kaur Arora is the Hon. Secretary.

We were fortunate to get the blessings of Sr. Lydia who is the Counsellor General for education. The meet ended with a very well-spoken thank you address from Mr. Reuben Costa, and each participant receiving a certificate of attendance along with a token gift to mark the conclusion of the very first Western Province Alumni Meet.

As we said our final good-byes to each other and the Sisters of Carmel College, we knew that we had made some really good friends. We hope to meet again next year and will ensure that we stay in regular contact, so that Apostolic Carmel Alumni-Western Province is taken to new heights.