The Ferry-point Holy Cross at Panaji resting on a pedestal on the balustraded esplanade flanked by the Mandovi river completes a century of its existence on Friday, the 3rd of December, 2004. It is on this day exactly hundred years ago on 3rd December, 1904 on the Old Goa Feast day that the Cross was inaugurated during the Portuguese regime.
The inscription in Portuguese on this monument is as follows:
A'Memoria Das Infelizes 81 vitimas, Do sinistro Da Lancha "Goa" O Corrido a -3-12-1901 Dedica Este Singelo "Padrao" A colonia goeza DeAden Pedindo A Todos Os Que Por Aqui Passarlem, Uma Prece Pelo Eterno descanso 3-12-1904
In Memory " To the memory of the unfortunate 81 victims of the accident of the launch ' Goa ' which took place on the 3rd December, 1901. This serene remembrance is dedicated by the Goan Colony of Aden, requesting all those who pass this side to say a prayer for their actual rest. This monument was built in memory of the dead on 3rd December, 1904 three years after the tragic accident."
On 3rd December, 1901 at 7am, a launch called ' Goa ' was crossing the Mandovi river from Betim-Verem to Panaji. The launch was carrying people from Pilerne, Nagoa, Arpora, Parra, etc. It was the Old Goa Feast Day. Suddenly the launch ran around whilst crossing the river leading to the deaths of 81 people. It was a major tragedy.
Those tragic victims are known as ' Souls of the Mandovi '. Many people have a special devotion for these souls and say prayers and offer masses for them and these ' souls of the Mandovi ' are supposed to favour their benefactors with spiritual and temporal graces.
Thus this cross is a historic landmark of our Panaji. It is a Heritage cross. Let us preserve it as it is.
The shed placed on this cross mars the beauty of this monument.
The shed over it has to be removed. Presently there is a craze to construct crosses, chapels and temples and temple-like ghumtis at each and every corner. This should be stopped as it comes as an obstruction to the traffic on the roads. Let us preserve our historic temples, historic chapels, historic mosques, historic churches. Let us not build structures of concrete. Old is Gold!
Posted By : Prajal Sakhardande, Goa on 11/12/2006