It was the usual annual Holiday Ball, but as soon as you stepped into the Ukrainian Hall, you knew something was different. The balloons bobbing at the tables in the glittering hall and the big banner at the entrance proclaiming the 10th anniversary, told you that this year it was going to be special. As soon as you checked in, you made a beeline for the poster-boards that took you down memory lane with a display of photographs from 10 years of wonderful functions - dances, picnics, bowling, etc. You admired the two huge cakes that were ordered specially to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Then at your table you admired the keepsake memento mugs full of candy. It was now time to hail old friends and be introduced to new friends, admire the glamorous gowns, quench your thirst at the open bar, sample the sumptuous morsels that the waiters passed around and generally relax in anticipation of a wonderful evening ahead.
President Chris Nunes kicked off the function by introducing the founding members and giving a brief history of the last 10 years. For those who were there at the first function in 1991 at the VFW Hall in Cherry Hill, you couldn't help looking around and thinking "Boy, what a long way we've come!" Chris then went on to announce that during the course of the evening, the association would be giving away 10 door prizes and 10 dance prizes; and there would be a raffle for two round-trip airline tickets to London donated by Virgin Atlantic, through the auspices of Gareth Fernandes.
The festivities commenced with a champagne toast and then it was on to the dance floor for the grand anniversary march. Brenda Fernandes, assisted by Dominic Fernandes, guided the crowd thru neat formations. The band was in top form and DJ Ron Blanco got the crowd revved up. The floor vibrated with the jitterbug, twist, waltz, electric slide - you name it, we did it. Well we just had to work off that humongous dinner Akbar had prepared for us, not to mention the piece de resistance - sorpotel. This was followed by the cutting of the cake, a luscious concoction of vanilla sponge with strawberry filling.
By midnight, it was time to find out who was going to win the airline tickets. Well the lucky Corla-DeSouzas are probably happily preparing for their trip, even as this article is being written. The dancing went on till the wee hours of the morning and the die-hard dancers hung in there till the last notes from DJ Ron Blanco faded away. So now the 10th anniversary ball is just a wonderful memory, but together we have many more memories to create in the years to come - 15 years, 20 years, 30 years....., maybe even 100 years like the Goan Association of