Earlier this week, the state remembered the great Goan nationalist, Dr Francisco Luis Gomes, on his birth anniversary on May 31, 2022. Dr Gomes represented Portuguese India in the Portuguese Parliament from 1861 to 1869, and was also a distinguished orator, physician, writer, historian, economist and political scientist, among other things.
Considering his towering personality, his ancestral house at Colmorod, Navelim, in South Goa, lies in ruins in spite of promises by several politicians and governments to make efforts to preserve it.
Convener of the Shadow Council of Margao, and former Margao Municipal Chairperson, Savio Coutinho, said that the state remembered the former parliamentarian only on two days each year ie May 31 and September 30, his birth and death anniversary respectively.
“Since the year 2009, I have been consistently raising the need for preservation of the ancestral house of the late Dr Francisco Luis Gomes. However, we have heard announcements from political leaders, but nothing concrete has come through,” Coutinho said.
He bemoaned the fact that there had been no progress on this front despite the fact that the Margao Municipal Council had stated work towards this end.
“In 2009, during my tenure as Chairperson, the Margao Municipal Council had resolved to acquire two places of historical significance. The ancestral house of the late Dr Francisco Luis Gomes at Colmorod, and the old Camara Building in the old market, and the necessary process for acquisition of the heritage structures and the surrounding land was initiated. Sadly, after our term ended, hardly any progress was made in this regard, in spite of our follow up,” he continued.
He explained that some bigwigs felt that Dr Gomes had received enough recognition.
“Some leaders justify that the South District Library and a small stretch of 75 metres of road, at Colmorod, has been named after Dr Gomes and that is sufficient recognition to this great man. We, however, still feel that the preservation of his ancestral house, and setting up of a museum would go a long way in not only giving due respect to his contributions, but could also be a tourist attraction on being notified as a heritage place,” he added.