After two years of muted celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations in Pune are all set to bring back fervour in Christmas festivities by putting together various events all through the month.
To begin with, on Friday, the Pune Legions – an association of retired and serving military officers of three services in the Diocese of Pune – will organise an evening of singing carols, games and dance to bring in the Christmas cheer at the Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park.
Said Group Captain (retd) Conrad Dalton, who is coordinating the event: “We are trying to ensure the spirit of Christmas is brought to life post the devastating years of the Covid pandemic.”
The highly decorated 95-year-old Lieutanant General (retd) Mathew Thomas will be the chief guest at the event.
The Pune Legions are closely involved in “Hope” – a group that looks after victims of domestic violence living on the streets.
At the Cantabile school, which conducts piano lessons and has two choirs, a benefit concert will be held on December 17 at the Bishop’s school, Camp, in aid of Saheli Sangh, a community based organisation that works with female sex workers of Budhwar Peth. Said Ferieda, Director of Cantabile, “We are celebrating the spirit of Christmas by organising a show of piano, choral and solo singing to raise funds for Saheli Sangh.”
Adding to the festive fervour will be the Silver Bells choir that will perform on December 18 at St Vincent’s High School. The choir was started by conductor Trevor Martin along with Father Stan Fernandes over 40 years ago. The annual evening of carol singing is among the cherished events in Pune’s history.
At the oldest Christian community club – Poona Goan Institute (PGI) – celebrations will begin with a Tambola event on December 13, Christmas food bazaar with traditional Goan delicacies and other treats on December 20, children’s tree party with Santa Claus playing host on December 22 and the much-awaited X’Mas dance with a live band on December 25, according to president of the club Charmaine Lazarus.
On December 17 and 18, Jingle Bells’ Christmas Bazaar will be organised at Kedari ground, Wanowrie. Noella Kambli, founder of Ladybird events, who is coordinating the event, said apart from a variety of stalls selling Christmas goodies, decorations and jewellery, a Tambola event will be organised to raise funds for the Prison Ministry, India (Pune Chapter), for rehabilitation and reformation of prisoners.
Besides, different churches across the Diocese of Pune have planned a range of events to mark Christmas. At Good Shepherd Parish, a Christmas Bazaar will be held on December 18 and a carol singing competition on December 22.