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St. Anne’s …A Chapel, A Church – 1858-2013
It started out as a little chapel on a hill, a hundred and fifty-five years ago. The thickly wooded Pali Hill with small bungalows with tiled roofs has been transformed into today’s highrise buildings. The broad roads have replaced the mud paths. Despite the many changes around, St. Anne’s continues to command respect and affection for its heritage and beauty.
The first edifice was built in 1858 by Reverend Father Diogo Gabriel da Silva of Sherly Village. The first edifice was complete with residential quarters, store room and a cook house situated on the south side. In the very foundation deed, or “Termo”, the circumstances that led to the foundation of this chapel are given. The wishes of the founder were carefully incorporated in eight articles of the “Termo”, and the clearly highlight not only the generosity of Fr. Diogo Gabriel da Silva, but also the uncommon foresight in drawing up his plans.
He not only personally financed the construction of the chapel, but also made provision for the maintenance of the chaplain from his personal resources. A tablet with an inscription to this effect is seen on a pillar inside the present Church. The translation of the inscription reads “On the 23rd of February 1858, the zealous founder and donor the Very Revd. Diogo Gabriel da Silva, parish priest of the church of Parla, native of Sherly, laid the foundation stone of this chapel, of Santa Anna, affiliated to the church of the Glorious Apostle St. Andrew. Opened on 13th June of the same year for the spiritual welfare of the people of the neighbouring villages.”.
n 1890, the roof and woodwork of the building had greatly deteriorated and it was decided that the whole structure be renovated. The outlook for raising funds was not bright until a generous benefactor, Mr. Manoel Gonsalves of Malla, Bandra, offered to defray the greater part of the expenses for the renovation of the Chapel. Mr. Manoel Gonsalves also personally supervised the work and the new chapel, slightly enlarged, was completed in 1896.