"Empowering Voices, Celebrating Strength:

A Tribute to Women on International Women's Day"

DSSP celebrated International Women's Day with enthusiasm and commitment, acknowledging the invaluable contributions of women in various aspects of life. The event, held on February 25th, at the Karachi Marriott Hotel aimed to honor and empower women while advocating for gender equality.

The celebration kicked off with a series of impactful speeches recognizing the achievements of women in diverse fields, emphasizing the need for equal opportunities and representation. DSSP took this opportunity to shed light on the challenges women face globally and locally, emphasizing the importance of fostering an inclusive society. \

DSSP also organized an interactive session by a very Talented professional, motivational speaker & life coach Marriam Ahmed with discussions, providing a safe platform for women to share their experiences, achievements, and insights. These activities aimed to inspire and motivate women to overcome obstacles and pursue their aspirations fearlessly.

In conclusion, DSSP's International Women's Day Lunch celebration was a meaningful and impactful event.

Gala Night Extravaganza:

A Night of Elegance, Entertainment, and Empowerment

On the enchanting evening of 28th October 2023 DSSP hosted a Gala Night- RED CARPET in celebration of 52 Years of the Association, that transcended expectations, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who attended. The event, held at the Avari Towers was a celebration of elegance & entertainment creating an unforgettable experience for our esteemed guests.

Elegance Unleashed:

From the moment attendees stepped onto the red carpet, they were greeted by an ambiance of sophistication, glamour & handbag full of gifts. The venue was transformed into a breathtaking spectacle of opulence, adorned with exquisite decorations, glittering arrangements. The dress code was RED CARPET BEST, and our guests embraced the opportunity to showcase their most stylish ensembles, adding to the overall aura of refinement.

Entertainment Extravaganza:

The entertainment lineup was curated to captivate and delight. ENGAGING PARTNER Games & mesmerizing dance routines. The Gala Night became a stage for talent, with each act leaving the audience in awe. The DJ set the perfect mood, and the dance floor was alive with energy, as guests celebrated the night away.

Memories Woven in Elegance:

As the night unfolded, the Gala became a tapestry of moments etched in time. Guests mingled, connected, and celebrated the spirit of unity and accomplishment. Laughter and joy echoed through the venue, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and shared success.

A Heartfelt Thank You:

Our sincere gratitude goes to the dedicated EC team whose meticulous planning and hard work made this Gala Night an unparalleled success. We also extend our appreciation to our sponsors and members who contributed to the event's success.

In retrospect, the Gala Night was not just an event; it was an experience that transcended the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on the collective memory of our Association. We look forward to building on this success and creating more extraordinary moments in the future. CHEERS

Women’s day celebration

Royal Rodale
Sunday February 26th 2023

Pre celebration of women’s day was held on February 26th at Royal Rodale. Ladies showed up in purple attire according to the color theme of the day. Registration was manned by Marilyn Rosey Lobo and Barbara Dsouza (BD). A lovely souvenir of “Jhumkas” was presented to each lady at the registration desk and they were delighted to receive such a wonderful reception. The event began with our President Christine D’lima giving a warm welcome and then our new committee’s ‘Editor of the DSSP Newsletter’ Esther George was the host for the Day. A preview of the Women’s day was shared by the host.

Barbara conducted an interactive Group puzzle activity, 6 groups were made and Sunnu Golwalla and the team won this activity by completing the picture with the missing piece that was with another group.

Next activity “What’s in your purse” was conducted by Barbara. Ladies had to form teams, choose a captain and handover the items to the captain that BD asked for. Points were scored on first come first serve; with the correct item basis and Victoria D’souza and her table won this game.

An interactive speaker session was held, the guest speaker Ms. Pouruchisty Sidhwa was invited to give a talk on “Attitude and Personality are gateways to personal and professional success”. What is the right attitude, negatives and positives, factors that have an impact on our attitude, well known personalities, personality types etc. was shared in detail. At the end of the talk, two different scenarios were presented by DSSP members Cheryl Mathew, Farah Anthiques, Denise D’mello and Natasha Mavalwala on how to keep calm in difficult office situations. Scrumptious Lunch was served, after which Ms. Sidhwa shared a business case study open for an interactive discussion. Next, Natasha Mavalwala led the much enjoyed round of Tambola. The day ended with a group photo. Memorable shots were captured by Denise Dmello.

DSSP’s 51st Anniversary Gala

15 October 2022 at Avari Towers
Behind the Scenes
By our EC Member Barbara Dcruz

Just like any exclusive event, DSSP’s Gala dinner is one of the most awaited events not just by the DSSP members but more so by our esteemed guests. We can proudly say that with each passing year this event has gotten better!

This year too the preps kicked off early with zeal and excitement among the EC members. Let me walk you through the sheer hard work that the EC members took on their shoulders:

Natasha Mavalvala our ouvert d'esprit (open-minded) Leader, who is always ready to practice her negotiating skills with vendors through the years. As always, courteously offered assistance in moving prizes, goods, and chattels to and from the DSSP office and the hotel. She also firmed up the hotel arrangements with much aplomb.

Naureen Rodrigues our Social Secretary initiated the hotel arrangements and also worked tirelessly running after organizations to sponsor the event. This is the toughest job, convincing companies to sponsor our events. Worth mentioning here is the beautiful Capri gift basket amongst the many beautiful gifts, we received. Hats off to NR!

Marina Fernandez our Treasurer had all the costing done and reworked these too to accommodate changes. There was a load of work after the event as well, since she had to prepare the invoices and receipts for each sponsor.

Elena Benjamin an EC member also worked for hand in hand with all the members in recording the sponsorships and updating the sponsored cash/products list. Also, the balloon deco was a wonderful joint idea of Cheryl and her.

She also introduced budding talent (photographers Dylan and Duane Fernandes) to capture the moments of the event.

Cheryl Mathew our ‘Think Tank’, DSSP would not exist the way it is without her! She went out of her way in arranging the colorful Gala bags and had the logo printed on them, ensured equal distribution of products and vouchers to the members and guests, put together the table seating (which is a challenge to do every year), and acquired the cold drinks sponsorship as well as the Bogo vouchers.

Christine D’Lima our innovative member who puts wheels into motion and makes sure that we reach the destination in style. Teasers, Invitation cards, table cards, Backdrop and photo booth designing, and ensuring that the mission was accomplished avec succès, those are only some of the things done by Christine. All the interesting games played at the gala were planned by Chris! She’s definitely a Champion!

Clara D’Souza our mindful Secretary too brought in vouchers from Sana Safinaz and made sure that the Invitation and Sponsor lists were updated along with making timely announcements on social media. She made sure to send out photographs of the banner to our sponsors along with thank you letters, through members who obtained the sponsorships.

Yours truly (Barbara) worked closely with other members in filling the gift bags presented at the entrance. She also made a debut at conducting the games and was delighted with the aplomb by the Executive Committee.

Sunnu Golwalla a beautiful soul has always been there to encourage the team throughout the entire process. She is always there to make things convenient by providing her expert advice through her experience and reliable network, which is much needed as a team.

Joe our handyman is also a part of the DSSP team, he is someone who not only does a lot of running around but was also a great help during the Gala season.

On D-Day, the team was at the venue in the morning for the setup and organizing of the bags, gifts, standees, etc. the list goes on.

The above is just a glimpse: there’s much more hard work and sweat involved in holding a Gala which I must say is a wonderful learning expedition for All!

Fifty One-derful Years of DSSP

By our Associate Member Esther D’Souza

2022 marked 51 years of DSSP: another year of fun, activities, and networking that ought to be celebrated. 15th October was DSSP’s Anniversary Gala with Retro Theme: an evening full of music, laughter, dance, and fun held at the Avari Towers.

The retro evening began with an address by our beloved President Natasha Mavalvala, welcoming the members and their guests. She then introduced our hardworking behind-the-scenes Executive Committee (EC) who effortlessly organized a fabulous event and did their best not to let anyone go empty-handed.

In the first segment of dance, we had one of the top DJs in the house, Mr. Clint Correa, who set up the music pace so well to have everyone grooving and get the party started. While everyone was warming up with their dance moves there was an elimination game that was played. Everyone on the dance floor was asked to participate. An item was called out from slips of paper by an EC Member and the particular item that anyone had was eliminated. This game was fun. We had three runners up but the winner was Mr. Carl Monteiro.

A welcome drink of mint lemonade was served with spring rolls as a starter with yummy red sauce.

Some were enjoying the music, some were socializing and some were on the dance floor making the most of the evening. A lucky draw session was then conducted: a good chance for our guests to win something memorable from the Gala. A stack of wonderful gifts was displayed and almost everyone who attended won valuable prizes. Thanks to our Sponsors, obtained through the hard work of our EC.

‘Follow the Footsteps’: a very energetic game was played before dinner. A mat with footprints in a hotchpotch manner was laid on the floor and participants had to coordinate their feet with the footprints quickly along with the music. This was a very fun game.

After a generous gift distribution to Members and 49 lucky invitation prizes, ranging from electronic items to gift vouchers for all guests, dinner was served, and scrumptious food specialties of the Avari Hotel were served with their tastiest desserts.

All our members and their guests enjoyed the evening as this is one of DSSP’s grandest event, with generous prizes never disheartening anyone who attended. Getting sponsors in critical times ever since the floods hit Pakistan, must have surely been a very difficult task yet everyone said goodbye to the evening with smiles and great happiness. We thank our dear DSSP team for such tremendous efforts in making the evening so wonderful and memorable one.

Administrative Professionals Day - 2022

Avari Towers Karachi : April 24th 2022
by our EC Member Barbara Dcruz

Administrative Professionals Day (aka Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is a day observed every year but sadly, there are many who are not even aware of it! Few countries celebrate ‘Administrative Professionals Week’ during the last full week of April or, the Wednesday of the last full week, that is in the US) while others on April 21st or 27th. The day is dedicated to the Admins. The day marks the hard work of secretaries, administrative assistants, executive assistants, personal assistants and other administrative support professionals. Typically, administrative professionals are given cards, flowers, chocolates, and lunches. Are you among those fortunate ones.

DSSP like every year celebrated Administrative Professionals Day at Avari Towers Karachi on April 24th 2022. It was indeed a power packed event that was divided into several segments to give the ladies a feeling of what ALL they do and how life comes to a halt, one day they are out of office! Yes, how meaningful their presence is and how powerful they are!

The day kicked off with the gracious ladies registering themselves and getting a wonderful give away which was a Desk lamp that can also be used as an emergency light and it came with a cable for recharging; sitting in pretty purple bags. Barbara Dcruz EC member was at the registration desk while Esther Dsouza and Stacey Rangel were duly handing out the gifts to all the ladies at the entrance.

The event started at 4:35pm with a warm welcome speech by our most gorgeous President Natasha Mavalwala. Natasha requested all the ladies to give themselves a round of applause for the amazing job they are doing along with balancing their lives.

Our Editor Sunnu Golwalla is passionate about developing members, and took the opportunity to include Sandra Sequira and Rosemary D’Silva, who took the first two segments of the programme. Behind-the-scenes she also supported and worked with others to bring them forward.

Sandra Sequeira was invited to come up and share her achievement of completing 25 years at Total PARCO, where she is working as Terminal Executive. She is one of the few members of DSSP celebrating Silver Jubilee, which is a rare phenomenon these days! And yes Mrs Sequeira achieved this milestone with sheer hard work and sincere dedication. She shared her professional journey and how it went through a metamorphosis, from the beginning till present, from ‘entry level to accolade’. It’s amazing to have such quiet personalities in DSSP and we are truly blessed to witness and celebrate such happenings with our members. Congrats to Sandra Sequeira!

Next segment was a presentation by DSSP member, Rosemary D’silva who is working as an Administrative Assistant at Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL). Her topic was ‘Coming out of your comfort zone’. It is convenient to do many things within our comfort zones that is the routine that everybody follows, but make a difference and be the change, come out of the box and follow your passion, were the core themes. She focused on how we all are in the comfort zone and move into the learning zone but are very much afraid to move forward which turns into the panic zone that is the unknown region we are dreading much to encounter; it is the new circumstances that we don’t want to face. With the help of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, she explained the theory of motivation that starts with the basic needs, moving onto psychological needs and eventually reaching the stage of self-fulfillment. This is the point where a person defeats the fears and insecurities and starts delighting in real pleasures of life. We all have hidden talents awaiting to be explored, find it and make it happen! The talk ended with a fun activity, each table was given 2-3 different colors of play dough and as a table group, and they had to form something out of it. All the ladies jumped for joy like small kids all excited for the challenge and came up with creative handwork. One person from each table had to bring up their piece of talent to the stage and other members would take a round and give them marks out of 5. Members who brought up their artwork were Clara Ann D’souza (EC member), Sharon John, Christine David, Jean Scott, Kristen Kanaria, Yasmin Sethna, Gulshen Dinshaw, Roshni Shroff and, Theresa Dias whose table won this activity by making a neat 3 tiers cake.

Next activity was conducted by Cheryl Mathew and Christine D’lima that was based on ‘Hindrance faced by members to be a part of the DSSP Executive Committee and the possible solutions’. This is one of the most important theme that is close to the hearts of all the EC members and thus wanted an earnest feedback from our membership. A white flip chart was given to each table with green and yellow sticky note pads.

Each person on the table had to write their ‘Manageable problems’ on green sticky chits and ‘non-manageable’ ones on the yellow sticky notes. After mutual agreement with all the table members, they had to pick the most crucial manageable and non-manageable and put it on the chart. One of the members from each table along with their charts had to come up and explain their hurdles to all the members. While all the ladies were engrossed in the activity, our very own Sunnu Golwalla took the initiative dutifully dropping on each table, promptly clarifying the activity further and ensuring all were on the same page! Vouching sincere dedication!

Majority came up with time management issues, transport issues, few said that EC members should be given a break and other members should volunteer to do the manageable tasks. We actually witnessed the magic of ‘Rosemary D’silva’s talk’ working when Peggy Almeida came out of her comfort zone and explained the hitches! Way to Go Peggy & hats off to you Rosemary  UPLIFTED BY YOUR ENDORSEMENT

The last segment of the evening ‘Dumb charades cum Chinese whisper’ was conducted by Christine D’lima. Those who wished to participate formed a line at the back of the hall facing the side of the hall. The first lady faced the opposite side to the others in line and was shown a card with an action printed on it and read it. The 1st lady had to tap the second person in line, when the 2nd person would turn and face her, the 1st lady had to act it out, the 2nd lady tapped the 3rd lady in front and acted it out. It had to go on till the second last person and the last person had to tell aloud what the action was. Sounds simple huhh! With DSSP ladies it turned into a hilarious moment! What started as ‘Starting and riding a bike’ turned into pulling down a curtain or pulling down someone’s pants!!! This activity had all the ladies laughing their heads off!

A Beautiful Heart shaped collage with photos of DSSP members was placed at the entrance to the hall. It captured everyone’s hearts and each and every member took a pic in front of it solo or group all filled with fun and frolic. This piece of art was compiled and presented by none other than our very own EC member, Christine D’lima, who is surprising us with her amazing talents with each passing event. It will be cherished and remain forever in our hearts!

Denise D’mello one of our most passionate DSSP members seized all the moments beautifully and made history by putting it down the memory lane. Do see numerous pictures taken by her on DSSP Facebook page. Thank you is also due to the MCs of the evening Christine D’Lima & Naureen Rodrigues.

The day ended with scrumptious Iftar and lip-smacking dinner along with salads, pickles, refreshing variety of drinks and of course toothsome desserts.

Mahnaz Irani’s table, PPL ladies table and Lucy Nazareth’s table were the highlights of the day as their contagious cheerful laughter filled the hall and brought everyone to life!

Cheers to the EC and all the volunteers for pulling off such an exciting and successful event!

DSSP-Karachi Residential Seminar October 2-3 2021

Hotel Ramada- Airport Karachi
By DSSP's EC Member Barbara Dcruz

To mark its occasion the ‘Great 5 0’, DSSP organized its First-ever residential seminar on the 2nd & 3rd of October 2021 at Hotel Ramada Karachi. Even though, we had COVID strict and smart lockdowns here and then, yet we made it happen! This time the cyclones Shaheen & Gulab were even present to shatter our dreams. Nevertheless, the Gods of the universe were in our favor and the cyclones eloped towards Oman! A blessing for Karachites indeed. Thus, DSSP Karachi Residential Seminar was finally held!

It was a beautiful cloudy Saturday morning, each DSSP member commuted on their own with friends and/or members. Registrations started at 9 am, with Clara D’souza, Christine D’lima & Elena Benjamin manning the desk. Each lady was presented with a folder containing the 2 days program and a key chain on account of DSSP’s Golden Jubilee celebration this year. The day began with a motivational speaker session, titled, “Diversity in womanhood’, with Ms Marriam Ahmed. She shared her personal inspirational story along with engaging activities that got everyone involved throughout the first half. The take away from this session was ‘self-care’, ‘it's ok to say No’, ‘don't feel responsible for everything’, ‘respond don’t react’ etc etc. The ladies could relate to most of the situations being discussed and thus enjoyed this session thoroughly. This session was followed by scrumptious buffet lunch and all savored the mouthwatering food with assorted desserts. Lunch was followed by check in, ladies were assigned with their rooms and respective roommates whom they had opted for or just assigned to be together if they had not mentioned their preferences. Everyone retired to their respective rooms to relax and freshen up. The room was ready with a plate of fresh tempting fruits and complimentary toiletries.

The ladies assembled in the Eiffel hall for the next activities by 3 pm. The first activity was conducted by EC member Barbara Dcruz called "Hello Dear". It was similar to Tambola with the difference of names of DSSP members instead of numbers. This was a great activity for members to introduce themselves to each other and get to know members outside their own circle of friends. All of them were thrilled with pleasure during this game and added new folks to their friends’ list. The sequence of the game was one full house, one cottage and the last lady standing, which were awarded to Theresa Dias, Monica John and Sandra Mendonca.

Following this amusement, another activity, ‘Balloon relay game’ was rolled out by EC member Christine D’lima. It was a fun packed activity between two teams. The first member in the line had to walk with a blown balloon between their knees without using their hands. Without dropping or popping it. On reaching the point successfully where chairs were placed, they had to keep the balloon on the chair and pop it by sitting on it. Oh! What a sight it was! Where balloons were slipping off and even more hilarious when it was not smashing when they were trying to pop it! This was indeed a game that brought out the child in everyone and filled the hall with cheer and laughter. The winning team was rewarded with a pouch of chocolates. It was tea-time followed by leisure hour.

However, when you are at such a beautiful site with lush green scenery and amazing nature around, then how can one resist taking pics! Consequently, the ladies were found all over, absorbing the incredible greenery and capturing beautiful memories down the lane.

At 7 30 pm all the spectacular ladies assembled in the hall for a mind-blowing group photo. The stunning backdrop with all the lovely ladies posing at their best, made a wonderful click. Clicks courtesy by Monica Francis, Samantha Rodrigues & Elena Benjamin. The evening moved into an entertainment night with a young stand-up comedian Akbar Choudhary who brought smiles to many faces, laughter to few, and a bunch did not find it as per their interest, but of course, he tried his best and had to call it a night much earlier than planned due to some obvious reasons. This session was followed by dancing on the floor, Monica John, Huma D’souza, Samantha Rodrigues were the highlights of the evening and entertained everyone present with their record breaking performance.

Appetizing buffet dinner was ready to be devoured and the ladies delightfully feasted upon it. This was not the end, for the best and most joyous moment was yet to come! Post dinner while everyone was squandering about, near the poolside, few took a dip in the Jacuzzi and had a rejuvenating experience. As there were other guests of the hotel who were enjoying dinner with live music near the poolside, a hive of DSSP ladies camped themselves right in front of the live singer, then what? The poor vocalist who was actually bored singing the same songs every weekend repeatedly, was filled with energy. He was much fascinated with the uncontrollable ladies and their song requests! It turned into a lively sing-along session as all of them were vocalizing their old favorite classics. The live singer had stayed the night longer than his usual time and bid everyone goodnight much happy and contented. All the ladies retired to their respective rooms.

The next morning, it was wonderful seeing beautiful fresh faces in the dining lounge, relishing over yummy buffet breakfast. After breakfast, few ladies who were thrilled by the lavish enticing pool finally got the opportunity to take a dip and were more than delighted for this much awaited break. The other ladies got together near the poolside and had the most popular round of Tambola. The day ended with check out and everyone left with beautiful memories and new friends they had made! There were few issues with hotel management here and there, but, of course life is not a bed of roses and we need to focus on the brighter side for a healthy self. Kudos to DSSP EC team who organized and managed the event so well and cheers to DSSP members who participated wholeheartedly and made it a memoir that has already made history in golden words!

“Love Yourself”, An event by DSSP

By DSSP Member Barbara D’Cruz

The first event of the year 2020 themed ‘Love Yourself’ was organized by DSSP on 16th Feb 2020 at Royal Rodale. Registration began at 11:30 am with Executive Committee Member Afroze Tungekar (to the right in the picture) and DSSP member Jehanara Mulla (to the left) manning the table and also giving out 2020 subscription receipts.

The meeting commenced with President Natasha Mavalvala’s warm welcome. She expressed deep sympathy on the loss of one of our dear members Virgie D’souza whose son also passed away a few days after her. One-minute silence was observed for the departed souls.

Natasha Mavalvala wished everyone a very happy Valentine’s day.

She urged all the members who had not paid their subscriptions as yet, to send their cheques only to Clara D’souza on the address provided in the notification circulated earlier

President Natasha introduced the guest speaker Margaret Fialho, informing us that she is a certified Neuro-Linguistic programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, Lifecoach and Timeline Therapist and also member of American Board-NLP and Arslan Larik & Co. Another interesting fact to learn was that she is the daughter of DSSP’s long-time member Theresa Lobo.

Margaret opened her talk with an Ice breaker, where each member in the hall was asked to shout her name at the count of 3. This short exercise created vibrancy in the hall with enthusiastic shouts from all corners!

She then said that every woman faces many challenges in her life which in turn makes her strong and, in some cases, even warrior-like. It is because of this that she is like a sun beam providing light, warmth and energy to her family, friends, colleagues and all she comes in contact with.

She further apprised that we are surrounded by four clouds: Negative thinking, Negative emotions, Inner conflicts and Limited beliefs, and that each person’s goal is different from that of another. NLP changes the negatives into positive. Family support can play a significant role in our emotional well-being, but when this is lacking NLP comes in. A professional therapist can coach us. Unfortunately, the society in which we live, therapy is a TABOO. We need to eradicate this perception and move forward towards the well-being of ourselves. NLP empowers a person to feel their self-worth. This in turn helps them find a purpose in life, which energizes the person to look towards a better future by taking life positively.

NLP does not require medication but is a healing journey which begins with an interview and goes forward with discussions, coaching, interventions, and solutions. NLP helps changes the four clouds: first cloud changes from negative thinking to positive thinking. Second cloud changes to Positive emotions the person learns to forgive, forget and move forward. Third cloud changes to listening to your inner voice which makes you realize your value and what is important to you for example your career, family, money, health etc. Fourth cloud changes as well, when you find the purpose of your life and know why you are important to this world. Ms Fialho further clarified that all discussions with clients are kept confidential, and outside the clinic she meets everyone in a friendly way, and knowing about their background does not affect her.

A soul-touching exercise was then conducted where each person had to close her eyes for two minutes and walk through the times when she felt weak but did not give up, even though there was intense pressure: It is likely that their purpose in life or the love for their family kept them strong and moving. It was an exercise that stirred up each member. Margaret’s concluding phrase “Women, other women are not your enemy” left a thoughtful message for all.

President Natasha rounded off with the suggestion that we all need to fight the inner devil and it is up to us how we fight back, and with NLP one can heal better with professional techniques. Natasha (to the right in the picture) thanked Margaret Fialho (to the left) and presented her with a token of gratitude for sparing her valuable time and enlightening the members with life-affecting information.

Celine Vaz our new DSSP member introduced herself. A group picture (shown below) was taken of all the lovely DSSP members. Brunch was served in the dining hall where scrumptious assortments awaited and the members enjoyed it heartily. Seating arrangements were handled well in time. The day ended with a round of Tambola and much appreciation. A game or two could have lightened up the event but perhaps there's always a next time!

Photos courtesy: DSSP's Social Secretary Samantha Rodriques.

A night in ancient Egypt

By DSSP Member Barbara D’Cruz

Our gala anniversary is a tribute to the history and tradition that has been the foundations of DSSP and thus the much awaited DSSP’s 48th Anniversary Gala, was held on Saturday 28th September 2019 at Avari Towers Hotel. The overwhelming response of the members and their guests in the amazing costumes, displayed their eagerness to have fun with the theme "A night in ancient Egypt".

At the entrance the members and their guests were given a warm welcome by the lovely color coordinated executive committee members, all clad in white-and-gold, and a big bag full of goodies given to each one. The guests were served with hearty appetizer consisting of bread sticks accompanied with delicious hummus dip as a wonderful combination, relished throughout the evening.

The spectacular backdrop, floor, the set up was breathtaking, just like walking into an Egyptian site with the 4 queens Cleopatra, Iris, Nefertiti, and Anubis on the four corners of the floor, later used for the game ‘Arbaa’. Natasha Lobo and Clerides Lobo were the last ones left and the winners of this game.

DJ and the music were thoroughly entertaining with the Egyptian and a variety of other music that brought the crowd dancing and cheering on the floor right till the end of the show. Gift vouchers including valuable gifts with lunch and dinner vouchers from renowned hotels were open to all through lucky draw. Each DSSP member, as a tradition was of course given a special gift as well.

There was a selfie/photo corner as well with amazing Egyptian props which many took the advantage of and captured the memories at the Egyptian night. The competition ‘Cleopatra and Ramses’ based on the best costume was organized as well, where all the sporty guests who were appropriately adorned as per theme, participated wholeheartedly, flaunting their extravagant costumes and dancing through the walkway, on the wonderful songs played. It was like “a pictorial irony, parody and pastiche”. Nigel Silveira was the winner among the men and there was a tie between the ladies they were Marie Anna Croning and Meher Doctor, so you can imagine what tough competition there was among females.

There were prizes for the 4th lady and 8th gentleman who entered the hall to mark the 48th Anniversary – they were Goretti Ali and Leroy Solomon.

Dinner time was a meal to be remembered with Mediterranean cuisine all through. This was followed by the activity ‘Walk down the Nile” which was just appropriate to digest the scrumptious food savored by all. Most who were present participated having fun to their fill.

The Egyptian magic was all-over: one could feel it from the cheerful vibes coming from the members and the guests who were entertained from the beginning till the end. People came up with wonderful concepts of Egyptian costumes which show the enthusiasm of our fantastic crowd.

All in all, it was a fun filled night and the key was ‘togetherness!’ Let’s see what the next theme anniversary night unfolds…. Till then cheers!


  • The theme "A night in ancient Egypt" was thought by outgoing President Valentina Fernandes, giving a kick start to the programme
  • The programme itself was to the credit of Permanent ASA Coordinator Cheryl Mathew
  • Obtaining products for the goody bag was largely to the credit of Secretary Naureen Rodriques, and for selecting the DJ who provided varied, lively and also theme-appropriate music
  • The menu was suggested by Valentina Fernandes and finalised by Cheryl Mathew.
  • The numerous gift vouchers were to the credit of Social Secretary Samantha Rodrigues and she also looked after all the arrangements at the venue
  • Fabulous backdrop on stage, props for the executive committee and for the photo-booth and, Egyptian guardians at the entrance were to the credit of Member Conchita Pinto
  • Hosting of the evening by none other than our lovely President Natasha Mavalvala with her inclusiveness and appreciation of all, which energised the entire committee.

We also thank

  • DSSP member Maria Lobo for getting gold sponsorship of the programme
  • All those members who supported with their company banners/standees/vouchers or gave financial assistance
  • All the sporty guests who made the effort to dress in Egyptian costumes and participate in the game 'Walk down the Nile'.

DSSP Celebrates International Admin Pro Day

On Sunday 28 April 2019 at the Royal Rodale Club

The DSSP celebrated the event with main focus on bringing forth the talent and passion of our members. The media captured it widely with six English and four Urdu newspapers and, on a television channel.

President Valentina in her opening remarks set the tone that it is her desire to make DSSP a platform where our members may express themselves in terms of sharing their professional experience, journey with DSSP & motivational/inspirational talks. Like an apt Team Leader, she stepped back and let each one bloom. She also emphasized, that one of her objectives is to bring the Association recognition and work towards its expansion, across the country.

The Keynote Speaker Mr Saeed Haider, Finance Director at SICPA Inks Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd’s narrative style with loads of humour gained the audience’s attention, with his key message being that “trust and confidence” in an Admin Pro by her boss, was the main requisite of her job. Also, that her development and successes rested on her constantly adapting and learning as the profession continues to ‘evolve’ with the advent of technology and changing work environment.

Mr Asif Ikram, the CEO of SIPCA Inks also graced the occasion despite his travel that afternoon, which was most encouraging: He is also the current President of Management Association of Pakistan and obviously has desire to develop and support all professions in the corporate sector. He raised the sight of all by quoting examples of Admin Pros who had gone on to take managerial positions in related fields in his own company and grown in them.

The credit for presence of these two top executives rested with our Executive Committee Member Serena D’Souza who works for SIPCA and took the initiative to invite them and that they accepted. She was also instrumental in subsequently getting the wide media coverage to the delight and amazement of all, giving DSSP the mileage it intends to build on. This talented young member also conducted an impressive activity for ‘Team Building’ with everyone participating under eight corporate departments and collectively team-wise completing tasks. The winning team was interestingly the HR Department who do coach for this important job skill.

‘Balance for Better’ being the theme of the International Admin Pro celebration, was presented by our Immediate Past President Cheryl Mathew. Only recently she has taken the position as the Learning Support Manager in her company, but conducted the session like a training pro, with couple of ice-breakers and making the session largely interactive. She invited members to share their individual experience in balancing work and personal life, and concluded with her own tips on gaining the best balance by being ‘happy’ in all that we do which primarily keeps us on an even-keel and, to make time to look after our own selves.

An honouring activity ‘MOKsBOX’ introduced by the previous Executive Committee in memory of our President Emeritus, (late) Maharukh Bhiladwala, was also conducted by Cheryl. Eight members were picked by name-draw to participate in activities around their job skills of navigating the unknown, remembering names and faces, prowess in English and daring to say a few words in public. The winner was a senior member Mahera Moosajee which endorsed how much one gained as she grew in her job.

The Executive Committee has an urge to bring forth the quiet reposed knowledge of senior members who are usually reticent, by creating a segment at events where they come and share their career journey. Commencement of this segment was befittingly made at this celebration by our two senior members Rukhsana Yunus and Marie Anna Croning walking the audience through their work journey, with challenges and growth it provided and, giving pointers for work success.

The Present and Immediate Past President also considered it an apt occasion to bring forward the quiet and unknown contribution of a member. Together they honoured Sunnu Golwalla by alternately narrating her journey to promote the profession by conducting the secretarial classes within DSSP and beyond, introducing a professional magazine for our members and, launching the Professional Secretaries’ Award for DSSP during her tenure on two executive committees in mid-1990s. It was an emotive moment for Sunnu to be acknowledged so warmly, and she will cherish this memory.

Encouragement was equally given to all members of the Executive Committee to have active participation in the event. Our Secretary Naureen Rodrigues welcomed and introduced new members to the Society and said thank yous at the end of the programme, while the quieter ones lent their usual back-bone support to various administrative activities for the smooth running of the programme and of course, our Treasurer Clara D’Souza’s quiet but cannot-do-without support behind the scene with cash handling and receipts.

Associate Members who are yet to gain full membership, were also engaged in the programme: Sheilane Joseph assisted with the playlist of music that played at the event and, Sandra D’Souza and Elena Hayat helped at the registration desk as members walked in. More of these members will support our programmes as befitting opportunities arise.

President Valentina took the opportunity to announce the upcoming ‘Convention’ which she termed as a ‘mini ASA Congress’ in Karachi. A lot of work is required for its institution, which is in progress. More details will be shared accordingly.

A happy round of ‘bingo’ concluded the programme with a cup of tea, and warm good-byes exchanged.

DSSP hopes to forge onward developing the profession, with the support and participation of all its members.

Photo Gallery

Play your role to save Mother Earth &
peak your performance by Team Play

DSSP’s event on Sunday 27 January 2019 at the Movenpick Hotel


Our President Valentina commenced her term of office by inviting Tofiq Pasha Mooraj to speak on “Conserve today for brighter tomorrow”. He is an environmentalist who modestly calls himself a ‘mali’. He spoke gently and eloquently on how Mother Earth has been abused and neglected and, chemicals have entered all areas of our food chain, due to which new and fatal diseases have sprung up, and precious animal and plant life is being depleted.

Each of us can play her role - no matter how small - by consuming natural food, being mindful of use of water and electricity at home or at work, reduce or eliminate waste as much as possible, reuse or recycle paper, plastic or whatever one can. Also, in our small way we can influence our colleagues at work, to spread the environment protection habits. Visit and ‘like’ his Facebook page: “Tofiq Pasha's World” to receive updates and videos.

His wife Naheed spoke about her newly introduced food-wrap. She is basically a candle-maker who has introduced a food-wrap which is cotton cloth, coated with bee’s wax. The wraps are washable, last for eight months and are also bio-degradable. They come in large, medium and small sizes, and are versatile for wrapping leftovers, green veg, sandwich, cover containers etc. You may also ‘like’ her Facebook page “Candle Works by Naheed T Mooraj” to get updates.


Our EC Member Serena D’Souza presented a game: ‘floating balloons’ which gave an opportunity to every member present that evening, to participate. Colour-coded groups were formed with each person getting a balloon which she had to blow and keep afloat. Executive Committee members monitored each team, who were then challenged to be mindful also of balloons of teammates who had to leave as their names were called out by Serena. The team with all balloons afloat was the winner. The team captain when asked how they won, had a single powerful word: “Teamwork!”

Photo credit: Barbara D’Cruz, DSSP’s Associate Member

Another Torch Passes at the DSSP

By Barbara DCruz

On Sunday December 16, 2018 DSSP witnessed yet another transition; the handing over and taking over of DSSP Executive Committee 2019-2020, which was celebrated with good intentions. It’s a time when previous members step down, for the new members to take over and show their talents, skills and heart for the welfare of the DSSP. The ending is always a mark for a fresh beginning with new members and more creative ideas.

What binds them together is their allegiance to the welfare of the institution and their resolve to emulate the spirit of the outgoing committee members. Thus continuity is assured in the life of the organization.

Beach Luxury Hotel was the venue chosen for this significant event. Glenda Dsouza was at the registration desk and navigated all the members to the novelty stall. A Novelty stall was displayed at the entrance of the hall. The items from the Annual Gala were disposed at a novelty stall @ Rs 50 per try. Proceeds will go towards charity. Each item on the stall was worth more than Rs 50. The ladies participated wholeheartedly so it was a win-win situation!

Cheryl Mathews President of DSSP steered the event and welcomed everyone.

The two new Associate members introduced themselves at the event.

Certificates were distributed by Cheryl Mathew to the outgoing Executive members for their selfless efforts throughout the term 2017-2018.

Valentina Fernandes was welcomed as the incoming President of DSSP, torches were handed over by the outgoing executive committee members to the new executive members.

The New Executive Committee comprises of:

President: Valentina Fernandes

Secretary: Naureen Rodrigues

Treasurer: Clara Ann D’souza

Social Secretary: Samantha Rodrigues

Editor News Bulletin: Sunnu Golwalla

ASA Coordinator: Cheryl Mathew

Executive Members: Glenda D’souza, Afroze Tungekar & Serena D’souza

Oath taking was carried out by Ex President Cheryl Mathew and the New President Valentina Fernandes. After Valentina Fernandes took the Oath she recited for the new excom members and they pledged thereafter.

Cheryl Mathew handed over the respective flag and keys of DSSP to incoming President, Valentina Fernandes. She thanked the executive members and wished all the new members the very best.

The website and logo was launched by Cheryl Mathew who gave us a brief presentation on the revamped DSSP’s Website. Mr Irfan Rehman, CEO of AL Rehman Technologies ended with responding to a few queries on the same.

The event was taken further with latest melodious Christmas carols playing softly in the background a fun-filled and brain teasing game of Christmas Riddles, played on individual sheets, at the end of the game, answers were checked and the winners were rewarded.

The gifts from ASA Congress held in PNG were distributed among DSSP ladies by a lucky draw. Followed by Brunch, the ladies enjoyed the Double treat with the scrumptious feast at Sea Front along with a serene atmosphere overlooking the calm waters. A game of Tombola was enjoyed, capping the event!

DSSP goes Desi!

Our annual gala this year was Desi Dhamaka! Lady guests were in glittering ghagra-choli, shalwar-kameez and even sari. Men escorted with shalwar-kameez and waistcoat, completed by colorful scarf presented by DSSP at the entrance, while ladies were given ‘cangans’.

President Cheryl conceived the ‘dhamal’ months ahead, and detailed planning and working followed by the Executive Committee (EC). The fun started on the morning of the gala when the desi look was created, with stage and table décor made by our past Treasurer Mahnaz Irani, with all hands-on-deck from the EC. Standees and banners from sponsor companies – our mainstay throughout the year - followed. When the General Manager of Avari Towers heard about our theme he came in the evening to admire the ambience, which brought cheesy smiles from us all!

The DJ’s music got everyone’s feet – and arms! – moving and swaying, with just the perfect lighting creating a very romantic mood.

Cheryl hosted the evening and introduced the Executive Committee who were supposed to enter with some desi steps, and Member Glenda D’Souza performed the best, followed by a ‘dhamal’ led by our Editor Marina Fernandez

Hors d’oeuvre of ‘chat’ and lassi titillated everyone’s palate and got them into the mood to play games. Elimination dance with four provinces got it going. “Thalay may kia hay” conceived by our Social Secretary Valentina Fernandes was another fun to figure out items in a stitched bag by feeling them. Table with most correct answers bagged the prize. The Wadera March, a turban-tying competition created a lot of energy with ladies tying the turban and decorating it to the selected man at their table. Our member Bakhtawar Marfatia participated as the ‘man’ from her table! The ‘Wadera March’ began with embellished turbaned candidates competing to out-beat each other.

Lucky Draw for all attending DSSP members was possible with sufficient gift items – largely due good contacts of our Secretary Naureen Rodrigues – put a smile on each one. Our Immediate Past President, Natasha Mavalvala got the bags sponsored in which goodies were given at the entrance, and our Treasurer Clara D’Souza handled the multifarious payments and receipts behind the scenes.

Well past 1 am some were still dancing and taking pictures, some did not want to leave at all! This felt good after months of team work. Come join the Executive Committee: you won’t know what fun it is till you do!