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 and DSSP member Jehanara Mulla 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 thanked Margaret Fialho 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 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.
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!
We also thank
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.
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
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!
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!