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VOLUME 3, Number 1
|A Message From Our
Although our Casa is only two years young, there have been many accomplishments since incorporation. Just to name a few: our Casa has gained recognition by the Macau Government as a Macaenses club; our Casa was invited to attend the Second Encontro; the membership goal set two years ago has been achieved; many members have rekindled old friendships and made new friends - OUR CASA IS DEFINITELY ON THE PLUS SIDE. Muito Obrigado, John de Carvalho, for your leadership as our President these last two years.
I am deeply honoured to be your new President and I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me in the elections.
With the continued support and enthusiasm of the Executive Committee, the various Committees and their respective heads (especially the Socials Committee, headed this year by Gilbert Gomes and co-headed by Lyce Rozario), our Newsletter Editor (Michael Guterres) together with Pat Adams (Layout), our Parliamentarian (Rick Rozario), our Honorary Vice Presidents (Meno Baptista of Tacoma Wa. and Vilma Sequeira of Victoria BC.), each and every member of our Casa, and last but not least, my family, I am confident that I will be able to carry out my duties as President to the best of my abilities and, more importantly, I know that 1997 will be another successful year for our Casa. Thank you, each and everyone! Lets do it!
Heres to the continued healthy growth of our Casa, AND to the fun and frolic we shall all continue to enjoy while doing the growing....TOGETHER! VIVA!
Fernanda A. Ho, President
Thats right! Can it really happen? Well, we are trying!!
For those who were not able to attend the last General Meeting, the following is a brief recap of the current efforts to bring about a consolidation of the two "Casas" in the Greater Vancouver area, namely our Club and the Macau Cultural Association (Casa de Macau) of Western Canada.
Upon returning from the last Encontro in Macau, our Executive under John de Carvalho, now Past President, wrote a letter to Mr. Rene Ozorio, President of the Macau Cultural Association proposing that the members of both clubs be given the opportunity to vote on the desirability of consolidating our two clubs. This letter was sent on February 13th, 1997 and at press time we were still awaiting a response from them on the matter. The proposal simply gives each member of "both" clubs an opportunity to vote Yes or No on the Consolidation proposal. Assuming a "Yes" vote majority is achieved, certain amalgamation activities would then get underway to "tidy-up" certain loose ends prior to holding a special Joint General Meeting to determine the by-laws of the amalgamated club. Nomination and election procedures would also be determined prior to holding an election for a new Executive Committee.
We applaud the efforts of John and our Executive for taking the initiative in this matter. Our new President Fernanda Ho has taken the matter one step further. She has issued an open invitation to all members of the Macau Cultural Association to attend our Festa de Comida on April 19th!! and we are hopeful of a good turnout from them. Let us welcome all with open arms and hearty appetites!!!
John, Thank You!
With the elections now over, we have a new Executive Team to look after the Club on our behalf; guiding and arranging and doing all the other things which must happen in order for us to operate a social club as we have here. We would however not feel right unless some form of tribute is paid to the efforts of one man who did more for this Club than anyone will ever know. Well, maybe Monica knows!!
This man is John de Carvalho. John was our first President who took us from a mere dream to the club we now have with full recognition from the Macau Government and the other Casas around the world. If you do not think this was a monumental task, then you should try it sometime, but be prepared for ulcers!! And a lot of your own personal time and effort.
It would be impossible to list all of the things John has done for us, but we want him to know we are very grateful for all the time, effort and personal expense he has given to our Club, and still does! A very special thank you as well goes to Johns wife Monica and their family for having endured with a lot of difficult times as our Club was forming. We know it wasnt pleasant nor easy. THANK YOU!
A Great Turnout - General Meeting March 15, 1997
We salute the more than 50 loyal and die hard members (and guests) of our Casa who made their way to the Metrotown Centre to attend the first General Meeting with the newly elected Executive Team at the helm; in spite of the unexpected mid-March snowfall which made roads quite treacherous. The inclement weather did not deter them nor did it dampen their spirits.
The 97 Social Committee, who showed up more than two hours early to prepare the goodies in a room tastefully decorated with the St. Patricks Day theme, were on hand to greet members and guests as they walked in to the sound of Portuguese music, much to their delight.
All who attended were amply rewarded for their efforts with three tables full of homemade treats prepared and donated by the Social Committee. Among the culinary delights were quantities of assorted sandwiches, chow mein, chilicote, pão rachado, curry triangles, coconut tarts, potato cake, pão de lété, orange flavoured upside down cake, chocolate pudding cake, chips, pickles, coffee, tea and even Chinese "ching cha."
All in all, the event got off to a great start. For those who missed this meeting, take heart. There are more wonderful treats in store for all of us in the events to follow this year.
The Social Committee would like to thank our new President Fernanda Ho and the rest of the Executive Committee whose enthusiasm and appreciation only help to inspire our group to work harder, to the members and guests who attended and to the Phoning Committee who did a splendid job in reminding all members of the meeting.
Muitos obrigado e beijos por todos.
97 SOCIAL COMMITTEE - FORMED AND RARING TO GO
Yes folks, our Social Committee is once again standing ready, willing and able to feed, entertain and generally "amuse" our tummies.
The 1997 Social Committee members got to work immediately after the successful conclusion of our Annual General Meeting on February 15, 1997 and a brainstorming session was convened at Lyce and Rick Rozarios house a mere 4 days later, on the 19th. This first meeting was a casual affair, but the spread put out by Lyce at the end of the meeting was something else! Lets just say no one went home hungry!!
Fernanda Ho (our President) and Robert Da Roza (Treasurer) were taken ambushed and taken aback at the speed the Committee was moving, but they graciously accepted the invitation to attend this first meeting.
Lyce Rozario presented a suggested 97 Schedule of Events (See Page 3 for details) to Fernanda who promised to present it to the Executive Committee for approval. A membership survey for either a New Years Eve or Christmas party was also presented to her at that time. (See Page 3 - Members are for encouraged to voice their choices so that plans can be made early.) Fernanda also advised that an Executive Committee meeting was scheduled for Feb.25th at Cecile and Sonny Guterres home and that everything was beginning to gel and move forward.
At this first Social Committee meeting, Lyce Rozario also nominated Gilbert Gomes to head the Social Committee. The members present concurred and Gilberts appointment was confirmed.
A second meeting of the Social Committee was held on March 4th at Anita and Gilbert Gomes home where the first two club events were brought up and discussed. They are:
1. General Meeting - Saturday March 15/97 - 2:00 pm Metrotown, Burnaby.
(See "A Great Turnout" in this issue for details on this very successful event.)
2. Festa de Comida - Saturday April 19/97 at 6:00 pm
Previously known as the "Tacho/Minche Affair", the Social Committee has expanded this popular dinner to include many other of our favourite dishes. See Page 4 for full particulars on this event which promises to be a food-lovers delight. And for only $10.00 per head - What a deal!!!!!!!
The 1997 Social Committee promises to be well organized and business like. Members and their guests will be made welcome at all of our Clubs meeting and events. They will be cared for and FED! THATS A PROMISE!! So, members, all you have to do is make every effort to attend and support your club, bring a friend or a potential new member with you. WELL ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER IN 1997!!!
Members of the 1997 Social Committee are:
Gomes (Committee Head)
If you have any ideas, suggestions or concerns, please feel free to call any of the above members of the Committee. They would love to hear from you.
Welcome to our New Members
A very hearty welcome to the following new members who have joined since our Annual General Meeting on February 15th, 1997.
To the above new members and all existing members, this is YOUR club. Come on out and support it at the various functions and meetings throughout the year. As with everything else, we will only get out of it what we ourselves put into it. Hope to see you all at the Festa de Comida on April 19th.
birthdays falling within the timeline of this issue of
the newsletter include:
Editors Note: The following article was submitted by Mr. C.L. (Cicero) Rozario recalling life in Shamshuipo during the last World War. We wish to thank Cicero for taking the time to recount his experiences so that we can always remember what he and others went through. Our deepest thanks to all of you.
Camp at Shamshuipo
It took us 12 hours to reach Shamshuipo Prison Camp as there were over 10,000 men and only two ferries running - we had to walk all the way from Star Ferry lugging our belongings.
We were put up in quonset huts of about 50 men in each hut. No.6 Company personnel had one hut, No. 5 Company and Field Ambulance of the Hongkong Volunteer Defence Force were next to us. In fact the Volunteers were all in a row as we were under the command of the same Sergeant-Major. Besides us, we had the Royal Scots and Middlesex Regiments. One Indian Artillery Regiment, one Chinese Field Ambulance Section and two Canadian Regiments - the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers. The Chinese and Indians were later released and there was a rumour that we, the Portuguese, would also be released but it never happened.
The Windows and doors were all looted. It was winter and very cold. We had to fabricate our own doors and windows. We had to scrounge ( a polite word for steal) pieces of wood and corrugated metal sheets and with the help of the Royal Engineers, managed to put up doors and windows of some sort.
We were to put to work in the Kai Tak Airfield, cleaning nullahs and shovelling down a whole hill (quite a mountain) to enlarge the airport. A few soldiers died in landslides after our futile efforts to dig them out. We had a first aid station under a tree where the sick could go to rest and recuperate. On the first day, there were two or three of us at the first aid station. The next day there were ten, then everybody got into the act until the Japanese sentries chased us away with their fixed bayonets. Then it was back to normal - two or three genuine patients and the others preferred not to get sick.
The other big job was at Aberdeen where we had to take the oil and kerosene drums to the pier and later load them on a barge, where they were all taken to the Laichikok Installation. There were so many drums that it took us 6 months to clear the go-downs (another name for warehouse- ED.) We got up at 5 a.m., breakfast and waited on the parade ground to be counted. Then we were put on a barge which took over an hour to reach Aberdeen. Most of us slept on the barge and others chatted or read books. The Japanese brought in a lot of books and we had quite a good library. While we were working on the drums, an Allied spotter plane would fly over us every morning. The air-raid siren would go off and the Japanese guards ran up the hills, far away from the drums of oil. We sat on the drums as we knew we had our own spies and this same spotter plane came over every morning. The American bombers never bombed the prison camp and they seemed to know where we worked.
When all the drums were taken to Laichikok, the spotter plane still came around. As usual, the siren went off and everyone looked at Laichikok. One fine day there was a heavy droning sound and we told ourselves "This was it!". The huge tanks went up in black mushroom smoke and we could see the drums going up through the smoke. A lot of fighter planes strafed the go-downs until there was nothing left. The fire in Laichikok burned for a week. Everyday at dinnertime we took our bowl of rice to the field to watch the huge fire and we sang: "Over there, everywhere, the Yanks are coming." On the third day, the Japanese guards were also singing with us. If they found out what we were singing they would have charged us with their fixed bayonets.
Of course we had other jobs, which was against the Geneva Convention, which says that a prisoner should not be put to work. One of the interpreters told the guard and was badly beaten up.
Later we went to Laichikok to clean up and it was like no-mans land - no trees, everything black for about a mile and the go-down all smashed up. We had to take the drums to our prison camp for storage. Each drum was riddled with over a hundred holes.
(to be continued in the next issue)
Hong Kong Handover
The public may be allowed to attend the British farewell ceremony at sunset on June 30, 1997.
Dozens of people have written to the government asking to be allowed to attend the handover ceremony at midnight. But there is a quota of just 4,000 places according to government sources, all of which will be taken up by eminent political and commercial leaders. To make up for the disappointment the government was considering allowing members of the public take up some of the 10,000 places at the British Forces farewell ceremony at HMS Tamar.
After the sunset ceremony, China and Britain will jointly hold a grand dinner at the new extension to the Convention Centre in Wan Chai, due to be completed in early June. Britain will be formally represented by the Prince of Wales.
Club Lusitano Reaches For The Sky
A Club Lusitano plan to redevelop its building in Hong Kongs Central district is expected to generate millions in office rents every year, making it one of the best-funded private associations in Hong Kong.
The Club, which for then a century has been an integral part of the territorys Portuguese community, is planning to knock down its building on Ice House Street to build a 30 story skyscraper.
Although Club President A. De O. Sales said the plan has not been finalized, it is understood the redevelopment was approved at the annual meeting earlier this month.
Fernando Santos, Portugals consul-general and a member of the club, said the plan would provide more resources and better facilities for members.
"The Club is an important part of the close-knit Portuguese community here," he said. With about 300 members and 1,000 relatives, the club included nearly everyone from the ethnic Portuguese community, although there were more than 10,000 Portuguese passport holders in Hong Kong - most ethnic Chinese.
The Club is expected to occupy the first 5 floors of the new building when completed within two years. It occupies the same number in the current 12 story building.
The site is estimated to be worth HK$1.95 billion.
(Reprinted from an article appearing in the SCMP dated Dec.16/96)
John de Carvalho, our Past President, is heading up an effort to solicit input from our members on the possibility of a Youth Encontro in Macau. This is in response to a request from the Macau Government.
This Encontro may very well be the third and last Encontro and our input is vital and necessary at this stage. It is felt that the Macau Government is putting out "feelers" to all the Casas around the world so that arrangements can be made for this special Encontro.
The suggestion has been made to put on a week long event earlier in the year for our youth. While no date has been suggested, a summer time frame might best be suited for our North American youth but maybe not so for youth from South America and Australia who have different school years than we do. So you can see the dilemma has already started and we have only touched on the potential timing of the event.
While a "youth" focus has been suggested, it does not exclude other "non-youth" from attending, at least not at this point.
Please forward your ideas, suggestions and comments to John either through the Executive Committee or by phoning John directly at (phone number withheld). Of particular interest would be ideas for suggested activities which can be held during this Encontro.
PORTUGAL TRIP - CASA DE MACAU (TORONTO)
Casa de Macau (Toronto) has asked us to publicize a travel package they are arranging for this coming Fall. Due to a lack of space in this issue, we regret we are unable to provide the full itinerary outlining all of the activities etc taking place during the trip. If anyone is interested, please contact the organizers listed below if you require more information.
Toronto Saturday September 27, 1997 approx. 5:30 p.m.
Price: Toronto/Portugal/Toronto Cdn$ 1,739.00 per person, double occup.
Land Package Only Cdn$ 1,159.00 per person, double occup.
Add Cdn$ 390.00 single occup.
Price includes airfare, all hotel accomodations (4 & 3 star hotels) including overnight at Fatima, all tours and land transport, all taxes and service charges, all soft drinks and juices with meals, entrance fees for palaces, castle and museums, 12 breakfasts-3 lunches-6 dinners.
(Editors Note: Contact addresses and phone numbers withheld from this website)