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VOLUME 3, Number 2
Article contributed by Fernie Pereira via the Internet
Macau's eight Chinese language newspapers on Tuesday welcomes Hong Kong's handover as a sign of things to come when Macau reverts to mainland administration in 2½ years.
The best-selling Chinese language daily, the staunchly pro-Beijing Ou Mun Yat Pou, said Hong Kong's "smooth transition serves as a good example for Macau's future reversion to China". Macau returns to Chinese administration at midnight on 19 December 1999 after 442 years of Portuguese rule.
The independent Va Kio daily praised Hong Kong's "high quality team of civil servants, its administrative efficiency and successful fight against corruption, which should all serve as examples for Macau". With Hong Kong's reversion to China at midnight on Monday, Macau has become the last foreign-administered territory on Chinese soil. The Tat-Chung said "Hong Kong's handover was the first step of the peaceful reunification of China", to be followed by Macau and Taiwan. The Si Mun daily, which until the mid-1960's was reputedly close to Kuomintang interests, urged Macau residents to "support the stability and prosperity of the Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region and to learn from Hong Kong's "good example". Macau's other Chinese language papers all agreed that Hong Kong's "successful" handover was setting a good example to Macau. Macau Hoje, a Portuguese language daily, said China would "respect democracy" in Hong Kong. It publishes a special article on Hong Kong's handover headlined, "Dawn of the Dragon".
Although Tuesday was not a public holiday in Macau, most local Chinese-owned businesses remained closed. Macau's 24 banks will remain closed until Thursday, since they traditionally follow Hong Kong's banking holidays.
Macau's Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday held a reception for about 1,000 guests to celebrate Hong Kong's reversion. The governor, General Vasco Rocha Vieira, and many top civil servants attended.
Macau Xinhua director, Wang Qiren pledged that China would adhere to Deng Xiaoping's "grandiose" one country, two systems concept not only in Hong Kong but in Macau and Taiwan.
the Baltimore Sun
Some excerpts: "Macau is what Hong Kong is not." Hong Kong makes its living off trade and international finance, Macau from casinos and a tawdry nightlife. "Maybe we're less anxious about the handover because we don't have as much to lose" says Edmundo Ho, a prominent banker and legislator, who is said to be a contender to replace the Portuguese governor after the handover. Portugal asked for, and was granted, permission from China to set up an outpost on Macau. China, however, did not relinquish its sovereignty over the port. The Portuguese are solidly in control today, but local Chinese groups, as well as pro-Beijing trade unions, hold a powerful place in society. The Portuguese government has been slow to bring in ethnic Chinese, who make up about 97 percent of the population, into the top ranks of power. Expatriates or mixed-blood Macanese control all important offices. They run the police department, and courts, plan the economy, and map out the city's tourism program. None of the Portuguese governor's senior aides is ethnic Chinese. "You're talking about a total change in government" says Ho, the banker and politician. "I think we have no choice but to be ready. It's not going to be easy. We'll have to put in people without experience"
A crime wave this year has only underscored in the minds of many how time is running out and how far Chinese locals have to go before they will be ready to run their city. Since the start of the year, 14 people have been gunned downed in gang-land style killings. The fear of some local Chinese leaders is if they don't get a grip on law and order, authorities from the mainland might feel the need to do the job for them after the handover. And if that happens, it could undermine Macau's autonomy, compromising Beijing's pledge of allowing "one country,two systems"...
My fellow ex-Hong Kong Belongers!
Here are some of my random thoughts on the historic event earlier this week. I must say that I did not stay up all Sunday night/Monday morning watching the pre-handover activities. I watched a little of it Sunday night and was a bit turned off by all those wealthy women displaying their fine jewellery and designer gowns for the world to see. Who the hell needs that!
I did watch the flag lowering and raising ceremony Monday morning, and caught Charlie's speech and the PRC president's. The only thing that moved me at all was the lowering of the Union Jack. Whether I like it or not, there are still remnants of British culture and influence in my sub-conscious, and it was sad to see the lowering of both the Union Jack and the "old" dark blue background Hong Kong flag, to be replaced by those pieces of red and yellow cloth. Other than that, the event was pretty anti-climatic to me. Anne and I spent most of the time trying to figure out where this big building, the Hong Kong Convention Center, was located. Finally, when Prince Charles and his entourage descended the long escalator, walked outside, and lo and behold, parked right out front was the Royal Yacht Brittannia! Just like an American movie, where front door parking is always available to the starring performers! Aah, click! That Convention Center must be where the old HMS Tamar, the British Naval dockyard, must have been, somewhere between the old VRC (Victoria Recreation Club) and the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club (don't think it's going to be Royal anymore!), somewhere to the left of Wanchai as you head for Happy Valley from the direction of the Honkus and Shankus Bank on number one Queen's Road Central. For recent HK visitors among you who know the exact location of the Convention Center, please set me right if I am way off the mark.
Those of us who grew up in Hong Kong in the 1940's and 50's will remember school days and arithmetic classes, where we learned addition and subtraction with British text books with money expressed in pound, shillings and pence. Twelve pence equal one shilling, twenty shillings equal one pound. It didn't matter to school administrators that we Hongkongers were way ahead of the Brits because we used decimal money, i.e. dollars and cents. So here we were, little kids learning pound, shillings and pence, addition and subtraction, and then later, god forbid, multiplication and division, of pounds shillings and pence. If six-pence will buy you ten oranges, how many oranges will a half-crown and a florin buy you? And don't forget the fraction stuff, like farthings, ha'pennies and thruppence, and don't you dare forget what a guinea was worth! All that mental torture to learn something with absolutely no practical value in our day to day lives in Hong Kong. We used five cent, ten cent and fifty cent coin, and one-cent and one-, five-, ten- and (much much later for us kids) hundred-dollar paper bills, but we knew all about pounds, shillings and pence. As little school kids trying to be good students, we accepted all this nonsense and concluded that that's the way life was in the rest of the world. Everybody in the whole world, or so we thought, learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide pounds, shillings and pence in school, and we learned practical dollar and cents arithmetic outside school in the real world, the same way we learned there was a connection between sexual intercourse and babies, outside school in the real world! Pooloo, my turn, you owe me ten cents (in sing-song manner, of course) because you lost the bet! So much for British influence in my early childhood. What does all this have to do with the Hong Kong handover, you may ask? Nothing really, except that the Union Jack reminded me of mandatory knowledge of pounds, shillings and pence!
To be quite honest, I watched the handover ceremonies on Monday morning as if I was a complete outsider. I surprised myself for feeling almost no emotion. It was as if I was witnessing a news story in Tokyo, Singapore, Manila, Seoul, London, Frankfurt, Bahrain or anywhere else. Interesting stuff but didn't seem to directly affect my own life. To me, Hong Kong was history many, many years ago. The Hong Kong that I knew and grew up in is long gone. When I sailed out of Hong Kong harbor in June 1961, waving farewell to family and friends standing on the open air dock, I never thought I would ever see Hong Kong again, nor did I care to. I sailed forth to start a new life in America. I never missed Hong Kong although I did miss my family and friends. But in 1997, all my family and almost all my friends are no longer there, so there is nothing to miss. Looking at the Hong Kong landscape today, I have difficulty getting my bearing as to where the hell the camera is focusing on. The locals the press talk to, Tung Che Wah, Martin Lee and the others, are all strangers to whom I feel no personal affiliation. Sure, I would like to see a democratic Hong Kong like most other people, but Hong Kong was not a democracy when I lived there, so what's the big deal?
Those of us who worked for the HongKong and Shanghai Bank in the 50's and 60's can never forget that the bank provided six different classes of restrooms to the staff, (1) Englishmen's (2) English women's (3) Portuguese/Macanese men's (4) Portuguese/Macanese women's (5) Chinese men's, and (6) Chinese women's. If the HongKong Bank was democratic enough back then to provide a suggestion box to the staff, I would have suggested simplifying things, and cut costs, by reducing from six to three classes of restrooms: (1) English men and women's, (2) Portuguese men and women's, and (3) Chinese men and women's. Is that British democracy? Or is it simply because the British think that even their excrement is better than any other nationality's?
Remember how we used to have penpals from overseas who exchanged letters with us and addressed us in the last line of the envelope as "Hong Kong, China"? I, for one, always made it a point to correct them by telling them that Hong Kong is not part of China, it is part of the British Empire, and is a British Crown Colony, therefore the correct last line address is Hong Kong, B.C.C., not Hong Kong, China, as you foreigners erroneously think. I'm sure the kids in Hong Kong today writing letters to penpals are glad they don't have to put up with the hassle of explaining why "Hong Kong, China" ain't so, because it now is so!
And how may of you know that the phrase "Hong Kong Belonger" is an official status in Hong Kong? Well, it is, or I should say, it was, until 30Jun97. Here's my story:
When I was assigned to Hong Kong in early 1972 after my employer Security Pacific National Bank purchased controlling interest in the Bank of Canton, I went to the British Consulate in Los Angeles for a Hong Kong visa. If I recall, the first HK visa was valid for six months, after that a renewal was good for one year, then progressively two years, etc. The British Consulate informed me that I did not need a HK visa if I would only renew my British (Subject) passport. I told them I wanted a visa because my family and I were travelling on our U.S. passports and I had no intention of renewing my British subject passport.
Without telling the Consulate staff, my reasoning was that while we were living in Hong Kong (1972-74), if the Red Army decided not to wait until 1997 and invaded HK, at least the American Consulate in HK would make sure that all Americans, me and my family included, would be safely evacuated even if it means we have to sail off on a U.S. aircraft carrier. As a British subject, the HK govt may very well have drafted me back into the HK Regiment to fight off the PLA, especially with my "valuable Vickers medium machine gun experience". In retrospect, this may sound a little paranoid, but remember this was 1972, the Vietnam war was still going on, and Red Guards in China were still screwing around. Having been through WW2 as a kid in HK, I wasn't going to take any chances! Me Yank, they Brits, so let's keep it that way!
In any case, I got my six-month HK Visa, as did my fellow SecPac takeover team members, which consisted of three gwai lo Americans and one gwai lo Canadian, all of whom also needed HK visas. When I tried to renew my HK visa six months later in HK, the Chinese immigration officer noticed my place of birth as Hong Kong, and asked if I had my birth certificate with me. I told him I had it at home, and he asked me to bring it in the next day, which I did. He told me that since I was Hong Kong-born, regardless of what passport I held, I was entitled to come and go, in and out, of HK without a visa indefinitely, and he stamped "Hong Kong Belonger" on my U.S. passport. Talk about having the cake and eat it too, this was it. U.S. aircraft carrier standing by in case of trouble, and visa-free American citizen with all of the rights and privileges of a Hong Kong permanent resident. My wife Anne, not being born in HK, but married to a Hong Kong belonger had a five-year visa, instead of a one-year visa, stamped on her U.S. passport. I gave my fellow Yanks a bad time every time they had to renew their HK visas, reminding them that I didn't have to bother because I was a Hong Kong Belonger and they were not. I wonder if Hong Kong SAR will honor our special status as "Hong Kong Belongers"? Maybe there is a provision in the 50-year agreement to protect the privileges of us HKB's.
DID YOU FORGET?
As you are aware, we rely on your membership renewal to operate self-sufficiently. If you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so as soon as possible.
The Official Bulletin of the Government of Macau for June 2, 1997 announces the award by Governor Vasco Rocha Vieira of the Medal of Tourism Merit to Julian Isabel da Costa de Senna Fernandes. The Governors order includes these words:
:....In consideration of the spirit of initiative and willingness she always showed when collaborating with the Administration of Macau in programs of promotion of the Territory, and in the organization of numerous events of a cultural and tourist nature, we acknowledge the merit of her work, especially the devotion and zeal she displayed in the organization of the two important Encontros das Comunidades Macaenses that took place in the Territory. In consideration also of the important support that was given, and the benefits that her dynamic and devoted activity has gained for the population of the Territory and for the Macanese community throughout the world......"
Well it had to happen didnt it? Curry has hit the Internet.
Thanks to Jorge Remedios, a club member and also Editor of UMA, we have been advised that a "curry website" exists for those who just cant get enough of the good stuff. Point your browsers to: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/people/mjw/recipes/ethnic/indian/index.html
Whats next? MincheeNet or TachoNet? Any volunteers?
The editor of this publication was recently admitted to "Chatterbox" - a filho-macau group on the Internet which was originally created by Pinky Silva, uncle of Vilma Sequeira of Victoria. The news and "gossip" exchanged has been hilarious at times as evidenced by the following piece submitted by Leo Barros in Toronto:
"....For any of you that may still have to complete performance appraisals, here are extracts taken from actual British military forms that should inspire you:
"His men would follow him
anywhere, but only out of curiosity."
Name our newsletter
The Editor has been pondering a name for our newsletter and could only come up with two names so far: 1) The Boca Fede News and 2) Bafu de Adi Vancouver. These are names most of us are quite familiar with but maybe we can do better. Please submit your suggestions for a name for our newsletter to: The Editor, Casa de Macau Vancouver, Editorial Office, 21300 Campbell Avenue, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 7G6 (Fax: 604-466-3142) or email firstname.lastname@example.org All suggestions will be gratefully received. We will try to convince our Executive to contribute a prize for the winning entry. I am the sole judge and committee for this contest and the Judges decision is final cos it was my idea!!!!
More news gathered from the
My local newspaper,the Baltimore Sun, is carrying daily news on Hong Hong.There is a long account on the last race under British administration which took place last Sunday, 15 June 1997.Here is the gist of the report:
1. 88,000 punters placed US$93.3 million dollars in bets that day, which made the Guiness Book of Records for most bets placed in one racing day at a racetrack. The last record was a measly US$1.29 million place in 1989 at a California racetrack.
2. At any routine Wednesday at the Shatin race-track more money is bet than at the top horse-racing event in Britain!
3. The racing season is over with the last race and will resume in September when the chief executive Mr.Tung Chee-wha will officiate at the opening day ceremonies.
4. Until 1926 no person of Chinese ancestry was allowed membership at the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club
5. The Hong Kong Jockey Club ("Royal" has been dropped last year) takes in considerably much more revenue that all of Macau's casinos combined.
Casa de Macau, Australia
Our sister club in Australia now has a home page on the World Wide Web. Not only does it contain the names of all of their members but there are some interesting links to Macau Home pages which may be of interest to our members. Point your browsers to:
Social Committee Re-organization
Our Social Committee has undergone an internal reshuffling and we welcome Lyce Rozario as the Head of the Committee as well as Margie Rozario in her new role as co-anchor.
(The following article appeared recently in the Coquitlam Now, a local newspaper serving Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam, BC. Monique Guterres and her parents, Cecile and Sonny, are all active members of our Club)
Centre helps deaf child speak
Our daughter, Monique, was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss at the age of four months, due to a high risk pregnancy. We were referred to several programs by Childrens Hospital.
At diagnosis we were devastated, the world was crumbling, the pain unexplainable. With the different choices for her education, her future was in our decision for the right program.
At the first program, we were told that our child could never learn to speak and that she would have to live segregated in the deaf society.. A second program offered total communication, where children learn to sign first and then to speak.
Our first visit to the Vancouver Oral Centre for Deaf Children convinced us that our child could learn to speak and blend in with the rest of the world, communicating orally. The results we witnessed in the classes where children were speaking and functioning were enough for us to make the decision for Monique.
Home guidance support began immediately. For a year and a half Monique did not utter a single word, she only responded to sound through her hearing aids. We were getting concerned, very tired from all the hard work and questioned our choice of program.
Shortly after that, language began to appear. It was wonderful. At age three, she attended the beginners class at the Oral Centre, where the intensive work began. She mainstreamed at the Grade 1 level and is currently in Grade 6 and doing well.
We are so happy and proud with Moniques progress. Her life is full, she is a happy child and we look forward to a bright and fulfilling future for her.
We are most thankful that an oral program does exist in our community. The Vancouver Oral Centre for Deaf Children has given our child the opportunity she deserves.
(Editors Note: Monique is presently serving our Club in the Socials Committee and those who attended our Festa de Comida in April saw her, smartly dressed in her hostess apron, serving our fellow members and helping to clean up when the night was over).
Ribeiro, Teresa (Dell) - Passed away at age 48 in San Mateo, Calif. on March 23rd, 1997, after an illness. She is survived by her husband, Michael; her daughters Kim and Thea; her sisters, Raquel Remedios of Hillsborough, CA, Rosa Ross of East Marion, NY, Monica (Kiki) Oliveira of Foster City, CA; brothers Marcus de Carvalho of San Leandro, CA, John de Carvalho of Surrey, BC; and many nieces and nephews.
Festa de Comida
Our first big event of the year was the Festa de Comida held on April 19th. Yes, thats just what the Festa was all about - food and fun. The Social Committee had long planned for this day even to the point of making up their own Theme Song. The hall was gaily decorated with Club banners, streamers and helium balloons and the table center candles were adorned with the Club emblem.
The original target was for 150 guests but as the day drew near, this figure mounted to 200 which was the maximum number allowed due to fire regulations. We very much regretted turning away those who approached us after the cut-off and hope they will give us a chance to make up for it at our next major event which will be our New Years Eve Dinner/Dance. But please remember there will be an attendance limit as well so make sure you get your tickets early!!
In the spirit of Filho Macau unity, we extended an invitation to the Macau Cultural Association to join us at the Festa. Unfortunately their Executive were unable to attend, however we were glad to welcome some of their members and hope that this will be the beginning of many more occasions for "get-togethers".
We were well supported by our members and their families. The youngest couple on the dance floor was 4¾ year old Brendan Rozario partnered by 4½ year old Jennifer de Sá, who were joined by Moms and Dads, Grandparents and even Great Grandparents. Who could have asked for better show of family unity.
The taped music was provided by our member, Humphrey Ho, who, together with his wife Fernanda de Pinna Ho, also organised a fund raising karaoke session. It was a delight to hear so many rising stars in our community.
Of course, the "Piéce de Résistance" of the evening was the "Comida", and we were proud to present the following menu:
The evening was not yet over. To energize our friends until closing time (2 a.m.), they were given even more "comida" - Canja de Porco and Filhozes Chinês. The end of a perfect evening.
We would like to thank ALL those who cooked the various foods and desserts, the decorators, the kitchen helpers, the servers, the clean-up crew, the organizers of the 50/50 draw, as well as those who gave the complimentary gifts, the music organizers etc.etc. This was your evening, and we owe it all to you. Muito Obrigado.
The 1997 Social Committee
Victorian Tea (Those Were The
1997 Has seen the lowering of the British Flag. In memory of the Hong Kong we knew - the cricket matches; lawn bowls; tennis and badminton games, when the requisite attire was "immaculate whites"; and where our Macanese heritage was so closely entwined with British upbringing, so much so, that, for many of us, the English language has become our mother tongue, we will be transported to that era for one short afternoon with a Victorian Tea.
We shall serve egg and cucumber finger sandwiches, petit fours, crumpets etc. Don't expect coffee, as we shall have only English Tea - perhaps also "Hong Kong Nai Cha".
We would like everyone to participate to make this a real 'Hong Kong Fare', so, please help us with the goodies that were close to your heart.
To create the proper atmosphere, as well as for your own enjoyment, please bring your own China cups and plates as well as cutlery.
It's time after Tea to be 'out with the old' and 'in with the new'. Michael Remedios and Philip Seth have kindly volunteered to guide us in the intricacies of various dances today. Be sure to join in and you will not be disappointed. We hope that our Junior members will also participate and make this a truly family fun day.
This is a Special Tea to be held at Metro Town Community Room on 9th August, Saturday, at 2 pm. The cost will be $2.50 each for members. Children 7 years and under - free. Guests are welcome at a charge of $4.00 each. Please get your tickets today. Deadline for purchase is August 3rd. Only seventy (70) tickets will be issued and when they are gone, they're GOOOOOONNNNEEEE!
It's a Small World
"Retired Vancouver Sun news editor, Tom Butler and wife Cissy were married in 1937 in Shanghai, where they sometimes danced to the music of Ciro's cabaret bandleader Lobing Samson. Recently, while renewing their marriage vows before Rev. Peter Chiang at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Richmond, they heard familiar voices. It was Lobing Samson and his wife, Isabel, congratulating them from a nearby pew."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
(If we have missed anyone, please let us know immediately so that we can update our records.)
Filo-Filo di Macau e Dia de
A Note from Pinky: On a whimsical note I shall reproduce a write-up I did with the late Eusebio d'Aquino (of New York) on "Dia di Macau". This piece appeared in the September 1994 issue of the UMA-NewsBulletin. It is written in "Matamoro Macanese" using an orthography that most approximate the creole language sounds to old time native speakers of the creole (Macanese is not a "dialect" but a "creole language", so the linguistic experts tell me. But if one is familiar with spoken Macanese, this piece should be read aloud for best effect. We wrote this piece in response to the many "PORFES" (Portuguese of the Far East" types, many in our sister organization Club Lusitano of Oakland,California.)
Nós não quero piliza
cung gente qui fala nós, Filo-filo di Macau, são
"ethnically Portuguese, Macanese second". Qui
bubarica! Antigamente "Portuguese" (Portugues)
são unga palavra qui significa qui nossa gente são
"Cristão", como "Moro" significa qui
gente di India são "Muculamano"
We do not want to quarrel with those who say that we,Sons of Macau, are "ethnically Portuguese, Macanese second". What nonsense! In olden days the word "Portugues" (Portuguese) meant that our people were Christians, as "Moro" designated people of India as "Muslims". A notable part of our people came from families of mixed race that had stayed in Macau for many generations. In our veins run Portuguese blood mixed with those of other races: Oriental and European. Our people have become "Portugalized" because of shared religion (Catholic), education, and culture. It is a compliment that we, the Sons of Macau, have become an important testament to the Portuguese Presence in Oriental Asia". But, unfortunately, we are not "ethnically Portuguese, Macanese second"
The Sons of Macau of LTMA in California have this year celebrated the 10 of June, as "Camoens Day", also termed "Portugal Day". Again, we do not wish to question their choice but we would suggest that UMA ought to honor the 24 of June, St. John's Day, as Macau Day.
Why the 24 of June? On this day in 1622 an armed assembly from Macau, made up of Portuguese with swords and muskets, Blacks with spears, Goanese and Cochimese with cleavers, Malaccans with choppers, Japanese with long slashing-daggers, all of them Christians, beat upon and scattered a large force of Dutchmen which had attacked Macau. This battle took place at Caçilhas Beach, now flooded under the waters of Macau's reservoir. Had our brave ancestors lost this fight, the old city of Macau would not be Christian, nor Portuguese. The victory that day on the 24th of June, 1622 allowed Macau to be what it is today.
Now we know why our people of old celebrated the 24th of June with "the fruits of victory" by partaking of the fruits of the gardens of Macau, such as mango, jarnboa, jambulao, bananas, orange, custard apple, pineapple, starfruit, guava, long-an, etc.
It would not be a bad idea to celebrate next year's 24th of June, St. Jobn's Day, Macau Day, with a "fruit-laden picnic". What do you all think?
Fighting Lorchas of Macau
Thanks to Bosco who lives in Melbourne, Australia, for the following article and recipe.
The Lorchas which was so much a part of Macau's maritime scene and it's rich history is still commemorated today in Macau's cuisine by one of it's more popular dishes AMARGOSO LORCHA!
These gallant little fighting ships were designed in Macau, by Macaenses, for Macau. They incorporated the finest that was Portuguese and Chinese naval architecture of that time and were built specifically as a fighting ship operating against pirates, as coast guard and for convoy duty. They were built in the Porto Interior of Macau, mainly of teak with flat bottoms and very light draft. The sterns and rudders were of Chinese design and the vessels were well adapted for tacking about quickly. As a rule they were two masted, with lateen as well as round sails. Their size ranged from 40 to 150 tons, but in the main they were from 50 to 100 tons. The smaller Lorchas carried four to six guns and larger ones were equipped with twenty guns from 1 to 24 pounders, the heavier pieces on swivels. Half of their crew was Portuguese and the other half Chinese, all well armed with muskets, swords and spears.
T'he Lorchas were gaily painted and brightened up Macau's harbour. According to historian, Montalto Jesus, the Lorchas were Macau's best hope during the mid-9th century. He wrote "constituting as they did a pledge of her (Macau's) welfare economically as well as politically. And acting for the same cause which shed lustre on the colony's origin, the Macaenses showed that they had not lost the mettle of their historical forefathers in fighting pirates and thereby winning China's goodwill for Macau."
The Lorchas ventured everywhere along the China coast and the Mandarins employed them for their own protection as well as for escort duty for their traders and fishermen. Their convoy duties took them as far as Taiwan, Korea and Japan They were also known to have crossed the Pacific to California! At that time, the pirates totally controlled the coast, and the Mandarins and traders in general were held to ransom by these brigands. It was only when supported and assisted by our Lorchas did the Mandarins attain victories against the pirates.
The work of those manning the lorchas, although very perilous, was extremely lucrative and undoubtedly assisted immensely in the economy of Macau. The success of the Lorchas eventually led to jealousy amongst the British, French and others who instigated the massacre of the Portuguese at Ningpo on June 26,1357 by the Chinese, supported by foreign privateers. An assault was made on all Portuguese ashore and afloat, the Portuguese consulate was pillaged and wrecked, the flag hauled down and trampled on. The British Consulate drove out hunted Portuguese refugees seeking shelter there to be butchered or slowly tortured to death.
The Lorcha was something very special to the Macaense; it was made up of the best of the east and the best of the westlike Macau. Its role has at times been misconstrued. It was never a fishing boat and certainly not a Chinese junk! Many of our forefathers were Lorcha captains. The father of the famous Macaense artist, Marciano Baptista, was one of them.
Unfortunately, there is little recorded information as to the names of the Lorcha captains and their accomplishments. The men who sailed their ships did not leave any records of their adventures. Some of the old tales were passed on from father to son and hence, sad to say, a rich chapter in Macau's history has been lost forever. The action of a Portuguese Lorcha which was recorded, is that of the "Amazona".
A joint naval expedition made up of British, American, Portuguese and Chinese forces under the command of Captain O'Callahan of the Royal Navy was planned and launched from Hong Kong, on August 3, 1355, against a strong fleet of piratical junks operating from the Island of Kuhlan, some sixty miles south-west of Macau. The Portuguese contribution to this multinational force was the Lorcha "Amazona", with a naval detachment under the command of Lieut. Commander Jose da Silva Carvalho. The American contribution was the steamed vessel, the U.S.S.Rattler.
The operation was a very difficult one as the sea approaches were defended by a large fleet of well armed junks and hilly condition of the island were all in favour of the pirates. In the ensuing battle, many of the pirates were killed or captured. Fifty junks were sunk and the fortified batteries ashore comprising of twenty-seven guns were destroyed. The pirates had put up a determined resistance and it took the allied forces seven days to subdue them.
A British officer's eye-witness report of the battle related that the Portuguese and the Americans were conspicuous in the action. The Portuguese naval detachment operated in conjunction with the British Royal Marines in clearing the island of pirates. Lieut. Commander Jose da Silva Carvalho and the valiant crew of the Amazona were publicly thanked by the commander of the expedition, Captain O'Callahan.
The Amazona's brilliant exploits in the shallow waters around Macau to as far north as Ningpo were legendary. She was considered one of the finest combat vessels under sail on the South China coast at that time. Due to her shallow draft and excellent sailing qualities, she was able to swiftly attack pirates lairs and destroy their vessels and villages. Her commander, Lieut. Commander Silva Carvalho, was highly commended by the British and French admirals, and by the Chinese officials, for the magnificent service he and his crew rendered against the pirates of the China coast. It is sad to note that this gallant Lorcha ended her days as a depot ship for the water police in the Mozambique River.
With the advent of steam, the Lorcha soon faded away and it is today only remembered by the dish Amargoso Lorcha. There are many variations to this recipe and one of this is as follows:
Amargoso (approx. 600 grams)
Wash the amargoso well and slice it in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Parboil for 2 to 3 minutes until the amargoso is bright green but not cooked. Rinse in cold running water to be rid of the bitterness. Fry the garlic and onions in the oil until they are half-cooked. Add the balichão and turmeric and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, then add the tomato paste and fry until quite dry. Let the mixture cool down and mix it in well with the minced pork. Slightly beat the egg and mix this in with the pork mixture to bind. Fill each amargoso with the stuffing. Separate the coconut milk into two equal portions. Miixing one portion with an equal measure of water and boil this in a fairly large pan, laying in neatly the stuffed amargoso. Allow it to simmer gently for 30 minutes until cooked. Then add the balance of the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the amargoso to a serving plate and bring the sauce to a quick boil, stirring a few times. Pour sauce over the amargoso and serve.
Prison Camp at
by C.L. (Cicero) Rozario
The people who didnt go out had to clean up the camp, doing gardening and even tailoring. I had a pair of gloves knitted for 5 cigarettes. Some of the boys learned bridge and chess.
You can be called at anytime to go to work and while playing cards we would hear the Sgt.Major call out " Sgt, I need 5 men". We would all quickly jump out of the window leaving the Sgt. looking at an empty hut. He had to go to the waterfront to collar those who were enjoying the walks and sightseeing. When the Sgt. came back he was surprised to find a hut full of men.
Most of the time, we had half a mess tin of rice and a bowl of hot water, twice a day. Sometimes we had vegetables, the same stuff for 6 months, chrysanthemum leaves, chili-water etc. The black eggs were rotten and thrown away by the English Engineers.
The guys in camp were already hot-tempered and they gave us chili-water so there were lots of fights among us. One fight I remember involved one of our boys who was beating up this guy and then turned to us in Macanese and said "stop the fight, Im out of breath". WE stopped the fight and called it a draw to humour the "gwai-lo". This guy was a bully because he kept picking on small and sickly people. This time he picked on a tall American ( a seaman) who also happened to be a boxer. They sparred and this American hit him in the mouth and his false teeth fell to the ground. The fight was stopped and everybody went looking for his teeth. We found it and the fight continued but we had to stop it soon after as it was getting too one-sided. He was very careful who he bullied after that.
In the beginning the cook house was staffed with Royal Engineers. Later it was mostly our boys. We had to chop firewood - whole trees, wet and knotty. Every time you chopped, the axe-blade would fly off and you were left holding just the handle. They gave us pick axes and the same thing happened. We dreaded this chopping business.
We had to unload rice from trucks when they came in. In those days, I used to carry 250 bags of rice - now I cant carry a 20 Lb. bag of manure!!
We had a hospital and a mortuary. This mortuary had no doors, so whenever you went for a walk, you would pass this place with no windows and you could see the doctor go about his business.
The boys had pellagra and the cure was no salt. So we had no salt for 6 months - everything was tasteless. There was a diphtheria and the soldiers were dying like flies because there was no serum on hand. You would enter the hospital and die on the third day. Each time a soldier died, the bugler would come out and trumpet his horn. After 10 soldiers died in one day, the Japanese stopped him. Soldiers were also dying of dysentery. My uncle had dysentery and weighed about 40 Lbs. I could have carried his stretcher myself. The Japanese sent him to Queen Mary Hospital and after 3 months he returned. When I saw him I said: "Uncle, I thought you were dead!" - and he chased me around the room.
There were lots of bugs, rats and flies. During the dysentery outbreak, the Japanese offered a packet of cigarettes for 100 flies. These guys went around with their drinking mugs to catch flies, breaking them in two if they were big flies!! They would get their packet of cigarettes as the Japanese did not bother counting them.
Some of the boys had scabies which were like boils on your skin. The treatment was for you to hold onto the bar in front of you and the medics helper would scrub your back with a brush (the kind with long hairs on one end). Not only would you get a bloody back but you would probably faint at the second pass. This went on until you were cured which was next to impossible due to the food we were given to eat.
There were few escapes from Camp with outside help. Each time we had to parade on the football field. Sometimes for 12 hours and raining. The married and older people had lots of worries as they had wives and children outside and whenever something bad happened inside (escapes, radios found etc.), their families on the outside had to squat and wait for hours until the Japanese told them "no parcels today".
New Years Eve Bash
A First for Casa de Macau (Vancouver)
1997 Social Committee
Despite the weather.....
How do you make it rain in Vancouver? Its easy, simply plan a picnic in the park and watch it rain. This is precisely what occured on June 21st, 1997, the day selected to hold our Dia de São João Picnic at Queens Park. We even had the LARGE shelter this year. But alas, the rain kept many people at home but those who braved the elements were truly rewarded with yet another scrumptious display of culinary arts put on by our Social Committee.
Hamburgers, hotdogs, chips etc were accompanied by Chow Fan, Chicken Wings (wow, they were good), Roasted Pig, Chow Mein and too many more things for me to even try to accurately list here. But take it from one whose stomach is very dear to him, it was fantastic.
During the afternoon, three tables of Mah-Jong suddenly sprouted from seemingly nowhere, and the gamblers quickly lined up hoping to find a seat at one of the tables. All in all, from what I observed, everyone had a great time, despite the darned weather. A big thank you again to the Social Committee for putting on another masterpiece.
First Filhos de Macau on Vancouver
Throughout the course of history, there have been many proud nations who have left their mark in the world. In the case of the Spaniards and Portuguese, it is well documented that they were a proud race of explorers, travellers and sailors. Names such as Vasco da gama and Christoforo Columbus come to mind. It is therefore not at all surprising that the Filhos de Macau, being of Portuguese descent, inherited some of those traits and have shown a great love for travelling abroad.
Although the vast majority of the Filhos de Macau have immigrated to North America ans settled around the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, there are others who are scattered over other areas along the pacific Coast and Canada. Over the years, Filhos de Macau and their descendants residing in Canada (namely Vancouver) have grown to be a large enough number to establish a cultural organization in this part of the Pacific West Coast. Somewhat forgotten are the smaller number of families who make their homes on Vancouver Island.
During the early 50's, there were many immigrants from the Far East, Hong Kong and Macau who immigrated to Canada seeking a fresh start in life. My father and mother, known to most as "Afit and Nenita" da Silva, felt the urge to travel. The first to fly from the nest was my brother Gerry (Geraldo) also known as "Jackie", immigrating to England to this day.
The next to leave was my younger sister Paddy (Patricia), who left in 1956 for Victoria British Columbia, Canada. She joined the Aldeguer family who had immigrated to Victoria a few years earlier. The following year my parents and youngest brother Andy (Andre) also left for Victoria to settle there. Being the eldest child in the family, I, my husband Tony (Sequeira) and two sons were the last to leave Hong Kong in 1964 to join the rest of the family in Victoria, thus becoming the first Filhos de Macau to settle on Vancouver Island. Many years have passed and many more families have since immigrated to Canada and to Vancouver Island. Since arriving some three decades ago, we have all raised our families and have even become grandparents.
My brother Gerry is retired and still resides in England. His son Mark is a successful qualified hydraulic draftsman and is also recently married. My sister Paddy is married to Alfred Cassidy and is manager of a travel agency in Williams Lake, BC. Their four children are all successful in their careers as well. Peter, the eldest of the four is a carpenter and is currently training in the computer related field. Bridget, their eldest daughter is an engineer and is also married to an engineer. Together they own their own construction company. Timothy, the younger of the two sons, is a recent graduate of Royal Road Military Academy, achieving the rank of Captain. He is currently in the faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, Loraine, the youngest of the four is currently married and employed with the Provincial Government of British Columbia.
My youngest brother Andy is a welder and metal fabricator. He is married and has three daughters and a son. My husband Tony and I are both enjoying retirement. I had been employed in the Provincial Government, working up the ranks to being secretary to both the Attorney General and Minister of Labour. I can reflect upon this with great satisfaction. I had attained the highest level a secretary could within the Provincial Government before retiring.
The eldest of our two sons, Vince, is married with four children. He graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Music Education and is now a successful music teacher in Campbell River School District. Over the years he has accomplished many notable goals, making a name for himself in sports, community events and in the education world. He has also achieved international recognition for his ukulele band, which has toured throughout the province of BC and also in the Pacific Rim Music Festival in Hawaii. The group has since released three cassettes commercially.
Our youngest son, Chris has achieved much success in the field of music as well. He has played professionally as a bassist with numerous tour groups, travelling across Canada and the Maritimes as well as into the eastern United States. Having lived for eleven years in Toronto since graduating, he is now back in BC making his living as a Flexographic Printer with a major Printing establishment in Vancouver.
With the next generation of Filhos de Macau already coming of age on Vancouver Island, there is a family who has gone quietly unnoticed for many years. It is my way of reaching out to other Filhos de Macau and their descendants, and saying, "Hello, we are here!"