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Address On The Web
Thanks to the talents, know-how and dedication of Mike Guterres, our Casa is being introduced globally via an impressive site on the World Wide Web. Our presence on the web is significant in terms of defining who we are and in enhancing our visibility both locally and internationally. Information about our Casa is beamed out globally and anyone on-line can access us.
Mike has set up links to other pages of interest to us, thus simplifying "surfing" the network of topics related to all Casa's. We now have a global communication link among all the Macaenses, which is vital to our goal of preserving and nurturing our culture.
Visually, the site is contemporary and uncluttered, incorporating special touches such as rotating figures and 3D renditions of our logo. Its contents include details of the origins of our club, information about our functions and meetings, a list of the executive and the contents of our newsletters.
The format of the site and the manner in which links are set up are a credit to Mike's professionalism. He's put in Hong Kong links, Macau links, as well as links to all Casa's worldwide. He's even got links to curry recipes! So, accessing Macau Travel Tips, for example, is as easy as clicking your mouse.
On-line since December 14th , 1997, the site has already attracted over 400 "hits", and the comments range from decidedly favourable to absolutely glowing.
From Vince Remedios, LA, Calif.,"Mike, an excellent job! Very professional indeed..."
"I will visit the site which now has a place in my register of favourite places..." Carlos Noronha, Toronto.
"Great, great stuff...", Jose and Gloria Anok, Toronto.
The fact the site is up and running doesn't signal an end to Mike's involvement with the project. As Webmaster, he must tend to the site as if it were a "virtual pet", monitoring it and keeping it current. This is no small task.
Due to these new demands on his time, Mike's involvement with this newsletter will be somewhat reduced. He will continue to oversee the contents and to contribute articles, but I (Pat) will take on more of the editorial duties than previously. This newsletter reflects your concerns. As always, we encourage your articles, photos, letters, commentary and suggestions. Please send them to Mike or to myself. Muito obrigado.
Did you notice the new header on our newsletter? Thats the new name for our newsletter and our thanks go out to Robert da Roza for his suggestion which came closest to the name we finally settled on. (Robert has advised us that he and his brother Mickey were really jointly responsible for coming up with this name - either way, thank you both for taking an interest by submitting some really excellent names for us to consider. This name was selected by the Editor and recommended to the Executive for acceptance, which they did. Robert, who is also our Treasurer, was therefore not required to vote either for or against his entry. Fernanda Ho presented Robert with a bottle of brandy from the Club for his winning suggestion. )
Robert also sent along a thank you note to all of our members which read: "Thank you very much for the gift on behalf of the Casa for choosing the name for our clubs newsletter, Voz dos Macaenses de Vancouver. However, I must point out that the newsletters name was a combined effort between myself and my brother Mike. On behalf of the Casa I would like to thank him for his effort and foresight for the name for which without it, the name would not properly reflect our "true Macanese spirit."
Thank you Robert and we do hope you at least shared some of the brandy with Mike too. Well, now that we have a name, why did we pick it? What is the reason for this long name? Why do we need a name at all?
The name selected Voz dos Macaenses de Vancouver - can be literally translated to mean: Voice of the Macanese People in Vancouver. Thats who we are! And the newsletter is our voice our collective voice. The name also embodies the reasons our Club was started in the first place we are the future of the Macanese Community in Vancouver and we proudly lay claim to the fact that we have the youngest average membership age of any Macanese Club in Vancouver and these are the youth who will carry on our history and traditions long after we are gone. Although we are regarded by some as the "junior" club in Vancouver, we nevertheless value and appreciate our more senior (experienced) members who are so active in the Club as well. (See "Seniors Report" in this issue) This newsletter is their "Voz" as well.
Our thanks also go out to Mr. Delano Pereira, President of the LA Chapter of UMA Inc., who graciously advised us on the proper spelling, grammar and usage of the name we selected.
Now lets hear your voz on the Voz.
The Presidents Message
Time waits for no one. It is hard to believe that we have already entered into 1998, with the Annual General Meeting only weeks away.
And as promised in my message to you in the April 1997 issue of our Newsletter, our Casa has had another successful year:
Our Casa has now its very own website, stemming from the hard work and generosity of Michael Guterres, our Editor and now Webmaster. One can truly say this is an achievement, which brings our Casa into the worldwide playground, and from there, into the homes of all Macanese people wherever they may live. Bravo e muito obrigado, Michael!
Our total membership now stands at over the 200 mark ..and growing!
Our Executive Committee was very fortunate to have met with Sr. Walid Maciel Chaves Saad, Portuguese Consul in Vancouver, Mrs. Hirondina Ghouri, Chancellor to the Portuguese Consul in Vancouver, and as well, Ms. Vera Fernandes, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Portugal (Ottawa) in late November 1997. Our thanks go out to all of them for taking time off their busy schedules to meet with us. We are extremely grateful to them.
Our Social Committee is to be commended on its spectacular festas and functions throughout the year. Thank you for doing a great job and for feeding us! By the way, if anyone is looking for an example of sheer dedication, unfailing energy and never ending support for our Casa, look no further than to the head of our Social Committee, Mrs. Lyce Rozario. Lyce, youre the best of the best!
In closing, I wish to relate that the Executive Committee, in conjunction with our Immediate Past President (John de Carvalho), our Parliamentarian (Rick Rozario) and our Editor/Webmaster (Michael Guterres), has recently initiated steps, which when finalized, will undoubtedly bring our Casa to new heights within the Macanese world, and, it is hoped that in our next Newsletter, these positive steps and their constructive results can be broadcast to all.
And yes, you guessed it in the interim; you are being kept in suspense!
Until the next issue of the "Voz", I am, your humble President,
Fernanda A. de Pinna Ho.
Club Officers Meet Consul
In mid November, our Club Officers had an exciting opportunity to meet with Sr. Walid Maciel Chaves Saad, Portuguese Consul in Vancouver. Attending the meeting from our club was President Fernanda de Pinna Ho, Grace Johnson, Rick Rozario, George (Sonny) Guterres, Robert da Roza and John de Carvalho. Our Club representatives made a very good impression and represented our members well.
The meeting was highly successful, as the Consul was very receptive and candid with us. He is well aware of the dispute between the two Vancouver Macanese clubs and agreed with us that the only solution is through compromise, which is what we have been advocating all along. Sr. Saad also offered to act as an intermediary to get our two clubs to the negotiating table. He had indicated that he had heard their story of the split and it was therefore extremely beneficial for us that we were able to layout our views as well as what we have tried to do to bring the matter to resolution. Sr. Saad introduced our representatives to two other senior diplomats, Mrs. Hirondina Ghouri, Chancellor to the Consul of Portugal in Vancouver, and to Ms. Vera Fernandes, Minister Counsellor from the Portuguese Embassy in Ottawa.
During the meeting, Fernanda Ho presented the consul with a portfolio on our Club together with all relevant correspondence relating to our efforts to bring the two clubs together. A membership list was also provided to him. Since the meeting, T-shirts with our logo has been sent to them as well.
One thing that was clearly evident during this meeting was the fact that it appears that our club is the only proactive party to this dispute as evidenced by all of the correspondence we generated to try to resolve the matter. This fact was very evident in our discussion with the consul and can only bode well for our club and our reputation.
Many of our members missed out on attending the December 1997 performance of the Tuna Macaenses group sponsored by the Fundacão Oriente. From what we have been able to gather, the Fundacão contacted the Macau Cultural Assn. with details of the concert, which was to have been open to all Macaenses people. When we finally received formal notification from the President of the Macau Cultural Assn. on the details of the concert, we were advised in writing that "anyone" from our club wishing to attend was welcome. We regarded this invitation as a tremendous step forward in our relationship with the other club. We immediately sent them a letter outlining our sincere thanks for their gesture. Unfortunately, after their general meeting only two days later, the invitation was rescinded and re-issued with a 20 ticket limit for those wishing to attend from our club. This is indeed unfortunate as we had already commenced contacting many of our members and had received requests from members living in Victoria and Seattle. Now we had to turn many of these requests away.
We are naturally very disappointed that the Fundacão did not see fit to notify "both" local clubs of the Tuna visit as it would have provided us with a very welcome opportunity to share in the hosting of their visit. It might also have led to more positive dialogue between our two clubs. We have taken steps to bring this to the attention of senior people at the Fundacão Oriente as well as the Macau Government. We have since made a little noise of our own and hopefully can report on our progress by the time our next newsletter goes to print.
Sede Social in Vancouver
Along with the disappointment detailed in a separate article in this issue (See "Disappointment"), we have learned that the Fundacão Oriente has snubbed our 200 Filho Macau members once again.
Dr. Brandão from the Fundacão Oriente visited Vancouver this past summer and purchased a piece of property to be used as a Sede Social (clubhouse) for the Macanese people of Vancouver. Our sources have confirmed that Dr. Brandão was accompanied by various officers of the Macau Cultural Assn. and a decision was reached on a location in Burnaby near the Earls Restaurant just off Lougheed Highway in the Boundary Road/Gilmore Avenue vicinity. Notwithstanding the differences between ourselves and the MCA, we are nevertheless pleased that at least some of our people can benefit from this facility. Many of us in our Casa have friends in the MCA and we hope that the central location will make it easier for their seniors to have access to a community facility where they can meet and socialize with each other.
We have been aware of the Fundacãos desire to purchase such properties for quite some time now and even spoke to them in person on this issue during the last Encontro in Macau. Our members will recall that our presence at the last Encontro was by invitation thus signifying that our group has been formally recognized as a fully functioning and legitimate Macaenses Club. As a matter of fact, the Macau Government has taken yet a further step to indicate our recognition by publishing our name alongside other Filho Macau groups worldwide on their official government website. Those members with Internet access can visit this document at http://www.macau.gov.mo/mac5/macaense2.html
Our 1998 focus is now to bring the Fundacão on-side with us as the Government of Macau has already confirmed. We shall keep you posted as there are things happening on this front.
1997 Seniors Report
By Margie Rozario
The year 1997 rolled by all too swiftly. It was an eventful year for our Casa with five main events, which brought our friends and members together, as well as an increase in membership, including our senior subscriptions.
This year the Seniors hosted a Victorian Tea, in memory of the HongKong we knew. Posters of some well known landmarks of HongKong were displayed on the wall around the room which created a nostalgic atmosphere coupled with the strains of the Big Bands of Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman etc. so famous during the thirties and forties. Furthermore, English Tea was served finger sandwiches, asparagus rolls, petit fours, scones with fresh cream etc. The young at heart worked hard towards this event, and aided by the generosity of members, it was truly a memorable afternoon.
Next we had a joint Picnic at the Park in celebration of Dia de São João where we all got together, from babes in arms right up to the golden years. While our members were frolicking about or preparing a sumptuous barbecue, our young at heart were enjoying a game of mah jong. Three tables were set up and if more tables were available, we would have had fewer spectators.
These two events, coupled with the Festa de Comida, the Fall Fest, and the New Years Eve Party run by our Social Committee, we are happy to say 1997 was a successful year. Based on the camaraderie, goodwill and generosity of our "Casa Family", we can look forward to further growth and an even better 1998.
Although we would have liked to have had more activities for the Seniors, this has been difficult due to the fact we are spread all over the Lower Mainland and thus not within easy access of each other. Even a get-together for lunch would mean taking public transport, and for some it would entail taking two or even three buses. This has greatly hampered our movements. Perhaps a mini-bus or even a ten-seater van would be the ideal solution. Do we have a fairy godmother, or godfather? Just joking! Perhaps by the year 2000 we will be able to purchase one of our own. Falaraimous!
A Year of Peace and Joy to all Casa, Members and Friends from your Golden Years.
(Ed. Note: Margie has touched on a critical issue facing the seniors in our community. Transportation difficulties, as well as a central location to hold our meetings and functions. Perhaps the people at the Fundacão will read this and thus gain a better appreciation for the difficulties facing the "entire" Macanese community in Vancouver.)
Just a short note to remind everyone that our 1998 membership dues are due by April 1st, 1998. Notices will be out in the mail shortly and you will be helping us out tremendously if you would be so kind as to remit your cheques as promptly as possible. Thank you all.
The editors would like to point out that the contents of this issue of the Voz were contributed, generated and written solely by our own members, rather than gleaned only from other sources as other local association newsletters have done - using articles, research, tasteless jokes etc. and generally reaping praise for themselves from work done by others. Although we will reprint articles of interest to our readers, these should be the exception rather than the rule. It is our preference to use our own resources as much as possible, and in this issue we have shown that it can be done! If you have any articles, letters to the editor, photos etc. that you'd like to see in print, send them to us.
da Roza, Cecilia Maria (Cissy) passed away peacefully on December 6th, 1997 after a brief illness. She is survived by sisters, Marie and Elga, nieces and nephews Zinha (Ken), Francis (Alison), Australia, Manuel (Maryanne), Teresa (Philip), Robert (Elna), Geraldine (Danny), Toronto, and Larry, and fifteen grand-nieces and nephews. An Honour Guard by the Catholic Women's League (CWL) participated at the Funeral Service held at Holy Cross Church, Burnaby. The family thanks all who attended the funeral and those who offered prayers and support.
What a Voice
Many of our members lost out on the opportunity to take in the December 1997 concert of the Tuna Macaenses concert (See "Disappointment" in this issue) which by all reports was a super evening filled with great entertainment by this very popular and talented group of entertainers. Their lead singer however, did not make the trip with them. When the groups North American trip commenced , Maria Jorge Meira, the very talented lead singer with the Tuna Macaenses, was back home in Macau packing her suitcases. And when the group finally hit Vancouver in early December, Maria was in Lisbon enroute to taking up residence in her new home in Vancouver. "I was unable to make the trip, we were just too busy packing" Meira said during a brief interview after her outstanding singing performance at our New Years Eve Dinner/Dance. "We only flew into Vancouver yesterday and were all feeling quite tired so we wont be staying late" she added, just minutes before gathering her husband and family to call it an early night after a long trip from Lisbon.
Maria is the niece of Isabel Ma, a member of our Club. Marias husband Fernando, a computer programmer by profession, is also a member of the Tuna Macaenses group and plays the mandolin. (Ed.note: Marias brother is also a member of the Tuna Macaenses group). Together with their two sons, Nuno 5, and Nelson 7, the Meiras are now busy settling into schools and jobs in their new home.
Maria sang two songs for us at the Dance, "Uma Casa Portuguesa" and "Cavalo Ne Mato" (sung to the tune of "Your Cheatin Heart"). Her performance was nothing short of spectacular and we can only hope for more of her talent at our future gatherings.
Thank you Maria. We hope to see much more of you and your family. Welcome to Canada.
And the band played on
And on and on well, the music and DJ did anyway.
For those of you who missed it, the New Years Eve Dinner/Dance was a resounding success. Hats of to Lyce Rozario , her entire social committee and our Executive for putting on a splendid event we hope will be an annual affair from now on. Our Casas newly formed "gone-gone" (Past tense for go-go) dancers, The Casa Dancing Troupe, were in their usual fine form and entertained us at every opportunity on the dance floor. To audition and sign up to join this elite group of dancing wonders, please contact either of the following founding members: Lyce Rozario, Fernanda Ho, Jackie Pereira, Cecile Guterres or Monique Guterres.
The event was held at the Richmond Inn on Westminster Highway in downtown Richmond. While over 30 people had to be turned away as the dance was sold out, over 160 others managed to get their tickets early enough to usher in the New Year with noise makers, balloons, streamers and the like. Attendees came from as far away as Quebec (Mr. Paul Moreau from St. Zotique, PQ), Toronto (Mrs. Nena Noronha) and even Kiama, Australia (Ms. Jasmine McGowan, cousin of Mussie Fincher.) Jasmine likely felt quite at home as our bartender was also from Australia with the typical Aussie accent to boot. Jason, the bartender, is in Canada for 7 months on a skiing/work permit and had a hoot watching some of our crazed Filho Macaus act silly. One had to remember to order drinks in Australian lest they would get the wrong drink. On the subject of drinks, our very hearty thanks and appreciation go out to Rowena and Alex Tan who donated the bubbly stuff for our midnight toasts. I probably brought home more of the stuff on my suit than I consumed!!
The evening started with a series of welcomes and toasts as well as the singing of Hino Nacional A Portuguesa, the Portuguese National Anthem and of course, our Oh Canada. The dinner was splendid and plentiful, even I was stuffed. After the dinner, it was announced that Mrs. Maria Jorge Meira was in attendance and was going to entertain us with a couple of songs which she did with absolute beauty and gusto. Her performance was truly a delight and afterwards we were able to have a brief chat with her prior to her early departure. The short interview can be found in this issue. For those who are not aware, Maria is a member of the Tuna Macaenses musical group who visited Vancouver in early December and as their lead vocalist she proved she can certainly sing. Maria was not touring with the group at that time and we can only say that the loss of her presence from that performance was certainly our gain. Following this, our own Gracie Johnson sang two lovely songs much to the delight of the happy crowd.
There were door prizes and 50-50 draws galore throughout the evening and congratulations to all those who took home either cash or a prize. I won nothing again!!! Thanks to John and Monica de Carvalho for volunteering to spend a large part of their evening selling tickets for these draws and to all those who pitched in to help them from time to time.
The entire was a tremendous success and I can hardly wait for next year now.
In this particular issue of Review of Culture, Luis Sá Cunha, it's Editorial Director, states that because the Diaspora is inevitable. "...because Homeland is Spirit, that moved us - in solidarity with the Macanese Community and, facing their spatial explosion - to edit this first volume of divulgation, a resume of their roots, their memories and traditions, of the Cultural factors of their constant identity."
This issue is a sensitive compilation of twelve articles, dealing with the history and identity of the Macanese, by noted scholars whose credentials in literature, anthropology, linguistics and history are impressive. Despite the scholarly approach to each topic, and the translation from the Portuguese, the authors keep our interest and tap our nostalgia.
The articles are liberally interspersed with colour plates - either photos or reproductions of early landscape paintings of Macau - and are often accompanied by a bibliography.
Thanks to the dedicated research of the authors, we get a picture of what life was like in early Macau. Included are a list of martyrs from the ill-fated Embassy to Japan in 1640, statistics on the ethnic make-up of the city state in the 1800's, and reprints from parish records detailing the marriages and christenings at that time.
We follow the lineage of the Eca's from it's sordid beginnings and retrieve the line after it was declared lost. As well, a history of the language of Macau underscores the significance of the patoá in firmly establishing the Macanese culture. A section (sure to inflame all feminists) touches on the "Frailty of Women".
A photography section depicting the present-day faces of the Macanese is a pleasant departure from the historic tone of the book, and ever-important is the article on the cuisine of Macau. Graça Pacheco Jorge, a researcher of Macanese cuisine is one aspect in which culture is manifested, and includes the inevitable recipe for Minchee!
Where Jorge Forjaz, with his impressive "Familias Macaenses"allows us to see ourselves as minute puzzle pieces that interlock with one another, this issue of "Review of Culture"helps us consider the completed work which stretches back into time. This anthology shows our community, our culture, our people and our paths - the ones already travelled and those that lie ahead.
Book Review will be a regular feature in our newsletter. We invite your participation. If you have a book pertaining to Macaenses and wish to write a review or have it reviewed, please contact the editors.
(If we have missed yours, please let us know so that we can update our records.)
Welcome to our New Members
A HEARTY Welcome to the following new members who have recently joined our club:
We are now officially over the 200 member mark and g r o w i n g .......
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