My deepest thanks to everyone who contributed
to this edition of the newsletter. It has certainly made my job a lot easier
this time around.
Technical thanks go out to Mike Guterres and
Brian Ho who guided me through some software issues. Immeasurable thanks to
the indefatigable Margie Rozario, without whom I would be at a loss for
words, for keeping me abreast of everything and everyone!
Thanks to Mickey da Roza for taking the time out to write and send me his
personal account of Encontro 2001; Edwina Shuster for sending her warm
impressions of the first celebration of our Special Feast Day; Cicero
Rozario for entrusted me with his POW memoirs; and especially Anne Ozorio
for the wonderfully written and heartfelt account of the Procession to the
The President's Report:
Encontro 2001 was most memorable for the genuine sense of generosity and
warm hospitality extended to all the Casas in attendance. There was a
refreshing honesty in the message, and feeling, of interest that the Casas
continue to maintain their status quo despite the change of government in
One of the key issues emphasized was that we continue to work towards
keeping the Macanese identity and culture alive in Macau. There was also a
strong sense that the government of China supported these Encontro
objectives. In fact, the Casas were encouraged to promote Macau economically
in the areas of tourism, trade shows and future Encontros.
The eight days were filled in nicely with added activities and luncheons,
and the cocktail party gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy, and be proud
of, each other as members of our unique community.
We look forward to continued successes in future Encontros.
The Procession to the Penha
by Anne Ozorio
We go to the Encontro to socialize, to eat
and to have fun. But there's also a much deeper reason. For me the high
point this year was the Procession to the Penha.
Being so far distant from other Catholic and Portuguese territories, our
ancestors needed something unique to define the identity of the community.
Religious processions are a part of Portuguese worship, but in Macau,
processions had special meaning. Every church had its particular Virgin Mary
and each parish had its special devotions.
Feast days and holy days in Macau were a celebration - Our Lady would be
taken out proudly, and shown round the neighbourhood, feted by singing,
flowers and incense. Everyone participates. It is a beautiful way of showing
that religious devotion is part of the lives of ordinary people, and part of
the community, not just something practiced in church.
This year the Procession led to the Penha on the hill overlooking the Praia
Grande. It was a solemn High Mass with three priests, one of whom was the
Bishop of Macau himself. The church was filled with locals; we were the
guests and they the hosts. While many of us are still devout, not all of us
can sing Mass in Portuguese, but the locals understood, and sang all the
more enthusiastically to help us. Gradually, the sounds of the Procession
could be heard, winding its way up that steep hill. At last the singing
burst forth, as the Holy Virgin Mary entered the Church again in her Glory,
carried aloft by men who'd come from far away but now were back in Macau, in
a procession, just as their ancestors would have done, for generations
What an incredibly moving symbol of what it means to be Macanese! We were
returning as strangers, almost as prodigals, but the locals welcomed us with
such warmth and affection that truly, it was a Homecoming.
Our ancestors were adventurers and travelers who set off on long journeys
never knowing if they'd return. We of the Diaspora are like those voyagers
and we were now touching base with our roots. We too continue the long
thread of Macanese history. I was so moved that tears flowed down my cheeks,
but I didn't care. A friendly nun smiled at me, and I knew that she
After Mass, we all stood chatting on the terrace overlooking the Outer
Harbour. Our ancestors would have stood on Penha hill, looking out to the
ocean, scanning the horizon for returning ships. Now the harbour is all lit
up with sparkling lights, like Hong Kong, and bridges and freeways connect
the outer islands. How much has changed ! To think it wasn't all that long
ago many of us were refugees sheltering in hostels not far from the Penha
Our procession walked those same streets again, but this time we were
prosperous and secure. Perhaps there weren't as many of us as in past years
but the emotional impact of the occasion was the same. As the cool night
breeze wafted over us, and we headed back to our hotels, I realized how
truly privileged we are to be part of a community, scattered as it is, and
part of a living tradition.
Comunidades Macaenses do Novo Milénio, Macau 2001"
by: M.O. Da Roza.
After the tragedy of September 11th, I
wondered if I would ever step into a plane again. But like a true Filho
Macau, "Falha sung ja" & "Via andando como deus quer",
I was on a plane to Macau via Hong Kong for the Encontro das Comunidades
Macaenses do Novo Milénio Macau 2001. It was a great privilege and pleasure
to represent "Casa de Macau, Vancouver" for this special occasion.
Arriving in Macau and enjoying the new sights, with the aroma of "haam
yu" truly bringing back a lot of memories, I headed to the hotel in
preparation for the opening ceremony the next day. The turnout was small
compared to previous Encontros, most likely as a result of both the events
of September 11 and the amount of the subsidy offered this year; items
brought up by representatives of the Casas at a meeting with our host APIM.
The opening ceremony was held at the Cultural Center and welcoming speeches
were given by Chief Executive of Macau SAR Dr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Dona Maria
José Ritta and Dr. José Manuel de O. Rodrigues, President of the
Organizing Committee and President of APIM. Afterwards there was a
presentation of paintings in the lobby by various artists and I'm proud to
say that we were well represented by our own Mandy Boursicot , whose
artistic style was once again in great form. The lobby filled with the
excitement of greetings, hugs, handshakes, laughter and lots of smiles.
Meetings and conferences were held throughout the week, dealing with the
preservation of Macaense Culture and the role of the Casas worldwide in
helping to shape the future of the our Diaspora. Investing in Macau was also
discussed. The Liceu held a conference in schooling and the Portugese
language. A glossary of Patua written by Miguel de Senna Fernandes and
Professor Alan Baxter was presented on the evening of the closing ceremony.
Cooking classes of Macanese food and decorations were offered to
participants including a photo session at the Ruins of St. Paul, a
dedication of the "Monument of the Macanese Diaspora" situated in
the Barra, and a procession with high mass in honor of "Our Lady
Patroness of all Macanese".
Of course it was not all work, there was a welcoming dinner at Hotel Lisboa
and Monte Forte and representatives from the Casas were invited to a
cocktail party at the Portuguese Consulate. We also took part in a Chinese
dinner and karaoke, lunch at the Liceu and Restaurante Litoral (with regards
to future Encontros) and many other private invitations. A Patois show was
arranged for all participants, and when the curtain came down, the house was
on its feet with thunderous applause.
The grand finale was held at the "Landmark" where we had a sit
down dinner with music provided by "Tuna Macanese" folk dance and
music from the Macau Club of Toronto. After dinner we burned up the dance
When all was said and done and as I was reflecting on the hydrofoil to Hong
Kong, thinking about all the new friends I had met and all the old rekindled
friendships I had left behind, I felt a deep sadness about leaving, and even
as I drifted into sleep I knew I would return again.
I want to thank APIM and all of its executives and members and the
organizing committee for their work and effort in making this a memorable
experience for me.
Until next time...
Mandy Boursicot was invited by A.P.I.M. to
participate in a group show
of Macanese artists, to coincide with the Encontro in November/December
2001. Altogether there were eight artists, from Macau, Portugal, Brazil
Dra. Maria Jose Ritta, the First Lady of Portugal, and Mr. Edmund Ho, the
Chief Executive of Macau SAR, opened the show following the opening of the
Encontro on November 28, 2001. The works were displayed in the foyer and
first floor lobby of the Macau Cultural Centre for ten days. A catalogue of
the show, in Portuguese and Chinese, was printed and is still available from
the A.P.I.M. office.
Of the eight paintings that Mandy exhibited in this group, five were sold to
various participants of the Encontro, and are now hanging in their new homes
in Macau, England, Germany and China. The remaining three will travel with
another Macanese group show to Portugal and Spain in February 2002.
Happy New Year 2002
by Margie Rozario
Members and friends gathered at Delta
Vancouver Airport Hotel & Marina to welcome 2002. The buffet was
fabulous, especially the desserts which enticed the best of calorie
The Master of Ceremonies Tony Archer excelled in keeping the party going at
a fast pace with music for the young, as well as the ' young at heart', and
in between with 'Paul Jones' (change of partners when the music stopped), as
well as prizes for 'Spot Dances'.
The highlight of the evening came about when Tony requested the group at
each table to sing a song of their own choice. It was hilarious with
renditions from Christmas Carols, Old Macdonald, to New York, New York.
Prizes were once again awarded to the 'best' performed Group, as well as for
the most 'original'.
Then it was time for the 'count down' - five, four, three, two, one - HAPPY
NEW YEAR! Balloons showered down and hands were joined in a big circle, as
one CASA FAMILY, to the strains of Auld Lang Syne.
The hugs and kisses went together with wishes that 2002 brings peace to all
Nations, and love and good health to all families, that all problems of 2001
be left behind and forgotten, with high hopes for a Year of Peace, Joy, and
Unity, especially for our CASA, the Home of all Macaenses and friends.
A Special Feast Day
by Edwina Shuster
On December 1, 2001 our casa celebrated the
feast day of Nossa Senhora Padroeira das Comunidades Macaenses with a Mass
Casa members who attended the Mass at St. Paul's Church in Richmond will
recall the lovely service, complemented by the music of the Chorus Cantate
Domino, a well known 27 member choir from the greater Vancouver area. Their
very professional singing was definitely a plus to our special evening.
After Mass, Casa members and choir all gathered at the Grand Restaurant for
a buffet dinner and karaoke. Food was excellent and plentiful and the
camaraderie and singing was enjoyed by all.
Obrigada Margie for organizing this successful event to celebrate our very
own feast day!
NOTES & REMINDERS
Last date for Nominations for Treasurer and
Vice President - 23rd February 2002.
Next Meeting - 9th March 2002, at 2pm.
(Update on Nominations for Election)
Election Annual General Meeting - 13th April
2002, at 2 pm
(Elections will be conducted at this Meeting)
Membership Renewals for 2002 are now due.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR - 12th February 2002
YEAR OF THE HORSE
May the Horse gallop for one and all, especially for our CASA
to a renewed Energy, Unity and Success.
VALENTINE's DAY - 14th February, 2002
May this Feast Day of Love
be filled with all the things
that make life special ..
... Words of Comfort
... Acts of Kindness
... Songs of Joy
... the Blessing of Peace
HAPPY EASTER -- 31st March, 2002
May the Hope and Joy
of our new life
in the Risen Christ
remain with you this Easter Season
and throughout the Year.
PORTUGAL'S links with Hong Kong go back more
than 150 years to the time when Britain established formal rule over the
territory. To administer the new colony, Britain needed capable officials,
especially administrators with experience in the region. Britain found such
officials and professionals in the nearby Portuguese enclave of Macau, which
pre-dated British control over Hong Kong, and hired them to keep the wheels
of administration turning.
''This was the first phase of Portuguese connections with Hong Kong,'' said
Portugal's Consul-General, Filipe de Albuquerque.
''There are what I call three different phases and this was the period of
the formation of Hong Kong.''
The two other phases Mr. Albuquerque identified about the Portuguese
connection were what he termed the period of development and that of
consolidation. It was not only in the British administration of the day that
the Portuguese made their presence felt. They made a significant
contribution to education in the territory as many schools were run by
''Until the early 20th century, many of the students and teachers at St
Joseph's College were Portuguese; so we have had a long-standing
relationship in this field, too,'' Mr. Albuquerque said.
This first phase of the Portuguese link with Hong Kong continued until the
turn of the century, the consul-general said. But to understand that link
and why Britain turned to Portuguese nationals to man the administration and
some professional positions, it is necessary to turn back the pages of
history another three centuries.
Though the Portuguese first arrived on the southeast coast of China in1513,
it took several more decades before they were able to establish working
relations with the Chinese, particularly the imperial court. It has been
recorded in the 17th century that there were Portuguese scholars,
scientists, engineers, architects, painters, musicians, advisers and even
diplomats at the imperial court in Beijing.
''Among them, I would just single out Father Thomas Pereira, an eminent
humanist. He played the clavichord together with the Emperor Kang Hsi and
was known to have been able to lull the emperor to sleep with his music,''
Mr. Albuquerque said.
The Portuguese also established the first Western university in the Far
East, the first hospital open to the public, as well as the first lighthouse
and the first printing press with moveable characters. Another important
contribution made by the Portuguese was to coastal defense, which is how
they came to establish themselves in Macau. With pirates rampant in some
waters, especially in Guangdong province, it was becoming increasingly
When the Portuguese succeeded in driving away some pirates who had sought
refuge near the island of Coloane in Macau, they immediately won the
gratitude of the emperor. He issued an edict called the Golden Plate in
which he asked the Portuguese to stay in Macau to patrol the South China
seas. The Portuguese naturally complied and stayed on, building close bonds
between the two peoples and establishing a Western administration in Macau.
It was this experience that helped the British administrators in Hong Kong.
The second phase in the continuing Portuguese link with Hong Kong was during
and after World War II. It started during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
when many people from the territory fled to Macau where they found a safe
''Some recall the days in Macau when they had attended lavish parties and
balls at the Club Militare,'' Mr Albuquerque said.
Then, after the communists came to power in China, many people, including
Portuguese nationals, fled Shanghai and Guangdong and came to Hong Kong.
Many had been associated with trade and commerce and, so, when they came
here were quickly absorbed into the finance industry.
The final phase was much more recent, said Mr. Albuquerque. Even now there
are about 30,000 Portuguese nationals in Hong Kong. They contribute to the
territory's economic development through real estate business,
transportation and industry (such as the biggest steel plant here).
Portugal's own recent history begins with the revolution almost 20 years ago
when the military overthrew the country's old dictatorship leading,
eventually, to civilian rule. The new rulers decided to withdraw from the
Portuguese colonies in Africa, starting off a de-colonization process which
also resulted in a re-arranging of Lisbon's priorities.
With the end of its far-flung empire, Portugal started looking more to its
European roots and away from the Atlantic and its former colonies, which
Portuguese sea power had bestowed on Lisbon. In 1989, Portugal became a
member of the European Community, in which it became active, trying also to
achieve the economic standards of fellow members. With elected civilian
governments bringing political stability, Portugal is now well on its way to
preparing for the challenges of the next century.
Memoirs of a POW
by Cicero Rozario
(…continued from last edition)
Although it was against the Geneva Convention to put prisoners to work (an
interpreter brought this point up once and was beaten badly), we were given
all kinds of jobs to do in and outside the camp. When not assigned labour
outside the camp, we had general cleaning duties to attend to that included
gardening and even tailoring. I used to unload 250-pound sacks of rice that
arrived on delivery trucks!
"Our boys" eventually even took over the cookhouse from the Royal
Engineers, having also to chop wet knotty trees for firewood with faulty
axes that would fall apart. We dreaded this chopping business.
You could also be called at any time for work duty. Once while we were
playing cards we heard the Sergeant Major call out that he needed five men.
We all jumped out of the window of the hut and hid. When faced with an empty
hut, the Sergeant Major left and corralled the walkers and sightseers along
the waterfront for the job! And imagine his surprise and anger when he came
back to a hut full of men!
Disease and Death Our Constant Companions
By far the most dreaded job was hospital duty and the endless bedpans. I
remember wishing they would all die of dysentery so I would have fewer
bedpans to clean. Dysentery did claim the lives of several prisoners. My
uncle was taken away to Queen Mary Hospital to be treated and I thought the
worse would happen, so when he returned and I told him I thought he was
dead, he got angry and chased me around the hut.
Then there was the constant companion of dysentery, flies. The Japanese even
offered a bounty of a packet of cigarettes for every 100 flies caught! We
went around catching them with our drinking mugs. Some of us even broke the
larger flies into two to try to get a better count. It wasn't really
necessary because the Japanese never counted them and gave us the cigarettes
Scabies is like having boils all over your body and those of us who got it
had to be scrubbed down with brushes that had long hard bristles. Our bloody
backs were nothing compared to the pain inflicted. It was so severe that you
would faint with the second pass of the brush. The cure would simply have
been to be able to have a more nutritious diet. But we all also knew that
was never going to happen.
The diphtheria outbreak was the most devastating. Because we had no serum,
men were dropping like the flies we caught. Diphtheria victims would last
three days in the hospital and each time someone died, the Japanese sounded
the bugle. This practice lasted until ten men died from the disease on the
The Camp Dental Plan
We had a Canadian dentist was thin and weak, suffering from malnutrition. I
had toothache and couldn't eat. So I decided to join the queue to see him.
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