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Volume 4 Number 1
February 2002


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 Penha.

The President's Report: Encontro 2001

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 Macau.

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 before.

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 understood.

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 itself.

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.

"Encontro das 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 floor!
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...

Congratulations Mandy!

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
and Canada.

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 watchers.

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 and dinner.

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!


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

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 Portuguese priests.

''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 dangerous.

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 haven.

''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)

Work Duties
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 anyway.

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 same day.

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.

 Please email any comments or contributions to or or fax them to (604) 737-2266 for my attention.  Thank you.

    Tony Tavares



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