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Our Friends from RC Henley Bridge surprise us again with their generosity. Every visit to the Algarve, Nikki and Steve bring lots of goodies for Castelo do Sonhos from their friends and fellow rotarians in the UK. How they fit it all in we will never know. Castelo do Sonhos helps those in need in the Silves Community . Sue and David Butler Cole accepted the gifts on behalf of Rotary Silves and will see them safely delivered to Castelo do Sonhos.
On the 22 November in Carvoeiro, five teams gathered to test their general knowledge on a range of topics in aid of Local Charities. Our hosts Anne and Stewart Officer treated us to a fun filled afternoon of quizzing with an array of fantastic food . The rain tried to stop play but failed miserably. Entry fees and a raffle raised 500€ to help local communities. The winners an international team with Dutch, Swedish and British members.
Friends of Rotary, Linda Clark and her daughter Helen have been busy in the UK collecting baby clothes, bottles, toys and bedding; a travel cot and a high chair. Altogether 8 crates of goodies arrived from the UK organised by Stewart Smith RC Silves. This was supplemented by extra bedding form new Silves Rotary Member, Anne Officer. You can imagine the delight of those at Castelo do Sonhos when delivered by Sue Butler Cole. A Rotary team effort which was happily received.
At the RC Silves Handover Meeting, Jim Ditheridge, President IRC Estoi Palace presented David Trubshaw with a copy of the plaque which adorns the new mobile screening unit. The purchase of this unit was supported by Rotary clubs across the Algarve and RC Silves Rotarians raised funds through a golf day organised by Jos Westerbeek and donations collected by Dik Bier from visitors to the Algarve staying at his hotel.
All the participants who entered the competition are students aged 14-18 who attend a two-year catering course at their respective schools with some being given training as waiting staff and the ones who show an interest in cooking given training as chefs. Both the Almancil and Quarteira schools have their own restaurants which are open to the public for lunch on one or two days a week in term time offering a three-course lunch cooked and served by the students at a very modest price. Many of the students are given placements at local restaurants and hotels to help them decide whether a career in catering is for them.
A group of 10 ‘volunteer’ judges each sampled a total of 45 plates of food before awarding the final two places to a team from Algoz representing the Silves Sul group and a team from Dra Laura Ayres Quarteira. The finals were held at the Conrad Hotel under the watchful eyes of Executive chef Osvalde, together with chefs Luis, Roberto and José. The teams were given a list of ingredients from which they had to prepare an ambitious three-course meal beginning with a starter of tuna carpaccio with wakame salad, soya sprout and lime vinaigrette, followed by roasted Guinea fowl with poached pear, potato gratin and vegetables and ending with tarte tatin with basil mascarpone mousse and vanilla ice cream.
The standard of cooking and presentation from each of the teams was so good that after much deliberation, for the first time in the competition the judges awarded the teams joint First Prize.
A Presentation Dinner was held at the Conrad Hotel on Tuesday attended by Rotarians and guests, students, their proud parents, teachers and the General Manager of the Conrad, Katharina Schlaipfer. Alan Winn of the Silves Club praised all the students who took part. “The standard gets higher every year” said Alan, “making the judges’ task ever more difficult”. Both he and Peter Hinze thanked the students, teachers, judges and, in particular the General Manager and staff of the Conrad Hotel for their generosity and all the help given to this project.
In addition to the Winner’s Cup which will be held for six months by each of the schools, the students were presented with certificates and personalised aprons. Unfortunately the team from the school in Algoz were unable to attend but they were represented by teaching staff from the school.
For the first time in the competition it was decided to award a cash prize to the students who produced the best meal throughout the competition and this was won by the students from the Quarteira School.
On Monday, last week the Oscars came to Pêra and pupils, their families and guests walked the red carpet at the Cultural Centre in Pêra. This initiative started by Silves Rotary club celebrates the films and artwork of the pupils of Agrupamento de Escolas de SilvesSul. It was a night of excitement, glamour and celebration as the nominated films were shown and the winners drawn from the gold envelopes.
The nominees, their parents and friends were joined by Emanuel Carvalho from the British Council, Rosa Palma, Mayor of Silves, Clive Jewell, British Vice Consul, Abilio Lopes, Rotary District Governor, the Director of Schools for Portugal representatives from the Freguesias around the area, Rotarians and educationists from across the Algarve.
The Director for Schools was full of praise for the event describing the Oscars as a fantastic event and that everyone involved should be incredibly proud. She was in admiration of the talents and skills of the young people who took part in the Oscars.
Escolas de SilvesSul and Wildern School from the UK have worked in partnership to develop this event which is modelled on a similar ceremony at Wildern School. Six pupils from Wildern School and two teachers joined the pupils of Escolas de SilvesSul on the red carpet. Many films, pieces of artwork and photographs were submitted for the Oscars. Forty were nominated across 10 categories from Best Short Film, Best International Film, Best Primary School Film through to Best Artwork and Photography.
Alan Winn, Past President of RC Silves thanked the staff of Escolas de Silves Sul whose efforts made this event happen particularly Carla Mourinho, Daniel Carvalo and Director Carlos Silva. The Pupils from the Algarve and the UK have formed strong friendships and are look forward to meeting again in July when six students from Escolas SilvesSul travel to the UK for the Wildern Oscars.
Despite the rain 50 Rotarians and friends gathered for a pies and tarts lunch at the home of David and Sue Butler Cole in Vale Fuzeiros. Guests enjoyed a glass of champagne or two and a delicious two course, hot and cold buffet lunch of pies, quiches and tarts. The event raised €1010 to help Castelo de Sonhos continue their vital work. Castelo de Sonhos supply and distribute food and other essential items, to support the very poorest families and elderly, in the rural areas in the Silves community. Thank you to all those friends who took part.
Saturday December 17 was also a busy day for Silves Rotary Club, with some members offering Mulled Wine and Mince Pies to visitors at The Lady in Red Art Gallery in Lagoa. Donations amounted to over €200 which is being allocated to Silves Rotary’s Cancer Support Fund. Susana Guerreiro from Banco Alimentar joined Silves Rotary at the art gallery and received a cheque from President David Trubshaw.
Friends of RC Silves joined with members and filled shoeboxes with Christmas goodies again this year to be distributed to the old of the Silves area by Castelo de Sonhos. Food is also in short supply this year with EU funding cuts, so members and friends also contributed extra food. David Butler Cole and his wife Sue took delivery of our contribution on behalf Castelo de Sonhos. Thanks to all those who worked hard to bring a little Christmas joy.