Rotary Clube de Silves

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People of Action Around the globe

In September 10 members and friends of RC Silves with an average age of 73year, completed a 75 mile walk to raise funds for a sensory room and garden at a school in Armação de Pêra. Rotary International Magazine and Rotary Portugal Magazine picked up on our efforts and reported on the walk and our fundraising efforts. We hope that we inspired others to action.

Cabrita Wines Gains Professional Award

On the 19 January, RC Silves members and friends visited Cabrita Wines for a tour of the Vineyard. The tour was given by enologist Duarte. Cabrita Wines is a family business, dating back to 1977, and is a project by José Manuel Cabrita, current owner who inherited the property – Quinta da Vinha – and the family business from his father. In 2000, he decided to invest in planting a new vineyard and invited winemakers António Maçanita, Cláudia Favinha and Joana Maçanita to embrace the project, and Cabrita Wines was born in 2007. The project’s philosophy is to value the Portuguese and native varieties of the Algarve, and to extract from them all the quality potential for the production of excellent wines.

During lunch at the vineyard, RC Silves presented the business with its Professional award for 2023. In recognition of its achievements.

Casa do Povo in Messines celebrate 88 years

Casa do Povo in Messines celebrated 88 years in December and invited those who worked with them to attend a celebration. Isabel Flores, the current president of RC Silves, represented the club at the event. RC Silves has helped support Casa do Povo with projects for people with learning Difficulties and with food and masks during Covid pandemic.  The President of the Casa do Povo de S. B. Messines, José Carlos Araújo, presented Isabel with a gift to thank RC Silves for all their support and to celebrate her presence at the Anniversary Gala.

Classic Car Rally and Christmas Swim

RC Silves worked closely with the Junta de Freguesia de Armação de Pêra and Classic Car Club of Barlavento this year to raise money to feed families in need over Christmas and the new year. The money from the raffle at the classic car rally and donations at the Christmas swim raised double that of previous years and enabled families to be fed for a further month. Thank you to all who bought tickets or donated at the swim.

Christmas is coming. Time for the Shoebox Appeal

This is the 18th Annual Shoebox Appeal for the elderly of Silves. Christmas is just around the corner and this has been a difficult year for all but the elderly are suffering the most. These gifts at Christmas make a big difference. Members of the RC Silves contribute each year to this appeal and this year will be no exception. We hope that you can help us to provide gifts this Christmas. One Shoebox can make all the difference. See the poster below to see how you can help.

2022 Shoeboxes

Rotary Pilgrims Arrive in Santiago de Compostela

IMG-20221002-WA0004At the start of the pilgrimage the walkers were striding out energetically calling out to each other cheerfully, but as the days passed smiling faces turn to grim determination as we see ever more of the pilgrims succumbing to aches, strains & blisters and eventually shuffling & limping along.  By the time we are in sight of the city of Santiago de Compostela we pass a thin line of the walking wounded.  It is no coincidence that we counted 12 farmacies along the Caminho into town which leads to the cathedral, all doing a brisk business in knee & leg support bandages, slings, plasters, crutches and prosthetic limbs !
At km 82 we passed a blind man tentatively walking the Caminho, he smiled as we passed calling “Bom Caminho”!  His Portuguese helper was describing to him the landscape they encountered as they walked.  These two were real pilgrims.
Pilgrim’s Passports
One of our main concerns was getting enough stamps every day into our Pilgrim’s Passport, issued in Valenca.  To validade our 6 day walk a minimum of 2 stamps were required each consecutive day in order to receive the all important Pilgrimage Certificate issued & signed by the cathedral.  We had heard that failure to obtain the mandatory 2 stamps would mean we would have to go back and start all over again with a fresh passport, but that could just have been a ploy to make us keep going….
From afar we caught glimpses of the gothic towers of the ancient cathedral, the third most holy shrine in Christendom. All of us were now filled with anticipation & excitement as we surged into the huge square in front of the cathedral mingling with happy fellow pilgrims all bursting with emotion & spontaneous hugs & smiles for everyone.  We could see a cross being raised in front of us by a group of around 100 teenagers jumping up & down in unison as they sang their college anthem.
I read that in the 17th Century pilgrims, on arrival at the cathedral in ecstasy, stripped off their worn & smelly robes in the square and burnt them (a shedding of the old life) and donned clean vestments issued by the church. I briefly thought of reviving this ancient tradition but hesitated as possibly this was not in keeping with Rotary’s mantra!
In Retrospect
All 10 of our Rotary pilgrims agree that our journey has been a moving experience.  We all have spent our professional lives working in diverse parts of the world and perhaps taken the very simplest things of life for granted. This novel experience is one which will be with us for the rest of our lives.
On our journey we were accompanied virtually by the school kids from the various Silves Sul Schools giving us constant encouragement and cheering their school mascots which each of us carried. Their daily messages of FORCA helped us on our way to reach our goal.  All 10 of us are now proud possessors of a certificate in Latin as genuine pilgrims having trodden the Portuguese Way from Valenca to Santiago de Compostela.

Handover 2022/23

2021/22 has been a memorable year for Silves Rotary Club as for all Rotary clubs Covid has taken it’s toll. We worked hard under our President Alan Winn to help the community and to keep as many fundraising activities as possible. We had a great start to the year with Back to school, followed closely by the Christmas Shoe box appeal. We manage our first concert in two years and raised 4500€. We have been training for a sponsored walk along the Camino starting at the Portuguese border and finishing at Santiago to Compostela to provide a sensory room and garden for Autistic and Downs Syndrome pupils at Armacao de Pera school. Alan handed over to Isabel Flores for the year 2022/23. Isabel is shouldering the president’s job for the fifth time. Continuing our work in education is high on her agenda but she will add some touches of her own to support further members of the community.

Flag ceramonyBombeirosAwarded a certificateFlag for Isabel

Trying Walk

Saturday 14 May was the latest training day for our sponsored walk to Santiago de Compostela.


7 club members took part in a two stage walk around the Alvor and Mexilhoeira Grande areas. Stage one included areas around the estuary with its cooling breezes and flamingos and stage two further in land amongst fields of poppies.


Each part was approximately 7.5km in length and so older members who will walk the Camino as a team were able to walk the shorter distance where fitter members were able to complete the full distance.

Further training walks will take place before the summer and in the early autumn in readiness for the sponsored walk starting in Valence on 23 September.

The club is hoping to raise sufficient money to complete the funding of a sensory room and safe outside area for children between 4 and 9 years with autism, Downs Syndrome and other disabilities in the Agroupamento Silves Sul school campus in Armacao de Pera.

The school has a similar facility on its Algoz campus for older children from the age of 10 upwards.

The club has already raised over 4000€ from the concert at the end of April.

RC Silves has a strong commitment to supporting our community and will continue to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate.


On Saturday 30 April, Rotary Silves gave a highly successful concert to a packed house in the Teatro Mascarenhas Gregorio in Silves. The concert featured the well-known group Cool Manouche, Playing their very special gypsy jazz, they entertained the audience royally with classics such as Django Reinhardt’s “Minor Swing” and “Nuages”.

Our thanks go to Câmara de Silves for allowing us to use the theatre. Rotary Silves donated the proceeds from ticket sales, a total amount of €3,900.00, to Agrupamento Escolas Silves Sul, headed by Carlos Silva Diretor do Agrupamento. The sum will go towards their project to build and equip a sensory room and a sensory garden in Armação de Pera to help students with learning difficulties to find peace of mind.

cheque presentation

RC Silves in Training!

We had the original baker’s dozen on parade again this Saturday, except Pam and Alan Winn who sent in “sickies”. Today our leader, Philippe, has chosen another scenic walk through the Salgados wetland reserve between Galé and Armação de Pera. A distance of 7 kms which our gang covered in two hours

The gang

You may ask what we are training for. Well Philippe came up with the idea of a  Rotary charity walk to Santiago de Compostelo. No, not from Silves. We would start instead from the north of Portugal and walk through to Santiago itself. This is some 120 kms which we hope to complete within a week – that means 20 kms per day, with the last pilgrimage bit on our knees.

So, Philippe is starting slowly with this training programme. Our current walk of 7 kms is just a third of what we will be expected to manage on a daily basis on the course itself. So we need to gear up to a fitness not yet apparent in our dozen, who by my calculations on average will never celebrate their seventieth birthday again. We do not expect to be equipping them with zimmer frames but the odd bengala may be required.

We will be asking the public to bet on which members will manage to complete this Olympian challenge within the week.  To help them, we will be giving details of the participants in the forthcoming weeks during the training and their current physical state. Follow this space