Rotary Clube de Silves

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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….
Arrival 
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.

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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.

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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.

COOL MANOUCHE – OH SO COOL!

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

Rotary Silves Shoeboxes

Every year RC Silves contributes to the Castelo de Sonhos Shoe box appeal. This provides Christmas gifts to the families in need at Christmas. The first of the RC Silves shoe boxes were delivered to the Holiday Inn today. Making RC Silves total 30 so far with more to come. The appeal aims to provide 250 families with a gift this Christmas.

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Silves Rotary Club Plaque Unveiled

Silves Rotary club meets regularly at the Holiday Inn, Armacao de Pera. The President Alan Winn, Past President Isabel Flores and a representative of the hotel unveiled a plaque on the 11 November to highlight our long running partnership. The Holiday Inn has always enthusiastically supported the club in its endeavors to raise funds and support the local community.

 

RC Silves Members

The District Governor visits RC Silves

The District Governor visited RC Silves last week to review the work of the club and to offer his support for our activities.

Club Members with the governor

Flag Ceremony

During his visit acting President Alan Winn presented the governor with a cheque for 500euros for the Governor’s fund which is spent on causes chosen by the Governor.

The governors ChequePresidents address

During the event he was able to welcome two new members Dulce Reis Home and Philippe Pfister.

Dulce PinningPhilipe Pinning

He also presented a Rotary Citation to one of RC Silves and Rotary’s long standing members Isabel Flores. Her family were Rotarians and she has worked hard for the community of Silves and across the Algarve.

Isabel Citation

Visiting Artist Receives a Flag

Susan Puttick, a celebrated artist, resident in the Algarve visited the members of RC Silves to discuss a fundraising opportunity. Susan produces artwork and cards of the flora of the world. The flag exchange was a mark of appreciation of her work and her generous donation to the club’s community support funds. Members look forward to working with her in the future.

Susan PuttickCamassia 001