One could not help but feeling mesmerised as you entered the Portuguese Club in Cape Town on the evening of the 4th June. Carlos de Aguiar and the Amigos Portugueses pulled out all the stops to ensure that this was going to be an evening to remember.
The event was in celebration of Portuguese National Day better known as Dia de Camoes. Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and emigrants throughout the world celebrate this holiday. The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.
As you entered the Portuguese Club you walked under a Bedouin tent which was beautifully decorated and layed out by the Portuguese Welfare Centre. Friendly young faces from the Portuguese Folk Dance in Cape Town greeted you on your arrival dressed in traditional bailinho outfits.
The hall which would comfortably seat the 375 guests was beautifully decorated with a strong influence of Portuguese culture and heritage. The stage was fit for any world class performer and Andy da Silva ensured that the backdrop encapsulated the streets of Lisbon with the moon in the background.
The spectacular show started on time with the Master of Ceremonies beginning the formalities. Special MC for the evening was none other than the hilarious and funny Sonia Esgueira better known as Porralicious. She welcomed the guests in her typically hilarious fashion.
The special guest of the evening invited by Dr. Catarina Arruda, Consul General of Portugal in Cape Town, was King Kardy of the Khoi-San and members of his Royal Council. Sonia Esgueira also thanked other dignitaries present namely Dr. Catarina Arruda (Consul General of Portugal in Cape Town), Olga Goncalves (President of the Portuguese Welfare), Conselheira Ligia Fernandes, Rui dos Santos (President of the Academia do Bacalhau Cape Town), Colonel Albeno Jose de Castro (Air Force Base Ysterplaat), Father Roman Viveros, Carlos de Aguiar (President of the Amigos Portugueses) and Gina Brazier (President of the Liga Mulher).
Dr. Catarina Arruda, Consul General of Portugal in Cape Town, welcomed all dignitaries and guests and in her speech noted that the 10th of June is also celebrated as a tribute to the Portuguese communities.
Crayfish entradas started the evening of food, culture and celebration. Carlos de Aguiar of the Amigos Portugueses spared no expense ensuring that guest were well served and comfortable at all times. Members of the Amigos Portugueses, dressed in black suits, were strategically placed throughout the venue ensuring that proceedings were taken care of in the most professional manner.
Bursaries (Bolso de Estudos) were handed out to deserving scholars by Dr. Catarina Arruda which was followed by the awarding of the annual floating trophy to the winner for the Dia de Portugal Golf Day sponsored by the Amigos Portugueses. Chairman of the Redskins Golf Society of Cape Town, Ricardo Camara, said a few words and handed the trophy to Sergio Pedro the deserving winner of the day at Milnerton Golf Club.
With all the formalities done, the opening act for Ruth Marlene was young Portuguese artist Paulo Fernandes, who started the show with song and dance. His great voice and performance was appreciated and well received. He was followed by the main act of the evening, international Portuguese star Ruth Marlene. Ruth Marlene had the 375 guests entertained and even called up some guests to join her on stage.
After the show Ruth Marlene and Paulo Fernandes showed their humility and appreciation by mingling with the guests. They had their popular cd’s on sale and were only too happy to sign autographs and pose for photographs.
The evening was another feather in the cap for the Amigos Portugueses which had guests excited and in anticipation for their next event.
Photographer sponsored by Senhor Cabo: