The Blessing of the Fleet Festival held on Sunday, 8 October 2017 proved to be a roaring success. Jetty 2 of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town turned into a little Portugal as the Portuguese community of the Western Cape descended in numbers at the Waterfront.
The day started off with a procession of Our Lady and St Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, and then Mass which was presided by Fr Peter-John Pearson. Immediately after Mass three large boats, packed to capacity, went out to sea where the ships and seas were blessed.
“This year’s Blessing of the Fleet is extra special as I had suggested to Guida de Freitas, President of Casa da Madeira (CDM) in Johannesburg, that she attend this year’s Festival as the first step to creating a relationship and unity between the Portuguese communities of Johannesburg and Cape Town”, explained Manny de Freitas.
De Freitas explained that as the overwhelming majority of the Portuguese Community in Cape Town are of Madeiran descent it made sense for the President of CDM attend the Festival. “This is the first step in developing a relationship between the two largest Portuguese communities in South Africa,” said de Freitas.
Manny de Freitas said that the discussions between Mr Alberto Gonçalves, previous chairman of the Portuguese Welfare Society in Cape Town, and Guida de Freitas proved to be most fruitful.
There is no doubt that this is the start of great things in the two respective communities.