News from Elaine – 3rd & 4th April

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Burning rubber in Madeira

Hundreds of bikers revving the engines of their Harley’s may not be a sight you would expect to see on a quiet Sunday afternoon in Madeira. But on Sunday of 17th of April if you happen to be travelling towards Ponta do Pargo on the west of the island, you are more than likely to cross the path of Club Motard, Madeira’s resident motorbike club.

News, April 3rd

Casino received 354,000 customers and expects 12% growth

Casinos in Portugal have been affected by the recession. In contrast, the Casino da Madeira, now run by the Pestana Group, had a sharp increase in customers. Numbers increased from 312,000 in 2009 to 354,000 in 2010, despite the crisis in tourism. The forecast for 2011 is a 12% increase. In 2008, the global crisis affected the international casino business, except in Macau, with Los Vegas affected the most. Similarly in Portugal, the revenue fell by 3-5% but it decreased less at the Casino da Madeira. Three types of client visit the Casino, now recognised as the Centre of Nightlife in Madeira, incorporating the Bahia restaurant, Sala Mista and Copacabana. In the Bahia, on Wednesday to Saturday evenings, there is the internationally recognised British ‘Showbiz’ company. Thousands visit the Copacabana nightclub every week. Some come to play in the Sala Mista with the sole objective of making money. In 2010, the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal/Casino da Madeira paid nearly two million euros in Imposto Especial de Jogo to the State, around 20% of the total revenue of just over 10 million euros. In 2010, winnings paid out by the 200 slot machines in the Casino da Madeira came to nearly 38 million euros, with individual winnings exceeding 60,000 euros. The legality of games rooms onboard cruise ships has been debated in Portugal, taking into account that the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal manages gambling in the Region. This is not a worry to the Casino da Madeira as the ships normally arrive at 08.00 and leave at 17.00/18.00 hours, leaving time for the tourists and crew (who cannot play onboard) to visit the Casino.

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"4X4 chicks" in Calheta

In recent days, a rare occurrence in nature happened in Lombo das Laranjeiras. A number of chicks were born with four legs, all from the same hen belonging to Maria Silva. This has attracted attention to the locality as it has never been seen before. Such rare genetic malformations occur once every 500,000 births, with some legs atrophied (stunted). Already, these chicks have been named  "pintos 4×4" ("4X4 chicks") as they are prepared for ‘all terrain’.

News, April 4th

Revolt of Madeira 80 years ago

imageCelebrations were held this morning by the commemorative sculpture (photo) on the Rotunda do Largo Charles Conde de Lambert, in São Martinho. Civil and military representatives were present. Revolta da Madeira is also known as Revolta das Ilhas (Revolt of the Islands) or Revolta dos Deportados (Revolt of the Deportees). To understand the history of the Revolt of Madeira, events occurring two months previously need to be considered. On February 4th,1931, the islanders revolted in what was popularly known as the Revolta da Farinha (Revolt of the Flour). This uprising was in response to a decree passed on January 26th,1931, which established a monopoly of milling and was popularly known as the Decree of Hunger. The centralisation of the State in cereal imports led to the suspension of flour imports with a subsequent price increase. This was aggravated by the economic crisis and unemployment affecting Madeira. Mills were attacked, which was exploited by various political organisations, but the unrest lasted for only a few days. The Government of the Republic sent to the island a special delegate, Colonel Feliciano António da Silva Leal supported by a small military contingent. It was some of these military officers who organised the Revolt of Madeira a few months later. In addition, Madeira already had military and civilian political opponents who had been deported, including General Sousa Dias. The revolt was led by Medical Lieutenant Manuel Ferreira Camões and started at 7 am on April 4th,1931. imageThe military operation led to the imprisonment of the authorities and occupation of government offices. A Revolutionary Junta took over, presided by General Sousa Dias. The revolutionaries wanted the restoration of constitutional normality that had been suspended since the Revolution of May 28th,1926, (governo da Ditadura Nacional,1926-1933). The dictatorial leaders could not control after the revolt but the Minister of the Navy, Commander Magalhães Correia, mobilised a fleet of civilian ships and naval vessels that sailed from Lisbon on April 24th,1931. An attempted landing at Caniçal was fruitless but on the next day, they landed at São Lourenço. After seven days of fighting, on May 2nd, the rebels ceased resistance, fleeing to the warship HMS London which was protecting British interests, but the British surrendered General Sousa Dias and over a hundred rebels who were sent to Cabo Verde. The uprising had spread to the Azores on April 8th and to Portuguese Guinea on April 17th. Attempts of a military uprising in Mozambique and São Tomé failed early on, and the ones planned on the Continent never materialised. On May 6th,1931, the military revolt in Guinea was also suppressed.

Pullmantur launces cruise departing from Funchal during April

The Spanish owned Pullmantur ‘Empress’ cruise ship moored yesterday for the first time in Funchal before sailing for Lisbon on a repositioning trip from the Caribbean to Europe. The ship will return to Funchal this Friday for the new eight day cruise, departing and returning on Fridays in April. The ‘Charms of Canaries’ route encompasses Tenerife, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Casablanca and Agadir with the price starting at 600-700 euros per person. The Empress has a capacity of 1,200 passengers.

Banda Recreio Camponês have a new show

The Banda Recreio Camponês will return to the Centro de Congressos da Madeira on the 15th April to repeat a well attended concert that was originally performed in December for their 100th anniversary. The second part of the show has guest artists on stage, amongst the names are Vânia Fernandes; do Grupo Coral do Estreito de Câmara de Lobos; o Coro Juvenil do Gabinete Coordenador de Educação Artística. Tickets cost 10 euros. The band was founded in Câmara de Lobos on 1st December,1910, with fewer than a dozen musicians and now has a membership of around 50. Better known as the Banda Nova, it has performed around the Region, in Portugal and the Azores. It is designated a Public Utility by the Regional Government and runs a music school attended by 30 students.

Highlight of the Week
Portuguese Tiles display at the Municipality of Culture 2011

The exhibit results from a private collection by David Feliciano and Graciete Roberts.  Opening at Solar do Ribeirinho, in Machico, as from April 1st. it reflects the first national experience on the complexity of the tile’s phenomenon in Portugal.

It’s an opportunity to appreciate polychromatic composition tiles that use themes from the popularly and well-known pattern of the pine-cones or scads or cones with the particularity of its black outlined decoration. The central decorative motif recalls an ornamental pattern inspired by the Spanish (Seville) potters adapted to the tile carpets dated of the 17th sixteenth and often present in the decoration of oriental rugs.

The typology of a "single copy tile" is visible in two manor-houses of the Porto da Cruz Parish: in outer walls of the typical wooden porch of the Quinta dos Leais, and in the handrail of the staircase that leads to the second floor of the Solar do Engenho.

Over the past decade archaeological excavations in the urban area of Machico have identified other polychromic series dated from the second half of the 17th century. A great majority comes from the Solar do Ribeirinho and includes some examples similar to the wall sets which were discovered in 80’s.

This exhibition is part of the Municipality of Culture 2011 programme and it’s opens until the 31st of August.

—-DRAC CultuRede

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