MELAKA: The San Pedro feast (Feast of St Peter) was celebrated with much joy as Portuguese-Eurasian community came together to revel in various activities at the Portuguese Settlement.
The annual celebration which commemorates the patron saint of fisherman (St Peter) saw many activities including a coconut peeling and fishing competition, stage and band performances, cultural show, football and decoration of boats.
Save the Portuguese Community (SPCAC) action committee chairman Martin Theseira said funds for the three-day event was via donations from within the community.
He said the festival’s organisers would continue efforts to relive the festival to mirror the 1980s when it was celebrated grandly and attracted thousands of visitors.
The celebration also welcomed the settlement’s first woman village head Jacinta Lazaroo.
Lazaroo, 55, was recently named Portuguese Settlement’s Village Security and Welfare Committee (JKKK) head after her appointment was consented by Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment committee chairman Tey Kok Kiew.
Theseira said he had proposed the idea for a female village chief to Tey when the latter took office, last month.
He suggested Lazaroo for the job because of her voluntary works and dedication to the community for over two decades.
“She holds classes for slow learners and tuition classes at minimal fees,” said Theseira.
“She is a sincere and dedicated individual who emphasises on community oriented programmes without hoping for rewards.”
Theseira said SPCAC was also working towards reinstating the post of regedor that was introduced during the British rule in 1926.
Lazaroo, a mother of three boys, has been involved in volunteerism for more than two decades in the settlement.
Melaka Tourism, Heritage and Culture committee chairman Muhammad Jailani Khamis, who attended the event pledged to allocate funds to turn Festa San Pedro into a grand event from 2019.
He said settlement leaders should submit working papers on the festival to the Tourism Ministry for it to be promoted on a grand scale.