Sunday December 16, 2012
Portuguese Settlement folk finally get a chapel
By ALLISON LAI
Christmas cheer: Residents of the Portuguese Settlement can finally hold their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village in Ujong Pasir, Malacca.
MALACCA: After five years of waiting, about 1,400 residents of the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir here can finally look forward to holding their Christmas Eve mass in their very own chapel at the village.
Village Regedor (headman) Peter Thomas Gomes was thankful that the chapel was finally ready for use by the community members here.
“The construction work was completed late last year and the priest spent some time designing the altar while we were busy furnishing the chapel.
“All work was done by February and we have been holding weekly mass services there since,” he said after attending the Wanita Barisan Nasional Christmas celebration at the village yesterday.
Also present were Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Yu Chok Tow, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and several other state women leaders.
The community had previously sought funds to build a church at the village.
The chapel has a seating capacity of 450.
The request was approved by the Government and included in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
During the national-level Christmas celebrations at the village two years ago, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim personally delivered a RM480,000 cheque to the village to convert a hall into a chapel.
The chapel which has a seating capacity of 450 is named Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.
“The chapel project was completed with prudent spending monitored by the village committee,” said Gomes.
He said more than 1,000 villagers and their families were expected to gather at and around the chapel on Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the completion of the chapel marked a significant achievement for the village which was set up some 80 years ago.
“This is another good example of the Government giving priority to what the people need,” he said.