Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Portuguese Settlement Christmas tree, Melaka

Portuguese Settlement: Youths worked day and night to complete this work of art.

A festive season taken very seriously and enjoyed among families and friends, the residents of Portuguese Settlement is nothing short of surprises and dedication for the celebration of Christmas. Every year, the residents of the settlement enjoys the festive season with the creation of a beautiful, well lit and “outrageously-massive” tree to show their passion and love for Christmas. And in 2015, it is no different. In fact, they have designed a tree that is even more beautiful than the ones that was previously displayed.
This Christmas tree is done by a special unity, that was once considered to be lost, and that is the youths of Portuguese Settlement. Comprising of young, talented and dedicated individuals, coming together to build this magnificent work of art, which is led by Derius Danker, 25 years of age (although there is no defined leader as they practice an all-responsible-role and everyone is a leader), to design and build the tree to the beauty that it is from the picture. It is uncommon to build a tree that is only built by lights, and it seems almost impossible to wrap your heads around this, but the youths have somehow managed to build this gigantic “fiasco” with a lot of resilience and patience with failing light bulbs and late nights to pull this off within a short time span. The permission was given by Mr. Raymond Lopez, the Regedor of Portuguese Settlement, and his committee ,of the plans to build this masterpiece of art on 24th June 2015. This came about when the youths, Adderly Lopez, Fabian Vellu, Derius Danker, , Quinten Kessler, Leon Lopez, Jeremy Thomas, Sebastian Lowe, Dwayne Alberto and Jr youth Matthew Thomas that got together and came up with the plan to showcase their talents. After the “go” was given by the Regedor, they knew that the plans for building this Christmas tree would cost them more than it usually does.
The tree stands at a staggering 40 ft above ground, larger than any other tree constructed in previous years. The team used approximately 210 boxes of Christmas lights with an assortment of colors (about 21,000 light bulbs in total and approximately 2.1km of wire), around 3500 cable ties to tie the light close to the spiral support of the tree, everything manually handled, and about 200 hours of hard work that saw themselves working hard and long all day and even through the nights for around 10 days straight. The base is 4 feet deep to hold the 40 ft tall tree upright. With a construction plan that is well beyond their age, a much needed scaffolding expert was brought into the fold and was set up by a Mr. Ferdinand Thomas and Mr. Christopher Thomas, who has had many years of experience in the scaffolding industry. But what is a Christmas tree without the famous Shining Star, which is about 4 ft tall and is well lit by 800 bulbs of light.
Now what comes in to mind about all this, is how did they manage to pull this off and how much does all of this cost. The project costs an estimated RM8, 000 to RM9, 000 for materials alone. As this is a project for the settlement, the youths worked hard to complete this project without the objective of money making, which only means they did it out of charity and good will.
How did the youths come up with a sum of approximately RM10, 000? Is through successful, local events that hyped up 2015 for the residence of Portuguese Settlements. From down-the-Regidor event that was hosted during the Feast of San Pedro (a feast celebrated every year towards the end of June) that has seen a very successful turnout, generating income every day throughout the festival, to a Merdeka Eve Dinner and Dance event that was once again, successful and generating most of the income necessary for their project. The JKKKPP, which is also led by Mr. Raymond Lopez, donated a sum of money that made the whole project possible in the end. It certainly feels like Christmas more so than ever this time around.
Among other members that have given a helping hand Derrell De Costa, Elvina Kessler, Zita De Costa, Joanne Sequerah, Kimberly Lee And Era TC. Also not forgetting the people who have contributed in form of food and drink for those who have been working on the tree day and night Edward Kennedy, Elizabeth Pereira, Anne De Mello and Peggy Sta Maria.
Pictures credits to: Raynier De Silva

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