Who We Are



In 1989 a group of excited volunteers under the leadership of Natividade Lopes and Judite Virissimo decided to bring to Cape Town an old Portuguese tradition of the Blessing the fishing vessels which took place before the new fishing season which started at the beginning of October each year.

This was the start of our very first “Blessing of the Fishing  Fleet Festival”, which was held at the Elbow Shed at the V & A Waterfront. 


 At this time there was no organization which assisted the needy of our community, except the

"Centro Cultural e Social Lúis Vaz Camões" under the leadership of the then Portuguese chaplain

Father De Freitas, who tried his best to assist where he could from donations received from the community.


 Soon after, members of the community were invited by the acting Consulate General of Portugal

Mr. Pinto, who informed them of the need to start a welfare organization, and so it started. This was when it was decided that the proceeds of the Blessing of the Fishing Fleet Festival would go towards this cause.

As they needed a fund raising number they asked permission to use the fund raising number of the then "Centro Cultural e Social Luís Vaz Camões". 

In 1990 Dr. Carlos Da Silva was elected as the first president and when he was transferred to the embassy in Pretoria, he was succeeded by Antonio Martins Jnr.


In 1996 Father Sergio as the new Portuguese chaplain, suggested that the two organizations be amalgamated to form one unit.  It was then in 1998 that the "Portuguese Cultural and Welfare Center of Cape Town" was formed and a new constitution drawn and accepted, and then a new fund raising number applied for to the department of Social Welfare South Africa.


In May 1998 they purchased a property in Parow which included a hall and a house.  The hall is used for recreational events and has its own kitchen; the house was restructured as day care centre for the elderly.  On 6th of November 1998, the "Portuguese Cultural and Welfare Centre of Cape Town", was inaugurated by the then Ambassador of Portugal Dr. Manuel Fernandes Pereira and the Consulate General of Portugal Dr. Luis Gaspar Da Silva.


The inauguration of the Day Care Centre by  the visiting Secretary of State Dr. A. Ferreira Da Cunha

Took place on the 8th of June 2000 and was named "Lar São José".  


A few years later the day care centre was then altered into three separate Granny flats to house three families in need, which is still in use to this day. 2014 a second house was purchased behind the hall in Scott street.

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  49k v. 1 Sep 9, 2017, 7:58 AM Alberto Goncalves