About 300 Eurasians in Malaysia (including some from Singapore) had a fun time participating in various games in the inaugural Malaysian Eurasian Games 2012 on 10 and 11 November.
The College General Seminary at Tanjung Bungah, Penang, with its huge hall and sprawling field and grounds was chosen as the venue. The Penang Eurasian Association (PEA) hosted the event.
The participating contingents were from the Malacca Portuguese Eurasian Association, Selangor & Federal Territory Eurasian Association, Kedah Eurasian Association, Sarawak Eurasian Association, Portuguese Eurasian Association of Perak, Penang Eurasian Association (PEA) and Eurasian Association of Singapore.
The games featured were hockey, volleyball, badminton, football (open and veterans above 40 yrs old), table tennis, caroms, darts, cross country relay, tug a war, telematch for women and children and balut (introductory game) with only hockey played at Penang Sports Club for safety reasons.
The launching of the Game on November 10, 2012 began with a marching ceremony, accompanied by the bagpipe band.
Representatives of the different contingents marched in, holding their states flags.
The Associations committee members and guests followed behind.
Among the guest were former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah, the Bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis and Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The MC for the day, Gerald Green from PEA, began the event with a thanksgiving prayer for bringing Eurasians from all over Malaysia, and Singapore in unity for fellowship through games.
Aloysius Gasper, who is the president of the PEA and also the organizing chairman of the Eurasian Games began his speech by saying that the theme for the Games, ‘Go Forward in Togetherness’ symbolise their aim of bringing all Eurasians together as one big family through a Sporting Event.
“Unity is important,” he said, “as a minority community, it is important that we stay united.
“This event is held for us to build bridges, to reach out to one another. Going forward is meaningless if we do not build bridges.”
He hope that this sporting event will become a yearly affair, to be held in different states.
Representative of the state government Jagdep Singh, welcome the participants from other states and hope that they will enjoy the sights and food of Penang.
He said that although the Eurasian community is small but he can see the strength and unity in them, and is aware of the contribution of the Eurasian community to the country.
Jagdep congratulated Aloysius Gasper, the organising chairman of the event, which is in line with the Penang’s government tagline of transforming Penang into a cleaner, greener, safer and healthier state.
The participants and the VIPs then marched to the field where the cutting of ribbon and releasing of balloons were held to mark the opening of the games. Tun Jeanne Abdullah was given the honor cutting the ribbon.
During the evening there was a Mass at the College’s chapel, followed by a grand dinner at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The games continued the following day, on Sunday November 12, 2012 and ended with the closing ceremony at 4.00pm.
The Eurasian Association, Singapore, sent 14 members to participate. The spokesperson, Nancy Fobrogo informed that their Association started in 1919 and they have about 3000 members.
“Our membership in the Association is strong and we meet often for regular activities. There will be specially lots of activities during Christmas and New Year.
“The latest big activity we organized was a reunion for Eurasians from South East Asia, including Australia and New Zealand, early this year.
“We are very excited and happy to be here today as it is an opportunity for us to get connected with our fellow Eurasians,” she said.
Seventy members from the Melaka Portuguese Eurasian Association came in two buses to join in the inaugural sporting event.
Sara Frederick Santa Maria, Vice President 2 spoke to CJMY.
“We have over 100 members in our association. Once every month, there is Bingo games for members as they enjoyed playing it. We also have a performing arts group for the children, where we teach the children our culture and tradition.
“On 28 October, we celebrated the 500 years of Portuguese existence in Malaysia.
“We are very proud to be here today and we are participating in all the games! This is a great opportunity to meet Eurasians from other states, have fun and at the same time participate in sports,” said Santa Maria.
James Monteiro, speaking on behalf of the Selangor and Federal Territory Eurasian Association, informed that about 50 members participated in the games. Their association started as far back as 1919. They meet regularly with lots of activities.
“This sporting event is a great opportunity for us to foster friendship,” he said.
“We get together for fellowship, fun, and at the same time for good health.”
The Kedah Eurasian Association sent 30 members to participate in the games. They said they fully support this sporting event since it was the first time such a sporting event was organized.