quinta-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2012

A hockey game to remember

A bordo do HMS Parret, um dos navios mais pequenos da frota britânica estacionada em Hong Kong chega a Macau em Setembro de 1945 - terminada a guerra - um grupo de antigos prisioneiros de guerra que tinha feito parte do Corpo de Voluntários de Hong Kong e com ligações familiares a Macau. Ficam cerca de uma semana na cidade - há até a curiosidade de um casamento nessa curta estadia - e no dia 27 fizeram um jogo de hóquei em campo contra o Macau Hockey Club. A maioria dos jogados de Hong Kong eram da equipa do Club de Recreio, campeão da modalidade em 1940-41.
O acontecimento foi recordado em Abril de 2010 por Stuart Braga num artigo publicado na newslewtter da Casa de Macau na Austrália. Aqui fica a reprodução.
Macau na década de 1940
The privations of prisoners of war in the Shamshuipo camp in Hong Kong are well known. Many people have seen Alexander Skvorzov’s drawings of prisoners of war, skin and bone, barely existing from day-to-day. Some did not survive. When Hong Kong fell to the Japanese on Christmas Day 1941, the victors quickly rounded up all the members of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps they could find and interned them in a military barracks built at Shamshuipo in Kowloon to accommodate far fewer men. They were there for close to four years, until September 1945. Of the seven Infantry Companies of the Hong Kong Volunteers two were Portuguese:No. 5 and No. 6 Companies, whose members were swept up too, along with British personnel.
Only a month after their liberation at the end of August 1945, a large group of Portuguese members of the Hong Kong Volunteers went over to Macau where a scratch team was formed to play a game of hockey against Macau Hockey Club. The Hong Kong Volunteers had spent several years on the verge of starvation.
They were worked as forced labour, beaten and brutally mistreated throughout their captivity.
The fact that, within a month of their release, they were able to field a team is quite amazing. The Hong Kong boys had not held a hockey stick since the last games were played on Sunday 7 December 1941. Seven of the eleven players belonged to the Club de Recreio First Division team, who had been Hong Kong Champions of 1940-1941.
The Macau boys, whose team was known as the Valentes (the Brave Ones) had also been through very hard times, but nothing to compare with the privations of the POWs. If ‘Valentes’ was the name of the Macau team, what name should we apply to the real heroes whose lives had been in great peril, first in the brief, bloody Battle of Hong Kong, and then in nearly four years of brutal captivity? It says much for their
morale that they wanted to play this remarkable game at the first possible opportunity.
In the last few months of World War II, the Macau paper Renascimento published an English edition for the several thousand English-speaking refugees in Macau. On 30 September 1945 it printed an account of this remarkable game, including the names of the players. Both teams included some of the best known names in the Portuguese community in both Macau and Hong Kong, names frequently found in the membership lists of Casas de Macau around the world today.
There is no known photograph of the game played between the Volunteers and the ‘Valentes’. However, this photograph of the Club de Recreio First Division League Champions 1940-41 includes seven of those who played for the Volunteers. It was only four years later, but so much had happened!
The newspaper report read: The Volunteers gave a very creditable performance in the exhibition hockey game on Thursday [27 September] when they met Macau
Hockey Club, Macau Champions, and lost by 4 goals to 3 after leading at one stage by 3 goals to 1. J. Gosano, at inside right, was the outstanding player in the attack and scored all three goals for his side. He was well supported by Capt. Rodrigues at centre forward and Yvanovich on the right wing. In the defence, Tony Alves was very prominent and had the better of a number of interesting tussles with L. Costa and Airosa. The Defence Corps had the assistance of Gonsalves, of the Valentes, at full-back, but were without the services of Reggie and Bobby Reed. M Gonsalves, in goal, brought off some good saves but was weak with his clearances.
Macau did not start with a full team and even after their side was complete were on the defensive for some time. Gosano opened the scoring with a good shot, but Marques equalised shortly after. J. Gosano placed his side again in the lead before the interval.
The Volunteers were playing good hockey and went further ahead when Gosano again scored from a short corner. Macau improved in the closing stages and A. Airosa (2) and Marques scored for Macau before the final whistle. The game was played in the best spirit and all the players gave of their best.
The following were the teams:
Volunteers – M. Gonsalves, J. Gonsalves and B. Alves, M. Remedios, Tony Alves, and H. Soares, P. Yvanovich, J. Gosano, Capt. A.M. Rodrigues, L.G. Gosano and F. Soares.
Macau Hockey Club – R. Leio, R. Lobo and A. Basto, J. Nolasco, Alex Airosa and A. Santos Ferreira, G. Silva, L. Costa, Alberto Airosa, L. Ritchie and F. Marques.
Legenda da foto: Club de Recreio, Hong Kong. (site Macanese Families)
First Division League Champions 1940-41
A. V. Gosano, J. A. Soares. G. N. Gosano, B. T. Gosano. Dr. H. L. Ozorio, J.C. Fonseca, M. Mendonça, P. A. Yvanovich, R. A. Marques, W. A. Reed, A. M. Alves, L. G. Gosano, Dr. A. M. Rodrigues, J. M. Gosano, H. F. Goncalves, J. B. Goncalves, Dr. E. L. Gosano.

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