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Jornal Makholo (File photo) / Catedral velha
The Old Cathedral in Quelimane will have a new look by 2018 if a rehabilitation project signed between the diocese of Quelimane and the Bons Sinais Association during the commemorations of Quelimane’s seventy-five years as a city materialises.
The construction of the Old Cathedral lasted a decade, from 1776 to 1786. It was originally called Nossa Senhora de Livramento Church, and was established as a cathedral in 1954 with the foundation of the Quelimane diocese.
After the opening of the new cathedral in 1976, the Old Cathedral was used for services by other religious congregations, and gradually fell into disrepair. With its apparent abandonment, criminals turned the space into a kind of lair, making it a danger to visit, especially at night time.
At the signing of the contract, diocese representative Father Lázaro Messias said that efforts to reopen the Old Cathedral, considered an icon of cultural heritage, began long ago, but the lack of financial resources made it impossible to bring about. The few resources that the diocese had were spent on an enclosing wall to prevent ill-intentioned people from taking over the historic cultural site
After its rehabilitation, the Old Cathedral, although still owned by the Roman Catholic Church, will become a place of inspiration and learning and a cultural centre where tourists and other interested parties will find a little of the cultural identity of Zambezia and beyond.
The late historian Dr. Acácio Luis noted that the church houses the remains of the family of Cristovão Colombo, the sailor who later became a brilliant cartographer.
For his part, Abdul Carimo, the representative of the Bons Sinais Association, which brings together residents of Quelimane past and present and friends of the city, and who was in charge of raising the funds for the rehabilitation, said that the main mission was to rescue the province’s cultural heritage.
Carimo said the Old Cathedral was just the first of many other similar undertakings. Bons Sinais was not intending to usurp provincial or municipal governments functions, he stressed, but was a way of building social responsibility for the benefit of citizens and residents.
On the occasion of the city’s diamond anniversary, the association also donated surgical material to district hospitals in Mocuba and Gurue and books for a municipal library under construction, along with scholarships and other items.
The founding members of Bons Sinais are Abdul Carimo Issá, António Barros, Altenor Pereira, António Leitão Marques, Arnaldo Lopes Pereira, António Gemuce, Chetan Rascislal, Fátima Ribeiro, Humberto Cunha, Jorge Costa, Issufo Issá, José Furtado, Manuel de Araújo, Nélio Namuali, Umargy Issá, Roque Abdala and René Trindande.Source: Jornal Makholo
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