Ronaldo museum move. TAP strike. Christmas lights. Sócrates in custody.

CR7 Museum move a step closer

The Diario reports that the much rumoured move of the CR7 museum has taken another step forward. According to a source close to the Government, agreement has already been reached for the collection of trophies and memorabilia to move to the former headquarters of APRAM next to the Wasps club (pictured below) – facing the old harbour, immediately beneath the top of Santa Catarina Park and the Governors official residence. The idea is apparently to the liking of Cristiano Ronaldo himself and resolves the use of the old building, which is currently unoccupied. Work could start in the near future as the structure will need quite a bit of modification. The location is, of course, ideal for the museum, as it will be directly on the route taken by so many cruise ship passengers as they walk into Funchal from the pontinha. By a strange coincidence it also faces the Praça do Mar, a not entirely successful project on the site of the old container port that has been repeatedly rumoured to be the possible home of a Ronaldo/Pestana funded boutique hotel

Old building APRAM should welcome the CR7 Museum.  Photo Rui Silva / ASPRESS

Presumably there will be room to host even more trophies – his latest award was the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the year at the weekend.

Ex-PM in custody

“The Week” magazine from the UK (excellent publication by the way – you can download an App and get a free trial) reports that Portugal’s former socialist Prime Minister, José Sócrates, has been arrested and remanded in custody on suspicion of tax fraud, corruption and money-laundering. Three associates, including his driver and his lawyer were also arrested at the end of last month. He became PM in 2005 and was voted out in 22011 after negotiating Portugal’s €78bn bailout from the Troika. The magazine notes that it is not clear whether the allegations refer to his time in office.

TAP strike

The Diario also reports today that as many as 6000 people could be prevented from visiting Madeira at the end of this month as a result of the proposed strike by the twelve TAP unions (see previous blog). The company has seven daily flights to the region from Lisbon, and two from Porto (where easyJet have just announced two new connections to Stuttgart and Luxemburg from June next year). However, the airline had strengthened their operations during the month of December and would have provided at least 12 daily connections between the mainland and Madeira for the days of the strike. There have been no further developments on calling-off the strike as far as I can establish.

Not everyone has access to Facebook so I have replicated a photo from the blogs Facebook site that created a lot of interest recently. The cruise ship was leaving Funchal a week ago.

rainbow ship

Christmas Lights

Speaking of social media, it appears that the much vaunted Facebook protest against the Christmas lights turned out to be an embarrassing failure. The organisers should be very careful that they do not damage the image of the island by publishing highly critical opinions before they see the finished project. A large part of this publicity centred on the claim that nearly 1000 Facebook users were planning to attend, but in the end only a handful showed up.
As reported here the lights have been a poorly managed effort this year, with a much smaller budget, but they have not been deserving of some of the near-hysterical reaction on social media that can adversely affect potential visitor’s opinion of an island that relies almost exclusively on tourism.

Ronaldo statue

Couple of photos as promised:

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48 thoughts on “Ronaldo museum move. TAP strike. Christmas lights. Sócrates in custody.

  1. IMHO, this year’s Funchal Christmas lights deserve neither hysteria nor enthusiasm. They just leave me (and, I believe, most of us) cold. They are certainly no reason to stay away. On the other hand, making people come here expecting something quite different hardly improves Madeira’s reputation as a tourist destination.

  2. I think the lights look great! Given that Portugal and Madeira have been so badly affected by the global financial crisis, I think it is great that they have managed to carry on as they have. Many a town in the UK don’t have lights as are in Funchal. Anyone visiting Madeira will think it looks lovely and I look forward to seeing videos of the New Year Fireworks. We visit in March for three weeks, and have been doing so for 15 years now and we love the island. I wish people would stop moaning! The world is in a bad way. Be thankful we can live where we do in safety (UK) and holiday freely in Madeira.

  3. Can anyone recommend a good estate agent on the island? I appreciate the housing market is very slow at the moment and it is perhaps not a good time to put it on the market. Pink I notice are the cheapest at 4%( although compared to the UK this is at least double!) has anyone had any good or bad! experiences with agents?

  4. D. near Jardim Municipal ask for Manuel Caldeira he speaks very good english and is familiar with the differences between UK and portuguese property and legal systems.

  5. Agreed, we know Luisa (Caldeira Stevenson) who now works with/for madeiraplus and have found her great to deal with….

    However, some people who recently bought a house near us recommend “Pinks” = especially for their lower commission charges (apparently)!

    And, as opposed to the “old” days, if you list your property with more than one agent then the price has to be the same…..with them all!

    Madeira plus do have an excellent guide to buying/selling here on their web site.

  6. Hi Dee
    We have just bought a new house in Santa Cruz and have placed our apartment, also in Santa Cruz, through Master Properties. Their office is opposite the Lido Shopping Centre on the Estrada Monumental. The website is and our contact is Maria Melo, email address is Their service and support before and after sale, and handling our future sale, hopefully, has been exceptional.

  7. With all of the discussions re xmas lights, the beautiful nativity scenes all over the island have had no mention. The full siize nativity in Funchal is attracting many photo shots, whilst Machico has many live birds and small animals in their display. Everyone seems to forget about other towns such as Santa Cruz which also has lights and it’s own nativity. All of the business windows are also displaying trees and smaller nativities. So in truth, the real meaning of xmas is very well represented

  8. Agree totally with the last comment. The nativity scenes are quite superb but often overlooked. The one on the front at Ponta do Sol (complete with humorous ducks) is lovely and today we have been and viewed the ones in Sao Vicente. We intend to view the rest over the Christmas period,

  9. can’t believe the new vicar of the English Church is asking people to donate €1000 or large sums of money and then asking for €250 for a donation for a flower display at the flower festival. Where does he think people have this sort of money, in addition to costly suppers,events, think he needs a reality check, plus raise thousands of euros for future maintenance of the Church. Wish him luck, he’s gonna need it.

  10. The statue of Cristiano Ronaldo, which will be inaugurated on Sunday, has already been mounted on the Praca do Mar ….. certainly a good position in view of his new museum. Good on him and on Madeira for recognizing him.

  11. Joanne, makes you wonder what the last vicar did with all the money that was being raised.
    Went to watch the Mandolin’s when I was there, only they have gone to the Congress now. The posters were still saying English Church but they left in a hurry. Still advertising on a church near you that it is still at the church.
    Lots of people gone now, remember lots of them, very friendly, but they not there now.

  12. Have only just seen your post Michael and I understand the Church Hierarchy don’t do themselves any favours and have not for quite a long time………..

  13. The new chaplin is doing a ‘new broom sweeps clean’ act, he has no idea how things work in Madeira. I am also told he wants to stop the Satruday morning coffee meeting. It will be hard to replace the thousands of euros which came from the Mandolins. People are voting with their feet, lots stopped going to Church now. The Mandolins are much better at the Congresso and the seats are better!!

  14. I understand Joanne that the Saturday coffee morning has become quite a farce and is mainly used as a place for someone to sell stuff out of their car boot (Arthur Daily style) . and that some people became quite fed up with it and stopped going. Is there still something going on Wednesday afternoon ?

  15. don’t know about Wednesday. Re the selling, this has been disliked for some time but all the Church officials had to do was ban it…. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  16. Churches of all faiths are the richest businesses in the world, why because stupid people keep donating money. The churches should upkeep their own buildings and pay for their own fancy outfits, vicars?priests wages and nonsense. People don’t need a fancy church to believe in god and should spend more time helping those less fortunate than themselves instead of lording it at the church pretending to be all righteous.

  17. couldn’t agree more.The English Church used to be a great place to meet, lovely services, but has turned into a boys own, expensive and totally ridiculous use of worshippers donations. I used to attend twice a week but not any more, I worship elsewhere where money is not God…

  18. Very well put Joanne. It will be interesting to see if anyone on behalf of the Church ‘old boys club’ comments regarding this thread. I understand as I have said previously there are a lot of unhappy people that would attend regularly, and no longer go to worship or attend any of the expensive events… a very sad state of affairs..

  19. Don’t know about the politics of the church but we have a visit there and the English Cemetery every year.
    Last year there was a flower arranging class on and we had a lovely chat with, I think, the vicars daughter who was charming.
    An exceptionally nice man whom we met and who gave us lots of info about Madeira on our first visit is buried in the cemetery so we pay our respects to him. He had lived in Madeira for a while but was a regular holidaymaker there when we first met him and his wife, who we still see, reckoned he made sure he was in Madeira when he died

  20. I think you can safely say that wasn’t the vicar’s daughter!
    My understanding is that the church is self funding, no money from the uk. So they have to get money somehow to keep it open.

  21. daviddd, good that you enjoy Madeira. Just to say none of the vicars during the last 10 years had daughters here, the last one, Neal Dawson was not married.
    The cemetery has improved drastically over the past few years, but is not open on Sunday which is a shame as many visitors, who go to the Sunday Mass, would go after.

  22. Anon Funchal, don’t hold your breath. I wrote to the vicar pointing out that on their ACNY site they are still saying the Mandolins are playing at the church and that other info is out of date and there is nothing on the church website. His reply took a week and said that he hoped the Mandolin’s updated their site soon! It is up todate which is how I found that the Mandolins had moved.

  23. I see they are showing films to the public, is that allowed?
    Dan I agree they have to make money to survive, but there is a right way and a wrong way. The present Church officials seem to be alienating the locals and asking visitors (after the Sunday Mass) to give €1000, there are people within the Church who are being paid a salary for positions which in any other Church, and in the past in Madeira, should be and have been voluntary. I know most of the people who help run the Church and I don’t know of anyone who can afford that amount to give away. I guess we will see with the passage of time what happens.

  24. You get more good work done by the golf club or the round table than the church. All the people who work for the church are interested in is lining their own pockets, instead of being humble and doing good works they try to pretend to be good. How many vicars/priests will take in the poor over Christmas and share their Christmas lunch????

  25. It is now a German Lutheran church.
    You have to ask yourself why they need to pay someone to do work that was previously done voluntarily. Look no further than the previous vicar.

  26. You have absolutely hit the nail on the head Joanne. Alienating the local community and asking for donations the wrong way, I must admit that is the first I have heard about staff being paid, unbelievable……

  27. I have no intention of entering into the long-festering and varied opinions regarding The English Church, BUT I believe I am the person referred to as selling Arthur Daly- style, out of my carboot. Just to set the record straight, I place orders for requested groceries with English websites, and receive the goods centrally to cut down shipping costs. I make no profit and simply provide a service. I also give my services as a volunteer in a number of ways. I have no knowledge of a Joanne who has attended Saturday mornings recently.
    It is a great shame that people who are so quick to leap to negative criticism seem unable to offer their services to support, the Church, the community, or indeed this beautiful island.

  28. I wonder how the critics of the Holy Trinity Church’s attempts to raise funds to pay its running costs and repairs expect the diocese to do this other than by fund raising. This is surely traditional within the Church to appeal for money from all attendees and nudge the wealthy for large contributions

  29. I find the small mobile shop facility offered at the English Church’s saturday coffee mornings very useful in supplying those small inexpensive items unique to English tastes. How thoughtful of the Church to allow the volunteer parishioners to help their fellows in this way. I commend this helpful service to all bloggers.

  30. I hope the relocation of the CR7 museum coincides with its introduction of Sunday opening. Hundreds of disappointed tourists and fans travel to the excisting facility on Sundays only to find it closed. The times of operation (when I last looked in July) were not displayed on the shop. It would also help I think if Funchal shops were opened when cruise ships are in port.

  31. I was going to run a new post about the Ronaldo statue which was unveiled in Praça do Mar yesterday, but didn’t want to interrupt the conversation developing here. There is lots of coverage elsewhere – even footage on the BBC this morning. Unfortunately a lot of people seem to agree that it doesn’t actually look like him – I will tag a photo on the above post.

  32. Jesus at the Temple (Matthew 21)
    12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

    So doing voluntary work gives you the right to sell goods, and I’m sure even if Sara says she isn’t making a profit others are, outside the church. If the church isn’t making money out of it why should they allow it? I doubt it brings in more people to the church. If it has driven some away then it has had the reverse affect. How many of those selling are actually members of the church?
    Lots of people all over do voluntary work, but if you aren’t appreciated you don’t stick around.

    Joanne is right, the aggressive asking for money doesn’t go down well.

  33. Thanks Dan and Joanne.
    I had just presumed the really nice young lady was the vicars daughter. She was closely connected with the church anyway. My wife is a leading light in a local WI in the UK and the girl said as a Madeira resident she was an honorary member of a UK WI. I do remember she was shortly due to come to the UK to attend the WI’s Denman College.
    We are not churchgoers but have enjoyed speaking to parishioners when we visit so the congregation must be OK if the politics are not.
    As to the cemetery – It always touches me emotionally to see so many young and particularly female graves there are. I am guessing getting ill in West Africa and dying on the way home. The man we knew who is there is opposite Mr Reid so I expect they have plenty to talk about.

    Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone involved both as organisers and contributors to this brilliant source of information about our favourite holiday island where we will be for 3 weeks from the 13th Jan

  34. As I ‘technically’ started this blog with innocent information about the Holy Trinity’s new web site, I have been astounded by the vitriolic responses than have been made on this site. If anyone has a problem I suggest they Contact Cannon John and tell him face to face what you think. Also for your information the Church is self sufficient and it costs 1,500€ PER WEEK to keep it running. There are a lot of people who do volunteer work, people that do not have sufficient funds to boost the Appeal finacially, also for your information it now stands at over 20,000€ so there are some Christians still around. Also yesterday, over 40 people turned up for a FREE Christmas Lunch given by Cannon John and his family – cooked and served by him, his wife, daughter and son who are visiting for Christmas. In closing I wish you all a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.

  35. With reference to Sara’s comment, what about her pork pies and the sausage and bacon sellers (do they have food hygiene licences and declare their profits?) and del boy who sells baked beans and anything else he can get his hands on!!! Your all a load of crooks.

  36. I am truly astounded at the vitriolic attacks condemning the activities of some caring parishioners providing tasty items for those who request such goodies.
    Caring parishioners who help the church and its visitors in various fundraising throughout the year and together with the British Legion and one local charity regarding disabled Madeiran children in particular.
    Crooks? In what way? Profits? On such a modest show? Biblical texts? Surely not !
    I wonder these vitriolic critics could provide examples of their own good works? I doubt it!

  37. With the meaning of parishioner being someone who regularly attends church to worship, it it probably something of an exaggeration to say that those selling and buying goods on a Saturday morning are parishioners. Just because you go to church doesn’t make you a good person the same as saying someone who doesn’t go is not a good person. It is all subjective. There are a lot of people who do charitable work unnoticed by the rest of us, they don’t need to shout from the roof tops “this is what I do”. Think of Jimmy Savile. Not quite so wonderful was he?
    I didn’t find the original comments “vitriolic” just expressing an opinion of how they feel. They are free to feel the disappointment that so many do. Debate is good and everyone should be free to give an opinion whether you agree with it or not
    I have been a regular visitor over the years and there have been lots of changes, some for the good and others not so. There appears to only be a handful of regular worshipers.Maybe they shouldn’t just be asking for money but working on how to encourage more of the community to the church and how they can be involved and reaching out to those who do feel disillusioned.
    Not much point in having a church without people.

  38. Like LG I have been disappointed to hear critics vent forth in such un-christian way, so far removed from the tolerant and caring norm.
    However not me.
    I like everything the church and its helpers do.
    I look forward to the critics finding in their hearts some support for all that is done.
    I would like to offer my Christmas greetings to you all and give hope for a Happy and Healthy New Year.

  39. Regarding selling houses. One of my pet hates is estate agents. Charging the earth for not doing much. Don’t get me wrong everyone has to earn a living, and house sales are few and far between in Madeira. But that does not excuse the rubbish that is posted by some agents. 4% is very expensive compared to the UK, but my sister lives in France and it’s just as expensive there. I generally pay around 1.5% in the UK when I’ve sold houses. We bought our house in Madeira direct from a builder and saved around 15,000 euros. Yes the house was up for sale at 2 different prices. The estate agent just added on his cut. So what’s my advice? These days you can do it yourself. You need to make sure it looks professional with good quality photos.But looking at some of the photos I’ve seen, you would easily do better. Also you can pay a few pounds upfront or a monthly fee and get your property on Right Move. Everyone looks at RM so that’s the place to be. Estates agents do have their own sites of course, but if they are savvy they will also put the property on RM.
    Hope this helps.

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