Naming ceremony

Tony Trimmel, a member of the Kalk Bay Historical Association and the Philippines ambassador, Joseph Angeles, unveiling the historic plaque on the Manila Steps.

A special ceremony to name the Manila Steps was held in Quarterdeck Road, Kalk Bay, on Sunday October 28.

More than 300 people, mostly Filipino descendants, walked along Gatesville Road to the old graveyard at the end of Upper Quarterdeck Road where many of their ancestors were buried up until 1903.

The atmosphere was one of happiness and good spirits – the Manilas, as Filipinos were commonly called, had finally received the recognition they deserved.

At the old graveyard, priest Mark Pothier, of St James Catholic Church, stood on what was known as the Pulpit Stone and blessed the people who had been buried there all those years ago.

Imam Shafiek Arafdien, of the Kalk Bay Mosque, said a prayer for all assembled.

Priest Wilfred Meyer, of Holy Trinity Church Kalk Bay, blessed the steps and Rico Talisic, a Catholic priest based in District Six and himself a Filipino, said a prayer in his native Tagalog.

The ceremony was completed when the information board erected by the Kalk Bay Historical Association was unveiled by the Philippines ambassador, Joseph Angeles.

All then returned to the Holy Trinity Church hall for an hour or two of family reunions and reminiscences.

* Steve Herbert is the secretary of the Kalk Bay Historical Association.