The history and legacy of the Portuguese White Fleet is being celebrated in a new musical performance composed by Pamela Morgan.
The White Fleet Suite draws from Morgan’s powerful memories of the cultural influence of Portuguese sailors who were a common sight on the St. John’s waterfront in days gone by.
She can remember coming to St. John’s from Grand Falls as a young girl and being “totally fascinated” by the activity on the waterfront. “It was such an international flavour, and I never forgot it.” She says there are many cultural similarities between Newfoundland and Portugal and she wanted to celebrate that.
She drew from the cultural and musical traditions of both sides of the Atlantic, with a little help from a good Portuguese friend and others, including Duane Andrews who is the Musical Director.
The Atlantic String Quartet, Aaron Collis, Frank Fusari, Bill Brennan and three musical guests from Portugal are also involved—Zeze Fenandes, Aurea Gomes, and Teofilo Cequeira. She says they also have some beautiful archival footage from the days when the White Fleet dominated the St. John’s waterfront.
The show runs November 3 and 4 at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.