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Former Red Cross site languishes in Sai Van

The former home of the Macau Red Cross overlooking Sai Van Lake is still closed after more than a year of the relief organisation relocating to Areia Preta district

The Red Cross, a relief and humanitarian organisation, left the premises (pictured) it had occupied in Sai Van Lake since the 1990s over a year ago, according to information provided to Business Daily by the organisation’s spokesperson.
The Red Cross left the house located at No.58-60, Avenida da República on 28 February 2016.
The house, known by its Portuguese name as ‘Mansão do Poente’ (Sunset Mansion), is the property of the Holy House of Mercy.
“They said they wanted to use the place to develop a new project,” the Red Cross spokesperson told us.
Contacted by Business Daily, the President of the Holy House of Mercy, José Maria de Freitas, briefly explained to us that they “still did not have a project approved” for the facilities and that “it would be announced when a decision was made.”
Red Cross has since relocated to facilities in northern Macau.
“We found the place in Areia Preta before we left the house [in Sai Van],” the organisation said.
During the time Red Cross occupied the premises owned by the Holy House of Mercy, it paid rent “on a nominal basis . . . [of] . . . some MOP1,000 per month with no significant adjustments incurred during the period,” according to information provided by the Red Cross.
Now renting out its current facilities from a private contractor, a “business” person, the humanitarian organisation has to pay “market price” for its current premises in Areia Preta.
Other properties of the Holy House of Mercy in Macau include the institution’s headquarters located in Senado Square, the site of Albergue in Saint Lazarus Parish, the nearby Home for the Elderly, located on Rua D. Belchior Carneiro, Largo da Companhia, and the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind located on Avenida General Castelo Branco near the greyhound dog racing track, the Canidrome.

Heritage-related property
Contacted by Business Daily, the Cultural Heritage Department of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), said the house located at No. 58-60 Avenida da República ‘is not included on the classified immovable properties list, but rather in the Buffer Zone of the World Heritage Historic Centre of Macao,’ following indications defined within the Cultural Heritage Protection Law.
IC does not seem, however, to have the most updated information on the property, saying that ‘currently, the building is used by the Macao Red Cross mainly to provide non-emergency medical escort services to wheelchair users,’

Macao Red Cross
Founded in 1920, the Macao Red Cross became a member of the Portuguese Red Cross in 1922. Following Macau’s handover to China, the local Red Cross ‘transitioned’ to an autonomous branch of the Red Cross Society of China.
The Holy House of Mercy is one of the oldest institutions in Macau, created in 1569 by Bishop D. Belchior Carneiro with the mandate ‘to give organised expression to the moral duty of solidarity and social justice within the catholic spirit and of Christian charity.’