Thus we were opening up those oceans,
Which no generation had ever crossed,
Espying new islands, and new winds,
Which the noble Henry had discovered
Lusiads, Canto V, Luís de Camões
The Celebrations of the 600 Years of the Discovery of Madeira (1419) and Porto Santo (1418) will be taking place until the year 2020.
The peoples of Madeira and Porto Santo are the present depositories of the strength, will, courage, belief, faith and spirit of adventure that defined the character of the sailors and settlers who found the islands that, over the course of the past 600 years, have been, are and will keep on being OUR LAND.
This land that, encouraged by the capacities that we have inherited from our glorious ancestors, we have been able to project onto the world, in the constant movement that defines us, both here, on the islands, and in other regions of the world where madeirans have settled throughout the years.
That is the way in which we gave continuity to the History of the Maritime Expansion, which started on these islands and which would not have assumed the universal dimension it did, defining it as the first globalization, without our contribution.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to commit to these Celebrations, providing them with the dignity, collective scope and projection, not only regional, but also national and international, that our 600 years of History demand.
We know that, in this endeavour, we can count on the support of the Legislative Assembly, the Regional Government, the Municipalities, the Armed Forces, the Security Forces and all public institutions.
We count on their backing, and especially with the involvement of our youth and schools of all learning grades, of our cultural agents, of civil society in general, of the different sectors of our economy, of our artists, of our sports institutions, as well as of our media and social communication, without which if it impossible to guarantee the success of the initiatives and events we want to develop, hence preserving our collective memory.
These celebrations must also be a stimulus to all those sectors, in particular, for the Tourism and Cultural Sectors.
We also call on the collaboration of the Consulting Committee of the 600 Years Celebrations and its president.
The 600 Years Celebrations also must be a time for reflection and for reconnection with our roots, so that we may develop a new and more solid perspective for a future with a more comprehensive Autonomy, therefore assuring the new generations a better tomorrow, with progress and hope, in spite of the challenges that they face.
We must rise to the level of the expectations on the Honorary Committee that is presided by His Excellency, the President of the Republic, taking inspiration from the talent de bien faire that summarizes the crest on the Infante to whom the discoveries of Madeira and Porto Santo are rightfully accredited and whose 600 Years we now celebrate.
The President of the Executive Committee