Mr. Sales Legacy
Commendador Arnaldo de Oliveira Sales, A de O as we fondly remember him, was President of Club de Recreio for as long as I can remember. He was the only President of the club to be honored as Life President after he stepped down in 2012 for health reasons.
I served for at least 20 years in his general committee during the 50 plus years he was at the helm in the club. As a Tennis Convenor in my early years, I learnt that if you have a project you wish to bring up and discuss at a scheduled meeting, you must first approach Mr. Sales to get his ok, otherwise there was small chance that it would receive attention at all. This would usually be done when you could catch him alone in the club on a Sunday. He was a reasonable man and would discuss with you thoroughly the pros and cons of your ideas. I learnt a lot from these discussions with him. His meetings were always timed to start and end as scheduled.
During the years when Club de Recreio was in difficulty, either because the boundary of our grounds was under threat by government or our finances were unstable, Mr. Sales in his better judgement would usually find a solution.
Being very much involved in the Olympic movement, and as the Sports Supremo in Hong Kong, Mr. Sales policy on Club de Recreio was to keep it affordable to the men and women of the public with interest in the sports the club provided. It is fitting that when our Sports Building, which house an indoor bowling green and 2 rooftop tennis courts was completed in 2013, it was dedicated to Mr. Sales.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sales in all his wisdom, did not foresee that his policy for the club left us a break-even club as far as finances were concerned. With the little reserve we have, our clubhouse will soon need refurbishment and repairs which would require no small amount of money.
Has Mr. Sales come to our rescue again? Having passed away at the age of 100 in March 2020, he left Club de Recreio $3 million in his will. Was the money timely? The General Committee will decide how best to use this money at an appropriate time. I am sure that our members are highly appreciative of this final gesture from Mr. Sales.
President, Club de Recreio
9th June 2021