June 8, 2015
2015 33rd GRAND OPENING DECEMBER 4th:
The 33rd Deacon Dave’s House of the Dove Christmas Display will open Friday night December 4th. The Grand Opening will take place with a colorful candlelight procession down Hillcrest Ave. The time is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
DROUGHT CONDITIONS AT CASA DEL POMBA:
Deacon Dave’s property is just less than one acre. The Deacon has turned off all back gardens automatic sprinklers. The front sprinklers are set for two times a week only. Five fountains and a 75-foot running creek are all turned off and dry. The Front Water Fall and creek are also turned off.
Water must be provided for the many Doves, Pigeons and other animals on the property, which number over 100. The large Koi & Turtle Pond was reconditioned last August to stop the leakage. This project was costly and was successfully completed resulting in not having to add water often.
“Nan’s Secret Garden,” for the second year in a row, was not planted with the usual colorful flowers. The Deacon is attempting to keep the plants and shrubs alive with measured watering by hand. Deacon Dave said it is essential to keep the Butterfly Bushes alive for the many visiting Butterflies. The rare Orchard Cactus Plants are also on a measured time- table.
FLOWERS OF CASA DEL POMBA:
Even in the drought, potted colorful plants grace the gardens of the House of the Dove. This has been a long tradition dating back to Deacon’s Grandmother, Clara Gomes.
ALDEN LANE NURSERY IN LIVERMORE:
Deacon Dave and the Christmas Crew of Casa del Pomba (House of the Dove) wish to extend a “Happy 60th Anniversary” to Jackie Williams Courtright, the owner of Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore. Deacon, his Mom, Grandmother and family have a long history going back to the very beginnings of Alden Lane Nursery. The Williams Family was prominent in Livermore. One of the many pathways in the gardens is named “Williams Path” in honor of the Williams Family.
At a recent “60th Anniversary” celebration hundreds of folks came together to wish Jackie and Alden Lane a “Happy Anniversary.” Deacon Dave gave a special blessing at the event.
The Deacon mentioned that all the trees, shrubs and plants at Casa del Pomba, came from Alden Lane over the many years.
Jackie and Tom; special blessing to you both, from the Family of Deacon Dave, the Gardeners, and Christmas Crew of Casa del Pomba.
PLANNING MEETINGS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR:
The Christmas Display is well planned. Deacon’s Planning Team meets several times during the year beginning in February. Then the Ice- Cream Social for all the team members takes place in mid July. That is where the tasks are assigned for the building project that begins Labor Day Weekend.
HOLY SPIRIT CHAPEL RECIEVES NEW HISTORIC CANDLEHOLDERS:
Mary Lewis Bas McDaniel, daughter of the late Al and Betty Lewis, presented Deacon Dave two 4 –foot, Dark Oak Candleholders in memory of Al and Betty Lewis. These were made from 4 of the thirty-five Balusters from the original alter railing of St. Michael Church, Livermore, California. Constructed in 1918. Al and Betty had them in their family home in Livermore. The Deacon placed the Historic Candleholders in front of the Altar in the private chapel located in the Gardens of the House of the Dove.
NOW CLOSED - Thanks for a great season
58th Wedding Proposal was made on 12-13-14
Casa da Pomba News Bulletin
2014 GRAND OPENING DECEMBER 5TH:
The 32nd Deacon Dave’s House of the Dove Christmas Display will open December 5th a Friday night. The Grand Opening will take place with a colorful candlelight procession down Hillcrest Ave. Deacon Dave’s Home and property will be in the dark as folks gather and wait for the procession to arrive. Livermore Mayor and the Chief of Police and other guests will be waiting for the arrival of the procession. The annual blessing of the Christmas Lights will take place; the 2014 theme will be announced at the opening ceremonies.
32nd ANIVERSARY OF ORDINATION:
December 4th is the 32nd anniversary of Deacon Dave’s Ordination. He has served as a Roman Catholic Cleric (Deacon) at St. Michael Church in Livermore. The Deacon is also the Bishop’s Representative & Director of Deacon Personnel for the Diocese of Oakland, which comprises Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Deacon Dave Rezendes is a fourth generation Livermore family. His maternal Great Grandparents and Grandparents (Gomes) were ranchers in Livermore. Deacon’s Dad worked at the Cresta Blanca Winery in Livermore, now Wente Sparkling Cellars. Both the Rezendes and Gomes families are Portuguese from the Azores.
CRANBERRY THE TURKEY:
Deacon Dave has a new pet turkey named Cranberry. She responds to her name when the Deacon calls her. Cranberry is a Bronze Broad Breasted Turkey. She was purchased at the Alameda County Fair when she was only two days old. She was so small that she fit in deacon’s hand. At 5 months old she weighs about 40 lbs. Deacon’s mother Norma frequently asks jokingly, “how’s dinner?” The deacon’s response is “NO SHE IS NOT FOR DINNER!” She is one of the fortunate pets on the grounds of the House of the Dove. She is a good friend of Aflac the duck, another of deacon’s pets.
LED LIGHTS INCREASE:
30,000 new LED lights were purchased to replace the old style lights. These new LED lights will be added to the LED lights purchased last year and the year before. Eventually they will make a big difference in the P.G. & E. bill. The LED lights are much brighter than the old style. The old style lights will continue to be used until faded out, which will take several more years. The slow process of adding LED will be more visible this year as there are so many in use. The overall light count for 2014 will exceed last years light count. Will deacon reach 400,000 lights this year??? We will have to wait and see.
CHRISTMAS DISPLAY BOOKMARKS:
Each year a limited number of Bookmarks are printed with the Theme of the year and the prayer for the year. Over the years many visitors have collected the bookmarks. They are available free of charge. Just ask one of the volunteers wearing the Red Cap with the dove on it. Deacon composes the prayer each year.
LIGHT CREW STRINGING UP THE LIGHTS:
The Casa del Pomba (House of the Dove) light crew works diligently at night putting up the lights. Ramiro Ortiz is the head of the Crew and has worked the lights for many years. So, just how many people does it take to put up thousands and thousands of lights? 6 people working from September 1st right up to the Opening. Rain does slow down the crew. As for taking down the lights and repairing them, it takes usually until Easter. Three Cheers for the Light Crew!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Is it true that there is a Chapel at the House of the Dove? Yes! The Chapel of the Holy Spirit is located in the back meditation gardens which are not open the general public. The Chapel was dedicated and blessed by Bishop Allen Vigneron who was the Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland and is now the Archbishop of Detroit.
I was standing in line and the family in front of me asked Deacon Dave for a blessing. Can anyone ask him for a blessing, even if I am not Catholic? Yes to both.
I was told that there are always live doves or pigeons in every Christmas Display. What is the significance? The Dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and a symbol of Peace. Since Deacon Dave consecrated his home to the Holy Spirit upon his ordination 32 years ago, hence the name Casa del Pomba, Portuguese that means House of the Dove. There is a dove in every room of the home in the form of paintings, woodcarvings, porcelain statues, etc. There are various verities of live doves in the back meditation gardens.
Does P.G. & E. Donate the Power? As Santa Claus would say Ho! Ho! Ho! No they do not.
When do they start planning next years Theme? The Theme is announced at the Christmas Crew Party. The Crew is sworn to Secrecy. The first planning begins in early March.
How does one volunteer to be on the Christmas Team? Go to the web site and contact David and Jeannie Haigh. Jeannie is the director of the team.
RESTAURANTS IN LIVERMORE INCREASE BUSINESS DURING DISPLAY:
Many restaurants in Livermore show increase in business from out of town folks dinning and then going to see Deacon Dave’s Christmas Display. For some people it has become a tradition to have dinner in Livermore and then go to see the Christmas Display. Several restaurants at the corner of East Ave. and Hillcrest Ave. clearly show a big increase in business. Other restaurants in the down town area have shown an increase in business. So state the many visitors from all over the Bay Area.
MORE NIGHT VISION SECURITY CAMERAS ADDED:
Each year new Night Vision Security Cameras are added to the existing security system. The security system shoots images on site and off site for protection of property. The system is utilized year round. We hope this system protects visitors, the display and property. We want everyone to feel safe. The system also covers the meditation gardens and buildings in the back property.
SPIRITUS SANCTUS II – DOVE OF CASA del POMBA
Pictured with Deacon Dave is Spiritus Sanctus II, now one year old. The symbol of Casa del Pomba (House of the Dove) is blessed lives in a special cage. Spiritus I lived to be 27 years old.
SANTA’S SECRET SERVICE – 55th ANNIVERSARY YEAR:
Deacon Dave is the Secretary General of Santa’s Secret Service. This charity began 55 years ago at St. Michael Church in Livermore. The organization collects wrapped Christmas Gifts for people of all faiths in Care Centers, Group Homes, Youth Homes, Veterans Home, Convalescent Hospitals, Rest Homes, Shut-ins, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael Infirmary, (many sisters who taught in St. Michael School), Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, Infirmary, Holy Family Sisters Infirmary in Fremont, (many of the sisters taught Catechism classes in the rural areas of Livermore 30 or more years ago, Homes for the battered and abused, Homeless and the poor. The gifts go to Children, Teens and Adults to age 103. The Coin tossed in the Coin Toss at the Christmas Display and Waterways go to this unique program. Keep the Spirit of Santa’s Secret Service
2014 CHRISTMAS DISPLAY DEDICATED TO FIRST RESPONDERS:
Deacon Dave dedicates 2014 Christmas Display to all Nurses, Doctors, Police, Firefighters, Paramedics and all first responders who help us so much. May God bless you.
Casa da Pomba News Bulletin
Christmas Display Opening Date:
Deacon Dave’s House of the Dove 32nd Annual Christmas Display will open December 5th at 6:30 p.m. the first Friday in December. The very colorful Christmas Procession will come down Hillcrest Ave. from Fordham Way to the House of the Dove where the opening ceremonies will take place. The Christmas Display will close Thursday January 1st. New Years Night at 9 p.m.
Display Construction Begins:
Construction of the Buildings will begin Labor Day Weekend, Saturday August 30th.
Drought Conditions at House of the Dove Gardens:
The Cresta Blanca Water Fall and Creek in the Front Gardens has been turned off and emptied. Five Fountains throughout the over half acre of gardens are empty and off for the summer. The St. Francis Falls and the Portuguese Falls and Creeks are off for the summer. Garden automatic sprinklers in the front gardens have been set at City of Livermore Recommended twice a week only settings and at night. Back Gardens automatic sprinklers have been turned off. This is the first time every that such drastic measure has been taken.
The Koi Pond will be refurbished and coated with a special coating to stop leaks. This process will take place in the front creek as well. The Koi fish and Turtles will have to be removed while the Pond is being worked on.
Priority is given to the many birds in the meditation gardens of the House of the Dove. Six vanities of Dove, Pigeons, Ducks, Chickens, Quail, Finch and a Turkey Hen, named Cranberry all need water. The Birds were grandfathered in when the property was annexed to the City Limits of Livermore. Deacon Dave asks for prayers for Rain.
Invitation to join 2014 Christmas Team:
We are always looking for volunteers to join the Christmas Team. This is the area that we need help: Construction, Painting, Stapling Garland and Lights on the Buildings, Decorating, and Electrical. We can use help moving props from the prop building. To join the Christmas Team, contact Jeanie Haigh on this web site.
LED Lights Do Lower Costs:
The Deacon plans on adding LED Christmas Lights again this year. Last year the PG&E Bill was reduced by $1500.00. No, PG&E does not give us a price break. No, Deacon will not tell you what his bill was for 2013. Trust us, it was a whopper.
What is the best night to walk thru the Display?
This question is always asked by persons who want to avoid waiting in long lines. The best nights are Monday and Tuesday.
The now famous Proposal Bridge under the Christmas Lights now numbers 57 Wedding Proposals. Only one recorded in 2013 that we know of. Will there be any in 2014? We will just have to wait and see. Has anyone ever refused the ring? Yes, one that we know of.
Thank you from Deacon Dave:
The Deacon sends his blessing and appreciation to those who donated coins in the coin toss and tossed coins into the water ponds. This 2013 money will help in Christmas Gifts to the Vets Home, Care Centers, Shut-Ins, Homes for battered and abused, Group Homes, Infirmaries of the Holy Family Sisters, and Dominican Sisters in Mission San Jose and San Rafael.
Thirty-one P years of Christmas Displays each with a different theme:
1983- Garden of Lights
1984-Oh Holy Night
1986-Santa’s Product Testing Center
1988-Bethlehem City of David
1989-All Aboard Santa’s Christmas Express
1990-Land of the Giant Candy Canes
1992-Making a List
1993-Twas the Night Before Christmas
1994-The North Pole
1995-A Story Book Christmas
1996-Christmas Around the World
1998-Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol
1999-Hark the Herald Angels Sing
2000-North Pole Celebrates Christmas 2000
2003-Reindeer Flight Training School
2005-North Pole Bakeries and Shoppes
2006-Santa’s International Visitor’s Center
2007-Silver Bell’s of Christmas
2008-North Pole Factories
2010-The Sounds of Christmas
2011-Do You Believe
2014-????? 32nd year Theme Secret until Opening Night????
Cranberry the Baby Turkey Hen:
If you see Deacon Dave walking around with a Baby Turkey following him it is only Cranberry the Turkey. She is quite the pet and NO Cranberry is not going to be dinner for Thanksgiving! Hopefully the pet will live a very long life.
Upgraded Security System installed:
An upgraded Security System has been installed at the House of the Dove. Up to 100 Security Cameras can be installed to protect the property. The New system has back-up battery power should the power go out. Some of the Security Cameras will be in view; others will not be noticeable to the public. The system will cover the entire house and gardens front and back. Video Recording will be continuous and have the ability to view recordings or print photos. Signs are posted to inform the public that Video Recording is taking place. Deacon stated that now-days everywhere you go you are being recorded.
St. Michael Choir and the Nigerian Nebo Choir of the Bay Area:
These two Choirs were such a hit last year at opening night ceremonies that they have been invited back for the 2014 Opening Night Ceremonies.
Good News Bears:
This Valley Wide Charitable organization will provide refreshments for the opening night ceremonies. The Good News Bears are always looking for new members. If interested Contact Jeanie Haigh. Her number is located on this web site.
Record Crowds Last at Last Years Christmas Display:
The 2013 Christmas Display holds the Record for Attendance. 50,000 people walked thru the Display. This is attributed to the media and various search methods that folks use on their computers.
December 2, 2013
Record Crowd for Grand Opening Night:
Saturday Night November 30th at 6:30 p.m. the colorful Christmas Procession walked down Hillcrest Ave. to one of the largest crowds for an opening night. St. Michael Choir and The African Choir of the Bay Area provided the Christmas music. Brass horns awaited the procession to join in on the music.