The Service Headquarters at the Beginning of the 60s.
Mestre Irineu and the community gathered in front of the Service Headquarters of the Santo Daime doctrine, constructed from timber and wooden shingles, in the 1960s, in Alto Santo. Mrs. Peregrina Gomes Serra is on the right-hand side of Mestre. It is curious to note that the uniforms already show the changes that Mestre Irineu brought from Maranhão, such as the female crown and the male palm, the latter used initially only by Mestre Irineu and Zé das Neves.
This Service Headquarters was built in the same place where stands today the current headquarters, near the reservoir, and which now is made of masonry having undergone several changes since it was inaugurated on the eve of St. John's Day, June 23 1960*. The original structure, in the photo, was made entirely of wood, with characteristic wooden shingles - crafted by the community itself from maçaranduba wood -- a hipped roof and a veranda which surrounded the central hall.
*The dates are not accurate since there exist photos of the community gathered in front of this same headquarters, with Mestre by the side of Dona Peregrina, still wearing the uniform in use prior to Mestre's travel to Maranhão, therefore, between 1956 and 1957. Even after the construction of the headquarters with wooden shingles, some works were still held in the former headquarters and residence of Mestre Irineu [the current Memorial].
According to the earliest followers, besides being the Service Headquarters of the doctrine, the building also housed the "Cruzeiro School". As relates the book "Eu Venho de Longe", by Paulo Moreira and Edward MacRae,
Through his political connections, Mestre Irineu obtained, during the government of Jorge Kalume, funds for the construction of a primary school in his community. A little before this politician took office, Mestre Irineu had already created, inside the headquarters of the Daime, the "Cruzeiro School". The initiative was a joint idea of the teachers João Rodrigues Facundes, Percília Matos and Francisco Matos. Mestre Irineu encouraged the proposal , believing that it would offer a higher qualification for the local people who were until then mostly low-skilled. The school offered education from the first to fourth grade. With the help of Kalume, the school gained its own building, built within the grounds of Alto Santo.
Over the decades, Mestre Irineu built several headquarters of the doctrine, among them the first, still in Vila Ivonete; the straw shed in Alto Santo, which was the first true headquarters, separated from his house; and later his own house in Alto Santo, in the early 50s, which served as the headquarters for many years. The initiatives were always made with material collected from the forest and with Mestre's own resources, helped as well by fundraising events (fairs) organized by the community and the work carried out as a collective. "He would end those collective labours and call those he knew could not work for free and pay them. He knew who could help him and whom he could help," says Mrs. Peregrina Serra.
The headquarters made of wooden shingles was later demolished and a new headquarters was built in its place on the same site. Made of masonry, with a wooden veranda and covered with an aluminum roof, it was inaugurated on the Day of Our Lady of Conception, December 7, 1969. It was the last headquarters to be built while Mestre was still alive.