President of Azores to join Portuguese party
The president of the Azores is to visit Bermuda as part of series of events to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese on the island.
Vasco Cordeiro and other members of the Azorean Government will attend several events centred around November 4, which has been declared a public holiday to honour the contribution of Portuguese
people to Bermuda.
Andrea Moniz-DeSousa, president of the charity Casa dos Açores da Bermuda — the House of the Azores of Bermuda — said the Portuguese community saw the commemoration as a chance to reinforce the relationship between Bermuda and Portugal and its Azores territory.
People from the Azores make up the majority of the Portuguese community in Bermuda.
Ms Moniz-DeSousa said: “The marking of this momentous occasion and the meaning of these celebrations are of crucial importance to the Portuguese community of Bermuda as it is both a sign of a recognition by the Government of the central role the community has played in the history of Bermuda and also an acknowledgement of the community’s contributions for the last 170 years to an island which we all call home.
She added: “We are at our best when we unite and celebrate our differences.”
Celebrations will run from Saturday, November 2 to Tuesday, November 5. Special events include a block party, a reception by David Burt, the Premier and a gala dinner.
The gala dinner will be held at CedarBridge Academy on November 3 and the 170 Celebrations Committee and the Catholic Church of Bermuda will host a Mass at St Theresa’s Cathedral, Pembroke, at 1.30pm, followed by a Procession of Faith along Dundonald Street and Victoria Street.
Representatives of the Bermuda Government will plant a tree and place a plaque at the Botanical Gardens at on November 4 at 11.30am and Mr Burt and Mr Cordeiro will inaugurate the Casa dos Açores da Bermuda’s new office at 1 Admiralty Park, North Shore Road, Pembroke.
Mr Cordeiro will also pay a visit to the Premier and the Cabinet on November 5.
An exhibition designed to highlight the history and culture of the Azorean people in Bermuda has been launched on the upper level of Washington Mall in Hamilton.
Ms Moniz-DeSousa said: “Speaking on behalf of the Portuguese Government, I hope that everyone comes out to celebrate and support all the events being scheduled for the November 4 weekend as these celebrations are not only for the Portuguese community in Bermuda, but an opportunity to celebrate and share with all of Bermuda the Portuguese-Bermudian culture and traditions.”
She added: “We are your
co-workers, neighbours, family and friends, the same people with which you have shared your past, are sharing your present and will continue to share your future with. Let’s celebrate that”.
Bermuda hosted the two-day General Assembly of the World Council of Houses of the Azores in October.
Representatives from 13 Houses of the Azores in Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Brazil, Uruguay and mainland Portugal attended.
Rui Bettencourt, the secretary of external affairs of the Azorean Government and five Azorean Parliament ministers were among the guests.
Three members of the Portuguese community in Bermuda — Octávio Cordeiro, Robert Pires, and Isaura Reis — were honoured with merit awards for their contributions to the island.
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