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Trevor Moniz inducted into Azorean Order of Merit

Trevor Moniz (File photograph)

A former attorney-general has been honoured by legislators in the Azores for his years of public service and promotion of Bermudian heritage.

Trevor Moniz, who was a Smith's MP for 27 years under the United Bermuda Party and the One Bermuda Alliance, was inducted into the Azorean Order of Merit in recognition of his professional achievements.

His admission by the Legislative Assembly of the Azores on Friday came after a proposal by Luis Garcia, its president, which was unanimously accepted by Azorean members of parliament.

A spokesman for the Portuguese Cultural Association of Bermuda explained: “The Azorean Award was created in 2002 to distinguish citizens and organisations that stand out for personal or institutional merit, acts, civic deeds or services rendered to the Azores.

“The Order of Merit aims to distinguish ‘meritorious acts or services carried out by Portuguese or foreign citizens in exercising any public or private functions’.

“Those in particular who are recognised for professional merit are recognised for ‘outstanding performance in any professional activity’.”

He added: “The nomination of Mr Moniz was based on his many years of dedication to public service and the legal profession; the advancement of the rights of migrant workers and the need for immigration reform; the promotion of Bermuda’s culture, history and patrimony, especially arising from his years of dedicated service to the National Museum of Bermuda; and his overall contributions to the Portuguese community.”

Mr Moniz, who stepped down from his role as an MP in 2020, said: “I am very grateful for this recognition of my efforts over the years but also for the broader recognition of the Azorean and Azorean descent community in Bermuda, and the importance of Bermuda’s historical links to the Azores.

“I hope that this can aid in some small way to deepen transatlantic bonds between our island communities.”

The lawyer and father of four has been invited to attend a formal session marking Azores Day, which will take place on June 6, to receive his award.

The Legislative Assembly instituted the Day of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in 1980.

It is marked throughout the archipelago as a regional holiday to celebrate Azorean identity as well as Azorean people’s “philosophy of life and their regional unity".

Mr Moniz is the first Bermudian of Portuguese descent to be honoured by the Azorean Government.

The Vasco da Gama Club was recognised as a social association in 2012.

Mr Moniz was previously honoured by the President of Portugal in October 2002 as a Commander – or Comendador – in the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator.