Joe Nunes is remembered warmly
This year's Feast of the Holy Ghost was dedicated to the late Joe Nunes, well-loved and widely respected.
Mr. Nunes died in January at 97, but his memory was everywhere at the colorful two-day festival.
"Joe Nunes dedicated his life to this place, it was his life," said Tricia Bergeron. "It was a hard, emotional feast doing it without him for the first time, but Joe was with us all the way, I could feel him everywhere. I'm glad we were able to honor him that way."
"Just for Joe Nunes I wanted to try to become an auctioneer," said auctioneer David Araujo in between bids. "I hope some day to live up to Joe's shoes."
When Catherine Deese donated a big sheet cake in honor of Mr. Nunes, decorated in the brilliant design of the Portuguese flag, the bidding was fast and enthusiastic. In the spirit of generosity so prevalent at the Feast, when Ms. Deese herself triumphed with a bid of $180, she donated the cake back to be auctioned again. After another round of bidding, Ms. Deese bought the cake a second time for $170.
"I want it cut up for the children in honor of Joe Nunes!" she announced, bringing loud applause from the crowd.
Kaye Manning sat with Ruthie Mettel at their usual card table selling tickets to a 50-50 raffle. But the space beside her where Mr. Nunes always sat was empty.
Late Sunday afternoon, Ms. Manning, Mr. Nunes's longtime partner, was high bidder for a handmade model solar lighthouse donated by Bob and Lynn Gatchell in honor of Mr. Nunes. After giving it back for a second bidding fest, Ms. Manning purchased the lighthouse which board member Tom Forend carried over and set carefully next to her chair.
Ms. Manning said that after their more than 30 years together she was thinking about Joe a lot, as many of the club members were. And she was grateful for all the kind words she had received.
"He had 97 good, healthy years. We were really fortunate," she said. "He was a big part of this. He was one of the starters of it. He's here!"