Oak Bluffs: Portuguese-American Feast

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Oak Bluffs’ own special gala, the annual Portuguese-American Feast, takes place this weekend, Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. Saturday night all are invited to partake of the traditional free sopa. Sunday brings traditional Portuguese dancers, the auction of wonderful food and other items, games, and camaraderie. But the part of the Sunday feast that I always love best is the parade starting around 11 am at the Oak Bluffs SSA wharf, wending its way to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, then on up Vineyard Avenue, which was once, long ago, the center of Portuguese life. For many years Tony and Annie Alley, Betty Rose, Tony and Jane Maseda, Philip and Anita Combra, Ruth and Snookie Fisher, Barbara Roderick, Stella and Arthur BenDavid, Linda and Ed BenDavid, Betty and George Alley, Elvira and Gus BenDavid, and their families stood and cheered as they watched the parade march up Chicken Street. Now only Tony, Ed, and Anita are here to watch as the tradition continues, but to me the memories of those faces and the joy of those who have now passed on will never fade. Now new and younger faces peek out from the sidewalk curbs as youngsters keep waiting to be the ones to spot the first marchers or to hear the band or sirens of the approaching group. And soon they appear as they always do, the band, politicians, the priest, P.A. members, color guards, police, and firemen, EMS, fire and police vehicles all proudly acknowledging the cheers as they head to their destinations of the Sacred Heart Cemetery and then on to the Portuguese-American Club for the celebrations. Thank you to all the workers who make this a weekend to celebrate; you are so appreciated.

For all of those who wish to thank Joe Woodin for his work at our Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, there will be a gratitude gathering on Saturday, July 15. From 4 to 6 pm, all are invited to join in at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury for a traditional Vineyard potluck gathering to thank Joe for his service to our Island community. Bring your favorite dish, dessert, or something to drink, and let him know how much he is appreciated.

What could be more relaxing on a summer evening in Oak Bluffs than an evening of music at the Lagoon? On Friday, July 21, from 6 to 8 pm, Jim and Pam Butterick have once more graciously opened their home at 359 Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs for a fundraiser for the Federated Church Organ Fund or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. This year features opera, provided by the Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theatre Singers. Entry is by donation of any amount, with checks payable to either the Organ Fund or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Appetizers and wine will be offered; for more information please e-mail Pam at antisprung@aol.com.

2017 marks the 375th anniversary of the Federated Church, a union of the First Congregational Church of Martha’s Vineyard and the Baptist Church of Edgartown.

In celebration of this important milestone, on Monday July 17, beginning at 7 pm, at the Federated Church Meetinghouse located at 45 South Summer St., Edgartown, there will be a presentation of “For All the Saints,” a historical pageant by local historian and dramatist E. St John Villard. It presents the history of faith on the Island through the words and lives of Islanders from 1642 to 1945. Much of the period music will be sung by the Federated Church Choir under the direction of Peter R. Boak, minister of music for the Federated Church. This is a free event; there will be a freewill offering to support a local nonprofit organization. The presentation will be given again on Monday, August 7.

Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs will be holding an opening reception celebrating the work of Island artist Stanley Murphy. On July 16 from 4 to 6 pm, all are invited to view the exhibit, “Stanley Murphy: Landscapes, Nudes and a Little Bit of Fancy,” with guest

curator Nancy Kingsley. Paintings will be on loan from Murphy’s family, private collectors, galleries, and museums for this exhibit, which run from July 16 through August 2 and will be open every day from 12 to 4 pm.

Here is a bit of information for those of you who would like to contact the Oak Bluffs School office during the summer months. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 1 pm, and closed on Fridays. You may call 508-693-0951 with any questions.

We send birthday smiles to David deBetencourt on July 14, grandson Nick Rivers and Dianne Kenney on July 15, Sophie Combra and Olivia Law Butler on the 16th, Russell Rogers and Summer Ann Clements on the 17th, Suzanne Metell and Michael Daniels on the 18th, and Lynn Webster on the 19th. Happy anniversary to Marylou and Anthony Piland on July 20.

Enjoy your week. Peace.