Last Thursday, vice-consul of Portugal William Ferreira hosted members of the diplomatic corps, locals with Portuguese lineage, family and friends to celebrate Portugal’s National Day, four days before the actual day, June 10.
In welcoming guests on behalf of the Ferreiras, Amanda Jardine said one of the reasons for bringing the celebration forward was that the General Consul of Portugal for the Caribbean region, who is stationed in Caracas, Venezuela, Licinio Bingre Do Amaral, was in TT.
The cocktail tabletops set at Ferreira's Westmoorings home provided guests with information on Portuguese cities Lisbon, Sintra and Oporto, which are rich with history.
Lisbon is the hilly, coastal capital city, and from the imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-coloured buildings.
Sintra, a resort town nestled in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near Lisbon, is in a green mountainscape of palaces, country estates, parks and a medieval castle, and northwest coastal city of Oporto, is a World Heritage Site known for its stately bridges and port wine production.
Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Jennifer Marchand began her address by greeting guests in Portuguese, and they applauded.
She then spoke of the formal diplomatic relations between Portugal and TT, which began in 1977, and which she said have been characterised by co-operation and mutual respect.
“The Portuguese community in TT, predating formal relations, has made significant cultural, economic and social contributions to the development of TT’s national life, providing, in the person of Albert Gomes, the first chief minister of pre-independent TT.”
Marchand then acknowledged the continued work of the honorary consulate of Portugal, which she said has created opportunities for lasting connections between TT and Portugal.
“The ministry remains committed to working with the consulate to enhance bilateral relations, be it in the sphere of business, culture or education,” she said.
She recognised the "invaluable" contribution of the Portuguese community to the development of TT, before wishing the Portuguese all the best wish on their national day, then asked all present to join her in a toast to the Portuguese Republic.
Guests were then entertained by guitarist Nigel Rojas, who, after some instrumentals, was joined by his fellow band members of Orange Sky for the afterparty.
Cor Stouten, deputy ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands centre with Japanese Ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama at right and his wife.
Ambassador Rosario Molinero (Mexico) at right, makes a point to Mario Torres Townson (Guatemala) left, and Juan Anibal Barria (Chile).