Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2018 – What We Share: Honouring Contributions to Vasco da Gama Club
Portuguese skilled agricultural workers, first arriving aboard the Golden Rule in 1849 from Madeira and later from the Azores, became a significant part of Bermuda’s demography.
In 1935 a club was born dedicated to developing and preserving the Portuguese language and culture and to assisting any member of the association during a time of need. Named after Vasco da Gama, the famous Portuguese explorer whose first voyage to India between 1497 and 1499 was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, Vasco has over the years shared its cultural traditions with other cultures in Bermuda. For example, the Vasco da Gama Folklore Dancing Group was formed in 1979, thus celebrating and sharing Portuguese culture through music, song, dance and traditional costumes from the Azores. The Portuguese School ensures that the Portuguese language is taught in Bermuda while acting as a liaison with Bermuda’s community. The floats created by the Club for the Easter Parade and more recently for the Bermuda Day Parade have always been beautiful, winning creations. In fact, Vasco participated in the very first Bermuda Day parade held in 1979.
Mr. José Pavão helped to maintain Vasco’s Bermuda Day floats during the 1980s and was also one of the founders of the Vasco da Gama Folklore Dancing Group, which first performed at the 1979 Agricultural Exhibition. It is therefore fitting he is one of this year’s Grand Marshalls. He is a long standing member of the Club and can always be seen providing music and sound engineering at important Portuguese cultural events, such as the Santo Cristo Festival at the Bermuda Athletics Association, and the Espirito Santo Festival in St. George’s. But he also offers his services to other organisations’ events held in Bermuda.