HARTFORD – State Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-Naugatuck), and Comendador Fernando G. Rosa, Director of the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS), cohosted the annual Day of Portugal at the Capitol on Friday, June 8th, 2018.
“I look forward to this event each year because it is an opportunity for people to come together, and to celebrate the rich history and culture of Portugal,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “This year we had a remarkable turnout and had the privilege of recognizing three honorees who are true leaders in their communities. I would like to thank everyone who helped put this event together as well as the honorees for their service in their respective fields and for being great ambassadors for the Portuguese Community.”
“It is always a pleasure and an honor to celebrate the Day of Portugal,” Comendador Fernando G. Rosa said.
Each year, Rep. Rebimbas hosts this event as a celebration of Portuguese culture and tradition. This event featured music by Rancho Folclorico of the Portuguese Club of Hartford, food from Maria Pereira and Nutshell Café, and special honorees including Agostinho “Augie” Ribeiro, Hilda M. Barrett and Mariana Branco-Barnes.
Augie Ribeiro, CEO of Ventura Law, has been an active trial lawyer representing over 5,000 clients in civil cases. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, he has shifted his focus to pro bono representation of the victims. He has also represented victims of the BP oil spill disaster, as well victims in other high profile cases. Hilda M. Barrett is a lifelong resident of Danbury, has been active in the Greater Danbury Portuguese Community for over three decades and has received awards for her local involvement. Mariana Branco-Barnes is a lifelong resident of Naugatuck of Portuguese decent and has been involved with the Naugatuck Portuguese Club since childhood. In 2013, she became the first female president of the club where she dedicates her time to increasing outreach efforts, and focusing on the preservation and celebration of Portuguese heritage in the Naugatuck community.
PALCUS is a non-partisan, non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. dedicated to addressing domestic and international concerns of the Portuguese-American community. They conduct research, and provide educational and public affairs activities on these issues. Furthermore, PALCUS plays an active role in government relationships with the goal of strengthening ties between Portugal and the United States.
Special recognition also goes to the Day of Portugal Hosting Committee for Greater Hartford, Clube Portuguese de Hartford, Our Lady of Fatima Church, Portuguese Foundation, Holy Ghost Portuguese Society and Casa do Benfica. Other guests included Abilio “Bill” Lopes Gouveia, Esq., Honorary Consul of Portugal in Connecticut, and various members of the General Assembly of Portuguese decent including State Representatives Jesse MacLachlan, Anne Dauphinais and Rick Lopes.