"ORFEÃO ANTERO DE QUENTAL"
It was spectacular. The enthusiasm, the pride, the gusto, the performance in York University were spectacular.
Even our Portuguese Community leaders agreed: splendid!
Someone in the audience was visibly moved to tears listening to the beauty, to the artistic level.
Indeed I never sung our Portuguese Anthem with the fire and pride of a born lusitano as I did yesterday: "Entre as brumas da memória, Ó Pátria, sente-se a voz dos teus egrégios avós..."
I felt also the wonder, the mystery, the beauty, the immense green of our "Ilhas de Bruma".
Maestro we did excel! With your high level of music talent perhaps we could have done better, and. we will! But allow me to brag, no one ever sung like we did... Thank you. Thank you.
I thank each member for who we are - the great singers of Orfeão Antero de Quental.
I was impressed by the speakers. I wish they would be far more visible in the Community. I hope our children will follow their trail of learning and success. Elvino excelled with his sense of humour and rich learning experience.
Unfortunately after 40 years with his Estado Novo Salazar succeeded in his bizarre plan and I quote him: "Prefiro uma nação de mulas e não de intelectuais..." And he never authorized extra universities, no new High Schools...
We came to Canada to make it on our own without handouts from governments. With fierce determination, hard work and ambition we succeeded. And how we did succeed!
We surely wanted our children to learn. We did try very hard to convince them to follow the high road of "academia". We were sick of being Salazar's "mulas". We were never afraid as mentioned, we were ferociously independent, with the courage of the mariners of old, with the resolve of our ""heróis do mar".
Many of us left Portugal angry. We had lost respect for the then portuguese intelligentsia. Our perception - they were part of the system, very accommodating and always talking down...
We do not want our children to be like those portuguese intellectuals. We want them to be leaders in thought, research, in humanity. Leaders not because of the heritage that treated their parents badly obliging them to emigrate, but to stand on their own, to respect each individual, no matter the social level, for who he is and not for what or who he knows or does.
Enough of politicking.
Today was indeed a great day, because of our singing, because of our young students who strive to make on their own against all odds, against a past we are not proud. Bravo Dr. José Rodrigues!
Thank you all. See you tomorrow.
Next performance June 24 in PCCM. And our name, reputation are spreading...
Oh, let me be a child again. I loved it! Why not? I am a descendant of the "heróis do mar", I was born "nas Ilhas de Bruma".
O velhote de Alliston,