Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Date: Saturday, August 18, 2001

Festa da Ernestina

It was a perfect night for a party and at "Festa da Ernestina" a great time was had by all! On Saturday, August 18, starting at 5pm, the corner of Elm and N. Water Streets in New Bedford became "Plaza da Ernestina" in celebration of one of the great symbols Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean American cultural heritage: Schooner Ernestina.

Sponsors were the Cape Verdean News, Integrity Mechanical Contractors, Inc., the Cape Verdean-American Veterans Association, Merchant Mariners Social Club, the Bisca Tournament Club, the Exxon Annuity Club, the Essence Grille, and The Potting Bench.

The neighboring Essence Grille served food and drink, both indoors and out, offering their usual menu, along with special Cape Verdean cuisine items as part of the celebration. Thanks for the authentic menu items is due to Mrs. Joyce Cruz, who volunteered not only her recipes, but came in to help Essence Grille's executive chef, Loretta Imbriglio, prepare for the festa! Other volunteers helping Ernestina staff to produce and host the event were Toni DePina, Irene and Bill Morin and Paul and Louise Anthony.

Festive décor included a canopy of lights, colorful table decorations and miniature Schooner Ernestina replicas. The air was filled with the music of the popular Ivo Pires Band, widely known for their lively, authentic repertoire of traditional and contemporary Cape Verdean dance music. The aroma of Cape Verdean dishes mixed with the echoes of the mornas and the coladeras, as friends, old and new, took to the dance floor.

Featured speakers were Tom Lopes, editor of the Cape Verdean News and Laura Pires, one of the original organizers of the movement to bring Ernestina from Cape Verde back to the U.S. in the 1970’s. Laura spoke of the dedicated early efforts of those who began the work of preservation and oganizational growth and commended the ongoing efforts of all friends of Ernestina. Tom, likewise, was active during that period as a state representative and worked on the political front to develop the Commonwealth legislation creating the Schooner Ernestina Commission.

Current Schooner Ernestina Commissioners Dr. Bruce Rose and Judge Bettina Borders were in attendance and were introduced to the crowd by Executive Director Gregg Swanzey.

Later in the evening, historic video clips, edited and prepared especially for the occasion by Mr. Lopes, were shown on a two-story canvas screen. His production, "Mystery Lady," included footage from Cape Verde, showing Ernestina's departure for the U.S. in 1982. A second segment pictured Schooner Ernestina at the 1986 Statue of Liberty celebration in New York Harbor. Also shown was Ernestina's info-video, produced and edited by award-winning media artist and editor, Randal Goux.

Public Program Director: Tom Goux

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Copyright 1997-2001
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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