Club Vasco da Gama -- Hamilton BM
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 32° 17.598 W 064° 46.961
20S E 332142 N 3574341
Quick Description: The Vasco da Gama club in downtown Hamilton, Bermuda also operates as the center of Portugese and Azorean culture here.
Location: Bermuda
Date Posted: 3/2/2015 1:24:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMNEXV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Vasco da Gama club and Portuguese Cultural Center inside offers a place for members of the Portuguese community to come together and celebrate their culture and history in downtown Hamilton.

Members of the Vasco da Gama club enjoy social gatherings, cultural celebrations, games, Portugese school, and many other cultural and social amenities.

The Vasco da Gama club is located at 51 Reid Street in downtown Hamilton.

From the website: (visit link)

History

1935-1975

“Clube Vasco da Gama e Sociedade Beneficiente de Hamilton Bermuda” was founded in Hamilton, Bermuda on or around October 11th 1935. The exact date is unknown but recalled as being between October 7th and October 11th.

The original founder’s key objectives were to create an environment dedicated to the development and preservation of the Portuguese language and culture and to assist any member of the association during a time of need.

Our founders were men of great will and vision, often making sacrifices for the good of the association and its members. During the early years, there wasn’t a facility to call home and many meetings of the association were held at various locations throughout the island.

Many times the business of the association was conducted in stables and barns on various properties. The secretary at the time would ride his bicycle from house to house in order to ensure that monthly association dues were collected.

In 1942, and due principally through the efforts of our then President, Mr. Joao Sousa Aguiar, a property was purchased at 51 Reid Street, Hamilton by the association in order to facilitate meetings and to provide a repose for the association members and their families.

At the same time a Private Act was presented to the Bermuda House of Parliament requesting the incorporation of “Clube Vasco da Gama e Sociedade Beneficiente de Hamilton Bermuda”.

These were very difficult times for the association and these endeavors were met with great rejection from business leaders in the community who felt that the association and its members were not worthy of property-owner status let alone in the City of Hamilton!

The Executive at the time, lead by President Aguiar forged ahead with their plans and all legal and banking requirements were secured in August 1942.

During the early years, Clube Vasco da Gama would provide health and disability benefits to its members who encountered difficult times due to health reasons. The Executive would organize social gatherings and promote cultural activities at their facility in Hamilton.

At the same time a Private Act was presented to the Bermuda House of Parliament requesting the incorporation of “Clube Vasco da Gama e Sociedade Beneficiente de Hamilton Bermuda”.

These were very difficult times for the association and these endeavors were met with great rejection from business leaders in the community who felt that the association and its members were not worthy of property-owner status let alone in the City of Hamilton!

The Executive at the time, lead by President Aguiar forged ahead with their plans and all legal and banking requirements were secured in August 1942.

Over the years the facility housed the bar, lounge, games room, hall and ground floor rental facilities that aided the association financially. For many years, the Portuguese Consulate was housed at 51 Reid Street.

1976-1990

During the decades of the 70’s and 80’s emigration from the Acores to Bermuda grew and it was only natural that the Club’s membership also grew. The Club continued to organize festivities and cultural gatherings and the ever popular Club picnics to Hawkins Island.

The Club undertook a major renovation in 1986 to rejuvenate the facilities. These were the years that the Club’s football program flourished with the team earning promotion to the first division in 1978 and the creation of a youth team.

The Club dominated much of the football league winning all of the major trophies at stake. In addition to football the Club also participated in other sporting endeavours such as darts and pool. During these years, the Vasco da Gama Folklore dance group was formed and would entertain the crowds at the annual Agricultural Exhibition and Bermuda Day Parades.

The floats created for the Easter Parade and the Bermuda Day Parade were always beautiful creations and were always assured of winning awards.

1991-Present

The 90’s were very difficult times in Bermuda with many families having to return to the Acores due to the Government’s policy changes in relation to work permits. The Club experienced a reduction in membership but continued to provide the social gatherings and cultural activities to promote and preserve the Portuguese Culture in Bermuda.

The Club merged with the Portuguese Cultural Association and assumed responsibility for the running of the Portuguese School in Bermuda. The Club signed a protocol with the Acorean Government in relation to the Portuguese School of Bermuda and is seen as the local Portuguese community liaison on the island.

The Club underwent a major renovation in 2007 with over 1 million dollars being spent on modernization of the facility. The Club continues to offer sporting opportunities to its members through representation in the Corona Football League, the Darts league.

The Portuguese School continues to flourish with over 30 students participating daily. In October 2010, the Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel with the famed Portuguese Band “Starlight” in attendance."
Related website: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Club Vasco da Gama -- Hamilton BM 2/19/2015 Benchmark Blasterz visited it