I welcome you to the 104th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, the largestPortuguese Feast in the world: as I call it New Bedford area’s biggest family reunion where admission and entertainment are still “free”.
Thank you to our presenter partners that help make this possible, and a very special thanks to the presenter committee.
I am honored and delighted to be elected as this year’s feast president. I have been working on Madeira field since I was a child delivering blocks of ice for my father. I served my first time at age 19 in 1976 the first year we went from three days to four days making this feast to what it is today. As a Great nephew of both Manuel Agrela and Manuel Agrela Coutinho I am proud to follow in my family footsteps bringing our traditions, culture, faith and belief in family.
I am very fortunate to have a talented and eager executive committee led by my cousin and best friend Vice –President Lou Teixeira, our Treasurer New Bedford’s councilor at large Ian Abreu, my brother Recording Secretary Dennis Agrella who is proudly serving with his son as corresponding secretary Kevin Agrella. I cannot thank these gentlemen enough for their hard work and dedication. I am also so excited to be serving together for the first time with my son Alan, brother Dennis and Aaron and my nephew Kevin. My cousins from California Tony Agrella, Mike Franco, Donald Mederios, Ron, Russell and Brett Botelho are also coming to support me and carry on our family traditions. We also have a great group of seventy eight strong feisteros who are all working for the same goals to bring you a legendary Feast.
I’d like to thank the south coast community and people from afar for supporting us. You truly come out and show that our Feast is a celebration of family and tradition. Let us keep this going for another 104 years.
This year’s feast would not be successful without the support of Clube Madeirense S.S Sacremento and the club members, and a special thanks to the stock room guys.
Our sincerest thanks to the Honorable Mayor Jon Mitchell and all of New Bedford’s city departments that contribute year after year. I would also like to thank Sheriff Tom M. Hodgson and all of his Department.
I truly would not be able to do this without my support of my two daughters Michelle Agrella and Cherie Wildrick who have proudly stepped in to honor my late wife Veronica Jane Agrella. Finally I dedicate this year’s efforts to my late wife with my heart and soul, whom I miss, we all miss so very, very much.