New Bedford | WCAI

New Bedford

Growing Old in Portuguese New Bedford

Sep 16, 2014
Sarah Reynolds

In a grey duplex on a narrow street in New Bedford, Margarida Xavier fixes a pillow on her living room couch and sits down. She’s 86 years old. She moved to New Bedford from the Azores in Portugal more than 50 years ago, but she still doesn’t speak much English. She’s lived alone since her husband died ten years ago. And it’s been lonely.

But every few weeks she gets a visitor – Lucy Oliveira, the Senior Services Coordinator with the Immigrants’ Assistance Center in New Bedford. Oliveira comes by once or twice a month to visit and to help Xavier read her mail. 

Brian Morris/WCAI

After sailing triumphantly up the Acushnet River last week, the restored 19th century whale ship Charles W. Morgan on Saturday was officially welcomed home by the City of New Bedford. The vessel was built in the city in 1841, and it helped launch New Bedford as the capital of the whaling industry. Although it’s been docked at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut for the past 73 years, many New Bedford residents still think the historic ship belongs to their city. 

Brian Morris/WCAI

Many parents find they’re unable to spend enough quality time with their kids during the week. The pressures of work and other obligations often makes that difficult, if not impossible. This is especially true for parents and students at the Hannigan School in New Bedford. These students are attending classes at a facility two miles away from their regular school building, while it undergoes extensive renovations But a new program gives these students and their families a chance to re-connect on weekends by cultivating gardens together.

With a population of approximately 100,000, the city of New Bedford is a diverse, culturally rich community, as well as a world famous whaling era seaport and the number one fishing port in America. New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell joins Mindy Todd on The Point to talk about his second term as mayor and his vision for the city.

Our first annual winter film series, Sunday Screenings, is under way! On Sundays throughout the winter, we are screening films at different venues around the Cape, on the Islands, and on the South Coast. Following the screenings we'll have opportunities for discussion, and just plain socializing. Join us! 

Steve Junker / WCAI

These are challenging times for New England’s fisheries: there’s a history of overfishing to overcome; climate change is impacting habitat; many fishermen don’t trust the science which attempts to quantify the fish stocks; and government regulators, who rely on the science, are hard-pressed to chart a path forward to a sustainable fishery.

Alecia Orsini

  The colorful "Day of Portugal" kicked off a weekend celebration in New Bedford on June 6th.  This is the 16th year New Bedford has hosted the event which began with the raising of the flag outside city hall.

Check out the brightly colored skirts called saia that girls wear along with kerchiefs and gold earrings.  The boys don leggings known as calsas, waistcoats and sombreros.