By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — Friends and officials described Pedro Pires as a man who dedicates his time not only to the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, but also to the entire community because it’s a fabric of his character.
“He’s a great pillar to this community, our community, the Portuguese-American community,” state Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, said Friday morning as the borough honored Pires as Portuguese Mayor of the Day during a ceremony in front of Town Hall.
Pires, a 49-year-old borough resident, has been an active member of the club for more than 30 years. He said he’s humbled to be honored, noting there’s many other people who deserve the recognition.
“It is my understanding that this award is a recognition of someone who promotes community service from within our club,” said Pires, who is a vice president with the Chittenden Group in Naugatuck. “While I thank you for all of this, I just want to also especially thank my family for their support that allows me the time to be able to do such things.”
The ceremony kicked off the Portuguese Club’s 71st annual Sao Paio Festival, which continues Friday and Saturday at the club, 110 Rubber Ave., with live music, dancing and food from 7 to 11 p.m.
John DaSilva, chairman of the Sao Paio Festival, said it has been a long year with the COVID-19 pandemic, but the club is moving forward thanks to everyone’s support. Club members scored big by choosing Pires as mayor of the day, he added.
“Pedro is not only an active member of the club, he is also an active member of the community,” DaSilva said. “I looked at his resume, and it just goes on and on, all the stuff that he has done.”