By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess believes every organization needs people who get things done.
Naugatuck Portuguese Club President Roldao Carvalho is one those people, he said.
The borough honored Carvalho, 67, as Naugatuck’s Portuguese Mayor of the Day on Friday morning in front of Town Hall.
Carvalho, who has been president of the club for the past three years, said when he was first approached about being named mayor of the day, he felt he didn’t deserve the honor.
“I don’t do nothing special, I just do my job here at our club, our community,” said Carvalho, a Waterbury resident and production manager at Bigelow Tea Company.
The ceremony kicked off the Portuguese Club’s 70th annual Sao Paio Feast. There won’t be the usual revelry this year, like Portuguese folklore dancing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But there will be plenty of food available for takeout. People can call club at 203-729-689 for information or to order food.
“This year, like everybody knows, we’re not going to have the festival, but it doesn’t stop us to keep our culture,” Carvalho said.
Jaime DaSilva, chairman of the Sao Paio festival committee, said it looked like there wasn’t going to be a feast this year, until he met with borough officials who told him to go forward with it in a modified way. He said Carvalho stood beyond everybody at the club.
“It’s hard to be in a situation like this and try to keep it alive. He’s done a great job,” DaSilva said. “We have to thank him, without him, the club probably would’ve been closed by now.”
Carvalho, who is married to Maisa Santos and has two children and six grandchildren, said this year will be his last as club president.
“I have to give a chance to somebody else,” Carvalho said. “We try introducing young people to our club.”