NAUGATUCK — The borough welcomed its newest Portuguese mayor last Friday.
Naugatuck Portuguese Club member David Silva was honored as the 2015 Portuguese Mayor of the Day during a ceremony, which kicked off the 65th Annual Feast of Sao Paio Festival, in front of Town Hall.
Silva immigrated to America from Portugal in 1980 in search of a better life and to help his new home country. He has been a member of the Portuguese club for over 25 years. He served three years on the club’s board and has worked to plan to the annual feast.
Sao Paio Festival Chairman Jaime DaSilva said the committee chooses someone to honor as the Portuguese Mayor of the Day each year based on the four Ws: what, when, where and why me.
“[Silva’s] like ‘what is it that needs to be done, where does it have to be done, and when.’ You mention it and he does it,” DaSilva said. “The fourth one is ‘why me,’ and we say ‘because you fit the description of the person we need to get this done.’”
DaSilva said Silva is the type of person who motivates others and is always ready to help.
“He’s the motivator, he’s the starter. He’s the member that makes everybody feel proud to be involved with it,” DaSilva said.
Mayor Robert Mezzo spoke highly of Silva and his involvement in the community.
“I know the four Ws were factored into his choice of his being mayor of the day, but I will add a fifth. He’s just a wonderful man,” Mezzo said.
Mezzo said Silva contributes on a daily basis, mostly behind the scenes.
“I think that has been a common thread of the mayors of the day since I have been here. They are people who don’t ask for fanfare, they don’t ask for limelight or applause, but they get down and they do the work every day to make Naugatuck the place that it is,” Mezzo said.
Silva was humbled to receive the honor.
“To the Sao Paio Committee of 2015, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for choosing me to represent the Portuguese-American community as mayor of the day for 2015. During my years as a member of the club I have done my best to help in assisting the community to the utmost of my ability,” Silva said.
Silva said he planned to make the most of his time as mayor.
“In my short term as a mayor I will make no promise that I cannot fulfill. My office door is open to receive anyone who would like to drop in and tell me what a good job I’m doing,” Silva joked.
State Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17) and state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) said the honor is well deserved and symbolizes the contributions community-minded individuals make every day.
“Congratulations to David for being named mayor of the day. It really signifies what a contribution individuals make, such as David. Equally important is the contribution made by the Portuguese community and other communities. When you look at our country it is an amazing quilt of different nationalities, different colors, and that all comes together to make us what we are today. I’m so proud to be here and commend the Portuguese community for all they’ve done and what they will continue to do,” Crisco said.
Rebimbas said Silva has shown that he is dedicated to the community.
“Congratulations. It’s certainly well deserved. I know how dedicated your family is, not only to the Portuguese community but the community as a whole,” Rebimbas said.