Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-New Bedford) presented Heritage Day of Portugal Awards to two honorees from the South Coast, Joseph Lopes, New Bedford City Council President & Councilor of Ward 6 and Michael Tavares, President of the Prince Henry Society - New Bedford Chapter, at the 33rd Heritage Day of Portugal ceremony at the State House on Tuesday.  Dr. Pedro Carneiro, Consul of Portugal to New Bedford, was the guest of honor.

“The annual Heritage Day of Portugal is a wonderful celebration of the Portuguese-American culture,” said Rep. Cabral. “It serves as an important opportunity for us to collectively recognize the many significant contributions Portuguese-Americans have made in their individual communities and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

The Heritage Day of Portugal celebration is organized each year by the Massachusetts Portuguese American Legislative Caucus.  Representative Cabral serves as the House Chairman of the Caucus and he helps plan the annual event.  During the celebration, exemplary community members of Portuguese descent are recognized for their accomplishments and contributions. Individuals who dedicate themselves to the advancement of Portuguese-Americans are also acknowledged for their commitment to their communities.

Joseph P. Lopes was elected to the New Bedford City Council on November 3, 2009, and re-elected in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Joseph was elected City Council President in 2014 and 2017, and Chairman of the New Bedford Finance Committee in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Councilor Lopes is a lifelong resident of New Bedford, and is a graduate of the New Bedford Public School System. He attended and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science. He is also a graduate of Johnson and Wales University where he earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business.

Michael Tavares was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His family is originally from Sao Miguel, Azores and immigrated over to the United States in the early 1970s.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University as well as his Master of Science Degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Northeastern University. Michael is the CEO of Horacio's Inc., a full-service metal fabrication company servicing clients nationwide.  Horacio's Inc. was founded in 1980 by Horacio Tavares as a metal fabrication company.  Horacio's Inc. fabricates for the food industry as well as many others including HVAC design and installation, millwork services and custom service.  Michael is currently the President of the Prince Henry Society of New Bedford, MA and sits on the executive board of the Greater New Bedford Business Park Foundation. He also is a board of trustee member for the Zeiterion Theater, where his family company sponsors many Portuguese cultural performances.  He is one of the founders of the “Viva Portugal” festival that has recently celebrated its 2nd annual celebration of the Portuguese heritage by uniting many of the associated organizations and societies together.

“I offer my sincere congratulations to Joe, Michael, and all of the other honorees who received Heritage Day of Portugal Awards this year,” said Rep. Cabral. “The honorees are exemplary representatives of the Portuguese-American community and we wish them continued success.”

--Rep. Cabral's Office


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