Of Historical Note: Cultural pride prevails
By Lori Berkey
Hudson – The photo of this fountain was taken beside the Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese Club Chapel on Port Street in Hudson. A memorial stone near the fountain reads: “In Honor of Peter Francisco 1760-1831 And All Luso-Americans [Americans descended from Lusitanians or the Portuguese] Who Have Fought For This Nation.”
The Hudson Portuguese Club is a nonprofit organization that promotes Portuguese language and culture and supports cultural, sporting and social events in town. While the chapel is the site of Mass services and other events, another facility on the club's grounds houses educational, sporting, social and other activities.
According to historical information posted on the club's website, www.hudsonportugueseclub.org, the club chapel was originally built in 1951, with the monument to the Portuguese-American revolutionary war hero Peter Francisco added 20 years later during the Our Lady of Fatima Feast in 1971. Per that account, the chapel visible in the photo above is a new chapel, constructed after the original structure was damaged from a fire in the 1980s. The account also revealed the appreciation the people had for the chapel's original builder, John P. Rio, who did not charge for his labor. In 2001 a special tribute to the late John P. Rio was held in conjunction with the Our Lady of Fatima Feast, as this year also marked the 50th anniversary of the first chapel being erected.
Information about other aspects of the Hudson Portuguese Club's long history as well details on their sporting, social, educational and charitable endeavors can also be found on the club's website.
Of Historical Note is a weekly segment of the Community Advocate that features a hidden or well-known landmark from one of our newspaper's six communities.
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