Início / Recursos / Recortes de imprensa / 2011
Museum needs help from Portuguese community for exhibit

 By Frances Barrick, Record staff 

WATERLOO REGION - With three months left until their exhibit galleries open, the Waterloo Region Museum has a problem.

The museum has set aside an entire wall panel and a display case to showcase items depicting the large influx of Portuguese people to the area, the first group of non-English and non-German speaking immigrants to migrate in large numbers to Waterloo Region.
But so far no items have been donated by the local Portuguese community, said Stacy McLennan, a museum researcher.

That is why the museum is now appealing to that community for donations of items including clothing, passports, letters, and photographs. "We do think it is important to tell their story. They did change the face of Cambridge and Kitchener" the two areas of the region where the majority of Portuguese people settled, she said. 

McLennan said she has contacted the two local Portuguese clubs and business association, but so far there has been no response.

She said she doesn't know why the Portuguese community has not responded. Other ethnic groups in the region have contributed items, she said.

If people are not willing to relinquish their items, she said the museum would be willing to borrow the items for two years.

"We are more than willing to talk to anybody ... and we would be willing to look at any items they may have," McLennan said.

Currently, there are between 10,000 and 12,000 Portuguese living in the region, she said. Generally, people from the Azores, an island off the coast of Portugal, settled in Cambridge and people from mainland Portugal settled in Kitchener.

The migration of Portuguese to the area started with Manuel Cabral, an American of Portuguese descent who owned a tack and nail business in Ayr, McLennan said.

It was December 1954 when Cabral assisted a friend of a relative settle in Cambridge, the first of thousands of Portuguese immigrants that Cabral helped. He is considered the father of Cambridge's Portuguese community.

Anyone with information or items depicting the history of the Portuguese migration to the region can contact McLennan at 519-748-1914, ext. 3268, or email

 The Record, aqui.

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