Published on June 06, 2022.
This year, on June 6, the people of the Azores celebrate the “Day of the Azores” or “Dia da Região Autónoma dos Açores” [Day of the Autonomous Region of the Azores]a public holiday, observed throughout the archipelago, to honor “the affirmation of the identity of the Azorean people, their philosophy of life and their regional unity”.
The Day of the Autonomous Region of the Azores was created by the Legislative Assembly of the Azores (Parliament) on August 21, 1980. The date is movable to coincide with the first Monday following Pentecost Sunday, which fixes the beginning of the Cycle of the traditional festival of the Holy Spirit of the Azores.
This year, the official celebrations take place on the island of São Miguel, in the municipality of Lagoa, at the Nonagon Auditorium, at 10:30 a.m. local time, and will be broadcast worldwide by RTP Açores.
The ceremony will begin with speeches by representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, followed by the speech of the President of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, and the President of Parliament, Luís Garcia.
Created in 2002, this year the Azores honorary badge will honor 26 distinguished citizens and legal persons “who stand out for personal or institutional merits, deeds, civic acts or services rendered to the region”.
The ceremony will end with the interpretation of the two hymns of the Azores and Portugal, followed by the traditional Holy Spirit soupsat Praça Nonagon, free and open to the public.
There are four types of insignia awarded, namely the Insígnia Autonómica de Reconhecimento (Commendation of Recognition); Insígnia Autonómica de Mérito Profissional (Recommendation of Professional Merit); Insígnia Autonómica de Mérito Industrial, Comercial e Agrícola – (Recommendation of Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural Merit); and Insígnia Autonómica de Mérito Cívico – (Recommendation of Civic Merit).
The Recognition Commendation will be awarded to eight personalities, namely Ângelo Pacheco, former mayor of Lagoa (São Miguel); Francisco Carreiro da Costa, former historian (posthumously); researcher José António Batista (Santa Maria); and Manuel Rita, former Mayor of Corvo Island (posthumously); Lélia Nunes and Vera Barroso, two Brazilian historians of Azorean origin; Maria Teresa Medeiros, professor at the University of the Azores; and writer Pedro Laureano Silveira (posthumously).
The The professional merit commendation will be be awarded to Jorge Borges, former physical education teacher (posthumously); the entrepreneur Norberto Fontes; and Trevor Moniz, an Azorean emigrant to Bermuda.
The Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural Merit Commendation will be awarded to Fortunato Garcia, wine entrepreneur (Pico); Ildeberto Medina, a civil construction contractor in the United States; and entrepreneur Messias Tevês (São Miguel).
The Mention of civic merit will distinguish various Azorean institutions, namely the Associação Cultural Lajense (Flores); Association of Futebol de Angra (Terceira); Santa Casa da Misericórdia da Horta (Faial); Associação de Bombeiros Voluntários de Angra (Terceira); Banda Fundação Brasileira (São Miguel); School Secundária do Nordeste (São Miguel); and four philharmonic groups from the islands of São Jorge, Terceira, Faial and Graciosa.
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal made up of nine islands. The archipelago, discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, made up of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a term of four years. ; the Regional Government and the Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the executive operations of the Regional Government. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the central government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census, more than 1.3 million people of Portuguese descent live in the United States, with the majority having roots in the Azores. It is estimated that more than 20,000 American citizens live in Portugal.