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REPORTING · 21st October 2011
Walter McFarlane
The Luso Canadian Assocation in Kitimat has reached it’s golden anniversary. It has been in the community for 50 years. On the 29th of October, the club is going to celebrate.

“What we have is a big celebration on Saturday, October 29th and we’re having a dance which is for the members and the guests. It is to remember and commemorate the Luso’s 50th and what it stands for,” said Anna Cabral, President of General Assembly.

One of the features of the Dance is the band Starlight, who comes from Toronto. They are a well known group internationally. Cabral tried to ask Council to provide Fireworks but the cost was too high and the notice was too short. Council did feel obligated to contribute $5,000 towards the celebration.

The Dinner and Dance has been planned with surprise in mind. “We want to keep it low keel. We want it to be a surprise for our members and guests. It will have to be a night where people will… I’m hoping… leave here feeling that they enjoyed themselves, they have a lot of fond memories for a very long time,” said Cabral.

The Luso Club in Kitimat started in December of 1961 when a group of Gentleman from Portugal who wanted to maintain their culture and heritage. Kitimat had a growing population of Portuguese citizens at the time, they felt it would be a great way to remember and remains while sharing their heritage with the community of Kitimat.

The first meeting place was at the Public Safety Building. Then they bought a club, but it only held 100 people. In 1988, the Luso Hall, was opened through the help of a government grant, Grace McCarthy and Joanne Monaghan. The club received a lot of assistance from the Portuguese population of Kitimat, in the form of money, construction work and interest free loans.

The club started with 20 members. The most members they have had is around 350 and they are currently sitting around 300 members.

While the membership has changed over the years, the new people still want to maintain the old culture. The executive is passing on their knowledge of running the club to the next generation, maintaining old traditions while involving the younger generations.

The Luso club is active in the community. They participate, donating time and money to the Relay for Life, the Telethon, Scholarships and Soccer Teams. They participate in July 1st with a float.

They celebrate Camoes day and Saint John the Baptist Day in June. They have a traditional Portuguese carnival in February. In November they honour their members with Dinner.

Cabral thanked the people of Kitimat for their continued support. She encouraged people to come out and support their events. She asked people to contact her for any information on how to join the Luso Club, which anyone can be a member.
the speech
Comment by John on 14th November 2011
I heard the speech was a good one by President Ed Abreu...wonder who wrote it? And if so did he or she get any credit or acknowledge of it?
Council shouldn't feel obligated to any thing.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 21st October 2011
It is a private party,why does the district feel obligated to donate $5000.00 Members and members guests get first dibs at tickets so that means the general public won't get a chance to buy a ticket because the tickets are usually gone by then. If you feel you must donate to the club because its an election year then at least give them what you give other service clubs or sports organizations when they come asking. If council feels it must give money away give $5000.00 to the telethon to get them over the 50 grand they need so the Govt will match it. Having said all that I would have rather seen the money go to them than Shames Ski hill. Council has to learn to say no to some things.
Fixed it
Comment by Walter McFarlane on 21st October 2011
Don't know why I have 50 on the brain. the picture turned out golden though.
Luso Celebrating 50 years in the Community
Comment by Anna Cabral on 21st October 2011
Just a small correction, the Club began in 1961 and not 1951. Also, we are calling October as our Anniversary month. We began with a get together for members and guests on the 08 October with dinner and this Sunday, 23 October we are holding our Annual Bazzar. There will be traditional Portuguese food along with prizes. Our main prize donated by Mr. & Mrs. Mills is a "Tea for 12 at Minette Bay Lodge. Come out and enjoy great food, company and have some fun!