Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Henrique Anselmo Moniz!

Young Griffo
In this document, and noted that the registration book of the parish church of St. Peter, in Funchal, relative to births in 1907, is in the register 147, the sheet 75, 0: a 05/26/1907, was baptized in that church sayings, Henry, who was born in the parish of St. Peter's Day 05:00 4/21/1907, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civil guard, born in Santa Cruz, and Maria do Rosario Moniz, domestic, born in the same parish of Santa Cruz, parishioners and residents of San Pedro Street daRibeira de Sao Joao. Father was the grandson of Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas and mother of Jose Joaquin Monteiro and Augusta of the Rosary. Godfather was Henry Bettencourt Tristan da Camara, single, employed by trade, who lives in Santa Luzia, and godmother Mary Belle de Noronha and Agrela, who lives in Sao Paulo, married. 

There seems to be some controversy as to when Henrique actually arrived in America. Although he is listed on the original ship's manifest in April of 1920, age 12. On The Black Arrow, he is also listed on the manifest in October of that same year, on the ship Roma, age 13. In his eight page letter to his family he clearly states that he arrived on the Roma, an Italian ship. I have a theory that Rufino (Uncle Ralph) whose records concerning his arrival to America, are no where to be found, was somehow substituted for Henrique in April of 1920 and Henrique came later. Not sure about this but it lends to the mystery. (This mystery has been solved. You can read the solution under Rufino Nicolau's bio.

His son Henry writes; "I believe my father came over by himself, or with his sister that was buried at sea. He came over on the Roma, an Italian based ship,(photo below). I went to Ellis Island and looked him up on the computer. He told me that he had $20 for his journey to America. When he arrived at Ellis Island he spent the night there and just before bedtime  placed the $20 under his pillow for safe keeping. When he awoke the next morning it was gone. He also told me that during the voyage he tried to befriend an Italian boy about his age and the boy scratched his face. So my dad kicked him in the you know whats. He then ran back to the Portuguese group followed by several Italian women that wanted revenge. This caused a near riot on the boat and when he finally landed he had a great distain for Italians. Obviously those feelings went away later and it is interesting that he should marry one and embrace the Italian culture. Since he was surrounded, he probably didn’t have much choice.
My dad, Uncle Ralph and Aunt Mary sponsored Uncle Jordan so he could come to America. He came here a very bitter man - - angry that he was left in Madeira for so long before coming to America.
He was very close to my dad, but not that close to my Aunt Mary. Due to a minor incident with my Uncle Ralph, they didn't speak to each other for over 20 years. Finally, mainly thru efforts of my dad, they started communicating again.  Uncle Jordan was at my Uncle Ralphs sick bed and was with him until the end." 

Henrique was a prize fighter in his early years and fought under the name of Young Griffo. 
His professional start was 1927, his last pro fight was November 1929, in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Total of 20 Professional Bouts: 
6-New Bedford, MA
2-Fall River, Ma
1-Boston, Ma
3-Stamford, CT
1-Greenwich, CT
1-Mitchell Field, Hempstead, NY
1-Yonkers, NY
5-White Plains, NY
Fighting Weight: 143-144 Trim
Fought under the name "Young Griffo" 
He would move to California, from New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1930 permanently to work on his sister Mary Vera's, dairy farm. He would later work in the sugar cane industry. He married Frances V Palotta and together they had three children.
My memories of him are vague, except to say that he loved his family and seemed a very kind and gentle soul!
Henrique would pass on August 3, 1989 at the age of 82. 
Below is an article written in a local newspaper in 1977, not sure of the exact date. A brief description of Henry's colorful life.

By Geraldine Fregoso
"Why should I be so certain that a swing compass needle will lead me to land and safety?"
Why have I dared stake my life on the belief that by drawing a line on paper and measuring its azimuth and length, I can find my way through shifting air to Europe?" 
"Why have I been so sure that I can hold the nose of the Spirit of St. Louis on an unmarked point on that uniform horizon...? 
These words were written by Charles Lindbergh of his historic, thrilling airplane flight 50 years ago. 
For a man in Crockett, though, the celebration of Lindbergh's nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean which began on May 21, 1927 evoked special memories. 
"I'll bet I'm the only person around who can say they were at Roosevelt Field, New York, the night before he took off and who talked to him," said Henry Moniz of Pomona Avenue. A former professional prizefighter at one time in his life. Moniz said he and two friends graphically nicknamed "Wild River and "Guts,"had been to nearby Curtisville Field where they had enjoyed a 15 minute plane ride for five dollars. 
"Coming home past Roosevelt, we saw Lindy standing there talking to another man. One of my friends asked him "when are you going to take off, Lucky Lindy?" 
"He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled at us and said he wasn't sure. You know I don't think there were more than ten people around that whole place. But over at the other field there were great crowds with some other fliers who were planning to take off on a flight across the Atlantic the same day.
"People thought he had  a good plane, but nobody was very sure he would make it, that's why they called him "Lucky Lindy"because of that earlier trip from San Diego to Curtis Field."
Moniz digressed in his recollection to talk about some oh his adventures when he was younger. He said that at one point during prohibition he and a friend were bootleggers who made regular deliveries to speakeasies to earn good money. That activity ceased suddenly, though, "when a good friend of mine was found wrapped in a burlap sack floating on the Hudson River." 
Moniz said there was speculation whether Lucky Luciano was responsible for the deed, "or some of those other guys." 
He ended up coming to Rodeo and joining his sister in business at Jardin's Dairy. "I learned how to milk cows and become a cowboy and a milkman all at the same time." 
Moniz later went to work  at the plant in Selby and performed a variety of jobs there until he retired. He keeps busy these days working occasionally as a lineman for a maritime company in Crockett. 
He and his wife have raised two sons and a daughter. "I have lots of wonderful memories" the 70 year old Moniz said. 
"It seems like it was just yesterday that I saw Lucky Lindy getting ready for his take off and then later when they gave that big parade for him. It was sure a big thing then. It's still a big thing to remember, and I'll still bet that I'm the only one around here who was there 50 years ago."

Henrique... clowning around...March 20, 1937

Henrique Marries, Frances V Palotta
Frances Palotta Moniz, his wife, 7/07/1916 - 12/23/2002
Uncle Henry and Aunt Frances have three children.
Henry Anselmo Moniz, 5/04/1939. He is married and lives in California with his wife, Henry has four children and grandchildren.
Monte Leroy Moniz, 1941
Brenda Susan Moniz, 1949
Hank, left, Brenda, taken sometime in the 1950's

Ship, Henrique arrived on in October of 1920...
Ship Name:
Years in service:
Shipping Line:
Ship Description:
Built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranean, La Seyne, France. Tonnage: 5,291. Dimensions: 411' x 46' (426' o.l.). Single-screw, 14 1/2 knots. Triple expansion engines. Two masts and two funnels.
Launched, August 14, 1901. Had trial speed of 15.9 knots. Passengers: 50 first and 1,300 third. Made her final voyage to New York in 1927. Broken up for scrap in France, 1929.

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