Thursday, January 3, 2013

Elvira Antonia Moniz

Elvira Antonia Moniz
As written by Aunty herself: Well folks here I am! The last of the Moniz Clan. I was born June 13, 1929. My birth name is Elvira Antonia Moniz. If you notice there is no Maria attached to my name. June 13th is the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua. My mother decided that I should be named after St. Anthony. 
I had no say in the matter. I very seldom tell anyone my real name, and if I do, I usually substitute "Antoinette" as my middle name. 
My siblings were and are all great! I am still very close to my surviving sisters, Gloria, Alice and Judith! My brother John passed in 2001, baby Joseph before I was born, and Joseph Gregory when I was only eleven! 

I attended Sarah D. Ottiwell Grammar School, kindergarden through third grade. I remember turning around to talk to a friend and my knuckles were smacked with a ruler! I never did that again! I then attended Philips Avenue School for the fourth and fifth grade. I was taught how to write in cursive. Back then we called it penmanship! The teachers always commented on my good handwriting.
For the sixth and seventh grades I attended the Abraham Lincoln School. I took violin lessons during this time. My parents bought me a violin for $5.00. They paid for it in installments of .50 cents a week. I didn't do too much with the violin after that!

 I went to Normandin Junior High School for the eighth and ninth grade. It was a distance from our home. I usually walked back and fourth and picked up a few friends along the way!  
I did get to buy tickets for the bus, but only for emergencies, rain, snow or sickness. I remember my gym class and could not climb the ropes. Needless to say I failed that one! 
I graduated from the ninth grade in 1944 and then attended New Bedford High School. It was too far to walk so I had to take the bus as it was downtown and we lived in the north end of New Bedford. There I joined the "GAMS" which was a girl's auxiliary. I did receive credit for this program. I also worked after school from four to ten PM at the Aerovox to help my parents. I did my homework during every break and mother had supper on the table for me where I completed my homework late into the evening. It paid off, as I was the only one in the family who graduated from high school in 1947. My high school graduation class just had it's 65th class reunion in this year of 2012. Wow!!! I also attended Kenyon Campbell School for additional book keeping classes after graduation. 

I remember as a child we were too poor to celebrate Christmas. My older sister Gloria, would write a letter to Santa Claus and somehow on Christmas morning through the miracle of Christmas, we would receive toys! I remember asking for a carriage and received a two wheeled one! Father surprised us with a Christmas tree he chopped from the farm. To me it was huge, however, we had no decorations or a stand. He just leaned the tree against the wall! Sister Gloria to the rescue! She bought some tinsel and a box of balls, sparse but beautiful. We didn't have much, but we were all so happy with our beautiful tree and each other. Any tree is beautiful to a small child! I do believe that the letter to Santa was delivered to the Salvation Army! 

As you know our parents were very strict, especially "Pa" 
as we called him. Gloria once smiled at a boy she knew in front of Pa and she got in a lot of trouble for showing her pearly whites to a boy! Yikes! My poor sister Gloria, she is the oldest of us four girls. She had to break Pa in slowly. When Pa finally found out about her having a boyfriend, she went through a great deal. When she wanted to go out on a date with her then future husband Tony, there were conditions. They were to bring one of her younger sisters along to chaperone. Guess who???? ME!!! 
The diabolical plan was to drop me off at the theater around nine and then arrange a pick up time and arrive home together no later than 10PM. 
Gloria, Alice and Judith paved the way for me. I had it made! Pa liked my husband, as he knew him well. He was the boy next door and a sports fisherman. Fred bribed my dad with most of his catch. Pa watched us closely all the same.
I do not remember my sister Alice being chaperoned. She was the quietest of all of us. She could draw very well and was artistically inclined. 
Now Judith was a different story. She definitely was the feistiest of all and a bit sneaky as well! She once took my pearl necklace without asking. I pulled them from her neck and pearls went everywhere! She did not mind Pa either! 

When it finally came down to me dating, Pa had softened a bit, thanks to my older sisters. Pa felt that I did not need a chaperone. For my high school prom I asked a friend down the street because he was a good dancer and I love to dance. He had to come inside to escort me to the prom. Pa knew his parents very well and we had to be home no later than 11PM. Wow, those were the days!

I worked at a wholesale company for fourteen years and left as my boss could not afford the two cent raise that I asked for. I found a new job at the Acushnet Company now known as Titleist. I was employed there until my retirement in 1992.

I married my next door neighbor Alfred Correia on November 11, 1950 and we were blessed with four beautiful children. Diane Antoinette Correia was born July 12, 1952. Our second was a son, Michael Anthony Correia, born February 21, 1954. Robert Alfred Correia, was born June 23, 1960. Lastly, Timothy Scott Correia, born July 26, 1968. 

Tragically our thrid child Robert was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of seventeen. He was to graduate the following year from Dartmouth High School. As I remember he had taken his graduation picture for the class yearbook the day before the accident. My sister-in-law Rosalie, a very thoughtful person, asked that the photos be mailed to her as to spare me the pain of seeing them alone! I am still so grateful for that act of kindness. 

After a year of marriage my husband was called to serve in the armed forces. He was a radio operator in Korea. Before he left I became pregnant and would send him side view photos of my blossoming body. He loved that. When Diane was born, brother in law, Tony Tavares would send him a message that he was a father. Diane was four months old when he returned from the service. He was in Korea for ten and one half months. I remember traveling  alone to Utica, NY to meet with him upon his return. It was close to our anniversary! 

After retiring I became active by volunteering at a soup kitchen in New Bedford. I also joined the Ladies Guild at St. Julie's Church and until this day remain very active. I was elected president for one year, 2005-2006, a very busy year! 
I love doing crafts. Along with a  group of friends, we hosted a house party three years in a row to sell our creations. I love being active with my church groups until this day! 

I enjoy my children, grandchildren and great-grand children, along with husband Fred in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 

Niece Rosemary writes: "Aunty Vera is probably the kindest, sweetest, giving person that I know! She is always happy to see me no matter her health or situation! She is still so helpful to her older sisters and visits them often. She is a true role model for any human being to follow. 

I was there when she opened the graduation photos of her son Robert, after his passing. It was a gut wrenching experience which no parent should ever have to endure! 
I love you Aunty. Your kind heart will always be be cherished by mine!" 
"You are my hero!!!" 

Cousin Hank writes: "I remember the tragedy of losing cousin Robert in the motorcycle accident, as cousin Carole and Tom were visiting California when it happened. They were not told of the accident until they got home.  We all felt very bad, and I remember my mom crying. I also remember Robert from one of our barbecues as a very nice young man, such a horrible loss for the whole family. My first memory of meeting Aunty Vera was in 1953 when my family went east for the first time. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Although, I had met Uncle John, Uncle Tony Tavares and Uncle Fred while they were in the service and had come to California on furlough.  We have all been blessed with a wonderful family, and as the years go by they just get more and more precious.

Marriage, November 11, 1950


BlueShell said...

Great testimony

Happy New Year, full of joy, health and God’s Blessings!

Haddock said...

Love to see these old pictures :-)

Genie Robinson said...

Loved reading the history and the pictures are out of this world. I have so many of ours and really do need to start a genealogy blog about both sides of my family. You have done a wonderful job. genie said...

Oh I just loved the read and some parts of course were sad.

Thanks for sharing.

My first time here.

I was at another photographer site

then I then clicked on you after. I am glad I did.

Wow a real good read.

My Mom was born in 1912 she lived 95 years.

My dad lived 96.

Of course I am getting up the ladder myself.

Will be 72 in January.

Where have those years gone.

Your family very pretty ladies. men handsome and children so sweet.

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