Friday, July 27, 2012

John Peter Moniz

Joao Pedro Moniz
Ten hours of the day 01/31/1919 was born on Rua Dr. Vieira 290, in the parish of St. Peter, an individual male who was named Joao Pedro Moniz, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civic guard, 44-year-old native of Santa Cruz, and his wife Maria Natalia Moniz, domestic, 29 years old, born in Sao Pedro, Funchal. He was the paternal grandson of Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas and maternal grandson of Manuel Rodrigues Neto and Maria de Jesus. There were witnesses in this registry, Luis Sequeira Dias, married, civic police and Abel Ascension de Vasconcelos, married, civic guard, residents Rua do Comercio. 
John would make the journey to America at the age of one year on the Black Arrow. He was grandfather's eighth child, first born with my grandmother, Maria Natalia.
Grandmother holding John, about 14 months old. Picture copied from her passport.
I remember Uncle John fondly! He was a robust man with a hearty laugh and always a kind smile! He lived on the second floor above Angelo's Market, right next door to his parents. He and his family would later move to a single family home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. His wife Cecilia, lives there until this day. I also remember that he was an avid coin collector. 
His oldest son David, who is a year younger than I and cousin Carole, also a year younger, would play for many hours as young children. Mischief would always ensue and giggles abundant. I remember a time when we hung grandmother's underwear on a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling and were saluting them while laying on her huge feather bed. The heat burnt a hole in the huge pink nylon elasticized, bloomers and sent them flying clear across the room. The lightbulb exploded. We were scared and of course in huge trouble. As I remember Uncle John, was the only adult who found this event funny and it was! It still makes me chuckle.  
His youngest child and only daughter Jo-Ann writes:
"I've got plenty of stories but they might not be printable. However, I can tell you that my father was a very generous man. I can still hear him say, "sweetheart get what you want." I would ask him if I could have a banana split when he took us to Frates Bottle in the north end of New Bedford. He sometimes would say, " you like that, get that" especially when choosing my Schwinn bicycle. Even until this day when I'm trying to choose something I hear in my head "sweetheart, get what you like!"  
He always made me special food treats like a fruit cup with sherbert that he made with the utmost care. He was a perfectionist and he would tell me loudly with the most urgent concern, "NEVER put tomatoes in kale soup!" He had very strong opinions about food. 
He would take us on long Sunday drives. We would stop at roadside fruit/vegetable stands and I would ask him if we could get strawberries and he would buy a whole case or flat of strawberries and if I wanted to eat the whole thing I could. He loved it when I ate a lot of food and my cousins can attest to my appetite. Just ask Aunt Gloria how many hamburgers I ate. (In my opinion she is the best cook on the planet).
He had a strong love for all of his sisters. He was extremely proud of being a Madeira descendant and would speak of it like it was the finest land in all the world, even though he never returned. He repeatedly would tell me stories of its beauty and I must say, after visiting Madeira myself, he was absolutely right. I made the grievous error one day and asked him if Madeira was part of the Azores, bad question???? After asking me what was the matter with me, I got a very long explanation of the geographical location of Madeira. I don't think he spoke to me for a week after that.
My mother's family was from Azores. My father would insist that we, his children, were Madeiran because he, our father, was Madeiran. I guess the mother didn't count. It was who your father was that determined your nationality. He didn't have many nice things to say about St. Michael, when it came to food.
He was very supportive of my mom's sewing skills and bought her, her first power sewing machine. He would take her to fabric stores far away and wait patiently while she shopped. He was very proud of her and would boast about her abilities. 
When I learned how to play guitar he would listen to me sing to him and would think I was the greatest, which was pretty amazing to me because I would sing to him songs about Jesus and that could be a touchy subject. He didn't want to talk about it. But I could sing about it and he thought I was great! 
I really miss my father and I wish I could have lunch with him.  I had a rocky relationship with him due to his frequent drinking but through my becoming a born again Christian, God helped me to forgive him and we had a great relationship in the latter part of his life. I really love him, and when I think of him, it brings a smile to my face. As all of you are aware of, I am a lot like him. I know he loved me and his entire family and the country he was born in and the country he fought for. He was loyal and he did know right from wrong and often spoke up about it, not necessarily in the most tactful way. 
My father worked at Kay Windsor as a shipper for more than 20 years.
He was born in Funchal, 1/31/1919 and died at 82yrs old, Monday February 5, 2001. 
He married my mother, June 5, 1948.  
He was in the Army in Battery A, 276th Coast Artillery Battalion. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon. 
Certificate of Nationalization, age 23 on the 30th December 1942 in the State of Texas, county of Galveston when he was at Camp Hulen, Texas, (sounds like this happened when he enlisted in the Army becsuse he completed his service in 1946.
My mother's maiden name was Cecilia Rodericks. It was probably spelled Roderiques, but they maybe changed it in America, just a guess.
1st born, David John Moniz, 4/4/1949 wife, Shirley Moser divorced one natural daughter Marsha Moniz, who is now married but she is not in contact with our family. 

 2nd born, Ralph Anthony Moniz, 9/2/1953, no children, estranged wife Olivia. 
3rd born, Jo-Ann Moniz (myself), 9/17/57, married to Charles J Carey 5/1/1980. 
I have three children, Cecelia M. Carey, 9/28/81 single. 
Monica F. Carey, 9/28/84 married with two sons, Isaac C. Barros and Elloit Nathanael Barros, born Christmas Day, 2012. 

Nathanael R. Carey, 11/4/87, single, military served in Afghanistan and is now training for Special Forces selection in September." 
Thank you cousin Jo-Ann for this wonderful and very honest account of your dad. His memory shall live on forever. 
Jo-Ann has visited Madeira twice now and absolutely loves it there. She has taken many beautiful pictures, which I will share in a later chapter. She has a very dry sense of humor and always makes me laugh! 
Cousin Hank writes of Uncle John: "I have a nice picture of my mom and dad, Uncle Ralph, Uncle Jordan and Uncle John sitting around a table in a night club in San Francisco on one of Uncle John’s visits to California. It was during the War because Uncle John was in uniform.  He told us a lot of war stories and we just loved them - - especially the one about killing a shark with his .45 pistol. I remember him and his talent for barbecuing meat. He took control of all situations and when he and my Uncle Ralph would get together the beers would fly. He looked up to my Uncle Ralph. They had a lot in common. He probably named his son Ralph after him. I also remember him as a very generous man that when he spoke, we all listened. What is unusual is that my dad, Uncle Jordan, Uncle Ralph, Grandfather Moniz and Uncle John all passed away at the age of 82. For those of us going around once in this world, we better have a good time while we’re here, because when we’re dead, it’s for a long time."

John Moniz in uniform. 

John visiting California...left, Jordan, Francis, Henrique, John, Hank Jr., Monte, Ralph
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