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

Maria Judith Moniz

Maria Judith Moniz
Written by: Cousin Carol and Aunty Judy herself. 
Maria Judith Moniz was born on April 18, 1926. She is the legitimate daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Moniz. She was baptized in the Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts. She is 86 years old. Judith is their sixth child and third daughter.
When I was 6 years old, I attended school in Santa Clara, California. I was taught by nuns. Being quite the feisty one, I was always in trouble and spent a good amount of time in the corner. The nuns certainly earned their reputation! I will always remember the time when I was playing at the railroad tracks with my sisters. My sister Gloria put me in a tire and was rolling me in it. All of a sudden she saw a Hobo. She got so scared. She rolled me down the hill and ran home. Needless to say, she got in big trouble with my parents for leaving me there, crying. This is certainly an event in my life that I will never forget! 
When I returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts I attended Sarah D.Ottiwell School. I had to repeat a grade because the school system here was more advanced. (Later, I caught up with a double promotion.) I attended Phillips Avenue School for 4th and 5th grade and Lincoln School for 6th and 7th grade. It wasn’t until I attended Normandin Jr, High School, that I began really liking school. I wanted to continue my education and graduate from high school, but my parents refused to allow me to. They needed the money, so I had to quit school and go to work to help them. I was very sad because I wanted to finish school and really make something of myself.
A person that stands out in my mind that would have an influence in my life later on was Mr. Motta. He owned a lot of houses in the city. When I was growing up, I use to see him going up and down the street, going to houses, and collecting rent. He was considered quite wealthy at the time, ate very well, and dressed very nicely. I knew someday that I would like to get into real estate. This seemed like a good way to make money. After all, he was very successful, why couldn’t I be? When I met my first husband, John Raffa, I told him that someday I was going into real estate and maybe buy and sell houses. I wanted to make money and live the life like Mr. Motta did. This man would never know the positive influence that he had in my life.
After leaving school I went to work at the Aerovox in New Bedford. I married my first husband John Raffa. We lived with my sister Alice and her husband Joe for a few months. There was a housing shortage after the war. Apartments were hard to come by. We eventually moved to Howland Avenue in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a house owned by my mother-in-law and father-in-law. We later moved to Timothy Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, across the street from my sister Gloria and her family.
When I lived on Timothy Street, I decided to study for my real estate license, a desire I always longed for. I finally obtained my dream! While living on Timothy Street my husband and I got divorced after 15 years of marriage. I started to go to Jan’s Hair Salon. It was here that I really got my start with real estate. I worked here part time as a manicurist. This is the place where I met so many nice people and got so many leads. Jan became my very good friend and has remained my best friend. She is like my guardian angel. Jan is very religious and she told me that if I prayed hard enough for something, I would get what I wanted. Truer words were never spoken. It proved to be so true. I’ll always remember my first real sale. It was to a woman that I met there at Jan’s salon. I sold her house and another on the same day.  (The one that she was buying) I began to work at Robin Realty. One month I received a plaque for selling the most houses. I also sold a house to my sister Vera and her husband Alfred in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. They still live there today.
Another memorable time in my life was when I met my second husband Arthur Davis. One night I went to Meiling’s Restaurant in Mattapoisett, MA for dinner to celebrate my friend Jan’s birthday. While at the bar, I met Arthur, It was “love at first sight”! I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. He was so smart and so well dressed. He certainly made an impression on me. We continued the birthday celebration at my friend’s house. He told me that he was in real estate---and that’s when it all began. It was all just meant to be. We talked a lot about real estate. We started dating, going out to lunch and dinner constantly. We went out together for 9 years before we got married. We lived in New Bedford for a short while and then decided to move to Florida. My daughter Susan was married with a daughter. My son Paul was living in Florida with his father John Raffa and my son Peter was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Arthur was in the Baton Death March. He was a POW for 4 ½ years in the Japanese Prison Camp. He made many friends while he was in the service. We travelled extensively to conventions several times a year, making many friends along the way. Some of the places that we travelled to were Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and many many more, too numerous to mention. We had a wonderful life together. We had so much in common. When I turned 64 and he was 68, he passed away from heart trouble. He was buried at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Bourne, Ma. I have so many fond memories of the active life that we shared together. I returned to Florida for a short while, but then returned to New Bedford to be with my family.
I have three children. My daughter, Susan Anne Aillery, was born on October 31, 1949. She lives in New Bedford, MA. She is divorced with one daughter, Dawn Aillery, born on August 15, 1974. My son, Paul Donald Raffa, was born on February 23, 1954. He is married to Deirdre and they have one son, Nathanael Jacksyn Raffa, born on March 31, 2008. They live in Naples, Florida. My youngest son is Peter Francis Raffa. He was born on June 15, 1955. He is widowed and lives in New Bedford, Ma. 
Niece Rosemary writes: "Aunty Judy now resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts with her daughter Susan and son Peter. She remains very active. Aunty always has a smile along with a great story or memory!" I always remember visiting her house in New Bedford as a small child, it was across the street from Brooklawn Park and near St. Theresa/ St. Joseph's Church. She later moved to Fairhaven, MA across the street from my parents. It was always fun playing with my cousins. Although I was a little older, my younger siblings always enjoyed their company.
I am so glad that the Hobo didn't get Aunty Judy, as it was my mother that rolled her down the hill and ran home! Naughty girl, Mama." 

So pretty on her wedding day!
Judith on the left with sisters Alice and Vera...

Brother Mario holding Judith...
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