As the first from the Azores to arrive on the Vineyard, Emanuel Joseph (he married Mehitable Luce here in 1796) helped establish a long tradition of service, especially here in the town of Oak Bluffs. The early Portuguese settlers were sailors and whalers and when the industry subsided they applied their talents to farming, thus stabilizing our town’s year round population.

In 1895 Susan Clapp Bradley established the Oakland Mission on Masonic avenue to help Portuguese immigrants. When she died in 1907, Jamaican-born minister Oscar Edward Denniston renamed the building the Bradley Memorial Church in her honor and continued the mission of the building as a place for Portuguese to attend services and learn how to pass the American citizenship test — arithmetic, reading and writing English.

Reverend Denniston welcomed parishioners from all backgrounds. Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Wampanoag and African-American attended services at the church. By the 1920’s the nearby Wing road area was called Fayal after an Azorean island, home to many newcomers. The western end of Vineyard was nicknamed “little Portugal” and the Holy Ghost Association was founded there in 1930.

The service organization honors St. Isabel; Isabella was the 14th century Queen of Portugal. The daughter of a Spanish king and the wife of King Diniz, Isabella sold her jewelry to feed the poor during a famine. Legend has it that she hid bread in her skirts but it reappeared as beautiful roses whenever she was confronted by the stingy king. Every year the kindly act is remembered by the Feast of the Holy Ghost weekend, this year beginning Saturday, July 16, at 5 p.m. at the P.A. Club with a barbecue, games and music.

There is also a parade on Sunday, July 17, starting at 11 a.m. at the Steamship Authority and proceeding to the P.A. Club. The Holy Ghost crown of Isabella is held high as a symbol of kindness to the poor. After the parade there is a celebration with Portuguese soup, food, games and an auction to raise funds for many charitable ventures for those in need and student scholarships. For information or to volunteer, call 508-693-9875.

For those who remember collecting Archie and Jughead and other comics for rainy Vineyard days at the Wigwam Shop, and later the Corner Store, the Oak Bluffs Library has a series of comic book classes starting Thursday, July 14, with DIY Bookbinding: Staples and Stitches from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by Book and Comic Making for Kids on Friday, July 15, from 10 to 11 a.m. and another session for young adults from 2 to 4 p.m. All classes will be taught in English and Portuguese by Rachel Hays and Laura Lannes, comic book artists from New York.

Harry Seymour’s art show, the Vineyard in Black and White, opens with a reception at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16, and continues until August 4. The point of view of the show is the Vineyard-themed perspective of a black artist with images of black subjects presented in black and white.

Jim Thomas and the Spirituals Choir present Songs the Slaves Sang at Union Chapel on Saturday, July 16, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. accompanied by organist Lavert Stuart. Admission is $15.

Rabbi Caryn Broitman of the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center conducts Sunday service at the Tabernacle on July 17 at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 18, is highlighted by Sally and Russ Dagnall and Jeff Ferriell speaking about the Past, Present and Future of the Tabernacle from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle. On Thursday, July 21, six Campground authors talk about History, Mystery and More at 8 p.m.

The Inkwell was the site of a remarkable, and remarkably diverse, gathering last Monday morning of folks who wanted to get together after the trials and tribulations of last week. Only in Oak Bluffs can a group of mostly black Polar Bears get together with a largely mixed group of NAACP members led by a white man who happens to be our police chief. All of which makes me proud to be from OB.

An event is scheduled for Saturday morning, July 16, when a social media led group of Island Moms have decided on a solidarity march for the Black Lives Matter movement. They plan leaving Five Corners in Vineyard Haven promptly at 10 a.m. to walk to and encircle Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs in silence until all have arrived and leave quietly. Folks are being asked to bring kids, signs, loved ones and a desire for peace and justice.

The Niantic Park playground may be open as soon as next week and available for the joyous sounds of kids at play—in a very cool town.

Keep your foot on a rock.

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