To the editor:
Dr. Manual daSilva was a man who touched many lives in Bristol and one who exhibited boundless energy in his day, has gone to live with the angels and will be sorely missed.
As the former chairman of the Bristol Fourth of July Committee, (1974-1975), I had the distinct pleasure of selecting him to be the Chief Marshal in 1975. When asked, his first comment was that he didn’t feel worthy of the honor and that he would seek Silvia’s and his sons Manuel’s and Jose’s opinion and approval. They agreed and that was the beginning of his many “firsts.”
For example, Dr. daSilva was the “first” Chief Marshal to lead the parade which now starts at the corner of Hope and Chestnut street. Traditionally, it had started in the center of town and passed the reviewing stand located in front of the Reynolds School. Another “first” was that his parade was the longest (3 miles) because that year, the reviewing stand was moved to the corner of High Street and Lincoln Avenue and the parade dispersed at the Guiteras School. His reception, following the parade, was held at the Bristol Medical Center where the newly paved parking lot is today. Dr. daSilva was also selected to be the “first” president of the newly formed Chief Marshal’s Association.
As co-members of the Bristol Rotary Club, I remember his enthusiasm and his off the cuff remarks as he gave a dissertation on his first book, “The Electricity of Love.” This book was followed up by a second book “The Portuguese, Pilgrims and Dighton Rock” in which he stated (with documentation) that the Portuguese were the first to discover America. As you would expect, this initiated much conversation, about who was the first, especially from those who were taught that Christopher Columbus, an Italian, discovered America.
There is much more that I can say about his involvements in other organizations; his radio and television programs; his involvement with Dighton Rock; and his recognition and awards that he received from his home town in Portugal, but I will leave that to those who were involved with him on his many projects. I personally look forward to reading about his involvement in other organizations.
To me, he was a excellent doctor. A man with great knowledge of medicine and of life. A man who had compassion for all and one whose bedside manners were impeccable. As one of my neighbors for over 40 years, and my best friend I will miss him greatly.
To his wife Silvia and his sons Manuel (Kelly) and Jose (Christine) and to the grandchildren, Victoria, Alexandra, James and Katelyn, I offer my sincerest condolences.
Joe and Dottie Caromile
2 Lea Drive