From a most remarkable Westport teacher, a most generous gift

George Salvador’s estate leaves $100,000 to Westport Council on Aging

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 2/6/20

He never lived in Westport, but the town was clearly a special place for the late George A. Salvador.

Mr. Salvador taught many years at Westport High School, and in his later …

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From a most remarkable Westport teacher, a most generous gift

George Salvador’s estate leaves $100,000 to Westport Council on Aging

Posted

He never lived in Westport, but the town was clearly a special place for the late George A. Salvador.

Mr. Salvador taught many years at Westport High School, and in his later years spent countless happy hours with friends at the Westport Council on Aging Senior Center.

On Monday, Feb. 3, his long-time family attorney, Steven Schwartz, was first up at the Board of Selectmen meeting alongside Beverly Bisch, director of the Westport Council on aging.

“I am here as the executor of the late George Salvador’s estate, Mr. Schultz told the board.

“George was very fond of the Westport Council on Aging,” he said, “and he left a generous gift, I mean very generous, to the Westport Council on Aging in appreciation for the friendship, warmth and services that he got there, It was a wonderful experience in his life.”

Whereupon Mr. Schwartz presented the COA with the amount of $100,000.

It was his intention, the attorney said, that the money be for the exclusive use of the COA for programs, services and future development and expansion, as the COA sees fit.”

Mr. Salvador was a friend, Mr. Schwartz said, “a teacher, scholar, poet, author, he was a credit to this area and I only hope that his generosity serves as an example to others.”

In accepting the envelope from Mr. Schultz, Ms. Bisch mentioned that Mr. Salvador had especially enjoyed the center’s poetry workshop — he and others in the group often visited seniors to share poetry and camaraderie.

And she invited anyone who knew George, former students included, to visit the Senior Center’s monthly luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 11:30 a.m. to help honor his life and generosity.

Antone Vieira Jr., a student of his, said that Mr. Salvador lived his whole life on the family dairy farm in South Dartmouth but “he’ll never be forgotten in our community,” especially by his many former students,” some of whom were present at the meeting.

“There are probably half a dozen people here right now who were in his class the day John Kennedy was shot.”

Mr. Salvador had a lot of pride in the accomplishments of former students, he was a little stubborn, and he was fascinated by the town’s history, an enthusiasm he shared with all of his students, Mr. Vieira said. In particular, he was an authority on whaler Paul Cuffe, writing a book on him titled "The Black Yankee"

Former student Martin Costa said he had lost touch with Mr. Salvador for many years until the day Mr. Salvador showed up at a party honoring Mr. Costa’s mother’s 80th birthday. Thereafter, he said, they were close friends — they were together the day Mr. Salvador died, December 14, 2018, at the age of 86.

“He was a joy to be with,” very curious, proud, a superb teacher.

“This magnificent contribution speaks a lot about all the folks at the Council on Aging,” said Rep. Paul Scmid, “the volunteers, the staff, the leadership. It’s just a great place to hang out.”

Selectman Brian Valcourt, a former student, said that “George took us to different sites around the area to show off the architecture.” He recalled looking up in amazement at the ceiling of a New Bedford church.

Those experiences “just lit a fire in me,” said Mr. Valcourt, now a contractor specializing in historic restorations. “He didn’t just teach us history, he taught us etiquette, customs” and much more.

“We are incredibly grateful for the donation and excited to see how the Council on Aging makes use of it,” added board Chairwoman Shana Shufelt.

Teacher, soldier, author, singer, poet …

Mr. Salvador’s obituary said of George Arnold Salvador:

Born in Dartmouth, the son of the late Augustine S. and Lillian (Brasells) Salvador, he lived in Dartmouth all of his life. He was a communicant of St. Mary's Church in South Dartmouth. 

George received a Bachelor’s degree from Providence College, and Master’s degrees from Bridgewater State College and the University of Rhode Island. He was employed as a history teacher at Westport High School and Bishop Connolly High School for many years. He had also been the Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator for the Westport Public School System for Grades 5-12. In addition he had taught U.S. History courses for UMass-Dartmouth Division of Continuing Studies. 

He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957 as a First Lieutenant, and later in the Army Reserves as a Captain. 

George had been a volunteer at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and a board member of the Friends of the Dartmouth Library. He participated in the Bristol Philharmonic and Chorus, the New Bedford Civic Choir, and the Greater New Bedford Choral Society. He had also been involved in the New Bedford Spouter’s Dramatic Club. 

An avid traveler, George enjoyed giving talks on his travels and incorporating it into his history classes. His love of history led him to do extensive research on Paul Cuffe, writing a book on him titled "The Black Yankee", and he enjoyed giving many talks on the subject afterwards. He also had a love of poetry and belonged to a poetry group in Westport and compiled several personal collections. 

George is survived by several cousins and close friends. 

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