PHOTOS COURTESY OF BERNADETTE KUPER
Maria, Bernadette, Ilda (mom), David and Manuela Ferreira posed for this photo in a studio just before leaving Madiera in 1962.
By Bernadette Kuper
Special to the Times
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Ferreira family moving here from the island of Madeira in Portugal.
I was 5 years old at the time and remember it well.
My father had already come to America and settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. He later moved to Oakland, California where he got a job in construction and sent money to the family for clothes and tickets to come to America.
We were pretty poor, but we always had fish and some chicken.
Brother David Almost Missed the Boat
My mother, Ilda, met the ship in Funchal with me, my sisters, Maria who was 7, Manuela who was 4, and brother David who was 3 years old.
Ilda left David with her nephew, and as the ship was about to depart, we couldn’t find him.
We contacted the radio station to help find him and word was transmitted all over the island. Eventually, he was found waiting at the wrong end of the ship.
We arrived in Lisbon where we stayed for two days for immunization and the paperwork for the journey to America.
On July 23, 1962 we arrived in New York and caught an airplane to San Francisco where our father, David, was waiting for us. It had been two years since he left Madiera.
The Ferreira family settled in Oakland where my sister Susie was born in 1962 and Lisa was born in 1966.
Family Took Trips to the Seashore
The family took trips to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz on weekends.
We liked being by the sea since we were from an island.
My brother and sisters grew up and moved throughout California, except sister Susie and my mother who moved back to Madeira and built a house.
I met Craig Kuper in high school in 1973 and we married in 1974. Today we have a house in Bay-O-Vista, looking out over the bay.
CAPTION 2: The Ferreira family had two more kids after coming to America as seen in this photo from the 1970s with (back row) Bernadette, Maria and David (middle) Manuela, Ilda (mom) and David (father), and (front) Lisa and Susie, who were both born here in America.