Leonilde Mateiro has been a long-serving active member of the Portuguese community in Elizabeth, NJ. She first got involved with the community through her volunteer work at Nossa Senhora de Fatima church. Through her arduous volunteer work and dedication to the church, she became secretary and vice-president of the Parish Council, and she is also very honored to have served as the communion minster. Her admirable performance in those roles later granted her the title of “Trustee”. In conjunction with other exceptional women from the community, she is involved in the Decoration Committee and was one of the founders of the ‘Women Rosary Sisterhood’, where she served as the President for multiple years.

         Her involvement in the Portuguese Instructive Social Club was also meritorious. In the past, Leonilde organized various gala events similar to the ones she held at the church. She was also member of the committee for the Elizabeth Portugal Day pageant where she assisted with the election of the King and Queen and facilitated in organizing the event.

         As a member of the community she enthusiastically dedicated her time to the city of Elizabeth, and became the first woman in history to serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Her commitment to the city of Elizabeth was then passed down to her son, Michael Mateiro who is the chief of the Elizabeth Fire Department.

Once she retired from Kraft Foods, Inc., she moved to Freehold but continues to regularly attend events in Elizabeth.

         Leonilde is originally from Tomar, Portugal and immigrated to the United States in 1960 in hopes of “American Dream” a reality.

Leonilde Mateiro

Grand Marshal - 2018