Manuel Pinho

Postumo Marshal - 2018

Manuel Dias Pinho was born on June 14, 1930 in Ovar, Portugal and came to this country in 1948, residing briefly in Brooklyn, NY before settling in Elizabeth, NJ that same year.  He worked as an expeditor for Banner-Pharmacaps in Elizabeth, retiring in 1994.  Prior to that, he worked as a model-maker and machinist for Federal Pacific Electric Co. in Newark, NJ for many years.  

From the time he arrived in Elizabeth, he was deeply involved with the Portuguese community, becoming a member of the Portuguese Instructive Social Club in 1948, and participating in all facets of the organization from then on.  Manuel served in every position at  PISC beginning in 1948 as Guarda-livros, and throughout the years in the Assembleia Geral, Conselho Fiscal and the Direccao, of which he served as President in 1965, 1966, 1975, and 1976.  When the "old club" on Third Street was to be demolished to make way for School #1, Manuel was an integral part of the committee to raise funds for the new building.  As president in 1966, he found and secured the property on which to construct the "new club" on US Highway 1 and Grove St., along with his vice-president, Almadir Correia.  He was a frequent visitor to the construction site, often with his daughters in tow, making sure that everything was going according to plan, as this structure was to be the center of the community. 

Manuel was a soloist with the group, Os Rouxinois, and a performer with the Grupo Cenico, both of PISC, which performed not only dances that we typically associate with rancho, but also plays, comedies and musicals, which they performed not only at the club, but at Portuguese clubs throughout the tri-state area and beyond.  He was an avid bowler and a member of the club's bowling team.  Passionate about soccer, he was for many years during the 1960s and 1970s, manager of the Elizabeth Portuguese Soccer Club, which was part of PISC, as well, and as a result of his passion, was instrumental in the formation of the New Jersey Soccer League, for which he served as president.  

In addition to his PISC duties and activities, he was a board member of the Portuguese-American Citizens Club, and the Portuguese Continental Union, based in Boston (now the Luso American Financial Fraternal Benefit Society, based in California), serving as president and numerous positions of the Elizabeth, NJ  D. Afonso Henriques Lodge #21.  In 1976, Manuel was a member of the Elizabeth Bicentennial Parade Committee and helped with the design and construction of a Torre de Belem float which was part of a large Portuguese representation in our city.  Manuel was a founding member of the Elizabeth Portugal Day Committee and remained on the committee for many years.  He was a founding and board member of the Filantropica Ovarense, a philanthropy that was a great supporter of special needs children in Ovar, and whose greatest fundraiser was the Carnaval de Ovar, which was held yearly at PISC and well attended by the entire community.  A member of the Elizabeth Rent Control Board, he continued to serve even after he and his wife, Rosa, moved to Highlands, NJ in 1996.  

Manuel was a deeply religious man and longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Church from its inception in Elizabeth.  Prior to that, he attended Our Lady of Fatima in Newark and the Portuguese Mission at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Elizabeth Avenue.  In 1975-76 he represented PISC in the Parish Council, and became representative of the Parish in the Planning Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark in 1978. During this time, he helped to facilitate the merger of Our Lady of Fatima Church with the Parish of Sacred Heart.  In 1986, he became secretary of the Parish Council, also serving as member of the Decoration Committee and the Cruzados de Fatima.  He continued to wear many hats, as an usher, a bingo caller, and most famously, heading the cooking of the church's annual cozido dinner. 

Even in Highlands he did not rest, becoming a member and then president, of the Highlands Community Center, Highlands Historical Society, and the Highlands Seniors.  An avid historian, it was a great sense of pride that he shared his birthday with Flag Day and he proudly displayed both his adopted and birth countries' flags wherever he was.  In 2010, Manuel was honored with an American Flag flown in his honor and a proclamation from the State of New Jersey, for his tireless dedication and contributions to the communities in which he lived.  Manuel passed away in April of 2017 at the age of 86, leaving behind his wife of 60 years, Rosa, who passed away in August of 2023. He is also survived by two daughters, Elena Seminara and her husband Michael, Rosemarie Kasica and her husband Christopher, two granddaughters, Alexandra Hueter and her husband Adam, and Victoria Claudio and her husband Steven; as well as two great-grandchildren, Jaxson and Jolie Hueter.