Farewell, Mrs. Santos

With a heavy heart, I relate the passing of Maria do Carmo da Cunha Santos, founder of the Centro Cultural John Dos Passos in Madeira. I was working on a political campaign and I missed it, but the rest of my family attended the grand opening of the Centro in 2004. My talented sister Lara delivered an address in Portuguese. Mrs. Santos always called my family a couple times a year to share news and good cheer. Mrs. Santos truly gave all her heart to the enrichment and preservation of the Dos Passos heritage in Madeira. I trust that her generous spirit will always watch over the Centro. I know that, when I finally visit Madeira, I will feel at home thanks to her labors of love. Farewell, Mrs. Santos.

I’d also like to publish the memorial written by Dr. Miguel Oliveira, Dos Passos scholar.  See below.

- John Dos Passos Coggin

Bidding Farewell to Maria do Carmo Santos

On January 8th 2016, Maria do Carmo Teixeira de Aguiar Watts Rodrigues da Cunha Santos, the grande dame of Madeiran culture, left us. Her commitment to the John Dos Passos legacy was absolute and moving to witness.

It was owing to her persistence and patience dostinex back order that the Madeiran Library of Foreign Cultures was established, which includes the American Culture Corner and the works of Dos Passos.

In 2004, Mrs. Santos finally fulfilled her “American dream,” as she so often referred to it. The John Dos Passos Cultural Centre in Ponta do Sol was inaugurated in homage to Dos Passos, the writer she loved the most. Ever since, many conferences, symposia, exhibitions on the author were organized there. She gave me the opportunity to work with her and to learn from her many skills. I am deeply grateful to her for all her efforts.

Even though Mrs. Santos departed today, she nevertheless leaves us her dream. We will still be able to travel through all those countries described by Dos Passos in his works without having to leave the Library she founded. John Dos Passos’ and Mrs. Santos’ legacy will live on in Ponta do Sol, Madeira, through every activity organized in its Centro.

I bid you farewell, Dr. Maria do Carmo da Cunha Santos, and may you rest in peace.

Miguel Oliveira