Admiral Gago Coutinho, the famous aviator, who flew, from
to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
for the first time, in 1922, (five years before Lindbergh crossed the
North Atlantic from New York to Paris, France), gave an
order for a Replica of Dighton Rock to be made
plaster of Paris. This replica was displayed
the Portuguese National Geographic Society, in Lisbon, Portugal,
But this replica was not made from a direct
mold of the face of Dighton Rock.
Coutinho drew the inscriptions according to the discoveries made by
Since then new discoveries on the rock
have been made to reinforce the Portuguese theory.
Admiral Coutinho discovered the sextant, an apparatus which is used even today in the aviation. After Coutinho died, his enemies made sure to get rid of his Replica, and it eventually end up in pieces in the warehouse of the “Cemetery of the Navy”. I saw it in both places.
Inspired on what Admiral Coutinho did in building a Replica of Dighton Rock, I took upon myself to accomplish a similar fete, but using the modern scientific techniques.
I got a knowledgeable technician, Steven Tegu, to obtained a direct mold of the face of the Dighton Rock, using 21 layers of latex rubber. It cost us eight thousand dollars. The organization “The Friends of Dighton Rock” of which I was the president, together with Mr. Raul Benevides, the Director and Producer of the radio program “Azores-Madeira”, organized a raffle and with this scheme, we obtained that amount of money to cover the expenses. This way also we got all the Portuguese-American Community involved in the project.
The mold is so perfect that we can even see the pores of the face of the rock! It is no small thing! It has an area of 55 square feet like the face of the Dighton Rock. Once we had the mold we had to find out where and with what material, we were going to make the Replica of such magnitude, with resistance and durability?
It was through the recommendation of my good friend, Henrique Medeiros, who suggested to me to get in touch with Edward Medeiros, who was the General Manager of the boat factory C. J. Pearson, in Bristol, specializing in manufacturing fiberglass boats.
Once I presented the problem to Mr. Medeiros, he said to me: ”No, problem, we can make this very easily!” And he did! Indeed, he built three Replicas, together with a bunch of other Portuguese-American fellow workers, who gave their time and labor. The first two Replicas were done in Bristol, and the third one was manufactured at TPI in Warren, Rhode Island. The owners of both factories gave the chemical materials and the paint.
Coordinating the efforts of so many good people, today, we have three Replicas in Portugal:
(1) The first one is in Belém, surrounded by all the very important Portuguese discoveries monuments!
(2) The second is the Museum of Oliveira de Azeméis, the City where I had my high school.
(3) And the third one is now in the patio of the Library-Museum with my name, in Cavião, Vale de Cambra.
How did the 3 Replicas get to Portugal?
first one was Mr. Edward Medeiros
who made a special box for it, and
on his pickup truck,
International Airport, in New York City
to be transported free of charge by TAP Portuguese Airways,
to Lisbon, because of the diplomatic interference of the
Portuguese Consul in Providence, at the time,
Anabela Cardoso. I accompanied
Mr. Medeiros to New York. He did it free of charge. He did not let me even
pay for the gas!!!
The Second Replica was taken by Mr. Edward Medeiros to the port on New Bedford and then it went by the ship “Paulina Maria”. It was Mr. Raul Benevides who paid the shipment, across the Atlantic. I wanted to pay but he did not allow me. Once again, Mr. Edwards Medeiros did not even wanted money for the gas!!!
The Third Replica was taken by Mr. Edward Medeiros to the Dighton Rock State Park (summer of 1998) for exhibition, before it was shipped to Lisbon, Portugal by TAP, from Boston. But this time I had to pay $555 dollars for transport and even in Lisbon the Customs charged over $500 dollars of duty! Mr. Medeiros again did not charge any thing for his work, transportation or gas, to the International Airport in Boston. The transportation from Lisbon to Vale de Cambra was done by a truck from the Vicaima Company. (Free of charge).
When we talk about Replicas of Dighton Rock I must choose Mr. Edward Medeiros as our HERO !
come a Replica in Belém,
near Jerónimos, the Portuguese Catheral?
To this day everyone is
from America I was able to coordinate things for a Replica of Dighton
Rock to be placed in the most historical area of Lisbon, Portugal?
It was not me!
I only made the
suggestion!... It was the work of Almirante
Tengarrinha Pires, Presidente of the Corte Real Commission of the Portuguese
National Geographic Society, together with all the other members, who convinced
the Mayor of Lisbon, Nuno Abacassis,
and Admiral Sousa Leitão, Chief of the Naval Operations, to have the
The foundation of this monument has fourteen tons of cement, so its weight will be superior to the capillary force of the surrounding trees. But this cement base cost more than two thousand contos. But the Mayor could only spent one thousand of contos, per year, without the approval of the City Council. So what did he do? He split the total expense into two years! Clever! So the Replica Monument has been, since September 1984, in the heart of Belém, under the guard ship of the Portuguese Navy!
(1) Names of the workers who made the Replicas
Nomes dos trabalhadores que fizeram as Réplicas
(2) Third Replica of the Dighton Rock at my Library-Museum
A Terceira Réplica está na minha Bblioteca-Museu
(3) The Second Replica is in the Museum of Oliveira de Azeméis
A Segunda Réplica está no Museu de Oliveira de Azeméis.
(4) The First Replica is in Belém, near the Jerónimos, Museu de Marinha
A Primeira Réplica está em Belém, perto dos Jerónimos, Museu de Marinha