It is with sadness we share the news that our father, Candido Palma Guerreiro has passed away at the age of 92.
Candido emigrated to Canada in 1954 from the Alentejo province of Portugal. Dad landed in Halifax where he boarded the “immigrant train” which traveled across the country making numerous stops. Newcomers to Canada were given the opportunity to seek employment with locals who would be waiting at the station. Dad, being an adventurous man, decided to travel to the very last stop, Vancouver. Upon arrival, he found out there was still one place further west he could go, and that was Victoria. After an overnight ferry trip, he landed in Victoria where he found work as a landscaper’s helper.
He later shared with his family many entertaining stories of his time in Victoria, some funny, some sad, and some about the kindness of strangers. Dad heard about the huge project that was being built in Kitimat where the demand for workers paid good wages. His primary goal was to raise enough money to pay for the passage of our mother Maria, and 5 year old son, Saul who were in Portugal waiting anxiously. Dad went north to Kitimat, and in 1956 was able to send for his family.
Mom had never seen snow and that first winter in Kitimat she was baffled to see snow banks towering 5-6 feet. The family, which grew to include Sheila, Betty and Candido, lived in Kitimat until the mid 60’s when the decision was made to move to Terrace. Dad continued to work at Alcan for several years commuting each day. He later worked for the Terrace SPCA, and finished his working years in Canada with the School District.
In 1978, Mom and Dad missing their homeland, informed the family they wanted to return to Portugal to live permanently. Political changes had occurred and the country was experiencing a new democracy and freedom. They bought a plot of land in the Algarve province near Albufeira, built a home and lived there happily.
Mom passed in 2008. Dad continued to live independently, renewing his driver’s licence just this fall at age 92. No hearing aids, no glasses, no canes, and a sharp mind.
On Saturday, December 30th we were informed he had been admitted to hospital with shortness of breath. Diagnosed with pneumonia and a possible stroke, he passed away a few hours later.
Candido Palma Guerreiro is survived by his children Saul (Therese), Sheila (Rio) Sandover-Sly, Betty (Karl) Sterner, and Candido (Nadia), 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.