21 December 2009

Meet my Pai

Since we are having a guest of honor this Christmas, I thought it was just fitting that I introduce you to my dad!!! If you read my post about my grandparents, you will know that he is the first of four children born to a Jewish German refugee who came to settle (and marry) in Portugal.

My parents married very young, and by the time he was 27 he already had 4 children (two more to follow later on...)!!

My dad began working with his father's toy business very early, and started a company which became the largest toy wholesale distributor in Portugal. Eventually the business expanded to sportswear. For many years he held the Portuguese representation of international brands such as Mattell, Adidas, Ocean Pacific, Puma, Speedo, O'neill and Nintendo, just to name a few. He has been in business for over 50 years and has built a very successfull career!!

In his younger years he was also a professional handball player, and his team won the national championships many times!! He is the second from left top row... Between his toy business and his sports, he was always on the road!!

Shortly after the military coup in 1974 that ended a long dictatorship in Portugal, came my dad's political endeavours. He became a city hall member and served in the Lisbon City Hall in one form or another (even as interim president for 3 years) for over 30 years.... For a period of time he also became a member and vice-president of the Portuguese Parlament.

Unfortunately many strains in his relationship with my mom led them to separate after 45 years of marriage.... Very sad!

We only get to see my family in Portugal every other year, and the last time we spent Christmas with him was six years ago!!! So you can imagine how excited and anxious we all are for this visit!!!


  1. Isabel, I am so excited for all of you! Your kids will never forget this Christmas for all the right reason! What a special holiday gift! Have a great week!

  2. What a special Christmas present for your family! Enjoy every moment Isabell and Merry Christmas~ xo, Tara

  3. What a wonderful Christmas for you and your kids. You are fortunate to have your father with you. Merry Christmas,

  4. Hi Isabel,
    Hope you have a wonderful visit with your dad!!!
    Have a blessed Christmas my friend
    Julie, Kindred Roses

  5. Isabel, what a wonderful time you will have with your father!
    Merry Christmas!

  6. Wow...those are some mighty big footprints you're walking behind! I can "hear" the pride and love you feel for your daddy in your words. Enjoy your time together and may you have a very merry Christmas!
    P.S. How cool to work in the toy industry especially this time of year!

  7. Enjoy your visit with your Dad. I am sure Christmas will be more special being with him.

    Apparel in Portugal? I worked with a company in Portugal when I was at Nike. Now wouldn't that be interesting if there was a connection.

  8. Happy Holidays and enjoy your time with your father!

  9. Merry Christmas , Isabel and family!
    Sue and Joe

  10. Merry Christmas Isabel...I hope the time spent with your Dad and your family brings lots of joy!

  11. Oh what a wonderful post!! Love seeing wonderful old pictures from the past..I hope you really enjoy your Christmas!

  12. I haven't read your entry.

    I saw the word "Pai" and I cannot stop sobbing.....

    Oh the grief we hide....

    Beijinho to you and your Pai.

  13. Isabel,

    I just discovered your blog today and I loved reading all your posts about Portugal and seing all your old photos. I too am Portuguese (8 when we moved here)and also married a man who is not Portuguese but loves Portugal almost as much as I do. I am looking forward to reading more about you and your lovely family.

    Feliz Ano Novo and enjoy your visit with your pai..


I so enjoy and appreciate your comments!! Thank you so much for stopping by!!!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin