Santos Aguiar, Benito

San Cidre (Bergondo), 1906 – New York, 2003.
Benito Santos Aguiar in New York (Arquivo Municipal de Bergondo)

He led from New York the recovery of the building “A Senra”, which had been financed by the twin societies Centro de Instrucción de Bergondo y sus Contornos (New York 1924, Bergondo 1926). At the age of sixteen, he worked on a cargo ship that made the routes to Cuba and the United States, where he would remain for the rest of his life. In New York, he met Pura Vázquez, also from Bergondo, and married in 1938, in the midst of the Great Depression. Benito and Pura had two children, Joe and Alice, who live in New Jersey. Like many newcomer migrants, he had a variety of job occupations, until he began working as a mechanic for the New York City Transit Authority on the subway. He later served as Chief Lathe Operator for the New York power company Consolidated Edison. He retired at age 65, and established his residence in Fort Lee, New Jersey. During his retirement and until his death, Benito spent many years defending the return of “A Senra” to its legitimate owners, the people of Bergondo. Benito had a huge commitment to the cause and therefore he fought tenaciously. He always believed that property should be returned to its rightful owners, and everything else, in his view, was not acceptable (Sources: includes fragments of a biographical text written by the son of Benito Santos Aguiar, Arquivo do Concello de Bergondo).