Dr. Jose Carlos Teixeira, Assistant Professor of Geography at UBC Okanagan, will receive Portugal’s highest civilian award during a ceremony at the university campus in Kelowna on Saturday, October 15.
A social geographer passionate about studying the migration of ethnic groups and how they shape their communities, Teixeira will be vested in the Ordem do Infante D. Henrique — Portugal’s equivalent to the Order of Canada — for his contributions to the Portuguese community abroad.
Teixeira was born and raised in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores before moving to Canada in the late 1970s. He turns 46 three days after receiving the medal. Although most people invested into this prestigious order are much older, Teixeira sees the honour as a call to do even more with the rest of his life’s work.
“I am relatively young to receive it – and I see it as an incentive to work harder and harder,” he says. “I will continue working to promote my group and research the rich tapestry of this country, Canada.”
The award ceremony is part of an afternoon of celebration that begins at 1 p.m. in the Student Services Centre. The afternoon will also feature a conference on the role and impact of the Portuguese in the Okanagan Valley since 1955, with UBC Okanagan faculty and members of the Portuguese communities of Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos.
The medal of the order will be presented to Dr. Teixeira at 5 p.m. by Joao Laranjeira De Abreu, Portuguese Consul in Vancouver. Also present will be Gonçalo Nuno, Portugal’s member of parliament elected by Portuguese living outside Europe.
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