Ambassador Hoffman addresses Cascais luncheon.jpg

Ambassador Hoffman addresses Cascais luncheon

DON DAVID Price is the director of Americans in Portugal, a Cascais based social club for English speakers. The next luncheon will be in Cascais on Wednesday, March 8, where the guest speaker will be the new American Ambassador to Portugal, Alfred Hoffman Jr. Don spoke to The Resident about the group’s foundation and composition.

How did Americans in Portugal begin?

It was started five or six years ago as an offshoot of the American Club of Lisbon (ACL) by a man named John Lewis. Several people expressed an interest in meeting with an English-speaking group in Cascais, as most of the ACL programmes are in Portuguese.

John Lewis ran Americans in Portugal for a couple of years and the group used to meet in the officers’ mess – a Portuguese officers’ club – right on the waterfront in Cascais. Then, Patricia Westheimer (Don’s wife and press director) and Luisa Eckroade became the co-chair persons of the organisation. They stepped down and I became the head three years ago. We only have two rules in the club – English is spoken and there is no smoking!

How often do

you meet?

We used to meet once a month, but it’s now becoming every other month as there’s a lot of work involved in organising the lunches. Also, we stop activities in the summer.

Do you have to be an American to become a member of the club?

No, you just have to speak English and not smoke! You can smoke outside but not inside.

Tell us about the

people you attract …

We usually have 40 or 50 people at the lunches. But, on the last occasion, for our real estate lunch, 78 people attended.

We have a mixture of people. Probably just over half are Americans, around 20 per cent are English and others including Portuguese people who speak English.

Americans in Portugal is a social club, with a congenial atmosphere, where we give people a chance to meet other Americans and English-speaking people. Attendees range in age from their mid to late forties through to their seventies. They are mostly retired people or people who run their own businesses.

How do you decide whom to choose as a guest speaker?

We cast around ideas among ourselves, and some of the other people affiliated with us, and look for interesting topics that will lure people. Obviously, the Ambassador is always a draw!

• Advance reservations are required for all Americans in Portugal luncheons in order to plan the meals and tables. In order to attend the lunch with Ambassador Hoffman, reservations must be made by noon on Monday, March 6. Contact Don on 918 155 116 or e-mail him at ddprice98@hotmail.com