Hundreds of people took part in a funeral service yesterday for 77-year-old Joaquim Cabrita Neto, described as one of the most “notable Algarve politicians of the second half of the 20th century”.
Known as ‘Senhor Algarve’ (Mister Algarve), Cabrita died on Monday after battling a long-term illness.
His death was lamented by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who offered his “most heartfelt condolences” to the family of a man whom he called “friend”.
Cabrita Neto led a very active political career. He was leader of PSD Algarve for many years, having also been the Civil Governor of Faro between 1985 and 1995 and also served as MP for the Algarve several times between 1980 and 1999.
He also led the regional tourism board between 1976 and 1979.
“He was a great regional and national figure,” Faro mayor Rogério Bacalhau told Correio da Manhã tabloid, adding that, during his time, he was the “greatest voice we had in terms of defending the region”.
Neto was also described as a “vital figure of the Algarve’s tourism sector” by Elidérico Viegas, president of the regional hotelier association AHETA.
“We didn’t always agree, but we were always friends,” he said.
Cabrita Neto was born on September 22, 1940 in Guia, Albufeira. He was the son of businessman Téofilo Fontainhas Neto and brother of Vítor Neto, a former Secretary of State for Tourism.
His funeral service was held on Wednesday in São Bartolomeu de Messsines.