Affonso Gil Mendes Ferreira, known fondly as "Ferreira Mendes" emigrated to Taunton, Massachusetts from northern Portugal, and was the founder, sometime financier, and main announcer of the weekly Portuguese radio program "A Voz de Portugal."
The program was first aired in 1933 when Mr. Ferreira bought
time on a New Bedford radio station and solicited ads from local merchants. Over the years it was broadcast daily, and then in later years every Sunday morning and again on Sunday afternoon over WSAR in Fall River, WRIB in East Providence (1952-1967) and WPEP in Taunton.
It was the first daily radio program broadcast in Portuguese in New England, and one of the first in the United States. Each program was about one hour in length.
He brought in artists, including his wife, Maria Rosa Santos Ferreira, to perform music popular in the Azores and on mainland Portugal, with an orchestra, and announced upcoming events in the local Portuguese-American community. He also broadcast news from the Portuguese-speaking world, and solicited funds for various charities.
In the 1940s, he solicited money to aid residents of Castanheiro de Chã in Portugal after a fire left many residents homeless. He also raised considerable funds to aid immigrants in need, and to aid victims of flooding in Lisbon. He is quoted to have said that the purpose of a "Voz de Portugal" is for "recreation and charity." The program ran until 1990.