Philip C. Maia Oral History Interview

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Philip C. Maia Oral History Interview


Oral History Interview with Philip C. Maia, March 25, 2017

Biographical Note:
Philip C. Maia was born on the island of Madeira in 1958; son of Encarnacao A. (da Camara) and João B. Maia; at the age of twelve, with his mother and three sisters, he immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the “Back Central” neighborhood, in a small apartment building on Central Street with relatives in the same building; his father joined his family in 1974 and they subsequently moved to Lowell’s “Lower Highlands” neighborhood; Maia graduated Lowell High School, where excelled in track and cross-country running; then graduated from University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts Lowell) with degrees in education and Spanish; taught language arts at Lowell High School and coached track and cross country; married Patricia Ann Gaffney in 1987, had two children; currently live in Tewksbury, Massachusetts,

Scope and Contents:
Interview conducted by local historian Mehmed Ali; interview includes family background; boyhood and schooling on Madeira island in the 1960s; immigration to the U.S. and initial years in Lowell’s “Back Central” neighborhood; entering public school as a non-English speaker, prior to bilingual education; the occupations of family members in Lowell; activities of family and prominent members of Lowell’s Portuguese community in local social clubs and Catholic-church affiliated organizations; teaching language classes and coaching track  at Lowell High School; and teaching Portuguese in the Lowell community.



UMass Lowell, Center for Lowell History




Maia, Philip


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Ali, Mehmed, “Philip C. Maia Oral History Interview,” Portuguese American Digital Archives, accessed May 17, 2022,

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