A stitcher in various New Bedford shops, Dora Bastarache (1915-1988) was a true rank-and-file leader in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in southeastern Massachusetts, where she served as president of that union’s Local 361.
Dartmouth residents learned kindness from Noelie Lemire Houle (1899-1993), the “Goat Lady of Dartmouth.” Noelie raised as many as 90 goats so that others could experience the benefits of goat’s milk. At first, neighbors complained about her farm, where goats roamed freely. Eventually, the community moved from intolerance to acceptance to celebration.
From immigrant textile mill worker to Ivy League student to pioneering New Bedford educator, Laurinda C. Andrade (1899-1980) overcame barriers of tradition, poverty, language, and discrimination to establish the first high school Portuguese language department in the United States at New Bedford High School.
When Nora Ouimette (1909-1987) was born in New Bedford, women could not vote! By the time of her death, she had voted in every election she was eligible for, become a labor union organizer, run for Congress and become one of the first female industrial engineers in companies on both the East and West Coasts.