Welcome to the Official page of the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic

Note on navigating with support technologies

On this page you will find two navigation aids: a search engine (shortcut key 1) | Skip to content (shortcut key 2)
Cerimónia de Homenagem aos Combatentes, por ocasião do 50º aniversário do início da Guerra em África
Cerimónia de Homenagem aos Combatentes, por ocasião do 50º aniversário do início da Guerra em África
Lisboa, 15 de março de 2011 see more: Cerimónia de Homenagem aos Combatentes, por ocasião do 50º aniversário do início da Guerra em África


All Visits


Click here to reduce font size| Click here to increase font size
Address delivered by the President of the Republic on the occasion of a visit to the Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército
Lisbon, 25 May 2011

We commemorate today the 100th Anniversary of the Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército, a ripe age that is a source of pride for all those who attended this Institution. The high standards of achievement obtained by Pupilos do Exército throughout so many years are the expression of a strong identity, based on values that continue alive in each one of its students, teachers and staff.

You, dear students, are the reason for this Institute.

You belong to a school where the example, the esprit de corps and the sense of responsibility are distinctive traits that accompany you throughout your lives and which provide the means for your success outside these historical walls.

“A society can only go forward when its members have a developed education and an essentially practical training. (...) It is necessary to create men that through their own work and efforts continue living with (...) dignity; it is necessary to train citizens that are useful for the Fatherland”. These still very timely utterances were written in the preamble of the bill dated 25 May 1911 that, inspired by General António Xavier Correia Barreto, your founder, created the Instituto Profissional dos Pupilos do Exército de Terra e Mar (Professional Institute for the Students of the Army of Land and Sea).

Training for citizenship and the cognizance resulting from knowledge and from knowing how, were notably combined here, under the primacy of a very special culture.

The academic, physical and deportment features of training are well tuned here, and this causes the Pupilos to be a referenced institution for the Country and that it should thus be preserved.

Academically, this Institute was able to restructure its study plan to accompany the evolutions of the ages.

Through the excellence of a complete training adjusted to the needs of the labour market, the Institute produced many high level and intermediate staff members that joined large enterprises in the areas of industry, trade and services, recognized by society, due both to their competence and to their character.

Several courses coexist in the Institute nowadays, from basic to secondary education, with technical/professional learning its image, based upon a strong connection with the entrepreneurial sector, in areas where technicians are scarce, accompanying current requirements and realities, such as renewable energies and environmental management.

It is only fair to address, on this occasion, a special word to teachers and to all those who work here.

Your drive, your attitude and your dedication go a long way towards making this a different school.

A school in which teaching is more than just transmitting the curricular matter, it is also educating, contributing towards character shaping and to the development of young people’s personalities, opening up their horizons and providing them with references.

Educating is, without any doubt, one of the noblest forms of serving the Country.

I witnessed this conduct and this dedication when I had the opportunity of serving in the Pupilos do Exército when entering the national service as an officer, more than forty years ago.

The importance given to physical training is also a talent of the Pupilos. Demanding physical training has been since the beginning a distinctive trait and one of its more disseminated images. Gymnastics classes and the many sportsmen that achieved prestige in the Country and abroad, and are a source of pride for the institution, are still well remembered.

I must also stress the feature of deportment, based upon a code of procedures and virtues that characterize and identify the institution. Viewing the symbols that link you, from the Anthem, to the Student’s Code of Honour and the heraldry that is your own, we find the basis for a conduct in life that must be exalted: the respect for the Country’s values, the appeal to study and to work, the acceptance of responsibilities, the conscious obedience, the gallantry and the loyalty that will accompany you in the future..

We equally find here enriching and marking experiences in the internal life and in the healthy relationship among the students, as is the case with the increasing responsibilities attributed to the eldest, in the aid towards the full integration and training of those who have just arrived.

The prefect is one of the stays of the spirit of the Pupilos. He is the one that passes good testimony, that provides a framework for the students, that keeps the flame alive. The flame of the spirit, of the respect for culture and for the traditions of the Institute. An example to be followed by all.

Portugal needs that all of you, students, assume yourselves as prefects when you leave these walls and face life and your professional activity.

The spirit created here will be very important in your future. Friendship and a strong character are priceless. Former students and their Association play an essential role in this spirit of mutual help. Your fondness for the school that changed you from children into men is clearly visible in the tablets that mark your cloisters. Your paths in life and your successes will be the best publicity for this House.

To parents, I want to stress that education is decisive to get on in life. The rigorous and demanding training that is provided will transform these youngsters into men and women of goodwill, with principles, values and references. It is the greatest and best investment of your lives. I am well aware how much it costs, above all for those to whom life has not been kind, and that children’s education demands many efforts and sacrifices.

This school, belonging in the Armed Forces, is the loyal holder of a legacy of distinguished services rendered to the cause of the education of Portuguese youth, which has brought illustrious, honourable and prestigious results for the Military Institution and for the Country.

Entirely fair and just is thus the public recognition that I will render in this ceremony, when awarding the Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército the title of Honorary Member of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator and attributing the respective medal to the National Standard in your keep.

The symbols of an institution are the lighthouse that steers it. Your motto “To Want is to Achieve” calls on us all.

When “wanting” is accompanied by the strong determination to act, to fight for the future with drive, truth and moral courage, then we “achieve”.

We can be successful, we can make the difference, and we can be knowledgeable, friendly and honest citizens. Portugal counts upon you.

Thank you very much

© 2006-2016 Presidency of the Portuguese Republic