Marion Agostinho “Bert” Perry

Marion Agostinho “Bert” Perry

Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 21 Sep 1977 (aged 76)
Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot St. Mary's Section; Lot 130; Ave. 6F
Memorial ID 28375553 · View Source
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Husband of Mary (Fratus) Perry

Father of Bertha and Ann Perry

Owner of Perry's Market, formerly located in the West End of Provincetown.

Marion Agostinho Perry was affectionately known to everyone as just "Bert" Perry. He was one of four children of Amelia (Hill) Perry and Manuel Perry, and his uncle was Captain Marion Perry, owner of the famed fishing schooner "Rose Dorothea," which won the Lipton Cup in the Fishermen's Race of Boston's Old Home Week Celebration in 1907. The span of his years, 1901-1977, was marked by hard work and by unusual willingness to assume varied responsibility with warmth of spirit and personal integrity, which were unfailing. The story of his early childhood, however, reveals much about the difficult lives of the fishermen and their families in the twentieth century, and, in its retelling, one is reminded how often death stalked the boards of many a vessel sailing out of Provincetown Harbor.
It seems that "Bert" was just a little shaver of some three years when his mother died, and his father had no other choice than to take "Bert" to sea with him on various fishing trips, even though these voyages often involved prolonged stays at sea under dangerous conditions. Because of this, "Bert" was tied to the mainmast as a routine procedure in order to ensure that he would not be swept overboard, for the fishing activities on deck were continuous and strenuous and securing a small child's safety under foot would have been impossible. During one of these fishing trips, the vessel that "Bert" was on, together with his father, developed a sudden and irreparable leak and the boat began to sink rapidly. As the crew abandoned the ship in a panic, "Bert" was forgotten and the men manned the dories as fast as they could to pull away from the sinking vessel. Each of the crews in the several ship's dories assumed that "Bert" was in one of the other boats until a crewmember decided they should go back and check to be sure. At first, this suggestion met with fierce resistance, because the danger of the rescue attempt would be very great, but the man insisted, threatening one of this shipmates with deadly force until the dory turned and went back to save the boy. "Bert" Perry seldom told this story to anyone in his lifetime, but his daughter Bertha Woodfin knows the sequel: After he became the owner of Perry's Market, "Bert" regularly supplied groceries to his "rescuer" whenever needed for the rest of the good man's life.

"Bert" Perry's later biographical resume is one of steady endeavor and energetic years of public service. When he was fifteen, he was obliged to leave school, and he secured a job from Edwin Paine at the Cape Cod Cold Storage plant, then, a short time later, he was hired by Bill Travis in his grocery at 91 Commercial Street. Within a few years, he became the owner of that store and ran it for the next fifty years.

His official positions in the service of the town of Provincetown may be read on the bronze plaque in the Town Hall which relates the various posts he held from 1932 to the year he died, 1977: Provincetown Sewerage Commission, Water Commission, School Committee, Rationing Board, Water Study Committee, Finance Committee, Selectman, Acting Town Manager and, in the last year of his life, the Charter Study Committee. This plaque, which renamed the Caucus Hall as Marion "Bert" Perry Caucus Hall in 1977, was "Dedicated by unanimous vote of the 1977 Town Meeting for his years of devoted and outstanding services to the town he loved." The "Bert" Perry Archive reflects this devotion to all things Provincetown and includes much about the fishing interests of the town and of maritime history in the 19th century, in general, contained in several important ships' registers and references.

Source: Josephine C. Del Deo

Family Members



Marion (Bert) Perry 1901-1977
Fratus / Perry


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  • Created by: Patty Frank
  • Added: 19 Jul 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 28375553
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Agostinho “Bert” Perry (11 Mar 1901–21 Sep 1977), Find a Grave Memorial no. 28375553, citing Saint Peters Cemetery, Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Patty Frank (contributor 47029036) .