A Portuguese naval vessel is in port in St. John's as part of a mission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization.

The crew took some time out of their work to honour their connection to Newfoundland on Friday.

Portuguese naval officers laid a wreath on the unmarked grave site of a fisherman who died in 1966 while working off the coast of Newfoundland.

The wreath-laying ceremony was about remembrance of the dead and the history that has bought two cultures together.

For centuries, St. John's was the port of call for the White Fleet — large fishing vessels from Portugal known for their white sails.

They came in search of cod and forged a bond with the people of Newfoundland.

"Fisherman meeting fisherman — you know — bonds are built. And they all came to these waters... they know where Newfoundland is... they know where St. John's is. Because cod fish were the thing that drew them all together and bounded them all together," said Archbishop Martin Currie.

ii-borges-817

Tino Borges is originally from Portugal, but has been living in St. John's for the past 34 years. (CBC)

Tino Borges is originally from Portugal, but has been living in St. John's for the past 34 years.

He worked as a shift cook on a boat bound for Canada and never left.

"If you go to Portugal, they know Terra Nova — Newfoundland. But they don't know very much about Canada. They know Terra Nova is in the heart of all the Portuguese. It was a big connection and still is a big connection between the Portuguese people and the Newfoundland people," Borges said.

The Portuguese vessel, Dom Carlos, will be in St. John's until Monday.