It is with faith, honor, pride, and gratitude that I serve the Portuguese Community of San Diego once again. I feel privileged to be elected to the U.P.S.E.S. Inc. as President for a fifth term. My first three terms having been in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and my fourth being in 2011. I am so pleased with the incredible people that were elected to the 2012 U.P.S.E.S. Board of Directors. I look forward to working with each and every one of them to achieve the goal that the U.P.S.E.S. was founded upon, “to preserve and advance our Portuguese traditions, culture, and heritage in San Diego County for future generations.” It is our mission to encourage religious and civic activities, promote and support the welfare of our community, foster sociability, and develop a united spirit among our community. The União Portuguesa Sociedade Espirito Santo or U.P.S.E.S. Inc. dates back to the year 1922 when a man named Mr. M.O. Medina had the vision to see that there was a need for a common place for the Portuguese community of San Diego to gather to celebrate the Festa which it had been celebrating since 1910. He formed a committee and gathered the funds needed to build the U.P.A.S.E.S. Capela (Chapel) and Hall. This Chapel is only one of two original Portuguese Chapels in California. The Capela has been left in its original state. Last year I proudly initiated the Historical Committee, which is now in the process of acquiring historic landmark status for the Capela, not only within the City of San Diego but also the State of California.
Our Festa do Divino Espirito Santo which is proudly known as “San Diego’s Oldest Ethnic Festival” will be celebrating its 102nd year in 2012. I would like to congratulate Ron and Teri Simas on being our Festa Presidents. I congratulate their daughters Nazaré and Elizabeth on being the 2012 Festa Queens. As I know first-hand, being the 75th Queen in 1985, it will be an experience they will cherish for the rest of their lives. I invite and encourage our San Diego neighbors to come out and celebrate the 2012 Festa with us, to be held May 25th through the 27th here in the beautiful city of San Diego, California.
As 2011 U.P.S.E.S. Inc. President, with the help of a very devoted Board of Directors we began two major projects at our facility; Bingo nights and our very own Portuguese Market! Under the direction of Idalmiro daRosa and Manuel Leal and their hard working committee, the Portuguese Market opened in September of 2011. The Market is located inside the U.P.S.E.S. Hall and carries various imported Portuguese culinary items.
Bingo began in October of 2011, under the direction of two sisters, Mary Jane Silva-Warren and Maureen Silva-O’Conner and their diligent committee. Each Thursday night at 6:00pm, our hall is transformed into a Bingo Hall. Come on down and enjoy some friendly Bingo gaming with some very lucrative pots as well as dinner and our fully stocked bar.
The Filarmónica União Portuguesa de San Diego (our own Philharmonic Band), the U.P.S.E.S. Futebol Clube Portugal ( our own Portuguese soccer team), the U.P.S.E.S. Portuguese – American Dancers, and the U.P.S.E.S. Trinity Sunday Committee, as well as over twelve Portuguese clubs and organizations call the U.P.S.E.S. Hall “home”. These are social and civic clubs that have a positive association with the U.P.S.E.S. especially at Festa time. For all of their efforts in maintaining our traditions, culture, and heritage, I THANK them. They all are the ones that have established the basis to enable all of us to continue the preservation of this organization for our future generations. On March 13th the San Diego City Council issued an official proclamation declaring “Portuguese Immigrant Week” for the City of San Diego. I received this proclamation proudly on behalf of all Portuguese immigrants and their descendants. Standing at my side were many of the past and the present U.P.S.E.S. Festa Queens and Festa Presidents as well as representation from these same various Clubs and Organizations. The second week of March was established under then Governor of California Ronald Reagan as “Portuguese Immigrant Week” back in March of 1967. To have the City of San Diego recognize this is something that the Portuguese Community can be extremely honored by!
Please visit our website, www.upses.com for all information in regard to our upcoming events, Portuguese Festa, history, and rental availability of our 13,500 square foot facility that seats up to 500 people and has a separate 80 seat bar and lounge. You can also access information on our scholarship program, and affiliated clubs and organizations.
In closing I would like to state that I am extremely proud of the 100 plus year history that the Portuguese have in Point Loma and am honored to play a small part in that, as the 2012 U.P.S.E.S. Inc. President. I believe that promoting our history and culture is the link between our ancestors and the future generations. I ask that you join us for our Festa celebration and instill in your children pride in their culture, heritage and traditions, whatever they may be!
Evelyn DaRosa Feliciano
2012 U.P.S.E.S. Inc. President