In 1920 Mr. M.O. Medina saw the need for a common place for the community to gather to celebrate the Festa do Espírito Santo, “Feast of the Holy Spirit,” and developed a committee to begin gathering the funds needed to build a ‘Capela’ or Chapel and a community hall. He led his committee throughout California to procure donations although roads were very difficult to travel at the time.

To complete construction work on the Capela, boat owners would leave a crewmember at home paying him 25 cents a ton for his efforts. In 1922 the Portuguese community of San Diego proudly inaugurated the União Portuguesa Açoreana Sociedade do Espírito Santo, which translates to the United Portuguese Azorean Society of the Holy Spirit, Capela or the U.P.A.S.E.S. Chapel and Hall. The Chapel, you will visit later in the tour, is 1 of only 2 original Portuguese chapels in California.

As more and more Portuguese immigrated to San Diego in hopes of finding better lives for their families, the need for a larger hall was recognized. There were immigrants from the Azores, Madeira, and the mainland continent of Portugal. No matter from what region of Portugal they were from, they were all Portuguese and all were welcomed. The community pooled together resources and acquired financing. The original hall from 1922 was then moved and a new hall was constructed. In 1948 the current União Portuguesa Sociedade do Espírito Santo, which translates to the United Portuguese Society of the Holy Spirit, or U.P.S.E.S. Inc. Hall was opened. Mr. M.O. Medina served as the first President and remained so for 51 years.

The Crown “Coroa”

The Crown has a double significance. First is represents the supreme dominion of the Holy Spirit. Second it reminds us of the royalty of Queen Saint Isabel. The Scepter of the Crown is accented by a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit whose love was so manifest in the Queen’s life. Lastly, the Platter serves as a stand for the crown and scepter and represents the people.

Past Festa Presidents & Festa Queens

1910: Mr. Frank Silva – Queen Rose Silva

1914: Mr. Joe Lawrence – Queen Mary Miller-Oliver

1915: Mr. Leal – Queen Julia Aurora Mitchell-Gama

 1922: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel O. Medina

 1923: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel M. Medina

1924: Mr. & Mrs. Frank P. Silva – Queen Adeline Soares

1925: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel S. Monise

1926: Mr. & Mrs. Joe S. Rogers – Queen Lucy Marciel Booker

1927: Mr. & Mrs. Joe F. Souza

1928: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Medina-M/V San Joaquim

1929: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel O. Medina-M/V Atlantic – Queen Isabella Cardoza

1930: Mr. Manuel Silva Soares-M/V Abraham Lincoln

1931: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel S. Silva-M/V Santo Amaro – Queen Constance Rebelo

1932: Mr. & Mrs. Mathew Monise-M/V Olympia – Queen Alice Silva

1933: Mr. & Mrs. Joe M. Medina-M/V Vasco de Gama – Queen Laura Silva

1934: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel H. Freitas-M/V Navigator – Queen Lucy Rogers Bowker

1935: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel G. DaRosa-M/V Lusitania – Queen Maria Rosa Santos

1936: Mr. & Mrs. Frank P. Silva, Jr.-M/V St. Therese – Queen Elaine Silva Fish

1937: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel F. Correia-M/V Glory of the Sea – Queen Helen Silva

1938: Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Francisco-M/V Sao Joao – Queen Mary F. Balelo

1939: Mr. & Mrs. Joaquim O. Medina-M/V Mayflower – Queen Mary Correia Martin

1940: Mr. & Mrs. Joe M. Medina-M/V Queen Mary – Queen Lucille Medina Machado

1941: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel M. Medina-M/V San Salvador – Queen Marjorie Medina Amptman

1942: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel G. DaRosa-M/V Lusitania – Queen Maria Rosa Santos

1943: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel F. Correia-M/V Glory of the Sea – Queen Ernestine Correia Jurek

1944: Mr. & Mrs. Antonio G. DaRoas-M/V Azoreana – Queen Maria Rosa Santos

1945: Mr. & Mrs. Joaquim O. Medina-M/V Senorita – Queen Florence Neto Garcia

1946: Mr. & Mrs. August Silva-M/V Columbus – Queen Mary Ferreira Silva

1947: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Medina-M/V Bernadette – Queen Bernadette Medina Simms

1948: Mr. & Mrs. Mathew C. Monise-M/V Victory – Queen Gloria Jones

1949: Mr. & Mrs. Joe F. Souza-M/V Glory of the Sea – Queen Lorraine Silva Lewis

1950: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Luz-M/V Courageous – Queen Agnes Correia

1951: Mr. & Mrs. Esmael Virissimo-M/V Heroic – Queen Mary Dolores Correia

1952: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Goncalves-M/V Santa Margarita – Queen Mary Goncalves Ferreira

1953: Mr. & Mrs. Joe R. Silva-M/V Patria – Queen Patricia Medina

1954: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Neves, Jr.-M/V Constitution – Queen Lillian Brown Crawford

1955: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Varley-M/V Sun Victoria – Queen Sally Castiglione

1956: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Perry-M/V Frances Marie – Queen Francis Gillis

1957: Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Cabral-M/V Equator – Queen Connie Madruga

1958: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Brenha, Jr.-M/V Viking – Queen Hilda Brenha Gigante

1959: Mr. & Mrs. John Reis-M/V High Seas – Queen Rosaria Correia Giacalone

1960: Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Nunes – Queen Loretta Frates

1961: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Colergo – Queen Agnes Colergo Freitas

1962: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel M. Medina-M/V San Joaquim – Queen Carolyn Medina Olinger

1963: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel O. Medina-M/V Normandie – Queen Carole Stockwell

1964: Mr. & Mrs. Joaquim Qualin-M/V Navigator – Queen Alice Jean Qualin

1965: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel A. Silva-M/V Cathy Lynn – Queen Cathy Silva Dellenbach

1966: Mr. & Mrs. Abilio Magellan – Queen Marilyn Medina Howden

1967: Mr. & Mrs. A. Roland Virissimo-M/V Hornet – Queen Jeannie Virissimo

1968: Mr. & Mrs. Edward Ribeiro – Queen Colleen R. Mauricio

1969: Mr. & Mrs. Antone Rose – Queen Cheryl Rose LaGamma

1970: Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Alves – Queen Julie Alves

1971: Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Oliveira – Queen Michelle Miller Arterberry

1972: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Medina, Jr.-M/V Queen Mary – Queen Cathy Silva Decker

1973: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Valin-M/V Sea Preme – Queen Andrea Valin

1974: Mr. & Mrs. Thomas L. Perry – Queen Carol Perry Holcumb 

1975: Mr. & Mrs. Larry Garcia – Queen Sharon Garcia Fischer

1976: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel J. Ribeiro – Queen Melanie Ribeiro Sardinha

1977: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Valin-M/V Sea Preme – Queen Linda Virissimo

1978: Mr. & Mrs. Anibal Freitas – Queen Maria Freitas Epstein

1979: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Lewis – Queen Michelle Codinha

1980: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Souza-M/V Captain MJ Souza – Queen Lynn Souza DeMaria

1981: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel G. Gonsalves – Queen Karen Medeiros Hamburg

1982: Mr. & Mrs. John J. Carvalho, Sr. – Queen Claudine Mattos

1983: Mr. & Mrs. Norman Oliver – Queen Christine Oliver

1984: Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Feliciano – Queen Lisa Feliciano Perreira

1985: Mr. & Mrs. Cristiano DaRosa-M/V Evelyn DaRosa – Queen Evelyn DaRosa Feliciano

1986: Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Noe – Queen Danielle Noe Griego

1987: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Lewis – Queen Kristy Pringle Durment

1988: Mr. & Mrs. Avelino Gonsalves – Queen Andrea DaRosa

1989: Mr. & Mrs. John Mattos – Queen Kristin Balelo

1990: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Silveira – Queen Desiree Silveira Thierry

1991: Mr. & Mrs. John L. Sousa – Queen Mary Pamela Sousa

1992: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph DeSilva-M/V Sea Encounter – Queen Bridget DeSilva Schoeffel

1993: Mr. & Mrs. Robert Virissimo-M/V Odette Therese – Queen Jodette Virissimo Goebel

1994: Mr. & Mrs. Jose S. Jorge-M/V Brenda Jolene – Queen Brenda Jorge Lucas & Queen Jolene Jorge Ferreira

1995: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Feliciano – Queen Denise Feliciano Kendrick

1996: Mr. & Mrs. Paul Stanley – Queen Mariel Stanley Filippone

1997: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Rogers – Queen Summer Butler

1998: Mr. & Mrs. John Freitas-M/V Carol Linda – Queen Nazare Freitas Judd

1999: Mr. & Mrs. Julio Simoes – Queen Jeanette Simoes

2000: Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Calabrese – Queen Tiffany Ribeiro

2001: Mr. & Mrs. John Dellenbach – Queen Lynnae Keltner McCarty

2002: Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Leal – Queen Tricia Leal

2003: Maria Gorete Correia – Queen Corinna Correia & Queen Crystal Correia Nunes

2004: Mr. & Mrs. John Scott – Queen Taya Scott Harrington

2005: Mr. & Mrs. Idalmiro daRosa – Queen Amanda daRosa

2006: Mr. & Mrs. Matt Madruga – Queen Loriana Madruga & Queen Alyssa Madruga

2007: Mr. & Mrs. Jose Drummond – Queen Danielle Drummond Rogers

2008: Beatrice DeSilva & Family – Queen Ariel Brito

2009: Mr. & Mrs. Julio Simoes – Queen Juliette Simoes

2010: Evelyn DaRosa Feliciano – Queen Karinna Feliciano

2011: Deborah Ann Seiter – Queen Nicole Giglio

2012: Mr. & Mrs. Ron Simas – Queen Nazare Simas & Queen Elizabeth “Lizzy” Simas

2013: Mr. & Mrs. Pedro Ferreira – Queen Sierra Ferreira

2014: Mr. & Mrs. Donald Valadao – Queen Janee Valadao

2015: Mr. & Mrs. Jose Pedro Garces – Queen Ashley Barandiaran

2016: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Thierry – Queen Taylor Thierry

2017: Evelina S. DaRosa & Family – Queen Karinna Feliciano