Change is Inevitable and Good

Growing up in Point Loma in the 70’s and 80’s – was a magical time. Our culture was all over the Point and San Diego. Tuna Boats were in the harbor and being built in San Diego, including the construction my uncle Avey’s boat the Pacific Princess. I remember spending summers on the boat and my 8th birthday in the San Diego harbor. I have so many other memories as a kid, walking to my Grandmother’s house on Fenelon St after school from Cabrillo, like my Dad did. I remember passing one house on Carlton and Evergreen and seeing grapes being pressed for wine in the Garage! Or even seeing my Grandmother, along with some of the older members of our community, at St Agnes every morning at 7:30 mass when I was an altar boy like my father. Even knowing all the kids in area, all the short cuts and even what houses had fruit trees! This all came together during Hall events and culminated with our annual Festa. It was great seeing our Portuguese Community strong and prevalent with families still moving to San Diego.

Alas, this has changed, we no longer have an influx of new Portuguese immigrants into Point Loma and San Diego. We have seen our community move out of Point Loma and in some cases out of San Diego and California.

This pandemic has given us time to think about what is important to us as we spend time with those that we love and care about. It has provided us time to look at what we value most and allow us the opportunity to evaluate how we support them. For our Hall and to maintain our heritage and culture, the 2020 Board of Directors, has dedicated a great deal of time and energy to focusing on these things.

Your Board of Directors, our volunteers and the community have pulled together on many occasions. The weekend of “the Festa” many pulled together to provide over 600 Sopa dinners to our Portuguese community both for pick up and also by delivery for our older members. It was a great success. In addition, during this time, the Board has taken this time of closure to reinvigorate our hall, with a new paint color, new landscaping and new floors! This so when we reopen, we will have a newly shining beacon for our community, to help us move us forward.

One of the most important things the Board has done has been to support and invest in our Portuguese market. Our market has been a critical part of the Hall during these times. The Hall has begun using a new marketing tool to reach out to our community, reaches everyone regardless of if they are in San Diego or not. The market with its monthly Portuguese food orders, is currently the only source of revenue for our Hall. To keep the community connected to our Hall, even if not geographically close, please support our market online, this is one of the gifts of modern technology.

We are at a crossroads. We have a strong community but now more than ever we need the next generation to become active. We have seen them step up with many young community members joining the Board and we hope that they will now more than ever help support their heritage and culture by supporting the Hall.

Support our hall and bring your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to hall events, support the hall through a donation, by supporting the market and share your family history. Give the next generation the knowledge and understanding of their Family History – one of hard work, perseverance, love and loyalty.

We want everyone to know and be proud of their roots like so many of us, to be a proud Portuguese American (Luso-American) and not just an American. To have the knowledge or connection to their roots – the history that made them and their families who they are today.

Ricardo da Rosa
UPSES President