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June 12, 2018 > Fraternal Society officers installed

Fraternal Society officers installed

Submitted By Sharon Xavier de Sousa

The Fremont Council #17 of the PFSA (Portuguese Fraternal Society of America) recently installed officers for the year 2018-2019.Ê P.F.S.A. is one of two of the largest Portuguese Fraternal organizations in America (the other being the Luso-American Education Foundation).

The Fremont Council dates back to the early 1900's in the Centerville District (then the town of Centerville), when many fraternal organizations were formed, primarily to help recent immigrants from the different European countries. There were many early Portuguese immigrants in the Fremont area at that time (before it was Fremont) and throughout the 20th century.

Today, people of all nationalities are welcomed to join. In the words of PFSA Board President, Sharon Xavier de Sousa, "You don't have to be Portuguese or of Portuguese descent to belong, you just have to have a love of Portuguese food and wine, Portuguese culture, or just enjoy hanging out with Portuguese people. If you've visited Portugal or the Azores, you will know what I mean."

Today, PFSA is becoming even more of a philanthropic organization and members are encouraged to hold fundraisers to help local, national, and international causes. This year's Supreme President is raising funds for Autism, and the local Council #17 raised funds to donate to the American High School Band Scholarship and an Autistic School that burned down in the Santa Rosa fires.

Installation of Officers was held at Saki's Spin a Yarn Restaurant in the Warms Springs District of Fremont on May 18, in conjunction with the visit of the statewide Supreme President of PFSA Caron Dias and her husband Gary. Also, honored at the meeting were Maria Palmira Medina and Vermilda Sylva, for their 30 and 20 years of service (respectively) as Secretary and Treasurer to the former organization of UPPEC. Amelia de Oliveira was presented with a 50-year member pin.

Several years ago, UPPEC, UPEC, SES and St. Anthony's organizations merged to form PFSA. The headquarters office is in the UPEC building in San Leandro, which houses the largest collection of Portuguese books anywhere in the country

PFSA normally meets on the third Tuesday of the month at Spin a Yarn. In July, there is a statewide convention. Saturday, June 9 is the Dia de Portugal at Kelley Park in San Jose, Sunday, June 10 is a Portuguese Classical Concert featuring a Portuguese Baritone opera singer from the Azores Islands with the Mission Chamber Orchestra, and Monday June 11, the Prime Minister of Portugal will be honored at a dinner at the Santa Clara Convention Center. And almost every weekend throughout the summer, from May to September, somewhere in California, there is a Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival going on.

For more information about P.F.S.A., contact President Sharon Xavier de Sousa at (510) 366-3343 or sxdesousa@aol.com.

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