Nestled in the east of the Inland Empire just outside of San Bernardino you will find Redlands / Mentone. This community of Portuguese people comprise mainly of people from the island of Santa Maria, Azores. We are proud of our Portuguese heritage and are steeped in tradition. A tradition that has been carried on for decades and will continue for many years to come.
For nearly a century the Portuguese community have celebrated the Festo do Espirito Santo which commemorates the sainted queen and her miracles. After her husbands death, she took the habit of the Third Order of Saint Francis and retired to a convent of Poor Clares. She died July 4, 1336 and was canonized a saint in 1625, thus becoming Queen Isable.
Approximately 1919 in the Redlands/Mentone area is when the Festa Do Espirito Santo celebrations began. Families would celebrate with opened pit BBQ beef, drank beer and homemade wine, listened to the sounds of Fado. In 1921 the location was moved to Colonel Pierce property near the Zanja banks. Mary Chaves Mitchell was crowned Queen Isable.
In 1923 Mt. and Mrs. Manual Andrade's son John became ill. The Andrades prayed and promised the Holy Spirit and Queen Isabel that if their son would recover, they would purchase a crown scepter and platterto be used throughout the celebrations. That year John Andrade was crowned King. To this very day the 92 year old crown is in use and is in the keeping of Joan Andrade (grandaughter of Manuel Andrade).
Meaning of the Crown. The Crown represents Queen Isabel's royalty. The Scepter of the crown is accented by a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Palter serves as a stand for the crown and scepter represents the people, the meaning being if we are followers of Christ, we must become a platter which serves others.
History of the Cape. In 1937 the first formal cape was made of light blue satin with pink hand painted roses by Lillian Borges, Hazel Moore and Isabel Furtado. Donated by the P.A. Club board of Directors. It now hangs in the I.D.E.S Museum in Hayward, California. The second cape white with gold trim made with a labor of love by Fay Rezendes with the help of Ruth Rezendes and Jane Mishak in 1968. Lastly, the 3rd and current cape donated in 1999 by Joe and Eva DeMello is red velvet laced with gold trim.
A Craftonville building was located in 1923 that is said to had been at some point in the early 1900's a grocery store/post office. After the Articles of Incorporation were drawn up and confirmed on April 30, 1923 the first official Portuguese American Club Meeting wsa held on May 14, 1923. Holding President Chair was Joe Jacinto (Andrews), Joe F. Chaves Secretary/Treasurer, Antonio Chaves Freitas, M. Mello and Antonio Sousa Freitas as directors.
In the 1930's volunteers started the basement construction, There are no records of when if was completed however. In 1938 the club purchased kitchen equipment and request to Matt Soares to make three 50 gallon vats to make Sopas which are still in use to date.