President’s Message


Dearest Members,

The 2024 Easter and Pentecost Season is in full force and so is our Center. I am honored to continue serving as President, alongside re-elected Secretary and Treasurer, Diana Balelo and Rosemarie Silva. Joining us as the newest Vice President is Blake Martz, while I extend my gratitude to Jeannie Rodrigues-Athey for her dedicated years as outgoing Vice President. Jeannie remains a valued member of our Board, as she has for many years.

I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing Board of Directors. They have such a “can do” attitude, making my job much easier. Speaking of the Board of Directors, I want to welcome our newest members, Rick Freitas and Joe Vieira. Rick came to San Diego from the California Valley 25 years ago. He practices law and has a deep connection to his Portuguese roots. Welcome, Rick! Joe is a technology sales rep and a real estate agent. His father, whose name can be found on the Tunaman’s Memorial, was tragically lost at sea. This family tie, along with an interest in his Portuguese heritage, is what connected him to the PHC. Welcome, Joe! This addition of both Rick and Joe will undoubtedly propel us forward.

Throughout 2024, we’ve been busy archiving historical photographs, organizing our unique Portuguese library (which we invite you to explore!), and offering assistance in various genres of geography and history.  In addition, our display team has done an amazing job updating our main window display. Showcasing a range of folklore dance costumes from Nazaré to the stunning 2022 Festa Queen dress and cape worn by Genevieve Dutra. It was sewn by Suzette Silveira-Simões, whose mother, Zelma Silveira, crafted many of the traditional capes and gowns of our San Diego Festa do Espírito Santo. The artistry is exquisite, and it’s currently on display for all to see up close through the end of May. Our display team is also working on presenting beautiful artifacts each month throughout the year. We are excited to share pieces such as the Neves coin collection, Correia Glass, and our latest additions: artifacts from the late Mary Rosa-Giglitto and the Joe and Carol Medina collections. The dedication of our committees in showcasing our local Portuguese history is truly remarkable.

We kindly ask you to check out our upcoming events at our website, We are currently preparing for our 3rd Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show, scheduled for Sunday, the 28th of July, at the UPSES Hall. It promises to be a lot of fun! We’re also pleased to announce upcoming symposiums at St. Agnes School focusing on the history of the tuna fleet’s Yard Patrol (“YP” or “Yippies”) duties during WWII. Additionally, the PHC is working closely with the Port of San Diego to replace the YP Memorial, recently removed from its original spot on the Embarcadero. We aim to have a more beautiful memorial in a better location across the way on Tuna Lane, near the Midway, to honor our fishermen. Stay tuned for updates on this endeavor. We have other exciting symposiums in the works, including discussions on the renowned Tuna Fishing Canneries, their workers and so much more. You’re in for a treat, as you’ll learn fascinating history you’ve never heard before! We look forward to seeing you at these exciting events.

In closing, I hope you enjoy all the articles this Spring Newsletter has to offer. Once again, I thank you for your ongoing membership support. Your contributions are invaluable; without them, our museum could not continue. It fills us with pride to serve a community that deeply appreciates and embraces the rich history, culture, and traditions of our beloved San Diego Community.

Muito Obrigada,

Evelyn Madruga-Barandiaran Portuguese Historical Center, President