António Fonte: UPEC President

António da Fonte

My da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family are also related to Antonio da Fonte who was the founder and first president of the U.P.E.C. in San Leandro, California. The U.P.E.C. is an Portuguese-American? Antonio da Fonte who was the president and the primary founding member of the Independent Order of the Portuguese Patriots (Ordem Independent dos Patriotas Portugueses) which was founded on May 1, 1875. In 1877, the name of this organization was changed to Irmandade Portuguesa do Estado da California. In 1880, the name was changed once more to Uniao Portuguesa do Estado da California (aka UPEC as it is now known).

The UPEC was founded in 1880 to protect Azorean-Portuguese immigrants by providing assistance to them when they fell ill or had an untimely death in the family. The preamble to the constitution of the UPEC (Uniao Portuguesa do Estado da California) reads: "We the undersigned declare that we met in assembly and from our own free will unanimously adopted this constitution of the society 'Portuguese Union' as the first founders. Praise to the Lord so that we progress and serve as am example and memorial for the future sons and compatriots: and when we no longer exist, be it known to all men, that the purpose of this 'Portuguese Union' is for the benefit or our homeland, heritage, honor and glory or our Portuguese nationality."

Antonio da Fonte's family like my own hails from Sao Mateus which included the cities and towns of: Sao Mateus, Sao Caetano, Terra do Pao and Sao Joao on the island of Pico. In my own personal da Fonte family research, I have discovered that there are literally over a thousand of da Fonte and Fonte family relatives located in this area (specifically in both Sao Caetano and Terra do Pao) of Pico according to leading genealogical expert and professor Maria Noberta Amorim. She has written many genealogical books about each of the cities on the island of Pico.

The Irmandade Portuguesa do Estado da Califórnia changes its name to UPEC?

The first annual UPEC convention is held, where António Fonte is president.

The first UPEC office was located at what is today the UPEC hall in San Leandro. ... elected UPEC's first officers, including António Fonte (president) and Victorino Theodoro Braga (vice president).