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Who we are


It all started back in January 1928, when a group of five Portuguese men held its first meeting at Jose Silva’s place on Seabright Avenue in Santa Cruz. The group held another meeting April 25, 1928 to choose their officers and to adopt the name of the society, Colónia Portuguesa do Divino Espirito Santo (C.P.D.E.S.), and decide on the society’s symbol.


The first officers were:

  • President, Antone J. Pinheiro

  • Vice President John F. Silveira

  • Secretary Joseph C. Silva

  • Treasurer Manuel J. Affonso

  • Marshal Joseph C. Bettencourt

  • Directors Manuel Medina, Antone Pimentel, John S. Bettencourt, Manuel Avila, Frank C. Sousa, William Vasconcellos, Manuel S. Machado, Joe Leite Silva, and Lino Espinola.


The first celebration was held on July 1, 1928, and for many years was held at Santa Cruz Memorial Park, (Santa Cruz High School grounds) and later at the Holy Cross Hall until the society built its own hall in 1953.


In 1950, a new committee was formed for the business matters of the C.P.D.E.S. and incorporated on June 19, 1951, to “sponsor and promote an annual religious festa for the residents of Santa Cruz.”


In January 1953, a two-acre piece of land, the Butler property, was purchased to build a Portuguese Hall under the supervision of Frank Terra, Tony Sousa, and Manuel J. Sousa. The July 1953 festa celebration was in the partially completed hall. Next, a liquor license and another three-acre of land adjacent to the property was purchased.  


C.P.D.E.S. of Santa Cruz celebrates the Holy Ghost festa annually on the first Sunday in July using the colors, flags and banners.  Flags include the official flag symbolizing the Holy Ghost, the American flag, the Portuguese Flag and the banner displaying C.P.D.E.S. logo, which contains the crown with a cross, dove, and spear. The dove symbolizes the peace and love from the Holy Ghost, the cross indicates the Christian faith, and the crown symbolizes the coronation of Queen St. Isabella of Portugal.


Throughout the years, many improvements have been made to the hall, such as a dining area, a complete cooking facility downstairs, a small warming kitchen upstairs, a well-stocked bar, a crown room, and an improved parking area. Future improvements and upgrades are always in the works.

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