In the summer of 1984, Dr. A.E. Rodrigues contacted a few ex-Recreio hockey players residing in the Bay Area asking them to host a representative team from Clube de Recreio in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and assist in arranging a few games with local hockey teams. Almost instantly, twenty or so enthusiastic players ranging in age from mid-twenties to sixties responded. They proudly called themselves the “Macaenses”, and marched boldly onto the field at Corte Madera sporting their new team shirts emblazoned with their new team emblem. With relatively few goals scored against the better-practiced team from Recreio, the game was nonetheless full of laughter, and aching backs.
The team decided to continue after this first game, and subsequently joined the Northern California Field Hockey League, formally under the club name of “Lusitano.” With Mr. Arthur Britto as its first president, the club formed under a set of articles that defines its goal and mission. The Lusitano club later emerged from a club to play field hockey to a social club in 1992 with its credo to preserve the history, culture and heritage of the descendants of the Portuguese people from the Orient.
CLUB RENAISSANCE – 1992
“This is indeed its rebirth. Only with the assistance of our members can we continue on such an ambitious plan. We have a very colorful and interesting history to draw from and to be proud of. Our children need to know. The diverse cultures of our people, all bonded by dedication, zeal and daring of our forefathers, should meet and share in our cultural wealth. With these goals, the Lusitano Club of California proudly takes its first steps in rediscovering our roots.”
~ Antonio M. Jorge da Silva, April 22, 1992
THE LUSITANO NAME
In 1985, the founding members chose to name this club “Lusitano” for a variety of reasons. Their fathers also named their social club Lusitano. As with all Portuguese people throughout the world, we trace our lineage to a spirited, hardy, and tenacious people that lived in an area called “Lusitania” by the Romans roughly corresponding to modern day Portugal. The courage and resistance these Lusitanians displayed in battle with the Roman legionnaires were legendary.
Since its rebirth in 1992, Lusitano has grown significantly both in membership size and activities and services offered. We now have several major functions that take place throughout the calendar year, and an ever increasing series of smaller, interest-specific events that attract different members. The Board of Directors of each subsequent year has shown care and dedication by offering new and innovative ways to not only attract new members, but also to keep alive the excitement within the current membership, with pride and loyalty to the club over the long term. The result to date is an activities calendar that struggles to find available time slots to the membership’s benefit.