Luso-American Fraternal Federation
Representing the largest membership base of within Luso-American Fraternal, the Luso-American Fraternal Federation was formally born in 1957 with the unification of the Benevolent Society of California and the Uniăo Portuguesa Continental do Estado da California under the formation of the new company at that time, United National Life Insurance Society.
"LUSO" as it is affectionately known, has become synonymous with the preservation and promotion of Portuguese culture in California.
Luso-American Fraternal is charged with the responsibility of civic, cultural, educational, social and fraternal activities of the Society. The participation of members of all age groups in these activities insure that the Society is and will continue to be a family oriented organization in the future. The role of the subordinate councils of the Society is one of community and fraternal involvement. Regular meetings are held and every year each council sponsors a reception honoring the Fraternal President. The President, as well as all the other officers and directors, are elected at the Annual Convention where delegates representing all subordinate councils meet to establish and adopt continuing programs of fraternal and civic activities. Members of Luso-American Fraternal are predominantly of Portuguese ancestry, however, membership is open to all ages, male and female, regardless of race, color or creed. Because of the diversity of ages among the membership, Luso-American Fraternal established several auxiliary groups to meet the individual needs of each age segment while maintaining the large family concept.
One of the primary goals of Luso-American Fraternal is to keep the young members of the community interested in its aims and purposes and to prepare them for future leadership responsibilities.
To insure this important goal, in 1955 a youth department with its own administration was created by the Luso-American Fraternal Federation allowing the youth to establish their own youth councils, and develop programs and supervise activities designed to give them the opportunity to learn the culture, traditions of their Portuguese ancestors and enhance their knowledge of fraternalism, parliamentary procedure and importance of civic involvement in their communities.
Every year the youth councils sponsor a queen contest to help fund college scholarships for fellow youth members, and as part of their contribution to the Annual Convention, present a program, in which they perform either in a dance category or in the musical variety category. This "Youth Theatrical Performance" has been in place for nearly six decades and is a focal point for everyone attending our Annual Convention.
At the Annual Convention, the youth also elect their own President and slate of officers. Throughout the year, they actively participate in receptions and events honoring the Federation President and their own State Youth President.
In 1968, Luso-American wanted to bridge the gap among our youth and adult members and place the most decisive hopes and trust, in young men and women from the ages of 18 to 40 years and Luso-American Fraternal would go on to call them, the "20-30 Associates."
The rules and regulations for this group state, "the purpose of the '20-30 Associates' is to unite a body of people in the intermediate age of the membership in the Society with a common interest in promoting the cultural heritage, aims and purposes of the Luso-American Fraternal as an auxiliary to the Society.
As an organization, the "20-30 Associates" are divided into "Regions" within the State of California, each promoting social, civic and fraternal programs for the general welfare and enjoyment of its members, who have their own regional officers and committees, and for the welfare of the LUSO Family and of the community. This type of assigned authority raises funds for deserving causes like educational and civic projects; it promotes regional interest and participation; it stimulates the members to take an active part in the activities in the region; it assists the young in promoting development and leadership, giving as well incentive for personal initiative and citizenship; it designs and implements projects to meet the social needs of each region; and unites, supervises and reports the accomplishments of each Region. At the Annual Convention, the 20-30's Associates elect their President and own slate of officers, and during the year participate in the receptions and events honoring the Fraternal President, Youth President and their own 20-30's President.