The first meeting convened for the materialization of the idea was held in
residence of Mr. José Maria Vieira at 166 Market Street. There were approximately 28 Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants present. Among them were the following well-known names in our community: Raul Cerqueira (later President of the Board Interim), Julio de Moraes, Angelo Silva, Joaquim Rosa, Antonio Lopes, Manuel Veloso, Jose Lopes, José Maria Vieira, João Dias Marques, António Joaquim Alves, etc..
The club was officially founded on December 17th 1921 with the incorporation being made official on April 6, 1922 and signed by Mr. Eduardo Baptista, Joaquim Peixoto, Assis da Silva, Manuel Resin, Manuel Pereira, Fernando Faria Cunha, Ricardo Andrade, Valentine J. Rocha and Mario Teixeira. The club started with the organization of a theater troupe, led by the Club President Mr. Eduardo Baptista, the sports section and an Orchestra composed of several elements.
At that time, there were approximately 200 Portuguese immigrants living in Newark, the majority of them men and almost all members of the Portuguese Sport Club. An interesting fact is that there were so few ladies in Newark at that time that sometimes the female roles in the theatre group at SCP were interpreted by men.
In 1923 the Club moved its headquarters to 36 Downing Street, between Monroe and Adams Street, where it stayed for about 3 years during which the activities of the Club were kept growing and the club’s prestige continued to rise during these years.
In that year, the great Portuguese hero, Admiral Gago Coutinho, visited the city of Newark, “kicked off” a great football match in the field of Sport Club Portuguese.
In 1923, the first steps were taken to equip the club with its own facilities. Due to lack of funds, the initiative came to a halt, but it did signal the desire to purchase land for that purpose. Thoughts, ideas, actions…
Other initiatives continued and thus came the first Portuguese school of the Club on Madison Street, along with a Boy Scouts Groups, a basketball team and a youth theater troupe. In recent years the club has also acquired other buildings of the current
schools on Congress Street.
During the economic depression observed in the United States of America, SCP
suffered the worst period of its existence given the financial difficulties that emerged, and it reached the point of need that the President of the club had to pay out of his pocket to pay office rent ...
In 1936 the Club organized its first band with committee members that included Alvaro Silva, Pedro Martins and João Araújo Thomas. During this same time, the Drama Group directed by Mr. Eduardo Baptista, later replaced by Mr. António Conde that kept the group with the same brilliance achieved by its predecessor.
During the World's Fair held in 1939 in New York (Flushing) the representation of the Portuguese community was entrusted to Sport Club Portuguese. Even then, as still happens today, the headquarters of Portuguese Sport Club was a must-see in the State of New Jersey for all those things related to Portuguese and this was started with the visit from the crew of the warship Portuguese "Tejo" during World War II.
The second stage of “life” for SCP started during this time as well and that was marked by the club having its own facilities and it started with that buying, in 1939, of the land
for SCP’s current headquarters and finally inaugurated on the 14th of December 1941.
As the Second World War (September 1, 1939 - September 2, 1945) started/continued, SCP, inevitably, went through difficult periods, with part of its activities being suspended during the World War.
After the war (1945), SCP normalized its theatre activities and sports, and many moments of brilliance. One of the facts noted was the visit to the Club in 1956 by the crew members and cadets of the Portuguese training ship "Sagres".
Over time, the facilities of the headquarters of the Portuguese Sport Club were becoming outdated. Thanks to the efforts of Consul General in Newark at the time, Dr. Julio de Vasconcelos, the Honorable Jose Santos, and a commission involving architects, engineers, and virtually the entire Luso American community in New Jersey, in 1996, SCP was remodeled in 1996.
Today, SCP has a banquet hall/theatre stage, with tiles imported directly from Portugal, with scenes from the Portuguese Discoveries.
Along with the physical remodeling of the SCP, the 1980’s and 1990’s, saw with it an injection of youth in its membership, including university students who came to give new life to the club.
Many of these youth rose quickly to leadership positions, and even the presidency of SCP.
In 2009, these young people encompass two groups. One of the groups being the “Juniors” (ages 12 – 17) and “Juventude” (ages 18-25).
At a time when many clubs and associations are faced with crises of survival, SCP, is a success story, and a guarantee of the preservation of Portuguese culture in the U.S., through the various sections which include: the Folklore Dance Group “Camponeses do Minho” (adults and children), Soccer Teams, Luis de Camoes Portuguese School, the (the Miss and Mister Sport Club Portuguese Competition, Juventude Group, the Juniors, the Museum, the Library, the events section, and Proverbo, the cultural and artistic section.
SCP’s Founding Members:
• Edward Batista
• Joaquim Peixoto
• Assis de Silva
• Manoel Risina
• Manoel Pereira
• Fernando Fari Cunha
• Ricardo Andrade
• Valentine J. Rocha
• Mario Teixeira
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