BRIEF HISTORY OF UPA, HOUSTON
Urhobo Progressive Association (UPA) Houston was founded in 1982, by a group of Urhobos (mostly students) leaving in the Houston, who had migrated from Nigeria to United States in the early 70’s and 80’s, to further their education One of the students, Mr. Christopher Egbonoje thought that since we
had come a long way from home, we should form an Urhobo association in order for us to uphold the Urhobo Culture, come together at time of needs and unify the Urhobos in Houston and environs. Seventeen Urhobos; Mr.Alfred Aggreh (Deceased), Mr. Joseph Akpobo, Mr. Ose Eferekeya (Deceased), Mr. Christopher Egbonoje, Mr. Fred Emereje, Mr. Lawrence Eruvwetere, Mr. Sylvester Idi, Mr. Dennis Mariere, Mr. Taku Ogbojo,Mr. Victor Ojagbehru, Mrs. Linda Ojaruega, Mr. Robert Ojaruega, Mrs.
Veronica Onwachi, Mrs. Dorothy Oruaga, Mr. Edward Oruaga, Mr.Louis Ruadjere and Mr. Richard Subi, met at Mr. Christopher Egbonoje’ one-bedroom apartment for the first meeting on March 21, 1982 and UPA Houston was formed.
Like most new organization will do, the association quickly set up a panel to write a constitution and also conceived a motto “CUP”, which mean “Culture Unity and Progress” and translated as “Ekuruemu, Okugbe, Vyon Obaro” in Urhobo Language. The first executive President was Chief. Robert Ojaruega
and the Vice President was Mrs. Veronica Onwachi.
Armed with a constitution and vision statement, the association started holding formal meetings, rotating meeting hosting among its members. The association set short- and long-term goals and objectives. The short-term goals included daily, weekly or monthly activities or programs designed to bring the Urhobo family units in Houston together. The members showed great enthusiasm and willingness to come together, socialize and discover areas of common interest. That spirit continued to date and one of the noticeable results is seen in the association’s membership which has increased from 17 when the association was founded to well over 120 at present.
As part of its long term goals and tradition, the association has a five-yearly anniversary celebration. Within this time frame, the association has been able to plan, review and successfully execute some of its long term goals and objectives with great results.
History was made in 2014 when the association acquired 1.2 acres of land in Houston with the sole aims of building a center that will serve the social,cultural and educational needs of our Houston communities and will be available to the public. In its 35 years of existence, UPA, Houston has been
faithful to its goals and objectives. The Association has grown tremendouslyand it is now a leading Urhobo group in America and enjoys great repute here in America as well as Delta State Nigeria. The construction of the proposed Urhobo Center will be a landmark accomplishment.