The 243rd anniversary of the Menorcans in St. Augustine will be recognized Saturday, March 7 when the Menorcan Heritage Celebration is celebrated from 11am to 3pm at the 1760s Llambias House, located at 31 St. Francis St. All are invited, and admission is free. Speakers will detail a variety of subjects, with Archaeologist Nicholas Budsberg, from the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), talking about his recent trip to Minorca.
“While many peoples emigrated and settled in the Americas after 1492, it is rare to find communities with strong cultural ties to their homeland and its traditions that have persisted for centuries. The deep and lasting connection that thrives today between St. Augustine Minorcans and the island their ancestors first sailed from 252 years ago is one of the elements that makes this city unique, and this connection can certainly be extended to areas throughout northeast Florida and other islands in the Mediterranean as theirs is a meandering story of hope, tragedy and perseverance,” Budsberg said.
“More importantly, these existing ties of community heritage do not survive on their own, and it is paramount for groups in both areas – old and new – to work to maintain these connections so as they, too, do not become lost to time. It is equally important for institutions with firm footholds in the community to help in this regard as it is these collaborative efforts that support the continued celebration of our mutual past and historical identity.”
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum was proud to sponsor one of their institutional archaeologists, Nicholas Budsberg, Administrative Director with LAMP, to travel to Minorca and its neighboring Balearic Islands in Spain and meet with local boatbuilders, museum directors and other heritage tourism professionals. The interests of this visit were crosscutting and preliminary, with hopes of establishing lasting connections between communities on either side of the Atlantic and lay the groundwork for future collaborations. During the 2020 annual Menorcan Heritage Celebration, Nicholas will be discussing his visit, his past involvements in Minorcan maritime archaeology and Spanish history, and the boatbuilders, museologists and heritage tourism professionals he connected with in Minorca.
Other speakers will include Educator and Historian Sandi Stratton, presenting at 11:30am about Menorcans in Florida and some interesting comments about the Llambias House itself. In the garden of the Llambias House at 12:30pm, Michelle Reyna will present her Menorcan skit including the singing of the famous Menorcan folk song “Fromarjardis.” The day will be marked by Menorcan family culture including Menorcan Clam Chowder, Menorcan Pilau (a rice dish) and desserts, available for a donation from 11am to 2pm.
The event also will feature mullet net making, storytelling and songs, showing of family crests, Menorcan T-shirts and books, and Datil Pepper products, such as sauces, mustard, and jellies. Datil Pepper plants also will be available for purchase.