PLAQUE DEDICATION - September 27th, 2015

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Isleno Society benefactor Joseph “Joe” Georgusis commissioned Ed Smith Stencil to fabricate a bronze plaque memorializing the public service of Henry “Junior” Rodriguez to the people of St. Bernard Parish.  Mr. Georgusis donated $2,500 to Los Islenos Society to fund the plaque which was finished shortly before Fiesta 2005.  The plaque was unveiled during the fiesta and was stored in Los Islenos Museum when Hurricane Katrina crushed the museum with an 80 foot tall water oak.  Miraculously, though the building was ruined, the plaque came through the salt flood waters of Katrina and was placed in storage.  The Board of Directors decided to place the plaque in the entrance hall of Los Islenos Center earlier this year.

Please join the Society in commemorating the installation of the memorial plaque Sunday, September 27th, 2015 in Los Islenos Center, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  That day is also “Junior’s” 80th birthday.  A reception will follow the event.  For more information, please call Rhonda Rodriguez Hannan at (504) 615 – 9322.  Please plan to attend.


DIA de la HISPANIDAD – Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Los Islenos Society will celebrate its annual Dia de la Hispanidad on Sunday, October 11th, 2015 in Los Islenos Center from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Tickets will cost $50.00 per person.  This event recognizes Columbus Day, the national day of Spain, recalling Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America and the establishment of the Spanish Empire, for centuries the greatest empire in the Western Hemisphere.  This celebration also serves as the only fundraiser supporting Los Islenos Fiesta.  Despite diligent efforts to reduce upfront expenses associated with Los Islenos Fiesta, food costs, supplies and service fees continue to rise each year.  Traditional Spanish/Canarian food, Spanish wine, cheese and desserts will be served during the event.    For additional information and to purchase tickets, please call Rhonda Hannan at (504) 615 – 9322 or Lena Nunez at (504) 491 – 5266.  Please come, bring your friends and enjoy a beautiful afternoon at Los Islenos Museum Complex. 


An added, beautiful component of the Dia de la Hispanidad, Sunday, October 11th, 2015, will be the official opening of Honoring Our Ancestors, a compelling photographic exhibition of the work of Monique Verdin.  Monique is a Houma Native American, a film maker and photographer.  Her documentary, “My Louisiana Love,” was nationally televised by Public Broadcasting Service as a segment of the Reframing America series.  Her photography has been featured in national and international publications.  Honoring our Ancestors consists of a collection of compelling portraits of Eastern St. Bernard residents all of whom represent the cultural and racial diversity of our community.  The portraits are taken in context of the subjects and their distinct identities.  The photographs will be on display in the Louis Alfred Ducros, M.D., Museum and Research Library.  Do not miss this wonderful exhibition of beautiful photography. 


The annual election of Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society will take place Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. during the general membership meeting of Los Islenos Society.  Society President Rhonda Rodriguez Hannan and Secretary William de Marigny Hyland drew no opposition from the membership nor did Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Lagarde.  However, three directors currently serving at large on the Board of Directors were nominated to return to office in addition to two other members.  The directorships presently serving and nominated are Cinda Rodriguez Melerine, Kathy Serpas Ziegler and Dorothy L. Benge.  Two additional nominees are Cisco Gonzales, Jr. and Melanie Ybarzabal Koons.  All the nominees are well known, active members who support the Society vigorously throughout each and every year.

Rhonda, Bill and Paul thank the society membership for its confidence in their abilities and pledge to continue actively supporting the mission of Los Islenos Society.    

MUSEUM DAYS – November 5th and 6th, 2015

Los Islenos Museum Complex will be the site of Museum Days, November 5 – 6, 2015.  The first Museum Days was organized in 1981 and was observed annually through 2004.  Hurricane Katrina interrupted Museum Days in 2005.  The program was resumed at the Museum Complex in 2011.  Donna Mumfrey-Martin will serve once again as chairman of the living history exhibitors committee.  Donna has done a masterful job organizing the first rate living history exhibition which is presented to the students each year.  Lena Torres Nunez, Museum Days Luncheon Committee Chairman, solicits donations of food for the volunteers participating in the Museum Days program, providing a tasty luncheon and snacks each day of Museum Days.  Students from St. Bernard elementary schools in addition to schools from the New Orleans area are invited to participate in Museum Days.  For additional information, please call Bill Hyland at (504) 874 – 0635 or Donna Mumfrey – Martin at (504) 912 – 3859. 


The United States Congress has established the Mississippi River Parkway Commission.  Its purpose is to recognize and ultimately to assist in the development of historical/cultural resources in the Mississippi River Region.  This initiative has enjoyed the support of Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne and, when fully funded, will constitute an important resource.  The Commission will tour Los Islenos Museum Complex Thursday, October 8th, 2015.  The group has visited this facility previously in 2010, 2011 and 2012. 


Sigeberto “Ziggy” Del Valle, Del Valle Services, is rapidly repairing buildings in Los Islenos Historic Village.  The steps have been replaced in front and back of the Coconut Island Barroom.  Railings have been installed on the steps and everything is utterly appropriate in terms of design and scale with the historic building.  Repairs are proceeding on the Cresap-Caserta House, the Estopinal House and the Esteves House.  A new termite infestation was discovered by “Ziggy” Del Valle Friday, September 18th in the front box columns of Esteves House.  Saturday, September19th, All Pest Exterminators arrived at the Museum Complex, treated the Esteves House and the new construction on the buildings as part of the termite contract the Society entered into this spring.  The money we raise during the festival and throughout the year is supporting the maintenance and development of the Museum Complex, whether in the form of insurance coverage, office equipment, new computers or major improvement projects such as the work currently going on at our facility.  Stop by at your convenience and see the Society working to preserve Los Islenos Museum Complex. 


Jonathan Cabrera remains in constant communication with us.  He informs us that a series of regular newspaper articles will be published in Tenerife newspapers about the Canarian Descendants’ Community in St. Bernard Parish.  There is also interest in Tenerife students travelling to Louisiana to attend Chalmette High School.  A book about the descendants’ communities in Louisiana is also being planned.  We are still waiting to learn who will succeed Candido Padron Padron as viceconsejero de Accion Exterior.  “Wimpy” Serigne advises that plans are progressing to bring Los Cabuqueros to perform during Fiesta 2016. 


SEPTEMBER 27th, 2015                     3:00 p.m. – Henry “Junior” Rodriguez plaque dedication

OCTOBER 11th, 2015                            3:00 p.m. – Dia de la Hispanidad fundraiser benefitting Fiesta

                                                                  Fiesta 2016

OCTOBER 13th, 2015                           7:00.p.m. – General Membership Meeting/Annual Election

NOVEMBER 5th – 6th, 2015                 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Museum Days

NOVEMBER 10th, 2015                       7:00 p.m. – General Membership Meeting

DECEMBER 5th, 2015                          CHRISTMAS PROGRAM, Kathy Serpas Ziegler, Chairman


I thank the membership for its tireless support and encourage everyone to participate in the wonderful upcoming programs of the Society.  The Society cannot succeed or exist without your presence and commitment!