The final product with improved sound, color, 3 additional interviews and a new segment is scheduled for showing at UNO on May 20 at 7:00 P.M. at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) which is Building #27 on the lakefront.  I hope as many of you as possible can attend in spite of the late notice.  DVD’S WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 8 WEEKS.  THEY WILL SELL FOR $15.00 EACH AND WILL BENEFIT THE SOCIETY.  The film will be entered in the New Orleans Film Festival in October.  Hopefully it will be sold to the History Channel and or PBS.  IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND, PLEASE CALL MY OFFICE AT 504-523-2245, SO I CAN GET A COUNT.  


May 24, 2015 the Society will again honor the Vietnam Veterans of St. Bernard.  Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 In St. Bernard Catholic Church, followed by commemorative ceremony in St. Bernard Cemetery.  A Pot Luck luncheon at 1:00 P.M. will be held in the Isleno Center at the Museum Complex.  Call Kathy Ziegler to let her know what you will bring.  The Vets look forward to this and really look forward to it. It’s our way of saying “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE”. 

We all know the reason behind Memorial Day, but do you know why there is a Canary Day celebrated every May 30 in the Canary Islands? Every May 30 is celebrated to commemorate the May 30, 1982 election wherein Canary Islanders voted to elect municipal leadership for each individual island and to have autonomous government leadership for the first time since 1939 for each Island.  As a result of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco all elections ceased to exist UNTIL that date.  

Memorial Day honors all veterans of all wars who fought to defend the United States.  Veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812 ---the Battle of New Orleans (1815), the Civil War, and ALL wars through Desert Storm are interred in St. Bernard cemetery.  

Canary Islanders were colonized by Spain to halt British Colonial expansion west of the Mississippi River and maintain control over access to the Mississippi Valley. Canary Islanders or Isleno Colonists fought in the American Revolution and every war thereafter in support of the United States. 


This was the biggest and best Isleno Fiesta ever held.  We realized a profit of $55,000.00 and it’s only May and all the numbers are in.  Hats are off to Rhonda Hannan and her co-chair, Kathy Serpas Ziegler for a job well done.  A great big THANK YOU TO ALL WHO WORKED TO MAKE THE FESTIVAL THE SUCCESS THAT IT WAS!!! 

This fact along with the historical and cultural content of the festival deserves the recognition of the membership.  The National and International support were noteworthy and the role of the Houmas was nothing but positive.   All Canary Island groups in the U.S. participated in this year’s Fiesta.  The Canarian entertainment was outstanding.  A big “thank you” is in order to all who participated.  Next year’s Fiesta will take place on March 5 and 6, 2016.   


There is much to be done to maintain the Complex and we have begun.  Repairs to the Isleno Museum have begun.   Del Valle Services got the contract for $6,140.00.  Bids have been solicited for termite treatment of all 9 buildings on the Museum grounds.    


Benito, the famous Canarian timple player and composer, is tentatively scheduled to arrive here June 6, 7 and 8.  We are working to complete arrangements for a concert probably at Chalmette Cultural Arts Building.  Membership will be informed when plans are finalized.  SAVE THE DATES. 


Last week about 15 new trees were planted on the Museum grounds. Tony Fernandez planted 5 mulberry trees to lure birds to the Complex for the Second Annual Bird Festival.  Bert Esteves donated a variety of 10 trees which Francisco Corea and I planted. 

Benny Trahan, an electrical contractor who worked on the FEMA funded reconstruction/restoration of the Museum Complex, promised 5 years ago to plant native Louisiana Irises on our grounds. He has stayed in touch with me, Dot Benge, and on May 8, he planted 80 Iris plants along the nature trail and 50 around the trapper’s camp.  He will return to plant more around the front.   

It is so gratifying to see to the level of commitment and appreciation for our heritage by those who are not even part of our community.  Next April, the grounds will be a sight to behold thanks to a dear supporter of our mission.  Be sure to thank Benny if you should run into him. 


This year’s event was almost a wash out. The weather was horrible.  Even so, we had 21 boats show up and fished in less than favorable conditions.  Profit was about $1800.00 that always goes into the Restoration Account.   Thanks go to Mike Benge for chairing the event. 


Glenn Menesses handled this year’s 2nd Annual Antique Car Show.  There were about 70 cars entered and the weather was beautiful.   The Serpas family handled the food as they usually do and raised about $1800. 00.  Total profit from the Car show was about $5,000.00.   Thanks to Glenn and all our Antique car members and the Serpas clan for your contributions to this successful event. 


Glenn Menesses is the new membership chairman and is in the process of updating our list.  If you know of anyone whose membership has lapsed, please urge them to contact Glenn and join our Society.  At one time when I was president we had a membership of 1200 members.  The out of town members always appreciated getting newsletters about what was going on from time to time.  Many members have moved since the Katrina.  MAYBE you know someone who would like to keep in touch.   

I have offered to write the newsletter and Glenn has offered to send it to those who have e-mail addresses.  I will go to the Post Office to apply for a Non-Profit stamp so that we can mail the newsletter to those who do not have access to a computer. 

Glenn’s number is 504-884-9691.  His e-mail address is gjmss& 

If you have any news you would like to share or any questions you would like to ask, please call me at 504-554-8412 or e-mail me at 


Dot Benge