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Euskaldunak of Quebec’s 15th anniversary was a big success attended by many NABO delegates from the US and Canada

09/21/2011

A group of NABO delegates and friends touring Montreal's Old Part (Photo Argaia)
A group of NABO delegates and friends touring Montreal's Old Part (Photo Argaia)

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For the first time ever NABO (North American Basque Organizations) held a meeting on the East Coast. Apparently the distance didn’t discourage many of the delegates as over half of the now forty plus membership clubs were represented at the meeting. The offer couldn’t have been more enticing either since Euskaldunak of Quebec had planned a wonderful weekend coinciding with the club’s 15th anniversary. Delegates were treated to tours, concerts, traditional food and great hospitality.

Quebec, Canada.  With six NABO club’s now residing on the east coast, the odds of future meetings being held there is greater and greater, especially after the fabulous time had last weekend.  Even though small in numbers Quebec’s Euskaldunak club put on a phenomenal weekend complete with art exhibits, concerts, tours and wonderful food.  The Basque-Quebecois reception couldn’t have been better. 

Festivities began on Friday evening at the Euskaldunak club house.  Welcomed by former club president Jean Goyhenetche, who has family in the Sacramento, CA area, and a tour of the site, NABO members were then lead to Old Montreal on a tour guided by current president Adelaide Daraspe and Sylvie Nadaud.  Delegates and friends were given the opportunity to wander around the beautiful old quarter and shop for souvenirs before meeting up again at Poutine Montreal to taste a traditional dish of the area, Poutine.  Poutine, French fries covered in cheese curd and gravy, also available with other garnishes like onions and sausage, was enjoyed by all.  After Pouttine, the delegates made their way to the Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic-Cartierville to attend a Basque-Quebecois evening.  There they were treated to a concert by Basque group Kalakan, joined by Quebecois singers Liette Remon and Gabrielle Bouthillier.

The NABO meeting was held at the Basque club on Saturday from 8:30 to 4pm.  Since the last meeting was held just 9 weeks prior in Buffalo, much time was allowed for further discussion on the upcoming 5th World Congress of Basque Communities.  The group brainstormed about different items that should be featured at the NABO stand, as well as what the group hoped to gain by participating this year.  Other discussion included what activities the clubs currently participate in, in their larger communities as well as ideas for potential youth activities.  It was agreed that youth involvement is a common problem faced by all member clubs; so much time was dedicated to this discussion.  The group also heard presentations from Evelyne Dufau, on the exhibit by artist Michel Halcala currently at Euskaldunak of Quebec.  They also heard from Iparraldeko Konpilazioa and photographer Angela Meijas whose exhibit; “Gero Itxaropena” adorned the meeting room as well. 

Following the meeting the delegates and members of Euskaldunak were fortunate enough to hear another concert by Kalakan whose repertoire pleases both the young and old.  Following the concert a buffet dinner was served.  Attendance was great with every seat in the house filled.  After dinner NABO President Valerie Arrechea thanked Euskaldunak for their warm hospitality.  Then a cake, made by Adelaide Daraspe, was brought out with sparklers and a candle with 15 on it with all joining in to sing happy birthday to the center.  The evening concluded with a dance with music provided by Takatunk which also included members of Kalakan.  On Sunday delegates visited Mont-Royal followed by lunch at Montreal’s Spanish club.  NABO delegates couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.  Congratulations Euskaldunak on a job well done!

 



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