Zorionak Grace, Lourana, Juanita, Martina, Josephine and Timmie, as members of the Basque American Hall of Fame
Emilia Doyaga, a professor vicepresident of the SBSA traveled from New York to Eastern Oregon for the Hall of Fame ceremony (photo Janice Mainvil)
Emilia Doyaga said multiple times on Sunday that we were hoping to see 50 people attend the Hall of Fame banquet in Ontario Oregon. So when 200 showed up, she and the others from the Society of Basque Studies in America (SBSA) were pleasantly surprised. The entire Basque American community honored six Basque women from Ontario, Oregon last Sunday. They are Grace Lacouague Mainvil, Timmie Yraguen Echanis, Juanita Yraguen Ybarzabal Hoff, Martina Yraguen Echanis, Josephine Echanis Keim, and Lourana Priston Echanis. Basques from several Western states and New York attended.It was a glorious event honoring six women, all from the Ontario Basque Club. Guests gathered at the Ontario Holiday Inn where for the first hour they were able to mingle. The banquet lunch started at 1 p.m. and lasted throughout the rest of the afternoon.
[The six honorees, Grace Lacouague Mainvil, Josephine Echanis Keim, Juanita Yraguen Ybarzabal Hoff, Lourana Priston Echanis, Timmie Yraguen Echanis and Martina Yraguen Echanis (photos courtesy of John Barinaga)]
Grace Lacouague Mainvil was the first inductee honored that afternoon. Her daughter Janice talked about her mothers commitment to the Basque Culture and making sure her children were actively involved. The five others were presented the award by Irene Bates, daughter of Juanita Yraguen Ybarzabal Hoff and niece to several of the others.
Picture videos were played for each recipient, and then they addressed the crowd. Full of spirit and delight the women graciously accepted their awards. The afternoon ended with a special performance from the Beti Alai dancers. Those in attendance were happy with the outcome of the event, and those who have participated in previous Hall of Fames say Ontario went above and beyond their call of duty.
[Aitor Sotes, delegate for the Basque Government in the United States addresses the 200 people that are at the Hall of Fame Dinner. The 27th annual Hall of Fame took place in Ontario Oregon (photo Janice Mainvil)]
[Beti Alai dancers from Ontario, Oregon performed a number of dances, including Ikurrina (photo Janice Mainvil)]
Zorionak to Grace Lacouague Mainvil, Timmie Yraguen Echanis, Juanita Yraguen Ybarzabal Hoff, Martina Yraguen Echanis, Josephine Echanis Keim, and Lourana Priston Echanis.