The St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) will host a Cane River Creole Heritage Day and Party Saturday, Jan. 21 at the St. Augustine Catholic Church, located at 2262 Hwy. 484 on Isle Brevelle. The public is invited to a host of family-friendly events celebrating Creole Heritage and the birthday of community founder “Grandpere” Nicolas Augustine Metoyer (Jan. 22,1778-Dec. 19,1856).
By donation, Grandpere’s plantation chapel of 1803 would become a Catholic mission church in 1829. Ultimately, it became a parish church in 1856. Today, the church and cemetery are on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Center, a designation which is first of its kind in Louisiana.
SAHS President Dr. Mark Guidry said, “We take this time annually to celebrate history and heritage and to give appreciation to those who continue the tradition of donating their time, talents, treasures and prayers to the mission.” Creole heritage celebrations were initiated in 1994 by the late Terrel Delphin Jr., former SAHS president, and his family.
“This event is a tribute to the wonderful tradition he started,” said Guidry.
Since the organization reactivated in 2013, it has gained a good standing as a non-profit with IRS tax-exempt status. Last year, it celebrated the conclusion of a highly successful campaign to restore, upgrade and historically mark the tomb of its founder. In 2017, Guidry says they anticipate addressing the needs of the historic Badin-Roque House circa 1770s, which is one of a kind in Louisiana and one of a few in the U.S.
The annual celebration also serves as a membership and fundraising campaign overseen by Vera Severin, SAHS treasurer. Donations are tax-exempt and every dollar is used for the mission. Memberships are $15 for students, $20 for individuals and $25 for a household. With a 2017 membership, the $10 fee for the Creole Heritage Party is waived.
This year, SAHS Board Member Dr. Rand Metoyer is sponsoring a Cochon de Lait. In addition, Lynwood “Woody” Delphin will prepare fried Cane River fish and parishioners will bring an array of Isle Brevelle cuisines. Board members coordinating the dinner and decorations include Mary Frances Jones, Anasthasia Christophe and Gail Jones.
During the dinner, SAHS will hold its annual meeting and give recognition to tis founders, advisors and others. “Mama Glo,” Gloria Jones, will coordinate the annual recognition of seniors in the parish who will share advice for good living with younger generations. Theresa Delphin Morgan is coordinating a collection of Creole heritage exhibits in the parish hall. Following the Cohon de Lait dinner, is a Creole Heritage Party from 8 p.m. – midnight with Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krush.
4 p.m. Costumed tours of church and cemetery
5 p.m. Traditional Catholic mass celebrated by Rev. Charles B. Ray
6-8 p.m. Cohon de Lait dinner
8-12 Creole Heritage Party ($10)
For more information contact Dr. Mark Guidry at firstname.lastname@example.org or Diane Moran at 471-4339.