St. Augustine Riverbank Committee member supports riverbank stabilization

Riverbank present letter of support.
The St. Augustine Historical Society recognizes the fortitude and perseverance of its member, WIllie Metoyer (fondly called Grandpere), for leading parish community efforts to have the riverbank stabilized from severe erosion. The erosion is now threatening the church property – a nationally designated traditional cultural center.

Here is a mere summary of years of unwavering persistence through several obstacles. He presented this letter (written to the US Army Corps of Engineers: Vickburg District) at the Red River Waterway Commission meeting Aug. 15.

“For nearly seven (7) years, our parish has been concerned about riverbank erosions in front of the church property located at 2262 Hwy. 484 on Isle Brevelle. Former pastor, Father Jacob Thomas, first asked me to head a committee to get the river bank fixed after the lost of a large old tree. Committee members include Gail Jones, Dr. Mark Guidry, Larry Paige, Carey Blanchard, Lyn Christophe, and me.

Many developments have occurred since our first meeting with the Corps of Engineers. For one, after much work, the property was officially placed on the National Registry of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Center. This designation – a first in the state of Louisiana – helped gain federal financial support of the project.

Riverbank stabilization will help preserve this center of a faith-based community and culture established in the year 1803 by donation of a plantation chapel once owned by Nicolas Augustin Metoyer (1768-1856).

I submit this letter of support on behalf of the Riverbank Committee of the St. Augustine Catholic Church.”

Please express appreciation to Grandpere Willie Metoyer for coming to the rescue with a tremendous gift for generations to come.