Martin Minaberry

On November 7th, 2009 the Basque Educational Organization rededicated the Basque Library that Martin Minaberry had established in 1984 at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, in his memory. 


Yvonne Hauscarriague, BEO Chairman, gives the welcoming address of the rededication ceremony.



Martin Minaberry's niece, Jenny Ysursa, shares memories of her uncle:



Martin Minaberry's good friend, Franxoa Bidaurreta, recalls when Martin had the idea of a Basque Library at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center.




Martin Minaberry Biography

Martin Minaberry was born on May 16th, 1937 in the Basque village of Ortzaize, Baxenabarre (Hortz Etcheberria sortetxea). His mother was Augustine Goyen, also a native of Ortzaize (Hortz Etcheberria etxekoa), and his father was Kaiet Minaberry, who was from Donostiri, Baxenabarre (Urruzpurria sortetxea), and Martin was the ninth of their eleven children.

Martin studied at Gran Seminar of Baiona and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on June 29th, 1963 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Baiona, Lapurdi. His first posting was as a chaplain at the Lycee of Marracq in Baiona. He left the priesthood, but returned and was reinstated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where he served as a priest his last years.

Martin supported and promoted the sport of Pilota, and was one of the founders of the “Confederación Panamericana de Pelota Vasca” and he was its president for many years.
“Historia de la Pelota Vasca en Las Americas” (1994 Donostia: Elkar) a compilation of articles written by several authors about Pilota in various American countries, from Argentina to the United States, was initiated and assembled by Martin.

Martin came to San Francisco in 1978 and quickly became involved in the Basque institutions there and in NABO. He was a director of the San Francisco Basque Club for many years and served as its President from 1981-1982. Martin was one of the founders of the United States Federation of Pelota (USFP) and its first secretary in 1982.

After representing NABO in the 1982 Congress of American Basques, which was sponsored by the Basque Government and held in Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Martin became NABO’s International Chairman and the Basque Government’s main contact with NABO through 1991. Martin also served as NABO’s Calendar Coordinator for many years and wrote grant requests on behalf of NABO.

Martin was a founding member of the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center (BCC), and was one of the central forces in having the BCC Educational Committee created, which then quickly evolved to the Basque Educational Organization, Inc., for which he served as inaugural Chairman. Martin was also the main figure in establishing the Basque library at the Basque Cultural Center, and in acquiring the books. Martin taught euskara classes at the Basque Cultural Center and organized others.

Martin Minaberry died on September 3rd, 2001 in Los Angeles.