Who are the Menorcans?
In 1768, over 1400 people left the Mediterranean and set sail for British East Florida. Among this group were Menorcan, Greek, Italian, Corsican, and French peoples. This was the largest single group of European settlers to immigrate as a single group to the New World. The courageous efforts of the group to tame the wilderness and settle a portion of Northeast Florida represents a major contribution to early American history.
The Menorcans spent the first nine years toiling under harsh conditions and endured even harsher treatment. Their numbers were decimated by disease and starvation. In the fall of 1777, the remaining members, now less than 700 souls, walked to St. Augustine. They petitioned the British governor, Patrick Tonyn, and he granted them a space in the northwest section of the old walled city.
A second Spanish occupation and the eventual acquisition of Florida by the young United States changed the flags that flew over the city. Since coming to the city, the Menorcan colonists and their descendants have been an integral part of St. Augustine and St. Johns County for more than two centuries.
Preserving and promoting the Menorcan heritage through events and membership.
The Menorcan Cultural Society was founded in the 1980s to preserve and promote the heritage and culture of the Menorcans who left their Mediterranean homeland to make a new life in the New World. We are the only Menorcan society in the United States, and we enjoy a worldwide membership.
Local Menorcan, Mike Usina receives the Florida Folk Heritage Award
On April 13, 2019, the Florida Department of State and Florida Folklife Program honored four recipients of the 2019 Florida Folk Heritage Award, James Billie, Tina Bucuvalas, Jane Wells Scott and Mike Usina, during a public ceremony at the Word of South Festival in Tallahassee. As the state’s highest honor for folk and traditional arts, Florida Folk Heritage Awards are presented annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage by perpetuating community traditions. Like the National Heritage Awards, the Florida Folk Heritage Awards honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance, and authenticity. Photos by Stacy Prato
A video about Mike Usina by the Florida Folklife Program can be found at: https://youtu.be/L55oFhOLkuQ
You can find Mr. Usina’s Florida Folk Heritage Award profile at: https://dos.myflorida.com/historical/preservation/florida-folklife-program/folk-heritage-awards/list-of-past-recipients/michael-usina.
Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee and Council Chair Annette Fromm present the award to 2019 Folk Heritage Award recipient Michael Usina. — at The Edison Restaurant, Tallahassee, Fl April 13, 2019
Downtown St. Augustine
Saturday December 7th
9:oo a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Join The Society
The Menorcan Cultural Society welcomes anyone who is of Menorcan ancestry or is interested in supporting Menorcan culture and history. We are involved in a number of activities throughout the year which are listed on the Events page. If you are interested in membership please fill out the form on the Join page.