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Its a small world

In April 1768 it must have seemed such a long way for the some 700 Minorcans (others joined later or were born there) who set sail to join Andrew Turnbull and form the colony firstly of New Smyrna and then 10 years later St Augustine in today’s Florida. Today, 243 years later however, the World it is a much smaller place as I found out on Tuesday 5th April. As a contracted cultural guide working from the Holland America Line’s “Prinsendam” which called into Mahón for the day I had the privilege of escorting a coach of Americans on a Cultural Tour of our Island. Naturally whilst relating the history of Menorca I covered the story of Father Pedro Camps and Franscisco Pellicer and the group who settled in Florida, their tragedies (British records show that a total of 704 men and women and 260 Minorcan children died during the first 10 years), and their stoicism. Obviously we visited the Sanctuary of Monte Toro and saw the monument to Father Pedro Camps and the Minorcans and after I had related their story I was approached by two of my excursionists.

The first, an elderly gentleman from St. Augustine, said that his Godfathers name is Pallicer (born and liv-ing in Florida) and that he was a one-time president of the St. Augustine Rotary Club and had some years back visited Menorca and arranged close ties with the Rotary Club in Mahón

The second was a middle age lady who also lives in St Augustine and knows the Life size monument in the Cathedral grounds well. She took me by surprise by giving me a small, but exceptional, gift. A small spice jar full of “OLD ST. AUGUSTINE MINORCAN SPICE” produced from the plants of seeds originally taken from here by the Minorcans all those years ago. Apparently that area is the only other place in the world where these grow other than Menorca. This is produced by a small family company

Yes, it is such a small world and to think that this lady had purposely brought this gift especially hoping she would hear a little of the story of the Minorcans in Florida. Obviously I am delighted.

Bryce Lyons
Historical and Cultural Tour Guide
Es Castell

Menorca spice

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