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
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
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.