The Australian daily Townsville Bulletin has been covering the news in North Queensland since 1881. It’s in the northwest of the country, with a tropical climate, and is known for the Great Barrier Reef that is just off its coast.
Thanks to this paper, we discovered that in the small town of Trebonne, in Hinchinbrook, to the west of Ingham, there is a frontón court, built by the Basque community that emigrated to Australia in the 1950s. The came to cut sugarcane, and as normally occurs with the Basques of the Diaspora, they integrated quickly in their new homeland, thereby fulfilling the wish Lehendakari Aguirre expressed in 1955 to the Basques in Argentina, and by extension to all: “In your adopted homeland, be, among all, the best citizen” (timestamp 3:20 in his interview in Buenos Aires in 1955).
Wherever Basques travel, so too their customs and traditions, one of the most important of which is Basque pelota. That’s why it’s not at all hard to believe that on Saturday, November 28, 1959, they opened a frontón, before a large crowd, in Trebonne. It’s also easy to believe that it became a meeting point for the Basque community, which spend a lot of time playing pelota.
On another Saturday, but in 2022, this part of Basque history was rejuvenated in the Antipodes.
The frontón has been “reintroduced to society,” looking better than ever. It’s been restored, and now has a mural representing Basque pelota players. The mural is the work of Hinchinbrook artist David Rowe, and was financed by a grant from the Regional Arts Development Fund, because, as we said before, since 2001, this frontón court has been part of Queensland Cultural Heritage.
Over 100 people attended the event, and the revived frontón was inaugurated by the president of the Basque Club of North Queensland, Pedro Mendiolea, and the mayor of Hinchinbrook, Ramon Jayo, who, as his surname indicates, is of Basque descent. The MP for Hinchinbrook, Nick Dametto, was also there.
We’re quite pleased. This event proves both the energy of the Basque community in Australia as well as the value their adopted homeland gives to Basque heritage.
We’re also content because, for a few days now, one more ikurriña has been flying i nthe world, over this frontón, remind all passersby that there are Basques here.
We’ll leave you with the article in the Townsville Bulletin (requires subscription), the history of the Trebonne frontón, the entry in the Facebook account of the Basque Club of North Queensland, where all the information about the opening and the amazing party that was held on that special day can be found.
Zorionak eta eskerrik asko!!!!
Townsville Bulletin – 28/11/2022 – Australia
Unique tribute to cultural group that helped build NQ town
traditional hand-ball court built as a tribute to the role played by the Basque people in the development of North Queensland has been officially opened.
The Hinchinbrook Way – – Australia
THE TREBONNE FRONTON
On Saturday afternoon 28 November 1959, this fronton or handball court was opened before a large crowd. Here vigorous games of pelota mano were played becoming the centre of Basque and Spanish social life in the Herbert River district for 20 years.
Last Updated on Dec 5, 2022 by About Basque Country