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A group of 50 travelers from Euskadi and Navarre visited Australia as a reunion trip with the local Basque community

08/06/2019

The group of Basques in Townsville, Australia with members of the local Basque club
The group of Basques in Townsville, Australia with members of the local Basque club

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Bilbao, Bizkaia. Organized by the based in Bilbao Euskal Australiar Alkartea with the collaboration of the touristic company Overtrails, specialists in trips related with the Basque Diaspora a group of 50 travelers from various corners of Bizkaia, Nafarroa, and Gipuzkoa took a two-week tour through Australia.  The itinerary included destinations like Cairns andTownsville, from where they moved to Ingham and Ayr, Trebone, Brisbane and Sydney. Besides connecting with the landscapes and nature, visitors also met with the local Basque community to get to know their way of life as well as learn about the history of those Basque immigrants, mainly in the mid-20th century, who were looking for a better life on the fifth continent.

In a conversation with the president of the Euskal Australiar Alkartea, Amaia Urberuaga, the Basque-Australian explained to EuskalKultura.eus the excitement of the travelers, as well as the locals: “We had the chance to see what working in the cane fields was like, as that was one of the main occupations of Basques who came to Australia in the 50s.  They showed us how that work was done before, and how it is done now.  We even got to see them burn the cane.  In each of the places we visited there were meetings with local Basques, which led to meetings, and in some cases reunions, since some of our group were born there,” the Basque born in Ingham explained.

The goal of the Euskal Australiar Alkartea is to connect Euskadi and Navarre with the Basque Diaspora in Australia. Both organizers and participants in the excursion were very satisfied with the results of the trip in this sense, which has motivated them to think about repeating the experience in 2021.

Julian Iantzi, popular Basque TV host born in the Diaspora and a TV crew, also accompanied the group and recorded images of the trip and interviewed several involved with Basque Australia, witnessing moments of great emotion.

More photos from the trip, here.


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