As part of the El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia, the Iberia Cultural Resources Association unveiled 12 trilingual plaques that will be placed around the city to designate significant historic buildings and events in New Iberia.

The 100-pound bronze plaques include English, French and now Spanish to honor the city’s Spanish heritage. The 12 plaques will replace the nine bilingual historical makers ICRA dedicated in 2008.

“It’s important to remember not only the contribution that France made in South Louisiana, but also the Spanish contribution,” said French Consul Christian Goudeau. 

Guests included former Gov. Kathleen Blanco; State Sen. Fred Mills; New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry, Chairman of the Iberia Parish Council Bernard Broussard; State Rep. Taylor Barras; and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. All attended the special dedication ceremony Sunday.

“A lot of places don’t preserve their past like we do in Louisiana. It’s one of the great things that we have gotten right in Louisiana,” said Dardenne. “It’s recognition that we must preserve all things that were great to us in the past.”

ICRA President Cathy Indest’s mother, Jacqueline Voohries, was president of ICRA in 1974 when the seven original wooden plaques were erected in English and French.

Local families have been involved with donation efforts by buying the $3,500 plaques as dedications for family business and to honor loved ones, including a plaque donated in memory of Vernon A. Voorhies and Jacqueline Voorhies to be placed at Provost’s Café and Bar, now Clementine Fine Dining.

“As you hear the names of the buildings and as you hear the names of the families, you always learn something new. I think that is the experience for most of us,” said Barras.  

The Iberia Parish Government donated the Iberia Parish Courthouse, the Sugar Cane Festival and Fair and the Veterans Memorial buildings in honor of Iberia Parish citizens.

The oldest building being dedicated is the church alley building from 1837, which was donated in memory of Milton Joseph Belanger Jr. and Laura Borel Belanger.

The remaining ICRA plaques will be featured at: the Bazus building, now an office building, in honor of Frances Maumus Compton; the Davis building, now Bayou Teche Museum, in honor of Cornelius P. Voorhies Sr. and Odette Delcambre Voorhies; Evangeline Theater, now the Sliman, in honor of Harry John Broussard and Joyce Dugas Broussard; the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in honor of William Joseph Trappey and Cleo Viator Trappey; Saint Peter’s College, in honor of Glenn R. Conrad; the Segura-LeBourgeois building, in honor of Alton Terry Jordan and Curtis Jordan; and Wormser’s Department Store, in honor of Roy Eldridge Indest Sr. and Joyce Babineaux Indest.

The plaques are enhanced by two tools on the historical structures: “Red Dots,” which tell the story of the sites, and “Red Stickers,” which relay information about the buildings to smartphone users who scan the QR codes. Indest said one of her goals is to include plaques at all buildings that feature a “Red Dot.”

Indest said she hopes the plaques, which should be in their designated places by January, will increase tourism and pride in the community. 

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