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Events at the Mission, Historical Society help keep local history alive

Moments in Time by Jan Siegel
Moments in Time by Jan Siegel

By Jan Siegel

The month of September brings several chances for everyone in town to celebrate our community history, culture and traditions.

The first big event of the month is the Romance of the Mission benefit gala on Friday, Sept. 15. A few tickets for this always-sold-out affair are still available at the Mission. The cost is $350 per person. A concert featuring Grammy and Tony award winner Heather Headley will take place in the ruins of the Great Stone Church, followed by dinner in the Mission courtyard catered by the Ritz-Carlton. Funds raised from this event support historic preservation of the Mission.

Then on Sunday, Sept. 17, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society will hold its 31st Annual Heritage BBQ from 3-6 p.m. on the grounds of the O’Neill Museum on Los Rios Street. This annual event recognizes local people who have contributed to our society. We celebrate the Native Americans and the Hispanic community who have enriched this area with their culture and traditions.

Cost for the BBQ is $40 per person or $75 per couple. Reservations are needed.

This year we are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of Camp Pendleton by honoring WWII heroes who still reside in our town. Jim Behmerwohld served in the Navy; Bill Hardy is a Naval Air ace pilot, and Don Tryon was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. Memorabilia from these heroes and other servicemen and women is on display at the Leck House as part of our current Camp Pendleton exhibit.

Bob Kline, local award-winning director and producer, has produced a film on the history of Camp Pendleton. While there have been over 20 motion pictures made on the base since 1942, there has never been a film made on the history surrounding the Camp. Pendleton at 75 will explore how special this base is in the history of our community.

On Monday, Sept. 25, the Historical Society will host a fundraiser at El Adobe de Capistrano, which will include the premier of Bob Kline’s film. The dinner and movie will be $75 per person or $150 per couple. Tables of 10 are available for $650.

Tickets for both of these events are available at the O’Neill Museum at 3183 Los Rios Street. For further information, call the Historical Society at 949.493.8444.

Proceeds from both of these events support historic preservation at the Historical Society. The society’s current project, restoring the Silvas Adobe, is almost completed. Guests at the BBQ will have the opportunity to walk through the restored adobe for the first time. While the major work has been completed, there is still much to do to finish this project. Monies raised from these two functions will ensure that the society’s preservation efforts will be able to continue.

You can spend a “Moment in Time” by supporting the Mission and the Historical Society. You will enrich your understanding of San Juan Capistrano while helping to ensure the preservation of our history, our culture and our traditions for future generations.

Jan Siegel is a 28-year resident of San Juan Capistrano. She served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 13 years and has been a volunteer guide for the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library’s architectural walking tour for 18 years. She was named Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005, Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and was inducted into the city’s Wall of Recognition in 2007.

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