A Book, Two Cities and One Destiny

St. Augustine Sister Cities Association and Flagler College presented Roman A. Alvarez and photographer Nardo Villaboy’s newest book on St. Augustine’s 90 year relationship with its sister city Avilés. This event took place on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, at 7:00 p.m in the Flagler Room.

First Coast.Tv got to talk with Roman A. Alvarez at the event.

The Voice of the Original People

First Coast.TV caught up with Sheldon Wolfchild, Steven Newcomb and Bill C. Billie at the St Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Lincolnville, St Augustine, were the film/documentary “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking The Domination Code” was screen to a packed church. After the film we got to speak to all three gentlemen.

This powerful and landmark documentary “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking The Domination Code” is a result of the collaborative efforts by Dakota filmmaker and Director Sheldon Wolfchild and Co-Producer Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape). The film, based on Newcomb’s thirty years of research, and his book Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008), brings to the big screen an amazing and little known story.

The first Christian people to locate lands inhabited by non-Christians (“infidels, heathens, and savages”) claimed the right to assert a right of domination to be in themselves. On the basis of this religiously premised argument, the U.S. Supreme Court has defined the land title of the Indian nations as a “mere right of occupancy” subject to a right of domination on the part of the United States. The first “Christian people” that claimed “ultimate dominion,” said the Supreme Court, could grant away the soil while yet it was still in the possession of the “natives, who were heathens.”

A Conversation with Two Authors

First Coast.TV got to sit down with authors Judith Y. Sherrer and Derek B. Hankerson. We had a conversation about their new book “Belonging: The Civil War’s South We Never Knew”.
It is their second book of a trilogy, with the third book still to come.

Pedro Menendez at the Fountain of Youth

On the grounds of the Fountain of Youth a statue of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St Augustine’s founder was unveiled, where on September 8th, 1565, 450-years earlier, the Spanish conquistador actually stood.

Sculpted by local renaissance man Chad Light, the cast bronze statue is six feet tall, weighs nearly 400 pounds and is finished in a custom French brown patina that brings out the statue’s fine details. The figure is positioned so that Menendez appears to be surveying his St. Augustine Settlement of 1565. The work of art stands atop a coquina-faced concrete pedestal with a bronze plaque detailing Menendez’s founding of America’s First Colony on the grounds of what is now the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Surrounding the statue is a circular coquina tabby area which will host guests in afternoon shade. A semicircle of flags portraying the five major historical eras of St. Augustine curve behind the statue area. Benches will soon be installed.




MLK Jr. Comes to the Potter’s Wax Museum

The Potter’s Wax Museum here in St. Augustine is adding another figure to its collection of wax figures. They have decided to add Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and have asked Rev. Ron Rawls of St Paul Church (A.M.E.) to be the body mold for the wax figure. First Coast.TV had a talk with Rev. Rawls before submitting his body to the artists and the cast process, and later we watched some of the process.
They already have the head done, but they will do a wax casting of his body from the neck down.
They don’t realize that this is the human being he has tried to model his ministry after. So this is a great honor for Rev. Ron Rawls and for the Potter’s Wax Museum.

The Obelisks and the Artists Behind Them / Part III

Once again First Coast.TV went to see some more obelisks in the Compassionate St Augustine Project. These obelisks (25) will eventually be put all around the City of St Augustine as part of the 450th celebration. The obelisks are still being worked on by the individual artists responsible for each of them. Each one of them are really wonders of art. In part III we talk to three more of these artists.

Dedication of First Muster Monument

On Friday, July 17, Representatives of the Florida National Guard, including Major General Michael Calhoun, Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard, dedicated a new monument commemorating the 450th anniversary of the First muster of militiamen in what is now the continental United States.
The monument is carved from a single monolithic block of local coquina and features an inset bronze plaque commemorating the historic muster, which took place on September 16, 1565. The monument stands close by where it is thought that the actual muster of militiamen took place four and a half centuries ago. The event took place at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

New Book on “Vilano and the North Beaches”

Sallie O’Hara talks about the new book “Vilano and the North Beaches”.                      We also talk to Mary Lou Usina who was born in Vilano.
Many came to purchase and have their books signed.

St. Augustine of Hippo’s Remains Arrive in St Augustine

After more than four years of planning and coordination with officials in Italy and at the Vatican, the Diocese of St. Augustine has acquired a major relic of our patron saint, Augustine of Hippo. It is on loan to the diocese for the 450th Anniversary celebration of the City of St. Augustine and the founding of America’s first Catholic Parish.
The official ceremony welcoming the relic of Saint Augustine is Solemn Vespers and was held on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine. Father Thomas Willis, rector of the Cathedral Basilica presided. The first opportunity for veneration of the relic was immediately following the ceremony.

The relic itself is a finger of Saint Augustine, which dates back to 430 A.D., and is encased in a reliquary (a container for holy relics) in the form of a crucifix made of silver and adorned with precious stones.

The Magnificent Seventeen

Rabbi Merrill Shapiro read the letter of the seventeen Rabbis that were arrested on June 18th 1964. They had come from the north of the US to help Martin Luther King in his struggle for civil rights and ended up in being arrested, and from the cell they wrote this letter titled “Why We Came”.

The reading of this letter on June 18th 2015 became so relevant after the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina on the 17th. letting us know that there is a ton of work still to be done, and that love and courage are part of the solution.