Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Federación Australiana de Pelota Vasca

The initial data on the arrival of Basques in Australia dates from 1907. However it was during the years 1958 to 1960 when the highest number of Basques were migrating to Australia. The Government sponsored operations titled “Kangaroo”, “Eucalyptus” and “Emu” resulted in the emigration of Basques, who along with the Italians, settled in the northern state of Queensland to cut sugar cane. A prime destination was the town of Ingham.
Amongst the many traditions that were maintained by Basques who migrated to Australia, handball (pelota) was a particular favourite. It was there at the Mendiolea family farm, on a back wall, that this most favoured of pastimes began its life in North Queensland. Eventually a more substantial court and venue was established at the Trebonne Hotel. This favoured meeting place for Basques in the Ingham region was where they used to dance, sing and play mus (traditional Basque card game).
The fronton in Trebonne is currently declared as a Cultural Heritage site by the Queensland government and serves as a training facility for a new generation of handball players.

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