New York, NY. Patxi (as he was know by many at the Basque club), his sympathy and his work had become an important part of the institution. Eusko Etxea, after thinking about it, has decided to keep the call "as he would have wanted," although changing its format. The traditional Aberri Eguna lunch has been canceled and Eusko Etxea will open at 13:00 hours the doors of the house in a Aberri Eguna celebration that will include words to remember the Basque Homeland but also alluding to the fatal accident and the figure of Francisco 'Patxi' Bazurto.
The death of Bazurto has certainly caused a stir in the New York Basque club. Just one day before the accident Eusko Etxea had completed work on the current phase of remodeling its facilities and Patxi Bazurto had served as contractor, as a professional and friend, at this important moment for the Basque club. Saturday was time for cleaning to prepare and condition the local for nest Sunday's Aberri Eguna. Who would imagine that next day a tragedy was going to happen?
The accident occurred Sunday night, with the result of the death of Francisco Bazurto, 42, being very serious injured a Basque from Euskal Herria 47, who was visiting, and a third person, a woman of 37 years old, also European, who is in recovery. From these lines, we want to send our depest condolences and a big hug to Patxi's wife, Jessy, and their children Kirsten and Justin.
EuskalKultura.com has talked on Monday and throughout this week with members of Eusko Etxea, who barely could hold back their tears when talking about the loss of Francisco. Itziar Albisu had to cancel an interview with a Basque radio. She, along with other members of the Board do not hesitate to qualify Patxi of "a really beautiful person,"
Iban Ubarretxea, president of EENY, described Francisco as "a valued member of Eusko Etxea of New York. Good natured, generous in spirit and with a jovial temperament, Francisco was always ready to help and full of positive energy. His love for Basque culture and passion for Athletic Club were inspiring. As and experienced contractor he was instrumental in coordinating the recent renovation work at our club. We could not have done it without him."
"On a more personal level Francisco and I worked very closely for the good of Eusko Etxea during the last year. He was always caring, polite and extremely generous. I am proud to call him my friend and will miss him dearly", he said, adding that "Our thoughts and hearts are with his wife and two children. "Lankide eta lagun bat, lagun on bat joan zaigu" (we have lost a friend, a good friend).
The wake for Francisco Bazurto will be held on Thursday from 4-9 pm at Rivera Funeral Home (104-32 37th Avenue, Corona, NY 11368 Phone: 718.457.0200). A Funeral Service will be held at the same funeral home on Saturday (please call the funeral home for further information).
Those wishing to make a donation to the family please do so through the paypal account that set up by Eusko Etxea on its website www.newyorkbasqueclub.com.
Changes for Aberri Eguna
Due to the facts described, the commemoration of Aberri Eguna 2016 in EENY has undergone some changes. This is the message sent by the New York Basque Club:
"In view of the sad news of the death of Francisco Bazurto, the directorate of Eusko Etxea of New York has decided to change the format of the upcoming Aberri Eguna on March 27th. As you know, Eusko Etxea of New York has celebrated the day of our "Fatherland day" every year since its creation, and we are convinced that Francisco, who was looking forward to this event, would want us to celebrate it."
"In order to maintain this important tradition and at the same time pay homage to Francisco we will celebrate the Aberri Eguna this year, but will cancel the main dinner event. On March 27th at 1 pm we will open the doors of our club to the public. Everybody will be welcomed. The bar will be open and we will serve pintxos/tapas. Together we will be able to remember Francisco as a lively, generous and respected member of our club. At the same time, we will gather united to celebrate our culture and country. This will be a free event paid by Eusko Etxea."
"Please bring your children and come to pay homage to Francisco and to celebrate Aberri Eguna with us on Sunday March 27th. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Itziar Albisu (201.214.9649 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com) in order to better calculate the food and drinks needed for the event."