Palma.—Members of the 5.000-plus strong crew on board the United States aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is moored in the Bay of Palma, yesterday volunteered to help carry out some much needed repairs to the birthplace of Fray Juniper Serra, the founder of present day California, in Petra.

Accompanied by the President of the Association of Friends of Fray Juniper Serra, the former United States Consular Agent Tummi Bestard, his successor, Amy Christiansen and US naval officials, the volunteers spent the day carrying out a series of internal and external chores at the Fray Juniper Serra Museum and the house in which Fray Juniper Serra was born.

Serra first travelled to Mexico to teach in 1749 and on March 12, 1768, he embarked from the Pacific port of San Blas on his way to the Californias.
Once he arrived, he began setting up a string of missionaries and parishes, many of which still operate today.
Serra's history is part of the school curriculum in California as he is considered the founding father of the State and for decades, ever since the United States Navy has been visiting Majorca, groups of sailors and Marines have always volunteered to help renovate and preserve the museum and his birthplace in Petra.

For many, in particular the Californians, it is also a pilgrimage to their roots and this is what Bestard is now looking to promote in California to encourage tourists to come to Majorca and pay homage to their founding father and visit his humble upbringing.


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