On July 7, during the National Basque Fetival in Elko, Eureka resident Jim Ithurralde was awarded the Bizi Emakorra, or lifetime achievement award, along with Bob Goicoichea of Elko. Current members of the North American Basque Organization (NABO) current delegates vote on the idea and is presented to people who have made an extraordinary contribution to Basque Culture in the United States.
NABO is celebrating its 40th year. NABO is a service organization and its prime purpose is the preservation, protection and promotion of the historical, cultural and social interests of Basques in the United States. Its motto is “Because they were, we are, and because we are, they will be.” There are more than 40 Basque clubs that belong to this organization.
Ithurralde was one of the original organizers of NABO being its first treasurer and its second president. Ithurralde said they first met in Reno in 1973 with a dubious proposal, considering the historical context in which Basque had never been united, neither in the Old Country nor the New World. We hoped to forge a federation and creates a network with the larger Basque community of the United States. He is proud of this organization for what it has accomplished through the years. He is also a veteran Basque festival Master of Ceremonies for more than 40 years, announcing festivals in Elko, Ely, Reno and Winnemucca.