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Living Legends

Nancy Lees
Inducted on November 16, 2013

Nancy Lees Nancy Armentor Lees was born in New Iberia in 1955 the daughter of Minos Armentor and Mina Bowers. In 1983, she married Jonathan Lees and moved away from Louisiana but never severed her connection with her southwest Louisiana roots. She and Jonatham subsequently had two children. She is actively involved in the online genealogy community and has volunteered research assistance for the Friends of the Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery, the First United Methodist Church of New Iberia 1867 Quilt Project, and was a member of the Iberia Cultural Resources Association book committee for New Iberia - What Can't Be Lost: Stories and Recollections from Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Although her Louisiana ancestors were of Acadian and Spanish descent, as a native of New Iberia, she had a particular interest in her Spanish ancestry. She and her cousin Norman Carnahan, another New Iberia native living out of state, established an online connection with José Manuel de Molina, a historian from Alhaurín de la Torre, Spain. This connection led to their assisting with the translation of Chapter VII in his book, Historia de Alhaurín de la Torre en la Edad Moderna 1489-1812. The chapter is in both English and Spanish and is dedicated to the Malagueńos who founded Nueva Iberia. The Villatoro/now Viator and Garrido/now Gary families of New Iberia were natives of Alhaurín de la Torre.

Lees and Carnahan started a long distance campaign to connect with those in New Iberia who could help to establish a twin city relationship with Alhaurín de la Torre. Their persistent, behind-the-scenes, long distance efforts led to a renewed interest in New Iberia’s Spanish origins.
On April 21, 2009, many years after their first correspondence with José Manuel de Molina, he and Alhaurín de la Torre city officials Marina Bravo Casero, Manuel López Mestanza, and Remedios Cueto Millán came to New Iberia for the first part of a twinning or hermanamiento agreement between New Iberia and Alhaurín de la Torre. The Consul General of Spain in New Orleans, Daniel Chamorro, attended the ceremony. In April of 2011, Mayor Hilda Curry of New Iberia and a group of local citizens traveled to Alhaurín de la Torre to complete the twinning/hermanamiento of the two cities.

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