SAINT AUGUSTINE – The Pilot Club of St. Augustine hosted a Datil Pepper Tea April 27 honoring the Ponce family as one of the highlights of the afternoon. Textile artisans Candy Fleming and Sharon Parsons allowed patrons to step back in time, as they displayed textile artistry of yesterday. Also welcomed as guests were two members of the 2019 Royal Family of the Easter Festival: Tiffany Louise Glover Root, portraying Queen Mariana; and Treven Severis Rogero, King Carlos. The Royal Family portrays the ruling family in Spain in 1672, the year construction was begun on St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos, and trio members are selected from the heritage natives of the city.
David Ponce Jr. represented the Ponce family, accepting a proclamation from the Pilot Club saluting his late grandfather, Jimmy Ponce Sr., for the senior Ponce’s devotion to his native city and helping spread the story of the city’s history during his lifetime.
Honored Pilot guests included Florida District Governor Lynne Stephenson, member and past president of the St. Augustine club; Diana Kingree, governor-elect of the Florida District; and Missy Ridgway, lieutenant governor of the North/Central region.
Leslie Coleman, a past lieutenant governor of the district and past president of the St. Augustine club, developed the recipe for the Datil Pepper Tea. Datil Pepper is a very hot pepper native to the St. Augustine area and used in numerous foods ranging from rice dishes to hors d’oeuvre and dessert treats.
Sara Hetherington, also a past president of the St. Augustine Club and a former lieutenant governor, coordinated of the refreshments for the tea, held at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center.
Past Florida district governor Rene Naughton was the official greeter for the afternoon event, and she and husband Peter checked in guests as they arrived.
Tadzia Alexander, president of the St. Augustine club, presided over the afternoon events.