What a Knight

By Richard Mineards   |   May 2, 2019
Geoffrey Bolton, Trinh Huyhn, Gonzalo Sarmiento, Commander David Bolton and his mother Donna Long, and Ambassador Javier Vallaure and his daughter Mayara Vallaure (photo by Priscilla)

Pride, pomp and pageantry, ceremonial and color marked the moment David Bolton, Santa Barbara-based executive director of the California Missions Foundation, was installed with one of Spain’s highest civilian orders at the Presidio by the country’s Los Angeles consul-general Javier Vallaure.

The Royal Order of Isabel la Catolica, a red-enameled cross in a gold frame signifying a knighthood granted by King Felipe VI, Grand Master of the order that harks back to 1815 – the date of the Battle of Waterloo –, was attached to a yellow and white ribbon, which fit extremely snuggly around dashing David’s neck, as he followed in the steps of fellow honorees including Queen Elizabeth‘s children, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne, and tenor Placido Domingo.

Knighthood celebration committee Cindy Makela, Linda Rosso, and Betty Ann Denier (photo by Priscilla)
Bob and Holly Murphy enjoying the Cena de la Celebracion for David Bolton (photo by Priscilla)

Paul Vercammen was master of ceremonies, while David’s brother, Geoffrey, brought out a ceremonial sword that had belonged to their grandfather, followed by a decidedly loud cannon salute, with the U.S. national anthem sung by Chelsey Chaves and the Spanish anthem played by John Ernest.

The impressive occasion, which, fittingly enough, coincided with Santa Barbara’s founding day by the Spanish in 1782, was followed by a stately candelabra-decorated 132-guest dinner in the Presidio Chapel with two lengthy banqueting table running the length of the historic building.

Guests, quaffing a variety of wines and champagne, feasted on seafood, vegetable, and chicken paella, with desserts of almond infused torta, decorative tulle, vanilla sauce, raspberry, coulis, and fresh bay leaf soubise, prepared by culinary whiz Pete Clements.

Gonzalo Sarmiento, David Bolton, and Javier Vallaure, Spain’s Consul General Ambassador, ready to dine with guests (photo by Priscilla)

“It truly is a great honor and I share with everyone the effort to recognize Spain’s legacy in the Americas and to also help preserve the buildings, culture and traditions of the Spanish people,” said David, a 50-year resident of our Eden by the Beach, who attended Montecito Union and Santa Barbara High schools.

Among the fashionably dressed hoard helping “Don” David celebrate the occasion were Gonzalo Sarmiento, Carlos Corecedo, Luis Gonzalez, Carter and Victoria Hines, Ricardo and Dinah Calderon, Bob and Holly Murphy, Sharon Bradford, KEYT-TV sports reporter Mike Klan, Craig Case, John Palminteri, Roger and Debby Aceves, Patricia Hines, Rhonda Henderson, Laurie Leis, Dacia Harwood, Stephanie Petlow, Robert Easton, and Kevin and Denise Speer.


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