On Monday, February 22, 2021, our Altrusan Brian Bowman received the prestigious de Aviles Award from the City of St. Augustine City Commission. The de Aviles Award is presented to those who have been ‘identified in the field of public service or those well-known and respected by the citizenry who have dedicated and honorable service to the community of St. Augustine and St. Johns County.’
Brian has been a member of Altrusa since 2012 – he is actually our first male member. But prior to his officially joining our club, Brian has been involved with us alongside his wife Louise who has been a member for over 40 years. Throughout his involvement with our club, Brian has always been there to volunteer from reading applications for our scholarships to providing the tools and help for our highway cleanups to bringing his re-enacting characters as escorts for our models at our annual fashion show.
Brian’s other contributions to our community are many. He has been a presenter of living history since the 1970s, currently serving as the President of the Historic Florida Militia, St. Augustine’s prestigious historic re-enactors’ organization. As a re-enactor, Brian has represented many historic characters – from Ponce de Leon landing in Florida throughout St. Augustine history to Victorian times; but he prefers to portray common people such as 16th century soldiers.
St. Augustine Vice-Mayor, Nancy Sikes-Kline said in her nomination of Brian for the de Aviles Award, ‘Mr. Bowman’s personal dedication for over 35 years of service to the preservation and restoration efforts of St Augustine’s Living history, stands out as one of the most continuously visible efforts in our community.’ Her nomination also recognized his ‘long-standing service bringing awareness to the fact that historic preservation is more than saving historic structures and sites. Historic preservation is also about preserving cultures in tangibles ways through living history.’
Brian is currently employed by the Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park where he serves as the Facilities Assistant Manager and is the thatcher of American Indian and European buildings of 1565 landing moment. Brian has been instrumental in making the facilities of the Park available to our club for our meetings and for the planting of the beautiful magnolia tree recognizing the work of Altrusans in St. Augustine.