Mont LaSalle Visit with Br. Ray Suplido, FSC

By: Gilbert Talavera, Thursday, March 30th, 2017 11:23 pm PST
Filed under: Headlines!

On March 28, 2017, a beautiful Tuesday morning, Orly Mayor and myself picked up the top level DLSU contingent comprised of Br. Ray Suplido, President of De LaSalle University; Edwin C. Reyes, DLSU Director of Alumni Relations; and Dr. Derrick Ethelbert Yu, President of DLSAA – Philippines at the Cartwright hotel in downtown San Francisco. We headed to Mont LaSalle in Napa, California via the scenic route and made a quick stop at the Golden Gate Bridge vista point for some photo op. We tried to get across the other side of the bridge too. Local Bay Area folks know that the view on the north side of the bridge directly across the vista point along Concelman Rd. has the best view of the bridge bar-none!  Unfortunately, due to the recent rains, the parking lots on that side of the bridge were all closed and so off we went…..Napa Valley here we come!

Upon arriving at Mont La Salle, we were greeted by Br. Mark Murphy, Vice Chair of Operations, and also COO of the Lasallian Education Fund, among other hats he wears within the La Salle organization. He gave us a short tour of the recreational center, the brothers quarters and explained in detail the many historical events and items that were displayed in-house.  Numerous paintings, photos and memorabilia are displayed in the property.  Shortly after, we were met by both Br. Dominic Berardelli and Br. John O’Neil for a delicious lunch prepared by the Mont La Salle staff.  While Br. Dominic is based at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, he was sent at Mont La Salle to recuperate from a bout with the flu.  Powered by a two wheeled walker, Br. Dom aka Aquinas was full of energy and back to his usual brightness. Br. John aka Fidelis, himself recuperating from a recent cancer scare, is based full time at Mont La Salle.  The gathering was happy and the conversation non-stop with everyone reminiscing their days at Taft, LSGH and/or Lipa and sharing stories of their different assignments all over the world!  Br. Dominic and Br. John were once elementary Principals at LSGH and Taft back in the 60’s.

The visit did not end here. After lunch, the group was escorted next door to Hess Winery.  The winery was once part of the Christian Brothers brand, and now leased for 100 years to the Hess family.  We were given a tour of the gallery and finished off with a four-wine tasting.  It was so refreshing!

Before we said our goodbyes, Br. Mark gave us one last look at one of the three chapels in the property.  With stained glass windows from Germany, originally made back in the 1930’s, it has never broken a piece!  Would you believe that it only cost $300 to make them during that period?  So much history and little tidbits of information from Br. Mark!

Finally, the drive back to the Bay Area at around 4:30 PM is never complete without the rush hour traffic!  50 miles and two hours later, we were back in the Sunset district of San Francisco having Chinese food at one of my favorite hole-in-the wall spots.  Won Ton House anyone?

A very long day came to an end. Thanks to Orly Mayor for safely driving everyone back at the hotel.  A memorable day indeed!