Mervine Kahn documentary project kicks off fundraiser

MAJOR DONATION toward the production of a second documentary on the legacy of Mervine Kahn was presented Wednesday, May 21, by Cathy Bordner, left, to Martha Royer, president of the Rayne Historical District Association. (Acadian-Tribune Photo by Paul Kedinger)

CHAMBER DONATION: On behalf of the Chamber’s directors, Fran Bihm, third from left, presented a donation to Willie Etta Servat, second from left, of the Rayne Historical District Association. They were joined by documentary officials Mister Mojo and Bart Wild, on the right, and Mayor Roland Boudreaux, on the left. (Acadian-Tribune Photo by Paul Kedinger)

By PAUL KEDINGER
Managing Editor

The Rayne Historical District Association officially began the second phase of its Mervine Kahn Legacy Project on Monday morning, May 19, with a news conference at Maison Daboval.
Last year,  the Association premiered  its 30-minute video documentary that featured recollections and comments gathered during some 30 interviews conducted with former employees  of the multi-faceted store located on Louisiana Avenue.
Highlight of the gathering of local supporters was the announcement of two donations, from the Rayne Chamber of Commerce and the Johnston family, whose father, Guy Johnston served as vice president of Stamm-Scheele.
On behalf of the Rayne Chamber board of directors, Executive Director Fran Bihm presented a donation to Willie Etta Servat, Mister MOJO, Bart Wild, collaborators on the Legacy Project. They were joined by Mayor Roland Boudreaux.
Bihm also announced that the Chamber would provide a letter of support to aid the Association in securing funding.
The second donation was presented two days later by Cathy Bordner, who traveled from Jefferson City, Mo. with what Martha Royer, who heads the Association, termed a “major contribution.”
Mrs. Bordner presented the donation on behalf of herself, her brother, Tucker Johnston of Carencro, and sisters, Vicky Loubiere of Metarie and Mayette Johnston of Greenville, S.C.
The second phase of the Legacy Project will focus on the importation of German accordions by Mervine Kahn and their impact on most of Louisiana’s original Cajun and Creole accordion musicians and cultural heritage.
Royer explained the video producers have made contact with several area musicians who possess some of the original accordions sold by Mervine Kahn Company.
The documentary will be entitled Histoire des Cajun et Créole  Accordéons.

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