A Tribute to Paul Temple
By Betse Davies and George Carlson
On February 29 of this year, Paul Temple, a beloved resident of San Miguel for over 30 years, died. Paul was one of the originators of the Patronato Pro Niños’ Historical Walking Tour. He came here with his wife Louise in 1982 and was puzzled by the lack of information that was easily accessible to newcomers about the history of San Miguel and its people and buildings. He set to work with Bert Fayne, Billie Bremer, and historian Bob Sommerlott to find this information. They developed it into a walking tour that could be given to newcomers while also providing funds for Patronato Pro Niños, which was providing medical and dental care to needy children in this area.
They were able to provide their first tour in 1989 to 3 people. They considered this a success because they collected 180 pesos for the niños. The following week six people showed up, but so did the police. After the realization that this tour was benefiting Patronato and the children, the tour was allowed to continue, and the next week 44 people showed up.
Paul was soft spoken, and the people on his tours would crowd in close so that they could hear every word that this man with such a great knowledge of San Miguel was giving them, along with the fun that came with his wry sense of humor. His son David pointed out that, knowing his father, he would laugh that having died on leap day, the anniversary of his death would only occur once every four years. His daughter Anne recalls that Paul centered his tour around a “piece of eight,” which he held up for the crowd to see. “All of Mexican history revolves around this silver coin,” he would say.
Betse Davies, who manages the tours today, says that when she has a difficult decision to make, it helps her to just think, “What would Paul do? What is best for the kids?”
The tour that they started has grown to be a mainstay for new people to the area who want to know about the history, culture, and stories of the historical people and buildings of San Miguel. It has also grown to be one of the major contributors to Patronato Pro Niños, which today provides medical, dental, and psychological care to over 10,000 children in this area per year. Thank you Paul!
Donations in memory of Paul can be made out to Patronato Pro Niños. For a US donation, the check must be made out to: FTC International Inc., our US 501c3 nonprofit foundation. For a Mexican donation, checks must be made out to: Patronato Pro Niños de San Miguel de Allende, A. C. Checks can be dropped off at Patronato Pro Niños mail box at La Conexión: Patronato Pro Niños, La Conexión, PMB 1103B, Aldama 3, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.