Newton Warzecha has been a resident of Goliad for nearly twenty years and with his wife Suzi has contributed greatly to the development of the downtown business district, both economically and aesthetically.
His Community involvement is extensive and includes:
- President of the Goliad County Chamber of Commerce.
- Member of the City of Goliad Architectural Review Committee.
- Member of the Texas State Historical Association.
- Member of the Crossroads of Texas Living History Association
- President of the Goliad Heritage Council.
- President of The Presidio La Bahia Foundation
However, his major contributions fall within the history of the Presidio La Bahia. During the past eighteen years he has traveled all over South Texas giving lectures about
Presidio La Bahia and its place in the history of Texas. In June of 1991 he was asked to become the director of Presidio La Bahia and in the years since, he has revived the operation of the presidio, and put it on a self-supporting financial basis. He has conducted many programs and talks, both at the presidio and throughout South Texas. Along with The Crossroads of Texas Living History Association he produces the Goliad Massacre-Fort Defiance Living History program annually, the only event of its kind in Texas and has grown from admissions of 800 in 1990 to approximately 5500.
In 2000 he wrote the script and produced the award winning video Presidio La Bahia and its place in the History of Texas, which has been shown on public television. The video was first place winner in the Sons of the Republic of Texas La Bahia awards in 2001. The video was also a Gold Citation winner in the Texas Association of Museums Mitchell awards competition.
When a group made an attempt to change the history of Texas by demanding the word massacre not be used to describe what happened to Fannin and his men, Mr. Warzecha lead the fight to not change history just to satisfy a few. The fight was nasty and covered by local papers, Texas Monthly, the New York Times and the Fox television network. What happened is still called a massacre.
His more recent achievement is the 2010 completion of the revised Presidio La Bahia Museum where over 49,000 items and artifacts have been cataloged and many are displayed.
For those and other related activities–he has been honored with knighthood of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, and made an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas for his work in preserving and teaching the history of Texas. In 2009 the Sons of the Republic of Texas honored him as one of only 230 men who have been made a Knight of the Order of San Jacinto, which was founded by Sam Houston during the Republic of Texas era.
Newton and his wife Suzi make their home in one of the historic buildings on the courthouse square in Goliad.