Opinion 26 Ashburton Guardian
Saturday, November 26, 2016
There are good people James Ford
016 has certainly been a year to remember on a global scale. A quick glance back over the past 11 months offers more drama and controversy than arguably the past decade. On all fronts, from natural disasters, politics, sport and even celebrity deaths, it’s been a turbulent one. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to the White House. The Brits chose Brexit. We lost Prince, Bowie, Rickman, Ali and yesterday one of our own in Bill Skelton. This isn’t a wrap of the year by any means. But it has been a year, so far, that has left many questioning the decisions and behaviour of others. It’s been testing, to say the least. But one news story jumped out at me this week and renewed some of the faith this year has taken. Yesterday, all 80 residents of the sleepy Spanish village of Cerezales del Condado became millionaires. Their new financial situation was not brought on by a lotto syndicate, but rather the kindness of a former local. Antonino Fernández was born in poverty in Cerezales del Condado in 1917 as the 11th of 13 children. When he died at age 99 in August, Fernández’s financial situation was the polar opposite – he was a billionaire. After emigrating to Mexico in 1949 he went on to become CEO of Grupo Modelo, the brewery company which makes Corona beer. Corona Extra is the second most imported bottled beer to the United States. Decades after leaving, Fernández considered those that remained in a colourful and eccentric will. He left $169 million to the residents of Cerezales del Condado – approximately $2 million each. The community that he knew growing up as a poor child will never be the same again. In death he changed the lives of his own people for the better by ridding them of financial worry. It was a commendable and thoughtful act that also offers a wholesome message to us all. It may not seem like it in our darkest moments, but there are, and always will be, good people. So when we feel at our most disenfranchised, there’s probably someone thinking of us warmly.
YOUR VIEW Plains Railway Day We wish to thank everyone involved in our recent visit to The Plains Railway – the Ashburton Vintage Car Club for the wonderful rides (Lots of reminisc-
ing there) and the MSA Band for entertaining while we had afternoon tea. Thank you also to all of the Plains Museum volunteers and the Lynn Woodwork Museum. Also the train drivers and helpers for making everyone’s
day memorable. And lastly thank you to the Plains Rotary for financially supporting the train rides. The staff, volunteers and members, Park Street Day Centre
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Ashburton Guardian, Saturday, November 26, 2016