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“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends” John Churton Collins

ISSUE 36

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Saturday 05 May 2012

LA OROTAVA ‘BECOMES URUGUAY’ FOR FILM Town’s historic building converted into Montevideo hotel ◗La Orotava is well-known for the old-style flavour of its town centre but even locals have been surprised by the trip back in time experienced thanks to the shooting of a film set in the 1930s. In another big coup for the Tenerife Film Commission, actors and extras des-

cended on the northern town to film scenes for a new Serbian film that tells the story of the Yugoslavia football team at the first ever World Cup in Uruguay. Called Montevideo 1930, the film stars familiar Hollywood face Armand Assante. Santa Cruz and La Laguna

have already been used as settings and the crew returned to Tenerife last week for more shooting, this time at La Orotava’s landmark Liceo Taoro, which was converted into the luxury hotel used by the Yugoslav team during the historic football tournament.

TOURISM

Gran Meliá Palacio celebrates ‘best’ award ◗A Tenerife hotel is celebrating its designation as the best of its kind in Spain, following a poll by readers of Condé Nast. The Gran Meliá Palacio in Guía de Isora was voted Best Resort in the travel publication’s prestigious Traveller Awards. General manager Carlos Martins said he was delighted at the news, which rewards the committed efforts made by the Gran Meliá to offer high quality in all its services, from the wellness centre and spa to its rooms and restaurants.

CRIME

Hoaxer arrested after making ‘killing’ calls ◗A man who triggered a police hunt after calling the emergency services 112 number to confess he had killed someone and was about to do the same again has been arrested and charged with making false reports and wasting police time. Two calls made by the hoaxer were traced to public telephone boxes in Las Chafiras and San Isidro. The man reported that he had been attacked by two individuals but ‘had managed to stab one’.

A scene shot at the much-changed Liceo Taoro, which was used as a luxury hotel for the period film. / DA

CARNIVAL

ECONOMY

MAY DAY RALLY FIGURES HOTLY DISPUTED

Bollywood theme sets early pace in public vote ◗The poll to choose the theme for the 2013 Santa Cruz Carnival is proving a hit with the public, judging by the number of votes cast in the opening days of the poll, which ends tomorrow. The early leader is Bollywood, ahead of the World of Cartoons and Africa.

Protestors marched on the city centre in the May Day rally. / DA www.diariodeavisos.com/thesupplement

◗The turn-out for the 1 May demonstration staged by trade unions in Santa Cruz varied considerably depending on the source of the information. While the

unions insisted that 20,000 people had taken part in the protest march, police put the figure at 10,000 and the national government’s office here at just 5000.


2 The Supplement

Saturday 05 May 2012

GANDY COMPLETES ISLAND WALK CHALLENGE Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

An Englishman who last week completed a 3-week fund-raising walk across all seven Canary Islands doubts he will try a similar feat on foot again, even though he found it extremely rewarding. 48-year-old businessman Alan Gandy hit on the idea of tackling the 400 km trek after his successful walk from Orzola to Playa Blanca on Lanzarote in February 2011, but the choice was far from automatic. ‘People were asking me ‘what next?’ but I didn’t have any plans to follow that walk up. It had just been something I wanted to do and I saw the opportunity to make some money for charity doing it. But as time went by I came to think maybe I should do something else. Initially I thought of Fuerteventura but came to the conclusion that I had to challenge myself a bit more and do all seven islands’ said Alan in an interview with The Supplement hours after completing the final leg on El Hierro. His Siete Islas Walk, details and pictures of which he posted regularly on the dedicated Facebook page charting his progress as he kept to his 30km daily target, proved to be much more than a test of physical endurance to raise thousands of euros for two charities. Indeed, the time spent on the road served another useful purpose: ‘alone for so long doing something like this, your mind clears of a lot of the day-to-day things that preoccupy normal

life. You end up making plans for the future and have the opportunity to take a look at your life on a more philosophical level. I’ve come back with a few ideas of things I’d like to change, nothing drastic just a few minor adjustments’. The primary goal of the walk was, of course, to raise money for the two charities chosen as the beneficiaries of his solo adventure. Niños del Tercer Mundo is a Lanzarote charity, whose work has really impressed Alan. Their current major project is to build a hospital that will provide basic medical services that are currently unavailable to a number of villages in a remote part of Kenya. The Rose Road Association provides a wide range of services to severely disabled children and their families. ‘Rose Road was suggested by a friend and great guy, Geoff Holt, who does huge

The gruelling walk raised several thousand euros for two deserving charities Alan Gandy pictured on El Hierro, the last leg of his 7 Island Walk. / ALAN GANDY

amounts for charity and is an inspiration to many. At the time I asked him to pick one of the charities he was involved with that I could support. I’ve since got to know the guys there and more about the incredible work they do’, explained Alan.

On his return to Lanzarote, his home for six years now, the web designer paid tribute to his wife Elle, who played a key organisational role by booking hotels for him along the way and sorting out other information required, and to Mitch Mitchell, the local

fitness trainer who devised a programme specifically designed for long-distance walking. Alan’s detailed recollections of the seven islands and the challenges encountered on each include many steep ‘barrancos’, which were a major problem for

him due to his long-standing fear of heights. By his own admission, however, his toughest time was a cold, windy and rainy day suffered in the hills of La Gomera, although he still fell in love with the island and intends to holiday there soon with Elle.

Los Realejos May fireworks on worldwide view thanks to Internet Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Los Realejos fireworks are famous throughout the Canaries. / M. P.

Thursday’s annual fireworks show in Los Realejos was watched not just by the usual large crowd of locals and visitors to the northern town but also by an audience of several thousand worldwide, thanks to live streaming of the event on Internet. The display, which is the highpoint of the town’s 3 May fiestas, is the biggest anywhere in the Canaries and one of the biggest in the entire country. It is a

source of great pride to locals, who have dug deep into their pockets again this year to retain it in all its glory despite the current economic climate. A special window inserted on the Ayuntamiento website allowed people originally from Los Realejos but now living elsewhere to watch every second of the impressive spectacle. Although exact viewing figures are not available yet, the council is hopeful of beating last year’s number of hits (just over 3000) for the web coverage.

Los Realejos is home to the Toste Brothers firm, which was founded in 1788 and is believed to be the earliest firework-maker in the Canaries. The origins of the gigantic display lie in the 18th-century rivalry between two districts in the town -one populated by the landed gentry and the other by the peasants who worked the land- to see who could set off the most impressive sequence of fireworks. The goodnatured rivalry continues today and is at the heart of much of the festivities programme.


Saturday 05 May 2012

The Supplement

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA FAME FOR LA LAGUNA STUDENTS

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‘Cabildo chiefs should run Canaries’ says Tavío

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife

A La Laguna amateur dramatics group with a difference is celebrating its latest success, this time the staging of the wellknown Phantom of the Opera musical made famous by Andrew Lloyd-Weber. Called LookUs, the group is based at the city’s Official School of Languages and its musicals have played a crucial part in English language learning there for almost a decade. The seven performances so far of the Phantom have drawn large audiences not just from within the school but from colleague centres elsewhere on the island. Preparations for the mid-April debut of the show began in July 2011, when LookUs director and school deputy head Ricardo Fernández sat down with his inhouse designers to plan the set and costumes. Rehearsals began in September and ran every Monday until a few weeks before opening night, when extra weekend sessions were added. The cast of the musical runs to an impressive 26, of whom 5 are teachers and the rest past and present students of English. The all-important 26th member is

The debate on the need for vastly reduced layers of government in the Canaries has heated up again this week as reaction mounts to a proposal by the leader of the Popular Party (PP) in Tenerife to do away with the regional government in its curent format and replace it with an administration made up of the presidents of the seven island Cabildos. Cristina Tavío, who is a regional MP, said the Cabildo bosses would do ‘a better and cheaper job’ of running the regional government. The suggestion has met with swift reaction, most of it negative, including from Tavío’s PP boss, Spanish energy minister José Manuel Soria, who said the proposal was ‘purely personal thoughts on her part’ but did not reflect current policy in the party. The suggestion coincides with fresh calls in some quarters for local government to be trimmed through compulsory mergers of small town councils and/or the closure of some island corporations.

A recognisable moment from the Phantom of the Opera musical staged by amateur dramatics group LookUs. / DA

Lucas, a small dog (miniature schnauzer) who has appeared in every one of the group’s productions since its creation in 2004 (Grease, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia, West Side Story, Nine and now, The Phantom of the Opera). The group’s early days saw shows which were less ambitious than the current challen-

ging productions. ‘To put into practice in a real context the English the students were learning, we organsied shorter, sketch-type shows and it was only after two years that we decided to make the step up to fullblown productions’ Fernández told The Supplement. The annual productions have led to fame not just in Tenerife,

thanks to the performances in towns from Icod to Los Cristianos, but also internationally. The school’s participation in a European Grundtvig exchange programme brought the novel language-practice method to the attention of English teachers from Finland, Latvia and Portugal, who were highly impressed with the initiative.

SPORT

Hopes soar after Oviedo win

Marathon runner ‘wins’ London place

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Second spot in the table is not beyond reach for a Tenerife side rejuvenated by last week’s convincing win against close rivals Oviedo. The 3-0 victory not only put daylight between the two in the race for a play-off spot but has kindled hopes that Tenerife may be coming good at exactly the right time in their bid to return to Division 2 after the humiliation of having to turn out in Division 2B this year. More importantly, it closed the fracture that saw fans turn on the team after poor previous performances. With two games to go, beginning at 10th-placed Marino Luanco on Sunday evening, the islanders need three points to be guaranteed one of the four playoff spots but the players are optimistic that they can even pip Lugo for the runner-up berth, which would give them a much kinder play-off draw. Hero last Sunday was Jorge Perona, who hit a hat-trick against his old club Oviedo and treated fans to three trademark post-goal

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife’s in-form Jorge Perona celebrates one of his three goals. / DA

somersaults. Perona is the club’s highest scorer this season with 14 goals and has earned automatic renewal of his contract for another year, although media reports this week say he may be tempted to move to Cartagena. Credit for the much-improved performance must also go to midfielder Richi Kitoko, who played his first game in two months following the injury which sidelined him back in February. Kitoko’s presence added much-needed bite and urgency to the midfield and he was clearly delighted to be back

to contribute to the final push for promotion. Equally impressive was defender Sergio Rodríguez, who fully justified manager Quique Medina’s brave decision to drop usual right-back Cristóbal. Rodríguez said afterwards that the season had been hard for him because he has had little opportunity since his arrival last summer. ‘I never gave up hope and I am glad to have been able to help. I felt great until the last five minutes, when the pitch began to take its toll on me’ he said afterwards.

Barring a last-minute change of heart by the Spanish Athletics Federation, Canarian marathon runner José Carlos Hernández looks almost certain to make his international debut for Spain at the highest possible level in three months’ time. Hernández clocked the minimum required for the London Olympics with an impressive run in Barcelona at the end of March and has had to sit back and wait to see if his Spanish rivals could better his personal best time of 2.11:57. Two Spaniards, Chema Martínez and Iván Galán, flew to Germany for the Hamburg Marathon last week-end in a final bid to overtake the Canarian in the national rankings but neither came close to Hernández’s excellent time, leaving him second on the national list for this season and eligible for one of the three places available in the Spain marathon team for London. However, Hernández, winner of the Dublin 10 Mile Race last year,

Jose Carlos Hernández. / DA

faces an anxious wait to see if the Federation keeps to its promise to select the runners with the three best times or whether they prefer not to risk an athlete who is untried in top international competition. The 34-year-old Lanzarote-born athlete has been overlooked on one occasion already by Spain, at the world championships in Korea last summer, despite having achieved the required time, and will be keeping his fingers crossed that lightning does not strike twice.


4 The Supplement

Saturday 05 May 2012


The Supplement #36