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Take Me




Kayode Damali




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Business Insight 10






Sports Insight




Features 21



















Culture Insight 51 52













History Insight 34

Regular Features







Gibraltar Insight Magazine July 2018. Editor: R Ford. Printed & published by GBZ Media Limited, Suite 1, 77 Main Street, Gibraltar GX11 1AA. +350 200 40913. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. The names Gibraltar Insight, Bermuda Insight & GBZ Media are marks of GBZ Media Limited. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Gibraltar Insight places great importance on the accuracy of the information contained within this publication, but cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. Views expressed by contributors and correspondents do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Gibraltar Insight or GBZ Media Limited are not responsible for any claims made, or material used in advertisements. Deposito Legal CA-955/07


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Childline launches WhatsApp service To coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week 2019, Childline launched WhatsApp support to enhance the number of ways children, young people and adults can make contact. With 40% of the contacts Childline received in 2017/2018 being concerned with Mental Health, the Charity felt that the timing was appropriate to launch this new, innovative way to contact them.

JOINT FORCES COMMAND VISIT General Sir Chris Deverell KCB MBE, Commander Joint Forces Command (ComdJFC) made a recent trip to the Rock and had a packed itinerary, meeting with British Forces Gibraltar personnel and their families. ComdJFC visited Four Corners where he was able to see, first hand, how much the Service Families Accommodation build project has progressed. Construction is nearing completion and will result in 150 families’ accommodation in one location, along with leisure facilities. The General also spent time at the Community Centre HELMPoint, to experience the community focal point for the families first-hand.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular, and cross-platform, messaging services in the world. Childline does not just provide support for teenagers and children. Adults with concerns about children can also contact Childline’s strictly confidential service. Support via WhatsApp phone number 58008288 will be live daily from 5pm to 9pm. The WhatsApp service will not support (video) calls.

WAYS TO CONTACT Freephone 8008 Live-chat function on And now WhatsApp 58008288

Alexei Borge (a member of the AGSU team) receiving the Commendation from ComdJFC

At RAF Gibraltar he presented a Commander JFC Commendation to the Airfield Ground Support Unit (AGSU), a team of 13 locally employed civilians.

ComdJFC meets with MOD Personnel and Families

Also present was Commodore Tim Henry, Commander British Forces Gibraltar, Station Commander, Wing Commander John Kane plus some personnel from RAF Gibraltar. Reflecting on the Commendation, Wing Commander Kane said: “I am extremely proud of the team and this recognition reflects their excellent dedication to duty”. The AGSU manager, Mr Alexei Borge, echoed the Station Commander’s comments. He was also very proud of his team, stating that the award will enhance the team’s confidence and cohesion. In addition, General Sir Chris Deverall also made a courtesy call on Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister HM Government of Gibraltar.

The AGSU was formally recognised in the New Year’s Honours List 2019 for their outstanding contribution to airfield safety and the operational output of RAF Gibraltar.

CBF and ComdJFC walk around the SFA at 4 Corners


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MEET RESILIENCE The beginning of February marked British Forces Gibraltar hosting the first ever Gibraltar Resilience Games, an event that saw military personnel competing to test their physical strength and mental resilience.




Fourteen tri-service athletes participated in various components of fitness, undertaking 3 individual workouts and team events over the course of the day, with hopes of scoring high enough on each event to be crowned the overall winner. Lt Col David King, Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, presented the winners with their certificates and prizes, and congratulated all the competitors on their sterling efforts. Discussions are already underway regarding organising a second Resilience Games.

Local firm makes sure Gib

charities have the Advantage Both GibSams and Childline were among the beneficiaries of the generosity of Advantage Insurance. They donated the proceeds from the sales of old equipment from their previous office, now that Midtown is their HQ. In addition, Clubhouse, Gibraltar Cricket and the Methodist Church also received support through the donation of further office supplies. Advantage, COO Steve Mumford commented: “We are delighted to be supporting both GibSams and Childline with these donations. Both of these charities are actively supported by our colleagues already and as well as raising money it was positive to see the items being put to good use�.


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This year’s Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games has welcomed Hassans International Law Firm on-board as its latest local blue-chip firm to sign up as a sponsor. The Island Games attracts athletes and attention from all over the globe and this year will be held on the Rock 6th-12th July. Fabian Vinet, Head of Commercial Operations for the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games, has warmly welcomed the announcement, saying: “As the largest law firm in Gibraltar and widely recognised as a successful, cutting-edge and internationally-focused company, it is a pleasure and privilege to have Hassans onboard. Their team have been hugely supportive and enthusiastic and this is an example of precisely the type of corporate partnership we have chosen to pursue. The Games promise to be the biggest and best sporting event ever held in Gibraltar; a

true spectacle that will show off to the 2,500 participants and other visitors not only our magnificent sporting facilities but indeed everything that this Rock of ours has to offer. We have a great team of committed individuals working behind the scenes to guarantee the success of this summer’s event and we have the full support of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and of course NatWest International as the title sponsors, but the wider community also has a role to play if it so wishes. We are grateful to all the sponsors that have already chosen to partner with the Games this year, with others to be announced over the coming weeks, and we would encourage other major corporate players like Hassans to join us in helping deliver an event the whole of Gibraltar will be justly proud of.” Speaking on behalf of Hassans International Law Firm, Managing Partner, Javier Chincotta, added:

“Hassans strongly believes in supporting the community. 2019 will see Hassans celebrate its 80th Anniversary. Throughout that time we have been fortunate to be able to sponsor a significant number and variety of causes and events both within Gibraltar and internationally. We are extremely proud and excited to participate as a Platinum Sponsor, and partner with, the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games. We are anticipating that many members of our staff will enjoy participating and volunteering during the course of the various events, as well as joining the wider community in attending and supporting what will no doubt be a momentous Games”.

WOMEN’S MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME DEBRIEF The Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, held a debriefing and networking session for all participants of the pilot cycle of the Ministry of Equality’s Women’s Mentorship Programme. It was announced on International Women’s Day 2018 by Minister Sacramento. It has been enthusiastically embraced by Gibraltar at large, and has been supported by a number of prominent organisations, including the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses, the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce, Girls in Tech Gibraltar, Women in Business, and EY Gibraltar.

Minister Sacramento said: “I am delighted to be able to address the participants of the programme and to hear their initial and positive feedback first hand. Everyone at the debrief and feedback session engaged positively and openly. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have participated in and contributed to the success of the programme, I am very pleased that the programme has been so well supported by a wide cross section of the community and that both mentors and mentees are reporting high levels of engagement and mutually enriching experiences.”

GIBRALTAR AT THE BERLIN MONEY FAIR Minister Sir Joe Bossano represented Gibraltar once again at this year’s Berlin Money Fair. Gibraltar has found itself somewhat a success at the event, where collectors’ items in coins and currency are traded, by once more selling out of all stock.

Addressing the forum in a peak slot between China and Canada, Minister Bossano unveiled plans for 2019 and reiterated that although the Rock will be leaving the EU, this would have no effect on Gibraltar’s ability to supply the market with innovative new products. A series of one-to-one meetings were held during the event to plan future issues with existing partners and create new partnerships, which will start producing business in 2019 and 2020. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Gibraltar’s World Trade Center opened its doors. The World Trade Centers Association has a global network of 320 World Trade Centers, in close to 90 countries and over 70 capital cities across the world. Gibraltar’s WTC enters its second year with 100% occupancy and over 1,700 people working in the building.


Gibraltar has become an important player in the northern European markets, as well as continuing strong links in an established market like the UK. One of the objectives for this year’s Fair was to fully embrace new contacts in the one-to-one meetings in order to facilitate extra opportunities in the United States and China.” MARCH 2019



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Young People to Young Leaders BALANCE FOR BETTER WITH WIB Women in Business (WIB) Gibraltar are organising a workshop event on the 4th March 2019 for young members of the community who will be invited to participate in a dynamic and innovative experience under the International Women’s Day banner, in collaboration with Her Worship the Major’s Office and the Department of Education. The aim is to create a space for young members in the community to freely discuss their views, hopes and aspirations for the future. Discussions will be facilitated by inspirational individuals from the local community who have already experienced interesting journeys that may serve to inspire our young people in their own personal journeys into their future life. Workshop leaders are HE Lt. General Ed Davis, Her Worship the Mayor of Gibraltar, Kaiane Aldorino Lopez, Lewis Stagnetto, Pat Orfila, Mark Randall and Nyreen Llamas. The participants will work together with the workshop facilitators and each other through dialogue and discussion to create a list of proposals and pledges which will be developed from the workshops to help promote diversity and positive change in our community.

The workshops are open to all students from school years 10 to 13 (GCSE and A Level students), irrespective of gender and currently in secondary, further or higher education. The event will take place from 5pm until 7:30pm at the Garrison Library as part of the International Women’s Day 2019 Campaign Theme ‘Balance for Better’. ‘Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a Balance for Better’.

Her Worship the Mayor and WIB share the vision that balance is the key towards advancing gender equality, a message which will resonate throughout the workshop sessions. WIB will produce a written document summarising the outcome of the workshop, and action points and recommendations taken from that summary will then be presented to the schools and young participants at a further event hosted by the Mayor in City Hall later in March.


It forms part of the renewal of an existing deal with distributors Saccone & Speed, which has been restructured to take into consideration the opportunities presented by the booming podcast global market. Experts point to pods exponential growth in recent years, helped by enhanced easeof-access to content through smartphone and tablet apps. They are an effective way to reach a mass audience, without the need for expensive (and complicated) broadcast systems. A spokesperson for the GLMS said, “We are extremely proud that Saccone & Speed believed in our goals from day one and more so now when it came to having the podcast sponsored by such a big franchise such as Coca Cola.” Saccone & Speed’s Associate Director Guy Povedano added, “Saccone & Speed are proud to support the Gibraltar Live Music Society with the good work they do in promoting Live Music and developing the talent of young musicians in Gibraltar.” You can download the twice-weekly podcast using apps such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 12

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BRITISH AIRWAYS BRITISH AIRWAYS IS A FAMILIAR SIGHT TO MOST GIBRALTARIANS HEADING TO THE AIRPORT WHEN THEY TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE UK. 2019 MARKS THE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF ONE OF BA’S FORERUNNER COMPANIES - AIRCRAFT TRANSPORT AND TRAVEL LIMITED - THAT HELPED SHAPE THE FAMILIAR AIRLINE THAT FLIES THE WORLD TODAY. As part of the celebrations, BA has returned to some of its roots. Two aircraft have been re-liveried in the designs of bygone days. The British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways companies consolidated previous company structures before merging themselves into one, and the British Airways brand was born. It is the colours of both these iterations of BA that have been applied to modern aircraft.


Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history. It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.” The aircraft sporting the retro designs can be tracked using Flight Radar, which will feature a special image of the livery, highlighting the special status of Boeing G-BYGC and Airbus G-EUPJ.

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OFFICE SPACE THE GIBRALTAR BUSINESS CENTRE Renting an office can be expensive and in a day-and-age where coworking has become an attractive alternative for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, there is now a huge demand for dedicated desks. Chris Bourne and his son Nicky offer flexible workspace solutions with dedicated desks available to rent at affordable rates. Set over two sites, in Main Street and in Tuckey’s Lane above Sacarello’s coffee shop, the Gibraltar Business Centre is Gibraltarian owned and run and has been operating for seven years having built a reputation for going above and beyond with its friendly service and free advice. “£200 a month is a standard charge with a month’s deposit up front. I haven’t altered the prices in seven years, and I have no intention of doing so,” Chris says. “I even print it on the back of my business cards to show this.” This is an all-inclusive charge, with no added electric, rates or service charges, the use of a kitchenette with free tea, coffee and water, separate toilets and cleaning services. “There is just one contract, and if a client stays with me for several years, that contract still stands.”


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Private office space can be a prohibitive cost for some, but renting a dedicated desk helps to establish a professional routine and makes people accountable and in the right mind-set to get work done, for example it could be a writer who can’t find a quiet space. “Although we primarily cater for the business market,” Chris explains, “we also rent desks to clients who want to get away from home to somewhere they can concentrate on what they are doing.” There are also larger companies, some based in the UK, that employ people locally, or businesses that work out on site, such as building firms, that need somewhere to do their paperwork. Renting a desk is also a perfect solution for clients who are winding down their business and don’t want to sign another threeyear contract for an office with all the added outgoings. “It’s a good option for someone looking to retire and who wants to scale things down.” Unlike some other companies where clients are allocated any desk that is free, with the Gibraltar Business Centre your name will be assigned to your own personal desk, and you can safely leave your laptop or any work-related items on your desk or, if you prefer, in a lockable storage area. Concentrating on giving his clients the best possible facilities, Chris is always putting money back into the business, upgrading facilities when he can by installing new telephone systems or painting and decorating the offices on a regular basis. Settled in Gibraltar for over thirty years now, there are few people that Chris doesn’t know and few things that he doesn’t know how to do. “We are more than just an office space provider, we help people to get things done,” he states. “We have got our finger on the pulse all the time and know how to navigate through the minefield of obtaining a business licence, registering for tax and social insurance, or knowing where you need to go to pay your bills.”

touch with each other. “If anybody is after a particular service that I know one of my clients can help with, then I pass it on. No commission needed. It’s all about good word of mouth and recommendations.” Alongside this Chris offers virtual offices for people on the move who need a postal address or want a mail acceptance and forwarding facility or, for clients who cannot wait for regular mail to be forwarded by post, then there is an ‘Open, Scan and Send’ service available where your mail is opened, scanned and e-mailed to you. There is also the option to keep the mail in the office, in the safe, to forward it on to the clients or to shred it. “This service is particularly useful for people in the boating fraternity who travel frequently,” Chris explains. “They let us know which country they are in and we package up and send everything through to them.” “Ultimately, the Gibraltar Business Centre is a dedicated desk and information provider for clients who, instead of wasting a lot of time running around chasing documentation, can get on and do their work.” Having been a Commissioner for Oaths for some time now, Chris is able to offer this as yet another service. “If I have been asked to scan passports or documents for clients, I am then also able to easily provide a stamped and certified copy for them.” More recently, Chris has become a certified accredited Mediator and is available to mediate in all types of different disputes, both professional and personal. “This is something that I am very proud to have attained and I am ready to work closely with any parties that are in need of mediation that is both confidential and neutral, whether that is a family conflict or a conflict in the workplace.”

Something else that Chris likes to do is to put clients in


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BAFTAs 2019 This month, Paul Anderson looks back at this year’s BAFTAs. Paul is an Arts broadcaster, radio presenter, producer and journalist. He is known for work on BBC 6 Music, Xfm, Capital as well as hosting his own one-hour film show ‘At The Movies’ on Smooth Radio. Paul is also a member of the London Film Critic’s Circle.

In addition to Olivia Colman’s top award, there was a strong showing for women, although the Best Director award remains elusive. BAFTA Rising Star winner and Black Panther actress Letitia Wright used an emotional speech highlighting her severe bouts of depression that almost led to her quitting acting altogether.

Director Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is still feeling the love after the 2019 BAFTA Awards. While Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite dominated this year’s nominations with twelve, in the end Roma took home Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography. The Favourite bagged seven gongs, including Best Actress for Olivia Colman and Best British Film, and it is one of the must-see movies of the year, if you don’t mind your royalty swearing like a trooper.

As a signpost for the Oscars BAFTA get a bit sniffy with any comparison, thinking their ceremony more relevant to the British audience and lauding smaller arthouse films and there is probably something in that. However, it is unavoidable to note that Roma has changed the game, with a foreign language film being so highly decorated. Although after its nomination one cinema chain threatened to boycott the film as it was made by Netflix originally for television. It is likely Roma and The Favourite will feature highly at the Academy Awards, Green Book is a compelling tale, as road trip movies tend to be, and is based on real events; and given American film makers’ love of naval gazing, it should not be a surprise if it gains more recognition.

Joanna Lumley returned for a second year as the host but drew mixed reviews for her opening monologue with puns on the Ku Klux Klan while referring to nominated film BlacKkKlansman. The TV viewing figures were down on last year and some have questioned the value in televising awards ceremonies at all (The Brit Awards were down on last year and the Oscars continue to fall amid various controversies). Diversity was certainly on show with Arab/American Rami Malek winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and the brilliant Mahershala Ali’s Best Support prize for Green Book about a black pianist and his driver on a road trip.

The BAFTA night belonged to Olivia Colman, whose acceptance speech itself was a joy. From comedic roles on TV to serious TV drama and now big screen prizes this is her year. Her speech ended with the refrain on behalf of the cast and crew of The Favourite, many winners would be thinking but dare not say. ‘We are going to get so p*ssed’.


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Growing up in Catford, south London in a Caribbean household, Kayode is the oldest of four siblings. “My mum was born in Trinidad and my father came over from Barbados in his twenties,” he explains. It was his parents, both psychologists, who instilled the values of hard work and kindness in Kayode. “I remember my dad always telling me to never be poor.”



Kayode’s ambition as a child was to be a footballer, a sport he played to county level. “I did get scouted every now and again, but I never actually made the break into professional football,” he says. The amazing part about Kayode’s story is that although he graduated with a first class honours degree in psychology and was published in the field of Motivation and Self-beliefs; he barely scraped into university in the first place, having to go through the clearing process.

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However, once there, Kayode was very active both on and off campus throughout his studies and was elected Vice President and Trustee of his Students’ Union and Governor of his University, going on to become elected a Director of the National Union of Students (NUS) at their annual conference. So what was it that made him apply for The Apprentice? “For five years I had been running an events business and it had grown to become very successful,” he says, continuing, “but it had started to decline and I needed to make a change.” With new ideas that he wanted to pursue, Kayode realised that The Apprentice would be the perfect platform and sent his application in on deadline day, beating 50,000 other applicants to win a place on the show.

On the BBC webpage introducing the candidates, he was quoted as saying: “I’m not here to razzle dazzle and hit you with buzzwords like I’m so motivated, passionate… anyone can say those things and I’m not anyone, I’m Kayode Damali. If you’re not your own biggest fan, who do you expect to be it for you?” It turns out that Kayode is also a health and fitness fanatic. In his audition video for The Apprentice he says: “Don’t be fooled but under this is like a body of a god.” Kayode and the other aspiring candidates competed against each other in a series of business-related challenges and tasks that would eventually see just two people vying to be the crowned the ‘Apprentice’ and winning a £250,000 investment in their business plan and a 50/50 partnership with Lord Sugar. “This was what I had been working towards during my previous years in the business world, somewhere that I could put my skills to the test and to focus on the areas of business that I could improve in,” he states. Admitting that at the beginning the process was fun, but that as it went on he enjoyed it less,


Kayode says it became quite intense. He adds: “With each episode there was more up for grabs, and it was important to win the tasks otherwise you knew you could be fired.” Kayode was one of the Project Managers for the first task, leading the boys' team to victory, but it was at the end of episode seven when the candidates attempted to set up their own gardening business (and Kayode was seen dressing up with a sunflower mask around his face), that Sir Alan pointed his finger in the direction of Kayode and uttered those famous words ‘You’re fired’. “I was very upset,” he confesses, “especially because I entered to win and nothing less.” Not only was his demise a shock to Kayode, but it was also a shock to his many fans on social me-

dia who had thought the popular contender would go on to win. It’s always interesting to know how people get on with their fellow candidates and Kayode is diplomatic in his reply. “We got on as well as candidates in this process would. I never had any big quarrels or issues with any of them, which was important to me.”

With Kayode’s energy, charisma and confidence, he could ideally be suited to a life in the media. In fact he is currently using his skills as a motivational speaker, touring the UK talking to students, young entrepreneurs and business leaders. “I like to make sure that there is research behind everything that I say,” he states. “I have a social responsibility as a speaker to give audiences the correct information and not just to spout pseudoscience.” Maybe we can tempt Kayode to come and inspire us? “I don’t know much about Gibraltar,” he tells me, “apart from the fact that it is a Rock and has apes, but I would love to visit.” As for the future, Kayode (celebrating his 27th birthday on the 27th March) is

still weighing up his options, with offers continuously coming in on the back of his appearance on The Apprentice. Having been fairly outspoken regarding Brexit, would he consider a role in politics? “Not for me,” he laughs. “I’m unapologetically vegan and passionate about animal rights,” he says, “but ultimately I just want to be known as a kind and inspirational person.”

More significant was his relationship with Lord Sugar. “I think we got on really well and we had a good rapport. I do believe that he liked me, I could tell by the way he looked at me that he wanted me to do well, which is echoed in his firing words to me when he said ‘with regret’. But ultimately he’s fair and does what he thinks is best for his business ventures, which I respect.” Kayode is no stranger to appearing on television having previously been a contestant on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me and in an EU debate hosted by BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire in 2016, where he made headlines when he seemed to ask her out. When questioned about the free movement of people across Europe, Kayode told the host “I could just leave right now if I wanted to… you can come with me if you want… we could go together!”

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Qualification for Euro 2020 bursts into life this month as Gibraltar, once again gripped by football fever, welcomes Ireland to Victoria Stadium for the eagerly anticipated 23rd March first round match, the result of which will undoubtedly have an emphatic effect on how Group D will pan out for the Rock. Will it be passive submission, so often the case in previous internationals, the priority being to keep the scoreline respectable, or, buoyed by the new found confidence engendered by last autumn’s memorable victories at home to Liechtenstein and away to Latvia, will Julio Ribas’s boys stride fearlessly forward, maybe now with just a trace of a swagger, determined that this tiny nation will once again confound the football world and succeed in becoming one of the 24 finalists next year?


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This is the big time now for Gibraltar football, the Euro qualifiers being the gateway for the Rock players to go head to head with Match-of-the-Day and Sky Sports stars from the Champions League, plus household names from the Premier and Championship leagues, a chance to rub shoulders with Denmark’s great Danes Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel, Ireland’s Shane Long and Seamus Coleman, Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and others, roared on by fervent local supporters, success-starved yes, but loyalty undimmed, their number augmented by thousands of enthusiastic ex-pats, all thrilled that after years of unjust deprivation, spuriously concocted by near neighbour Spain, top class international competition has arrived on the Rock and it is here to stay.

tried and trusted skipper Roy Chipolina in defence, ace midfielders Liam Walker and Anthony Hernandez, and upfront the indefatigable Lee Casciaro give the Rock a solid experienced backbone, but all bar Hernandez are now in their thirties, so the pressing priority must be to spread the search to discover new talent. Gibraltar, both by area and population is the smallest nation in the tournament and, unless a miracle happens and Vatican City enter a side - perhaps a team called The Cardinals XI - that is always going to be the case. So, despite some local misgivings over implementation, the practical quest must be to unearth fresh blood wherever located, using the ancestry rules sanctioned by UEFA – something Ireland has been successfully doing, capping English-born players for decades.

Ireland provide the opposition for the first round of the qualifiers and the Blarney Army will be here in force less than a week after St Patrick’s Day – I do hope the Rock’s bars and restaurants take note and stock up accordingly. Those well-travelled and universally well-behaved Irish supporters have quite a reputation to uphold, as some of them have been known to sink a pint or three on their sports travels, it could cause an international incident that might overshadow even the looming spectre of Brexit should the pubs of Casemates Square run dry – speaking as a happily exiled Irishman who has spent many blissful years living, working and drinking on the Rock, this must not be allowed to happen!

Ireland come calling this month with a fresh management team in place, affable coach Mick McCarthy returns for his second stint in charge and is joined by the aforementioned Robbie Keane as assistant – the wisecracking duo bringing a welcome warmth to the dressing room, replacing the toxic environment generated by the pugnacious Roy Keane who may have been a gladiatorial giant at Manchester United but whose dire man-management skills at club and international level have proved disastrous. Departed manager, the prickly Martin O’Neill, recently installed as manager of Nottingham Forest, also had his issues, seemingly always at war with the Irish media whilst simultaneously enjoying a cosy relationship with the English press. The bad news for Gibraltar is that the new-found Irish dressing room harmony doesn’t bode well for the outcome of the Victoria Stadium set-to.

It is quite impossible to overstate the interest in this match both here in Gibraltar and in Ireland. When tickets first went on sale at GFA HQ threehour queues ensued, in Irishtown appropriately enough, the street was log jammed with hundreds of supporters waiting patiently for treasured pairs of tickets, whilst in Ireland, the away ticket allocation of 900 disappeared in minutes, and my source in the Emerald Isle informs me that match tickets are now being touted for 600 Euros and above in the Irish capital. Could this insatiable demand mean the presence of ticket touts and spivs outside Victoria Stadium..... surely not? Gibraltar and Ireland have clashed twice in recent times - they were drawn together in the same qualifying group for Euro 2016, the Irish, inspired by a Robbie Keane hat-trick, cruised to a 7-0 demolition in Dublin and in the return fixture the Men in Green were made to battle a tiny bit harder for a 4-0 victory, not here at Victoria Stadium but in Faro, Portugal, where the Rock were forced by UEFA regulations to play their ‘home’ games. Under the guiding hand of Julio Ribas – surely the most popular Uruguayan on the Rock – Gibraltar have made giant strides, rising seven places in FIFA rankings in the last year, but to fare well against the Irish will require the stalwarts of the side to optimum perform –


Whatever the result on the pitch, these Euro qualifiers open up a wonderland of opportunity home and away for Gibraltar – away trips to experience wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, sample the proper black stuff in Dublin’s fair city, a chance to yodel in the sublime Swiss setting of the Sound of Music and an invitation to get tipsy in Tbilisi, and for the return legs, reciprocate the hospitality for the thousands of football supporters from those nations eager to discover for the first time the delights of the Rock of Gibraltar, a storybook destination that all have heard of but not many have visited on football odysseys. What a pity direct flights to and from those magical lands cannot currently be accommodated at Gibraltar’s excellent but sadly chronically under-used state-of-the-art international airport. With World Cup qualifiers and European Nations League matches in addition to the Euros guaranteed to continue, the opportunities presented are immense for an imaginative entrepreneur to provide short-stay flights and accommodation home and away packages. Back to the Ireland match – sadly I am ticketless, because I was unable to queue for three hours in Irishtown and certainly cannot afford the 600plus euros demanded in Dublin, so I’ll

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be off to view the multi-screens of the Sports Arena to enjoy TV coverage of the game. Nice touch by the Gibraltar Football Association in awarding free entry to the Estonia friendly game three days later by way of compensating fans for the long queues in obtaining tickets for the Ireland game – an aberration the GFA have assured us will never happen again. I’m acutely aware that the last time a team from abroad wearing green and white colours took on local opposition at Victoria Stadium – it was Glasgow Celtic – the Jocks were put to the sword by Lincoln Red Imps and that sensational result has entered football folklore as The Shock of Gibraltar! Could there be another shock on Saturday, March 23rd?

Let the dream commence and Let’s get Ready to Rock! FACTS & STATS FOR EURO 2020 EURO 2020 will be the 16th UEFA European Championship, a four-yearly tournament scheduled to take place between the 12th June and 12th July 2020. The cup presented to the winning team is called The Henri Delaunay Trophy, in memory of the Frenchman responsible for creating the competition. In a departure from the norm of playing the finals in one nation, UEFA have spread the action to include 12 host countries ‘to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary’. The 12 nations are England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain, Russia, Romania, Azerbaijan, Denmark and Hungary. The semi-finals and final will be staged at Wembley Stadium. In the qualification series, the 55 nations are divided into 10 groups with the top two in each qualifying for the finals, to be joined later by four play-off winners. The inaugural European Nations Cup held in France in 1960 was won by the now-dissolved Soviet Union who beat the former Yugoslavia 2-1 (after extra time) in the final. Germany and Spain are the most successful nations, each having won the title three times. No Home Nations side has won the tournament, England boast the best record having reached the semi finals twice, in 1968 and 1996. Wales were also beaten semi-finalists, in the most recent event of 2016. Euro 2020 will, for the first time, see the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in the finals.



A saucy peep at the Cheltenham Festival THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! PHEW!....The relief was immediate, palpable, it washed over me like a great warm wave, the fear that had so troubled my thoughts and gripped my heart for several long days has dissolved, disappeared – BBC Radio 5 Live has just reported that the British Horseracing Authority has lifted the ban on racing, the equine flu that had threatened the unthinkable, the cancellation of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, has been contained, racing could resume, my beloved Cheltenham has been given the green light, now all roads lead westwards – that joyous annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of jumps racing is with us once more and, like a sex-rationed would-be lothario eagerly looking forward to wedding night, the anticipation and expectancy overwhelming as countdown commences to the consummation of this all-embracing love affair in the Cotswolds. Over the years I have constantly struggled to grasp why so many of the populace remain unaware of the all-consuming passion that the festival generates - non-racing people look at the calendar and note how many days there are to Christmas, well, in my diary I count the days not to Santa Claus time but to Cheltenham Festival time and I start the countdown to the next glorious celebration immediately after the current one has ended. It remains a source of great wonderment and regret that despite my best efforts so many friends and acquaintances remain oblivious to the joy this annual epic event generates in body and soul. In a live TV interview as horse and jockey were returning triumphantly to the winners enclosure, jockey Mick Fitzgerald famously described his Grand National-winning ride on Rough Quest in 1996 as .....‘better than sex. This was the best 12 minutes of my life. Sex is an anti-climax after this.’ Well Fitzy my boy, I guess you’re easily satisfied, your climactic National ride lasted a tad over ten minutes, my festival orgy is of Kama Sutra proportions by comparison, an eye-watering,

exhausting, stamina-sapping spread over four ecstatic days!



My cry of despair when news of possible festival abandonment first hit the headlines mercifully proved to be a premature exclamation and the glorious extravaganza starts on Tuesday 12th March and concludes on Friday 15th, four fantastic days of the best steeplechasing in the world, an irresistible magnet that draws racing enthusiasts from all corners of the British Isles and beyond, a rich mix of regional accents, friendly faces, all anxious to champion their equine heroes, all united in love of the sport of kings. Last year I was lucky enough to pick the winners of the four championship races – The Champion Hurdle, The Queen Mother, The Arkle and The Cheltenham Gold Cup. Yes, I hear those mocking words oft hurled in my direction, that even a blind squirrel occasionally stumbles upon a nut but, undeterred, this blind squirrel is going to attempt to repeat the miracle in the same four races this time round. First up is the Arkle Challenge Trophy on the opening day and DEFI DU SEUIL, current odds 10/1, owned by legendary Irish gambler JP McManus, is my tentative eachway choice to be first past the post. On the same day, in the Champion Hurdle, I will be entrusting reigning champion BUVEUR D’AIR, currently 2/1, with my biggest bet of the meeting to successfully retain his crown and make it a stellar day to remember for owner McManus. On to Wednesday and the Queen Mother Champion Chase where only divine intervention in the shape of a lightning bolt from the sky can thwart the mesmeric ALTIOR from retaining his title, but why would the gods be so malevolently disposed towards one of their own?

Victory is assured but, alas, at the current miserly odds of 4/9 it will require a mighty investment to win sufficient bubbly to fittingly celebrate this gift from above, this reincarnation of Pegasus. Friday, final day, it’s the holy grail of National Hunt racing, the Cheltenham Gold Cup where, at the time of writing, the cast list is a bit uncertain. Should he cross the Irish Sea and participate, PRESENTING PERCY, currently 4/1, would be my choice to lift the coveted Cup and spark chaotic celebrations in County Galway, with Clan Des Obeaux, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, a potent threat to the Irish invader. Returning to the wild abandon of my enduring love affair with the festival, sadly on this occasion I am unable to travel, so no Cotswolds consummation this year. Instead I will make haste to the multi-screen luxury of the Sports Arena, drink copious amounts of cider, hopefully at bookies’ expense, watch all 28 races and spend four blissful days in the company of my virtual mistress. Just like that aforementioned lothario, I can’t wait!



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THE JOHNNIE WALKER TROPHY The Johnnie Walker Trophy, played in an individual Stableford format, was contested at Rio Real on Sunday 20th January 2019 - a new venue for Med Golf.

The best gross on the par 3s was Matthew Charlesworth with a score of level par. Mathew was also on the nearest to the pin prize list.

of Johnnie Walker red label whisky, courtesy of the sponsor was won by Ben Helme.

The best senior was Sandy Casofski with a score of 36 points. Sandy was also the Category 1 winner and won the prize for nearest the pin in 3 on a par 5.

The Top Twenty in the rankings sponsored by Hunter Properties

OUR HANDICAP CATEGORY PRIZES WERE WON AS FOLLOWS: Category 1 (handicaps 0 to 12): Sandy Casofski was the winner with a score of 36 points and the runner up was Steve Munns with 30 points.

The champion of the day, winner of the Johnnie Walker Trophy and a 60â‚Ź Med Golf voucher was Matthew Bruce-Smith with 38 points. More remarkable was his gross score of 71 (1 under par) which not surprisingly, won him the prize for best gross. Matthew also won the longest drive and appeared on prize list for nearest to the pin.

Category 2 (handicaps 13 to 22): Jordan Brown with 34 points was runner up and Alistair Knight was the winner with 37 points. Category 3 (handicap 23 and above): Damian White took the runner up slot with 28 points and the winner, for the second consecutive week was Alex Ashmore with a score of 30 points. Nearest the pin winners were: Matthew Bruce-Smith, Matthew Charlesworth, Steve Litchfield and Wulf Frenzel. Sandy Casofsky was nearest to the pin in 3 on a par 5. There were 10 guests on the day and the top 5 were awarded a one year free membership to Med Golf. In order they were: Andrey Victorson 38 points, James Boucher 29 points, Karina Budantseva 28 points, Graham Hawkins 27 points and Paul Feather 26 points. The sponsor, Saccone and Speed, were thanked for supporting the event and prizes were presented by Med Golf’s Camille Benezrah. The scorecard draw for a one litre bottle


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Matthew Robinson

Nick Farr

Matt Charlesworth

James Barr

Anthony Bull

Jordan Brown

Mark Henderson

Gavin Grimes

Ian McNee

Tommy Kai

Roy Azopardi

John Robbins

Matthew Warner

Mike Cowburn

Nicky Sanchez

Eddie Diaz

Louis Calvente

Duncan Hamilton

Matthew Bruce-Smith

Paul Nash

Only the top ten will qualify for the Med Golf Masters in the summer.


Our next tournament is the Bassadone Motors Trophy at EL Paraiso on Sunday 10th February 2019. See our website for more information:






A Wikipedia definition of bullying states that... `Bullying is the use of force, threat, intimidation or aggressive domination of others or coercion to abuse.’ This behaviour often repeated and habitual should of course be branded as bullying. But for many individuals I speak to, the `pigeonhole’ has gone crazy and seems to be bursting at the seams: the bullying list of `associates’ has become, again for many, ridiculous! I remember being bullied by a youngster who I’d come across almost daily on my way home from school. He was verbally aggressive, demanding a lapel badge I used to weaR, and he used to scare me. He could tell I was intimidated and so the menace in him kept on coming. As I recall he never took the badge and gave up, but it was intimidating. I too admittedly, used to tease a street friend. He was easily intimidated also so I took advantage of that and did it on two or three occasions and made him cry and I don’t know why I did it. Perhaps I’d been watching too many John Wayne or gangster movies. The point being made is that that was the sort of behaviour we always understood to be termed as bullying, as defined in that particular Wikipedia definition I chose to illustrate. It of course follows that today’s trends are not what they were and the internet has come into play in a big way. Yes, cyber bullying is a harmful reality these days with


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sometimes devastating effect, even to the point of suicide. A lady I know is quite involved supporting and promoting the Anti-Bullying Campaign. She introduces, wherever possible and relevant, the subject of bullying in a tactful and delicate manner at the children’s parties and get-togethers she often organises and also extends the `anti-bullying chat’ to older kids and teenagers at gatherings during summer on the beach. She suggested Head Boys and Girls in schools could act as ambassadors for the Anti-bullying Campaign whilst keeping an eye out in the playground and other school corners, especially with the increase in the use of mobiles and iPads providing the ideal means for what’s become that dreaded practice of cyber bullying, not uncommon nowadays. Bullying fact sheets on the internet and Dignity at Work (Gibraltar) also highlight many potential incidents of abuse which are now defined as bullying. Many which you may have thought are annoying and

even stressful after a time, but you wouldn’t necessarily describe as bullying. These days they are described as incidents of abuse - incidents you would normally recognise as relatively trivial. There are numerous issues nowadays that fall under the `bullying banner’... bad mouthing, being overlooked or ignored, excluded, not given credit and/or taking credit for your efforts, being patronised, keeping someone out of a group online or offline, denied training and promotion, breaking a promise, audible sighing in your presence, disrespecting your opinions, ignoring your concerns etc. etc. and the list goes on and on to the point that you would be forgiven for thinking that almost anything, and I mean any little word, sentence or action perceived to be directed at you repeatedly, constitutes bullying. Whilst much of the above can be very upsetting and a real nuisance I’m sure there are many of us who would not label those concerns as bullying and maybe some other word could describe those concerns. Today, there seems to be a very fine line between the traditional bullying practices of physical and strong, inyour-face verbal bullying we have generally come to associate with the word, and practically anything else that’s an unpleasant experience whether at work or elsewhere. In fact the bullying problem today reminds me of the other flavour-of-the-month of the times in which we live – having to be aware of being `PC’ or keeping to the political correctness fad which is something we really have to look out for to avoid being offensive in any scenario, having to be always on the lookout and being extra careful about what you say, because it may be disrespectful and `politically incorrect!’ But whist dwelling on the `B’ word, cyber bullying especially, as it’s so prevalent amongst the young, I would describe as bullying. That needs to be halted and it seems in whatever form it’s delivered, being bullied – whether you’re


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young or less young - can cause unbearable strain and trauma which can lead to serious consequences. The distress can cause untold damage to children and teenagers who may be going through a critical stage in their young lives. So the message has to be, to those young individuals being affected, `talk to someone and let it all out, don’t bother about what others may think,’ and today we have Childline, Sams and Dignity at Work as well as other groups that are there, ready to listen and help. All it takes is a telephone call – it could make all the difference and we shouldn’t assume verbal bullying is just words. Words CAN hurt you, and no child or anyone should put up with it by keeping it to themselves. Some of what I’ve written may have come across as flippant and uncaring – It’s not the intention. What has spurred me on to write the article is simply the catalogue of issues that have now become to be listed as anti social behaviour defined as bullying. I feel that much of it, at a glance, you could be forgiven for considering as bothersome, irritating and very annoying but not necessarily as bullying. Being generally ignored when your boss walks into the office without offering a `good morning’ I would hardly consider bullying, but that behaviour apparently comes seriously into play when the occurrence is performed repeatedly and intentionally (if it can be proved). Constantly using words or actions against you or a group can cause distress and affect your wellbeing, in some cases causing unbearable strain and trauma as a result of being bullied! Hence the message must surely be, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the issue is, mistakenly treating it as just annoying - if it’s constantly repeated and comes across as intentional – could well be a case of you or others being bullied, we’re told. So there’s a need to be brave, speak out and never keep it in. Don’t suffer in silence!




PARODY TOURS 78 YRS AND MORE! We often hear about so and so being rich…`he’s lucky and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth…’ Well, let me say that there are many, many more successful individuals who have prospered through mere blood, sweat and sometimes tears. Entrepreneurial skill, hard graft and bravery are what made them successful!


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When some Gibraltarians were shipped off to the Portuguese island of Madeira during the WW2 evacuation, Sixto Parody was given £10 by his departing father. “This is to help you out a little,” Parody Tours’ present Chairman and Sixto’s son Albert Parody tells me his granddad told his dad. “And someone my dad knew offered him to work his taxi so he promptly took up the offer”. During those years Gibraltar was teeming with servicemen so you can well imagine plenty of business coming Albert dad’s way… and so the story begins! That was 78 years ago in 1941 and coach tours were non-existent during those years, so Sixto was constantly on the go coming up with other business ideas. He opened a tea room in Town Range (now El Cortijo and where he enjoyed singing) and slowly made enough money to buy his friend’s taxi off him! He took over another bar - the present Aragon Bar in Bell Lane - and also had a job in the army. At the same time he took on a lot of taxi work for the MOD and evidently made enough to acquire no less than ten taxis by the end of the war. “As you can imagine he really worked hard to achieve all of that. He was doing so well that he even bought the then Governor’s Bentley! He went up to my granddad when he returned from Madeira and handed him the keys and said, ‘Dad, that’s your car.’ After all, it was he who got my dad started and he wanted to show his appreciation for that.” It was in the late 40s and early 50s that Sixto, having a keen eye for a good business opportunity, started selling off his taxis and bought nine-seater Volkswagen mini-buses and that is where their `Rock Tours’ began! Albert says they used to use Spanish fans (avanicos) as tickets. They’d have the price on one side and details about the tour on the other! “Yes, and they used to say, `there’s your ticket and your air conditioning!’ Trips to Spain and exclusive European tours started also. My dad would be away for weeks on end touring with rich Americans and made a lot of money then, but the downside of that was he rarely saw my sister Clemence, so when I was born he said `not anymore.’ He’d promised my mum he would not go on those trips anymore so he concentrated his efforts on building up business on


the Rock.” There were deals with Rock Motors where he took over the Mobil (at the time) petrol station and opened the Bahia Bar whilst at the same time conducting Rock tours in his new - by then - Comma twelve-seater buses and at the end of the tour brought tourists back to the Bahia and fed them there also. “This was at the time when the frontier was closed and locals would go round and round in ‘Scalextric’ fashion who would come into the Bahia for lunch, tea and dinner. Let me tell you those were very busy years for me too. I was a seven year old dishwasher and a waiter at eleven!”

So through the late 60s, 70s and early 80s things were certainly looking up for the Parodys. Construction was on the up in those days and Sixto got into that also. He set up Ideal Transport, owning 28 trucks, tipper trucks and vans. He also ran three of the domestic bus routes on the Rock. In the meantime Albert was growing up and had a job as an assistant draughtsman in the PSA - they looked after construction projects for the MOD - and was very keen to become an architect. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out despite the strong recommendations and help I received from the top boss of the PSA here, but I was offered a PR job with the company which I enjoyed and did, in fact, later qualify as an architect!” Well, I think that PR job was more

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FEATURE in the line of work we’ve become accustomed to see Albert at his best, and maybe his dad Sixto saw that quality in his son. “That could well have been one of the reasons why he said he didn’t want his son to work for others so I left the PSA and joined the Company. I always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and I took over the firm when he died. My sister Clemence, her husband Pedro Cabezutto and I took things forward when we split the companies up in 2014. Since then my family has run the businesses looking after

year old Bartolome Parodi (as it was spelt then) arrived on the Rock from Genoa looking for work and began working for the military. In 1801 he got stuck in and started his first business importing goods from Morocco – Bartolome Parodi & Sons Merchants – and the seed was sown! The company sold goods to the military and civilian populations and eventually his sons took over expanding into other businesses, launching the first Lemonade Bottling Plant on the Rock and purchasing `La Finca Varela’ in San Roque producing natural mineral water, and so the ‘Parody Business Generations’ kept on growing. Sixth generation Sixto was born, who some years later received £10 on his dad’s departure to Madeira. Later, 18 year old Sixto joined the Gibraltar Defence Force (GDF) whilst at the same time working his taxi in his spare time and eventually the Transport business took hold round about 1941 and `Parody’s Rock Tours’ began shortly after, leading up to the present day. Close on 10 generations of Parody businesses in Gibraltar! To sum up it’s been 218 years of Parody Heritage. Over two centuries of ups and downs I’m sure, but coming through to 2019 successfully. A company that’s become an institution in Gibraltar’s tourist related world.

the Petroil petrol station by the Waterport roundabout, the travel agency and a fleet of 23 tour buses. We also represent over 300 companies and agencies from Spain and other countries.” So it’s clearly evident a lot has happened through the years. Parody Tours bought into a number of travel agencies and was very successful with charter flights to the Rock. Albert tells me Thomsons charter flights during the mid to late 80s were the most successful to date; Thomsons presenting the company with two Gold awards in 1998 and 2000. But that’s not the full story... let us go way, way back to 1774 – even before the Great Siege – because that’s when 21


It’s a busy business…that’s a heavy load to bear, but always carried by Albert and next generation sons, Sixto and Alex, with a warm and friendly smile. For Albert in particular, even in his rare, spare time, he’s always had the Rock’s potential in tourism, arts, music, culture and sport at the forefront of his mind. In 1991 he formed Rock’92 staging a Santana concert at Victoria Stadium... an impressive achievement. His ambition and drive to promote Gibraltar abroad - wherever that may be - has been unstinting to the present, aiming to have the Rock deservedly placed on the world map, especially in tourism which is one of the main pillars of our economy. So far, it’s been 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry for Albert Parody with more than two centuries of business acumen in the family to back him up, which must mean no doubt, there’ll be more ‘Parody cluedup business generations’ to follow!

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ast year when we spoke to our internationally successful artist Christian Hook we touched on a subject that was only briefly mentioned in his feature in the August issue of Insight. ‘Channeling the Chi’ is a quest he had spoken to me at length about, involving his search for the method of measuring the energy transfer that he puts into his brush strokes.


I like to think that he was, and probably still is, searching for that ‘magic’ which everyone who admires his work finds in his apparently random brush strokes (they obviously are not) that layer up and tease us into believing that we are seeing more than he’s actually painted on the canvas. Once the feature was published, although we were both really happy with it, I was always drawn back to our recorded chat to find that there is more to his huge success than people ‘connecting’ with his paintings. This is a talented and restless artist who wants to know why his work turns out the way that it does. It was as, you will see, a long journey and it turns out that he may have succeeded in finding out much more than we can imagine. Only time and history will tell if indeed he has managed to harness his infectious energy and continued to fascinate a whole generation of artists and art lovers. I’m here to share his explanation of ‘channeling the chi’ which I believe will redefine Christian Hook’s art. “All my travelling through the whole of Asia in search of spirituality and the transfer of energy led me to Japan and a calligraphy master who teaches that when you transfer energy to your work it can be measured. I practiced the process with this master and also did a lot of research on my own to discover a way to measure my Chi and how it shapes my work.”


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“I finally found a way of measuring how much energy I put into my work. When you transfer energy the particles at atomic level are magnetic. Because they are magnetic when you pass energy through them they harmonise with each other and when there is discord they become dissonant. With the help of a large microscope you can actually see how your energy has affected the electrons in your ink. If there is too much energy (Chi) the readings will peak higher in the ink and vice versa.”

the perfect horse, then he paints layers over it and leave us only with the rump, which is all that we see - the rest we can only imagine and so we think ‘wow what a beautiful horse’.

“Once I came back to Gibraltar I did a lot more research online with other master calligraphers. I had already gone to see a few masters in Japan but later on, after my research, I taught myself to measure my Chi in ink and then I changed that process to measure it in my painting. Anything that happens under a second has an innate energy in it so by working very fast and in a very small scale the work is supercharged with Chi and it changes the way that you work.”

somebody actually saw them all. Others could only see two or three layers and they described them back to me. I don’t write it down.” (Like the magician never explains his tricks it would shatter the illusion).

“For example, before, I used layers a lot in my work in order to create movement. Now I can do it without so much layering and people ask me how the painting can still appear to be displaced and have movement without the layers.” At this point I put it to Christian that the way his work affects me is ‘like a beautiful tease’. First he shows us that he can paint


“That tease is the most important part of the whole process because if you don’t create that tease the rest is not interesting and you have not captured the essence of the subject. For me it’s far more important for my work to have a number of concepts in the layering. In the National Gallery for example my painting has seven concepts of layering and

“That work on the conceptual layering makes the painting go deeper and deeper but more fulfilling for me. That process really means a lot to me because I had to search throughout all of Asia to find a way to make my paintings radiate the energy that I was putting into them.” I turned the conversation to how he will manage to keep abreast of the competition when they latch on to the huge success of his sales and try to copy him. “I am not interested in competition. I am only interested in innovation and for that I have assembled a variety of teams

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FEATURE from different fields. We try to take an idea and the journey of it going forward, always thinking in a new way. A way that has not been done before and that will produce innovation, which is what my teams feed back to me, always looking into what I am trying to achieve that will be original and new.”

Only time and history will tell if we were in the presence of a master who was still searching for answers that were beyond the canvasses that kept us riveted and thinking how does he do it so well? It’s no accident. It’s called ‘Channeling the Chi’ but don’t try this at home, leave it to the talented artists who are masters of calligraphy.

I got the feeling then, and it hasn’t left me since our long conversation, that Christian has found more questions than answers, but that in his quest for knowledge he has woken a sleeping giant from whose hands we are only seeing beautiful brush strokes at present.


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GIBRALTAR THE BRITISH FORTIFICATIONS CIRCA 1875 The Line Wall that runs from north to south of the western fringe of the Rock, was originally build by the Moors, and later build upon by the Spaniards with added fortifications, and subsequently by the British as well as those constructed by the British themselves.

THE CITY WALLS OF GIBRALTAR By its very nature and as a fortress, Gibraltar’s walls were for centuries an essential and only means of defense and counter-attack. The main “Line Wall” stretched from north to south along what was, just prior to the turn of this century, the western shore-line. As such the Moors were the first to have started the construction of this wall, whilst the Spaniards build theirs more or less on top of it. And subsequently during the British period of occupation and in particular during the 19th century this same wall was reconstructed and strengthened and it’s this very same wall that stands out as a unique and distinctive feature to modern-day Gibraltar. Apart from the northern and western line of defensive walls, the Moors constructed an east-west wall up the mountain which separated Gibraltar from the north and the south. Very little of this wall is visible today, however the one build by the Spaniards parallel to it in the 16th century, known as Charles V Wall is very much in evidence,

which marked the southern boundary limits of the old town. In contrast with the sheer north face of the Rock and the near vertical precipices of the eastern side, is realization enough, why no defensive walls were ever necessary there. On August 1st 1704 the Spaniards surrendered the Rock of Gibraltar to the British, which in 1462 had been taken from the Moors. At the time and under the Spanish Governor who run affairs in Gibraltar most of the defense fortifications and Line Walls had been in a state of disrepair and in need of attention for some time, still this same Governor anticipating the eminent attack upon the Rock, resolved to defend the Rock to the last and set about rearming and making ready the fortifications as best as possible under the circumstances. The fortifications at the time consisted of a strong Line Wall, which had other fortifications such as Towers, Fords, Bastions and Batteries with embrasures for cannon running all along the western fringe, from north to south of the Rock and terminated at both ends with two moles, the New Mole and Old Mole Head. Both of which were well armed with heavy cannons and also re-enforcing the Land port, which was the only entrance into Gibraltar at the time, and the Moorish Castle which offered a clear view of the bay. The initial attack was directed upon the New Mole and the ford of Torre del Tuerto (the tower of the one-eyed man) the state of disrepair of both these fortifications was such that they could not to stand an intense cannonade, and these where soon abandoned, and it is here that the British decided to land and seized both these fortifications. The whole of the landing party

then advanced northwards along the Line Wall and seized the Bastion de Santa Cruz, now called Jumpers Bastion in memory of Captain Jumper of H.M.S.Lennox who together with Captain Hicks, also from H.M.S.Lennox were the first to land on Gibraltar, unfortunately both were blown up with 40 other men when a mine was detonated upon their landing. At the same time and further north a constant barrage of cannonade had been kept on Fort Leandro at the Old Mole Head, which resulted in the destruction of the Fort and the capture of the Mole.

Jumper’s Bastion

With the two principal defense position taken, the Line Wall now in total possession of the British, and most of their ordinance destroyed, the besieged saw no other option but to capitulate, a flag of truce was raised and the Governor expressed his desire to surrender the Rock of Gibraltar to the Crown of Great Britain. Rosia Road, South Jumper’s Bastion, Constructed on top of a previous Spanish Bastion, “Bastion de Santa Cruz” one the first of the Spanish fortifications to have been seized by the British in 1704.


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It wasn’t long after capitulation that the Spaniards laid siege to the Rock one again, within the preceding following months of September and October of 1704, both of which were unsuccessful. Since the British had taken the rock they had added and repaired most of the Batteries, Bastions and in particular the Line Wall, together with the Land Port which was protected by a battery of cannon, on the eastern side the Devils Tower was armed with a cannon and surrounded by a double ditch, whilst to the extreme north of the Rock the Inundation in the present area of the Laguna Estate and Glacis Estate, was laid with a formidable system of advance obstacles in the form of double ditches, thereby halting any attack that might come from the Isthmus.

After a respite, lasting nearly 23 years, Gibraltar came under siege again. On the morning of the 7th May 1727, The Spaniards open up with a tremendous barrage which succeeded in destroying the length of wall which guarded the Old Mole and the San Pedro Bastion which was later named Hesse’s Demi Bastion after Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, who was in command of the allied forces at the capture of Gibraltar in 1704, with the Queen Anne Battery also being drastically reduced to only three cannon of small caliber.

Hesse’s Demi Bastion

Landport Ditch

This wall is one the best examples showing the actual construction of the Line Wall which starts here and extends further south. The bottom half is buried. Under the road level is the remains of the Moorish wall with scanty traces of Spanish alterations, whilst the British alterations to the height of the wall can be fully appreciated in the different methods of construction using locally quarried material in the form of rectangular or semi-rectangular blocks. A geological lithology showing the distinctive features of rocks such as texture, fabric and composition of the wall, indicates that most of the material that make the three different types of wall, are of local origin, the same source of material can be found in different places on the Rock.

The Landport Curtain Wall, which had been armed so as to be considered the principal fortification guarding any eminent attack from the north, was able to respond to the fire with only 12 guns. The attack was however withstood, and all fortifications although not structurally repaired, were once again rearmed.

the original Water Gates stood, and covered by the Old Mole Battery also known by the Spaniards as the Devil’s Tongue or the Spanish name “La Boca del Diablo” because of the fire power of this battery. 17th century paintings of this battery in action show hardly any structure except for a massive smoke pall which covers the whole battery itself. The other only entrance into the town and city of Gibraltar, this entrance was from the sea which lead into the present Market Lane. This entrance was covered by both the Grand Battery and the Devil’s Tongue Battery. Inconspicuous as it might seem, the concrete seal, presumably from the 1800s, would indicate that this may have originally been a higher entrance. Two very obvious inconsistencies are that the holes in the wall by the sides of the entrance are of hinges which would have held the doors, although only two are visible. Doors using this type of hinge would have been quite large and heavy. Up until the 20th Century, the sea came up to the Line Wall, and it was not until 1895 that all the area of Queen’s Way and what remains of Reclamation Road was reclaimed from the sea for the construction of the Dockyard. The original wall datum level would be buried some considerable depth below the present road level, which exposes less than half of the actual door opening. The Land Port Curtain Wall or Grand Battery covered any approach from the North Front, it stretches from the Land Port Gate at the north-east toe of the Rock to the

Montagu Counterguard

The Landport Gate and Curtain Wall, also known as Grand Battery, still remain to the present day. Appreciation of the barrage they received can be seen all along the original Spanish wall in the form of brick-work patches which are covering holes made by cannon shot as well as the imprints left by shrapnel hitting or deflecting from the wall. There are also the British limestone block alterations and gun embrasures. The town, at the time had only two entrances, both to the north, one was over a drawbridge and through Landport Gate, which lead from a narrow causeway for foot passengers and horses, the other was at the Montague Counterguard Curtail Wall, some distance to the south, where Landport gate and tunnel


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North Bastion at the Water Front. It consists of a Curtain Wall, hosting 15 cannon embrasures, some of these embrasures were used during WWII as machinegun nest’s or anti-aircraft batteries. The concrete alterations made at this time are still there, at about 9 feet from each other, with the accompanying Banquette’s or Fire steps at the rear of the wall and constructed of local rectangular and semi-rectangular limestone blocks. The Battery was protected by a deep dry ditch approximately 50 feet wide, covered by a Glacis. The rubble removed to construct the ditch was mounted to the other side of the wall forming an up-hill incline with little or no cover for and attacking enemy.


FEATURE The Landport Ditch which protected the Grand Battery. The difference between the two walls are obvious, the Spanish construction is of a sandy creamy beige colour, and has brick-work repair patches to holes made by cannon shot, and above, the British wall which is constructed of local limestone blocks, the Glacis wall with the small black door is the Counter Mine Entrance. These entrances were “T” shaped culverts or tunnels purposely build under the Glacis and were packed with explosives in order to blow them up should they be overrun during an attack, thereby inflicting as much damage on the enemy as possible, and making the ground difficult to negotiate. The now disused sports area above and green plot as well as Corral Road are all part of the Glacis.

ments was the construction of “Healy’s Mortar” which can still be seen at the Apes Den in Queen’s Gate on the upper Rock. Healy’s Mortar was cut from the solid rock in 1771 This mortar was intended to hurl over a thousand stones weighting over 1lb (500 gms) each, on any attacking forces on the lower slopes of the Rock. However the whole concept was abandoned when it was tried out as practically every projectile fired from the mortar fell inside the fortress.

of the Bastion, who was buried inside the Bastion. The cannon embrasures on this wall have been constructed with a wide angle traverse so that flanking fire could be directed by the same cannon in any direction. It is noticeable that most of the embrasure linings have been constructed of local sandstone, probably from the main outcrops of sandstone at the extreme south of the Rock at Europa Advance Quarry. In contrast to the limestone this sandstone ap-

CORRAL ROAD This green plot of land is the remnants of some of the rubble extracted for the construction of the ditch and made the Glacis. After the surprise attack and siege of 1727 on the Rock, and even though all the fortifications which had received the brunt of the attack where rearmed and in some cases strengthened, there was grave concern, since after the attack the fortifications had elapse into a state of disrepair and ruin, with parapets and walls in many places either crumbling or collapsing. Very few cannons were mounted on some of the most stable batteries or walls and all previous ditches constructed at the north of the Rock were either filled or choked with rubbish, ordinance magazines were either structurally defective or lacked ammunition and the provision stores were empty. Although reports on the conditions at the time on the state of the fortifications had been constantly sent to England, no attention seems to have been paid to the situation, until 1769, when a commission was assembled in Westminster to deliberate upon the defective condition of the fortifications on the Rock. However, in the meantime, a local decision seems to have been taken in 1730 and once again the strengthening of the fortifications seems to have started on the north of the Rock commencing with the Bastion of San Pedro, and other Bastions and Batteries were constructed at the same time. Montague and Orange Bastions which were constructed on the site of old and earlier Moorish and Spanish works, the Batteries of Princess Amelia’s, Princess Anne’s and the Princess Royal Battery named after the granddaughters of King George II respectively, were constructed on the upper Rock and sighted at a vintage point to dominate any attack from the northwest towards the present day Refinery area and northwards to the frontier. The original batteries were altered during WW2 for anti-aircraft bofors, with a later alteration in 1954 for the emplacement of the four naval 5.25” Guns. The area covered by these batteries and the Spanish mainland area is obvious. Line Wall needed to be extended and re-constructed as a priority. Experiments were carried on the best way to reply to the enemy from high points. One experi46

King’s Bastion

The works along the Line Wall included the construction of the King’s Bastion in 1773 which was build under the orders of General Sir Robert Boyd. The Bastion was constructed of locally quarried dressed limestone blocks, although some local sandstone was also been used, in particular for gun embrasures and for repairs. It was solidly build to also provide a casemates for around 800 troops, and had its own magazines. The gun embrasures on the parapets of the Bastion mounted twelve 32-pounders and four 10 inch howitzers, with ten or more cannon and howitzers on its flanks. The parapets and embrasures were constructed and designed wide enough to incorporate a cannon as well as a howitzer. These could be fired at the attackers while mortars could be fired in a parabolic line over the cannon in front. It is interesting to note at this point, how the whole length of the Line Wall could be covered by fire from the Bastion’s and Batteries flanks, in order to prevent the enemy from trying to scale the walls or mount surprise attacks on any section of the Line Wall. The range and direction of fire from any particular cannon overlapped the next Bastion or Battery’s field of fire. The embrasures were at the same time constructed at different angles therefore ensuring total coverage. This technique brings to mind the design of both the Moorish and Spanish walls constructed on the Upper Rock. This is the West approach flank of the Battery, constructed of locally quarried limestone blocks. Some of the local sandstone blocks were also used and can be seen on the cornice that runs all along the top of the wall. The cement patches on the walls are repairs of shots sustained during the attacks in the Great Siege. The Bastion was reconstructed shortly before the Great Siege. In Gibraltar’s history this Bastion reminds us of two of its heroes, General Eliott and General Boyd, the latter was Lieutenant Governor and designer

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pears to be more able to absorbent shrapnel and less brittle than limestone under impact. Before any survey of how the fortifications were constructed, a few factors have to be considered, firstly its geology, for the purpose of quarrying and accruing building materials, the Rock’s topography, which has been the main contributor to the actual design of most the Gibraltar’s fortifications and other assorted buildings, the design of structures and buildings that would be stable enough and have a long life span, as well as strong enough to withstand enemy attacks, all this requirements seem to have been put into use, with the aid of engineers by the Moors who were the first to construct upon the Rock, apparently by Tarik, who landed on Gibraltar in 711, even though it appears that the first initial works did not start until 1160, when the foundations of the city were laid. It is however possible that one of their earliest constructions would have been a beacon tower at the very ends of Gibraltar. There are no traces, except scanty reports in 1838 when the first light house was build, and appears to have been built on top of what appeared the remnants of a Moorish structure. However there still exists parts of what appears to be the first ever defensive wall build upon the Rock by the Moors on the western slope known as the “Wall of the Arabs” which would have run in a zig-zag manner to the top of the rock from the shoreline, in order to secure the town against an attack from the south. Article supplied by History Society Gibraltar. Email:



Women’s rights activist, Together Gibraltar executive member and mother-of-eight Tamsin Suarez says that every Sunday is Mothering Sunday at her household when her children bring her breakfast in bed, for a huddle and cuddle: “My second eldest daughter is a good cook, and she makes pancakes for us, and the middle ones brew tea.”

On the subject of equality, she calls for fairer maternity benefits in the private sector, for more affordable nurseries and better tax allowance for them, for longer paternity leave, for extended maternity leave to be granted to either parent, higher tax relief for large families, flexible hours for working parents, and all in all for child carers to be recognised as economically productive members of society.

Having breastfed on and off for nineteen years (“We calculated that we saved some £20,000 in formula!” she says), Tamsin is a staunch advocate for parental rights in the workplace and the community at large. Ten years ago she founded a support group that used to meet regularly at Chilton Court, but is now on a hiatus until new suitable premises are allocated.

“I am lucky to have landed a part-time job with flexible hours that work around my husband’s shifts, so one of us is always there for the kids and we don’t have to face nursery costs, but too many new mothers have either to transfer virtually their entire salary to the nursery, or to put their careers on hold to become stay-at-home mums, when the extended family is not available to chip in.”

“This was a lifeline for new mothers who would turn up for advice and company, since caring for a newborn can feel overwhelming and lonely. Now I occasionally hold sessions with the Parent and Child Society. However, the Breastfeeding Support Group is still up, and I can provide one-to-one sessions for those who need it.”

This is not just about the new mother, though: when any worker takes extended leave for personal reasons, expertise is lost, someone else has to be trained in their place - at a cost - and consistency within the post is disrupted.

Tamsin is campaigning for breastfeeding to be welcome at local establishments, and participating businesses are given certificates and stickers stating ‘The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme’ to display at the door. “As a breast-feeder, you may feel insecure, and being frowned upon can prove devastating and hinder your confidence for the future. Because breastfeeding is a skill like any other, it can take time to become comfortable and confident. Most mums just need reassurance that they are doing the right thing.”

New fathers mustn’t be sidelined either: “There is a new human in your family and you need to bond with him or her. Paternity leave in the private sector is discretionary or non-existent, and dads going back to work right after their baby is born will feel excluded from this experience, anxious and distracted. So I’m campaigning for equality in parenthood for a variety of issues.”

She continues: “I would like to create a pool of ‘peer supporters’, women who have previous experience and are willing to pass on their expertise. Formula is a great invention that indeed saves babies’ lives, but parents must be educated to the benefits of breastfeeding, when it is possible.”

Like many modern Gibraltarian families, Tamsin doesn’t rely on grandparents for childminding as they are still working. She believes this is happening more and more often, as more women are now in the workplace until retirement. After all, her parents did such a good job in raising her to be independent that she wishes to pass it on to her brood! “Of course we visit them regularly, usually on Saturdays, and my children love going to Grandma for lunch. And of course my parents are always there for us in case of emergency.”

Wearing her Together Gibraltar hat, Tamsin is championing the issues of equality, housing, schooling, justice and youth. “My kids have moved around a lot of schools and I have seen too many different styles of teaching and management, so I want to lobby for a homogeneous education system.”

Housing is the next hot potato: “I believe that many families feel stuck in the house they’ve got and they have difficulties upgrading (or downgrading) towards their new needs.” Personally, Tamsin feels lucky to have been allocated a four-bedroom flat after debt left her family homeless when her firstborn was

treated for leukaemia in UK for three years, and she had to fly back and forth, but she also feels that a double-income household like hers shouldn’t really be using social housing, but should instead be facilitated to step on the property ladder. So, what is a typical day like for Tamsin and her troop? “The morning rush is crazy, with sleepyheads to get ready for school and the queue for the bathroom! Everyone helps, and the eldest ones feed breakfast to the little ones. Dinner time is important family time for sitting together at the table and sharing our day. We actually built our own two-metre long table out of IKEA countertops with a long bench at either side and stools at the heads. I cook from scratch and everyone eats the same, except for those who have allergies. The baby has always fed while I’m eating, and picked from family meals to learn a varied diet. Thankfully, they aren’t fussy, and all eat happily and healthy.” Large quantities are still tricky to get right: sometimes the family is very hungry and the plate is licked clean, while other times there are leftovers, which someone will always enjoy the following day. Grocery shopping is a mission to stuff the double fridge with fresh produce, and… “in two days it is all gone!” One of the hardest parts of parenting was snapping a family picture: “Imagine getting ten people to smile at the camera at once! Before my eldest went off to Uni, I decided we should have a family photo, so we went to the Lighthouse where a very patient photographer friend of ours tried for over two hours to capture the perfect frame, but had to give up after they started pulling silly faces, and the little ones were tired and crying. So, when my son returned for Christmas, I said ‘let’s do it again and nobody goes home until it is done!’ and we managed to achieve a lovely family photo in half an hour - and enjoy the experience.” And between one ten-kilo washing machine load and the next, Tamsin worries about her kids’ future: will they find a suitable job and career? Will they get on the property ladder? “I also worry about pollution and the environment, and what kind of world is our legacy to our children.” Photographs: Maz Photography


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T h e St ory of t h e

G i b r a lta R Evacuees

bye to Gibraltarians said good In 1940, around 16,000 barked on and loved ones and em their husbands, fathers could serve exile so that the Rock perilous voyages into as a key fortress.


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Inspired and guided by his late daughter Michelle, Joe Gingell undertook the mammoth task of researching and publishing two books about the remarkable story of the Gibraltar evacuees during World War II. When war broke out in September 1939, it was thought by military experts and politicians that Gibraltar was not going to be in the front line of hostilities. However the scenario changed when the Low Countries were overrun in May 1940 and Italy entered the war on the German side in June 1940.

Joe’s first book We Thank God and England raised over £30,000 in aid of cancer charities and he has high hopes of raising a similar sum with his second book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in aid of Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society and the Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society.

The British Government ordered the evacuation from Gibraltar of women, children, the elderly and infirm, firstly to French Morocco, which was at that time the nearest Allied country, but from where they were expelled. After the expulsion from French Morocco, about 13,000 evacuees were then sent to London, 1,500 were sent to Jamaica to live in a camp which they found to be a bit of a culture shock and a further 2,000 evacuees, who could afford it, went to Madeira where they enjoyed a climate and lifestyle not dissimilar to their home country. “I started investigating the history of the evacuees when my daughter passed away about eleven years ago,” Joe explains. “Whilst she was being treated for breast cancer in England we used to visit some of the places that my family had been sent to, and it was with her encouragement that I began to compile and document the history of the evacuation.”

The second edition explains how close the ships carrying the Gibraltar evacuees were from being sunk. It contains key extracts from the meetings at the War Office and the debates in the House of Commons about the Gibraltar evacuees, how Spain assisted Germany, Britain’s military strategy in case Spain joined the war and how Spain was kept out of the war. Evacuated at the age of 2 years old with his mother and two brothers, Joe has vivid memories of some of the places they were sent to. “My father stayed here in Gibraltar as a ship fitter working in the dockyard and we were evacuated on a ship that set out in a convoy for Liverpool.”

were mined and the ships carrying the evacuees had to navigate with great care in order to disembark safely. Joe quotes Commodore Creighton who stated in his book Convoy Commodore that: “if the convoy of ships carrying the Gibraltarian evacuees had been attacked, it could have resulted in one of the worst disasters in British maritime history”. There is a theory, Joe tells me, that the Germans knew it wasn’t worth sinking ships full of women, children and the elderly. “But I haven’t found any evidence that the Germans were instructed not to sink the ships.” Disembarking in Liverpool which was under attack from German bombers at the time, the family were sent down to London. “Firstly we had to be washed because the merchant ship had been full of people living in unhygienic conditions, and we were lice ridden,” Joe states. “We moved six times because of the blitz and eventually about 500 evacuees were taken to Whitelands College in Putney.” Joe remembers it being like a university campus with recreational grounds. “It was a nice place to be, and we stayed there for about three years until it was bombed and went up in flames in February 1944.” Taken back to a temporary hotel in London, Joe recalls the day that along with his mother and two brothers they found themselves lying on the floor at the York Hotel as a result of an explosion from a flying bomb which killed a Gibraltar evacuee. Joe confirms that they were not supposed to stay in London, but were meant to go to the West Indies. “People refused on the grounds of the risk in crossing the North Atlantic and sailing down the coast of the US; because there was a good chance the ship would have been sunk.” The

To avoid the German U-boats, the ships had to circumnavigate across the Atlantic, taking 16 days to reach the ports of Liverpool, Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol. The entrances to these ports


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FEATURE mood change was exacerbated by the fact that 77 British children being evacuated to Canada lost their lives when their ship, the SS City of Benares, was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic in September 1940. Joe has documented extracts from letters exchanged between Bishop Amigo, a Gibraltarian Bishop living in the UK, and the Minister in charge saying that he would be committing a crime if he sent these loyal British subjects on the voyage, and added that they were being treated worse than the German internees. Eventually they didn’t go.

an essential worker. “When we arrived at the docks, a man came towards us and grabbed me - it was my father - but I didn’t recognise him.” “Some of the women and children who were accompanied to London by men didn’t have the same priority. Nearly 7,000 evacuees who fell into this category were sent to Northern Ireland to live in several camps from where they were to be gradually repatriated. This move was a bit of a setback for those who thought they were coming back soon to Gibraltar.” After living in the various camps for some time with no employment and often in freezing cold weather, about 2,000 evacuees decided to leave the camps of their own accord and went to the Fulham area of London where they established a Gibraltarian community. Joe’s beautifully designed high quality books contain nearly 1,000 emotive photographs and images, some donated from the private collections of Gibraltarian families. In total, the two editions contain the largest collection of memorabilia about the evacuation and there is no doubt that every Gibraltarian family should have a copy of each book in their homes to ensure that the younger generations know exactly what their grandparents and parents experienced.

The first edition, We Thank God and England, can be downloaded as a free eBook from the Gibraltar Government National Archives – Evacuation: Joe explains that the history of Gibraltar during World War II is unique because it was totally evacuated. From April 1944, people began to return to Gibraltar, with the last evacuees finally returning six years after the end of the war in 1951. Joe’s family was granted priority status to return before the war finished because his father had remained as


Joe continues to sell copies of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in his fundraising quest and can be found at various coffee shops and clubs around Gibraltar with dates, times and places detailed on his Facebook page: Joe Gingell or contact him by email at:

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THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN A new rock band with a seasoned line-up is being officially launched on 5th April at the Ivy with their first solo gig, after their fans enjoyed a teaser at the Rock on the Rock last year. “We played a short set at Kyle Azzopardi’s tribute concert last November, and it seems it was well received,” drummer George Linares says. “We played Incubus, Audio Slave, Muse, and Led Zeppelin.”

Antho used to be a lead singer in a band called Electears when he lived in France, so when he relocated to Gibraltar and his music bug was still a-buzzing, he co-founded Omnibus. After Omnibus disbanded, Panic Station offered a new lease of life to his stentorian voice. He also started another project called Rock Field with former Omnibus members Darren Bloomfield and Kevin Peach. Nick has a philosophical approach to music, whose technical side he takes seriously and diligently: “I started playing electric guitar in my childhood and I appreciated melody. When I moved on to rock, I always encouraged my bands to incorporate melody.”

The band started working on putting together some twenty covers of ‘well known but not enough played classic rock songs’ to perform in spring, which they are gearing up to in a little bit of panic, true to their namesake.

He played in several bands, including heavy metal ensemble Soul Within, where he was cast as a bass guitarist. He liked it, because he believes that the bass always makes a statement. “Panic Station pursues a different style, but it is an interesting challenge for me because it combines commercial rock with artistic substance in its choice of lyrics, melodies and emo-

“We were looking for a catchy name, and the word ‘panic’ kept on popping up,” says guitarist and backing vocalist Justin Phillips, “as we were pressed for time to put together an appealing repertoire.” Hence, Panic Station became the whistle stop to board the train of live music.


Coming from different musical backgrounds that surely enrich the band’s performance as a whole, without any member outstaging the next, the band’s priority is a flawless debut gig that will leave the fan base hungry for more in the future, when they expect to be ready to perform the original material that Justin is already working on. He is the charismatic one who keeps the band gelled together. He recruited singer Antho Rocco and bassist Nick Ellul, and, after a couple of changes in the line-up, he scouted his old band pal and school friend George out of his almost two-decade long musical hiatus and appointed him to drums. George modestly claims he plays drums because it is the only instrument he can play, and nobody usually pays attention to the band’s drummer, although without a drummer no band can function.

Justin basks in a bit of namedropping when he mentions how he has played with musicians like Guy Valarino, Paul Santos, Nolan Frendo, Will Westlake, Nicholas Hassan, James Culatto, Charlie Moore and Daryl Alman: “We rehearsed tons and we played tons and virtually every Friday night we packed Sax II with our band Ellipse. When I went to uni, I had some projects, nothing special, and when I returned I was in Woodoo Monkey and we released an album.” Justin also has a side project called Circle Machine, ‘electronic music infused with guitar’. “I hope we will be able to play it live one day.” They reckon that raising a suitable fan base is difficult for an unknown band, even if its members are known, and the debut gig is the make-or-break hurdle. “Live music played for listening more than for partying attracts indeed the older generation, but they often have family commitments and they cannot just attend gigs at the drop of a hat,” Nick observes, “while teenagers and young people in their early twenties populate events where they can have a good time and build a sense of community.”

“George’s got an impeccable sense of rhythm,” his mates praise him. He had his heyday in his teens with Wasted, and now he is making a comeback with a bang. George adds: “I didn’t play much in uni due to practical constraints, but when I returned to Gibraltar, I got myself an electronic drum kit so I can practise at home wearing headphones, and don’t bother my neighbours with the noise. I use my acoustic kit at gigs and for band rehearsals - and the logistics of driving it around, loading and unloading, involve time and effort.” George and Justin grew up listening to Red Chilli Peppers and other rock bands, so they are into pure rock music but they don’t shun away from personalising the execution of their covers in order to make them truly theirs. “We want to shed the label of ‘just a party band’: we are not there to play in the background, but to be listened to and appreciated not only for the music we play, but especially for how we play it. For example, we are planning a grungy rendition of the Beatles’ Come Together, which hopefully will have the audience do a double take.”

Furthermore, not many venues are equipped for live music, that’s why they are grateful to the Rock on the Rock Club for catering to this purpose, but with limited room it is inevitable that there is limited scope for continuity, if all bands are to be fairly allowed their time in the spotlight. Consequently, bands have to queue between one performance and the next, disappointing their fans and disrupting the band’s learning curve. Panic Station calls for more venues to consider introducing live music on their menu: “Gibraltar cannot boast a quality live music scene without suitable venues supporting it every week. And musicians need to perform often if they want to improve their showmanship besides their repertoire.” Of course, there always are festivals and competitions, so we wish Panic Station to be included in the GMF: with six months’ notice, the panic will confidently simmer down to a healthy adrenaline rush.


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Stephen McClaren is the band’s charismatic and accomplished guitarist, co-composer with Giles Ramirez their vocalist. Stephen recorded and produced the band’s latest album seventeen years after their heyday. The band famously reunited in 2013 and their songs are part of the Rock’s musical DNA. The CD is a strong musical statement which has impressed many in the local Rock scene and will win them new fans. Their old fans never left. I tried to get the story of their new album ‘Calling all Stations.’ Stephen kindly fielded the questions. “This album has been a work in progress and not something we spontaneously decided to do, mainly because a lot of the songs were already demoed back in the old ‘Reach’ days. The idea of recording an album came after the ‘Reach Reunion’ in 2013 because we didn’t want to be playing the same songs over and over again. It was either record something new or put ‘Reach’ to sleep forever!” “Some of the songs were ready and songs like ‘A Girl named Marilyn’ were written specifically for this album and bashed out in the rehearsal studio, which is how I personally enjoy do-

ing stuff because you get the essence and energy of the whole band at the same time and it’s such a cool feeling when you create something together.” From a production point of view it’s not easy to come by a ‘groove’ that can be applied to form a collection of songs that will thread cohesively into each other I wanted to know when did they know that they had the recipe for a new album?


“To be completely honest, we always prided ourselves in having plenty of songs to pick from, mainly because song writing is something that has always come very naturally to us, so there has never been a shortage of songs. It was actually very difficult to select the songs that we have for this album because we didn’t know what to leave out! It could have been a double album and it was a nice problem to have! From a production point of view we pretty much used what we felt were the best songs and it was very important that the album has flow and showcases what we consider to be the sound of ‘Reach’. Having played a lot of the songs in the album ‘live’ pri-


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or to recording also gave us a good pointer as to which songs worked well with us and the audiences, because it’s that strong connection which makes everything click.” The journey to making a new album is never an easy one more so after a long absence from recording. What were the main obstacles in your way and how did you overcome them? One of the biggest challenges was the lyrics as some of the songs were originally written in Spanish so Giles did a great job in changing them to English which is no mean feat. Some of the songs sound even better. My hat goes off to him! We were always sure that this album was going to have more guitars so a lot of the songs were rewritten to accommodate this and it worked out really well.”

we enjoy it, we’ll do it. It’s still fun, we do it gracefully and for the right reasons, then we’ll keep at it in one form or another, so yes, in answer to your question, we are currently working on doing an official ‘launch concert’ for the album and there’s other stuff in the pipeline, so watch this space!” Many hours were put into producing and mastering this album. I know that just from listening to it but I never get the sense of how long any song takes to record and finish. I tried to find out the trade secrets. “Aha… a lot of hours and that depends on the song, some take longer than others, recording of instruments vary, I tend to record drums first where we all play ‘live’ to get that band ‘feel’ going, then concentrate on bass, then guitars/key-

I picked two because they have a more serious and darker aspect of ‘Reach’ which appeals more to me nowadays, having said that we tried to put a bit of everything in there, classic Reach and darker Reach. The last track on the album is a song called ‘Hear me angel’ which is the song written for the ‘Reach’ project many moons ago… we stripped down the song and redid this beautiful acoustic (unplugged type) version that closes the album very nicely. It’s very special because the album ends with the song that started everything off.” Having reviewed the excellent album myself I couldn’t decide on a favourite track and wondered if the band had one? “Difficult question that. Truth is it keeps changing all the time and we never agree on the same song. I think that’s a good thing. The same is happening with the people who’ve bought the album, everybody seems to have a different track as their favourite. I just think it’s great!” Reach have achieved high standards of material, great recordings and well-designed packaging so are there plans to take this album further afield?

‘Reach’ will have to commit to gigs to promote the album and make new fans. How are those plans coming along and are the guys looking forward to gigging again? Not an easy thing gigging, especially in our small local venues. “Of course Joe, playing ‘live’ is the whole point of doing all this, we are essentially a live band and that is where I feel we shine best, we are no spring chickens but gigging is our natural habitat and so long as


boards and lastly vocals; it’s a long and arduous process but very fulfilling at the same time. Mixing and mastering can easily take a whole day! As I have my own recording studio I can take as much time as I need to get a song right as there is no pressure, or worse, a record company breathing down my neck.” “If I had to pick one song which best represents ‘Reach’ in this album it would have to be ‘A Girl Named Marilyn’ or ‘The story’s not over’… sorry

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“No we’re not looking at taking this any further, our days of looking for record deals etc. are long over… this is a fun project and its primarily about giving back to the community and to the loyal local fan base that have supported us from day one, that is why we saw it fitting to donate all proceeds of CD sales to local charities. We can’t discard doing a few concerts further afield if they ask, just for the fun of it, but I think that is as far as it will go. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our good friend Stephen Perera for the great photography and design of the Album. He has donated his time and expertise free of charge out of friendship and to the fact that all proceeds of the sale of the CD will go to local charities. ‘Reach’ would also like to thank Gibtelecom for sponsoring the pressing of the CDs.”




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A selection of images captured by local photographer / artist Billy Couper in his own unique, soulful style.


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You can view these and other images on his Facebook and Instagram pages under: Billy Couper. 55



The fifth edition of ‘GIBTalks’ organised by drama teacher and playwright Julian Felice on the format of the American TED Talks took place at the John Mackintosh Theatre on Groundhog Day. The full house listened to seventeen speakers who, in their individual fifteen minutes in the spotlight, made the audience giggle, weep, and think, and also to get to know a personal slice of the life of several public figures under an often unexpected light. The session was opened by the organiser, who talked stats while a rapid-fire montage of past participants’ photographs scrolled on the screen above his head, including internationally renowned artists, authors, journalists, politicians, scientists, trekkers, university professors, an Olympian and a former Miss World. The topics ranged from parenthood, education, religion, politics, sports, fundraising, addiction, medicine and the hot issue of abortion. Clare Bensadon from the Pro Life Movement recounted her early miscarriage and her anxiety at her second pregnancy that happily ended with the birth of her bouncing preemie quickly transferred from the maternal womb to the ‘clinical womb’ that an incubator is. Her regard for any baby as ‘one of us’ from conception is a hymn to motherhood as the infallible mission bestowed upon women, however she failed to include men and fathers in her peroration. On the other side of the fence stood Pro Choice representatives Rosalina Oliva and Charlotte Lowe, the first courageously disclosing her abusive relationship’s story that eventually led to her termination decision, and the second recollecting her life-or-death dilemma when faced with cancer during pregnancy and the prospective of her two toddlers being left without a mother, if she chose to bring their little sibling to the world. Their ultimate question was: am I morally obliged to bear a child? Shockwaves were sent by Noemi Jimenez who matter-of-factly reported on the emotive costs of escaping a

cult where God is invoked as a pretext for controlling adepts and to censor their self-expression. From fanaticism to addiction, the audience listened to the intense, honest, cathartic story of Steven Walker, who was once ‘addicted to escape reality’, destitute and on the brink of suicide, but is now drugs-free and running a half marathon. More sportive determination with operatic singer turned accountant Nathan Payas who has challenged himself to the fundraising efforts of open-water swimming with hefty feats like crossing the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar (single and return) and the Catalina night swim from the Californian coast. Nineteen-year old Stephen Whatley made a sports star appearance. Introduced by presenter Julian Felice as ‘chess junior champion, fencing champion, taekwondo black belt… y encima… a really nice kid!’, Stephen paid tribute to his sponsor Roger Stentiford who had passed away just a few days before, and described the serious and long-lasting consequences on his memory, behaviour and speech of what seemed just a mild concussion at first. The lively and unassuming presentation of his chess and fencing achievements captivated the audience and inspired them to look into this little-known medical condition. A trio of iconic personalities and giants in their fields proved that ‘age is just a number’ as per Sonia Golt’s talk’s title: in a fast-paced presentation, bubblier than champagne and breezier than a Bahaman summer day, fashionista and


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FEATURE Bosom Buddies’ founder Sonia proved how ‘age is mind over matter, and if you don’t mind your age, then it doesn’t matter!’ Former archivist Tommy Finlayson acknowledged that, at over eighty years young, people like him are in the departure lounge hoping the flight will be delayed. His years as an archivist and historian are his legacy to Gibraltar. Former Bayside teacher Monica Ritchie, who prides herself on having taught well over half of Gibraltar’s male population, retraced her acting career from North London to Gibraltar, and her recent grand return to the stage with Rock Theatre. She shared some intimate details of her biography, such as her wedding photograph, and the fact that her parents were wartime Berlin escapees, and her maternal grandmother a Holocaust victim - fitting just one week after the occurrence was solemnly marked at Commonwealth Park monument. Personal as well the contribution by Radio Gibraltar and Newswatch presenter Lindsay Weston who described how she dragged her feet in her husband’s relocation from Yorkshire to Gibraltar for what was supposed to be just two years but turned into a decade, the practical challenges of house hunting and being a full-time mum to young children and the consequent inception of the Trinity Toddlers playgroup. Staying on the theme of pedagogy Nicole Stein-Jezulin illustrated with a plethora of photos the Montessori method applied in her private nursery. Dyslexia Support Group co-founder Stuart Byrne asked whether dyslexia is a disability or just a disadvantage in a system heavily based on reading, writing and spelling: in pre-alphabetisation cultures where children are taught by practice or by oral repetition, potential reading difficulties are irrelevant to prompt learning, because

children can process teaching visually or by imitation – so what are we doing wrong and can we design an educational system inclusive to the estimated 10% dyslexic population? Parenthood tragedy was the topic of Stanley Flower’s talk about his teenage son’s traffic accident and Tamsin Suarez’s dealing with childhood cancer. The first described the ordeal weathered by his family thirty years ago when his son Mark was hospitalised with life-threatening injuries in Malaga after his friend Richard’s red compact crashed near Sotogrande. The anxious, distressed and desperate parabola from the dead-of-the-night police phone call to the relief of watching Mark and Richard meet again in Cadiz hospital, where the latter was admitted and eventually awoke from a coma, touched the innermost fear that parents dread to face, in a detailed description of the instant the Stanleys first laid eyes on him in that hospital bed, covered in bruises and cuts, a tractioned leg, one eye bulging out with its pupil dilated. “His head sparkled, as it was still covered in glass fragments,” Mr Flower said. Mother-of-eight Tamsin likened a parent’s strength to an egg shell’s which can unexpectedly withstand enormous pressure, when she told how her toddler was sent to Birmingham for further tests after being misdiagnosed here, and suddenly her world caved in when he was prescribed immediate leukaemia treatment: besides the anguish for her son’s survival, there were practical implications like being temporarily homeless, financial constraints, job security worries, when she and her husband were stranded in the UK for months with just a suitcase, a double pram and their infant daughter in tow, in a pre-credit card era, when Calpe House turned down their accommodation request because it had a no children policy. What does a parent do in that situation? Just cracks and falls apart every night and picks the pieces up again in the morning when it’s time to turn up to the hospital with a brave face for the sick child’s sake.

man contact despite the ‘segregation’ of communities, in contrast to today’s international ambience, luxury developments and hi-tech business, and he called for keeping positive in braving yet another storm. Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia was introduced as the unfaltering advocate of an issue very closed to Gibraltarian hearts, namely ‘Brrrand 5!’ Jokes aside, he gave the audience a summary of his Brexit-related diplomacy, peppered with palatable anecdotes to defuse the palpable uncertainty. And as the curtain fell on GIBTalks, in the spirit of gender equality with an even number of male and female speakers for the first time in five years, Julian revealed how the sixth edition is already pencilled in for 2020, asking the public to volunteer their participation or to nominate someone who hasn’t been yet featured.

Last but not least, GIBTalks briefly touched upon politics with GSD prodigal son Keith Azopardi QC analysing Gibraltar’s social changes in the last fifty years (since frontier closure). He talked of a different society, with no luxury development, little technology and more hu-


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Where did you first start your employment? “Trainee telegraphist in the GPO Dublin.”

How would you describe yourself? “Sociable but a bit shy, take ages to get to know someone and by then it’s usually too late.”

Which person has been the biggest influence in your life? “My eldest brother Mickey, who emigrated to the United States and became a detective (now retired) in the NYPD. Coming from a large family, Mickey being much older was an inspiration to me growing up.”

Have you ever been given advice that you wished you had acted on? “Never enter a bookies! Advice from my mum which sadly fell on deaf ears!”

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given? “Back Trap 1 in the first at Hackney Dogs every Saturday morning. Cost me a fortune!”

What makes you laugh? “Very non PC but I love the Carry On films, Benny Hill and Rising Damp.”

What’s your greatest ambition?

dle winner at the Cheltenham Festival.”

What’s the best country you’ve ever visited and why?

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? “It’s a good thing, can’t be beat”, ever the optimist despite repeated reversals.”

“Gibraltar, getting paid to trade on sport, gamble and drink in the sun over the past 14 years - I’m still pinching myself!”

Do you have any regrets?

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

“Just BBC Radio 5 Live these days.”

“Writing out today’s bets with tomorrow’s results paper in my hand!”

What’s the best experience you’ve had in life so far?

Have you had any embarrassing moments? “Many, usually involving too much imbibing.”

“To own the Champion Hur-

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

“Far too many to list.”

What keeps you awake at night?

“Being present, helpless, terrified and tearful, at the birth of my children, Gemma and Kevin.”

If you didn’t live where you are currently located where would you like to Live (Money no object)? “Lough Gowna, an idyllic village in my home county of Cavan, Ireland, where I can indulge my love of fishing.”

“The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien.”

What’s your favorite music track?

What person historic or living would you most like to meet?

“Road To Hell by Chris Rea, I’m going to risk the wrath of family members by requesting this goosebump song be played at my funeral!”

“Adam, from the Garden of Eden, so I could ask him why he let Eve persuade him to take a bite out of the apple!”

What’s your biggest fear?

If you could change one thing about Gibraltar what would it be?

“Loss of independence associated with growing old – perish the thought of having to rely on other people.”

“Put a stop to the rash of turning beautiful, traditional pubs into hairdressing salons. Surely there’s a limit to how many heads in Gib needing so much follicle attention!”

If you could change something about yourself, what would it be? “Occasionally I blow a fuse and then spend months regretting it.”

What is your favourite hobby or interest “Sport - horses, dogs, rugby, football, snooker, darts and fishing.”


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Red & white love TYING THE KNOT IN GIBRALTAR edding season is less than two months away and Gibraltar is gearing up to the latest trends with a wide selection of opportunities designed to accommodate all visions of the ‘Big Day’.

For the adventurous ones who want to entertain their guests with a novel way to snap that souvenir shot, a ‘photo booth’ service was available for guests to play dress-up and be immortalised with all sorts of elegant or humorous props.

To this purpose, a small Wedding Fair was held at the Rock Hotel on the sunny Saturday afternoon before Valentine’s Day, to showcase the finest merchandise and services for a memorable ceremony and after party, from the gown to the honeymoon.

Bridal jewellery is the second focus of attention after the gown, so different styles were on offer, from the traditional string of pearls, whether dainty and understated or bold in its boiled-sweet size, whether freshwater or Tahitian, to the flamboyant parures of necklace, bracelet and earrings, marrying in their ornate design the eternal diamond with the passion of rubies or the coolness of sapphires.

Visitors were welcomed with a glass of champagne and by a young couple of models dressed in romantic sweetheart neckline gown and ink-blue formal suit, introducing them to a leisurely browse of some ten stalls manned by local businesses, sampling venues, favours, photographs and of course savoury and sweet nibbles. If white remains the queen of colours for all weddings, the setting for an intimate open-air ceremony is glamorised with the arch of white and blush pink balloons where the celebrant and the couple stand, while guests sit on white chairs draped with shimmery chiffon tied with fresh bouquets. This arrangement attracted the curiosity of many visitors, perhaps because it was set up on the Hotel’s sundrenched veranda, affording congenial views over the Bay and the silvery sea. Several photographers displayed their portfolios, from the traditional poses on greenery backdrop with the couple gazing lovingly in each other’s eyes or the bride enjoying the intricacy of her gown while peering dreamingly in the distance.

Wedding and engagement rings were the star of the show, with samples of the most requested cuts and their symbolism, from the classic brilliant cut to the fancy ones like ‘princess’ for the queen in your life, the heart cut to clearly proclaim your love, the Asscher for extra sparkle, the oval that can be mounted on a ring either north-south or eastwest, the teardrop that points straight to the heart, or the marquise for your favourite one. Favours are the gadgets to express your personality and the wedding theme: traditional sugared almond drops in layers of tulle are nowadays accompanied by souvenir objects like key-rings, charm bracelets for the bridesmaids and flower girls, small porcelain ornaments, fleecy cushions for the Mr & Mrs, hand-painted champagne flutes or tumblers, trinket boxes – your imagination is the limit, and sometimes good taste. Your upcoming wedding is the perfect excuse for a makeover: one of the topof-the-range hair salons

in Gibraltar offered on-the-spot styling, hairdryer in hand, proposing a series of sculptured up-dos named after London’s districts, while aestheticians advertised eyelash extensions, peeling, non-surgical lifting and all the tricks of the trade for brides and grooms to look refreshed and rejuvenated on the first day of the rest of their lives. If the bouquets on display were understated and traditional in white, florists were available to take up orders and concoct your unique creation based on the latest fashion’s flights of fancy, which dictate the deconstruction of the Victorian posy of lily-of the-valley or orange blossom tied with ivy leaves, or a single calla lily with fresh foliage, steering towards tropical flowers like orchids in vivid colours, introducing alternative elements like dried half-orange peel or gilded lotus flower pods (not for trypophobes!), cinnamon sticks, raffia ribbons, glittery nut shells in homage to Roman tradition, and even edible features like sweets wrapped tight in tulle and arranged in floral shapes. And finally the honeymoon, the chunkiest slice of the wedding cake: exotic destinations and cruises still top the wish list, but rural tourism and city breaks are there too. The savvy honeymooners who feel they’re so lucky in love they must give something back to the community may even opt for placements with charities working overseas, making the most of their extended holiday to join Medicins Sans Frontières or trek the desert on camelback to distribute books to remote villages.

Whatever your idea of the perfect day is, there is a professional in Gibraltar ready to help you make your dream come true.

Visit your portal to the industry and the 24-hour wedding package on the Rock.


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Part 1 Kids

During the early years, physical activity has a crucial impact on children’s health, playing an important role in helping them develop motor skills, building strong muscles and bones and developing personal skills such as self-esteem, resilience, confidence and problem solving. In a new child health awareness initiative - Children, Healthy and Active! Multiagency Programme (CHAMP) - launched by the Gibraltar Health Authority last year aimed at reducing childhood obesity levels, it was reported that no less than one third of children in Gibraltar are either overweight or obese. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): “in order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers, children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.” How much physical activity a child needs to do each week will depend on his or her age. Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. According to the NHS guidelines in the UK, babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, every day. Before your baby begins to crawl, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play, including tummy time. Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe, supervised and nurturing play environment. Children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside. The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping. Active play, such as using a climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games, is the best way for this age group to get moving. According to the NHS, children under the age of five should not be inactive for long periods of time, except when they’re asleep. Watching television, travelling in the car, bus, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods of time are not good for a child’s health and development. There’s growing evidence that such behaviour can increase their risk of poor health. Light activity for children includes a range of activities, such as standing up, moving around, walking and less energetic play. Energetic activities suitable for most children who can walk on their own includes active play (such as hide and seek), running, jumping, riding a bike, dancing and swimming. Children and young people should take part in activities appropriate for their age and stage of development.

they could walk or cycle. Being active for at least 60 minutes a day is linked to better general health, stronger bones and muscles, and higher levels of self-esteem. Activities that require moderate effort for most young people include walking to school, playing in the playground, riding a scooter, walking the dog and cycling on level ground. According to the NHS, vigorous activity can bring even more health benefits. A rule of thumb being that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity. There’s currently no recommendation on how long a session of vigorous activity should be for this age group. Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most young people include playing catch, energetic dancing, swimming, cycling, running, gymnastics, football, rugby and martial arts. Muscle strength is necessary for daily activities, and to build and maintain strong bones, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and help maintain a healthy weight. For young people, muscle-strengthening activities are those that require them to lift their own body weight or work against a resistance, such as lifting a weight. Muscle-strengthening activities suitable for children include games such as tug of war, swinging on playground equipment bars, gymnastics, sit-ups, press-ups and other similar exercises. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities suitable for young people also include sit-ups, press-ups and other similar exercises, but also resistance exercises with exercise bands, weight machines or handheld weights and sports such as football, basketball and tennis. Examples of bone-strengthening exercises for children include activities that require children to lift their body weight or work against a resistance, jumping and climbing activities, combined with the use of playground equipment and toys, running, gymnastics, dance, football and basketball. Bone-strengthening activities for young people include aerobics, weight training and sports such as football, rugby, netball, hockey and badminton. Whenever possible, children and young people with disabilities should meet these recommendations by working with their health care provider to understand the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them considering their disability. For inactive children and youth, a progressive increase in activity to eventually achieve the targets shown above is recommended. It is appropriate to start with smaller amounts of physical activity and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time. It should also be noted that if children are currently doing no physical activity, doing amounts below the recommended levels will bring more benefits than doing none at all. According to the WHO, physical activity has also been associated with psychological benefits in young people by improving their control over symptoms of anxiety and depression. Participating in physical activity can also help young people’s social development by providing opportunities for self-expression, building self-confidence, social interaction and integration. It has also been suggested that physically active young people more readily adopt other healthy behaviours such as avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse and demonstrate higher academic performance at school.

To stay healthy or to improve health, young people aged 5 to 18 need to do 3 types of physical activity each week - aerobic exercise, exercises to strengthen their bones and exercises to strengthen their muscles. To maintain a basic level of health they need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis. On 3 days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles and bones, such as swinging on playground equipment, hopping and skipping, and sports such as gymnastics or tennis.

The above article is only intended for information purposes. Always consult your GP and obtain further information from health care professionals.

Children and young people should also reduce the time they spend sitting for extended periods of time, including watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car when


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MARCH 2019



Itchy Eyes, Sneezes and Snuffles! COMMON ALLERGIES IN BABIES AND CHILDREN Does your baby or child have a runny nose or itchy, red and swollen eyes? At this time of year you may have just put this down to symptoms of the common cold, but there are telltale clues that could help you know the difference between colds and allergies. But even doctors sometimes find it difficult to tell the symptoms of respiratory allergies to those of a cold, because there’s an overlap between allergy symptoms and the symptoms of an infection. Hay fever and food allergies were extremely rare even a few decades ago so just what is causing the steep rise in their incidence, especially in children and babies, nowadays? The truth is that nobody knows. Experts have suggested that it could be caused by reasons ranging from a lack of vitamin D to gut health and pollution. Weaning practices could also influence food allergies. Recent research estimates that around 40% of children in the UK will suffer from an allergy at some point, and although some allergies go away as a child gets older, some can last a lifetime. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system perceives a food or substance as a threat to the body. For most people, these triggers are harmless but babies with a sensitivity can develop a physical reaction in the form of a rash, illness or severe shock.

What is Hay FeveR? Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is caused by an abnormal (or allergic) reaction of the body when pollen comes into contact with the nose, eyes or throat. Pollen itself is actually harmless, but it’s the reaction the body has to it which causes the problem! When your child comes into contact with pollen an allergic reaction is triggered. Their immune system over-reacts to this ‘harmless’ substance, attacking it as if it were a virus rather than recognising that it is safe. Large amounts of the chemical histamine are released, and it is this which causes your child to develop symptoms including itching, inflammation and irritation. Hay fever is most commonly caused by grass pollen, although other pollens can also trigger the symptoms including weed pollen and tree pollen, such as birch, cypress, oak, plane and sweet chestnut trees. However, if it is hay fever then your child won’t have a fever and nasal discharge will be clear.

Symptoms of an immediate food allergy include: • Mild to moderate symptoms typically affect the skin, the respiratory system and the gut. • A flushed face, hives, a red and itchy rash around the mouth, tongue or eyes. This can spread across the entire body. • Mild swelling, particularly of the lips, eyes and face • A runny or blocked nose, sneezing and watering eyes • Nausea and vomiting, tummy cramps and diarrhoea • A scratchy or itchy mouth and throat

If you think your baby or child has any sort of allergy, please make an appointment with your GP who may then suggest that you see an allergy specialist.

children to also develop allergies, including hay fever, and there may also be a greater tendency for children to develop asthma if they have hay fever.

Hay Fever Remedies for Children You should definitely speak to your pharmacist or doctor before buying any hay fever medication, as most aren’t suitable for children before they’re one year old, and others aren’t suitable for under 12’s. If you get the all-clear to use them, the most common medications against hay fever are antihistamines, which stop the body’s immune system from overreacting to things like pollen. Liquids and syrups are more common for small children, and you can also buy nasal sprays and eye drops to directly target symptoms.

Food Allergies Food allergies in children are quite common. It’s estimated that around five in every 100 children may have one. Your child may be more likely to develop a food allergy if there’s a family history of food allergies, if they have other allergies like hay fever or if they have other medical conditions such as eczema or asthma. Unfortunately, babies who suffer from eczema are at a higher risk of having food allergies. The more severe the eczema and the earlier in life that it began, the more likely there is to be a food allergy. When you’re weaning your baby it’s a good idea to introduce foods which often cause allergies – such as cow’s milk, eggs or nuts – one at a time – so if your baby has a reaction, you’ll know what caused it. The symptoms of a food allergy almost always develop a few seconds or minutes after eating the food. Some people may develop a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life threatening. The most common food allergies in children include: cow’s milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soya, and fish.

Unfortunately hay fever can run in families, especially if either parent has allergies then it can be common for the


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329c Main Street Gibraltar Tel: 200 50710

PHOTOS Commercial Photographer Finest collection of old photographs on the Rock


MARCH 2019


VISITING SPECIALISTS - MAR 2019 Mr Laurence Stewart - Urologist

14th March

Rosmetics - Injectable aesthetic techniques

14th and 15th March

Dr Barry Monk - Dermatologist

18th March

Alan Stone - Audiologist

26th March

Dr Eva Carneiro - Sports & Exercise Medicine

29th March

REGULAR SURGICAL AND MEDICAL SPECIALISTS Mr David Deardon – General and Venous Surgeon


Dr Robin Reyes – Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon

Alternate Tuesdays

Mr Thomas Boerger – Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon

Thursday and Friday evenings

Dr Ramin Pakzad – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Mondays and Thursdays

Dr Waqar Haider – Consultant General Physician / Respiratory Medicine. Dr Francisca Dominguez – Paediatrician Dr Antonio Segovia - Psychiatrist

Tuesday evenings


WHAT IS PSORIASIS? Psoriasis is a condition that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It’s characterized by skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than normal.

Mon/ Tues/ Wed/Thurs/ Fri mornings, and Wednesday afternoons. By prior appointment

Dr Pedro Aranda - Vascular Surgeon Dr Pietro Di Mauro - Aesthetic Surgeon

By prior arrangement By prior arrangement

GENERAL PRACTICE - FAMILY MEDICINE Dr Patrick Nerney – including Occupational Health Dr Monique Risso – including Naprotechnology

Emergency and routine appointments available every day

Dr Kate Roue Dr Maria Rosca

TRAVEL CLINIC - VACCINATION INCLUDING YELLOW FEVER Sr Susan Rhoda – Full travel needs assesments

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES Dr Chris Rodriguez – Consultant Radiologist

Ultrasound scanning, Xray and scan reporting Tuesday evenings.


Podiatry and Prolotherapy

Joyce Evans

Physiotherapy and Sports Injury

Frances May and Geraldine Canepa

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Pricilla Chelleram Jeffries

Osteopathy & Manipulation

Sr Susan Rhoda

Sclerotherapy and Nursing Services

Dr Karen Surridge

Clinical Psychologist

Sr Ros Bown

Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Fillers

Alan Stone

Hearing and Audiology

Laura Sanchez Soiza

Nutritional Nurse

Krisanne Pozo & Delyse Crome

Cambridge Weight Plan

Juan Garcia

Cardiac Physiologist

Rebeca Eriksen

FODMAP Dietitian

Rebecca Ramirez

Women’s Health and Children’s Physiotherapy.

Clinic times may be subject to change. Some appointments will be rescheduled by agreement. GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM MARCH 2019

Psoriasis can show up anywhere — on the eyelids, ears, mouth and lips, skin folds, hands and feet, and nails, although it typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp. Reported symptoms for Psoriasis include itchiness, burning and stinging sensations. The skin becomes red and white scaly, with silver coloured plaques forming over it. It is often accompanied by a type of Rheumatoid Arthritis known as Psoriatic Arthritis. Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious. Psoriasis in infants is uncommon, but it does occur. Only close observation can determine if an infant has the disease. If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should consider contacting a dermatologist. For more information on any skin condition you may have, please contact The Specialist Medical Clinic on +350 20049999 or email: to make an appointment with one of our dermatologists.

Unit F7, 1st Floor, ICC Building, Casemates Square, Gibraltar. Tel: +350 200 49999. Fax: +350 200 68999. Find us on Direct billing arrangements with major insurers.

Specialist Medical Clinic 67

Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 21) March is a great month for you to get those creative juices flowing, Aries. So, dig out all those ideas that you have been nursing and believe in your own power.


(Apr 21 – May 21)


This is a good month for you to get out and about, Taurus. There are new people waiting to be met and new travels to undertake. You know it makes sense so stop hanging around!

Gemini (May 22 – June 22) March finds you feeling on top of things, Gemini, which feels good! Keep moving forward and don’t be looking over your shoulder, It was right to let go.

Cancer June 23 – July 22) March will see you taking a trip or two down memory lane, Cancer, and enjoying reliving many old memories. This is precious and will find you reconnecting with friends old and new.

Leo July 23 – Aug 23) You need to assert yourself this month, Leo. And in such a way that it is very clear that you will no longer be accepting the situation. It’s gone too far and only you can change it.

Virgo (Aug 24 – Sep 23)


You are on a great energy vibration this month, Virgo, and you’ll find that others are crowding to get a bit of it!! Inspiring people is a wonderful thing to do . . . . and right now - you are!

Libra Sep 24 – Oct 23) Rest up just a little this month, Libra, and give yourself some space to reflect on just what you have achieved over the last few months. Your consistency has paid off. Well done!

Scorpio Oct 24 – Nov 22) You start the month lacking focus, Scorpio, but it’s easy to fix. You simply need to sort out the things you really, deep down want to say no to …. And then do it!

Sagittarius Nov 23 – Dec 21) Spread your wings this month, Sagittarius, and dare to fly! You need to rediscover your sense of independence and freedom and there’s no time like the present!

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 20)


Well, this looks like the month for you to be accepting a rich selection of social invites, Capricorn. It would appear to be just what you need … so have fun!

Aquarius Jan 21 – Feb 19) Being impulsive is not your best approach this month, Aquarius. Better to take your time and think things through. This way you can turn something important into a win - win situation.

Pisces Feb 20 – Mar 20) March can be a month of great and positive change for you, Pisces. Make those decisions that you have been putting off. The time is right and the results will be awesome! 68

For Private Readings TEL: (0034) 666 966 502 GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM

MARCH 2019

Email: Facebook Group: Horoscopes Gibraltar

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes | Serves: 2 Peppers are amazing, each type is different and are so versatile when cooking. I took inspiration from traditional Italian recipes and combined them to make a pasta free, “cannelloni” recipe, or just simply, stuffed peppers. • 4 Sweet Peppers • 300G Spinach • 250G Ricotta Cheese • 400G Tomate Triturado • Cheddar Cheese • 100ML Milk • 25G Butter • 30G Flour • Nutmeg • Olive Oil • Oregano Slice the top of the peppers off, leaving the pepper intact and remove the seeds inside. Run a handful or two of the spinach through a processor and mix together with the ricotta cheese, then stuff the peppers. Lay them out in an oven dish, drizzled with olive oil and season with salt. In a bowl, mix together the tomato, with the oregano and use this to cover the peppers. Cover the oven dish with foil and place in the oven at 180°C for 25 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the bechamel, fry the flour in butter and pour in the milk bit by bit stirring the mixture in until it loosens up and you have a viscous mixture, add in a pinch of nutmeg and a handful of the cheese. Remove the foil, from the oven dish, pour the bechamel over and cover with a topping of grated cheese. Place back in the oven, uncovered for 10 minutes to crisp and golden the cheese on top.

For more delicious Mama Lotties recipes visit: GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM

MARCH 2019



MARCH 2019


Just Married on the Rock Viktoria & Martin married on 8th January 2019. Photo by Radka Horvath.

Anna & David, married on 10th January 2019. Photo by Radka Horvath.


MARCH 2019



MARCH 2019


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Ellen Cronin & Sean O’Neill , married on 21st November 2018. Photo by Nicky Sanchez. Ana & Radu Ciorba, married on 6th October 2018. Photo by Nicky Sanchez.


MARCH 2019



MARCH 2019



MARCH 2019



MARCH 2019


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Gibraltar Insight March 2019  

It's a massive #March for the latest edition of #GBZinsight! We chat to BBC The Apprentice contender #KayodeDamali, preview the #CheltenhamF...

Gibraltar Insight March 2019  

It's a massive #March for the latest edition of #GBZinsight! We chat to BBC The Apprentice contender #KayodeDamali, preview the #CheltenhamF...

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