THE ROCK’S LONGEST RUNNING MAGAZINE
GIBRALTAR INSIGHT FREE COPY
Her Worship! THE ONE & ONLY KAIANE LOPEZ
JANUARY ISSUE 32
CHANGES AHEAD AT BFA ESTATE AGENCY
WE ARE ONE
WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS
INSPIRATIONAL GIBRALTARIANS – KAIANE LOPEZ
30 INSPIRATIONAL GIBRALTARIANS – GEORGINA CASSAR
NETTING THE BALL – BASKETBALL ON THE ROCK
ROCK AND ROLL
JUST LIKE MAGIC
SPORTS CALENDAR OF 2019 – A LOOK AHEAD TO THE MAIN EVENTS
KEEPING THE SOUNDS ALIVE AT THE ‘ROCK ON THE ROCK’ CLUB
44 LITERARY FESTIVAL FAVOURITES
6 COMMUNITY INSIGHT
SHAKEN & STIRRED
BREATHE MUSIC IT’S BETTER THAN AIR
55 ON THE SPOT: PAUL LOPEZ
History Insight 40 WE HAVE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD
58 HEALTH & WELLBEING INSIGHT 61 MUM ON THE ROCK A PARENT’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA 66 WEDDING INSIGHT 70 THE CELLAR CROSSWORD
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. email@example.com 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
GIBRALTAR HERITAGE AWARDS The first Group Heritage Award was awarded to The Arches in recognition of the restoration and redevelopment of ‘The Arches’ formally known as ‘The Gibraltar Police Barracks’. The building is a rare local example of neoclassical architecture with Tuscan order columns and arcaded arches. The Award was accepted by developers CIMCO partners. The second Group Heritage Award was awarded to Plata Villa, for the building previously known as Old St Joseph’s School, Witham’s Road. Originally a private home and then an orphanage, before becoming a school, this school building is of special importance as when Gibraltarian evacuees started to return to Gibraltar in 1944 it was opened especially to school those children returning to the Rock. The Award was accepted by the developers and contractors REAFINA Ltd. The third Group Heritage Award was awarded to MH Blands for the publication of ‘The Story of Gibraltar’ with Christopher Lloyd. The book allows young readers to discover Gibraltar’s history from the earliest times to present day in a unique newspaper reporting format which includes a fold out timeline charting 100 key moments in the Rock’s extraordinary history. The first Individual Heritage Award was awarded to local buisness James Sanguinetti & Son. The business has been restoring furniture since 1870 resulting in three generations handling and learning the trade. The second Individual Heritage Award was awarded to Grape Vine House, on Naval Hospital Road, owned by Gil Podesta. This Gibraltar vernacular property has been beautifully restored over decades by Mr Podesta from a near derelict state. Mr Podesta and his family are always keen to share the importance and history of all these items with their neighbours and passers-by with infectious enthusiasm.
The first Special Commendation was awarded to George Valarino for his publication ‘This is Gibraltar’. George Valarino, the former head of GBC’s, book reflects on 60 years of broadcasting history on the Rock. The book’s title were the first three words broadcasted over Radio Gibraltar back in 1958. The book is illustrated with historical photos of seminal moments in broadcasting locally as well as a range of images from popular TV shows that the station produced and aired. The second Special Commendation was awarded to Orion House, George’s Lane, for the restoration of a Gibraltarian Town House. It has been converted into 4 apartments and retaining a retail outlet on the ground floor. The third Special Commendation was awarded to Justin Bautista for the creation and publication of a series recipe books under the brand of ‘Mama Lotties’. Mama Lotties was founded in 2012 by Justin Bautista as a method of sharing recipes that come from the cultural blend that’s uniquely Gibraltarian.
Transforming lives and the environment British Forces Gibraltar personnel recently completed a project transforming some waste ground at the Cancel Relief Centre into a Garden of Tranquillity. The project was conceived a number of years ago during volunteer work by HQBF personnel to support the opening of a four-bedroom hospice on the top floor of the Centre. It involved hundreds of manhours to clear ground, remove dead trees and rocks, and lay the foundations for a path leading to a raised deck. In addition, over 12 metric tonnes of top soil was moved by hand for the flower beds. This project further deepens the unique community link between British Forces Gibraltar and the Gibraltar community at large.
The Cancer Relief Centre has provided support to people living with cancer in the community for over 30 years. Their services are free and aimed at helping the individual and their family to live life to the full. The Centre’s services can be used by anyone, whether for a one-off chat or more continued support. They offer a warm, welcoming environment where there’s always someone to talk to, whatever the need. For more information call +350 20042392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean village turns up the
It was a fitting start to the Festive season at Ocean Village as Santa arrived in Gibraltar to the sound of sleigh bells, accompanied by Disney Princess Cinderella, Catboy and his friendly elf. Nikki Rae entertained with a setlist of Adele’s greatest hits, along with firm family Christmas hits. The Prior Park School choir also took to the stage and also wowed the crowd.
Photos: Stephen Ball from Meteogib
Emilia Hazell-Smith, Events & Social Media Executive said: “This Christmas show was our best and most well-attended to date! We are delighted to be able to put on these events for families at Ocean Village and to raise money for such a great cause as Research into Childhood Cancer. We would like to sincerely thank our amazing sponsors this year, OV Express and O’Reillys Irish Bar, our hard-working team here at Ocean Village and STS Electrical Services, Prior Park School Choir who sang to us so beautifully, the Gibraltar Electricity Authority and all the volunteers from the charity, without whom this event would not have been possible.”
HASSAN CENTENARY TERRACES HM Government of Gibraltar has released the latest phase of dwellings as part of its affordable housing scheme. A total of 665 homes will be available at the Hassan Centenary Terraces on Gibraltar’s east. Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said, “This is an exciting time for Gibraltar and we continue to deliver affordable housing for our community. We continue to build upon our track record in providing affordable housing for Gibraltarian families to grow and for our community to prosper. I am very happy to see this process commence and I look forward to seeing these magnificent homes become a reality for the many who need them. We have been busy with Brexit but we have not stopped delivering in all other key areas.” Minister for Housing, Samantha Sacramento MP, also added, “I am proud that our Government continues to deliver on affordable housing. Having already delivered affordable housing built to a high standard in our first term in office, this impressive new estate is the first in this second round of affordable housing that were are building. Also, importantly, by giving existing Government housing tenants who will deliver vacant possession of their flats priority, we are also maximising the availability of Government rental stock that will be become available to applicants who cannot afford to purchase. We have considered the provisions for allocation and resale very carefully in order to make the process as fair as possible and prevent any abuse or speculation.” Application forms and conditions of sale are available at the dedicated website www.hassancentenaryterraces.gi and the closing date for completed applications is 31st January 2019.
BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES MEETING Lancaster House in London was the venue for the most recent UK Overseas Territories’ Joint Ministerial Council (JMC). Chaired by the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories - Lord Ahmed - Chief Ministers, Premiers and other senior officials from all fourteen BOTs attended. Despite a topsy-turvy week at the Palace Of Westminster, a number of UK ministers made a point of attending this latest, important JMC. As would be expected, Brexit was among the topics discussed, as well as environmental issues, disaster response, financial services and safeguarding. The Minister for Education, Environment and Climate Change, John Cortes, represented Gibraltar and made a point
FSC GETS TOUGH
The new insurance policy represents a significant step forward for the GBX. As a world-leading and institutional-grade exchange, the GBX aims to ensure the highest standards of protection and cover for its users. It will cover assets listed on the GBX Digital Asset Exchange (GBX-DAX) across both hot and cold wallet storages, which will be utilised by the GBX.
of saying, “It is important to keep in close contact with our friends in the other Overseas Territories. While we are all very different, we can certainly learn from and support each other in many of the areas that we discussed. The fact that senior UK Ministers attended the sessions shows that the UK Government’s support for all the Territories is greater than it has been before.” Minister Cortes also made time for the Queen’s annual reception for the Diplomatic Service at Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty, and other members of the Royal Family were in attendance. There was also a visit to 10 Downing Street along with Gibraltar’s UK representative, Dominique Searle, where an OT Environment Ministers’ Forum was The Financial Services Commission has issued a financial penalty of £250,000 on firm Wave Crest, as a result of identifying issues with compliance systems and controls falling below the standard expected of it, for regulatory purposes. The period in question was identified by the GFSC as being at least 1st January 2017 to May 2018. The penalty amounts to an agreed regulatory settlement with the GFSC. Wave Crest is a Gibraltar company licensed under the Financial Services
(Banking) Act 1992 to conduct the business of an electronic money institution - licence number FSC0056BNK. Wave Crest has held this licence since 13 August 2010. In February 2018, the company voluntarily agreed to cease taking on new business, and this restriction will remain in place until further notice from the GFSC. Wave Crest had been at the forefront of issuing prepaid Visa and MasterCard cryptocurrency cards.
XTRA PROTECTION FOR CRYPTOCURRENCIES As part of the continued drive to make Gibraltar the first-choice destination for crypto trading, the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) has announced an insurance partnership with local firm Callaghan Insurance.
possible because of the confidence derived from the fact that the GBX has always been committed to build a platform focused on the highest regulatory standards and the strictest due diligence processes.”
From Callaghan Insurance, MD Bruno Callaghan added, “I am delighted that Callaghan has been able to procure, after much research and collaboration with the London insurance market, a bespoke, fit-for-purpose coverage option that affords our clients and the jurisdiction the necessary protection to move forward confidently in the DLT arena.”
The CEO of GBX, Nick Cowan, commented, “We are delighted to announce the introduction of insurance coverage for the GBX-DAX. This represents an important step in attracting users who require strict assurances around the security of their assets. This offering is only
held to discuss environmental issues that affect Gib, as well as the other members of the British Overseas Territory family.
ONE DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT (DAM) IS ONE OF THE COMPANIES AT THE LEADING EDGE OF GIBRALTAR’S EXPANSION INTO CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY. AS THE COMPANY CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY, INSIGHT CAUGHT UP WITH ITS HEAD OF COMPLIANCE AND STRATEGY, PHILIP VASQUEZ. It’s been a bit of a landmark year for Gibraltar as it develops both its regulatory and business-friendly approach to Blockchain. What’s been your highlight? On Gibraltar’s activity over the past year - we have thoroughly enjoyed the DLT and crypto community that is being fostered here in Gibraltar. 3 years ago if we would have told you that Gibraltar was going to be a hub for technology and innovative business with people visiting from all over the world you wouldn’t have believed me. At one point this year we hosted a small impromptu dinner with some of our contacts and business partners around the globe and we had 7+ nationalities at the table.
Cryptocurrencies have had a bit of a dip in recent weeks - what do you think might have been the underlying reason for this? Prices on cryptocurrencies and digital assets generally have been experiencing a downtrend since early this year. This has been a natural regression from the cryptocurrency / digital asset markets hyperbolic speculative growth on price that was experienced in the second to fourth quarters of 2017. More recently we have seen stocks also take a down-trend at the same time which is interesting as stocks and crypto are not usually correlated. Other reasons for the negative price action can be linked to the recent ‘Bitcoin Cash’ fork and also certain regulatory decisions that have been made and are still in the balance in the United States.
DAM, has just celebrated its first birthday - what was the biggest challenge you faced? Our biggest challenge has also been the most rewarding part of our journey ...
the opportunity to build our unique business absolutely from scratch in Gibraltar as a Gibraltar startup. 12 months ago there was no playbook or model as to how a business such as ours should be set up, how it should be structured and how it should be run. There was not even regulation when we set up. We have had to build our business from the ground up on our own backs, creating our own solutions and solving big problems every single day. It’s been rewarding and hard work, but we know we’re just at the beginning of this journey and hungry to grow more. As time goes by larger frictions in operating a business such as ours are gradually easing, but we really are having to carve out the path before us in most cases.
With jurisdictions such as Bermuda and Malta now focusing efforts on attracting distributed ledger technology businesses, who do you see as Gibraltar’s biggest rival in this space? Gibraltar has been building up its regulatory positioning since approximately 2015. This has delivered the DLT regulations which we in Gibraltar have today and the support network of advisers and banking partners. Gibraltar’s popularity has accrued somewhat through word of mouth and successful projects that have been based here and marketing has also played a part in that success. Other jurisdictions on the other hand have marketed and invested in their product much more aggressively over a shorter period of time and this is showing positive uptake. We would consider that blockchain businesses may also be considering Malta as a jurisdiction as an alternative to Gibraltar. Different jurisdictions offer their own unique propositions so it is difficult to compare like for like.
Do you have any (non-financial advice) predictions for 2019? We believe that 2019 will be a year for businesses in blockchain and the wider digital assets industry to build their technologies, models and more diverse revenue streams. In parallel we will also be seeing the consolidation of various players in the industry coming together or dropping out. Let’s look into why. The hyperbolic price action that came between Q2 and Q4 in 2017 saw assets such as Bitcoin go from $900 to $20,000. Many businesses grew very quickly as a result of this price action and generated large revenues but as a result those businesses which failed to plan their growth appropriately are now at a cliff edge. We have seen many businesses and ICOs who benefitted greatly from 2017’s price action. However, many of these businesses saw their cash reserves (held in crypto) sky rocket and as a result bullishly expanded their teams and development simultaneously. This has meant that many businesses now have employees and high operating costs that cannot be sustained. This isn’t usually because these businesses have spent their capital, but because they haven’t adequately protected themselves from the downward price action of crypto. Businesses like ours at DAM have been a cork in this storm over the past 12 months as we have chosen for sustainable growth and currently have low operating costs. We will be doubling down on development, raising funds to do so and growing sustainably in 2019. There are already a few opportunities on the horizon.
Changes ahead at
BFA ESTATE AGENCY ounded in 1986 by Brian Francis FRICS when he resigned as Director of Crown Lands, BFA Group is one of the longest established Chartered property agents in Gibraltar. Known for their core values and after sales service, BFA has a reputation as one of the most respected property businesses in the area. After over thirty two years in the company, Director of Sales Maggie Mifsud is leaving for a well-earned retirement that will bring in some organisational changes at BFA. “There will be a new dimension to the company,” she says, “that will see it moving towards a modern way of working.” When Maggie joined Brian after working for developers along the coast in Spain, the property market was very different. “There were no resales, and mortgages hadn’t really been introduced,” she explains. “Things only really opened up when the Montagu Gardens and Harbour Views developments were launched and home ownership opened up in Gibraltar.”
ations, estate management and estate agency,” he confirms. “I have done almost everything that the business does at some point.” With changes in legislation and regulations in relation to property in Gibraltar, Mark understands that these will have an effect on the way in which the business has to operate. “We are definitely keeping up-to-date with the changing times.” “Gibraltar has evolved, even in the agency practice, and with thirty-two other local agents, the competition is hard in a very aggressive market,” Mark states. “Although it is becoming more competitive and we are all vying for the same business, the agents have learned how to collaborate and are now able to work in tandem with one another.” Whereas the timescale for a sale used to be six months, which Mark describes as a fast sale, now people are expecting to sell property within three months. “Expectations are high, and it is hard work,” he says, continuing, “and we have to spend more time negotiating and finding the right buyer.”
In conjunction with a wider ongoing restructuring at BFA, Maggie will be replaced by Mark Francis MRICS, who will combine his role as Director to Head the Estate agency and Valuation section of the Group.
“It is competitive from both sides, from your vendor and from your purchaser,” Maggie says, “and the difference here in Gibraltar is that the market is localised.”
“Mark as a Chartered Surveyor is already well-known in Gibraltar as a property valuer and he knows the market better than most, so it is a natural progression,” Maggie explains. As the sons of the Managing Director Brian Francis, Mark and his brother Colin were always expected to join their father at BFA. “I have been helping my father in the business since I was a boy, taking on jobs in the summer holidays, and I also worked with Maggie on the agency side” Mark states. “I remember that during my GCSE year at school, I delineated most of Montagu Gardens lease plans with a red pen, as well as helping out on building sites,” he explains. “By the time I went to University I had built up quite a bit of experience.” Mark excelled at his Degree course in Valuation and Investment, graduating with a First Class Honours and being awarded a prize as top student from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. “My father was, of course, very proud.” Once back in Gibraltar, part of Mark’s professional training to become a Chartered Surveyor was to undertake the Assessments of Professional Competence (APC), and that required training on three specialisms. “I concentrated on doing valu-
The BFA Group operates from two locations, with Head Office situated at Hadfield House in Library Street and the recently refurbished Estate Agency office at The Balcony, overlooking Casemates Square, with a smart, contemporary and open plan design. Six staff are based there at the moment, but once Maggie has left there are plans for Managing Director Brian Francis to move in. “Part of the new concept for the business is to become paperless, moving towards using electronic and digital processes in the office,” Maggie says. With a track record for negotiating and delivering, Mark understands that Maggie will be a hard act to follow. “It is difficult to replace someone like Maggie,” he says. Maggie knows that Mark is the perfect person to take over from her because of his wealth of experience. “It’s not as if he is coming into something that he hasn’t done before,” she states, “and it’s definitely not out with the old and in with the new, it is just a continuation of what we were doing before but one that will see the business moving forward in the future with confidence”
WORDS BY JO WARD GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
FEATURE Lee Spencer left Gibraltar on 12th December to start his solo and un-supported row to South America. He’s aiming to become the world’s first physically disabled person to row the Atlantic, from mainland Europe to mainland America, all 3,800 nautical miles, on his own. He hopes to beat the current able-bodied record of 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes, gaining a him a new Guinness World Record. He has supplies for 90 days but aims to complete the row in 60 to 70 days. Lee survived 24 years as a Royal Marine and three operational tours of Afghanistan, but lost his right leg when he stopped to help a motorist on the the UK’s M3 motorway in 2014. He was hit by flying debris and his leg was severed in the impact.Before he left, he said, “I just want to get in the boat now! I’ve done this before, when I rowed across the Atlantic with a team in 2015, so I know what’s ahead of me. But I still can’t think about the whole thing, I am just going to take it day by day and be in the moment. I’m looking forward to reaching the other side, seeing my
wife and showing people that we’re all capable of achieving anything we put our minds to. Nobody should be defined by disability.”
His aim is to help keep wounded servicemen and women in everyone’s hearts and minds, whilst also raising money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund. To donate, click, tap or swipe: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeeJSpencer
Winning hearts and minds
Photos: Elliott Howe
HER WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF GIBRALTAR
Kaiane Lopez A
t her swearing-in ceremony, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “You were Miss Gibraltar, you were Miss World and now you are Mrs Mayor.”
When Kaiane Lopez was sworn in as the sixteenth mayor of Gibraltar at City Hall in 2017, she became the youngest Mayor and only the third female in the Rock’s history to be appointed to the role. It was something that was beyond the wildest dreams of the young Kaiane Aldorino whose ambitions lay in dancing and performing. It wasn’t the only amazing achievement for the 30 year old, because in 2009 Kaiane was crowned Miss World. Born in Gibraltar to Randal and Elke, Kaiane’s mixed heritage is a perfect example of the different cultures found in Gibraltar, including elements of Italian and Czechoslovakian ancestry, with her maternal grandfather coming from Vienna in Austria and her paternal great-grandparents hailing from Spain. Kaiane attended school locally, firstly at Governor’s Meadow, then Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School and finally at Westside, but it was her passion for dance that became the overriding force during her teenage years. “It is a shame that I haven’t been able to continue with my dancing,” Kaiane says, “but I haven’t been able to commit the time that is needed.” Modern and Jazz dance are her favourites and Kaiane danced with a few different groups in Gibraltar, but the one that she spent the majority of her dancing years with from the age of thirteen to twenty-two was the Urban Dance group. The highlight for Kaiane was competing in the World Championships in Riesa, Germany in 2008. “I was part of a group that did a formation piece and we passed through to the second round,” Kaiane tells me. Her dancing skills then proved useful when she competed in the Miss World pageant, presenting a dance se-
WORDS, JO WARD GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
quence in the talent section to her fellow contestants. Having completed her A levels at Westside, Kaiane knew that she didn’t want to go to University. “I wasn’t very keen on the idea of living abroad at that time,” she says. “However, I did want to further my education, although, like many young people, I found it hard to know what I really wanted to do at the time.” Kaiane thinks that people who know what they want to pursue as a career from a young age are privileged, but she is now focussed on finishing a Business Management degree with the Open University. “After leaving school I worked for a travel insurance company for a year, because my parents said if I wasn’t going to further my education at the time, I needed to get a job - which I thought was fair enough,” she states. From there, Kaiane progressed to working in the Human Resources Department within the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA), staying there for eight years. “I loved my job, but I also enjoyed going out and performing in dance shows and events around Gibraltar,” she explains. “The Urban Dance group consisted of a really good team of friends who were like one
big family, and we used to dance four times a week, more if we were rehearsing for shows.” It was during her time working for the GHA that Kaiane entered her first beauty pageant in 2009. “Some of my friends and family had been encouraging me to take part for a few years, but I had never wanted to enter and my parents weren’t very keen.” Eventually it was due to a dare laid down by her cousin who had already taken the plunge and entered the contest. “She signed up and called me to say she had done it, so I had to stick to my word and enter as well,” she laughs as she says this. Just as well, because it was the last opportunity to do so for Kaiane who was then 22 - the age limit for entrants. Kaiane says that once she had entered the pageant, her competitive spirit kicked in and she worked hard rehearsing for the big night. “I had done some modelling previously, but I was learning new things and doing something different so
I took it really seriously,” she tells me. “I have always loved getting on stage and that buzz is very addictive. I still get nervous now, but in a different way.” Kaiane says that chapter of her life, from winning Miss Gibraltar and onwards, was a whirlwind. “So much happened during that time and is still happening even now, including getting married and having a child.” Kaiane married husband Aaron in 2015 and they are proud parents to Kalia, now two and a half years old. “I was absolutely overwhelmed when I won Miss Gibraltar, but it was a wonderful feeling and I was very happy,” she says. Relating how on the day she signed up for Miss Gibraltar her father had told her that if she won she wouldn’t be able to go on the Caribbean cruise that they had booked to go on as a family because it coincided with the Miss World pageant, Kaiane says: “I told him there were sixteen contestants and it was going to be a hard year, so I didn’t think I had any chance of winning.” One of the first things that Randal told Kaiane after congratulating her when she won was: “You’re not coming on the cruise then!” Life changed dramatically for Kaiane from then on. Winning
Miss Gibraltar in June, she left to take part in Miss World in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the beginning of November. “I must admit that I was quite anxious and I wasn’t very confident about leaving home for so long.” The run-up to the pageant was six weeks, and the thought of going abroad and not knowing anybody was a nerve-wracking prospect. “Once I arrived and I began to meet some of the other contestants, I immediately felt at home because they were all in the same position as me,” she explains, going on to say that some of them had never travelled or flown before. Contrary to the image of beauty pageants in the media that portrays rivalry between contestants, Kaiane says that it was a shared experience and that she felt at ease amongst the other girls, quickly making friends with several of them. On the big night, with her parents in the audience, Kaiane remembers just enjoying the whole event, not really registering what was happening. “When they announced that I had won, it was a fantastic feeling, but not as emotional as
when I won Miss Gibraltar,” she says. Funnily enough, after six weeks of being away from home, all she wanted to do was get back to Gibraltar. “I had never even considered that I could become Miss World,” Kaiane says, “and once I had come back down to earth, I felt anxious because I didn’t really know what was expected of me.” “At the time I was very young and innocent, but now I can look back and realise what a wonderful thing it was.” Arriving back in Gibraltar from South Africa on a private jet was an amazing experience for Kaiane. “There was a big reception when I landed at the airport, and it suddenly registered that this was my 360 degree life changing moment, seeing the fire engines lined up on the runway, the crowd of people waiting for me, and hearing the band start to play as I stepped out of the plane.” A whirlwind year of duties followed, which meant travelling around the world, attending events and carrying out charitable commitments on behalf of the Miss World organisation. “I was lucky that I could come home after each trip so
I was able to unpack, pack again and visit loved ones,” she comments. More importantly, Kaiane was an ambassador for Gibraltar, putting it on the global map and telling everybody about her home country. “I have a big passion for Gibraltar and I am very patriotic, so it was very easy for me to do,” she states. At the end of her year as Miss World, Kaiane came back to Gibraltar and took a year out from the GHA, where she was on special leave, to re-evaluate her life and decide what she wanted to do. “It was during that time that Chief Minister Peter Caruana suggested that I work for Gibraltar House in London.” Staying for nearly a year, building up her skills, Kaiane then returned to Gibraltar. “Family was always very important to me and I wanted to settle down,” she explains. It was when she returned that Kaiane started as a Public Relations officer for the Government, a role that she still does.
that I was too young as I have always associated the role of Mayor with someone who is more mature,” she states. Recognising that this was yet another challenge that had presented itself, Kaiane felt that it complemented her life journey so far. Adolfo Canepa was Mayor at the time and Kaiane was able to shadow him and take on some of his duties when he wasn’t available. “He guided me very well, although many of the skills that I had previously gained as Miss World merged very well with this role because it entailed attending a lot of receptions, meeting people, public speaking and handling the media – and I was used to that.” Now in her second year as Her Worship The Mayor, Kaiane’s tenure will end in March. “So many people believed in me and supported me when I was Miss World, and I never found a way to give back to the community, but I hope that I have been able to do this as Mayor,” she says. Well placed to give advice to the younger generation of Gibraltar, Kaiane says that it is important to do something
you are passionate about. “We only get to live once, and if you are doing something you really enjoy - that makes it so much more special and worthwhile.” So what’s next? “I am still Joint Secretary of the Board of Charity Commissions, so I hope that I will be able to continue to do that because it is such a rewarding thing to be part of, other than that - only time will tell,” she states. A real life fairy story for a beautiful young girl who is still in the prime of her life, proving that dreams can come true and that anything is possible –
Her Worship the Mayor Kaiane Lopez is truly an inspirational Gibraltarian.
In 2013, Kaiane was appointed as Deputy Mayor. “I was completely shocked to be approached - my first thought was
‘NETTING THE BALL’ BASKETBALL ON THE ROCK!
FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE OF THE FRONTIER IN THE LATE 60S, SPORT WAS A USEFUL ALTERNATIVE TO DRIVING AROUND THE ROCK FOR HOURS ON END. INTEREST IN BASKETBALL GREW, BECOMING A BIT OF A CRAZE FOR MANY, BUT THEN DROPPED. SOME MAY REMEMBER THE BLUE STARS, THE GRAMMARIANS, THE SHADOWS AND OTHER LOCAL TEAMS. SUBSEQUENTLY THE BB APPEAL GREW ONCE AGAIN, AND CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS FIVE ARE NOW REACHING FOR THE HOLE IN THE NET!
WORDS BY RICHARD CARTWRIGHT 24
Since the 80s Basketball teams have competed abroad and brought back medals too, competing in FIBA’s European Championship for Small Countries and in the Island Games, the latter contest being held on the Rock - for a second time - in a few months from now, in 2019. The local team is looking forward and preparing for the competition in the hope of doing well particularly as the Games are being held in their home town. “Yes we’re certainly concentrating on the Island Games at present taking place next year,” Technical Director of men’s Basketball and Head Coach of our National Team, Adam Cassaglia tells me. “We actually won silver in Gotland in 2017 and bronze a couple of years before that in 2015 and 2001, so we’re hoping for a good result again next year.” But Gibraltar has been taking part regularly in FIBA competitions like the Small Island and Island Games, not just for men at senior, under 18s and under 16 levels but also in women’s competitions for over three decades, when the Rock became a fully fledged member of the European Association, so their combined medal tally includes a Gold to add to their handful of Silver and Bronze medals. So all told, the Rock’s BB teams’ ‘goodie bag’ of international medals is getting heavier! Meanwhile, Gibraltar Amateur Basketball Association (GABBA) referees and commissioners have held FIBA Licences also, so for those not into sport in a big way or at all, the news is, basketball on the Rock is alive and kicking. “At present we have approximately 500 basketball enthusiasts. There are 12 senior teams, then we have U18s, U16s, U14s, U13s and we also run Mini Basketball competitions for the very young,” Adam informs me. “We have an extensive development and coaching programme for boys and girls
from 4yrs old up to 18 organised by Technical Directors and the teams.” Adam tells me the aim is to further increase training which means there’s a higher demand for that and allocation facilities also. “We are now the second most popular sport on the Rock, football being the first, and Saturdays are the best days for scheduling our games as we get a bigger crowd attending the events, so we tend to leave weekdays for training sessions.” Well, what with the amount of sport going on in Gibraltar these days, I’m not surprised game allocations and training slots are hard to book! “That’s true, we tend to fit in our schedule around football fixtures and we really are short of facilities for everyone.” With the Island Games coming up in a few months and other sports’ international commitments, there’s clearly an even a greater need for training and preparation areas for all our sports. “A few months ago in summer we had Chus Mateo, the Real Madrid coach, out here organising a week long basketball camp for our players which went down very well,” Adam reveals. Hopefully, when the Lathbury Barracks area and Europa Point sports grounds come on stream, life will be made easier for our sporting fraternity when more international coaches for other sports may come out to help improve our game in whatever sport. Adam highlights how interest in basketball has grown and notes how from not having youth competitions a couple of decades ago, we’ve arrived at the different leagues and competitions we have up and running now, even having players participating in UK tournaments. “Yes, we also have a handful of local players in English colleges who are doing extremely well in their respective leagues. We maintain a good link with Charnwood College in Loughborough which is
one of the top, if not the top, sports colleges in the UK.” And here just a few weeks ago, the interschool basketball finals were held so ‘netting that ball’ is going on everywhere! Basketball on the Rock has certainly come a long way since the days when games were played at the John Mackintosh Hall gymnasium. John Goncalves - GABBA President to this day – recalls that there were some good players in the game’s hey day on the Rock in the late 60s and early 70s. `The amount of individuals wanting to play was there then also,’ I remember him telling me, `but there wasn’t the skill there is today.’ Then in later years for some reason - perhaps at that time opting for hockey - interest in the game dropped, but as it’s clearly evident now, the appeal and attraction for the sport has picked up again with our teams taking part in international competitions and being rewarded for their efforts, competing in those FIBA European Championships for Small Countries and the Island Games. Although reaching the heights of the world’s top teams like the US, Spain, Lithuania and others must surely be a very distant dream, nonetheless Adam is no doubt well aware of the fact these competitions pegged at our level are tough, so busy times for him, his coaching team and the chosen players for the imminent games lie ahead. But that’s not all, for he also has very many, like- minded- sports-inclined school children waiting to be coached at Bayside School where he specialises in PE! Hence, with those two important commitments to think about on a daily basis, he’ll be fully engaged for now, so we’ll let him get on with it and it’s...`Good luck to you Adam!’
SPORTS INSIGHT The 2019 sport calendar is dominated by two major events, the June finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League in Portugal, and the September start of rugby union’s ninth World Cup Finals in Japan, the first time the tournament has been hosted in Asia. Boxing also features large on the sports schedule, with Britain boasting two of the main players in the resurgent heavyweight division. March sees the start of qualification for Euro 2020, with Gibraltar set to tackle some of Europe’s top footballing nations. It promises to be an exciting year, so buckle up while we take an early look at how events may pan out.
WORDS BY LIAM BEGLAN SPORTS TRADER 26
FOOTBALL TAKE A BOW UEFA, the newly formed UEFA Nations League has proved to be an unqualified success, the doubters, of whom there were many, have been silenced, meaningless friendlies have been replaced with exciting competitive clashes, promotion hopes and relegation fears remained in doubt until the final games, in some cases victors and vanquished revealed only after the last kick of agonising added-on minutes. It was a stroke of genius to divide the divisions into groups of three, with promotion, safety or relegation all possible outcomes after completion of just four home and away games. England confirmed the promise shown in reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup by emerging victorious from a tough group that included Spain and Croatia, qualification for next summer’s finals was gained five minutes from time in a pulsating last game against Croatia at Wembley – so finely balanced was the battle for top spot that any one of the three nations could have qualified, victory for either team would win the group, but defeat for either would result in relegation to League B, whilst a draw would see the Spanish progress to the finals. An exciting finale indeed, but the foundation for England’s qualification was the astonishing first-half display against Spain on 15 October, burgling an incredible 3-0 halftime lead, before ultimately clinging on to spank the Spanish 3-2 in front of a disbelieving full house in the bear-pit that is Seville’s Estadio Benito Villamarin. England will play dangerous opponents Holland in the semi-final in Guimaraes, Portugal, on 6th June – the first time the nations have met in a competitive contest since Euro 96, when the Three Lions easily mastered the Dutch 4-1. Gareth Southgate played a pivotal part in that famous victory and England’s coach has always been an ardent admirer of the Total Football approach espoused by Holland
to Victoria Stadium for what is sure to be a sell-out opening fixture on Saturday 23rd March. Gibraltar’s recent heroics have seen the Rock rise eight places in FIFA’s rankings to 190th and Julio Ribas’s boys will be eager to keep the momentum moving against the Irish who have been struggling of late – a struggle that resulted in the departure of coaches Martin O’Neill and the abrasive Roy Keane, following relegation from League B of the UEFA Nations League. This could be a good opportunity for Gibraltar to open their campaign with a shock win at a packed Victoria Stadium. The other three teams in Group D are Switzerland, Denmark and Georgia – exciting times for Gibraltar supporters with the summer schedule set to feature flying visits to Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen, an opportunity to sup the real ‘Black Stuff’ in Dublin, and yodel in Switzerland to the backdrop of the magical Sound of Music. Get those travel brochures open now!
BOXING THE HEAVYWEIGHT division has sprung back into life due in large part to the exploits of Anthony Joshua, holder of three world belts, victorious in all of his 22 professional fights – 21 inside the distance. The clean-cut, clean-living Watford man could face a brace of possible opponents this year – the brash trash-talking Yank Deontay Wilder, holder of the WBC belt, or fellow Brit, self-styled Gypsy King, the ferociously named Tyson Fury, who was the victim of an outrageous judges’ decision in Los Angeles last month, when his eliminator fight with Wilder was declared a draw, despite the Mancunian being well ahead on points on most experts’ cards. Following the uproar over that controversial result, the WBC have rightly sanctioned a rematch, but when and where will be the subject of strong debate, Fury insisting on a UK venue, a demand unlikely
2019 SPORTS CALENDAR OF
A LOOK AHEAD TO THE MAIN EVENTS
since the exhilarating champagne football of the late great Johan Cryuff era. After the surprise success of reaching the semi finals of Russia 2018, Southgate has brought international football back into public consciousness, decades of disappointments and false dawns put to flight – no more indulgence of monster egos, his young team fear no foe, play together with passion, pride and a refreshing exuberance that hints that England may well be on course to capture their first major trophy since the World Cup of 1966. The other semi-final pits hosts Portugal against Switzerland in Porto on 5th June, home advantage perhaps edging the Portuguese into the final on 9th June when, hopefully, their opponents will be a rampant Three Lions, and surely on this occasion the beast kings will roar and the Cup will really be coming home. Gibraltar, buoyed by their double victory, away to Armenia and at home to Liechtenstein in the Nations League, start their Euro 2020 qualification campaign by welcoming Ireland
to be acceded to by hitherto travel-shy Wilder, whose only visit to Europe was to Sheffield in 2013, when he despatched awful Audley ‘Fraudley’ Harrison in just 70 seconds of the first round. At the time of writing and bearing in mind the wiles of boxing promoters, who make greedy football agents look like trickor-treat tots, with their ability to create controversy and trigger public interest, preliminary negotiations would seem to point to a different Anglo-American showdown first - a mega million pound juggernaut clash between Joshua and Wilder at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in April – a contest that would undoubtedly see the Brit add the missing WBC title to complete his belt collection. This would set up a mouth-watering Battle of Britain barnstormer of a collision with the remarkable but troubled Tyson Fury, himself unbeaten in his 28 fights, who shed 10 stone pre the Wilder contest to reach his fighting weight of 18st, a huge man with a huge heart, who despite his bulk, glides round the ring almost ballet-like – an ability that should be of concern to the sometimes somewhat statuesque Joshua.
The heavyweight glory days, so long in the doldrums, are back, and this year promises a bountiful harvest. Sure, there are no giants in the current crop, no legends like ‘The Louisville Lip’, Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer ever to pull on a glove, no ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier, no ‘Big’ George Foreman, no ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ Mike Tyson, or even a Lennox ‘The Lion’ Lewis, but what is indisputable after the LA debacle, is that two Brits are the kings of the sport – King of the Castle, Anthony Joshua and Gypsy King, Tyson Fury. Roll on summer!
Let s get ready to rumble RUGBY THE MAMMOTH sport event of the year, the ninth Rugby Union World Cup, takes place from 20th September to 2nd November in Japan, the first time the tournament has been hosted in Asia, and the Autumn Internationals afforded a perfect opportunity to assess potential winners, when the Southern Hemisphere giants got a bloody nose when they came calling to remind European upstarts who are the real rulers of the rugby roost. New Zealand, who will be chasing a three-in-a-row World Cup and their fourth in total, visited Twickenham and Dublin to test themselves against the best that Europe has to offer, but despite an always impressive performance of the Haka, no amount of tongue poking and macho fist-pumping could hide the fact that the All Blacks were extremely fortunate to overcome England by a single point, victory for the Red Rose warriors snatched away at the death, when what appeared to all present bar the TMO, to be a fine match-winning try from Sam Underhill, was harshly ruled out for a debateable offside. That was a close shave for the New Zealanders, but worse was to follow in Dublin a week later, when they were comprehensively beaten by reigning Six Nations Grand Slam champions Ireland. Food for thought for the world champs, but typically, proving
there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded Kiwi, the All Blacks ran up a cricket score against Italy in Rome seven days later. Australia’s World Cup prospects took a knock after defeats to Wales and England - the Twickenham 37-18 thrashing aided by the Aussie management’s harsh decision to drop two star players, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Kurtley Beale, for disciplinary reasons, because they had reportedly invited three women back to the team hotel for drinks after the Cardiff loss - a total overreaction by manager Michael Cheika, one of the women was Ashley-Cooper’s sisterin-law, the other two her friends. This wasn’t a nudge-nudge, wink-wink tale so beloved by the always stalking, salacious-seeking British red-top press, but a minor breach of team protocol. Looking forward to Japan 2019, this won’t have helped build Wallaby team spirit. Joining Ireland and England as realistic contenders for World Cup glory can be added Wales, who for the first time won all four of their Autumn internationals, the fiery Dragons overcoming the grievous injury-induced retirement loss of Lions captain and superstar Sam Warburton, in typical gritty fashion. The quest for the Webb Ellis Trophy is already underway, the pot is bubbling nicely, the ingredients are all in place to make World Cup 2019 in the Land of the Rising Sun the greatest ever.
Bring it on I can t wait
THE HUNTER PROPERTIES TROPHY Sunday, November 11th saw Med Golfâ€™s return to Estepona for the Hunter Properties Trophy. With scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Bermeja Mountains, the course, which offers a fair challenge to golfers of all levels, had recovered remarkably well from the recent heavy downfalls of rain.
two green fees on the San Roque Club Old course courtesy of Jyske Bank. Matthewâ€™s win was particularly sweet as he scored 42 points the last time out at Estepona in November 2017 to win the Category 3 prize only to be beaten on handicap to the Trophy, yet still incurring some major surgery to his own handicap.
The unseasonably warm weather, no wind and the generous greens that were in excellent condition combined to provide perfect conditions for golf, and a hearty breakfast of coffee and bacon bap set up the 44 players well to take on the challenge.
The best gross score was 76 strokes achieved by Chris Warren who was also the Category 2 winner and best senior with 39 points. The longest drive was won by Andrew Shore
The best result of the day was 40 Stableford points scored by Matthew Robinson who won Hunter Properties Trophy and
The best gross score on the 5 par three holes was Pete Cotton at level par and the best team was Aidan Connolly and Andrew Shore with a combined score of 69 points.
Our handicap category prizes were won as follows: Category 1 (handicaps 0 to 12): Chris Warren was the winner with a score of 39 points beating Matthew Charlesworth who scored 35 points into second place. Category 2 (handicaps 13 to 22): The winner was Chris Delaney with a score of 37 points. The runner up was Joe Sanchez with 34 points beating James Barr on handicap. Category 3 (handicap 23 and above): Damian White was the winner with 34 points and the runner up was Andrew Brown who beat Eddie Diaz on handicap both with 31 points. Nearest the pin winners were: Hans Henrik Jensen, James Barr, Roy Azopardi, Joe Sanchez and Pete Cotton. Steve Munns was nearest the pin on a par 4 and Andrew Shore was winner of nearest the pin in 3 on a par 5. Prizes were presented by the sponsor, Phil Sztejnmiler who also played alongside and scored a very fine 39 points. Prize giving was followed by a card draw for a one litre bottle of Johnnie Walker Whiskey donated by Saccone and Speed and won by Moranda Garnlund. The Guests are encouraged and made very welcome at all events. While they are not eligible to win the trophy or category prizes, they can win the many mini-competition prizes and even a Best Guest prize if warranted by numbers, and of course the scorecard draw at the end of the prize presentation.
GEORGINA CASSAR GIBRALTAR’S INSPIRATIONAL OLYMPIAN I write this in early December and am buzzing having just come off the phone with Georgina Cassar our first and only local Olympian who competed in the 2012 games in London for Team GB at Rhythmic Gymnastics. I like stories of achievement and stories that inspire and I simply couldn’t come up with a more ‘Inspirational Gibraltarian’ to kick off 2019. She was born in ’93 so that makes her 25, but in 2010 she was already representing us at the Commonwealth Games in India. Was she destined to be an Olympian? She never thought that she’d make the cut - she came into the discipline at age 13 - an old candidate compared to gymnasts from the top five countries. “I had been in ballet all my life since three and would have wanted to be in the artistic gymnastics but my coach Sally Holmes eventually suggested that as I was tall and quite flexible I would be better suited for the rhythmic disciplines.” Rhythmic Gymnastics is a blend of dance, drama and music using rope, clubs, balls, ribbons and hoops which are manipulated with high precision by groups of five or by individuals. In every Olympic rotation one apparatus is omitted, but no one knows which until competition time so all the skills have to be kept up to the same high standard. “Individual is what I did at the Commonwealth Games and team is what we did at the Olympics. When we went to compete in the UK for the first time it was super exciting. I was 15 at the time and all the girls who were
winning medals at the time were later on part of my Olympic team. I had no idea then but I knew I wanted to be in that scene. Emma Bosio and I were the first gymnasts to compete for Team Gibraltar and the whole India Commonwealth Games experience was fantastic.” Georgina’s Olympic journey had started with squad testing in UK even before her Commonwealth Games, as she had made the embryonic UK team and travelled to various countries trying out the new (to UK) sport. The UK had a wild card as hosts and had never fielded a Rhythmic Gymnastics team before. “I split from the UK team to compete for Gibraltar and after the Commonwealth Games we all got back together to train in earnest for the Olympics. As soon as I got confirmation that I had made the UK Olympic squad, my UK coach Sally Moon said that I had to move to UK in order to be in the team. I was at the time travelling every weekend from Gib and it was really hectic. I remember I was in the middle of my AS exams and within a week I had to uproot myself and move to UK. It was tough at 17 as I went to live with my UK team mate and left all my Gibraltar connections behind to concentrate on the Olympics.” Success never falls on your lap, and when you work really hard for it tastes all the more sweeter; just imagine a girl from little Gibraltar competing at top level gymnastics with an eye on the Olympics. As a team they knew that they would not be able to
“I remember being on the coach to Wembley and thinking that this is the day that my life really changes. It was really the best time and I wish I could do that day over and over again.”
WORDS BY JOE ADAMBERY 30
INSPIRATIONAL GIBRALTARIANS take any medals from the top five countries (they came 12th) but they had to do UK proud by making a lot of ground through sheer hard work and discipline. “We didn’t have any support from British gymnastics at that point as they had put money into artistic Gymnastics ten years before and medals were coming through. I couldn’t work and my parents were paying for everything including when we had to travel abroad to compete. We were a totally self funded team.” The story gets quite dramatic at a point in January 2012 when Georgina’s Team GB failed to score a required mark (by a very small fraction) on a three day qualifier. On day one they surpassed the mark. On day two they only just missed it and on day three they surpassed the mark by over two points. However they were unceremoniously dropped from the squad and only after taking British Gymnastics (the sport governing body) to court and winning their case were they allowed back. They made headlines in all the UK press and it remains an inspiring story of fighting for what you believe in.
“I remember that we were fully prepared for the big day in spite of all the setbacks getting there. I wasn’t nervous and certainly not overwhelmed. I remember being really excited. We had a nutritionist and a therapist who prepared us mentally to be able to cope with the huge pressure of being watched by millions worldwide. I remember being on the coach to Wembley and thinking that this is the day that my life really changes. It was really the best time and I wish I could do that day over and over again.” “We knew we were not going to win because we are not an Eastern European country and you can’t topple them. Our aim had been to qualify for the Olympics which we did and we all pushed through injuries on the day. I had a bad foot but this was our only chance to prove ourselves and make Britain proud on their first ever Rhythmic Gymnastics Olympic competition.”
Since 2012 things have improved in British Gymnastics and there is much more mental health awareness and also in the way athletes are treated by coaches and directors. It’s no small thanks to the grit of Georgina’s Team GB who took on the sport establishment in court and won their right to compete after their spirit had been nearly crushed by being dropped unfairly. Money and politics have a huge bearing on results, and money will only be put into a sport if there is a prospect of medals. British cycling is the prime example of that although Sky’s recent decision to end funding after 2019 has more to do with the politics of the media and new ownership than the sport itself. Is there a realistic expectation that Gibraltar could produce another Olympian soon? “I have heard that Harvey Dixon who’s a track athlete is doing a very good job at the moment and I hear these things through the grapevine. Sally Holmes continues to push my sport at home and I’m sure that Team Gibraltar will continue to improve year on year.
Now I’m retired from competition and would love an opportunity to be able to pass on things that I have learned and experienced. Perhaps in the future I will coach but at the moment as an events manager and as I run my own events company I’m quite busy.” I put it to Georgina that she could mentor our Island Games squad for July but at the moment she has not been asked to do anything. Could she be our best sports ambassador ever? As an Olympian and I’m sure it will be mooted in the right circles and in good time. Some of our readers might know that Georgina’s boyfriend of five years is also well-known - Joel Peat from the band Lawson. He’s played here for two GMFs, which is also where they met. Last May she was invited to the Westminster Mile Charity event as part of an Olympian Alumni Association and she has fond memories of the day.
“We were invited to this special mile where past and present Olympians dressed in their kit of the year in which they competed. It was very colourful and there was a 96 year old Olympian who took part holding on to a zimmer frame, obviously escorted and it was so moving. We get invited to a lot of events and it still feels good to be a part of GB’s Olympic heritage. We got awarded letters after our names (OLY- which she doesn’t use) and we had a special marquee and got gifted kits etc, we were treated like royalty.” “Although I don’t compete now I do perform occasionally, I still love rhythmic gymnastics and it’s tough for me because I love Gibraltar and would love to be there although it doesn’t offer the opportunities that London offers obviously. I still keep in contact with my coach Sally Holmes and find out how our girls are doing. Whenever I go back I visit the gym and say hi to everyone but sometimes I feel bad that I’m not doing anything for Gibraltar but at the moment it’s very difficult as I’m so busy.”
To inspire the younger generation Georgina has this advice: “If you don’t try it you’re never going to know. You can’t live with the regret of not trying, don’t let your thoughts get the better of you and get you scared because if you don’t say yes you will never know and who knows you could become another Olympian. You have to be prepared to sacrifice everything and I did. I left school, my friends and my home at 17 and all within a week to follow my dream but it paid off with hard work.” Selected to compete at an Olympic level reflects supreme achievement at your sport. The road to that point is full of uncertainties, tears and joys but in the journey you get to become an inspirational person and that is why Georgina Cassar will always remain one of Gibraltar’s highest achievers and why her name is etched firmly as part of our history.
CK & O What’s the best thing that’s happened during your adventure?
Ryan and I met in March 2015. At that time, we had both been living in Stockholm, Sweden, for a few years. We had both ended-up on Tinder after messy breakups with Swedish partners, and I guess we were just looking at getting over them.
The best thing that happened during our adventure is how if forced us to become entrepreneurs. Part of the project involved us finding economic independence. We were both quite dissatisfied with our jobs, and had to find ways to continue working while on the water.
Ryan had put a photo of him in a ninja turtle costume that still makes me laugh when I see it, and it brought a smile to my face at a difficult time. A couple of days after we swiped right, we decided to meet, went to a bar, closed the bar, and the rest is history. We were definitely not looking for something serious, and could never imagine how things would turn out!
What was the inspiration to make the leap from the office 9-5 to navigating the Mediterranean? Ryan is a pretty adventurous person. A couple of weeks after we met, he was flying to Greenland for a 10 days skiing expedition. That same year, he was going to climb the Cho Oyu, an 8021m mountain in Nepal which he unfortunately never made it to. In the two first months of our relationship, Ryan had an accident that resulted in a dislocated and broken shoulder. While he was training for a marathon, he got attacked by two geese protecting their babies. Who knew geese could be such dangerous animals ;) At that time, I was in the process of buying and moving to a new apartment, and Ryan was devastated by how his accident had put all his adventurous plans on ice. We were both somehow “starting over”. When Ryan was really sad over his accident, I remember distinctly telling him “I know this is bad, but because we’re making the best out of this situation, it may change our lives in positive ways that we can’t even picture ourselves at the moment”. I had no idea what was coming. During the same period, Ryan stumbled across an article about a couple our age that had sold their house to go sail the world and sent me the link. I asked “are you inspired?”, he answered “maybe” and I said “I’d do it.”
You’ve had quite the adventure! Tell us how it all started with a dating app?
Instagram is a great visual storytelling medium. But if you look behind the photos and art, there’s sometimes a gem of a story. The account @ryan_and_sophie_sailing is based on adventure, in every sense, and Gibraltar features at its heart. Thrown together through the auspices of a dating app, they threw caution to the wind – literally – and ended up sailing the Mediterranean. Insight caught up with them both to find out how The Rock made them roll. That was it!
Did either of you have any experience sailing? Or was it a leap into the unknown? We had zero sailing experience when we decided to pursue our sailing idea. Ok, I went to an optimist camp when I was like... 7 (which at that time, Ryan referred to as me having “some experience of sailing”), but that’s it. We had never been on a sailboat before, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The sailing world was full of lingo that we didn’t understand. We went to a boat show and upon meeting with a boat dealer, were flooded with words such as “self tailing winch”, “gennaker”, “self tacking jib”, “code 0”, “electric furler” and I understood none of it. We bought “sailing for dummies” which made things even worse. Saying that we were clueless is an understatement.
Financially, we now resonate in terms of “finding a way to maintain a life that we’ve chosen” as opposed to “making a career”. We work to have a good life, we don’t live to have a good job. We now own our time, and even if we still both work a lot (the bills don’t pay themselves!), the life that we live makes it all worth it.
How did Gibraltar fit into your plans? Gibraltar is a place that means a lot to us. (That is something I never thought I would say a few years back!) Obviously, once we made the decision to pursue the sailing idea, we needed to learn how to sail. Because we had never even been living together (let alone on a boat) we figured we’d benefit from spending an extended period of time together, on a sailboat, while we’d “learn the ropes”. We looked for schools around Europe that could offer that kind of experience, as soon as possible, and found the Hercules Sailing school in Gibraltar (They’ve since moved and are now the Lanzarote Sea Master Training Centre) Chris, our instructor, offered us to spend two weeks onboard a school boat named “Makora”, and go through the RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper. So in January 2016, less than a year after we had met on Tinder, our BA flight landed on the rock, we crossed the famous runway of Gibraltar airport and walked over to the Ocean Village Marina were we spent our first night ever on a sailboat. Over the course of the two weeks, we crossed the strait of Gibraltar multiple times to Ceuta and Morocco, sailed along the Spanish coast up to Marbella, and got to discover the region in a way that only sailing allows you to. We were hooked. We made a promise to ourselves that we would come back to Gibraltar with our own boat. At that time, it was highly unclear how we were going to make it happen.
Later in 2016, we bought our boat and renamed her to “Polar Seal”. We sailed her for two years in Stockholm’s archipelago to gain some experience and eventually quit our jobs, rented out the apartment and cast off the lines in June 2018.
same life we now do has made sailing our new “normal”. Everyone around us sails, so we definitely do not feel quite as adventurous or crazy as we did when we first told our family and friends about our cruising ambitions.
On October 8th of 2018, almost three years after we made ourselves the promise to go back to Gibraltar on our own sailboat, we made landfall in the bay, and docked Polar Seal at the Ocean Village Marina, a pontoon away from where we had learned how to sail.
I think that for us, it was also a matter of making something good out of a difficult situation. We often lose sight of it, but we wouldn’t be here today without the “goose attack” or the bad breakups. It goes to say that you can make something extraordinary out of something difficult, as long as you are willing to.
When you pursue a long-term goal, it is sometimes hard to take measure of how much you’ve accomplished until you hit a meaningful milestone. Arriving in Gibraltar on our own boat was just that: hitting the milestone that says “we’ve made it”.
You’ve met quite a few people along the way during your travels. For example, Mark Warren might be familiar to some of our readers through your storytelling on Instagram. Do you think people who make a decision to go on an adventure like the one you’ve been on have their lives changed forever? Yes, once you leave on an adventure like this, your life is changed forever. From making a formal decision to pursue sailing to actually traveling the world onboard Polar Seal, we’ve learned and grown in ways that we couldn’t have in our former sedentary-urban life.
With that in mind, the hardships that we go through feel a lot more bearable. I have a much more positive outlook on life than I had before we left the dock. Yes, we are definitely changed forever, and for the better!
Your photos captured an energy and spirit during your trip - did either of you have photographic experience before setting off? Absolutely not! Before casting off the lines, my friends offered me a DSLR camera for my birthday, and I took a photography class in the month before departure. I had always told myself that if I had time to work on whatever it was I wanted to, I would write and take photos, and that’s exactly what I did since we left the dock.
For one, our experience taught us that there is literally nothing that you can’t accomplish when you put your heart into it. Nobody really believed we could pull it off. I wasn’t sure myself we were going to pull it off! With some hard work and persistence, here we are.
Every day, we get to witness or experience something beautiful or exceptional, and love capturing those moments. I became truly passionate about sharing images and stories our adventure on Instagram and YouTube, and I can’t wait to continue next year, when we continue sailing in the med.
Of course, there are all the wonderful people you meet and the friends you make at anchorage or in marinas. Having a circle of friends, such as Mark Warren, who live the
You met via an app, and documented your trip via one - how much of a game changer do you
You ca n follo w Ryan on Inst and So agram phie and Yo uTube @ryan_ and_so phie_s ailing youtub e.com/ ryanso phiesa iling
think technology was for you? We would not be here at all without internet. Internet brought us together, and it brought us the idea. A lot of the things we’ve learned and the people we’ve met was through internet. Not to mention, we work through internet. So there is no chance we’d be living this life without technology.Internet has made this lifestyle a lot more accessible to a lot more people. When it comes to sharing, I think that even without internet I would still find a way to share the adventure. I’d probably write a book! Which I still might do actually :)
Where’s next? Next: the Med! Our plan is to spend two years in the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. We’ll sail to the Balearics, cross over to Sardinia and Corsica, will probably sail along the Italian west coast and head over to Greece. We’re thinking about wintering somewhere around Turkey, and head back to Gibraltar via Crete, Malta, Tunisia… But then again, sailing plans are written in the sand at low tide, so who knows what might happen!
And when are you coming back to Gibraltar!? Gibraltar is a mandatory stop before we cross the Atlantic, so we’ll definitely be back before 2020!
MAGIC THE NEXT HARRY POTTER MAY BE BOARDING THE HOGWARTS TRAIN FROM GIBRALTAR AFTER CUTTING TEETH AT THE ‘SCIENCE AND MAGIC SCHOOL’ FOR CHILDREN AGED 6 TO 14. Local magician Jamie Zammitt has in fact launched his online platform to introduce the youth to the art of prestidigitation while learning about maths, physics and science in a fun way, that will show them how those aren’t abstract ramblings of aloof minds but imbibe everyday life: hence they stick as practical properties allowing everyday objects to become amazing, through some science laws that defy logic at first. The website aims at educating and entertaining whilst also boosting children’s confidence, posture, dexterity, public speaking, and social skills, making science approachable, palatable and a talking
point with peers - and perhaps sowing the seeds for a future career in the performing arts, since Gibraltar’s magic community would benefit from newcomers introducing new styles of tricks. Jamie has been in the business of magic since the age of ten, when family friend Francis Santos sparked his curiosity by making a silk hanky vanish. “It is common for children to get into magic, but I took it a step further and went on learning more tricks and creating some of my own,” he says. “The magic fraternity is small so we get the chance to rub shoulders with great acts locally and worldwide.” With a bit of namedropping, he adds
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he travelled to New York last November to watch his friend and award-winner Joshua Jay, who came to Gibraltar ten years ago. Mentioning his fellows, Jordan Lopez (unrivalled for his stage illusions), and mentalist Levi Attias, Jamie claims he is a wizard of close-up magic, an art form that brings the magician to mingle with his or her public and perform tricks under their very eyes, often using everyday objects borrowed from them, like coins, rings or banknotes. “This doesn’t mean that close-up magic is easier or more difficult than stage magic, but it undoubtedly counts on simpler theatrics, no music, no suspense, no flashing lights, no large props and no assistants. No smoke and mirrors: just the performer and his dexterity.” Because this kind of magic happens right under your nose, it can be done anywhere and anytime, almost on demand, so Jamie Zammitt is hot seasoning at corporate parties, weddings and birthdays, where he walks about the tables and just wows guests with his sleight of hand, and his gift of the gab, an essential ingredient in the trade.
Of course some theatrics are still involved, and a good pinch of psychology is required, to test his potential audience and establish what tricks would be appropriate for them without interrupting their fun, but actually adding to it with some entertainment at their table. “It is not about me, but about guests having a good time, so I like to take them back to childhood memories. When I spot a table where conversation is lulling, I approach it and introduce myself, offering to perform magic, so that when I leave that table, the ice is broken, they have something to talk about trying to figure out how it was done, so they are no longer strangers but are forging a common bond through their curiosity for magic.” And when he is asked how he does it, he just answers: “Very well, I do it very well!”
Magic is about what you don’t see, as well as execution, performance, delivery and showmanship, all skills that are required but can be acquired through practice and discipline, tenacity and dedication, and most importantly constantly exercising one’s fingers to keep them strong but nimble. Jamie fidgets with a pack of cards when his hands would be otherwise idle, like when watching TV, to the point that he gets through hundreds of decks of cards per year, since new crisp ones are best for a smooth delivery. Like fine arts and literature, magic can be a lonely occupation because magicians cannot let anyone watch them while practising, or they would give away their secrets, so they might spend hours in front of the mirror (a polished one - no smoke allowed on this stage). However, constructive criticism is welcomed and needed, to objectively assess the impact and technique of new tricks. “Nowadays, this role befalls on my wife Emma and this has its pros and cons: the same person vetting all your tricks becomes privy to their execution and perhaps outsmarts them, but if my trick can still amaze her, it usually means it has been perfected.”
Sometimes, it does go wrong, like it can with the best live performers, and the magic lies in recovering one’s aplomb as quickly as possible, so the audience believes that the outcome was intended. “I do occasionally get the ‘heckler’, but one thing is sure: if there is another magician in the audience, they will never stand up and heckle a fellow artist.” Jamie has perfected thousands of tricks during his two decades in the business, and the best feeling is when he can ‘blow the socks off a fellow magician.’
JamieZammitt.com hool.com ScienceAndmagicSc
KEEPING THE SOUNDS ALIVE AT THE `ROCK ON THE ROCK’ CLUB Providing a platform for up and coming groups, singer songwriters and budding musicians is what the Rock on the Rock club has been involved in for the past 13 or 14 years. It’s a venue where performing `covers,’ although not unwelcome, is not the norm! The venue takes me back to the 60s and very much reminds me of the old Marquee club in London’s Soho where so many of today’s big names got their first break. Hidden away from the town centre in Town Range - although not even a stone’s throw from Main Street - it’s partly housed in one of Gib’s many thick stone buildings built many moons ago, ideal for cushioning the sound of powerful guitar amplifiers from the surrounding dwellings, offices and clubs in that area. “This place started off as part of Albert Parody’s `Rock `92’ concept where groups had a place to rehearse and also provided a base for Albert’s ideas such as Battle of the Bands and promoting concerts such as the Santana event at Victoria Stadium,” present proprietor Allan Alman tells me. “I used to come with my son Jay to veteran musician Harry Chichon’s rehearsal room and noticed there was great potential in the place.” The thick, square shaped, stone block was some form of ammunition and military equipment store in years gone by going back to WW2 and beyond. Allan
tells me there still is a smell of gunpowder way down in the basement. In later years, with there being a military bakery next door, bags of flour were stored in the building and some mouldy old remnants were still in place in one of the unused spaces when he took over years ago. So Allan took charge renting it from government and the `new’ Rock on the Rock club was born in 2005. Much work was needed to bring the club up to a decent standard: walls and stairways needed to be removed as was the bar, important plumbing jobs (Allan is a qualified plumber) were a must, with thorough cleaning and painting an essential undertaking also... all of it hard work with Allan at the helm of everything, both physically and mentally, until it all slowly took shape into what the club is today. Friday nights at the `Rock’ slowly became the `in’ place for young groups to cut their teeth at and for potential fans and others to enjoy a great night out. In the very early days of the club’s existence - pre 2005 - groups like Jade, Nada, Oracle and many others performed there. The likes of Headwires, Midriff, Angelwings, Orange Peel, Punk Zombies, Metro Motel, Jetstream and so many more have performed in the venue over the past ten years since Allan has been in charge. “But it’s not just local groups that come and play here,” Allan is quick to add, “Overdry is a Spanish group from Jerez and
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FEATURE other Spanish groups from Malaga, Granada and as far as Galicia in the north of Spain have played here and, I must say, with no `political’ issues of any kind. Then, we’ve had bands from Sweden, Finland, Belarus and, of course, the UK, also performing here, and all through word of mouth and social media. Yes, there have been some great performances at the club.” Allan, who’s a musician himself, as a drummer initially - not unlike Phil Collins, was asked to abandon his drum kit and come forward to take over vocals (which he still indulges in today.) Running the club, he has great support from his wife Gina and other regular club goers who also lend a hand. Together they keep an eye on the kids’ and older patrons’ behaviour and potential improper practices that may occasionally arise. “You can rest assured,” both Allan and Gina guarantee, “nothing gets passed us.” “ “We’re open from 10.30 pm till about 4.30 in the morning, so it’s a long night, but we’re constantly on the lookout for underage drinkers who sometimes try it on, and smokers and others who may be intent on spoiling the evening for the majority. We’ve been at it for many years now and with our group of long time regulars it’s all pretty much under control. You see, we have a very varied range of customers coming to the club from all walks of life and it’s not just kids; we can have a club full of patrons from 16 year olds to up to someone in his or her 60s who happens to enjoy the kind of music performed here.” Allan adds: “I have to say I’ve had my moments, but I can honestly say we haven’t had more than a handful of occasions in the whole of these 13 or 14 years when there’s been any sort of minor incident, and we’ve always been very quick to stamp it out. We have no rules - we simply have a strict policy of zero tolerance at the club which has worked very well, to the point that over the years I think I’ve become more of a counsellor than a bouncer and we’ve recently incorporated a new CCTV set up!” Apart from Friday nights which are mostly group nights (there can be up to five groups a night performing), they also hold what they call `Alternative’ nights on Saturdays. These could involve other genres of music like Dub Step and Drum and Bass or sometimes a games night. Once a year, they hold a singer/ songwriter competition which has become
very popular with better prizes now available for the lucky winners. Halloween has become another great night at the club in recent years and National Day is a rave I’m told, and the recently revamped kitchen should keep punters happy with food as well as drink! The `Rock on the Rock Club’ experience is more than just a venue for young performers to test their mettle and put their talents up for close scrutiny in front of a `hungry for live music’ and sometimes quite discerning audience. There are also opportunities to get you started from scratch: with ten or eleven rehearsal rooms available for hire - most of them already taken by established and some of the newer bands - but to be fair to newcomers there is one room Allan has cleverly allowed for bands and soloists in their infancy to hire for two hour sessions throughout the day, so more enquiries are advised if you fit the bill. “And that is what gives me the greatest thrill and the reason why we’re here. You could describe it as a highlight of all the years we’ve had this place and now we’ve built a recording studio so these young groups and others can move onto the next stage of demoing and producing work for fans to appreciate. It’s good to see groups and musicians starting up from zero and witness them grow in a fraction of the time because we also provide instruments in the rooms, as well as rehearsal time where they can rehearse to their hearts content. That makes me very happy but there’s been sadness too, my son Jay, also a musician, and another lad in his mid 30s, both died of brain cancer and that was a bad time for us.” Since those sad events, TROTR club has been supporting different cancer and other charities like Special Olympics over the years and intend to continue with that very welcome support. Returning to the music side of events, The Rock on the Rock club is the top venue in Gib where ‘original stuff’ is tried and tested. Many performers, in whatever incarnation, have come and gone, but there have been many survivors too, thanks to the venue that musicians can depend on to provide the platform they deserve. Oh, and if you are in fact a ‘covers’ outfit and play versions with a totally different and original approach, I’m sure you’ll be allowed in and made very welcome to perform on Rock on the Rock’s well worn stage also!
Photos by John Bugeja
Washing day was always a day to dread. In fact it started the day before. Few houses had running water. The women, or in most cases the servants would go down to the nearest Government fountain and for an old halfpenny, or later one penny a bucket, would carry the water to the house. In our case, the fountain was on the corner of Benzimra’s Alley so it was only a matter of thirty meters from the front door. The washing was done in the patio, however the water for other household use had to be carried up two flights of steps and along two lengths of corridor to fill the “Tinaja,” but that is another story. In the patio, each household had, by mutual consent, “el dia del lavado” or washing day. Come hell or high water that was your day to wash. Galvanized iron tubs of various sizes were set out in the patio. These tubs varied from fifty to one hundred and fifty litres capacity. One or two of these tubs would be filled the night before in which whites were put in to soak. Shirt collars and cuffs, underwear and other areas prone to soiling were rubbed with “Blue Soap.” This was the universal soap of the time for washing clothes. High in soda and other harsh chemicals, it was a mottled blue and white and came in a bar about 15cm long. Before use the washerwoman would chop of a piece as required. There was also a smaller basin used for starch. The fountain would be opened every day at the same time, in our case,
a government employee complete in his trilby hat. People would be queuing up with their buckets. All the gossip of the neighbourhood was aired while they waited for the water. It was the main source of local news. Many of the women had wooden
open every day, including Sundays. Other fountains that catered for larger neighbourhoods had more taps and open longer. Every house had tinajas for drinking and household use, but in the patio there were two used exclusively for washing day. The toilet, one common toilet for each floor, used seawater for flushing. Because washing was prepared the night before the tubs were filled on the Sunday, in our case, eight buckets of water were carried into the patio and used to fill the various tubs, These tubs were kept hanging on the wall of the store in the patio when not in use and two tinajas were also kept there. A further eight buckets were for household use and carried up to the kitchen for household use.
A DAY IN THE LATE NINTEEN FORTIES
Frames which they would use to carry the full buckets, this would stop the buckets from rubbing on their legs and also avoid getting their long dresses wet from the spillage. The fountain had four taps and catered for the street and was
Procedure was standard in most households. One tub was used to soak the whites overnight, as said before, using a wooden scrubbing board to wash the clothes the washerwoman would have the tub at waist level and using washing powder like OMO, Fab, Fairy Soap Flakes, Persil, Tide or other brands, would scrub away at each article in turn. Using the “Blue Soap” on cuffs, collars and other areas prone to grime. The second tub was the second wash, then into the next tub and
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a final rinse which had “Azulejo” or “Robin’s” blue rinse to enhance the whites. The clothes were then wrung out by hand to get rid of excess water, shaken out and placed in a basket ready to hang out. However, some articles had to be starched. The cuffs and collars of shirts, pillow cases, children’s dresses, and if you were doing your National Service in the Gibraltar Defence Force, your summer uniform was made as stiff as a poker. In this case the starch was stained with tea for the khaki uniforms. The clothes then had to be carried up four flights of steps to the Azotea or roof top where they would be hung out to dry. The next task was the ironing. Fortunately by this time electric irons were available. Prior to the war, we had charcoal ranges to cook on and flat irons to iron with. These had to be heated on the fire, usually having two on the go as they cooled off quickly, especially in winter. Non creasing material was a thing of the future. Ev-
ranged to draw water from his tap and paid him the going rate until they themselves were able to get connected. In the early fifties, many of us moved to the Humphries buildings. Although fresh water was available in the kitchen, the bath water and bath heater was saltwater so we had bathe in hot salt water using salt water soap. Anyone who has experienced this will remember the horrible experience. Fortunately this situation was soon rectified. This time it is the turn of the bedroom. Why? you think. What can be easier than spreading a sheet and covering up with a duvet! Not in the early days. Let us take a day when the bed clothes are changed. The first thing to do is to empty the chamber pot. Most patios had one toilet on each floor to cater for up to four or sometimes six families. This was usually located at the far end of the corridor. The door more often than not, had a gap at the top and bottom. Since it faced the patio, in winter the wind would blow under the door and if it was raining, you can guess the result. It was therefore necessary to provide a chamber pot to avoid going out into the cold at night. The chamber pots were usually highly decorated china or enamel, and provided with a handle on one side. However on a visit to a museum in Puerto Rico, I was shown one with three handles belonging to Ponce de Leon which had three handles, so that
erything had to be ironed. Sheets, shirts, underwear, the ribbons on the pillow cases were starched, ironed and folded in a concertina. Not a crease in sight. Fortunately in these times, Spanish labour was cheap, as Spain’s economy was not the best (Does this sound familiar). So most families had a house maid who came in daily to do the house cleaning and the ironing and a washer woman came once a week to do the washing. Since water was always scarce, many houses had tanks beneath the building which were fed by rain from the roofs. In the patio would be a hand pump but this water was usually kept specifically for drinking. As soon as the first rains started, the first downpour was left to run to waste in order to clean the roof, then the downpipe was diverted into the tank for the rest of the winter. Others not having this facility would collect the rain water in tubs or buckets directly from the down pipe to settle and then pour the water into tinajas. In our case, one of the neighbours worked with a contractor and had water piped into his house, so the neighbours arGIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
one was always accessible when placed under the bed. Once this task was over and the article washed out, the bed was stripped. Now we come to the mattress. This was usually made from sheep wool remnants, known as flock, and sown into a cover. The stuffing would “migrate” which, in a double bed, resulted in a valley in the middle and all the stuffing at the two sides which meant that you would both roll together during the night. Every day the flock, which was in small clumps, had to be pushed and worked on until it was reasonably flat again. The mattress was often hung out of the window to air before remaking the bed. At regular intervals, the mattress had to be unstitched, the cover washed and the stuffing laid out on a sheet, usually on the “azotea” or roof terrace. This was then shaken, the lumps JANUARY 2019
of wool opened up. This task also released a lot of dust and small fibres which had to be collected and discarded before refilling the clean cover. There were mattresses sometimes filled with feather, the cheaper versions had chicken feathers but the quills from the feathers would often pierce the cover and stick into your back, it was like sleeping on a pin cushion. Biscuit mattresses were also available, mainly for single beds. These were filled with horse hair or coconut coir filling and were as hard as nails but had the advantage that the filling did not move. The bed base was usually of angle iron with metal slats about 2cm wide. These formed a lattice from top to bottom and side to side. Bed bugs were a constant menace. They were very rarely found in clean homes, but it only took one to be brought in, for them to quickly spread. It was necessary to treat the slats on a regular basis as the bugs would hide between the slats. Later on beds came with the small springs around the frame suspending a wire network. The bedbugs would get into the springs and were difficult to dislodge. Often, the only way to dislodge them was to use the old open wire hairclips to prod the inside of the springs. The headboard and foot of the bed was of varying amounts of cast iron, painted shining black, and brass work, which included tennis ball sized brass balls on each corner. The brass work had to be polished, of course! It was the custom, in many houses, to hide paper money in the uprights beneath the brass balls. After the war, these beds fell out of use and were replaced by more modern wooden bed heads. These old beds were dumped into the sea off Europa Point and sometimes washed up on Governor’s beach, where, I have been told, paper money had been found in this secret hiding place. The pillows were often of the same wool filling and were treated the same way as the mattress, but many were also filled with feathers. It is strange that nobody complained of allergies in those days. OK., we now have a relatively flat mattress on the bed. The brass work is gleaming. The bottom sheet is taken from the chest of drawers, neatly ironed and usually smelling strongly of camphor, although many people used to place sweetly smelling soap in the drawers. The top sheet came out next, usually having a hand crocheted 12cm top. This, although very decorative, would often get tangled with your fingers during the night. Next we come to the pillow cases. These were a work of art. Bleached to a glowing white, starched stiff and decorated with a crochet border, the pillow would be inserted and the ribbons, which had been starched and ironed into neat one centimetre concertinas, were now opened and tied into neat bows. In winter the blankets were then fitted.
FEATURE Finally the bed spread, often of heavy, highly decorated damasque, with frills or tassels around the edges. The furniture would then be dusted and the shellaced (an old form of natural varnish) wooden floors mopped leaving the bedroom ready for another night’s rest. Bathrooms were few and far between. Most bedrooms had a washstand, on which stood a washhand basin, a pitcher for water and soap dish. In most houses these were ceramic, but others could only afford enamel. The washstand would have a marble top and an adjustable mirror. Towels would hang on rails at each end. People would have a wash down using hot water heated in the kitchen, and once a week, a bath in a zinc bath, the children taking turns in the same tub. Public baths were available in Irish Town and many men went to barbers for a shave. Press a button and the hob heats up. Turn on a tap and hot fresh water pours out. Fill the kettle, press a button and coffee is ready in minutes, not then. Let’s now go back to the 1930s. Although gas had been established by 1857, many houses still had charcoal fires to cook on. Many of us had “hornillas” or charcoal stoves. The charcoal was delivered in sacks by Spanish vendors using donkey carts or fitted with panniers. The layout of the kitchen was fairly stan-
the tubes. After this a match was used to light it. If it did not light first time, it was usually due to a blockage in the jet. A tin “jigger” fitted with a very thin wire was then used to clear the jet, and the process restarted. The cooking utensils were usually of cast iron, and heavy. It was customary to keep a large cast iron kettle full of water on the stove when it was not being used for cooking as once lit, it was usually kept going all day. Some people had tricks to keep the embers alight during the night so to make it easier to start up in the morning. It was probably the work involved to start up the fires that led to the habit of workmen going to the nearest Cafe for a coffee, usually with a tot of brandy or Anis in it in winter, and toast with olive oil and garlic before going to work each morning Prior to the war, few people had running fresh water. This was usually purchased by the bucket and stored in “Tinajas” in the kitchen. A wooden lid would cover the jar, and usually a galvanized iron mug was kept on the top to pour the water into the kettle or other utensil. Most houses, however, had sea water on tap in the kitchen, and all toilets, even today, are flushed with sea water. In order to economise on fresh water usage, cleaning of fish, washing of vegetables and rinsing crockery was done with sea water.
dard in most houses. The charcoal was brought in from Spain on donkeys and sold around the streets by weight. It was usually sold in brownpaper bags and stored under the worktop. To get the fire going, you would use newspaper and/or small kindling. Some resorted to using a squirt of kerosene to speed up the process. A fan made of palm fronds, called a soplador or manopla, was used to “fan the flames.” Once the hornilla was going, it was kept alight for the rest of the day.
The kitchen table was generally made of pine, scrubbed every day and used to prepare food. Baking cakes was common. Mantecados, a type of shortbread, were a favourite. Another favourite was the ahuela (the spelling is phonetic as I cannot find any reference to it anywhere). This is a very thin pastry, similar to lasagne. The pastry was rolled out into very thin strips, about 120 mm wide and about 30 cm long. This was then laid over the back of a chair, on a white cloth kept for the purpose, and left to stretch under its own weight. It usually ended up about double its length. The end was then laid into hot oil and gradually folded as it cooked, ending up folded about four times. When cooled they were soaked in home-made syrup, then drained, sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, cinnamon powder and laid out on a large dish ready for us hungry kids. Other favourites were rellenitos, which were like a ravioli filled with sweet potato, fried and soaked in syrup. Other food that is still very common is the panisa and calentita, made from chick pea flour, the former is fried and the latter cooked in the oven.
Very often, because of the time it took to get the fire going, people would use a “Primus Stove” for the breakfast. This was filled with kerosene. Once filled, the pump was used to build up the pressure. In some later models, a spirit cup was provided, which would be filled with alcohol or methylated spirits to pre-heat
Apart from the traditional potage, there were various rice dishes, callos, albondigas, etc., a common meal was rolitos, thin strips of beef rolled and filled with ham, anchovies, olives (this varies by household), sima, which is skirt stuffed with sage and onion stuffing, albondigon, which is mince rolled into a ball, boiled
in a soup and when ready removed to cool and served cold with chips or other vegetables. Most of these recipes can be found in the Girl Guides of Gibraltar cookbook. Washing up has not changed much; however, in place of the modern sponge, estropajo was used. This was a loose fibrous mass made of esparto, a grass native to Spain, but very effective, in fact better than what is used today. Instead of Brillo Pads, fine sand and lemon juice was used to scrub the bottom of pans. It is curious, that, with all the good food we used to consume, containing all the ingredients, today considered a no-no, we led a healthy and active life. Obesity in the young did not exist. Where have we gone wrong? Food was usually purchased fresh every day, usually from the market or from street vendors. The latter supplied fruit, vegetables, eggs and fish. Refrigerators were a thing of the future. Normally, a wooden box, with open sides, was fitted with thin wire mesh and hung in the windows. Butter and other perishables were stored in them. Unfortunately, the apes would often attack these units and steal their contents. Later on, cold boxes were introduced when the refrigeration plant was operational. Ice would be brought round by vendors on mule or donkey carts, wrapped in sacking. You could buy blocks of ice and they would bring it to your icebox. This ice box was typically a wooden chest, lined with zinc, into which the ice was laid. All other requirements came from the corner shop. Sugar came in large sacks and was sold by the pound. The shop assistant would use a tin scoop to pick up the sugar and place it onto a sheet of brown paper about 40 cm square. He would then bring two edges together and, with great dexterity, using a thumb and two fingers on each side make a series of folds on both sides to form a perfect bag. Flour and other similar items were packed in this way. Butter was imported in wooden casks. One of the favourite butters in Gibraltar was “Manteca Cork.” This Irish butter, I understand, is still available in Ireland. When you asked for butter, it was cut into slabs from the cask and wrapped in grease-proof paper and then the ubiquitous brown paper. Lard and “Manteca Colorada” were treated in the same way. You could take your own bottle to the shop and get it filled with olive oil. Bread was baked daily and could be bought from the many bakeries in town. However, the best bread was baked by the military. When we walked up Town Range towards Hargraves, you could smell the fresh bread coming from the military bakeries there. Sometimes, as a child, you could “cadge” a loaf from the military baker.
FEATURE As already said, fresh food was purchased almost daily. Fortunately, there was a proliferation of street vendors who sold their wares around the houses. Egg sellers had large cane baskets full of eggs, the vegetable man usually set himself up at the end of a road with his donkey cart overflowing with fresh vegetables. People would ask for 3 pence worth of “verdura para la sopa,” which consisted of carrots, celery and pumpkin. Fresh milk was sometimes available from Spain, but of doubtful quality. Goatherds would sometimes bring over goats and milk them directly into containers provided by the customer. The Governor, however, had his own herd of cows, either at North Front or at Red Sands, where Humphries is today. The milk would arrive in a hand or donkey cart carrying urns full of milk and would be dispensed by the vendor into your jugs. Another common vendor came with cakes. He usually came around in the afternoon with two baskets. These oval carriers had glass lids, hinged in the centre. You could buy japonesas, teta de vacas, piramides, and many types of “Pastareal”.
Most people went to the market to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and chicken a few times a week. Many had servants that would come in daily from Spain. They would often be given a list of things to buy from the market on their way into town. Here the meat would be brought in from Morocco and Spain, although much came in later from New Zealand. There were also sellers of Calentita and Paris this latter, a cream in a biscuit cone, a delight never repeated.
In the grocer’s shop, sugar, butter, red butter, lard, flour, biscuits, tea, coffee, salt were all bought by weight, and oil by measure. Sugar was ladled into a flat brown paper, which was then dextrously folded at the edges to form a bag. We would often buy “broken biscuits” which were cheaper, and serve them with custard. Milk was normally purchased in tins. Condensed milk “La Lechera” was the most common. Most people used condensed or evaporated milk, even babies were brought up on this, although “Cow and Gate” milk became available One of the problems of living in flats was that living on the higher levels meant that one had to carry the shopping up many flights of steps, as there were no lifts. The vendors were reluctant to serve the upper floors, so it was customary to have a basket on a rope and to lower it down from the window or the patio balustrade to the vendor, who would put the goods in the basket and shout up what the bill was. The purchaser would then pull up the basket and return it with the cash. No credit cards in those days.
There were a number of large (for those days) general stores available. The main shop was Lipton’s, which was where Princess Silks is today. The RM Stores were also quite big, one at the crest of Prince Edward’s Road, the other at the top of Scud Hill, under the Police Quarters. There were of course plenty of local shops selling vegetables, fruit, bread and general stores. Since there was limited room in public transport, most people shopped locally. In the Public Market little has changed over the years on the inside of the building. The stalls are much as they have always been. However, the fish and meat stalls at the Chatham Counterguard end have been replaced by a car park. All along the wall from there to the present market there was a covered area which was predominantly Moorish tradesmen, with eggs and live chickens on stone slabs. The chickens would be killed and plucked and cleaned on the spot and the bits you wanted stuffed into the carcass. There was a very big Moor who sold eggs who was said to be an ex-slave and a eunuch.
Since plastic carrier bags had not been invented, women always carried a shopping basket with them when they went shopping. These were usually made of straw or wickerwork. No one had yet invented the “Pull-along.” You can imagine carrying your shopping up to Flat Bastion or Willis’s Road!
In those days there was no television, no mobile phones, no internet, very few private cars, batteries were for torches, and moving toys had to be wound up, but still we got by.
Frequently you would see a donkey or mule hooked up to a cart slipping and sliding down a hill, with the driver desperately trying to control the cart.
Article supplied by History Society Gibraltar
Literary Festival Favourites Jo Ward caught up with two returning speakers to the event held last November, without whom the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival wouldn’t be the same.
Jo Ward caught up with two returning speakers to the event held last November, without whom the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival wouldn’t be the same.
“If you can’t get a good story in a location like Gibraltar, you’re in trouble!” Better known to many of us as an actor for his numerous roles in long running TV series such as the award winning Outside Edge, Jeeves and Wooster, Roger,Roger, The Royal, Rock and Chips, Casualty, Midsomer Murders and as Dr Thomas Choake in Poldark, and also for his stage work, Robert Daws has carved out a new career as a successful crime writer and is the author of a detective series set on Gibraltar. His first novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and featured officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police, Tamara Sullivan and Chief Inspector Gus Broderick. This was followed by a full-length sequel in 2017, The Poisoned Rock, with his third novel, Killing Rock, due out this year.
Born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Robert jokes that he is an ‘Essex boy’, “but funnily enough I never had an Essex accent,” he tells me. Multi-talented Robert says that he never had any ambitions to act or write when younger. “Ironically, I can remember that at primary school I would do anything to avoid acting or appearing in school plays,” he says. It was when he went to secondary school that he found he had a talent for playing the trumpet and for acting. “The music master was just terrific and there was also an excellent English drama master,” he explains, “but I think performing is in my blood somewhere because there are opera singers, comics and impressionists going back through the family and my great, great grandmother was a dancer who once played the fairy godmother in Drury Lane in pantomime at the beginning of the 20th century.”
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FEATURE Amateur dramatics and the Essex Youth Theatre took up much of Robert’s teenage years, but then at the age of seventeen he formed a youth theatre company called Breadline. “We went to the best directors in town and asked them to help us, which they did, and we went on to win at national festivals.” During that year Robert auditioned for RADA and was successful in getting a place at one of the UK’s top drama schools. As with so many young actors then, Robert went straight out to work in repertory theatre. “In those days you had to have an Equity card - it was a ‘Catch-22’ situation - but fortunately the artistic director of the local theatre phoned me up in my first term at RADA and said that he needed someone to play the backend of the pantomime camel,” Robert laughs as he remembers how he was paid £17 and sixpence. “Unfortunately it had its downside because being the festive season the front end of the camel wasn’t well on occasions - so it was an ordeal by wind!” After appearing on stage for nine years, five years at the Theatre Royal in Stratford and three in Edinburgh, Robert once again formed a company with two friends, director David Wyn Jones and actor Peter Barkworth. “We became the resident company at the New End theatre in Hampstead.” This turns out to be synchronistic with Robert’s performed reading at the literary festival of a new play based on the life
and writings of P G Wodehouse. “One of the very first new plays that we did was called Talk to Me by William Humble who has written the Wodehouse in Wonderland piece that I am doing here,” Robert explains. Something else that has come full circle is the fact that Robert’s first big break in television was the comedy drama Jeeves and Wooster - written by P G Wodehouse. What was it that inspired Robert to start writing novels? “I’ve always written, in my twenties I was writing plays and I wrote several television pilots,” Robert states. “I had an idea for a crime series which I co-created with a very fine writer called Brian B. Thomson and that got picked up by Radio 4.” Called Trueman and Riley, with Robert playing Trueman and Duncan Preston playing Riley, the programme ran for three series. That started Robert’s journey into crime writing until another novelist friend suggested that Robert write a novel. “I already had a plot, but it was set in Yorkshire, and then I realised that the ideal place to set it would be Gibraltar, a place that I have been visiting and know really well because of family connections for the past thirty years.” Will Killing Rock be the last Gibraltar set novel? “I am writing a standalone novel next, set in Spain, and then I will be back to do my fourth Sullivan and Broderick Rock murder investigation in the spring.”
Learning can be
There can’t be a child in Gibraltar who doesn’t know Christopher Lloyd and his fabulous What on Earth? series of books. Always a festival highlight, author and publisher Christopher captivates audiences with his exuberant storytelling, not about fictional subjects, but about fascinating facts told with the help of his coat with many pockets and intricate colour-coded timelines that make learning fun.
There can’t be a child in Gibraltar who doesn’t know Christopher Lloyd and his fabulous What on Earth? series of books. Always a festival highlight, author and publisher Christopher captivates audiences with his exuberant storytelling, not about fictional subjects, but about fascinating facts told with the help of his coat with many pockets and intricate colour-coded timelines that make learning fun. What on Earth? are a unique series of fold-out wallbooks covering subjects including History, Nature and Sports to Science, Shakespeare and British History. At the literary festival, Christopher also introduced his newest publication Absolutely Everything! – a fully updated history of the world that is a rollercoaster ride through 13.8 billion years. No small undertaking, so just how did he come up with the concept for the books? “All of this started because I have two daughters,” he tells me, “and when the older one was eight and moved year groups at school she suddenly changed from being a very precocious, full of life, curious child who loved reading, to one that within a fairly short period of time started to shut down and lose interest.” A story that might sound familiar to some parents, Christopher says that Matilda became very moody and temperamental, not wanting to get up in the morning or go to school. “It turned out that she was finding school boring,” he explains. “Boredom is a big problem - it is like early onset depression.” Christopher goes on to say that the teacher, through no fault of her own, was teaching to the tests. “The ones that weren’t going to do very well in English and Maths had all the attention, and the ones that were going to do fine in the tests were given really boring things to do to keep them quiet – and Matilda was in that group.” Although Christopher and his wife tried to find another school, they didn’t see anything that was really very different and ended up inadvertently home educating both their daughters while searching for a more stimulating school.
WORDS BY JO WARD 46
“It started off catastrophically,” Christopher chuckles at the memory. “It was like the last scene of Hamlet in the Lloyd household because our instinct was to create a school at home with a curriculum, lots of books, a timetable and a bell.” It was when they realised that Matilda only really responded when asked what she was interested in that everything changed. “We started learning through the things that she was interested in,” he says, and discovered that if only the things she learned were more connected together then she could follow her curiosity and from then on, learning became fun.” It was on a trip in a camper van around Europe that Christopher had his ‘Eureka’ moment as he did the washing up at a campsite in Rome. “I realised how little I actually knew about the environment around me – the name of the tree beside me, the type of bird in the tree – how old the planet Earth was, and I suddenly felt embarrassed and ashamed,” admits Christopher who graduated with a double-first class degree in history from Cambridge University and was Science Correspondent for The Sunday Times.
“I wanted to find a book that would help connect everything together from nature and ancient history to science and religions, but nothing suitable seemed to exist, so I decided I’d write that book and the result is Absolutely Everything!” Christopher’s books let children connect knowledge together, not chopping it up into different segments, so that they can find their own interests and then they can learn the key things that they need in life, whether that is communications, research, writing or maths. With more than a dozen books in print, some in over 15 languages, including The Story of Gibraltar that charts the amazing history of the Rock from earliest times to the present day, Christopher travels the world delivering workshops and lectures to children but also at TEDx talks and conferences. His books are particularly popular in Japan and China where there is a huge appetite for parents who like to learn together with their children. If only there had been books like this for my generation, but the good news is that the children of Gibraltar can benefit from Christopher’s enthusiasm about learning. Hopefully, we can look forward to his return next year.
WORDS BY RICHARD CARTWRIGHT 48
SACARELLO’S NEWSAGENCY It seems some establishments never die, they go on forever. On the Rock, as in other places around the world, they hold dear to a population that has grown with them over time. Reflective memories prevail as you walk past them day in, day out. For many, when calling at Sacarello’s, it’s a stir of nostalgia! The little paper shop with two steps down in our main thoroughfare is one example. Yes, Sacarello’s Newsagents in Main Street is the first port of call for lots of individuals to check out ‘how the world is ticking’ and as you sip your morning coffee at your chosen cafeteria, you become informed of the day’s news as you peruse through your preferred daily. It was a gentleman called Giovanni Sacarello who arrived on the Rock from Genoa in the early 1800s. He was nationalised British in 1853. However, it wasn’t until 1923 that the Sacarello paper shop was born. The present proprietor’s great grandfather opened up for business then, but it was granddad Antonio who Craig Sacarello remembers running the business. “I remember him, when I was very young, running the shop and occasionally some of the older folk in town talk to me about him, but my biggest influence in the business would of course be my father, Tony, who died quite a few years ago.” Craig is absolutely right. Tony and Sacarello’s were synonymous, always there greeting you with a smile and ready to chat about whatever to anyone. Tony was indeed your typical ‘simpatico’ front of house businessman and ran the show for many years. “My dad was quite strict and liked to do things the right way. He had his way of doing things and managed the shop differently, but he taught me to understand the business.”
Sacarello’s started off selling books, newspapers, stationery and stamps, but during Tony’s reign magazines were added on the shelves and they stopped selling stamps because there was nothing in it and therefore not worthwhile. “We’ve also kept going the distribution of newspapers and magazines to a number of outlets including the Imperial Newsagency, Morissons, where our employee Lambrani has spent many hours of his life filling and organising the newspaper and magazine shelves, and at our smaller outlet in the departure lounge at the airport, and so on. Sadly Lambrani is now retiring and we will miss him dearly I’m sure,” Craig says. “But life goes on and we are kept quite busy.” As chores have become more demanding since around 2004, Craig’s time has been shared between being like his dad at the shop when possible and looking after the other side of the business: providing office supplies of every type is what they’re involved in now, from pencils and notepads to office furniture, and they also hold the Dyson (vacuum cleaners) agency and now even sell ‘Home’ products. “Yes, that’s been taking the lion’s share of my time these days. We supply many offices, including The World Trade Centre at Bayside, and now also offer furniture.” Judging by the amount of office space available and being rented out nowadays, that seems like a clever business idea to take on. Sacarello’s opened their office furniture and supplies shop at Europort a few years ago, but have now moved to Engineer Lane where ‘Neptune’ offers furniture and accessories for the home, keeping the whole of that side of the business under one roof – except Sacarello’s ‘2 steps down’ newsagents in Main Street!
As regards the couple of steps lower level feature at Sacarello’s, Craig tells me the fact the shop is the only one in Main Street that’s below street level may have something to do with the way the building above was built. I think that’s the case with the shop next door also, which makes the 1923 retail gem almost unique! “But we like it here. My dad used to say ‘small is beautiful’, so there was never an inclination to move to bigger premises and anyway, apart from the high rents that are paid these days in Main Street, our customers are used to us being here and don’t seem to mind.” It certainly is one of our Main Street retail institutions and I’m sure no one would like to see it move from that address. In recent years it’s seen a facelift and the interior has been refurbished. Gifts and children’s books on Maths and Science have been added, but it’s still, Sacarello’s! Craig is super busy with his other businesses and can’t spend as much time in the paper shop as he’d like. “That’s true, especially as I love the one-to-one contact with the clientele even if it’s simply talking about the weather. I really enjoy talking to the older members of our community who recall the old days and share stories with me about my granddad and the way the shop used to be.” Craig remembers his dad’s advice when he used to say ‘whatever you do make sure you grow sensibly’ and, so far, everything seems to be on track in that department and especially at Sacarello’s where the name lives on, and I’m sure `dad’ would be proud of the present boss who is taking the family legacy forward into the future. There have been some changes through the years however... not least, the dates on the newspapers!!
Photo courtesy of Luis Photoss
Sacarello’s CEO Craig is certainly focused on the businesses under his control but, who knows, it may never have gone that way. “I went to Stonyhurst College in the North of England and became interested in flying and went for a Flying Scholarship. Whilst studying in Southampton University, I joined the RAF Air Squadron and attained a private pilot’s licence, so I’m qualified to fly single engine aircraft.” Well, it’s a good thing that Craig studied business related subjects and marketing whilst in Southampton and went down that road, if not he may have ended up like his younger brother Gavin, who now flies passenger jets for Easyjet – Gib route included! And the common denominator between Sacarello’s and flying is? Probably making and playing with paper planes when they were children out of all that spare or out of date stationery at the shop!
Craig’s wife Rachel has also had her share of helping run the business as well as looking after four kids, managing a home and fulfilling her duties as finance director for the Sacarello business and, I’m told, has to her credit come up with some great planning ideas. There’s plenty of help at the shops too. Craig speaks highly of his staff. There’s Gale, Audrey and Nicky - who is now a Director and runs the shops – one or two other staff members and the delivery drivers who are great. “I attach a lot of importance in making sure everyone’s treated correctly and I aim to lead by example. I don’t shy away from getting my hands dirty and since I joined the family business I’ve worked my way up from the very bottom to the top. That is something that has served me well and should be born in mind by young people nowadays who often expect to go straight into a cushy job.”
ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 21)
For your indepth horoscope call: Weekly Monthly 8910
This year of 2019 is a year for you to really grow your savings Aries. You have been a bit worried that you may have been overspending throughout the last year and that savings are dwindling. However, when you do an appraisal of your spending you’ll find that much of it was on essentials which took a lot of stress out of daily living. Take time early in the year to get clear on your finances and top up the savings pot on a regular basis throughout the year. That organised, you can then get on with planning a good summer for you and your family. Autumn brings unexpected visits from family and friends and some very cosy and happy memories will be made. As the year draws to a close you will have a feeling of having had a productive year, well lived and satisfying!
TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 21)
Your energy levels are a bit low at the beginning of the year, Taurus, and you’re not as full of beans as you’d like to be! The problem really is boredom! You are frustrated with certain areas of your life and you need to get your creative mind out of hiding and give it some free rein to create the life you’d like to have. Remember, it is not a dress rehearsal and the only person who can make the change is you. As winter gives way to spring you feel more involved with what you are doing and a good push from your other half helps. The summer months will pass super quickly, so be prepared before the heat kicks in or you’ll spend July and August feeling frustrated. October and November bring new opportunities and new people and as 2019 draws to a close you will look back and feel a sense of accomplishment.
GEMINI (May 22 – June 22)
You need to start 2019 slowly, Gemini. You lived the past year at breakneck speed and although you got the results you were looking for it is now time to change gear. Prioritise and delegate and by Easter time you will be ahead of your game and leading the way. You can let your hair down a bit over the summer; relax, socialise and enjoy the company of good friends. Autumn is family time so make sure that you set aside quality time to let them know how important they are to you. November and December will present new opportunities for collaboration with people who have been drawn to you and you will see the year end in a very positive frame of mind.
CANCER June 23 – July 22)
You start the new year full of inspiration and motivation Cancer, and have your plans well organised for the year ahead. An unlikely invitation in February takes you by surprise and although you might not be too keen on it to begin with, you soon find that it is fun and by Easter time you will have formed a solid new connection. A chance conversation in June certainly takes things up a notch or two. In August you will get an unexpected insight into a friend’s behavior and you’ll be happy that you are able to help them move forward in a positive way. Christmas comes around before you know it and this year you can have a relaxed and enjoyable festive period with family.
LEO July 23 – Aug 23)
You will start the new year feeling exhausted and quite out of sorts, Leo, and to be honest this is due to boredom! Spend the early months taking a good hard look at just what you are doing with your time and energy. Shed some of the people and activities that no longer stimulate you and have the courage to go forward boldly! May and June find you exploring new options in your work life and this could well be the time when you make a drastic but welcome change in your career. Go for it! The months of autumn are likely to be busy but quite gentle and you will find yourself making time for a younger member of your set who will appreciate your consideration. The year will close in an upbeat and most enjoyable way with you looking back with a sense of contentment.
VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sep 23)
2019 brings luck and abundance for you Virgo. You have strong opinions, and a great drive to succeed this year. There will be opportunities and good people around you throughout the springtime and as the year progresses good luck and prosperity should blossom. Friends and family (particularly siblings) may be extra generous. It’s a year to bring each other many happy times. The autumn months are a good time to be aware of your health, be active, eat and rest well, because it’s a busy year and at around November you may feel a little unfocused. Come Christmas, don’t make rash decisions. Take a step back and allow things to take shape a little more, and then go for it. As the year draws to a close you can JANUARY look back with a sense of achievement. 2019 GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
LIBRA Sep 24 – Oct 23)
This year you will find that you have a deep desire for material security Libra and so you’ll have greater motivation and ambition. In your inimitable Libran way, you’ll accomplish much and attract compatible people to you. Eastertime finds your communication at a peak so get networking! Put social activities on pause during summer although, at the same time, have fun and re-energise. September and October are good months to take stock and get clear on who your truest supporters are. November and December bring good connections so you can have the confidence to make a decision that you’ve been putting off. Christmas and New Year will be well spent in the bosom of your family.
SCORPIO Oct 24 – Nov 22)
You have a good energy this year Scorpio, and you generate good luck and good energy throughout. March finds you having to inject some extra effort into remaining balanced otherwise you risk burning yourself out or frazzling the people around you. Be cool and a bit distant if necessary in May and June when instincts are tested and people become harder to read. Be braced for surprises in the summer months and refrain from judging others. Be healthy and ambitious while respecting your limits throughout the autumn months and by Xmas you’ll be ready to rise up and celebrate a truly successful year!
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 – Dec 21)
You may well be surprised by the admiration, respect, and authority which is coming your way this year Sagittarius and it may be hard for you to remain modest. However, you must try! Be methodical and then trust your own judgment. Emotional judgment is strong, especially in February. You will find it easy to be patient and careful with peoples’ situations. Family and friends will think well of you and lavish you with affection during the summer. Be well in the months of autumn. Be active and make sure you are eating for optimum health – cutting out all the unhealthy snacks. You will then be able to welcome Xmas in a confident and relaxed manner.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20)
Although it doesn’t come naturally to you Capricorn, you must allow your heart and passion to be your guides throughout 2019. You can make a major new start early in the year but you must learn to be your own best friend rather than your own worst enemy. Trust your gut and you will stay on track. Family support around Easter time warms the cockles of your heart in a big way. You will have the confidence to make a major decision in June and you will wonder what took you so long. Your ambition and energy for your work intensify in October and throughout November. By Christmas - just go out there and be amazing!
AQUARIUS Jan 21 – Feb 19)
You have worked hard getting things in place over the last year, Aquarius, and 2019 will see it paying off for you. Your motivation levels will therefore remain high and you will have the confidence to invest more time and money in your ventures. So it’s all good and getting better. Around the middle of May you’ll be intrigued by a new idea and you’ll waste no time in becoming involved. A person you wouldn’t have expected to see turns up out of the blue and you’ll have great times reminiscing! Be alert to the needs of a close one in July as they will be feeling over sensitive and could be easily hurt even though it is unintentional. Autumn brings a few challenges mainly on the home front but these should be easily resolved as long as all parties are prepared to sit down and listen to each other respectfully. The year ends on a good note with you feeling that you have acquitted yourself well and looking forward to even greater things ahead.
PISCES Feb 20 – Mar 20)
2019 brings you opportunities to make your home and family life happier than ever and to calm some of the turbulence and emotional upheaval of the last year. Joint finances and business deals will need to be undertaken with caution, however financial advice that you receive in May or June will make a lot of sense. The summer months may bring some stress in unexpected areas but this should be resolved if all parties pay attention to one another and listen. The months of autumn bring a sense of contentment and someone takes a burden off your shoulders. Thus you can spend valuable time thinking ahead and putting ideas in place for future changes which you know you want to make.
JANUARY 2019 53 ForGIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM Private Readings TEL: (0034) 666 966 502 Email: email@example.com Facebook Group: Horoscopes Gibraltar
CLASSIFIED SERVICES CHARTERED SURVEYOR
PAINTING & DECORATING
ON THE SPOT
PAUL LOPEZ SALES MANAGER AT GEDIME MOTORS LTD
Where did you first start your employment? “Back in 1980 with Bland Ltd. GIBAIR – Gibraltar airport.”
How would you describe yourself? “Passionate and certainly a warrior; who will work 24/7 and overcome any adversities that may arise, to achieve a specific goal, target or task!” “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” Sir Winston Churchill
Which person has been the biggest influence in your life? “My uncle; Pepe Robba.”
What’s the best book you’ve ever read? “Sir Richard Branson’s autobiography.”
mistakes. Trust you will agree that we all make mistakes as this is part of living; life.”
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given? “Not sure, mind you I am pretty sure I did not pay any attention.”
What makes you laugh? “Los Morangos and the one and only Mr.Bean.”
What’s your greatest ambition? “Continue to do what in my opinion I know how to do best; Sales which I am passionate for and since I took responsibility for Mitsubishi Motors sales in Gibraltar on 02/01/2017, together with my team have made this brand into Gibraltar’s bestselling brand for the last two years.”
What’s the best country you’ve ever visited and why? “Morocco with beautiful, fascinating cities like Marrakech and seaside resorts like Agadir. It’s culture and its people, well and of course because of my wife who is a beautiful Moroccan lady.”
What is your idea of perfect happiness? “Being healthy and spending as much time as possible with my loved ones; especially at home which for me is my own paradise.”
Have you had any embarrassing moments? “A few…”
Which word or phrases do you most overuse? “Congratulations.”
What’s your favorite music track?
“Yes, but the past is the past and one must focus and live the present at its fullest and look forward positively to the future.”
What keeps you awake at night? “My two cats, Minoj and Daisy.”
What’s the best experience you’ve had in life so far? “When after a year of hard work and lengthy negotiations with Royal Air Maroc and other party’s direct flights to Morocco again become a reality. The inaugural flight which I travelled on from Marrakech to Gibraltar and was met on arrival by our Chief Minister was a day of great pride and that I will never forget.”
If you didn’t live where you are currently located where would you like to Live (Money, no object) “Marrakech.”
“Alpha Ville “Forever Young”
What people historic or living would you most like to meet?
What’s your biggest fear?
“Sir Richard Branson.”
If you could change one thing about Gibraltar what would it be
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
“Its size. “
“To be honest nothing…. God made me as I am; a normal human being which I am very grateful for.”
What is your favourite hobby or interest “Playing with my flight simulator, reading and viewing videos of aircraft both military and commercial and of the Motor Industry. Without forgetting my gym which is part of my life.”
Have you ever been given advice that you wished you had acted on? “Yes, but one must take and make his own decisions, even if we make GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
Do you have any regrets?
Stirred Some of the biggest and best-known names in jazz took part in the Gibraltar International Jazz Festival on Saturday 8th December.
The legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra performed at St Michael’s Cave. Their host club - Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, London - is one of the most internationally-renowned venues in the music business. And in Gibraltar, they didn’t disappoint. They were joined by their resident vocalist, Georgina Jackson, who has also sung with BBC Radio 2’s Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra. She combined her singing with trumpet playing, another one of her skills.
Local bank Malfunktion were also on the bill, led by saxophonist Nick Gonzales. They added more of a jazz fusion element to the evening, which meant that jazz fans of all persuasions left the evening happy. Minister for Culture, the Media, Youth & Sport, Steven Linares said, “I am delighted that The Ministry of Culture have aligned Gibraltar with one of the world’s most respected jazz acts and brands.”
BREATHE MUSIC IT’S BETTER THAN AIR!
ABOUT JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: “The music we just made? It’s gonna put him on another plateau,” his producer Timbaland told Rolling Stone recently. Timberlake is pushing 40, and proved he’s still a chart-topping force with 2016’s Number One “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Someone who’s heard the new album says it “pushes boundaries in ways you don’t expect. It’s gonna have a lot of hits” and includes a collaboration with country star Chris Stapleton. Timberlake is also planning an arena tour. His last one, the 14-month 20/20 Experience world tour, earned $230 million. “It’s going to be humongous,” says one US promoter.
UK: Do we need Another Boy Band? After ‘One Direction’ split in 2016, the race was on to find the next heartthrob crew. Simon Cowell has assembled ‘PrettyMuch’. Their dancing and harmonies recall an updated ‘Boyz II Men’. They have competition: ‘Why Don’t We’, who signed to Atlantic, released five EPs in the past year and amassed 2 million Instagram followers. “They’re talented beyond belief,” says co-manager Randy Phillips. There’s always space for a new boy band say I reluctantly. CANADIAN ROCK LEGEND NEIL YOUNG has finally launched his long-anticipated ‘Archives Project’ online, a collection of every studio recording in stunning quality. He’s planning to use the site to roll out “about 10 unreleased albums and a few unreleased films.” Here are four
AN AI BEAT. 2019 will see a big rap single hit the charts which will feature a beat composed entirely by computers with very little human involvement. With the advances in artificially intelligent music composition, the idea of buying a trendy hip-hop beat from a vending machine may not be science fiction for much longer.
gems that will finally see the light of day. The Roxy: An LP capturing Young’s 1973 club gigs debuting Tonight’s the Night. He often sparred with the crowd, which was unfamiliar with the new songs. Homegrown: This 1975 LP was a planned return to the commercial Harvest sound before Young shelved it. “It was too personal,” he said. “It scared me.” Odeon/Budokan: A soundboard tape from Young’s fieriest tour ever, with Crazy Horse in 1976. It features the definitive “Cortez the Killer.” Chrome Dreams: The original “Powderfinger” and “Pocahontas” were on this LP, which he held back in favor of 1977’s heavy American Stars ‘N Bars.
I’m not sure if AI is a good thing in music. Please rewind technology a bit.
UNTIL NEXT TIME BREATHE MUSIC
it s better than air
WORDS BY JOE ADAMBERY GIBRALTARINSIGHT.COM
HEALTH FEATURE& WELLBEING
In the drink
For many of us, drinking alcohol forms part of our social life, and with the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations just behind us, now might be a good time to consider if we may need to reduce our level of alcohol consumption as a useful New Year resolution. Alcohol is absorbed into our bloodstream, affecting our breathing and heart rate as well as how we think, feel, perceive things and behave. It is high in calories, has no food value; and if not consumed sensibly, can cause considerable harm to our health and general well-being. It is therefore important that we should keep an eye on our drinking habits. How many of us are actually aware of how much we are dinking and are we within ‘safe’ levels? Especially as there are so many different types of drinks and glass sizes, from shots to pints – not to mention bottles – it’s difficult to tell how many units of alcohol we are drinking. If you know your units you will be able to be more in control of your drinking. A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, which is equivalent to about a half a pint of lower to normal-strength lager, beer or cider. It is also equivalent to a single small shot measure (25ml) of spirits. A small glass (125ml) of wine contains about 1.5 units of alcohol. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) recommends that in order not to consume harmful levels of alcohol, we should not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week. They suggest that if you are drinking as much as 14 units a week, you should best spread it evenly over three or more days. If you’d like to reduce the amount of alcohol you are drinking, it would be a good idea to have several alcohol-free days each week. It’s important to bear in mind however, that if you are consuming any amount of alcohol on a weekly basis, this increases the risk to your health. Drinking too much (over the recommended maximum 14 units of alcohol a week) could lead to your acting irresponsibly, which could result in losing personal possessions like your wallet or mobile phone, having an accident, such as falling over and receiving a head injury requiring hospital treatment, getting involved in a violent incident, having unprotected sex, which could lead to an unwanted pregnancy or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease or suffering from alcohol poisoning. Teenage drinking carries risks and even a one-off experiment with alcohol can create problems, as teenage bodies, minds and emotions are still developing and maturing and are very vulnerable to the immediate effects of alcohol. Teenagers need clear messages from parents that underage drinking is unacceptable. Parents should encourage and support teenagers to delay drinking in order to reduce the risks of harmful drinking in later life. For more useful advice for parents, please visit the section on Alcohol of the GHA’s www.healthygibraltar.org website. Women are more at risk from the harmful effects of alcohol than men, because of the difference in the water content of their body. As alcohol is distributed through the body fluids, in men the alcohol is more ‘diluted’ than it is in women. Drinking alcohol may also reduce fertility and the ability to conceive as well as directly affecting the developing baby in the womb. Pregnant women who drink alcohol are actually giving their baby an alcoholic drink too. This is because when they drink, the alcohol passes through their body, passes to the placenta and is fed to the baby - there is no known safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy! Women, who are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant, should avoid alcohol to reduce the risk to the baby. Alcohol is passed to the baby in small quantities through breast milk, so if they have a drink – so does the baby! This may affect the baby’s feeding, bowels or sleeping; so alcohol should be avoided whilst breastfeeding.
ease, pancreatitis and cancers of the liver, bowel, mouth and breast. Long term alcohol misuse can also be a source of social problems such as domestic abuse, divorce and unemployment. Alcoholism, also known as dependent drinking, refers to a situation where a person has lost control over his or her drinking, having an overwhelming desire to drink, which has a negative result on health and relationship issues. Dependent drinkers usually experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly reduce or stop drinking altogether, which then leads to a dangerous cycle of ‘relief drinking’ in order to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or feel the need to drink first thing in the morning to get rid of their hangover. The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) suggests the following simple tips to help drinkers cut down on their alcohol consumption: Make a plan: Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you’re going to drink; Set a budget: Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol; Let people know: If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down, you could get support from them; Take it a day at a time: Cut back a little each day, and then every day you do is a success; Take smaller portions: You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one; Have a lower-strength drink: Cut down on alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %); Stay hydrated: Drink a pint of water before you start drinking, and don’t use alcohol to quench your thirst. Have a soft drink instead; Take a break: Have the odd day each week when you don’t have an alcoholic drink; Keep a drinks diary: You may be surprised to find out how much you actually drink. If you feel that you need help to reduce your alcohol consumption, seeking advice from your GP at the health Centre is a good place to start; they provide a confidential service and referrals for further treatment if required. Alcoholics Anonymous Gibraltar meets every week at Nazareth House, and can be contacted on tel 200 73774. Gibraltar Families Anonymous is a group of concerned relatives and friends whose lives have been adversely affected by a loved one’s addiction to alcohol or drugs, and hold weekly meetings at the Glady’s Perez Centre at 304a Main Street. They can be contacted on 200 70047 or 200 73465 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persistent alcohol misuse - drinking more than the lower-risk limits of alcohol consumption – can result in serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, liver dis-
WORDS BY CHARLIE BOSANO 58
MUM ON THE ROCK A PARENT’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA APPS AND GAMES PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
This popular game is used by millions of children and adults alike, but it can present risk concerns. The game, where up to 100 players battle to be the last person alive, features text chats that can’t be turned off and communication between strangers is frequent. Life has changed for all of us with the rise of technology. Previous generations spent their childhood playing games outdoors or taking part in board games with the family indoors. We read books and magazines and chatted with our friends using the home phone. Nowadays, games are mostly played on tablets or smart phones and children are usually more tech savvy than their parents or grandparents and whilst there are plenty of positives to children using social media apps and games, there are also some negatives and dangers to be aware of.
This is a 3-D computer game where players can build anything and is one of the most popular games for millions of children worldwide. Top risks when playing Minecraft include bullying, talking to strangers, hacking and downloading viruses. Players may also come across inappropriate content such as violent or sexual language and images. If you have young children it might be a good idea to set up the account up through your own email address and know their passwords. Discuss which settings you are going to apply prior to their joining the site – will you allow multiplayer, for instance? Speak to
It is important to be aware of the apps that your children are using. There are some people out there that will try to target young children through social media apps. Explain that there may be people who are not who they say they are and it’s also a good idea to ensure that their interactions with others on social media are only with their real-life friends.
your child about unwanted contact and what to do if someone is being nasty or inappropriate to them in the game, and make sure that they know they can come to you so you can take action to stop it happening.
This app allows users to share photos and videos. Finstas (see above) enable users to troll others through untraceable spam accounts that are typically used for bullying. Sending text messages via Instagram is popular because messages are deleted once a user leaves a conversation.
This is a mobile messaging app used to share photos, videos and texts that are only available for a short time (up to 10 seconds). Because of the temporary nature of the images, a well-publicised use of the app is for ‘sexting’ or even pornography.
These allow users to hide messages and pictures under innocuous icons so that when someone else logs into their phone they aren’t suspicious. Some examples are Calculator‰, Gallery Lock, Best Secret Folder, and Keepsafe.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE ON SOCIAL MEDIA The first thing to remember is that many sites have a minimum user age of 13, although some interactive sites are designed specifically for younger children. Make sure you know the age restrictions for apps and games and set appropriate parental controls and time restrictions on their use.
A ‘finsta’ (fake-insta) is a fake account, usually on Instagram, although they can appear on any social media channel. Users can have one profile to interact with friends (the fake one) with pictures that they want to keep private, and the other one is their ‘angel’ account where they only post what they want their parents to see. Try and make sure you know what your child is posting and you should monitor these fake accounts as much as you do their real ones.
Keep the lines of communication open with your children about the apps that they are using. Educate your children on the dangers of oversharing. Remind them that they need to be careful about what they post online and that they need to protect their online reputation. Even if you consider yourself to be a tech savvy parent and keep track of your kids’ online use, there are new apps appearing all the time, so it is worth being alert to the potential digital dangers and it is important to remember that most apps have inherent risks.
WORDS BY JO WARD 61
HEALTH FEATURE& WELLBEING EARLY TO BED, AND EARLY TO RISE
Is the way to be healthy wealthy and wise Routine is one of the first things to let slip during the Festive season, and it’s easy to see why. No needed structure in terms of family or work life, plus the opportunity to indulge, means this time of year can turn things on its head. And that can make getting back on track in early January all the more difficult. Sleep patterns can suffer, and with it the metabolic rate of digesting and the body’s way of dealing with food can be impacted. The high calorific value of seasonal food and a lower amount of exercise contribute every year to unexpected weight gains in adult, particularly in middle age. Even just a mince pie would require approximately a 20 minute run in order to burn off the extra calories taken on. And that’s even without taking fizzy drinks and alcoholic drinks into consideration.
A winter weight study has concluded that one way to help prevent this extra weight gain is to take regular visits to the bathroom scales. The psychology of weight gain is just as important as the biology. In the fight against obesity, this is an important weapon. If an adult gains an average of a kilo of extra weight annually over the Festive period, and doesn’t manage to work it off in a satisfactory manner, this can have devastating results as the weight gain compounds and they get older. A simple, regular stroll around Gibraltar with its many inclines and gradient variations, could make all the difference to start 2019 in a healthy way. And this brings everything back round to having a routine. Our bodies are creatures of habit, and respond positively to such efforts. The GHA has a list of healthy eating and lifestyle leaflets on its website to help. Find out more at www.gha. gi/media/gha-information-leaflets/
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Some people get chilblains if they warm up cold skin too quickly. For example, with a hot water bottle or by sitting very close to a fire. Some people with poor circulation and with other problems of their blood vessels are more prone to developing chilblains. However, most chilblains occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Symptoms of chilblains are: •Chilblains are very itchy. A burning sensation is also typical. • They are usually red at first but may become purple. • Pain and tenderness over the chilblains often develop. • In some cases the skin over a chilblain may blister which may delay healing. • Occasionally, the skin breaks down to leave a small ulcer. • Chilblains usually last for about seven days and then, gradually, go away over a week or so. Some people have recurring bouts of chilblains each winter. Steps to help avoid Chilblains: • Keep your hands and feet warm when out in cold weather by using warm gloves and socks. Consider special heated gloves and socks if chilblains are a recurring problem. • You should keep as warm as possible in the cold. Wearing several loose layers is ideal to trap body heat. You should also keep as dry as possible. • After being out in the cold, do not heat the skin quickly with hot water bottles, etc. Warm yourself up gradually. • As a Side-effect, some medicines may narrow (constrict) tiny blood vessels. This may be enough to make you prone to recurring chilblains. If you would like to know more about chilblains or other foot conditions, or any other service we offer, please book an appointment, or you can visit our website on www.smg.gi or call +350 20049999 email: info@smg. gi or even contact us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/SMC.Gibraltar/
Unit F7, 1st Floor, ICC Building, Casemates Square, Gibraltar. Tel: +350 200 49999. Fax: +350 200 68999. Find us on www.specialistmedicalclinic.com
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Chilblains (Sabañones as they are known in Spanish) are small, itchy, painful, red swellings on the skin. They tend to occur on your toes, fingers, nose and earlobes. They are commonly seen in cold weather, particularly appropriate at this time of year, especially for those taking part in winter sports.
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#HappyNewYear #Gibraltar - and welcome to 2019 with #January's #GBZinsight. In this month's edition, Her Worship, The Mayor of Gibraltar - K...
Published on Jan 1, 2019
#HappyNewYear #Gibraltar - and welcome to 2019 with #January's #GBZinsight. In this month's edition, Her Worship, The Mayor of Gibraltar - K...