Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Menorcan Style
Plans for a spectacular weekend of events to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee are well underway as Menorca’s British ex-pats get ready to party in style. The latest update on what’s in store for the two-day extravaganza on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June 2012 promises to be great family fun for both residents and holidaymakers visiting the area of Es Castell.
The Menorca Britannia Association is very much involved and, together with other clubs and associations around the island, is planning a whole host of special celebratory activities to mark this momentous occasion. Entitled ‘British Menorca and Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations’, the events will be aimed at both the British and Menorcan communities and will no doubt further cement the close historic ties shared by these two islands.
As you can imagine, the logistics are formidable and could not be tackled single handed. Havingapproached the Mayor of Es Castell Luís Camps and following a meeting with other British Associations and some Spanish to which Menorca Britannia is affiliated to help with all the arrangements, the response and enthusiasm has been fantastic and a Diamond Jubilee Steering Committee has been set up. This consists of the full Menorca Britannia committee with Luís Camps, Mayor, Maria Coll, Councillor of Culture and Jaime Fedelich, Councillor of Tourism – all from Es Castell, and David Vidal representing the Consell Insular Tourism Department, Fundació Destí Menorca, as well as a representative from the Rotary Club, Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Probus, The Red Cross, Asociación Rociero de Menorca and Club de Jubilados d’Es Castell.
The Plaça Esplanada in Es Castell will be the focal point where a large marquee with a stage will be erected and there will be covered ‘chiringuitos’ (stalls) for each of the participating associations. So far, celebrations for this two-day event (there is no bank holiday in Menorca) are as follows:
Saturday 2 June: Celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 1950's style
This will be a unique event where the whole day will be 1950’s inspired and it is hoped that as many people as possible will enter into the spirit and wear clothes and accessories reminiscent of the time.
Sunday 3 June: Celebrating British Menorca 18th century style
The following day will have a historical British Menorca theme with a street market, people dressed in period 18th century costumes and traditional activities, similar to the event enjoyed as part of the British Menorca Week at the end of May last year.
Proposed Programme of Events: Diamond Jubilee
Although this yet to be finally agreed, it is expected that the day will start at 11.00 hours with a peal of Westminster Abbey Bells. This will be followed by a cavalcade of classic and vintage cars, motor cycles, bicycles and horse drawn carriages which will parade twice around the Plaça Esplanada before making its way along Kanes Road to finish in Es Mercadal. This event is being arranged by the Friends of the Isla del Rey not only to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years as Monarch but also to mark the 300th anniversary of Richard Kane becoming the first British Governor of Menorca in 1712. There will then be the official opening speeches by the Mayor of Es Castell Luís Camps and British Honorary Consul Deborah Hellyer MBE.
Throughout the day there will be a street market with refreshments and live music from various groups playing music from the 50’s and 60’s. Participating Associations will have the following stalls: Rotary Club—Tombola and cakes; Red Cross—Crafts and First Aid; Probus Club —Pimms Bar; Gin Xoriger – Gin & Tonic, Pomada with special limited edition commemorative Gin bottles for sale; Asociación Rociero de Menorca – Gypsy Caravan with typical Spanish products, Jamón Serrano, Chorizo etc; Club de Jubilados – Beer and Refreshments; Hort Sant Patrici – Wine & Cheese Tasting with special limited edition labelled wine bottles for sale; Manos Unidos – Crafts; Rosemary Garland – Photographic Exhibition. There will also be children’s games and pony rides.
After a break for lunch at 13.30 hours, the music of the 1950s / 1960s will resume with Karaokepresented by Colin Cork. At 17.00 hours, there will be a further peal of Westminster Abbey Bells announcing the special Jubilee Tea Party, typically British and accompanied by a pianist. Following a recital by the British Choral Group at 18.00 hours, the Menorca Charity Players will be performing an episode from ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ entitled ‘The Bowmans’, representative of this iconic period of British television comedy, at 18.30 hours. After a performance by the choral group ‘EnFusion’, it is hoped there will be horse show (funds permitting). The evening will continue with live music from the bands ‘Revival’ and ‘The Legend’, starting with a Jive Demonstration and finishing with a public dance for the whole community until 23.00 hours.
Proposed Programme of Events: ‘British Menorca’
This highly successful event held on two weekends in May last year was financed by the Consell Insular Tourism Department, Fundació Destí Menorca, and supported voluntarily by the Menorca Britannia Association. Due to the present financial crisis that the various authorities have found themselves in since winning the last election, sadly there are no funds available to run such an event again this year. What a shame to lose the impetus of such a popular event…?
Menorca Britannia is passionate that there has never been a more important time for everyone to work together for the benefit of tourism. As the majority of Menorca’s residents are directly or indirectly involved and reliant on this for their livelihood, the Association has decided that it should take on the organisation of the event itself using, wherever possible, the goodwill and volunteers from various associations. And what better time to hold this than on the day immediately after the Queens Diamond Jubilee Commemoration when all the infrastructure is already in place…?
As in 2011, the event will have an 18th / 19th century theme with as many participants as possibledressed in costumes of that era. Although the programme is still being finalised, the Associations involved the previous day’s activities will again take part, in addition to various Menorquín artisans demonstrating their manufacturing techniques of bygone days. There will also be children’s games and pony rides throughout the day.
The day will start at 11.00 hours with the arrival of the Cavalcade of the previous day, including classic and vintage cars, carriages, motor bikes, bicycles etc will be parked around the Plaça Esplanada for inspection. There will be an official inauguration by the President of the Consell Insular Santiago Tadeo, the Mayor of Es Castell Luís Camps and other dignitaries. At 12.00 midday there will be a choral performance by the Es Castell Club de Jubilados Choir, followed by folk music and dancing by the folkloric group ‘Es Rebost’ and then a break for lunch at 14.00 hours.
Activities resume at 16.00 hours with orchestral music from the Band of Mahón, performances by the folkloric group ‘Castell de Sant Felipe’ at 17.00 and 18.00 hours, including their traditional Scottish dances among others, and live music and singing (still to be confirmed). It is also hoped that there will be a spectacular show from the magnificent Son Martorellet horses in the early evening, again funds permitting. The event will be brought to a close with a public dance to live music by the group ‘Estell’. With so much happening, it looks like being a very full and colourful day, a detailed programme for which will be published as soon as finalised.
Again, offers of sponsorship and / or logistical help would be gratefully received by Menorca Britannia which, together with its volunteers, some financial support from the authorities and local businesses, will make a resounding success of the day.
Also, should any readers be able and willing (or know of someone who can) to manufacture 18th century military uniforms and ladies dresses for a Menorca Britannia wardrobe, the Association would love to hear from you. Money is available for materials and pictures of various styles can be supplied.