Celebrating The 50th anniversary of the Gibraltar Women’s Association

image001 At a reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gibraltar Housewives’ Association (now named the Gibraltar Women’s Association – GWA), organised by its current Chairperson, Amber Turner, the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo paid tribute to the Association’s historic achievements for Gibraltar’s society.

Mr Picardo welcomed the active campaigning role the GWA currently fulfils, which has greatly expanded and developed from the vision of its original founders: pioneers who took it upon themselves to ensure gender equality across all aspects of Gibraltar’s society. Their example had cut across the sexual divide and inspired an equal number of women and men.

The Chief Minister said: “I am honoured to take this opportunity to thank the GWA and all of its members throughout its history, and its Committee members in particular, for their dedication in improving life for all women in Gibraltar. Of course, the Association also has a very special meaning to me personally in addition to the importance it has to the local community. That is why I am proud to announce that the long-awaited statue celebrating Women in Gibraltar will finally take its rightful place in this, the Association’s 50th anniversary year.” The statue is to be erected on the Queensway roundabout opposite Britannia House.

Letter to the press by the Association’s founder member and its first Chairperson, Mrs Angela Smith

The 50th anniversary of the Gibraltar Women’s Association is indeed a milestone worth celebrating and I wish to offer my very best wishes and congratulations to Chairperson Amber Turner, her committee and the membership in general. When the original association was formed, it was in reaction to many local issues adversely affecting our families. Problems were disregarded or went unresolved, for example the lack of traffic wardens around schools, few lifeguards at the beach and so on. It became increasingly evident that someone had to do something. When I invited some friends to my home for tea to discuss the issues that concerned us, it was agreed to form a group. Days later, the initial Parish Hall meeting was well attended by many women and The Gibraltar Housewives’ Association was formed. Nowadays, the association has a more inclusive name, The Gibraltar Women’s Association. The Association has served Gibraltar well and I will highlight two particular instances when our intervention was successful.

Firstly, soon after the association was formed, Gibraltar was stunned to hear the announcement by the British Government, that contrary to their stated and well established policy, they would meet under duress with the Spanish Government to discuss Gibraltar. Action was required and fast. That’s when it struck me that the Queen needed to be made aware of the feelings of Gibraltarian mothers and the anxieties that the announcement by the British Government had evoked. We should write to Her Majesty who as a mother would understand how insecure we felt. The committee was immediately onboard regarding the letter. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine the results of our modest letter. It galvanized women all over The Rock! Young and old, healthy and infirm they came out. The number of women milling around waiting to sign the petition was amazing. I would be remiss not to mention that without the unstinting support of all of them what we accomplished would not have been possible. Of special note is Mrs. Mariola Summerfield who has been a stalwart member and President of the Association and who accompanied me to London. Once in London, it was evident that the British press was taken with the image of two young women who had a clear message. Gibraltar was our home and it was not up for barter. More importantly, we had an opportunity to shed light on the human aspect of our struggle. It was also clear that the British press was most supportive of our efforts! After some anxious days, we were invited to go to Buckingham Palace. We were received with the greatest kindness by the Queen’s personal secretary, Sir Michael Adeane and we handed in the petition. We felt a great sense of relief. Our job was done. Later that day we received a thrilling surprise. We were informed that the Queen’s Equerry had been paging Mrs. Angela Smith at the hotel! And there it was, a letter in reply. It meant that we had not just been received, but heard and even better there was a heartwarming verbal message from H.M. the Queen! We were elated. The letter from Sir Michael Adeane, strengthens the plain truth that when women decide to work together we can be an irrepressible force. The reception we received when we returned to Gibraltar by everyone, but particularly the women, is forever imprinted in my heart.

The second challenge came months later, when overnight the Spanish Government announced that Spanish female workers would no longer be allowed to enter Gibraltar to work. Most of our hospitals, restaurants, and shops were dependent on Spanish female labour force. It took us a few hours to get mobilized and once the word got out, we managed to arrange for women volunteers to cover those jobs. It was a stunning success for Gibraltar as a whole. We met the challenge head on and essential services to our community were covered. Local women were no longer relegated solely to the home, but began to assume essential roles as a public workforce. In facing the difficulties those challenges posed, we found our strength, a healthy resilience, also a measure of pride. We could withstand, endure and succeed. Many others have followed in keeping the association going throughout these years. Gibraltar has undoubtedly benefited greatly from their efforts. Lately, I have noted with interest, that despite the wonderful and beneficial changes that Gibraltar currently enjoys, there has been a marked increase in the number of women who have joined the association. It is heartening to think that fifty years ago we laid the groundwork for our daughters and grand-daughters to know that as women they have an invaluable contribution to make. Also, that our organization continues to offer a powerful voice for the women of Gibraltar. Here’s wishing continued success to everyone involved with the Gibraltar Women’s Association. All best wishes and kindest regards,

Angela Smith

IMG_4622-68Starting from the left, Mrs. Llambias, Mrs. Summerfield, Mrs. Picardo, Mrs. Baker and myself. Missing from the photograph are Mrs. Ramirez and Mrs. Dumas also stellar members of our committee

I enclose some press clippings one of which is a provocative editorial in The Telegraph.

On The Buses – Gibraltar Bus Tracker Web App Launched

bus-Tracker-Logo The Gibraltar Bus Company has launched its new website (www.gibraltarbuscompany.gi) which also features a handy Bus Tracker WebApp.

The Bus Tracking WebApp developed by the Gibraltar Government’s Information Technology & Logistics Department will provide a real-time bus tracking service which will cover working routes offered by the Gibraltar Bus Company. The launch will initially feature Routes 2 and 3 with further routes being developed soon.

The Gibraltar Bus Tracker WebApp will offer bus users real-time bus information from any smart phone or desktop computer with internet access, will be able to access the website, select a bus route and see a user friendly transit map that will display where buses are located within the given route. The buses will move across the map in real-time.

Gibraltar-BusesA spokesperson for the Gibraltar Government said, “We know where our buses are and so should you. The Gibraltar Bus Tracker Web App is yet another way in which we are trying to improve our service. Why wait for the bus when you can meet it?”

The Ministry has also announced that, in keeping with recommendations from the Draft Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan, Routes 4 and 9 are being modified for an enhanced and more efficient service, with a new pilot Route 6 having already commenced as from April 18th. The Route starts at Market Place Terminus, proceeding down Waterport Road to Mid-Harbour Estate via St Bernard’s Hospital, turning at the roundabout and back along the same route. This new pilot Route 6 and modifications to existing Routes 4 and 9 are also available to the public on the new Gibraltar Bus Company Website and at each bus stop.

New Lease Of Life For The Gbraltar Live Music Society

IMG_20160406_222540Upon discussions with the previous front-runners of the The Gbraltar Live Music Society (GLMS) it was agreed that the society would return and to become what the old GLMS offered.

The current team now consists of Galadriel McGrail Polston, David J. Diaz, Ernest Diaz, Joel Francis & Dylan Francis.

The new and improved GLMS team are presenting a portal for all things music in Gibraltar. The platform includes interviews, gig reviews, event photography as well as launching very soon its own YouTube Channel & magazine titled Into The Music.

You can like their Facebook page on www.facebook.com/giblivemusic or alternatively you can follow them om Twitter @IntoTheMusicGib. Their mission is quite simple.. To make sure the whole of Gibraltar  #SupportYourLocalTalent and that we all make sure in #KeepingLocalMusicAlive.

The Gibraltar Live Music Society is sponsored by Chesterton Estate Agents & Gibtelecom.

New Barbary Macaque App!

156.1-2016 A new App on the Rock’s Barbary Macaque was launched in April by Gibraltar’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Dr. John Cortes. The initiative is part of the ongoing Macaque Awareness Programme spearheaded by the Dr. Cortes’ Department. The Gib Macaque App has been carefully designed in collaboration with the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS), the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic and Monkey Talk Gibraltar. It provides ample information on one of Gibraltar’s flagship species such as the history of our Barbary Macaques, their ecology and behaviour as well as how people should behave around them to better co-exist.

One of the innovative features included in the app is the integration of an Augmented Reality Macaque Quiz. This feature allows users to learn about our macaques through play. Members of the public of all ages are encouraged to download the app and learn more about these fascinating animals, which are not only an asset, but also an inherent part of Gibraltarian culture.

The Gib Macaque App is currently available on Android from the Google Play store and will soon be available for iOS platforms from Apple’s App Store. For more info, visit the Department’s Thinking Green website (www.thinkinggreen.gov.gi) or the Thinking Green Gibraltar Facebook page.

Steel Pulse – Bringing the Rhythm to the Rock

low Steel PulseSteel Pulse brought Reggae to the Rock courtesy of Big Man Entertainment on Friday 18th July at the M.U.G.A/Victoria Stadium. The Kings of British Reggae hail from Handsworth in Birmingham and with 4 decades and 11 studio albums Gibraltar were about to meet some serious heavy weights.

Insight Magazine caught up with David “Dread” Hinds the day before the gig, his signature huge dread locks partly tucked into his hat and a big smile on his face ready to answer some questions. Spreading positivity through their roots reggae music is what the Legends have been doing throughout their successful career. As lead singer Dread said, what drives him to keep performing is “sharing the message of love and justice, to chant down ‘Babylon’ whilst turning negatives into positives”. When asked why he thinks people in small places such as Gibraltar listen to Reggae music he answered: “Reggae being music of racial harmony, coming together and unity means that small places like Gibraltar gravitate towards the music of the islands”. When asked what was next for Steel Pulse as they clearly show no signs of stopping, Dread answered, “As long as there are issues that need addressing, be them political, racial or about the problems we see happening in the world we will be writing and aiming to share our message”.

The time had come – a sweet summer night with the sun setting as the 8 members of Steel Pulse took to the stage for what was to become a straight 1.5 hours of roots reggae pure and true. A full length gig review will follow in the next edition of Insight.

The Pride stride

Gibraltar celebrates day of Equality with Gibraltar Pride Parade 2014The first ‘Summer Nights’ event of this year was held on Saturday 12th July, with the Rock’s first ever Gibraltar Pride Parade starting off events. Following the parade there was dance and music shows at Casemates Square.

The Gibraltar Pride Parade was very well supported as it went from the Piazza to Casemates Square. The event, organised by GGR and other equality rights movements on the Rock with the Government’s support, saw the participation of Miss Gibraltar and the newly crowned Mr Natural Gibraltar, and other personalities. At 8pm the colourful promenade marched up Main Street, while participants, men, women and children, on foot or wheels, waved rainbow Castle & Key flags.

At Casemates, the parade was welcomed by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and his wife Justine, Liberal Party leader Dr. Joseph Garcia and his wife Penny, as well as the Minister for equal Opportunities Samantha Sacramento. Here the party started with the release of bright red, yellow, orange, green, blue and purple balloons and hundreds of revellers danced on the notes of Jonathan Sacramento’s live music. Yet another Sacramento, Henry, compered the Summer Nights’ opening show on stage, impeccably attired in a white suit, bowler hat and rainbow tie, and introduced several performing arts numbers, from belly dancing to an adorable Cat in the Hat.

Meanwhile, popular cabaret duo The Lola Boys roamed the square in rainbow feather-boas and pillar-box red patent leather stilettos, ending up featured in almost everyone’s ‘selfies’. Later on, their show at Dusk drew to a close the Pride weekend, launched by UK comedienne Francesca Martinez the night before at the Sunborn. Promoter Felix Alvarez must be proud indeed of the outcome of the event he’s been lobbying for a long time, and hopefully it will become a regular date in Gibraltar’s Summer Nights which will take place every Saturday and Thursday at Casemates during August.

April 2014 – Out & About

kristyout&about

November 2013 Out & About – St. Paul’s School

st paulsCheck out our recently updated photo gallery to see these photos.

Also have a look at our newly updated monthly calendar of events section.

National Day Photo Competition

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Insight National Day Photograph Competition.

Click here to view the album. [Read more…]

ICELAND CLUBHOUSE DIRECTOR WORKS ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS AT THE GIBRALTAR CLUBHOUSE

ester from clubhouseEster Eliasdottir, a former Director of the clubhouse in Reykjavik, Iceland is currently in Gibraltar, working on a voluntary basis with the Gibraltar Clubhouse members and staff. During her time as director, she served on the Clubhouse Advisory Board in New York and on the provisory board of the European Partnership for Clubhouse Development (now Clubhouse Europe). The Icelandic Clubhouse also hosted the 12th European Clubhouse Conference under her management and achieved a three-year accreditation from Clubhouse International with her guidance and support. She is very knowledgeable about the Clubhouse ideology and particularly how to adapt it to a small community. [Read more…]