A newly designed Churchill monument and park in honor of Sir Winston.
BARCELONA, 15 December 2012—A fitting tribute to Sir Winston Churchill was unveiled in Barcelona on the 15th of December after a great many years in the planning.
The new monument that was unveiled on this occasion is the work of sculptor Pep Codo. The monolith is made of a single piece of basalt stone and is 2.2 meters in height.
The homage to Sir Winston is placed on the Via Augusta, one of Barcelona’s main avenues. The entire corner area around where the sculpture is located has been renamed “Churchill Gardens” and a plaque has been erected there in his honour.
The recent weekend ceremony, on a warm and sunny 20°C day, was attended by one of Churchill’s great-granddaughters, Mrs Jennie Churchill Repard and her husband James; the British Consul-General in Barcelona, Mr. Andrew Gwatkin; the artist Pep Codo; and the city’s Mayor, Mr Xavier Trias.
In his remarks, Mr Joan Oliver, the president of the Fundacio Catalunya Oberta (the Open Catalonia Foundation is the sponsor of the monument), made it clear that, “Freedom does not come free, and Europe enjoys her current liberties thanks not only to Winston Churchill’s bravery in the face of rising Nazism but also as a result of his valiant warning about the other great evil of the 20th Century, communism.”
Barcelona Mayor Mr Xavier Trias, in his address to the crowd gathered, delved into some of the reasons why Churchill should be considered “the last statesman” and invoked his example in the difficult times ahead. Consul-General Gwatkin stressed the historical connections between the United Kingdom and Catalonia.
The presence of Mrs Jennie Churchill Repard was very much welcome by the 150 or so guests that were gathered for the event.
In her remarks, Jennie said, “In those dark days in May 1940, Churchill was called upon to lead his nation in the fight to keep alive the flickering candle of liberty and democracy in Europe. …This magnificent monolith provides an enduring memorial to future generations of how lucky we all are to live in peace & freedom today.”
Mr and Mrs Repard’s trip was organised by Jordi Marti de Conejeros, the President of the Churchill Centre’s chapter in Barcelona. The whirlwind 36 hour trip included a visit to the the Mayor’s office and a tour of the magnificent XIV century Palace that now serves as City Hall.
Preceding the unveiling on Saturday, a dinner was held for 25 guests on Friday evening in a beautiful old club, the Circulo Ecuestre.
Speaking of her great-grandfather, Jennie remarked in her toast that evening, “His (Churchill’s) leadership, courage and commitment in confronting tyranny are the factors that helped win the Second World War, by inspiring the people of his own nation and also resistance overseas. In honouring Sir Winston we are also paying tribute to all those young men and women who seventy years ago fought to keep alive the flickering candle of liberty and democracy in Europe. Coming from a generation that has not known a World War, we must remember and teach future generations of the sacrifices that were made so that today we – and our children – can have and enjoy our freedom and liberty.”
The President of the Fundacio Libertat i Democracia and Member of the Spanish Parliament, Mr Jordi Xucla, kindly hosted the dinner.
Mr Xucla had just arrived from Andorra where he had been meeting that day with a delegation from Azerbaijan. Several member’s of the delegation are very enthusiastic admirer’s of Winston Churchill and were very pleased to have a chance to meet Jennie.
After the conclusion of the day’s events, Mrs Joaquima Alamany Roca, a former Senator in the Spanish Parliament and also a patron of the Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) designed church, Sagrada Familia, escorted Mr and Mrs Repard on a brief tour to see the stunning example of design by the famous Catalonian architect.
Details of the event we kindly submitted to Mrs Jennie Churchill Repard and historian Mr Alex Calvo.