Seniors get collective nod with Formentera's gold medal honour

ple distincions 2016Earlier today CiF councillors convened in a one-off plenary that was aimed at choosing recipients of the Council's series of honorary accolades. Councillors selected winners of the Medalla d'Or, Premis Sant Jaume 2016, and the Fill Adoptiu, a title awarded yearly to Formentera's so-called “adoptive child”. The prizes will be handed out next Sunday, July 24, as part of the city's commemorative act marking the Diada de Formentera. The ceremony gets under way at 8.00pm in the cinema.

Members of the plenary agreed unanimously to award Formentera's golden honour to elderly residents of the island. The Medalla d'Or is a commendation for Formentera seniors' actively disseminating and protecting intangible homegrown cultural traditions through participation in a year-long schedule of activities.

Premis Sant Jaume
The Sant Jaume prize this year goes to Ràdio Illa, and is a nod to the thirty years of work carried out by everyone who participated in creating the island's first radio station, in 1986. In a process where young people were the key players, Ràdio Illa become a trusted source for news, culture and entertainment.

An additional Premi Sant Jaume will be awarded to Can Jeroni bakery in recognition for more than eighty years of service. Passed down from generation to generation, the family business continues today, and workers use traditional craft methods to produce the bread, desserts and sweets that make up part of the island's gastronomy.

The third Premi Sant Jaume will go to Fòrum per la memòria d'Eivissa i Formentera, a forum to protect historical memory. An intensely dedicated and volunteer-based operation, the forum exists to defend the memory of all those that were violently persecuted for ideological, political or religious reasons and victims of the Spanish Civil War under Franco. It is aimed at working towards reconciliation, understanding and justice, as well as respecting pluralism and a peaceful defence of ideas.

Fill adoptiu
Plenary members agreed to bestow the honour of adoptive son (fill adoptiu) on Jacques Leon Laurent (Belgium, 1930). The distinction is a salute to Laurent's pioneering work, both bringing sailing and windsurfing to Formentera, and promoting the sports long term, by organising sporting events that are important still today, like the Volta a Formentera windsurf competition. Laurent is recognised as having planted the seed of dedicated practice among many of those that form the sport's local elite today.

The prizes the Council awards are meant to provide public recognition of noble acts that are an asset for the local community. The Council values individuals and groups that have endeavoured to protect the traditions, interests and identity of Formentera's people.