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Heritage Trust Awards sees 10 groups and individuals receive awards

Eyleen Gomez

The Gibraltar Heritage Trust Awards saw individuals and groups win awards and commendations at their annual ceremony.

Minister for Heritage Dr John Cortes alongside Trust Chairman Ian Balestrino presented the winners with their awards in a staggered and socially distanced event.

10 awards were presented this year for outstanding contributions towards Gibraltar's Heritage comprising of six properties, one Individual Award and two Heritage Commendations.

A Heritage Individual Award was awarded to Manolo Galliano.

“With a lifelong interest in the history and heritage of Gibraltar, Manolo’s support of Gibraltar’s heritage precedes his 14 years’ service as a Trustee of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust. His depth of knowledge of all things Gibraltar as well as the passion and energy with which he communicates this are difficult to match,” said a statement from the Trust.

The Trust also noted that he has been instrumental in research and assisting the progression of Trust from its early days in Wellington Front. In his time he has carried out extraordinary amounts of research for multiple publications, his series of books and journal articles as well as contributing to GHT affairs.

Mr Galliano was once the director of Culture he believes this is what prompted the Government to give him the position of trustee for the Trust.

“I have enjoyed myself tremendously,” he said recalling his time as a trustee.

“Everything has not been completely easy because I always said if I was going to keep quiet what was the point. Here in the Trust we do consider many matters that are of great importance to Gibraltar’s culture, heritage and its history as well.”

“But, it was always big business involved there as well. So it is running battle to sometimes allow development to go on in Gibraltar and also to safe guard our heritage. We do not want Gibraltar to become another Mijas or Torremolinos. It has its own particular iconic flavour to the place,” he added.

Mr Galliano has written and published four books for the trust on Gibraltar’s ecclesiastical history.

“The intention is that the money from the sale of these books will go to the restoration of a 17 century statue in the Cathedral,” he said.

“With the books being about the churches histories and places of worship going back to the 13 hundreds.”

He continues to write in various publications including the Chronicle about his research into this aspect of Gibraltar’s history.

“I have resigned as a trustee but they cannot shake me off,” he said noting that he could not pin point any particular achievement that stand out the most for him over the 14 years.

“But, obviously I am very proud of those books because the intention is for people to become more aware of their own heritage and history,” he said.

“I keep telling people you get National Day and everyone dresses in red and white but people are not aware of their own history. At the moment in the Chronicle I am writing about the Sephardic Jews of Gibraltar and I still haven’t been waylaid by any member of the Hebrew community very much on the contrary.”

“The idea is to get all that information out there and for people to be proud of what they have because heritage is not only buildings but it is our social history, our memories,” he added.

The first Heritage Group Award was awarded to Phoenix House, 18 George’s Lane for the renovation of a derelict building and its sensitive extension. The entire building has been renovated into apartments, including windows, electrical system and restoration of wooden ceilings, stair wells, and exposed brick features. The works were carried out by ‘Just Real Estate’.

The second Heritage Group Award was awarded to 117 Main Street for the conversion, extension and restoration of a property in the town area, repurposed for modern day office use in a sympathetic and appropriate style, maintaining original features and sense of Gibraltar’s unique architecture both inside and out. Works were carried out by ‘Heredium Limited’.

The third Heritage Group Award was awarded to 25/27 Governor’s Street for the restoration and conservation of a residential property in the old town. Maintaining iconic features inside and on the exterior, including the roof tiles, the façade, fireplaces and original living space and style. The works were carried out by ‘Silverkey Real Estate’.

The fourth Heritage Group Award was awarded to 4&6 Castle Street also known as ‘The Nook’. For a full restoration of two dilapidated properties in the old town. A sympathetic restoration, maintaining the character of the buildings and iconic features to Gibraltar’s Old Town and patio life, which is quintessential to Gibraltarian living. The new renovated space is now a desirable residential area in the heart of Gibraltar’s old town. The works were carried out by ‘Silverkey Real Estate’.

The fifth Heritage Group award was awarded to 2 King’s Street. For a full restoration of the property in the town area in a sensitive and sympathetic manner, incorporating iconic features from a Main Street shop circa 1950s.

The sixth Heritage Group award was awarded to Grand Central House, 24-32 Engineer’s Lane for the preservation of Gibraltar’s unique architectural heritage in the town area. Restoration included the conservation of historical features and their incorporation into the building refurbishment.

The first Heritage Commendation was awarded to Dr Sam Benady and Sarah Devincenzi for their book ‘A Pictorial History of Gibraltar’. The book is unique history book, full of facts, executed with brilliant illustrations in a comic book style. The book is ideal for engaging younger ages with Gibraltar’s history but is also very enjoyable for people of all ages.

The second Heritage Commendation was awarded to Andrew Rowbottom for the restoration and conservation of the Model Galleon, ‘St Ma Trinitas’. The model galleon was made and by a dockyard worker, Francisco Gonzalez in 1951. It was later gifted to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity by Alexander Undery whose family has a long history with the Navy. Mr Rowbottom had undertaken the restoration over three months. A wooden cradle was made especially for the ship, woodworm was treated, electrics replaced, rigging was replaced, foremast and bowsprit were restored and much more. Undertaking of restorations such as this are important to the survival of many historical items in Gibraltar which may not otherwise survive the passage of time.

The third Heritage Commendation was awarded to Alexander Sanchez-Soiza and Aaron Sanchez-Soiza. This award falls under the junior category and they are awarded for their efforts in enhancing Gibraltar’s marine heritage. They have developed schemes such as #MedOceanHeroes and The Great Gibraltar Beach Clean. Areas such as Rosia Bay have been targeted to ensure it is left clear of rubbish and help protect the marine life and its environments.

The Chairman’s Award was this year awarded to Marcello Sanguinetti. The Chairman’s Award is presented at the discretion of The Gibraltar Heritage Trust’s Chairman to a person or entity in recognition of their contribution and support to the Chair in carrying out their duties.

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