Cofradía Oración del Huerto - Torrevieja

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Los Costaleros article

This year, Semana Santa 2008, will be the fourth time that the unique ‘International Costaleros’ will participate in Torrevieja’s Easter processions. All of us hope that the weather will be kind to us and that the procession will not be cancelled, as last year, due to the rain. Many of our ‘original’ costaleros’ will participate once again, but we shall also welcome new members due to necessary replacements. We have lost ..... members due to their passing on and others through the aches and pains of ‘ano domini’! Whilst we shall miss their company carrying the ‘paso’, they will continue to remain as part of our international ‘family’, the camaraderie and special friendships made will continue. Two of our original members are now over 80 years of age and will still be there with us proudly carrying the 1,500 kgs ‘paso’!

Each Easter now becomes a new experience, a new time for learning for these 100 non-Spanish, many non-Catholic christians, a time when we experience new feelings. Early on, we were reminded that cosmopolitan Torrevieja itself really does, as it always traditionally has, warmly welcome those from other parts. The very fact that we ‘international residents’ were invited to participate in the first place underlines this fact. We at once learnt that we too have a place in Torrevieja tradition, that we are wanted, needed, that we have now become an integral part of Torrevieja itself. Our experiences and our individual feelings in having also been invited, as costaleros, to share in the ‘Via Cruces’ procession or that of the ‘Virgen del Carmen’ celebration last July, have remained with us, each costalero going away with his own, unique and special personal feelings.

However, certain feelings which are shared by each one of us in common are those feelings of pride and unity. Pride in our participation and a special feeling of unity amongst every one of our members as well as the members of other cofradias. Last Easter especially, this feeling of unity and belonging was underlined by the ‘special’ relationship we were able to build, through the circumstances at the time, with our colleague-costaleros of the ‘Last Supper’. One ‘practice night’ they asked if we could ‘give a hand’ with the carrying of their ‘paso’ during its dedication (bendición). Whilst they might have felt that they were asking a ‘favour’, the feeling amongst the ‘international costaleros’ was, yet again, one of pride and honour that we should have been invited in the first place! For us, the event turned out to be yet another special moment which is shared by this unique ‘brotherhood’ to which we now belong! Later, on the Easter Monday and through the streets of our adopted town, we followed our newly-made friends from the ‘Last Supper’ during the procession. However, none of us could possibly have imagined the wonderful reception which was waiting for us when we arrived back, tired and releived but happy, at the church of the ‘Inmaculada Concepción’. As we turned the last corner into Calle Bazan, the 100 costaleros, to a man’ of the ‘Last Supper’ stood in their spectacular uniforms as a ‘guard of honour’ to receive us with their genuine applause. It was amongst the most emotional sights that many of us have ever come across and even now, the vision which remains in our memories, is one which makes the hairs on the back of the hand stand on end!

For us, as non Spaniards, the whole concept of such spectacular demonstrations of faith at this very special time of year, is a new one. It is one which comparitively few people will ever be able to experience. It is a mixture of feelings and emotions such as pride, friendship, unity, honour, a special belonging, a desire to maintain and be part of the traditions of our new home town, a demonstration of the faith we share albeit from distinct branches of the Christian church. And at the very centre of all of these special, wonderful feelings and emotions is the person who died for us almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ.

Graham Knight.
Capataz / Padrino – Cofradia de Nuestro Señor Jesus en la Oración el el Huerto de los Olivos.

Whislt these processionstake place in many towns including, locally,  Orihuela’s spectacular offering, the ‘international costaleros’ are unique to Torrevieja.

SEMANA SANTA PROCESSIONS IN TORREVIEJA:
SUNDAY 16th MARCH: Palm Sunday (Morning procession) (see also ELCHE).
MONDAY 17th – INCLUDES THE INTERNATIONAL COSTALEROS.
TUESDAY 18th
WEDNESDAY 19th
THURSDAY 20th  (SILENT PROCESSION)
GOOD FRIDAY 21st MARCH (‘THE BIG ONE!) 21.00h
EASTER SUNDAY MORNING – (THE ‘RE-ENCUENTRO’).

Costaleros 10 and 14 April 2006

Names

Graham KNIGHT
Mike UPSHER
David MCLACHLAN
Keith BROWN

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Jose Luis AGILERA
Paul ASHTON
Harry BAINBRIDGE
James BARRIE
Ronnie BASSAM
Philip BEESLEY
Andy BELL
Philip BEVIS
Jimmy BILLETT
Joseph BILLETT
Allen BOWEN
James BRADLEY
Chris BRASSINGTON
Colin BROAD
Don BROWN
Wilf BROWN
Ian CHAMPION
Alan CHEW
Peter CLEMENTS
Allan COLE
Cyril COLES
John CONCANNON
Dick CONWAY
Brian WILLIAMS
Steve WILSDON
Tony WOOD
Andy WOOTTON
Howard YEATS
David YOUNG
Thomas ZAPP
John WILDGOOSE
Peter WILKINS
Roger WALLER
John WALLIS
Louis VOLTAIRE
Rae DANIEL
Les DAWSON
Tony DENNIS
Cyril DERBYSHIRE
Bill DIXON
Alex DUNN
Tony ELDRED
Lennart ERIKSSEN
John FORSHAW
Lee GARRETT
David GIBSON
Brian GARDINER
Brian GRIFFITHS
Sven GUSTAFSSON
Graham HAINES
Nathan HALL
Tony HALL
Colin HARLOW
John HARTLEY
Brian HEARD
Robert HERNDLHOFER
David HODGSON
Ron HORSFALL
Eddie HUBERY
David HUDSON
Ivor JONES
Michael JONES
Ken JONES
Bob KENNARD
Dave KING
John KNOWLES
Robert WARD
Barry WATERHOUSE
James WIGGETT
Geoff WILD
Jeremy LANGSTAFF
Paul LEAR
Arthur LEIVERS
John LINCOLN
Ray LOCKLEY
Douggie LYNN
Neil MAIDMAN
Ted MARSH
Ray MARSH
Glen MARTIN
Eddie MARTENS
Siegfried MEYA
Iain MCLEOD
John MEEHAN
Paul MUTTER
James NEVILLE
Eric NICHOLS
Albert NORRIS
Vince NOTEYOUNG
Ron PERKINS
Terry POTTER
Keith POWELL
Peter RILEY
Raphael RODRIGO-MORGAN
Ian ROWLANDS
Geoff SALTER
Vincent SANDERS
John SHADBOLT
Ian SHARPE
Sverre SIVERTSSEN
Alex SMITH
Bob STEIN
Martin STRATFORD
Ian THOMAS
Ken VIARD

Costaleros 21 and 25 March 2005

Names

Graham KNIGHT
Mike UPSHER
David MCLACHLAN
Steve HALL
Alex BISHTON

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Carriers

Jose Luis AGILERA
Paul ASHTON
Harry BAINBRIDGE
James BARRIE
Philip BEESLEY
Andy BELL
Tony BETTS
Philip BEVIS
Joseph BILLETT
Allen BOWEN
Stuart BRADLEY
Chris BRASSINGTON
Keith BROWN
Wilf BROWN
Brian BURNARD
Jean Louis CLERY
Allan COLE
John CONCANNON
Dick CONWAY
Alan CRAIN
Eddy CURTIS
Tony DENNIS
Cyril DERBYSHIRE
Bill DIXON
Alex DUNN
Tony ELDRED
Lennart ERIKSSEN
Bob EVANS
John FORSHAW
Ian FREWER
Brian GARDINER
John GLANCY
Ray GREENWOOD
Brian GRIFFITHS
Sven GUSTAFSSON
Graham HAINES
Nathan HALL
Tony HALL
Colin HARLOW
Chris HATHAWAY
Brian HEARD
Robert HERNDLHOFER
Dennis HOGGETT
Ron HORSFALL
David HUDSON
Ashley INWOOD
James JARDINE
Ivor JONES
Michael JONES
Bob KENNARD
John KNOWLES
Jeremy LANGSTAFF
Bob LEANEY
Arthur LEIVERS
Brian LEYBOURNE
John LINCOLN
Ted MARSH
Glen MARTIN
Eddie MARTENS
Siegfried MEYA
Iain MCLEOD
John MEEHAN
Paul MUTTER
James NEVILLE
Ron NEWMAN
Eric NICHOLS
Jack O’CONNELL
Mick PETERS
Terry POTTER
Steve RAYNER
Peter RILEY
Raphael RODRIGO-MORGAN
Ian ROWLANDS
Jon SAMBROOK
John SHADBOLT
Sverre SIVERTSSEN
Terry SMITH
Alex SMITH
Steve SMITH
Ray SMITH
Kyriacos SOPHOCLEOUS
Patricio SOTO
Les SUGDEN
Ian THOMAS
Charles TUFT
Ken VIARD
Louis VOLTAIRE
Roger WALLER
Barry WATERHOUSE
Philip WEAVING
James WIGGETT
Geoff WILD
Steve WILSDON
Andy WOOTTON
Howard YEATS
David YOUNG
Thomas ZAPP

After the procession.

A few very random thoughts!! They are in no particular order but are some of my overwhelming memories of the week.

I spoke to a Spanish nazarena (penitent) after the procession and asked her how she felt. It would be a great language lesson. "Me duelen las piernas, las muñecas, los brazos, los hombros y …………………………………………….las cejas!!" For those who don't know "las cejas" - my eyebrows!! Now that's what I call being exhausted!! I wasn't sure whether she meant it or had, like all the others, maintained a sense of humour. Another nazarena "of a certain age" had tears of pain streaming down her face" as her float stopped by the "other church". I didn't hear what she asked a girl standing near to me but this girl shot into a local bar. I didn't think too much about it but thought that emotion was getting to her and that her friend would get a water or whatever. NO, her toe nail had cut in to her next toe and blood was gushing from an open cut. The girl came out with an elastoplast and scissors and patched her up. As the float went on the girl explained loudly to all who would listen that her neighbour refused to drop out, she had taken part in these processions for over twenty years and was not going to give in to a little cut. (Another lump at the back of my throat!)

I walked through the streets of Torrevieja at three o’clock without a fear in the world. I contrasted it to the UK, yes, we have a crime problem here, but this little walk to the car-park reminded me of the differences between Torrevieja and the UK. Last night, I had no fear of being robbed, mugged or spewed over by drunken gangs of revellers intent only on throwing as much ale down their throats as humanly possible. Only friendly nods of acknowledgement form Spaniards in their costumes or “Sunday best”

Watching the “International brigade” (VBG) stride UP C/ Caballero de Rodas after 4 hours marching. In a car you don’t notice the incline, walking it’s a slight rise but after nearly five hours IT HURT. You could see it. Pride, fear, satisfaction and a whole other mixture of emotions.

Watching one of the bands goose-stepping through the town. I reminded myself that it was not only Hitler’s Nazis who had goose-stepped. It made me think of what might have been if Franco………………………..

Watching the tronos (floats) being lead by young drummer boys and standard bearers reminded me that in years not so long gone by, uniformed troops regularly marched through the streets of Europe with less peaceful intent. I thought of all those who had lost their lives for causes they were far too young to understand. These children were simple cannon fodder and the generals and marshals who commanded their troops knew that these virgins would not be coming back.

Watching bare-footed penitentes. Have you ever tried walking through the streets of town with no shoes?

Hearing the international cofradía shout out “chicas” (“girlies”, as in “wimps”) whenever the Spaniards stopped for a fag or whatever when they were carrying the float down to the “start” a few days ago. Later when we had to stop for traffic or whatever the young Spaniards shouted back “chicas”. If that happened at an English football ground, a full scale riot would have erupted. Here, no! Just comradeship. Later listening to the Brits singing Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side.” CLASSIC comedy

Last night pouring beer from a jug into glasses of people I had never met and probably never would again. Some were so tired they could only look up and smile gratefully. They did not even have the strength to say “thanks”. It felt a bit like an aid-worker in a disaster area. Quite bizarre.

Talking to a ten year bugle player form Oliva. It was 3 o'clock in the morning. They had a two hour coach journey home. He told me he was "happy". Perhaps his only word of English? His parents weren't with him. Could that have happened in the UK? I think not.

One final moment of human commitment. One of the biggest tronos was being carried in to the Main Church. There is a giant crucifix atop the float and to get it through the door and up the stairs was an enormous effort for guys who had been out for some four and a half hours. The precision needed to enter the church without scratching and bumping the float is immense and it took several attempts with some men almost bent double and others trying to carry, push, edge the float through with the poles way above their heads. Needless to say, that this being the Torrevieja Semana Santa, they succeeded and there was a massive applause for their efforts from the crowd who had been willing it to enter safely. Enhorabuena a todos.

I received this article from a respected local journalist

“I just had to write and acclaim the hard work done by the foreign costaleros over the Holy Week.

Easter processions are one of Spain’s most emotive and authentic traditions full of art, music, colour and faith. Undoubtedly the star of the spectacular Holy Week processions this year in Torrevieja was the float of Jesús in the Garden of Olives. This immense piece of art was carried by 100 foreigners and although the majority was British, many others came from all the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, Argentina and Ecuador. This float of Jesus in the garden accompanied by three sleeping apostles and a comforting angel is the work of sculptor Valentin Garcia Quinto, who was also famous for his hoguera figures used in the other Alicante fiestas in June.

This float has always been wheeled in the processions, but it has always been the ambition of the cofradía to carry it. However, as it requires so many men it was a dream come true when there was such a tremendous response from the foreign community. The float had to be renovated to make it possible to be carried and 30,000 euros was required to make the necessary alterations. Atlas International was one of the main sponsors that helped pay for the reformation as the wood is Brazilian cedar and the carvings were laid over with silver leaf then, by an ancient 5,000 year old Egyptian method, made to appear as if it was gold.

Before they started out on the first procession the costaleros recited the Lord’s Prayer, each in his own language, which was very moving indeed. Even more striking was the emotive response of the crowds lining the streets who showed their appreciation of this ambition that had become a reality by their continuous applause for the men, many no longer youngsters, who carried this magnificent float. Canal 5 television commentators were equally impressed describing the scene as “solemn, dignified, distinguished and well worthy of the men participating in the Semana Santa celebrations of Torrevieja.”

Among those dressed in the green capes and white tunics of the cofradia were ten foreign women who had managed to make their own costumes including the green shoes. There are actually more women than costumes so some appeared in the first procession and others in the second using the same costumes. The money for the costumes (the men contributed 30 euros each for their green blouses and black trousers) was raised by raffles, donations from various companies and bars, and the ticket money from the recent wonderfully successful European Cultural Week (1,400 euros).

The camaraderie of this new group is incredible and they intend to keep together throughout the year and make next year’s processions even more successful. As none of the men are growing younger there is a real need for more men to take part in this group which has formed itself into a real social fraternity. “

Finally, a copy of an email received from a fellow Spanish costalero. You don't need a great knowledge of Spanish to understand the content. Comment: Hola, compañeros costaleros, quiero daros mí más sincera enhorabuena, por lo excelentemente que lo habéis hecho. Yo soy costalero de la Flagelación y no os he podido ver en directo, pero he tenido la ocasión de veros por televisión, y sinceramente os quiero felicitar a todos sois cojonudos, animo que me siento muy orgulloso de todos, y habéis tenido un par bien puestos para callar muchas bocas de gente con criticas poco constructivas. Un abrazo a todos y personas como vosotros en este mundo por desgracia faltan muchas. Muchísimas gracias y que esto no decaiga.

I just had to write and acclaim the hard work done by the foreign costaleros over the Holy Week.

Easter processions are one of Spain’s most emotive and authentic traditions full of art, music, colour and faith. Undoubtedly the star of the spectacular Holy Week processions this year in Torrevieja was the float of Jesús in the Garden of Olives. This immense piece of art was carried by 100 foreigners and although the majority was British, many others came from all the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, Argentina and Ecuador. This float of Jesus in the garden accompanied by three sleeping apostles and a comforting angel is the work of sculptor Valentin Garcia Quinto, who was also famous for his hoguera figures used in the other Alicante fiestas in June.

This float has always been wheeled in the processions, but it has always been the ambition of the cofradia to carry it. However, as it requires so many men it was a dream come true when there was such a tremendous response from the foreign community. The float had to be renovated to make it possible to be carried and 30,000 euros was required to make the necessary alterations. Atlas International was one of the main sponsors that helped pay for the reformation as the wood is Brazilian cedar and the carvings were laid over with silver leaf then, by an ancient 5,000 year old Egyptian method, made to appear as if it was gold.

Before they started out on the first procession the costaleros recited the Lord’s Prayer, each in his own language, which was very moving indeed. Even more striking was the emotive response of the crowds lining the streets who showed their appreciation of this ambition that had become a reality by their continuous applause for the men, many no longer youngsters, who carried this magnificent float. Canal 5 television commentators were equally impressed describing the scene as “solemn, dignified, distinguished and well worthy of the men participating in the Semana Santa celebrations of Torrevieja.”

Among those dressed in the green capes and white tunics of the cofradia were ten foreign women who had managed to make their own costumes including the green shoes. There are actually more women than costumes so some appeared in the first procession and others in the second using the same costumes. The money for the costumes (the men contributed 30 euros each for their green blouses and black trousers) was raised by raffles, donations from various companies and bars, and the ticket money from the recent wonderfully successful European Cultural Week (1,400 euros).

The camaraderie of this new group is incredible and they intend to keep together throughout the year and make next year’s processions even more successful. As none of the men are growing younger there is a real need for more men to take part in this group which has formed itself into a real social fraternity.

Un centenar de extranjeros llevará el paso de 'La Oración en el Huerto'

L. V./TORREVIEJA

El nuevo trono procesional de La Oración en el Huerto de los Olivos será portado esta Semana Santa por cien ciudadanos extranjeros, principalmente de origen británico. Así lo anunció ayer la concejal de Cooperación Internacional y Extranjería, María Dolores Canales, que informó que ha entregado a la Cofradía Internacional de Residentes en Torrevieja los 1.400 euros recaudados durante la segunda Semana Cultural Europea, que se celebró del 1 al 5 de marzo en el auditorio del Palacio de la Música, ha ascendido a más de 1.400 euros

María Dolores Canales destacó el gran éxito de público que ha tenido esta segunda Semana Cultural Europea, en la que colaboran activamente la Oficina Municipal de Atención al Residente Internacional y el Instituto Municipal de Cultura Joaquín Chapaprieta.

Resaltó la «gran calidad» de los artistas invitados a esta segunda cita de la Semana Cultural, en la que han participado, entre otro,s el Coro Mixto Crescendo, formado por hombres y mujeres de varias nacionalidades de habla inglesa residentes en Torrevieja; la Mezzo-soprano Iga Ott-Wagnerowska, natural de Polonia y actualmente residente en Torrevieja, acompañada al piano por la joven pianista ucraniana, Natalia Khomyak; la Vega Baja Big Band, formada en su gran mayoría por músicos británicos jubilado; Roy Taunton, pianista inglés afincado en Torrevieja; la conocida cantante británica Patti Ross, que ha participado durante más de diez años en el popular programa Lluvia de Estrellas, de la cadena BBC, así como el Coro y Orquesta Salinas de Torrevieja.

La Verdad, Jueves 17 de Marzo

Destinan el dinero de la II Semana Europea a a Cofradía Internacional de Torrevieja

La concejala de Cooperación Internacional y Extranjería, María Dolores Canales, informó ayer que la recaudación obtenida en la II Semana Cultural Europea, celebrada del 1 al 5 de marzo en el auditorio del Palacio de la Música, ascendió a más de 1.400 euros, cantidad entregada a la Cofradía Internacional de Residentes en Torrevieja, para sufragar los gastos del nuevo trono procesional de «La Oración del Huerto de los Olivos», el cual será portado esta Semana Santa por primera vez en su historia por 100 ciudadanos extranjeros. Canales destacó el éxito de público obtenido en esta segunda Semana Cultural Europea. 

Información, Thursday 17 March

Los costaleros extranjeros intensifican sus ensayos para procesionar en Semana Santa

Los costaleros extranjeros intensifican sus ensayos para procesionar en Semana SantaLos extranjeros residentes en Torrevieja que llevarán sobre sus hombros el grupo escultórico de La Oración de Nuestro Padre Jesús en el Huerto de los Olivos, uno de los tronos más pesados y de mayores dimensiones de los que toman parte en los desfiles procesionales de la Semana Santa de Torrevieja, intensificarán sus ensayos a partir de este de este sábado.

La cofradía de la Oración en el Huerto saldrá este año por primera vez a la calle a hombros, dado que hasta la fecha había desfilado siempre sobre ruedas, y en los próximos desfiles procesionales será portado por al menos de un centenar de personas, en su mayoría de nacionalidad británica, aunque también los hay de procedencia escandinava y en menor número hispanoamericanos y españoles.

Hay que indicar que desde un poco antes de la celebración de las pasadas navidades, alrededor de setenta de estos nuevos costaleros se están reuniendo todos los jueves a las siete y media de la tarde en el Museo de la Semana Santa de Torrevieja para ensayar la forma de desfilar llevando a hombros un grupo escultórico, que precisa de al menos de cien personas para poder procesionar.

Graham Knight, responsable de la oficina municipal de atención al residente internacional indicó que buen parte de estos extranjeros que se van a integrar en los desfiles de pasión de Torrevieja son británicos y de religión protestantes, aunque también los hay católicos.

Nazarenos

Graham Knight resaltó «el entusiasmo increíble», que según indicó, embarga a este grupo internacional por participar en los desfiles de la Semana Santa torrevejense, ya que algunos de ellos desfilarán también de nazarenos, añadiendo que desde las propias organizaciones a las que pertenecen cada uno de ellos están realizando actos con el fin de costearse su vestimenta para desfilar.

Asimismo, estos costaleros cuentan con una página en Internet redactada en inglés WWW. loscostaleros. com, y serán quienes porten el nuevo trono de la Oración en el Huerto, el cual prácticamente esta siendo renovado de forma total invirtiendo en ello la Junta Mayor de Cofradías de la Semana Santa de Torrevieja en torno a los treinta mil euros.

M.PAMIES ANDREU Diario información

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