It was glittering night of who’s who at the Salones Bahia Costa on Tuesday December 7th, as many of Torrevieja’s best-known faces turned up in force to celebrate the 39th edition of the Diego Ramirez Pastor awards.
Originally this was just an idea put forward by Diego Ramirez Pastor to encourage Torrevieja’s born and bred, who had moved away, to make an effort to return to the city to celebrate the ‘puente’ day, December 7th, the eve of Torrevieja Patron Saint Purisima’s day. Years later, his family and the Town Hall made it an official event on the town’s calendar to give an award to someone local for their contributions to the town. The event broadened its horizons a few years back by giving two awards, one to an individual and another to a local group, association or charity, for their work in the community.
This year, the jury awarded the prize to Eduardo Gil Soto, president of the Virgen del Rosario Brotherhood and the NGO Age Concert, which was established in 1998. Eduardo Gil Soto is one of Torrevieja’s elder statesmen, with family in local government and high places around the city. His passion over the years has been to help build up the community of La Mata into a thriving township, a suburb of Torrevieja which residents can feel proud to belong to. La Mata now boasts Torrevieja’s largest and finest beach, is reclaiming its famous sand dunes, producing local wine and building its own social centres, libraries and other facilities; many of these initiatives from Snr. Soto.
Age Concern has been helping the ‘third age’ in the region, not just in Torrevieja but from Southern Alicante to Pilar de la Horadada and beyond, with support and advice. They have opened charity shops, run their own community centre, lending library and drop in centre to help one and all and have been one of the major charity associations working hand-in-hand with other groups such as AFA to make life easier for those that have made Torrevieja their home.
Among those voicing their support to Age Concern, included Torrevieja’s mayor Pedro Hernández Mateo, Councillor for Foreigners and Technology Pedro Valero and British Consulate from Alicante, Janine Lamont while Age Concerns President Maureen Payne both accepted the award and gave her speech in Spanish to all the guests.
Age concern has about 90 volunteers who provide help to over 300 elderly people in the community and furthermore, they are collaborating actively with the Alzheimer sufferers’ Association AFA TORREVIEJA, with the backing of the City Departments for Social Welfare and Foreigners’ Affairs in Torrevieja. Congratulations to both Eduardo Gil and Soto and Age Concern for helping to make Torrevieja a better place to live in.