Those invited were chosen for their contributions to the business and social life of the coast

For the first time ever, residents of Orihuela Costa were invited to one of the most important festivals in the Spanish calendar, the Caballero Cubierto ceremony in Orihuela city.

It happened Saturday 19th April, attended by many hundreds of people and watched by thousands, followed in the Spanish press and regional television.

The only Orihuela Costa organisation represented was troubled Help and Home Costa Blanca charity.

Attending was the charity´s founder, Norah Bond and current President Eileen Mayes.

They not only were invited to be among the 600 specially-invited guests within the college, but were VIP guests at a champagne reception.

Mrs Mayes said: "It was a magnificent occasion, and it was an honour for us to be present. I would like to thank the city council for inviting us and also for extending the hand of friendship to ex-pats who are helping to improve conditions for everyone on the Costa, Spanish and non-Spanish alike."

"It is particularly pleasing for our charity because we have had a conflict within Help at Home Costa Blanca with a previous President refusing to accept a vote of no confidence in her and continuing to claim she is the rightful President.

Eileen Mayes continued by saying “It seems that in the eyes of council officials we are the properly elected representatives of the charity."

"This dispute continues to damage our ability to help the many people who are in need of a little help at home along the coastal towns and villages. We are busier than ever and will continue to help those in need of our services provided by volunteers.”

After the reception and speeches within the college, there was a special procession through the old city to the Town Hall. Norah and Eileen´s husbands were allowed to join in and march alongside.

There were several members representing CLARO, the Independent political party fighting for improvements and more facilities for the Coast including Councillor Bob Houliston President of Claro who said: "The proclamation of the Caballero Cubierto in the ceremony in the courtyard of Santo Domingo College in Orihuela is one of the key events in the Easter week calendar.

Bob went on to say, "Traditionally, all sectors of Orihuela society take part – political, civil, military, business and cultural. The Caballero Cubierto is selected annually, this time an eminent academic lead the Easter procession and represent the population of Orihuela as someone who takes his hat off to no one.

"This ceremony, together with the religious celebrations, have made Orihuela widely known in Spain for the traditions and pageantry of Easter week.

"This year is the first time residents of Orihuela Costa were invited to take part in the Caballero Cubierto ceremony, a recognition of the importance of Orihuela Costa and it´s varied population in the municipality.
Those invited were chosen for their contributions to the business and social life of the coast, those that are making a difference, making history “

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