Monday, October 10, 2005

Replica of Our Lady of Europe statue will be enthroned in Ballymena

by Alice Mascarenhas

A group of around 50 persons leaves for Northern Ireland today to visit the camps in Ballymena where many Gibraltarians were in residence during the evacuation in World War II.

Led by the Bishop of Gibraltar Charles Caruana the group will present a replica of the Statue of Our Lady of Europe to the All Saints Church in Ballymena. Also travelling with the group is Father Charlie Azopardi.

Artist impression of statue of Our Lady of Europa and Shrine at Europa Point Gibraltar - Pictures courtesy of  G J Linares MBE
Bishop Caruana told the Chronicle the presentation of the statue was in gratitude of the warmth shown by the people of Ballymena to the Gibraltarian evacuees in a time of hardship during the war.

Bishop Caruana who was an evacuee in Ballymena himself recalled the camps with affection:

“I was in camp 16 and I remember the people there very well.

Despite the awful the awful solitary conditions in which we lived, away from everyone, the weather was cold, very often we were without fuel for heat, those of use who lived through those years hold very fond memories of Ballymena and the people.”

The enthronement ceremony will take place tomorrow at 6pm. Tomorrow the group will also attend a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Ballymena.

Last year, a group of Gibraltarians headed by Bishop Charles Caruana visited Madeira, where the statue was enthroned in the Cathedral of Funchal and is now housed in St Peter’s Church in Funchal.

Related Articles and Links:

Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar

Our Lady of Europe


07 August 2005 - Ballymena finds its twin in Gibraltar

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