Malaga – Costa del Sol | International Community Recognized at Inaugural Joan Hunt Awards Ceremony
Cuban musician Chucho Valdés; the Finnish company Lumon; Canillas de Albaida town hall; Dr. Yusuf Hamied; Bodegas Bentomiz; British Consul Charmaine Arbouin and the British Consulate; and this newspaper, SUR in English, are the seven winners
Cuban musician Chucho Valdés; the Finnish company Lumon; Canillas de Albaida town hall; Dr. Yusuf Hamied; Bodegas Bentomiz; British Consul Charmaine Arbouin and the British Consulate; and this newspaper, SUR in English, are the seven winners of the first Joan Hunt Awards, which took place tonight, Wednesday July 27 in Malaga.
The ceremony took place at the seat of Malaga’s provincial authority, the Diputación, and began with a video chronicling the life of the late Joan Hunt, founder of Cudeca.
Almost a year ago, the Diputación and the Cudeca Foundation had discussions to achieve a common goal: the Joan Hunt Awards, to recognize the contribution of the international community to making Malaga a better place to live and tonight this goal has come true. .
The current president of the Cudeca Foundation, Ricardo Urdiales, thanked the Diputación for hosting the ceremony and congratulated the winners. He also spoke fondly of his memories of Joan and her husband Fred.
Each of the winners received a bouquet of sunflowers, which is the flower that is part of the Cudeca logo, as well as a cash sunflower prize.
Culture, wine and communication
The first prize, the Joan Hunt Prize for Culture, was awarded to Cuban musician Chucho Valdés, whose acceptance speech was broadcast live from Italy, where he was preparing to give a concert. Valdés described himself as “as Cuban as ‘Malagueño'” and spoke of the work he had done with Joan Hunt and Cudeca.
The second prize – the Joan Hunt ‘Sabor a Málaga’ award – went to Bodegas Bentomíz, a Dutch company based in the Axarquía village of Sayalonga, for its contribution to Malaga’s wine industry and showcasing local wines at a international audience.
Owner Clara Verheij said: “Our contribution is much more humble than that of Joan Hunt, but we believe that Malaga wines deserve recognition around the world and that is our aspiration.”
The third prize – for communication – went to this newspaper, SUR in English. In accepting the award, editor Rachel Haynes paid tribute to Joan and the close collaboration over the years between SUR in English and the work of Cudeca. She also spoke about the newspaper’s founders, Joan and Jerry Davis, and their pioneering project to launch an English-language newspaper on the Costa de Sol 38 years ago.
Haynes went on to say that Joan Hunt was the perfect example of someone who “even though she didn’t speak the language perfectly, was still able to make a huge difference” in the lives of so many people in the place that she adopted as a home. .
The fourth prize – the Municipal Initiative Prize – was awarded to the town hall of Canillas de Albaída as an example of integration between Spanish and foreign residents. Mayor Jorge Martín Pérez said he received the award on behalf of “all the locals” for their work in putting the village on the map and for the group of volunteers who work at the tourist office to promote the area .
Before the fifth prize was awarded, Malaga violinist Naira Castillejo performed Edward Elgar’s Jerusalem, which was also performed at Joan’s funeral last year.
The fifth prize, for business development, was awarded to Lumon, a Finnish glazing company for terraces and balconies based in Antequera, present in Malaga for almost 30 years and the sixth prize, for diplomatic work, to the British consulate in Malaga .
British Consul Charmaine Arbouin won the award and thanked the authorities and NGOs based in the province for supporting the consulate in its work. “Without these organizations, including Cudeca, we couldn’t do the work we do,” she said.
The seventh and final prize – for charity work – went to Indian scientist and billionaire businessman Dr Yusuf Hamied, renowned for his pioneering work with AIDS patients.
Accepting the award, which was presented by Diputación President Francisco Salado, Dr Hamied said he and Joan Hunt had “developed a deep bond” when they first met in 2010. Dr Hamied made a annual donation of 100,000 euros to Cudeca since 2010 and in April this year, Cudeca officially inaugurated its new Yusuf Hamied Research and Education Center.
The ceremony ended with a speech by Salado in which he thanked the winners and the international community of Málaga in general for their work in favor of the progress of the city and the province.