Saturday, May 21

A new year – Information

Panoramic of Orihuela, surrounded by the orchard and flanked by the mountains.

Panoramic of Orihuela, surrounded by the orchard and flanked by the mountains.

When we reach these dates in which we are fully living that Oriolano saying that says, “Hasta San Antón, Pascuas son”, after having left behind the New Year and the Epiphany, we verify that, for the day on which the holiday is commemorated of the hermit of Tebaida, there is only one week left, and that this year, it will not be the same as previous years due to the health situation that we are going through. Probably, we will not miss the tender palm heart, the panizo nougat and the balls with bergamot essence, since, almost certainly we can get them in some establishment, although we will miss that walk between the stalls that are installed between palm trees along along the path that leads us to the centennial Ermita del Santo. In the same way that we will not forget the “rice and crust”, with good sausage from Orihuela or Vega Baja, since with those that are made from other places, whatever they say, it does not come out as tasty.

He said that there would be seven days to go to reach the Barrio de San Antón, as would happen to those Oriolanos of one hundred and twenty-five years ago who, from January 1 to 10 of that distant 1896, only had knowledge of the news, in addition to word of mouth, by a single newspaper: “El Tháder”, which in its head was described as “Daily for everyone”, and in which we found perched on the letter “E”, a magnified Oriole with outstretched wings drawn by Balaguer, and accompanied by the motto “Dux est eorum herodii domus”. This newspaper was printed in Luis Zerón’s workshops and began to be published on July 1, 1895, selling for 5 cents, with a subscription for a month of one peseta. At the dawn of 1896, the newspaper had been acquired by Gregorio Ponzoa Rebagliato, taking over its management.

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Through its pages we know that fourteen individuals were imprisoned in national prisons and between 23 to 34 patients were treated at the Municipal Hospital at that time. But the press echoed that some newspapers in the capital had published the hoax that the Bishop of the Diocese, Juan Maura y Gelabert was seriously ill, which was denied by “El Tháder” after being informed in the Palace Episcopal. Likewise, its pages advertised some effective remedies to cure external eye conditions, such as Doctor Closa’s yellow ointment, and to prolong the health of tobacco addicts, the cigarette paper “Salvia” was made known, with the claim “Do you want to prolong your existence?”

But, it would be a long or little time that those born in the first ten days of January would live, a total of eight new citizens, while nine people died, who had at their service one of the two funeral homes that were in the street of the College. One run by Agustín Esquiva, with permanent service and that made all kinds of coffins with “promptness, dedication and economy”, and the second was governed by Bonifacio Giménez, in which if the clients used all the services it offered, it facilitated the proceedings free of charge. officers and the distribution of obituaries.

Apparently the consumption of beef was low, since only the sale of sheep and lamb was announced, at 26 dogs per kilo, and that of lean pork, depending on the days, from 28 to 36 dogs.

The mayor of Orihuela, Pedro Ramón Mesples Gracia, was the mayor, and the newspaper asked him to make the municipal guards watch over an “army of mambises” who had taken to stone the neighbors. In the same way that, after denouncing the poor service of the “La Luz” Society, which had contracted public lighting for 1,500 pesetas a month, they were fined 25 pesetas for the supply cuts that had occurred in those days.

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The Corredera Theater became the property of Vicente López Durana, who announced that he was going to make great improvements to it.

And as the last news, on Friday, January 10, a squadron of Cavalry Hunters from Sesma arrived in Orihuela, heading to Cartagena to relieve its namesake from Sagunto.

Thus, one hundred and twenty-five years ago, the people of Oriola were a week away from the feast of San Antón Abad, waiting for “rice and scab”, balls, hearts of palm and “bridal nougat”.

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