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Commemorative Exhibition – Centenary of the City Council: First Step to Self-Government, 1921-2021 – 813/2021

By November 3, 2021 No Comments

The Gibraltar National Archives will host a commemorative exhibition to mark the centenary of the establishment of the City Council of Gibraltar. The Council’s first meeting was held at the City Hall on 1st December 1921.

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia will officially open the exhibit at the Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery on Wednesday 10th November 2021. Thereafter, the exhibition will be open to the public until Friday 17th December 2021. The opening hours are from 1000 to 1900, Monday to Friday.

The aims of the exhibition are to introduce the municipal institution that was the City Council of Gibraltar to younger generations, highlighting how in 1921, for the first time in local history, Gibraltarians had the opportunity to elect their Council representatives. Secondly, the exhibition aims to honour and remember the protagonists—the councillors selected or appointed, the faithful hardworking staff and many others that supported the Council in its forty-eight years of existence.

The exhibition is divided into eleven sections: Forerunners, Creation & Premises, Elections, Personalities, Responsibilities, Suspension, Housing, Leisure, Freedom of the City, Concepts and Abolition.

A total of two hundred and forty-three (243) captioned, dated, and numbered images will be on display, together with a number of murals and a Council Timeline.

It is important to point out that this exhibition has been put together using material held at the Gibraltar National Archives (GNA), together with material donated by the public.

Archivist Anthony Pitaluga said: ‘Considering the size of the City Council Collection held at the GNA Public Repository, it would be a physical impossibility to present all that is publicly accessible. It was hard not to be able to include most of our primary source material. It is conceivable that a totally different exhibition could be construed using material from the same City Council Collection we hold. This said, I hope the material we finally selected and present in this exhibition provides a clear introduction and cross-section of the Gibraltar City Council, and its protagonists— our first step in the long road to self-government.’

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “It is important to mark the step on the road to greater self-government that the establishment of a City Council represented in 1921. This was the first in a series of political and constitutional changes that Gibraltar was to enjoy during the twentieth century. The Government is very grateful to Anthony Pitaluga, to his team and to the many volunteers who have helped to make this exhibition a reality.”