For some years and until the infamous arrival at the Town Hall of the spiteful sectarians of the tide that, in their eagerness to destroy the history and traditions of the city, suppressed it, the Meigas, have had the high honor of participating in the acts that The City Council organized on the occasion of the traditional Voting Function which, in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, Patroness of La Coruña, is celebrated on the Sunday closest to May 8. <! – more -> On that day, the Municipal Corporation chaired by the Mayor and headed by the City Council, escorted by the Municipal Police with their period uniforms corresponding to the Urban Militia (1763) and the Urban Militia ( 1808), with the historical Flags of the Alarms and the Militia, Maceros, Heraldos, Timbaleros and Clarineros, they go, in colorful entourage, to the Convent of Santo Domingo to renew the Vote that the city made to its patron in 1589 on the occasion of the Siege of the Army and the English Navy under Admiral Drake.
It is an official act of the city attended by the first civil and military authorities of La Coruña and to which numerous Corunnans join each year remembering that historical date. For many years, the Voting Function was part of the Maria Pita Festival program, being held on the first Sunday of August in the church of San Jorge, passing, later, to Santo Domingo as this temple is the patron guardian. Being Francisco Vázquez Mayor of La Coruña, he agreed that this celebration should be moved to the Sunday closest to May 8, the date on which it is currently celebrated.
It was on May 8 of that year of 1589 when a group of Cofrades del Rosario begged the Virgin to mediate, preventing the city from falling into the hands of the invader. In that first vote, the brothers made a solemn promise before God, in the name of the whole city and its inhabitants that, every July 2, feast of Our Lady of the Visitation – the Eighth of St. John -, would celebrate vespers and sacrifices, they would confess and commune, carrying out, on the day that the fence was released or at most the next, a general procession of disciplining.
Finally, in response to this plea, the siege was lifted and the English fleet, without achieving its objective, left the city after some hard fighting in which the heroine Mayor Fernández de la Cámara and Pita, the popular María Pita, stood out. since then it represents the courage and courage of the Coruña woman.
For centuries, with some exception always motivated by identical reasons, the Vote has been renewed annually, Mayor after Mayor, reaching to this day although, as has been said, with the arrival of sectarians, spiteful and incompetent of the tide, That black tide that, since 2016, has fouled La Coruña, has ceased to celebrate in this eagerness of these dictatorships to load everything that is related to the history and traditions of our city, the soul of La Coruña.
The Vote is, above all other meanings, the memory and evocation of a historical event that marked the future of the city and its people; a fact that showed that desire for freedom of the people of Coruña who, next to the Army, knew how to defend our walls or what is the same, their homes and their assets, even to lose their lives, thus avoiding falling into the hands of the invader .
The Vote, as in other Spanish cities, is part of that intangible heritage that, thanks to the evolution of history, treasures villas and cities as part of its inveterate tradition that the Authorities have the sacred obligation to keep, whether they like it or not , believe or not believe, since it is not something that belongs to you, it is a good of the whole city and of those who live in it and even of those who have lived even if they are no longer with us and those who will live in the future .
For this reason, for the Meigas it has been a great honor to attend this act every time the Mayor has invited them to it, aware that they were heirs of those other Corunnans of 1589 and depositories of a tradition that must be conserved.
It is not, therefore, evoking an excessive desire for an absurd secularism, to make something disappear that is part of history written by others, written in blood and fire by others who believed that the best way to defend the city was to face the top of the walls, even at the risk of losing one’s life, or turning the face to the image of the Virgin to mediate her protection; It is about ensuring traditions and their continuity since no one is entitled to make them disappear.
The Meigas have had the honor, some wearing the Spanish Mantilla and others the Regional Costume of Galicia, of joining that multicolored courtship that runs every May through the streets of the Old City of Coruña; they have had the honor of prostrating themselves before the image of Our Lady of the Rosary, Patroness of the city, to beg him to continue protecting us all, even those who, for dark reasons, want to make this act disappear and, on some occasions, the Meiga Mayor and the Meiga Mayor Infantil have accompanied the Mayor to deposit before the monument to María Pita, a paradigm of courage and heroism of Coruña, a laurel wreath.
Despite its official suppression, the Meigas have been present, every year, in the different events organized, at a particular level, to commemorate this momentous episode in the history of our city, as one more way for Meigas to identify with history of their city, who know difficult trances lived by their ancestors at other times already distant and who pay a tribute of respect and remembrance to those who, with all generosity, knew how to give their lives defending La Coruña and its people.
We are sure that, after having thrown these incompetent sectarians out of the Town Hall, and normal people, lovers of La Coruña, of their history and traditions, respectful of freedom, govern us again, the Vote Function will once again represent a milestone in the life of the city, recovering its splendor. Then, again, the Meigas will be there, as they have always been, to remember a memorable deed that, in a distant 1589, starred Coruña, men and women, without class distinction, who knew how to defend the city against the invader.
José Eugenio Fernández Barallobre.