The current programming of HOGUERAS includes as a first religious act the so-called Memorial Mass that serves, every year, to remember, in a simple religious function, the friends and collaborators of the Promotional Commission that are no longer with us. This act, classified as 2nd category, is attended by older and children’s Meigas
with the proper label of the acts of these characteristics, older Meigas with Spanish mantilla and children’s Meigas with regional dress seasoned with bonnet.
The origin of this act is in 1998 when it was held for the first time in the Castrense church of San Andrés, with the assistance of the Meiga Mayor and the Meigas de Honor. During these first years the date of celebration was set for the first Thursday of June or, failing that, the first days of the month of San Juan, although later, over the years, the first business day of this month was established of the HOGUERAS.
Walking a little more in time, in 2002, the so-called Act in memory was scheduled that was initially set for the day after the celebration of the Memorial Mass, being integrated into the program of the “Corunna Pages” Cycle.
This act was planned with the purpose of paying an annual tribute to a Corunna personality around whose figure the other activities of the Cycle also revolved; In this sense, in this first year, he was dedicated to the painter and poetess Chelo Liñeira who had passed away months before.
The initial project was really ambitious since associating the figure of the honoree with the “Coruñesas Pages” Cycle involved the holding of conferences or round tables that addressed his personal career, exhibitions of his work and even the publication of a notebook that collected a sample of his work throughout his career. In the end, the severe economic hardships endemic in the Commission prevented this project from happening the following year in which we remember the figure and work of the great Coruña painter Tomás Pereira.
The act, also considered 2nd category, was conceived as simple and emotional, with the old San Carlos Bastion as its setting on the remains that remain, in the so-called Coraza del Orzán, of the old walls of the Pescadería. There, with the assistance of the Meiga Mayor, Meiga Mayor Infantil, Meigas de Honor and Meigas de Honor Infantiles, a prayer was prayed after which the Meigas threw roses at the Coruña sea evoking the figure not only of the honoree but also as a souvenir of all The missing Coruña. To this act the Meigas came wearing the regional costume.
Over the years and after the remodeling of the beaches of Riazor and Orzán, when that part of the sand is practically dry, the act was moved to the hammer of El Parrote maintaining the same sequence as in the previous years.
Finally, it was decided to unify, in the same day, the Memorial Mass and the Act in memory, associating with each other after having separated the latter from the Cycle “Coruña Pages” and transferring its celebration to June 1 or, failing that, to First business day of this month.
After the monument to the National Policemen who gave their lives in an act of service on the Orzán beach was erected in the Coraza, he returned to this enclave to celebrate the first part of the act while the Memorial Mass was moved to the church of the Third Order of such a link with the Promoter Commission.
A new restructuring of the act took place after the location of the image of Our Lady of Carmen in the vicinity of the hammer of El Parrote at whose feet a brief offering began, as a tribute to the people of Coruña who gave their lives to the sea, when the Act in memory was still celebrated in this place.
In this way, after the offering of flowers before the monument to the Heroes of the Orzán to which all the older and children’s Meigas come, the ones dressed in the Spanish mantilla and the others in regional costumes and coats, as well as the Chaplain of the Commission and the full Board of Directors, all participants go to the monument to Our Lady of Carmen where a Salve is prayed and a bouquet of flowers is deposited; later, without a solution of continuity, in the Church of the Third Order, the Chaplain of the Commission celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with which a new month of Saint John begins.
Finally, in recent dates, it was determined the convenience of rendering a small act in memory of the Royal Philanthropic Expedition of the Smallpox Vaccine, which taking the remedy for this serious evil to the confines of the old Spanish Empire, departed from our port in 1803, in front of the Doctor of the Royal Navy Francisco Javier Balmis, accompanied by Isabel Zendal Gómez, director of the House of Exposites, and twenty-two children of this orphanage, aboard the Corvette “María Pita” and thanks to which They saved thousands of human lives.
The act, very simple, is the reading of a brief summary of this deed and the offering of a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the monument also located in the Hammer of El Parrote.
With the cessation of the activities of the Promoting Commission, the Association of Meigas adopted the agreement to continue celebrating both acts as a portico of the month of the HOGUERAS.
José Eugenio Fernández Barallobre.