Alan Ponte, ex-president of the Royal Yacht Club of Puerto Pollensa, has made a public call to promote the solidarity of foreign nationals, permanently resident of or seasonal visitors to the municipality of Pollensa, in providing financial support for 'Cáritas Port de Pollença', the responsibility of the parish priest, the Reverend Danilo Urzeda.
The ex-president of the RCNPP has already contributed personally to the initiative whose objective is to assuage, ’"within the limitations of each person’s circumstances", the very grave financial difficulties currently affecting a great number of people within the municipality of Pollensa. "Persons who now more than ever", emphasises Ponte, "need the urgent help of those who could help bring relief to this most serious social emergency."
He draws attention to the agreement reached last September between the Townhall and the local Church which led to the establishment of a Centre of Distribution of Foodstuffs, whose objective is to supply essential food and hygiene products to the most vulnerable families in Puerto Pollensa. This Centre’s operations are coordinated by technical personnel from the municipal Social Services, the Rector of the Parish church, Danilo Urzeda, and a social worker, Puri López.
"The worst effects of this pandemic-generated crisis", adds Ponte, "is the very real suffering of a large proportion of the local population because of their complete lack of financial resources. One only needs to look at the queues in front of the soup-kitchens and social security centres in the city of Palma and many other towns on the island to understand the drama that the situation is generating." One of the most horrifying images published recently by the Mallorcan press shows men, women and children, of many origins, having to wait in line for basic foods. They are images that break one’s heart, a fearful reminder of the nightmare post-war years here and elsewhere. It is truly that dramatic and we should all be grateful for what the Pollensa Townhall and parish Cáritas have done to help those in need in "our" town.
"In that context, I would like to draw attention to the important contribution which Lord Lupton (the owner of Sa Fortaleza) made to the municipal authorities of foodstuffs destined to the Distribution Centre mentioned and there shared among its patrons."
Alan Ponte reminds us that the closure of all bars, restaurants and hotels has resulted in an unprecedented lay-off of personnel and a severe domino effect to a local economy which is entirely reliant, directly or indirectly, on tourism. "The closure has of course left many citizens without any income whatsoever and has generated an ongoing social crisis of colossal proportions for many of our neighbours – a crisis before which none should remain passive. For this reason, I urge all those who can contribute their "grain of sand or widow’s mite" (or a great deal more) to do so now, in the confidence of knowing that their donations will be well used by the Church to help the many families affected economically by Covid 19.’"
"All funds contributed" continues Ponte "will be managed exclusively by the Parochial Cáritas team in Puerto Pollensa, the rector Danilo Urzeda and his social-worker assistant Puri López, who personally know only too well the many individuals and families who are approaching them daily for help. They may apply the funds anywhere in the Municipality. I urge all my friends and acquaintances to engage themselves in trying to neutralise the worst problems by helping our neighbours. The recent contribution of food by Lord Lupton certainly inspired me to make a significant financial contribution myself and to invite others to do the same. Today, more than ever, the situation demands the intervention of everybody so please involve yourselves!"
In this context, Ponte recalls that tomorrow, 30th January, is St. Martina’s day and wishes to take the opportunity to remind everyone of the extremely close relationship which his late wife, Martine Chantenay, who died nearly three years ago, enjoyed with all the people of Pollensa. She was brought here for the first time by her parents in 1950 when she was 5 and the Franco/Spanish frontier re-opened; since then, she spent much time every year in a town where she always felt very welcome and loved. I am sure she would have been horrified by the current situation and would have attempted the impossible to alleviate it. I am incapable of betraying her memory.
Ponte has made this appeal at a particularly delicate moment because these are times when certain people cannot access social aid because of their irregular administrative position or mere bureaucratic issues. We find ourselves in a time where poverty is increasing – as all the elements of the tourism industry are hit, so families who could formerly look after themselves lose their employment or find themselves caught in covid-closedown support schemes.
For all the above, we urge everybody who can help alleviate the suffering to do so. Every gesture will count.
Donations should be transferred – citing as motive ‘SOS POLLENÇA’- to the bank account of the Parish Church of Puerto Pollensa with Colonya Bank, using the IBAN code: ES65 2056 0001 0810 0104 7610.
For further information, those wishing to collaborate can contact:
Mn. Danilo de Urzeda Pereira, Rector de Pollensa (TFNO +34 674 730 674)
Puri López, socialworker Caritas Port de Pollença (TFNO +34 660 982 127)
Allow me to thank you in advance for anything you chose to contribute in support of this appeal, Alan Ponté, Geneva, 30th January 2021.
(TFNOS: +34 620 910 415; +41 79 175 o3 53