A CONTINGENT of Spanish soldiers from the Balearic Islands recently posted to the former Yugloslavia, was determined not to be left out of the traditional celebrations held to mark the feast of Saint Sebastian, Palma's patron saint. At their temporary base in Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), the troops were joined in their merrymaking by representatives from other countries which go to make up the Eufor, the European Union peace-keeping force. In spite of the low temperatures in the Balkans, the evening before the actual day of Saint Sebastian (20th January), witnessed the soldiers celebrating very much in the same way as those they had left behind in the Balearics. A pre-festivity mass was held in the military chapel followed by bonfire lighting in the Plaza del Pilar on the European military base at Mostar airport. Revellers took part in the do-it-yourself barbecue using meat products typical of Majorca and were even able to enjoy fresh ensaimadas sent to the troops by Balearic authorities. Bagpipes, pipes, and drums provided a background of traditional Island music. Proceedings were opened by Colonel Santiago Gomez de Valenzuela, chief of the Task Force code-named “Baleares” who was accompanied for the occasion by general Benito Raggio, head of the Multinational Force.


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