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Junior Bulletin

Every Wednedsay is "Junior Bulletin" day in the Majorca Daily Bulletinwith two full pages devoted to activities at local international schools.

They seem to have a good time, the pupils at these schools. No doubt they do a lot of hard studying but the pictures in the Bulletin mostly show them "having great fun and learning a lot" in visits to places of interest and in group activities. A sampling from this week’s Junior Bulletin: at The Academy,"144 students took part in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day with the dining room and classrooms set up with the online link to Jamie Oliver as he went through the steps to prepare a Rainbow Wrap"; at Baleares International College, "Pupils in Years 7 and 9 visited the Safari-Zoo in Porto Cristo where the co-owner of the park answered questions to help them complete a cross curricular workbook including ICT, Science and Art"; at Bellver College, "Year 7 went on a fun, interesting and educational trip to the Universitat de les Illes Balears where they discovered why a ping-pong ball floats in the air above a hairdryer and tasted a homemade choccolate cake from carob beans". These are the days!

Teacher on hunger-strike

Unfortunately, not all is well with education on Majorca. Although it may seem that last year’s troubles over the introduction of the TIL trilingual teaching programme have quietened down a Bulletin report on Friday by Humphrey Carter who told a very different story of one teacher who has undertaken a hunger strike to get attention for this unresolved educational conflict. Jaume Sastre started his strike on 8 May and a Bulletin showed his Facebook page with his photograph and statement, in English; "Jaume Sastre,14 days in hunger strike for a quality, dignity and Catalan language education". Sr. Sastre’s action has the support of many of his colleagues and of the PSOE Socialist opposition party which called on tne Balearic President Jose Ramon Bauza to engage in negotiations to end Jaume Sastre’s hunger strike and prevent a "negative effect on the quality of education in the region".

The "New Majorca"

In its early 1960s days the Bulletin often carried reports of police action against tourists who were under-dressed in Palma’s streets; usually they had decided on the spur of the moment to leave the beach and explore the town without realising that their beach-wear would not be appreciated by local residents. Normally, the police just called a taxi and told them to return to their hotels. Over the years, however, and in line with changing attitudes throughout Europe, the presence of under-dressed tourists in Palma and other towns has been accepted in the same way that topless women attract little attention on the beaches. However, the surge of bad behaviour, especially in Magalluf and Playa de Palma, has led to a renewal of concern by several local authorities about the appearance and atmosphere of their streets. Palma has introduced a number of "civic" regulations which affect both the city centre and its resort areas as part of what it calls its "Good Citizen Plan" but which has quickly come to be called the "bikini law" although its provisions extend well beyond that description. Once again the police are being given powers to implement these regulations although In his "Week in Tourism" article on Friday Andrew Ede reported on their uncertainty whether or not bikinis become unlawful in streets "adjacent" to the beach. There will be countless cases of this kind where interpretation of the new law wlll be very subjective and difficult to impose. Whether it will turn some tourists away or encourage others is another uncertainty. In his Viewpoint on this subject the Bulletin’s editor Jason Moore wrote: "I think all this legislation forms part of the so-called "new Majorca" which is not tourism at any cost. Majorcans have had enough of tourists behaving badly."

Majorca’s learned past

Almost every Sunday in his Historical Perspective article Miquel Ferra i Martorell unearths examples of contacts between Majorca and Britain in the distant past. Sometimes they are slight and passing but this week’s article was about Antoni Lloscos Cerda, born in Santa Margalida in 1390, who became Commisioner-General of the Trinitarian followers in England, Ireland and Scotland from 1430 to 1440 and visited on foot Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Canterbury. He returned to Majorca before being called to the Holy See. He died in 1449 and was buried in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Basilica. Ramon Llull in the 13th century has no competitor as Majorca’s first great intellectual but it is interesting to see how his influence must have spread in local learning and culture. Antoni Lloscos Cerda studied grammar and rhetoric in Palma before moving to the University of Lleida in Catalonia and then returning to Palma to enter the Trinitarian Order.

The Chaplain celebrates

In his weekly Bulletin article the Anglican Chaplain, David Waller, revealed that he is about to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a priest at Lichfield Cathedral. Saturday 5 July is the date of a Sung Eucharist at the Anglican Church -- "followed by drinkies on the terrace outside afterwards -- something sparkling -- and then a party at the Coleman Hall". The Revd asked those who would like to join the party to contact him for an invitation, adding characteristically "... you can come to any bit of the evening that you’d like to without having to come to the other bits! It would just be good to see people."

In Brief

After its success last year the "Best of British" traits award is open again with nominations required by Wednesday 28 May at info@moodbeach.com. This year nominations can be of any nationality who speak any language and "who do something amazing for their community or their family". The winner will be named at the British Summer Party at Mood Beach on 13 June. Friday’s Bulletin carried a new advertisement by the Consell de Mallorca with tips for cyclists -- "On roads in the country, a maximum of two abreast" and "in towns use the cycle lane or ride on the right, never on the pavement". The message, "Safety is vital, thanks for making it possible" was accompanied by a logo of a bicycle and "Two Wheels, A Thousand Eyes."