The Huelva Provincial Council celebrates its Bicentennial “with a vocation for closeness and contributing to the future of the province”, as stated this Friday by its current president, María Eugenia Limón, who underlines the backbone role of the provincial institution, which celebrates 200 years “walking together with our peoples and helping to transform them.”
Limón has underlined the importance of backbone role of the territory of the provincial institution on the 200th anniversary of the constitution of the first Provincial Council of Huelva. In the institutional act of this commemoration, he stated that after two centuries, “this institution still has the same job ahead of assisting people and municipalities from innovation, from the 21st century”. A job on which, he added, “the future of the province of Huelva depends to a great extent. And I am convinced that between all of us, we can contribute to a future of hope. Along this path, the Huelva Provincial Council will always be the City Council of City Councils, the home of the entire province and of the people who inhabit it”.
The Bicentennial is a celebration with a vocation for closeness, “so that citizens feel part of this Provincial Council that for two hundred years has walked alongside our peoples and helped transform them. That it has evolved with the times, with ways of life, with the very configuration of society”.
For the president, to talk about the history of the Huelva Provincial Council “is to talk about social services and assistance to the most vulnerable families and groups; waste collection and management; secretarial and accounting services for small municipalities; fire and rescue actions; of the provincial road network; the pest control service and the collection of abandoned animals, the collection and management of taxes… all this depends on this administration that is two hundred years old today”.
In this sense, he pointed out that “in this great global village that we inhabit, in which people and societies are interconnected, we cannot allow it to be more complicated to live in a small town than in a city. The municipality, after the family, is the quintessential framework for coexistence and that is why I never tire of saying that municipalism is the reason for our Provincial Council’s existence”.
In the commemoration of the Bicentennial, recognition has been made to the presidents who have been in charge of the Provincial Council since democracy was instituted: Jaime Madruga, Emiliano Sáenz Escalera, Manuel Eugenio Romero, Domingo Prieto, José Cejudo, Petronila Guerrero and Ignatius Caraballo. “Their work is that of six bodies of deputies who, together with the current one, have had the responsibility and privilege of representing the province of Huelva for more than four decades. A job focused on citizenship without which our towns and villages would have had a very difficult time reaching the levels of well-being that we enjoy today”, pointed out María Eugenia Limón.
The recognition reproduces the image of the Bicentennial, created by Víctor Pulido: a woman’s face, that of a Diputación in the feminine, which is the proper gender of the noun Diputación. The face shows a past profile and a current one, transferring the idea of that transit through time that culminates in the current moment.
“Throughout the history of the institution, that feminine face, which I am proud to represent today as president of the Provincial Council, has had that of many women who contributed to paving the way for equality in the world of politics, who it was forbidden to them during the Franco dictatorship”, Limón recalled. In this sense, during the act, tribute was paid to the first two women deputies who formed part of the first democratic corporation of the Diputación de Huelva, established in 1979: Pilar Pulgar and Margarita Martínez Montesinos.
The event featured a performance by the Santa María de la Rábida Choir.
About the Bicentennial
The act celebrated constitutes the institutional start of the commemoration, but as a preamble, two conferences have served as contextualization: One on ‘The Provincial Organization of Spain and the birth of the Provincial Councils 1810-1833’, by the Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Cadiz Alberto Ramos.
And another by the rector of the University of Huelva and professor of History, María Antonia Peña, on the origins of the province of Huelva, entitled ‘142,000 souls and a new province. Huelva and its first Provincial Council’.
In addition, this week, ONCE has joined the Bicentennial of the constitution of the Diputación and the creation of the province of Huelva announcing a coupon especially dedicated to this event that will come out next Tuesday. An excellent tool for promoting this commemoration, since every day the ONCE coupon reaches five and a half million people throughout the country.
The activities framed in this Bicentennial that will take place throughout the year are impregnated with a cultural character. Conferences, readings of letters and documents of historical interest, musical concerts, publications, plays, etc.
In 2022 it will be two hundred years since the first Provincial Council of Huelva was established 200 years ago. On January 27, 1822, the institution began its journey. The constitution of the Huelva Provincial Council does not coincide with that of the majority of the Provincial Councils, which arose with the famous Constitution of 1812, known as La Pepa, but was constituted in 1822, coinciding with the year in which Huelva became independent from the Kingdom of Seville and is also constituted as a province.
This first constitution of the Diputación de Huelva takes place during the Liberal Triennium and, therefore, is very ephemeral, -perhaps hence its little public importance-. In the middle of 1823, with the arrival of Absolutism, the provincial councils are dissolved throughout Spain and will not come back to life until 1835.