Manley with British Council and Malaga city hall representatives. :: C.M.
Simon Manley, who has been the British Ambassador to Spain since October last year, has already travelled the length and breadth of Spain to reinforce ties between the two countries and last week made a visit to Malaga (not his first) to attend the presentation of British Council activities in Malaga, and to introduce Charmaine Arbouin as British Consul in Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla.
The British Council, which has yet to finalise plans for acquiring its own premises in Malaga, sent a delegation to the presentation in the CAC (‘Centro de Arte Contemporáneo’) to promote the various services it offers, notably a series of English language exams such as IELTS, recognized internationally for university entrance, and the innovative APTIS, used by businesses and institutions.
The exams and the benefits to Spanish students of entering for them were explained by Examinations Director Fiona Mitchell, and Bernadette Maguire, Adviser on Examinations and Accreditation.
The following morning the Ambassador joined City Hall officials to sign an agreement to hold the exams in Malaga. Possible venues are the CAC itself and Malaga museums, depending on the number of entrants. Also under discussion were joint ventures such as the inclusion of British films at the Film Festival and various other cultural activities.
Before leaving for an appointment in Seville, Simon Manley hosted a reception at the Castillo de Santa Catalina to welcome Charmaine Arbouin, the ‘new’ British Consul. The Ambassador spoke first about the importance and magnitude of trade between Spain and the UK and reflected on the love millions of Brits profess for this country, and in particular for Andalucía. His examples of ties between Spain and Britain ranged from the first football club created in Río Tinto to sherry bars in London and the great Hispanist Gerald Brenan, buried in Malaga’s English Cemetery. He also praised the police forces in both countries which work together to prevent and solve crime, sending a warning to delinquents: “We are going to catch you!”
His discourse then became less formal and with a sweep of his arm, and acknowledging that she had already been in the post for nine months, he ‘launched’ the “beautiful, the amazing Charmaine!”
The Consul replied in similar vein, explaining in Spanish that although the word used for the presentation is more usually a naval term, she is not in fact a ship…. She then went on to explain the functions of the Consulate and express warm thanks to the many charities, media and other organisations which contribute to the welfare of British residents and tourists in Andalucía.