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Wed May 25, 2016, 09:53 AM

Buenos Aires' famous British clock tower celebrates centennial. [View all]

Appropriately enough, bearing in mind the weather of the two countries, it was a cold yet bright day in Buenos Aires as the Torre de los Ingleses (“English Residents’ Tower”), that iconic landmark of the Retiro neighbourhood, celebrated its centenary. Scores of people gathered at the clock tower yesterday to celebrate the longstanding Anglo-Argentine friendship.

Dedicated by British inhabitants of Buenos Aires, the tower was completed exactly 100 years ago yesterday in 1916. The 248-foot monument has long been one of the stand-out features of sprawling San Martín Plaza. British and Argentine residents of the City alike came out in force yesterday to celebrate.

“We wanted to celebrate the Tower’s 100th birthday so we got in touch with the City of Buenos Aires authorities and our joint efforts have made today a real success,” John Hunter, Chairman of the Anglo-Argentine Community Council (ABCC), told the Herald.

“This tower was donated by the British residents in Argentina, it wasn’t a gift from the King or the Parliament or the British government, and I think that’s important for our relations,” he added.

Among those speaking at the ceremony were Roddy Cameron, the grandson of Ben Gardom (who helped build the tower itself); British Embassy Counsellor Richard Barlow (soon to be chargé d’affaires); and Gregory Venables, the British Anglican archbishop for Southern Argentina, who praised the “important and stunning day” in the sunshine before offering a short prayer with the assembled congregation.

While acknowledging an at times uneven state of affairs in Anglo-Argentine relations over the years, Hunter told the Herald that his organization’s visibility had been dulled since the 1982 Falklands War; but that it remained a robust and active community hub now finding its foothold again. “It’s a very big community. Britain had such an influence here in so many different aspects, and it’s our task to make that legacy known and to let British people know there’s an entity they can join and come to our events and keep connected,” he said.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/214928/ba%E2%80%99s-famous-clocktower-celebrates-centennial

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