By James Bryce
WHETHER it’s a famous name or an unsung hero – we want to know who you think are the expatriates who have had the biggest impact on Andalucia.
From Chris Stewart to Washington Irving and from Maurice Bolland to Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe, who has really helped to put the region on the map?
The Olive Press is attempting something that has never been done before – to put together a definitive Expat 100.
To aid us in drawing up a definitive list of the most influential expats of the last two centuries, we need you to nominate your favourites.
Whether it be German poets or winemakers, Irish entrepreneurs or Swiss businessmen, we need your help.
And we don’t just want dead people. We also need you to help us uncover the current crop of influential expatriates forging forward in exciting pursuits and helping to shape this rich region of Europe.
Be it hard-working hoteliers, innovative businessmen or charitable citizens, they must all have made a significant impact on the Andalucian landscape.
To help knock the list into shape we have enlisted a panel of local expatriates who have decades of experience of living here.
Louise Cook Edwards, editor of marbellas.com, Rod Younger, from book4Spain and former Fleet St journalist Giles Brown, will agonise over who makes the final cut.
But before they can do that, we need your help.
We want you to send in your nominations to [email protected] – listing no more than 20 of the expats you would like to see featured on the list.
“It’s important to vote for people who have opened the door for others to come and make a life for themselves here,” explains Louise Cook, who also runs her own international PR agency Media Machine.
“Those who have inspired and taken risks and done fairly adventurous things in order to make a difference.”
Rod Younger, who recently had success with his first book on the coast Deadly Secrets (under the pen name Robert Tenison), added:
“I think the Expat 100 project is a marvellous idea. It should go back 200 years and must include ‘transient’ foreigners so that Wellington, Borrow, Ford and Irving could be included.
“It should also focus on foreigners who have raised awareness of Andalucia and contributed in a significant manner to its development.”
Former Daily Mirror reporter Giles Brown added: “Few people realise the impact that foreigners have had on Andalucia over the last few centuries. And even today there are many unsung heroes, working quietly behind the scenes to continue making Andalucia great.”
Malaga’s Mark was a true hero
Olive Press editor Jon Clarke wants to nominate William Mark, the former British consul, who set up Malaga’s English cemetery.
“Until it was set up in 1831, non Catholics were traditionally buried at sea or up to their necks on the nearby beaches, often picked apart by dogs.
Mark put paid to that, but not only ensured the graveyard offered Protestants a decent burial, but ensured that other denominations also had a decent burial.
It makes me very proud to see the graves for Hindus, Muslims and Jews alongside the Protestants.
There are many graves for German sailors and even Catholics, sickened by their local religious leaders.”