ABOUT CONSULAR CORPS
Whilst the current association of the Consular Corps of Gibraltar was formally established in 1928, such a recent date belies the historical provenance of Diplomatic Representation in Gibraltar, given as early as 1604 there is mention of the Consul of Genoa accredited to the City of Gibraltar. Post 1704. The sources are very abundant as to a field of activity, which has proved of enormous importance and benefit to Gibraltar. For example following the British capture of the territory, Genoa continued to accredit Diplomats to Gibraltar, in that by 1707, its Consul was Geronimo Role and 1711 Don Juan Bautista Sturla. That tradition continued as the centuries elapsed in respect of the various countries comprising the peninsula of Italy. Including the Roman States of the Church, in the person of Sir John Maria Boschetti, Knight of the Golden Spur and Count of the Holy Roman Empire. The tradition is alive today, over 300 years later in the person of Patrick Canessa, as Consul of Italy and vice Doyen of the Consular Corps.
Other representatives are equally historical. For example the Dutch, in the person of John Gerard Dique, an ancestor of John Gavino and himself a Consul of the USA. The Dutch Representation no doubt arose as a result of the Anglo Dutch nature of the Conquest and it continues to this day in the person of Raacida Amenzou. Similarly with the French Representation, once again in the person of the above mentioned Don Juan Bautista in 1725 and continued until today accredited in the person of Pierre Fayaud.
In addition to the historical provenance of Diplomatic Representation in Gibraltar, it is a source of enormous pride that a good deal of such Representations have carried out through generations by the same family. For example and in no particular order:
(By Anthony Lombard, Consul of Poland)
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne. The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, which is only 8.9 miles (14.3 km) wide at this naval “choke point”. It remains strategically important to this day, with a significant potion of the world’s seaborne trade passing through the 36 mile (58 km) long Strait of Gibraltar that separates Europe from Africa. Today Gibraltar’s economy is based largely on tourism, online gaming, financial services and ship refuelling. The effect of a prospective Brexit on the Gibraltarian economy is yet to be determined.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002. Under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the British government.