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One more piece from the Spain my father moved to in April 1923

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It seems like a forlorn exercise. For the last few years I have attempting to recover information about Spain in the early 1920s, from books and the WWW, because my father and mother arrived in Barcelona in April/May 1923. My father was sent there by the Royal Bank of Canada to act is the Asst. Branch Manager in the Barcelona branch.

In a fuzzy sense I learned as a child that the Royal Bank’s activities in Barcelona had much to do with Barcelona Traction, which was an electrical utility incorporated in Toronto with early financing from the then Canadian Bank of Commerce.

This morning I was reading, as I do from time to time, Hugh Thomas‘ The Spanish Civil War. In 1919 the Anarchist Workers Union the CNT organized a complete work shutdown at the La Canadiense plant:

Blog de fotosdebarcelona.com » Blog Archive » La huelga de La Canadiense.jpg

Lots of mayhem resulted during this strike action with many pitched battles between workers, union organizers vs. pistoleros hired by the Guardia Civil and police & military forces in Barcelona.

These events were a small part of the historical trend since early in the 19th century which finally led to the Civil War in July 1936. But my birth family lived very well in this hot bed of anarchism and continuous street violence until 1936.

Here is a snap of my siblings and I in our garden in Barcelona in the early summer of 1936:

We do look peaceful and content enough in spite of the civil turmoil outside our garden. A month or so after this photo was taken we left Spain through Andorra to France and then Canada.

My father continued to work and live in Barcelona until the end of 1938.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/09/18 at 09:57

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