Celebrity Visitors to LA LUZ PORT
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Agatha Christie

Detective fiction’s greatest writer was a tireless adventurer and went all over the
world by ship and train. Mary Clarissa Agatha Miller, better known as Agatha
Christie, was one of the first women to try surfing and got as far as South America
and New Zealand. Oddly, she never made it to Belgium.

Agatha Christie spent a week in at La Orotava and Puerto de La Cruz in Tenerife in
February 1927 but didn’t like it very much. She then got on the ferry and came to
Las Palmas, describing it as “the ideal place to spend the winter”. She stayed at
the Hotel Metropole in the Garden City, now part of the Town Hall. The writer
enjoyed the beach and went on a trip to Agaete and Puerto de las Nieves.

Agatha Christie arrived in the Canary Islands just after the end of her first
marriage. She was in debt, depressed and struggling to write. The islands had a
huge effect on her and she quickly recovered her mojo. She finished ‘The Mystery of
the Blue Train’ and started the short story ‘The Companion’, and 'The Thirteen
Problems'. Several other books of hers are clearly inspired by the white houses and
bougainvillea of Gran Canaria.

In The Companion one of Agatha Christie’s characters mentions Gran Canaria,
saying, “In many ways I enjoyed the life out there very much. The climate was mild
and sunny, there was excellent surf bathing...”

She never came back to the Canary Islands which is hardly surprising because she
once said, “never go back to a place where you were happy, if you do you will ruin
it”.

It is said that in Puerto de la Cruz Agatha Christie
completed The Mystery of the Blue Train and she sent it to her publishers. She
never felt proud of this book but it sold very well thus putting an end to her
economic problems.
Paul Newman and his wife, Johanne
Woodward
arrived in las Palmas along with ,
Zachary Scout and his wife, Ruth Ford, on
the 8 of February 1962, on board the
luxurious cruise liner “Leonardo da Vinci”
which called at La Luz Port then.

They visited Caldera de Bandama, took some
pictures and after buying some souvenirs
drove back to las Palmas.
Having completed her novel she decided to stay one more week on the island
to relax but she was not attracted to stay in Tenerife due to the absence of
white sand beaches and on 27 February she moved to the neighbouring
island of Gran Canaria. In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Agatha Christie and
her entourage stayed at the Metropole Hotel located midway between Santa
Catalina Pier and the city, opposite to Santa Catalina beach. The British Club
and the tennis courts were nearby. In its halls Agatha Christie began to write
The Companion, one of the mysteries included in her collection of short
stories, The Thirteen Problems. This story has clear references to Gran
Canaria, particularly to the beach of Las Nieves, located 48 miles from Las
Palmas, in Agaete with a population close to 3,500 inhabitants at that time.

On 4 March 1927
Agatha Christie took a steamboat back to England.  We can
read at The Companion:

‘I don’t know whether any of you know the Canary Islands,’ began the doctor.
‘They must be wonderful,’ said Jane Helier. ‘They’re in the South Seas, aren’t
they? Or is it the Mediterranean?’
‘I’ve called in there on my way to South Africa,’ said the colonel. ‘The Peak of
Tenerife is a fine sight with the setting sun on it’

‘The incident I am describing happened in the island of Grand Canary, not
Tenerife. It is a good many years ago now. I had had a breakdown in health and
was forced to give up my practice in England and go abroad. I practised in Las
Palmas, which is the principal town of Grand Canary. In many ways I enjoyed the
life out there very much. The climate was mild and sunny, there was excellent
surf bathing (and I am an enthusiastic bather) and the sea life of the port
attracted me. Ships from all over the world put in at Las Palmas. I used to walk
along the mole every morning far more interested than any member of the fair
sex could be in a street of hat shops.

‘As I say, ships from all over the world put in at Las Palmas. Sometimes they
stay a few hours, sometimes a day or two. In the principal hotel there, the
Metropole, you will see people of all races and nationalities – birds of passage.
Even the people going to Tenerife usually come here and stay a few days before
crossing to the other island.
‘My story begins there, in the Metropole Hotel, one Thursday evening in January.”
And later on: “The following day I had arranged to go for a picnic with some
friends. We were to motor across the island, taking our lunch, to a place called
(as far as I remember – it is so long ago) Las Nieves, a well-sheltered bay where
we could bathe if we felt inclined. This programme we duly carried out, except
that we were somewhat late in starting, so that we stopped on the way and
picnicked, going on to Las Nieves afterwards for a bathe before tea.”

In a mystery entitled The Man from the Sea, a short story included in her book
The Mysterious Mr Quin also written in Canary Islands, the action takes place in
an island that Christie locates in the Mediterranean Sea but everything reflects
clearly La Paz at Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife. From her description, Agatha
Christie had visited the Cologan’s house at La Paz where the central plot to the
story is developed. Other typical places also mentioned in this short story are:
Sitio Litre Garden and Martíanez Cliffs. For additional information visit Agatha
Christie’s Route (in Spanish).

Source: J.Escribano
Winston Churchill visit to Gran Canaria


A plaque was recently unveiled at La Luz Port in honour of Winston Churchill, one of Great
Britain’s most internationally influential figures of all time, to commemorate his visit fifty
years ago. As a guest on the boat of Aristotle Onassis he came to the island for a holiday,
as a tourist, and chose to visit
Caldera de Bandama and Montaña de Arucas.

Winston Churchill was an incredible and unique character and it was a good thing that a
man of Churchill’s stature chose to spend his holidays on Gran Canaria thus increasing the
interest of the British to learn more about the history of the island.
Winston Churchill visit to
Gran Canaria in 1959
Winston Churchill engaged in conversation with Aristotle Onassis
Mr. Wiston Churchill arrived in La
Luz Port
(Puerto de La Luz) on the
22nd of February in 1959 onboard
Mr. Onassis' luxurious yacht (M/Y
Chistina) which laid at anchor in
front of  the Alcaravaneras beach.
The shipping agency in charge of
representing the shipowner (Mr.
Onassis) during his vessel's call at
Las Palmas was "C.F. Staib y
Compañía". Actually, it was the the
owner of the firm (Mr. Kenneth
Staib) who acted as a cicerone
(guide) for this illustrious visitor.
Churchill went ashore onboard a barge/launch boat at about 15.30 in the afternoon of the
same day. That day, Churchill enjoyed a sunny day and passed by the New Hotel Santa
Catalina on his way to la Caldera de Bandama. Once in Bandama, Churchill got out of the car
for a moment so as to behold the crater. Later he went on up to the peak of the mountain.
After Mr. Kenneth Staib had explained Mr. Churchill about the wonderful views from the top
of the mountain, the latter showed is desire to satisfy his thirst for water, however, given
the fact that there was no water available around, Churchill told his guide not to worry since
he had some "whisky" inside the trunk of the car....

From Bandama, Sir Wiston returned to Puerto de La luz through the Atalaya road towards
Telde and the to Las Palmas.

According to a newspaper article written by Mr. Pedro Glez. Sosa on the 22nd of February:

"Upon Churchill return from Bandama, a crowd of people gathered around the place. The
British colony stood out by applauding spontaneously. Churchill replied by taking his hat off
and saluting the by-standers. He was rather tired, however, he smiled and gave them the
V-sign."

Among ather presents, two beautiful bunches of flowers had been sent to the yacht for the
respective wives of Sir Winston and Mr. Onassis (courtesy of Real Club Náutico de Gran
Canaria), the president of which, Mr. José Luis Benjumea Medina accompanied by one of the
manager directors (Mr. Manuel Gonzalvez Ferreira) and other guests attended the cocktail
organized onboard M/Y Christina that night....

MOBY DICK (1956)

The film was a B-movie background to the epic personal battle between director John Huston
and would-be Ahab Orson Welles, with secondary roles performed by Gregory Peck and Moby
Dick.

Whales are in fact commonly seen around the Canary Islands, and the island of Lanzarote even
has a whale museum.

Although mostly filmed off the coasts of Wales, Ireland and Portugal, the final scenes were
filmed in the Bahía (Bay) de La Isleta the Canary Islands near Las Palmas, the capital of Gran
Canaria island, due to the fact that winter was setting in and the water was getting too cold
further north.

The final scene with Richard Basehart floating symbolically and literally on the coffin was also
shot there as Spanish coffins are notoriously more comfortable than those of other nations.

Las Canteras beach was the focal point of the filming and Moby Dick it (him or her) self was built
in the shipyard of Las Palmas in Calle Rosarito, and can still be seen on the island.

Las Canteras is three miles long and the filming took place at the extreme eastern point known
as La Puntilla during two weeks at Christmas in 1955.

At Las Canteras you can find the Alfredo Kraus Concert Hall, named after the famous opera
singer, where the International Cinema Festival is also held.
Source: Silver Screen Spain

Note: The model whale was towed during the filming by a MIller & Co/Cory Brothers tug boat
(remolcador).
La Luz Port has always been a magnet for celebrities and has been happy to welcome over the years a great variety of distinguished
visitors from all over the world. From
Alfonso XIII King of Spain to Sir Winston Churchill... We have listed the most remarkable here.
Prime Minister Harold MacMIllan with Gerald Miller (right) and Ken Park (centre) at the British Club.
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller
Prime Minister Harold MacMIllan with Gerald Miller (right) and Ken Park (centre) at the British Club. Gerald
Miller (Bristish Consul then) hosted Harold and Lady MacMillan  in Las Palmas on 15 February 1960 at the
end of their tour of Africa
Prince George, Duke of York arrived in Puerto de La Luz on the 29th of June 1890. James Miller (Gerald's
father) hosted Prince George in 1890 when he was British Consul. The Prince went on an excursion to Teror
and rested a few hours in Osorio (
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller)
Prince of Wales' ship - HMS Thrush - The Prince was the Captain of the ship as he was a serving naval officer
at the time. HMS Thrush took on coal and 500 gallons of water supplied by Miller & Co.
The story goes in the Miller family that, during the
tennis, reports came to Gerald that
the Duke's ship (Royal Naval cruiser ) HMS Renown,
slipped its anchor by accident and began to drift in
the harbour.
Elizabeth, Duchess of York was understood to have
been aboard. Miller/Cory tugboats frantically tried to
catch and make fast the enormous ship,
and whilst this was going on, Miller and his
colleagues had to prolong the tennis so as to distract
the attention of the Duke.
Should he have found out it is thought that the ship's
captain would have been disciplined or lost his job.
William's father, Basil Miller (Geralds's son) was a
ball boy at the game aged seven years.
Left: Gerald MIller and Sidney Head playing tennis with the Duke of York (later KIng George VI)
on 11 January 1927. (Gerald is the man with his belt undone)
Right: The Duke of York (later KIng George VI) on 11 January 1927 (on the right of the photo). Duke of York's
tennis partner was Ernest Wootton (on the left of the photo).
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller
Charles Lindbergh portrait on a stamp with the port in the background commemorating the 75th anniversary
of his visit to Gran Canaria.
Description of Duke of York's visit on 10 January 1927
in Australian newspaper:


THE ROYAL TOUR
CALL AT CANARY ISLANDS
(A.P.A. Message.)
Las Palmas (Canary Islands).
January 10.

Today the Renown dropped her anchor punctually outside Las Palmas. "Where a tanker was waiting to
supply .fl for the long Atlantic trip. Salutes "were exchanged between the ship and the shore. The swell had
considerably lessened, and the fears that the royal party would be unable to land were unfounded.
The first official function to day was a call by the British consul with Captain Perrera, of the Spanish gunboat
Bonlfaz, who was specially attached to the staff of the Duke of York by order of the King of Spain. He was
received on the quarter deck with all that simple ceremonial in which the British navy excels. The captain's
guard and the band were on duty, and the boatswains piped them over the Bide. Various consuls and
captains paid their, respects to the Duke.
The royal launch was extremely lively alongside the gangway, and the ladies in particular found it difficult to
board her, while the remains of yesterday's swell, which was «(HI running, made the trip ashore not
particularly pleasant. The Duke was uniformed in full naval dress. The Duchess wore a simple white costume
with a fur stole. The harbor was gay with bunting, and the ships were all dressed.
The Spanish Governor of the Canary Islands and other officials received them at the landing, after which their
Highnesses were cheered by the crowds which lined the route. They visited Queen Victoria Hospital, met the
committee, and chatted with the inmates. Then they went, to the Seamen's Institute and made an informal
call, and finally to the British Club, where they met the British community, including several Indian merchants
domiciled in the Canaries.
On their return to the port to re- embark on the Renown the Duke and the Duchess were enthusiastically
farewelled by the Spaniards all along the street.
The Duke and Duchess were on board again by 6 o'clock in the evening, and entertained the military
governor, the civil governor and his Wife, and other dignitaries on board.

Source: THE ROYAL TOUR (Australian Newspaper)
Descripton of Duke's farewell from the Puerto de la Luz in Australian
newspaper:

ON THE RENOWN.
HEARTY FAREWELL.
DEPARTURE FROM LAS PALMAS.
(Australian Pi ess Association )
H U.S. RENOWN, January 11.

The departure from Las Palmas gave the Royal party some inadequate idea of what will happen to them on
arrival in Sydney. All the available tugs in the harbor came out of anchorage to bid farevvell reminding all of the
much greater assembly of tugs that will throng Port Jackson on March 26. Hovvever,
the marine band on the quarter deck was drowned by the noise of the tugs sirens. The last act was the
dispatch of a cable message by the Earl of Cavan to the Military Governor, thanking him on behalf of their royal
Highness for their reception and the enjoyable experiences of the visit and wishing Las Palmas all Prosperity
and happiness.

STRENUOUS EXERCISE
Sport was the main feature of today. After several hard-fought sets of tennis ashore in the morning, the Duke
joined a game of deck hockey in the afternoon, the strenuous exercise emphasizing his excellent physical
condition. The Duchess who did not go ashore spent the day quietly  on  deck and in her own apartments.
She watched the Duke at hockey in the afternoon. Lord Cavan has sufficiently recovered to be able to dine with
his Royal Highness this evening.
As an instance of the Duke of York s consideration for every one, when he heard that Captain Sullivan had
invited Captain Green of an oil tanker to breakfast, he insisted that he should breakfast with their Royal
Highnesses in their own apartments
The ship's football team yesterday played a match with the local club which won by 3 goals to 1.

Source: THE ROYAL TOUR (Australian Newspaper)
Duke of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria
Duke & Duchess of Connaught were
entertained by British Consul Peter
Swanston - 20 - 22 December 1910
aboard H.M.S.Balmoral Castle.
(Courtesy of Mr. William Miller)
For more info about their visit please visit "The surviving diary of Owen Charles Budd" (Dec. 20th-22nd 1910)
King Alfonso XIII was the first monarch to visit the Canaries in March 1906. He visited the 7 islands and was
impressed by their beauty and people's hospitality.
King Alfonso XIII reception at Club Náutico in Las Palmas upon his arrival in 1906.
Courtesy of FEDAC
On 24 November 1933 the famous American aviator, Charles Lindbergh, who made the first solo transatlantic
flight in his plane, Spirit of St. Louis, (from New York to Paris), was entertained by Gerald Miller and Ian
Kendall Park
(Source: Approximación a La Historia del British Club de Las Palmas, by Nicholas Diaz-Saavedra De Morales,
1988)
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Christopher Columbus sailed to the Canary Islands in August 1492
Christopher Columbus
La Luz Port is also well-known as an ideal refreshment station for ships
using this route, as a matter of fact, back in August 1492, Christopher
Columbus sailed to the Canary Islands, where he dropped anchor. After
restocking provisions and making some repairs, the three vessels
weighed anchor on September 6th and finally departed for what turned
out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean resulting in the discovery
of America. At present, you can visit in Las Palmas a museum called "La
Casa Colon" which pays tribute to the famous former resident of the
island, Christopher Columbus. Here you can find many interesting facts
and memorabilia pertaining to him.
28) Click here to read about Agatha Christie's visit in 27 February 1927
33) Click here to read about Sir Winston Churchill's visit on 22nd February 1959
25) Click here to read about Duke of Connaught's visit on 22 December 1910
27) Click here to read about Duke of Yorks's visit on 11 January 1927
29) Click here to read about Charles Lindbergh's visit on 24 November 1933
3) Click here to read about Christopher Columbus visit in August 1492
24) Click here to read about King Alfonso XIII's visit to La Luz Port in March 1906
23) Click here to read about Prince George, Duke of York's arrival in Puerto de La Luz on the 29th of June 1890
34) Click here to read about Prime Minister Harold MacMIllan's visit on 15 February 1960
35) Click here to read about Paul Newman's visit on the 8th of February 1962
32) Click here to read about Gregory Peck's visit in December 1955
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INDEX
The Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was an amphibious assault by the
Royal Navy on the Spanish port city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the
Canary Islands. Launched by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson on 22 July
1797, the assault was defeated, and on 25 July the remains of the
landing party withdrew under a truce with the loss of several hundred
casualties. Nelson himself had been wounded in the arm, which was
subsequently partially amputated: a stigma that he carried to his grave
as a constant reminder of his failure.

The attack was successfully repelled by Lieutenant General Antonio
Gutiérrez de Otero y Santayana.
Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson launched an amphibious assault on the Spanish port of Santa Cruz de
Tenerife
on 22 July 1797
In the painting, Nelson's barge is shown beached in the surf, in
port-bow view. Hit on the point of landing he reeled and staggered
back into the boat where he lies, having transferred his sword to his left
hand. He is supported by a sailor and there is blood on the sailor's shirt
and on the lining of Nelson's coat. Lieutenant Josiah Nisbet, Nelson's
stepson, stands behind him and is saving his life by staunching the
blood. Behind him and to the left are two other lieutenants. Also in the
barge and to the right of the group is a third lieutenant grasping a
boarding pike, with two sailors behind him. In the left foreground
standing in the shallow water is Captain Thompson, arms outstretched
towards Nelson, together with another lieutenant. In the left
background is a bow view of another boat approaching the beach. In
the right foreground the artist has used the waves to enhance the
dramatic impact.

Nelson wounded at Tenerife, 24 July 1797. In the painting, Nelson's barge is shown.
Source: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection  
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2) Click here to read about Bethencourt's defeat by the aboriginals of the island of Gran Canaria
Bethencourt was defeated by the aboriginals of the island of Gran Canaria (canarios) in the battle of
Arguineguin at south of the island, getting the title of Great
Jean de Béthencourt (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ də betɑ̃kuːʁ]) (1362–1425) was
a French explorer who in 1402 led an expedition to the Canary Islands, landing
first on the north side of Lanzarote. From there he conquered for Castile the
islands of Fuerteventura (1405) and Hierro, ousting their local chieftains (majos
and bimbaches, ancient peoples). Béthencourt received the title King of the
Canary Islands but he recognized King Henry III of Castile, who had provided
aid during the conquest, as his overlord.

Jean de Béthencourt was born in Grainville-la-Teinturière, province of
Normandy. To finance his expedition he sold his house in Paris valued at 200
gold francs and some other small pieces of property in December 1401.[1] His
uncle, Robert de Braquemont, loaned him 5,000 pounds (to which he later
added another 2,000)

One of the ships departing for the 1402 Norman expedition (from "Le
Canarien").
Béthencourt set sail from La Rochelle on 1 May 1402 with 280 men, mostly Gascon and Norman adventurers,
including two Franciscan priests (Pierre Bontier and Jean le Verrier[1] who narrated the expedition in Le
Canarien) and two Guanches who had been captured in an earlier Castilian expedition and were already
baptised.

In 1402 Jean de Béthencourt conquered Lanzarote, the northernmost inhabited island. While Gadifer de la
Salle explored the archipelago, Béthencourt left for Cádiz, where he acquired reinforcements at the Castilian
court. At this time a power struggle had broken out on the island between Gadifer and Berthin, another officer.
Local leaders were drawn into the conflict and scores of Spaniards and islanders died in what was to become
a bloodbath of the first months of Béthencourt's absence. During this crisis, Gadifer managed to conquer
Fuerteventura and to explore other islands. It was only with the return of Béthencourt in 1404 that peace was
restored to the troubled island. De la Salle and Béthencourt founded the city of Betancuria (as capital of the
island of Fuerteventura) in 1404.

Years later Bethencourt was defeated by the aboriginals of the island of Gran Canaria (canarios) in the battle
of Arguineguin at south of the island, getting the title of Great.
Christopher Columbus sailed to the Canary Islands in August 1492
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Bethencourt was defeated by the aboriginals of the island of Gran Canaria (canarios) in the battle of
Arguineguin at south of the island, getting the title of Great.
Source: Wikipedia
De la Salle and Béthencourt founded the city of Betancuria (as capital of the island of Fuerteventura) in 1404.
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Henry Nottidge Moseley, a famous British Naturalist who sailed on the global scientific expedition of the HMS
Challenger in 1872 through 1876 visited the Canary Islands in February 1873
They visited Teneriffe from 7 - 14 February 1873, and Moseley published a book
about their round the world scientific exploration called "Notes by a Naturalist made during the voyage of
HMS Challenger". In chapter 1 of his book he describes how cochineal was grown and harvested.
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller
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British roots were established in the Canaries in the nineteenth
century through media and literary elements such as Teneriffe and
its Six Satellites by the English writer Olivia Stone or The Tenerife
News first published on 3rd January 1891. This newspaper was
created so that the considerable amount of British people who were
coming to the Islands and who could not read Spanish
newspapers, would then be able to read about local and national
news from the area. This newspaper eventually disappeared, but a
new article reporting information to the British members of The
Canary Islands came in the form of an extra part of the newspaper
El Iriarte, which was called El Iriarte English Supplement. It was
only two pages long but represented a written influence of English
being pressed upon the Islands as did The Canary Islands Review
created in 1903 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Olivia Stone wrote "TENERIFFE AND ITS SIX SATELLITES" OR "THE CANARY ISLANDS PAST AND
PRESENT"
Her book was first published in 1887 and describes all aspects of late nineteenth-century culture and social
reality in the Canaries
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12) Click here to read about Horatio Nelson's amphibious assault on Tenerife on 22 July 1797
21) Click here to read about Olivia Stone 1887 (Teneriffe and its Six Satellites)
20) Click here to read about Henry Nottidge Moseley, a famous British Naturalist's visit in February 1873
Dr David Banneman (1886 – 1979) the famous British ornithologist who
worked for the British Museum was entertained by Gerald MIller in about 1912.
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller

He wrote many
books including
"Birds of the Atlantic
Islands", "Birds of
Tropical West
Africa","Birds of the
British Isles" and
"The Canary Islands
- their History and
Scenery".
He was noted for the discovery of a new sub-species of bird, the Canarian Black Oystercatcher,
and for obtaining specimens of the Grand Canarian Blue Chaffinch (Pajarro Azul) for the Museum,
and for employing prominent artists to paint the illustrations in his books.
Photo: Courtesy of Natural History Museum
In 1936, Francisco Franco was appointed General
Commandant of the Canaries. He joined the military
revolt of July 17 which began the Spanish Civil War.
Franco quickly took control of the archipelago, except
for a few points of resistance on La Palma and in the
town of Vallehermoso, on La Gomera.
Francisco Franco 1892 - 1975
Franco led a successful military rebellion to overthrow the Spanish democratic republic in the Spanish Civil
War (1936–1939), and he subsequently established his lasting dictatorship
In July 1936, Franco lead a revolt against the Popular Front. It started in the Canary Islands, where Franco
was governor and spread to Morocco where he had made many contacts in the 17 years he was based there.
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30) Click here to read about Franco's which started in Canary Islands July 1936
26) Click here to read about Dr David Bannerman's visit to Las Palmas in 1912
John Ordronaux , visited Grand Canary on 29 August 1812 and landed 14-year-old James Swanston Miller
(1798-1855) in the island having captured the ship on which he was travelling, the Concord (Captain Taylor).
Swanston Miller was bound for the island of St Kitts where he had relatives, but his unexpected arrival in Las
Palmas was to lead to the establishmentof the dynastic merchant houses of Swanston and Miller in the
Canaries.
Courtesy of Mr. William Miller
John Ordronaux (16 December 1778 – 24 August 1841) was one of the most successful privateers of the War
of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the war he
commanded two ships, Marengo (after Napoleon's horse), then Prince de Neufchatel. With these he captured
or destroyed about thirty British merchant ships, outran about seventeen British warships and brought back
goods to the USA worth between $250,000 and $300,000
Ordronaux later became an officer in the American navy, and
was so famous in that role that a warship
was named USS Ordronaux in the Second World War.
In 1597 he was vice-admiral in the Admiralty of the Maze and in 1599 a vice-admiral in the Admiralty of
Amsterdam. In May 1599 he led a Dutch and Zeeland fleet which set out to blockade the Iberian coast as part
of the Eighty Years' War. En route they attacked the Spanish possession of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, but
this was heavily defended and the attack was unsuccessful. It then moved to attack Spanish possessions in
West Africa around Sao Tomé, where van der Does died, either of wounds received at Las Palmas or of
malaria.
Pieter van der Does (1562 - 24 October 1599) was a Dutch admiral. He was the son of Jacob van der Does
(c.1500-1577), schepen of Leiden during its siege. Pieter van der Does was born in Leiden. In 1586 he
became superintendent of the Dutch fleet which witnessed the defeat of the Spanish Armada two years later.
Alexander von Humboldt was born on September 14, 1769 in Berlin. After 1799, Alexander von Humboldt
was one of the most well respected geographers. In that year, he traveled to South America with the botanist
Aimé Bonpland on a research trip under
the unexpected patronage of the minister Don Mariano Luis de
Urquijo (Madrid) who had convinced them to make Spanish America the scene of their explorations
. He
considered this journey to be the greatest private expedition in history.
Armed with powerful recommendations from the King of Spain, they sailed in the Pizarro from A Coruña, on
June 5, 1799, stopped six days on the island of Tenerife to climb the volcano Teide
, and landed at Cumaná,
Venezuela, on July 16.

Spheniscus humboldti — Humboldt penguin
Dosidicus gigas — Humboldt squid
Lilium humboldtii — Humboldt's lily
Phragmipedium humboldtii — an orchid
Quercus humboldtii — South American (Andean) oak
Conepatus humboldtii — Humboldt's Hog-nosed skunk
Annona humboldtii — Neotropical fruit tree or shrub
Utricularia humboldtii — a bladderwort
Geranium humboldtii — a cranesbill
Salix humboldtiana — a South-American willow
Inia geoffrensis humboldtiana — Amazon River Dolphin
subspecies living at Orinoco River basin
The text of L'Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries took 20 years to complete.
Specialists such as Justin Pierre Marie Macquart wrote appropriate parts.
Webb's herbarium was bequeathed to the Museo di Storia Naturale di
Firenze in Florence, Italy.  PB. Webb (b. 1793-d. 1854) was a rich English
gentleman traveling around the world and indulging his love of botany. In
the course of his travel from Madeira to Brazil in 1828 he stopped in Tenerife
where he met S. Berthelot (b. 1794-d. 1880) who for some years had
already been collecting plants and insects from the islands. Mr. Berthelot
kindled in him such a deep love for Canary Island nature that Mr. Webb
remained in Tenerife for two more years, giving up his journey to Brazil.
Over the next twenty years, Mr. Webb and Mr. Berthelot devoted themselves
to the drawing up their grand work which was eventually published in Paris
in one hundred and six installments between 1835 and 1850.
Philip Barker Webb (10 July 1793, Milford House, Surrey - 31 August 1854) was an English botanist.
Born to a wealthy, aristocratic family, Webb studied languages, botany, and geology at Harrow and Oxford.
He
collected plants in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and was the first person to collect in the Tetuan Mountains of
Morocco
.
En route to Brazil he made what was intended to be a brief visit to the Canary Islands, but he ended up
stopping for a considerable time, returning after his Brazil expedition. The results can be seen in the
nine-volume L'Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries, which he coauthored with Sabin Berthelot. In company
with Berthelot, who had lived on the islands for some time,
Webb collected specimens on the islands between
1828 and 1830
.
8) Click here to read about Pieter van der Does' attack on Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1599
13) Click here to read about Alexnader von Humboldt visit on 5 June 1799 to the island of Tenerife
16) Click here to read about John Ordronaux visit to Gran Canaria on 29 August 1812
17) Click here to read about Philip Barker Webb, the English Botanist's visit to the islands between 1828 and 1830
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7) Click here to read about Sir Francis Drake and the Battle of Las Palmas in 1595
The Battle of Las Palmas was an unsuccessful English naval expedition in 1595 during the Anglo-Spanish
War against the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. The English Fleet was originally directed towards Puerto
Rico, but had taken a detour in hopes of an easy victory and taking supplies. The English expeditionary fleet
under
Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, and Sir Thomas Baskerville failed to achieve victory and was
forced to withdraw from the Canary Islands towards the Spanish Caribbean, where
Francis Drake died of
dissentery at The Mosquito Gulf.


Drake was the most celebrated English seaman after Nelson. He established the milestone of utter naval
arrogance and was the second to sail around the world. The island and the actual court of Philip II jubilantly
celebrated the important victory over the greatest corsair that history has ever known.

Source: A plaque in Arguineguín
On 18 October 1595, Drake, after his unexpected defeat in
his attack on Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, with 27 ships
take supplies before departing for America.

However, he saw himself obliged to set sail that same night
before a renewed attack by the valiant Canary Islanders
who took prisoners and killed some of the English,
including
Drake's friend Captain Grimston.

Source: A plaque in Arguineguín
5) Click here to read about Francis Le Clerc's (Pata de Palo) attack on Santa Cruz de La Palma in 1553
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Despite his wounds, Le Clerc led major raids against the Spanish. In 1553, he assumed overall command of
seven pirate craft and three royal vessels, the latter commanded by himself,
Jacques Sores and Robert
Blundel
. This same year he attacked the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma, in the Canary Islands, which he
looted and set on fire, destroying a large number of buildings.
He was often the first to board an enemy vessel
during an attack or raid. It was this brazen style that
eventually caused him to suffer the loss of a leg and
severe damage to one arm while fighting the
English at Guernsey in 1549. Although many
pirates would have had their careers ended by such
an injury, le Clerc refused to retire and instead
expanded the scope of his piracy by financing the
voyages and attacks of other pirates as well.
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Francis Le Clerc, known as "Pata de Palo" , was a 16th-century French privateer, originally from Normandy.
He is credited as the first pirate in the modern era to have a
"peg leg".
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9) Click here to read about Admiral Robert Blake's attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1657
The Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was a military operation in the Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1660) in which
an English fleet under
Admiral Robert Blake attacked a Spanish treasure fleet that had already landed the
treasure at
Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. Most of the Spanish merchantmen were
scuttled and the remainder were burnt by the English.
Blake sailed from Cadiz Bay on 13 April 1657 to attack the
plate fleet, which had docked at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in
the Canary Islands to await an escort to Spain.

Blake's fleet arrived off Santa Cruz on 19 April. Santa Cruz
lies in a deeply indented bay and the harbour was
defended by a castle armed with forty guns and a number
of smaller forts connected by a triple line of breastworks to
shelter musketeers. Seventeen Spanish ships were
moored in a semicircle in the harbour under cover of the
shore batteries, including seven great galleons of the plate
fleet.
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On 20 April 1657 Blake totally destroyed another armed merchant convoy, the Spanish West Indian fleet, in
the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
– a port so well fortified that it was thought to be impregnable to attack
from the sea – for the loss of just one ship, despite being under fire from shore batteries that were and
attacking and withdrawing on the tide.
Throughout the whole of the XVI century the coasts of the Canary Islands
suffered attacks by the corsairs from North Africa and Turkey
under the occasional command of
Drub “The Devil” or Cachidiablo. The east
islands, in particular, were under the constant
threat of the barbary pirates and corsairs, who were pirates and privateers
operating mainly from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Tunis,
Tripoli and Algiers. San Sebastián de La Gomera was one of the ports in the
Canary Islands which suffered from looting and pillaging at the hands of these
corsairs. Another renowned privateer was
Dogali nicknamed "El Turquillo", a
North African pirate who landed in Arrecife during 1571, they too made it up to
Teguise where they ransacked the town and set fire to the parish church.
6) Click here to read about "Cachidiablo" and "El Turquillo", attacks by corsairs in XVI
"Cachidiablo" and Dogali nicknamed "El Turquillo",  Corsairs and Privateers from North Africa and Turkey
during XVI
Photo: Cachidiablo the Pirate
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19) Click here to read about Sabin Berthelot, a French naturalist and ethnologist resident in the Canaries 1835
He first visited the Canary Islands in 1820, where he taught at a
school in Tenerife and managed the botanical gardens at
Orotava for the Marquis of Villanueva del Prato. Berthelot
studied the natural history of the islands. He was joined in this
task by Webb in 1828, and by 1830 they had collected
sufficient information for publication. They travelled to Geneva,
and produced the first volume of
L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles
Canaries in 1835
. Berthelot concentrated on the ethnography,
history and geography of the islands, with Webb completing the
natural history sections. The ornithological section was mainly
written by Alfred Moquin-Tandon. In 1845 Berthelot founded the
Société d'Ethnologique. In 1846 he returned to Tenerife, and in
1848 was nominated the French consular agent for the island,
being promoted to full Consul in 1867. He retired in August
1874, and was given the freedom of the city of Santa Cruz de
Tenerife.

Source: Wikipedia
Sabin Berthelot (4 April 1794 – 10 November 1880) was a French naturalist and ethnologist. He was resident
on the
Canary Islands for part of his life, and co-authored L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (1835–50)
with Philip Barker Webb.
Berthelot's other publications on the islands included Les Guanaches (1841 and 1845), La Conquète des
canaries
(1879) and Antiquités Canariennes (1879).
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JOHANN POLATZEK discovered the Grand Canarian Blue Chaffinch (pinzon azul) which was named after him
(Fringilla teydea polatzeki) in 1902
Between 1908-1909 Captain Polatzek published "Die Vogel der Canarin" (the birds of the Canaries)  in the
international ornithological journal IBIS, and in 1919 "List of the Birds of the Canary Islands" in the same
journal.
The bird inhabits the high pine forest of Pinus canariensis and is not
found anywhere else in the world, although there is a related
sub-species in Tenerife. This species is categorised at "Near found
anywhere else in the world, although there is a related sub-species in
Tenerife. This species is categorised at "Near threatened" by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature and research
programme working hard to find ways of increasing the bird's
population.  
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22) Click here to read about Johann Polatzek who discovered the Grand Canarian Blue Chaffinch in 1902
Christopher Columbus sailed to the Canary Islands in August 1492
In 1479, Portugal and Castile signed the Treaty of Alcáçovas. The treaty settled disputes between Castile and
Portugal over the control of the Atlantic, in which Castilian control of the Canary Islands was recognized but
rights to lands discovered and to be discovered...and any other island which might be found and conquered
from the Canary islands beyond toward Guinea.
The Castilians continued to dominate the islands, but due to the topography and the resistance of the native
Guanches, complete pacification was not achieved until 1495, when Tenerife and La Palma were finally
subdued by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. After that, the Canaries were incorporated into the Kingdom of
Castile. In the late Middle Ages, ships from Genoa and Majorca arrived at the islands and by the end of 1496
the Spanish, led by Fernandez de Lugo of "Catholic Kings", comprehensively conquered the Canaries. They
annexed the islands under the Crown of Castilla, dividing them between themselves and beginning the
transformation of the vegetated landscape of the archipelago.
Left:
Juba, Prince of Mauritania



Source: wikipedia



Right:
Alonso Fernández de
Lugo (the founding of  
Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
Phoenicians, Persians and Carthaginians probably landed on the islands about 500 years BC, but Pliny the
Elder seems to be the first person to tell about an expedition to the Lucky (Fortunate) Islands led by Juba,
Prince of Mauritania, at the time of the Emperor Augustus
.
After leaving Valencia, still in
August 1501, Kemal Reis headed
south and bombarded the coastal
defenses of Andalucia before
landing his troops, where the
Ottomans raided several ports
and towns. Kemal Reis later
sailed westwards and passed the
Strait of Gibraltar and entered the
Atlantic Ocean, where he and his
men raided the Atlantic coasts of
the Iberian peninsula. From there
Kemal Reis sailed southwest and
landed on several of the Canary
Islands, where the Ottomans
faced moderate opposition from
the Spanish forces.
Kemal Reis (c. 1451 – 1511) was a Turkish privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. He was also the
paternal uncle of the famous Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis who accompanied him in most of
his important naval expeditions.

J. Edens, whose 1715
ascent and observations of
Mt. Teide influenced many
subsequent expeditions.

Louis Feuillée (1724), who
was sent to measure the
meridian of El Hierro and to
map the islands.

Jean-Charles de Borda
(1771, 1776) who more
accurately measured the
longitudes of the islands and
the height of Mount Teide

The Baudin-Ledru
expedition (1796) which
aimed to recover a valuable
collection of natural history
objects.
11) Click here to read about Scientific expeditions to the Canary Islands(1770-1830)
Scientific expeditions to the Canary Islands in the romantic period (1770-1830)
Sirera and Renn (2004) distinguish two different types of expeditions, or voyages, during the period
1770-1830, which they term "the Romantic period": First are "expeditions financed by the States, closely
related with the official scientific Institutions, characterized by having strict scientific objectives (and inspired
by) the spirit of Illustration and progress". In this type of expedition, Sirera and Renn include the following
travelers:
Left: Louis Feuillée
Right: Jean-Charles de Borda
4) Click here to read about Kemal Reis (privateer)attack on the Canaries in 1501.
The Canaries' wealth invited attacks by pirates and privateers. Ottoman Turkish admiral and privateer
Kemal Reis ventured into the Canaries in 1501.
He first visited the Canary Islands in 1820, where he taught at a
school in Tenerife and managed the botanical gardens at
Orotava for the Marquis of Villanueva del Prato. Berthelot
studied the natural history of the islands. He was joined in this
task by Webb in 1828, and by 1830 they had collected
sufficient information for publication. They travelled to Geneva,
and produced the first volume of
L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles
Canaries in 1835
. Berthelot concentrated on the ethnography,
history and geography of the islands, with Webb completing the
natural history sections. The ornithological section was mainly
written by Alfred Moquin-Tandon. In 1845 Berthelot founded the
Société d'Ethnologique. In 1846 he returned to Tenerife, and in
1848 was nominated the French consular agent for the island,
being promoted to full Consul in 1867. He retired in August
1874, and was given the freedom of the city of Santa Cruz de
Tenerife.
Sabin Berthelot (4 April 1794 – 10 November 1880) was a French naturalist and ethnologist. He was resident
on the
Canary Islands for part of his life, and co-authored L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (1835–50)
with Philip Barker Webb.
Berthelot's other publications on the islands included Les Guanaches (1841 and 1845), La Conquète des
canaries
(1879) and Antiquités Canariennes (1879).
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Sabin Berthelot (4 April 1794 – 10 November 1880) was a French naturalist and ethnologist. He was resident
on the
Canary Islands for part of his life, and co-authored L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (1835–50)
with Philip Barker Webb.
Photos: Source Fyffes  
Top: The first commercial delivery of bananas arrives in London for E.W. Fyffe Son & Co,
from the Canary Islands 1880's
Bottom: E.W.Fyffe, Son & Co and Hudson Brothers become Fyffe Hudson & Co. Ltd.
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In the 1870s Thomas Fyffe, a London food wholesaler, went
into partnership with a fruit dealer named
Hudson who had
connections in the Canary Islands. In 1878 they shipped their
first cargo of bananas to England. Within five years the
business had become so successful that they purchased land
in the Canaries to be cultivated as banana plantations.
Meanwhile,
Elder Dempster & Company (a large shipping firm
which traded in the Canaries) had observed the success of
Fyffe & Hudson and followed suit. In 1898 Elder Dempster’s
fruit importing business was extended to Jamaica, which was
then the second oldest of Britain’s overseas colonies.
To protect the island’s economy the British government agreed
to pay a subsidy of £40,000 a year to Elder Dempster to run a
regular steamer service to Jamaica and bring large quantities
of bananas to the British market. In May 1901 the firms merged
and
Elders & Fyffes Ltd was established in London. The
following year 45% of the capital was purchased by the United
Fruit Company of America. Thereafter, the business went from
strength to strength using specially constructed ships that
ensured the fruit arrived in good condition after the long Atlantic
crossing.
Elders & Fyffes Ltd introduced the banana to the Canaries as a commercial crop in 1878.
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    1. The first member of the family to arrive in the Canary
    Islands  (in 1812) was James Swanston Miller (1798-1855). He
    founded Swanston & Co. in 1820 which became Thomas Miller
    & Co in 1854.

    2. Thomas Miller Swanston (1805-1885), cousin of James
    Swanston Miller, founded the first company with the Miller
    name in 1854.Thomas Miller traded from the Muelle de San
    Telmo.

    3. The senior partner in Miller & Co. by the Santa Catalina
    mole was James Miller Vasconcellos (1839-1915).

    4. The partners in Swanston & Co who built the 19th century
    Port (Puerto de La Luz) were Juan Swanston (1843-1918) and
    Joseph Miller Vasconcellos (1840-1920).

    5. The third son of Thomas Miller Swanston (1805-1885) was
    Thomas Miller Wilson (1857-1930) who was a farmer,
    merchant, banker and agent for Renault cars. He was also a
    non-executive director and shareholder of Miller & Co by the
    Santa Catalina mole.

    6. The 4th son of Thomas Miller Swanston was Dr William
    Henry Miller (1859-1936) who was a doctor in Edinburgh and a
    shareholder in Miller & Co.

    7. After James Miller Vasconcellos, the partners in Miller & Co
    by the Santa Catalina mole were Thomas Hamilton-Miller Parry
    (1872-1952), Harry Miller Parry (1879-1959) and Gerald Miller
    Parry (1889-1982), Managing Director of Miller & Co (1919-
    1939), wartime diplomat & head of intelligence  and  British
    Consul from 1945-1964.

    8. Basil Miller (1900-2003) wartime naval intelligence officer
    and later director of Lambert Brothers (shipping) Ltd, the
    parent company of Miller & Co before the sale to Boluda.
Thomas Miller was probably the first to import coal (initially as a domestic fuel), but
which led to the huge expansion of the port when steam ships began to arrive.

Source: BASIL MILLER (Canary Saga, 1990)
Top: Thomas Miller Swanston (1805-1885), Founder of Miller & Co. and Senior partner in Miller & Co after
James Miller
Bottom: James Miller Vasconcellos (1839-1915), senior partner in Miller & Co. by the Santa Catalina mole

Courtesy of Mr. William Miller
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1) Click here to read about Juba's first expedition to the Fortunate Islands 500 years BC
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15) Click here to read about The Millers Saga (1812-2003)
14) Click here to read about Philip Barker Webb the famous English botanist visiting the Canaries in 1828
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18) Click here to read about Fyffes introducing the banana to the Canaries as a commercial crop in 1878
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Admiral Sir John Jennings (1664 – 1743) was an officer in the English Royal Navy, a Lord of the Admiralty
and Member of Parliament.
On the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession, Jennings
commanded HMS Kent under Admiral Rooke at Cadiz and Vigo (of
70 guns) in 1702, where he played a part in the destruction of the
Franco-Spanish fleet. He took part in the capture of Gibraltar, and
was captain of the 96-gun HMS St George at the Battle of Malaga in
1704. He was knighted for his exploits by Queen Anne on 9
September 1704, and was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1705,
Vice-Admiral in 1708 and Admiral in 1709. His attack on Tenerife in
1706 was unsuccessful.
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife underwent an attack by Sir John Jennings  in 1706 which was repelled.
10) Click here to read about Sir John Jennings attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1706
Sir John Hawkins

The second son of William Hawkins, a wealthy West Country
merchant trader, John Hawkins was born at Plymouth. As a youth, he
made a number of voyages to the Spanish-held
Canary Islands,
where he first learned of the profits to be made from selling African
slaves in Spain's American colonies.
His associates in the Canaries,
Pedro Soler and Pedro de Ponte
, gave him contacts and legal
protection to take slaves over to Guinea which he later sold in the
West Indies. In the 1560´s he often visited the Archipelago as a pirate
having no hesitation in boarding other slave ships to rob them of their
valuable human merchandise.
The career of the English naval commander Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) touched all aspects of the
Elizabethan maritime world from the illegal and inglorious to the patriotic and profitable. His skills helped to
ensure the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
John Hawkins attacked the island of  La Gomera in 1567.
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5) Click here to read about John Hawkins' commercial relationship with the Canaries in 1560
31) Click here to read about the Jaguar broke loose from its cage aboard Christian Sheid on 11 June 1949
The vessel was going to Antwerp with a cargo of Brazilian wild animals for the Brussels Zoo.
On 11 June 1949 a Jaguar broke loose from its cage aboard the Belgian freighter Christian Sheid and
terrified passengers who locked themselves in their cabins for 48 hours.
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The ship's master radioed for help as the
ship approached La Luz Port (Canary
Islands). He said the jaguar had practically
taken possession of the ship. The jaguar
could be seen pacing the deck
Police at Las Palmas went aboard and
shot the jaguar after first efforts to put the
jaguar to sleep with meat dosed with
veronal had proved unsuccessful. Crowds
massed on Las Palmas docks cheered
"victory" since the only casualties on
board    had been four monkeys eaten by
the Jaguar.
31) Click here to read about TIRMA, The Island Princess, a film shot in Gran Canaria in 1954
Set on the 15th century, it describes the strong Canarian  inhabitants resistance to the occupation of Castilian
forces
TIRMA - The Island Princess
The Island Princess (Italian: La principessa delle Canarie) is a 1954 Italian-Spanish comedy film directed by
Paolo Moffa.
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Storyline

Set on the 15th century, it describes the strong
Canarian  inhabitants resistance to the occupation of
Castilian forces. Refresh troops arrive in  Gran Canaria
to reinforce the occupants diminishing troops on the
frontlines, which are depleted as a result of aboriginal
warriors combativeness and resistance.

However, the indigenous ranks are divided.
Guanarteme (Félix de Pomes), King of the natives,
wants peace, as well as his daughter, the Guayarmina
Princess (Silvana Pampanini). A warrior leader,
Bentejuí (Gustavo Rojo), and the great Faycan, high
priest, prefer the war. One day, Guayarmina, while
running through the forests,  is  being chased by Don
Hernán (Marcello Mastroiani), who is in love with her
and ignores her Princess status. Guanarteme dies
poisoned by the great Faycan, who attempts to marry
Guayarmina, who in turn is in love with the aboriginal
Warrior  Bentejuí.
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36) Click here to read about the film 10,000 Miles of Stormy Seas a film starred by Toshiro Mifune 1966
The film was shot in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and released in 1966
10,000 Miles of Stormy Seas (Doto ichiman kairi)
An adventure film starred by the famous Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune and directed by Jun Fukuda

Storyline


Captain Murakami takes over as skipper of the Azuma Maru, replacing the
well-liked former captain. Murakami forces the crew to work harder than they
ever have, creating enmity and exhaustion. Just when the ship has taken a
huge catch of tuna in its nets, Murakami learns that his ship is the only one in
position to rescue the crew of another ship, sinking in a storm. He must choose
between saving the catch or saving lives. Either choice may mean his ruin.

Source: Mr. Jim Beaver
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Eugene O'Neill stayed at The Atlantic Hotel in Las Palmas. O'Neill spent most of the time between the hotel working
on "Mourning Becomes Electra" and Las Canteras beach swimming and sunbathing to recover from his poor health
after being advised by some good friends to do so. He came accompanied by his wife Carlota. On May the 28th they
departed from Las Palmas on board the French ship Médie II from the Compagnie from Navigation Paquet bound
for Marseille.
The Irish American Nobel Prize winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill arrived in La Luz Port on board “Aguila” from Yeoward Lines on February 27th 1931
Photo: Eugene & Carlotta O'Neill sitting on beach, looking at each other
Las Palmas, Canary Islands, March, 1931
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28) Click here to read about Eugene O'Neill arrival in La Luz Port on board M/V Aguila in 1931
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The Renowned British scientist
Stephen Hawking arrived in La
Luz Port on the 8th of October
2014 aboard the Royal Caribbean
cruise ship 'Independence of the
Seas', where he was travelling to
Britain after attending the
International Festival for
Astronomy in Tenerife. The
'Independence of the Seas
departed from Pier Santa Catalina
en route to his next stop in
Lisbon at 17.00.
Considered one of the most
brilliant theoretical physicists
since Albert Einstein, his work on
the origins and structure of the
universe, the Big Bang and black
holes, has revolutionized the field
of cosmology. In addition, his
popular books 'A Brief History of
Time' (1988), 'The Universe in a
Nutshell' (2001) and 'The Grand
Design' (2010), have been
translated into dozens of
languages and have contributed
fundamental way to popularize
science of the universe and make
it more accessible.
Hawking was diagnosed with
ALS, a neurodegenerative
disease, at age 21, and despite
being in a wheelchair and rely on
an automated voice
communication, has continued to
combine his research in
theoretical physics, with trips to
attend public lectures,
conferences and seminars.