Fire-fighters and Police Tribute dinner 2022

Fire-fighters and Police Tribute dinner 2022. Awards were presented in recognition of all the first responders. Image- Safe Harbour

How many times do you see or meet someone and you know you know their face but just can’t quite place them?

This happened to me the other evening at the Fire-fighters and Police Tribute dinner hosted by Penny & Marc Quinlan at their restaurant The Harbour, located in the Puerto Deportivo, Marbella.

This is the second event Penny and Marc have organised in representation of our collective community to express our gratitude to these “first responders”. I was honoured to bear testimony to how very appreciated this gesture was.

As soon as I arrived Lisa Burgess of Costa del Sol Chatter, who helped put this commemorative evening together, took my hand and led me through the mingling guests to introduce me to “Enrique”. I didn’t think I’d met him before although his face was so very familiar. It turned out that he is none other than the Chief of the National Police Force.

In fact the whole room was full of individuals of similar calibre to Enrique Baron Castaño, with Francisco Soriano, Fire Chief of Malaga and Estepona, Javier Martín, Head of the Marbella Local Police, David Banasco, Chief of Firefighters and Civil Protection of Benalmadena also present, each in representation of our emergency response workers.

Also present were over 100 fire and police personnel from all along the Costa del Sol, all treated to the same sumptuous 3 course meal, with flowing drinks and entertainment, all as guests of The Harbour.

I managed to chat with Marc for a moment before the dinner got fully underway and I was surprised by his genuine humility in saying that the money involved to put this evening together paled in comparison to the tenacity and sacrifice of these truly unsung heroes. This may indeed be true however we all know that times have been exceedingly tough for everyone, particularly restaurants, so this makes it more commendable and appreciated all round.

Penny and Marc addressed the crowd with a heart-warming speech which highlighted the thousands of fire brigades and emergency services that have been deployed throughout the Mediterranean due to the increase in the devastating fires. Spain has not been an exception with the provinces of Galicia, Castilla and León and Extremadura being seriously affected. Here in the province of Malaga more than three thousand people had to flee from their houses due to the blazes that occurred in Mijas and only the extraordinary courage and dedication of all of the forces that united in tackling these outbreaks prevented major tragedies.

Many people have asked me how they can show their gratitude to these collectives and I haven’t really known how to reply, as you can’t give money as such. Penny and Marc came up with a great way to pay tribute and show our genuine appreciation, which made it quite lovely for Marc to then be presented with a Fireman’s helmet in reciprocal recognition.

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Written by

Nicole King

One of Marbella's most glamorous residents, Nicole King offers a taste of the best of what's going on in the Costa del Sol.