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Commemoration of 'El Gran Grifon' Spanish Armada shipwreck, July 1984
"One of the most colourful groups of visitors to Fair Isle in July 1984 was the group from the Orden del Mar Oceano, the Spanish military order, who came to the island to commemorate nearly 400 years since the last ‘visit’ by a Spanish military contingent. These were survivors from El Gran Grifon, one of the Spanish Armada flagships, wrecked on the south east side of the isle at Stroms Helor on 27th September, 1588.
Headed by Senor Don Pascual Barberan, this year’s Spanish visitors - impressively dressed in full Spanish Armada regalia - also came to thank the islanders for the help and friendship shown to their forebears.
The islanders provided a magnificent lunch, which was followed by various presentations and a dance, before the visitors marched from the hall to the graveyard, where they dedicated a cross to those who did not survive the wreck."
(Text courtesy Fair Isle Bird Observatory Annual Report, 1984)
A full account of the wreck of the 'El Gran Grifon' can be found in the booklet 'STANDING INTO DANGER - SHIPWRECKS OF FAIR ISLE' by Anne Sinclair. Price £7.95 plus P&P. Available for sale on Fair Isle and by mail-order from FIMETI.
Text and photographs Copyright Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative. All rights reserved.