« Record de Calella » ( memories from Calella) is the title of an emblematic sardana by the composer Viçen BOU i GELI. However, for the people of Joch, the « record de Calella » has a specific meaning which materializes in many places of the village. Indeed, while walking around , one can see many pieces of pottery which have been sealed , next to a fountain or a special place or in order to recall a special event…
They all bear the same signature « grup pa, vi i molto, Calella ». Why ? What does it mean?Where do these pieces of pottery come from ?
They bear witness of a time which left its mark on the recent history of the village ( before and after the year 2000), that is to say the story of a twinning , which lasted from 1993 to 2009, between the festival committee of Joch and an association of the city of Calella ( in South Catalunya). That is why this page is warmly dedicated to all the participants from both parts of Catalunya who made those exchanges possible.
The instigators of that twinning were Mr Henri Soler, who was Ille sur Têt’s mayor and departmental councillor, and Mr Georges Sabaté, who was Joch’s mayor at that time. Then , Jean Pierre Villelongue was glad to take up the torch as soon as he became mayor of Joch. Its main kingpins were Aline and her husband ( the greatly missed Daniel Ballot) helped by Edith and Michel Pierre- Emile, together with volunteers from the festival committee (it is impossible to name them all).
Here are Aline’s memories of that real epic !
That twinning started because Mr Sabaté and his councillors were looking for craftsmen able to make a new and beautiful statue of Saint Joseph to be put to the left of the main altar in the village church. The problem was that the original one had disappeared in the nineteen- twenties and had been replaced by an eyesore made of plaster. Fortunately, Mr Henri Soler, who was Ille sur Têt’s mayor, mentioned there were crafstmen specialised in art restoration near Calella, an important seaside resort of South Catalunya twinned with Ille sur Têt.
Contacts were made and an agreement was concluded. The association, « pa, vi i molto » ( bread, wine and mutton…quite a philosophy!!!) acted on its president’s instigation ( El Senyor Jaume Pruna) not only to volunteer to supervise the replacement of the statue of Saint Joseph but also to nurture friendship between Joch and Calella.
The statue was delivered in Autumn 1993. It gave the inhabitants of Joch and Calella the opportunity to meet for the first time.
Not for the last !!! From that day on, people from Joch and Calella would meet twice a year, in spring and in autumn, once in Calella and once in Joch.
It took no time to fill up a 60 seat coach ( belonging to the Capeille company based in Vinça) always driven by Daniel who was both the driver and the animator.
As soon as the travellers arrived in Calella from Joch, they were invited to the beach for an « esmorzar » ( a breakfast) often made of grilled sardins, accompanied by « pa amb tomaquet » ( slices of bread with garlic and tomatoes, topped with ham or anchovies )
That was just to begin with ! Then the people of Joch would visit the town of Calella and its surroundings. After that, there was a meal to celebrate friendship ( either paella or zarzuela) During that meal, the people of Calella were given gifts from their friends of Joch ( many local products, works of art from San Vicens for example). Most of the time, the day would end with a convivial gathering ( with local bands and even pom pom girls!!!)
In return, every year, on a Sunday, a coach from Calella was eagerly expected in Joch ! The festival committee made it a point of honour to be up to the welcome they had been given by their friends in Calella. The highlight of the day was the meal, uniting not only people from Calella, but also as many people from Joch ! A total of at least 120 people, sometimes eating « blanquette » ( veal in a white sauce with mushrooms), and at most times « boles de picolat » ( Catalan meat balls) made with 45 kilos of meat !!!
The people of Calella loved them and called them « mandonguilles ». The feast ended with the traditional tray of cheeses, much appreciated too, followed, of course, by pastries made by Daniel, who was a qualified and talented pastrycook.
The piece of pottery at the « pila »
The « pila »is the drinking trough made of marble from Villefranche in 1874, and located in Carrer major ( main street). It was restored in the mid- nineties and is ornated with a piece of pottery representing Saint Martin ( the patron saint of Joch).
L’oratori d’en Pallofet
It is the oratory which is at the crossroads of the road leading to Finestret and the one leading to Joch. Its four recesses were empty, because its four original saints ( the patron saints of the four neighbouring villages : Joch, Finestret, Rigarda and Sahorla) had been stolen in spite of the railings which were supposed to protect them. The last one to be taken away had been Saint Magdalena ( the patron saint of Sahorla), probably because it was less conspicuous than the other three…
Now the four recesses have recovered the pieces of pottery of the saints representing the four villages of the Barony : Saint Martin for Joch, Saint Colomba for Finestret, Saint Magdalena for Sahorla, Saint Eulalia for Rigarda.
These numerous pieces of pottery revive the Catalan friendship between Joch and Calella in many places of the village.
The twinning between Joch and Calella was one of the hightlights celebrated in the village life for seventeen years, together with Bastille day and Saint Martin’s day.