Monday, September 21, 2020

A tribute to Joaquín Perales Pérez

 Joaquín Perales Pérez was probably best known as the the "Perales" in the Perales y Ferrer company who pack lemons to export to France, Belgium, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, Norway, Czech Republic, Japan, Canada and USA. and provide employment for many in and around Bigastro. 

This is an extract from an article that Pascual Segura, Official Chronister of Bigastro has written on his blog, "Recuerdos de Bigastro". 

Joaquín Perales Pérez was a great family man and a model businessman, but above all a man proud of his people and his beloved band. And if Bigastro was his centre of activity and business project, the Sociedad Unión Musical de Bigastro was one of his great joys.

Pascual Segura clearly remembers the last time he listened to Joaquín Perales. It was at a concert of the band promoted by him at the Francisco Grau Municipal Auditorium. At the end of the last work and with the last applause of the night, when the audience left their seats and the curtain closed until the next musical evening, Joaquín Perales took the stage and applauded the musicians. He did it alone and with a big smile on his face. After the prolonged applause, he said: "You have done very well and you are the pride of all the people. Congratulations. I congratulate you and I encourage you to continue working as you have done until now, because the band sounds fantastic." He shook hands with all the musicians close to the place where he was and left accompanied by the grateful applause of the musicians who saw in the gesture of Joaquín Perales a new show of gratitude and humility from this Honorary Member, as he was named by the board of directors of the Sociedad Unión Musical de Bigastro when Mr. Emilio Sáez Pérez was president.

Born on March 7, 1940, Joaquín Perales Pérez, father of five children, always felt a special affection for the customs and traditions of his native Bigastro. A man from Bigastro linked from his youth to the business sector He knew the importance of teamwork, and what better example of teamwork than that of a musical group?

While successfully developing his business project, he became a fervent admirer of the band, making the decision to be a member of it as soon as the way to enter the band was formalised. His registration in the membership book occupies one of its first pages with membership number 52. Incorporation that did not go unnoticed by the board of directors of the Sociedad Unión Musical de Bigastro which named him a partner of honor. An honorary distinction that shortly after was assigned to great successful professionals of our band, such as Joaquín Grau, José Vicente Díaz, Manuel Moya, Manuel Gutiérrez, etc.

Excited and happy to be able to contribute to the development of our band, and despite having a professional schedule full of responsibilities that reduced his leisure time, Joaquín Perales shared great moments with his band. Like when he postponed his professional commitments to travel to Valencia and support his band at the Palau de la Música, or when he accepted with enthusiasm the tribute that the band gave him on March 5, 2011 at the VI Vega Baja Music Gala - Baix Vinalopó held in the neighboring town of Redován, with Emilio Sáez Pérez being president, who accompanied him and gave an award for actively supporting the Bigastrense musical society.

Distinctions that were happening over time and that tried to return the affection of the first honorary member to his band, as when in 2012 at the concert offered in honor of the members, the board of directors wanted to thank his unconditional support by dedicating a tribute to him in the one that participated his great friend and honorary director, Francisco Grau Vegara, who composed a pasodoble for him.

Acknowledgments in which Joaquín Perales Pérez was moved and grateful for being a participant, through the promotion of his band's projects, its growth, sharing his enthusiasm and affection for the band with his children and grandchildren -now students from the music school-, for whom today Joaquín Perales is an example of aptitude, effort and sacrifice, of overcoming adversity, and of course, of affection for his people and his always esteemed band.

There are friendships that last forever through the years, the difficulties and the onslaught of life. The Bigastro-Joaquín Perales relationship will last a long time, despite the fact that he can no longer reciprocate with his encouragement and affection for his people; only from above, he will watch over his family, his people and his band with his esteem, like a shining star in the sky of Bigastro. Rest in peace.

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