Thursday, March 11, 2010

Antoñón Romero - Guardian of Buenos Aires' Fishing Fleet

Antonio Romero Garcia, 'Antoñón', was born at the end of the 19th century and lived in the Customs House (formerly the "Arguardientes and Liquor Factory") in the port and grew up to become the 'guardian' of Buenos Aires' fishing fleet. 
Antoñón was an honest man, much loved by the crews of Buenos Aires' fishing boats. He died at the age of 61 years, about the same time that the fishing fleet in Buenos Aires started to diminish. But Antoñón and his beret are still remembered by the people of El Pue.
'Antoñón' (left) and skipper Vicente Gomez Meseguer with his 'excellent seadog' in the middle (in an era where dogs were still allowed to roam the fishing facilities and fish markets...).

Antoñón's family was related to the sea. His father, Manuel Romero and his brother Manolin Castilian, just 9 years old, drowned in 1947, when sailing on a boat in search to make money for the family. Antoñón, who was18 years old, couldn't do anything to save them, his own life saved as by a miracle, arriving exhausted at the edge of the riverbank. Antoñón rarely mentioned this event, but it marked him for life - staying in port, working as a link in the chain of getting the fish to the people, but not going out to fish himself anymore.
Fisherman Manuel Núñez, 'the Picha' and 'Antoñón'. Late 40's, near the building where the Fisherman's Association was located.

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