A sea of red and white yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, when Gibraltarians voted in an overwhelming majority to stay British. September 10 1967 was the day when many of today’s grandparents took to the polling booth to each contribute to the history of the Rock, 50 years later Gibraltar has recognised that event with National Day.
Thousands wore red, white and some blue to celebrate the event dancing through Casemates Square at mid-day.
Main Street was also bustling with many people sharing their civic pride from the early hours of the morning.
The Chronicle spoke to some of those celebrating National Day on this historic anniversary.
Carmen Bruzon, Irma Casciaro and Margaret Bautista all planned on going out to lunch with their families.
“National Day should be kept on forever and ever,” said Mrs Casciaro.
“We see little babies dress in red and white and that should never end. Let’s hope that the future is much brighter and better for Gibraltar. Gibraltar is very valuable, one of the most valuable places in the world, the kay to the Mediterranean, but we are not English we are Gibraltarian.”
Joe and Senci Brugada were celebrating National Day by watching the rally and wanted to use the say to lobby the needs for those who are deaf.
“The anniversary is tremendously important, it reflects and celebrates the decision that we all took when we were young for the future of Gibraltarian generations and our children,” Mr Brugada said.
“The biggest significance is that we secured the future generations right to self-determination that day.”
Louis Diaz clutched onto his Gibraltar flag as he walked down mainstreet.
“I am celebrating National Day like every year of my life in Casemates,” Mr Diaz told the Chronicle.
“Even if it wasn’t the 50th anniversary I would still be at Casemates every year until I die.”
Neil Wright, Louis Caballero had both travelled from the UK to attend National Day and they were joined by Florentina Cornelio and Edward Cornelio.
“I travelled from Nottingham and Louis from London to be here for the week and we are having a great time with family,” said Mr Wright.
“I have travelled over for the last two National Day’s and Louis has for many more. I am a product of the referendum. I was born in 1968 because my mother travelled here from England.”
Mr Cabarello has been travelling to the Rock every year since he left Gibraltar over 20 years ago.
Madge Bishop started her day at church before joining in the celebrations. Ms Bishop wore a bright union jack hat to show her nationalistic pride.
“I will be going to the political rally which is something that I really enjoy,” Ms Bishop said.
“Standing there with my flags, I do really love it. I think the anniversary is very important.”
Vicky and Winston Danino both dressed to the nines for the event with Mr Danino sporting a red bow tie.
“It is a day full of excitement, I think it’s a wonderful day and I think it’s a very special day for all the Gibraltarians,” Mr Danino said.
Both Mr and Mrs Danino remembered the referendum fondly as the year that they both met at a music store.