By Freda Rumford from the September 2010 Edition
Mexico’s 200 year celebration of Independence Day is on September 16th 2010. This day heralds the anniversary of the start of the war for Mexico’s final Independence from Spain.
For more than two centuries, Mexico had been dominated & oppressed by Spain and on September 16th 1810 Father Hidalgo (above), a highly respected and vocal priest from the inner city of Dolores, after summoning the parishioners to Mass by ringing the church bells, urged the local Indian community to arrest the Gapuchine (Spaniards born in Spain) living in the city. This action sparked a flame which eventually led to a bloody revolution throughout Mexico.
There had been unrest for years but all previous protests had been quelled easily by the Spanish conquerors. The arrival of Joseph Bonaparte as a replacement for King Ferdinand was the crux to set off a movement towards revolution on a grand scale. Criollos (Creoles), or Mexican-born Spaniards had been plotting to overthrow the Gapuchines who were of a higher social standing for some considerable time, now was the moment.
The Criollos plots had been reported to the Gachupines and Father Hidalgo ordered arrested a mere three days earlier. The Governor of Queretaro at the time was Ignacio Allende who alerted Hidalgo in Dolores of his potential arrest, thus the decision to call for the final step towards total Independence was declared.
Almost sixty years old at the time, Hidalgo, once Dean of the College of San Nicolas, had taught local Indians how husband the land, grow crops to feed their families and make earthenware pottery. This was totally against the regular regimen of the Spanish clergy of the time. In retaliation for his doing so, the Spaniards cut down the newly planted trees and burned crops.
Upon hearing that he had been targeted for arrest, Hidalgo, now in the company of Allende, urged the Indians into a force, which armed principally by intense hatred and primitive weapons, charged the local garrison and marched on towards Mexico City. Hidalgo did not know or understand the intense hatred towards the Spanish and was totally unaware of the dreadful machine he had started on the road to freedom. When he returned to his hometown of Delores, he was captured and executed just a year later.
Now known and revered as the “Father of the Revolution”, many years of war, unrest and cruel government by foreign despots were vanquished by his bidding. His well known war cry, known as “El Grito de Dolores” of “Mexicanos, viva Mexico” is traditionally called at midnight on September 15th by every successive President of Mexico.
Most knew her as Freda Rumford. Freda Anne Vickery was a founder, editor, and contributor of the Manzanillo Sun magazine. She was one of the founders and, took over being President of the Manzamigos, when her husband Nigel, died. When she first came to Manzanillo, she got a job writing for the Guadalajara Reporter and used that as a foundation for her later humanities work. Freda was born in the East side of London in 1934 but grew up in Norwich. Freda’s early life was one of overcoming things. As an example, she was born with a lisp but one of her first jobs was being a telephone operator after some extensive elocution lessons. She met and married a young military man and, like so many others, they and their children moved to Canada for his employment opportunities and she ended up working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in cosmetic sales in Calgary. They moved to BC and then to Manzanillo, for her health, which flourished in the tropical weather. After Nigel died, she later married Kirby Vickery. She later became ill and finally lost the battle with cancer on the 27th of February 2016.