On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of his death, last Saturday, September 19, the town of Sarria (Lugo) was the scene of the tribute paid to Victor Lopez Villarabid by the City Council of the town of Sarria, whose mayor chaired the event, and by the Association of Journalists and Scholars of the Camino de Santiago (Apecsa), organizer of the event, In which the participants made clear the outstanding work of Villarabid (so, only with the second surname, was how he was known) in the promotion of the French Way and the gratitude that his successors in Apecsa feel for his pioneering work, both in the foundation of associations and in the promotion of initiatives that served as a boost to the Jacobean route, as well as to the populations where he carried out his journalistic work. The event was held in the auditorium of the House of Culture of Sarria and was chaired by the mayoress of the town, Pilar López Yáñez (also attended by the former mayor José Antonio García) and José Mª García Palmeiro, president of Apecsa, and representatives of various entities such as the Xacobeo and other groups related to the roads leading to Compostela. The event lasted an hour and a half and included a very moving musical part, prepared by the son of the honoree and orchestra conductor Canco López.
Víctor López Villarabid was born on 18 October 1936 in the parish of San Miguel de Vilapedre in Sarrià and died at the age of 72 in hospital in Lugo on 19 September 2009. From 1960 to 1964, he was responsible for the radio station ‘Radio Popular’ in Sarria and from 1964 until his retirement at the end of 2005, he was the journalist and reporter of ‘El Progreso’, where he was the correspondent of Sarria and the mountain of Lugo, where he met his fellow Sarriano Elías Valiña, who was the parish priest of El Cebreiro and with whom he learnt to recognize and value everything related to Santiago de Compostela. During his lifetime he became the Spanish journalist with the most articles and photographs published on the subject of St. James. He was the official chronicler of Sarria and Portomarín. In Sarria, where he used to live, he re-founded the printing house and bookshop ‘Galicia’, which his wife Rocío Rodríguez inherited from his father. He was a founding member of Apecsa in 1992, a non-profit organisation created to promote the work of St. James in the field of journalism and research. After his retirement in 2006 and until his death in 2009, he collaborated in the magazine ‘Peregrino’, where he created the interview section ‘Todos a cien’. As a writer, he wrote eight books. When he died, he was preparing two books about the villages of Sarria and Portomarín and a new work about the Way to Santiago.
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