On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of his death, last Saturday, September 19, the village of Sarria (Lugo) was the scene of the tribute paid to Víctor López Villarabid by the City Council of the town of Sarria, whose mayoress presided over 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 very 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 founding of associations and in the promotion of initiatives that served as a boost to the Jacobean route, as well as to the towns where he carried out his journalistic work. The event was held in the auditorium of the Casa de la Cultura of Sarria and was chaired by the mayoress of the town, Pilar López Yáñez (also attended by the former mayor José Antonio García) and by José Mª García Palmeiro, president of Apecsa, and representatives of various entities such as the Xacobeo and other groups related to the routes that lead 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. Between 1960 and 1964 he was in charge of radio Popular in Sarria and from 1964 until his retirement at the end of 2005 he was the magnificent journalist and reporter ‘all terrain’ (chronicle and photography) of El Progreso’, where he was the correspondent of Sarria and the mountain of Lugo, where he met his fellow Sarriano Elías Valiña when he was parish priest of O Cebreiro and with whom he learned to recognize and value all that is Jacobean. 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 the towns of Sarria and of 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 organization 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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