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50th anniversary of Madrid's Tajmar school and of Jara Boys' Club

Tajamar School began in 1958 in the Vallecas district of Madrid, by express wish of St. Josemaría. In those years the district was not part of the educational network and did not have a single high school. According to official data, 12,800 children lacked access to any schooling. The surroundings were rubbish-filled lots and shacks. Even today, the district where Tajamar is located has the lowest per capita income in Madrid.

The current location of Tajamar dates from 1962. The previous sites were, successively, some premises in Colonia Erillas (1958); a garage on Eduardo Requenas street (1958-59); and a dairy in the Doña Carlota district.

From the beginning, Tajamar sought to impart to its students a sense of responsibility in their professional work and a Christian view of life. One of its main characteristics is an atmosphere of freedom. The alumni now number more than 20,000; at present about two thousand boys are enrolled. The facilities include a sports school and two advanced technical institutes dedicated to graphic arts and to computer science and logistics.

Tajamar is helped by a foundation that seeks the financing needed to improve its buildings and equipment and to undertake new projects. In the last three years, new construction has included a primary school, a technology building and a sports complex.

Its fiftieth anniversary has been commemorated by the publishing of a book and a DVD, a photographic exposition, various alumni gatherings, and a cross country race.

During April the Jara Boys Club in Madrid celebrated its 50th anniversary. For the occasion a book was published with text and photos of its half-century history. The book was presented on April 3 in a ceremony at the Rafael del Pino Foundation with more than a hundred people attending. It combines a brief history of the Club with recollections of alumni. The commemorative book also includes articles about the educational aims of the Club, and its cultural, sporting and social service activities.

On April 19 a Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated in the Church of the Holy Spirit and a festive gathering was held with the families of the Club’s present and past members. At the initiative of a group of the parents, a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Torreciudad was also organized for the weekend of April 25 to 27. Throughout the year, special celebrations were held for alumni from the various years. In addition, an exhibit of the Club’s fifty-year history was set up in one of its rooms.

Romana, No. 46, January-June 2008, p. 133-134.