– Who was Mosén Jaume Tobella?
A few days ago the CP Parlem Calafell achieved its first European hockey title in Portugal by defeating Follonica.
The team’s achievement was a sporting and social celebration in a sport deeply rooted in the town. It has also been a memory for that priest who with hockey sought reconciliation between neighbors after the Civil War.
Why is hockey the emblem sport of Calafell? Everything is due to Mosén Jaume Tobella who in 1051 trained a group of young people in this sport and with a goal beyond physical activity.
Historian Joan Santacana explains that with the death of Monsignor Pau Giralt, in January 1951, Jaume Tobella arrived in Calafell as bursarwho two years later was appointed rector of the town.
Tobella had studied at the seminary in Barcelona (1923-1935) and when he finished his training he was vicar in Vilarodona and in Sant Salvador de El Vendrell, where he was caught by the military uprising.
The newly released vicar had to hide to avoid being assassinated. From his hiding place he observed the destruction of elements of the templethe looting of parishioners’ homes or a mock execution of the brothers of Sant Joan de Deu.
Tobella was able to escape but the family that sheltered her was executed. The priestcamouflaged as a militiaman, took a train in Calafell to try to reach France. There he finished writing the diary that he had started and in which he reflected what he lived and saw in the war.
fifteen years later Tobella returned to Calafell. The religious service on the beach was non-existent, the rectory was in danger of ruin and the neighbors were divided by the war, pending debts and risks of revenge.
Tobella met neighbors who participated in the persecution of the religious and destroyed the church and witnessed the revenge of the winners by executing supporters of the Republic.
But Mosén Jaume Tobella chose to try what would seem complicated. That the practice of a sport allowed the reunion between neighbors. That victims and executioners could coexist.
Hockey would be a therapy, a catharsis, a chance to meet again. It would have been easier to opt for football, which was already the official sport of the country, but Tobella wanted it to be hockey.
This practice had to build a cement track, buy skates, kits, goals…. It should require the participation of many neighbors. The track was finally premiered and blessed in 1953, three days before the Festa Major.
The initiative of the mosén involved all the neighbors who had great respect for the parish priest that even at the time of the smuggling that allowed many families to subsist, he said that “whoever robs a thief has a hundred years of forgiveness.”
Many neighbors contributed money and work and little by little that sport helped to bring about a reconciliation.
When Tobella was transferred, he left a letter to the person who relieved him: «In the rectory of Calafell, which is very large and needs to be reformed, which until 1956 they go up to 49,000 pesetas that I pay myself».
He also pointed out that for the Parish Center, the hockey rink, the place for the cinema, sayings, toilets, etc… and added the bills rise to the amount of 72,321 pesetas. As of December 31 59,873 pesetas are still owed, which I liquidate and give from my assets. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam. And so, everything in Calafell is liquidated.
It was December 1956. That is why the victory of a few days ago is more than the story of CP Calafell.