dilluns, 30 de juliol de 2007

Tino Parramon from Josa de Cadí, frontier agent during the Spanish Civil War and crossing agent during the Second World War

By Clara Arbués

Laurentino Parramon Elias was born in Magre’s house in Josa de Cadí (Alt Urgell, Catalonia) in 1911. His father was Ermenegild Parramon Riera from Vansa’s house (Josa de Cadí) and his mother was Pepa Elias Mitjana from Músic’s house in Gósol (Alt Urgell, Catalonia). He studied a few years in the Seminary in la Seu d’Urgell (Alt Urgell, Catalonia).
During the 1930’s he was an active militant of Estat Català party. During these years he related to the most important politicians in the country. He took part in the organization of an Estat Català group in Sant Llorenç de Morunys (Solsonès, Catalonia).
On October 1936 he enlisted as a frontier agent of the Generalitat (Catalan Government).After he was the mayor of Josa de Cadí. When Catalonia fell he lived between Andorra and Ariège for a period.

Crossing agent during the Second World War
During the Second World War the Palanques Hotel in la Massana (Andorra) was a safe house for several evasion networks. The Molnés brothers, the hotel owners, moved the evaders with their car to Bordes de Peguera (Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra). This was the places where Tino Parramon started his adventure: his mission was to guide the people to Barcelona safe and sound. They had to do a long trip over 7 or 8 days, always by foot during the night and stopping during the day to rest. From Bordes, Tino went with the evaders to Bescaran (Alt Urgell, Catalonia), they crossed the Segre river through Pont d’Arsèguel, they went to Arsèguel and crossed the Cadí Mountains through the Tres Canaletes and the Canal Baridana. They arrived at Josa de Cadí coming from el Baixer, and they continued to l’Espà (Berguedà, Catalonia) to go to la Corriu (Solsonès, Catalonia). After that they went to Cor-de-Roure country house (Berguedà, Catalonia); it was a small hotel. There, they rested during the day. When it got dark, they marched again and arrived to Sallent (Bages, Catalonia). They continued until near Mura, they crossed the Sant Llorenç del Munt Mountains and arrived to Sabadell where they took the Catalan Railway to Barcelona. When they were in the train, Tino pretended that he didn’t know the escapers. All the group members have to do what Tino did but without say anything. When they arrived to Barcelona, they went by foot to the British Consulate, in Urquinaona square, where Miss Collie received the travellers.

After the war. Between Josa and Santa Coloma de Gramenet
After the war Tino had a migrating sheep flock. At the end of the autumn season he went to Santa Coloma de Gramenet with his flock, doing a similar way that he followed when he was a passeur. In Santa Coloma he was arrested by the Spanish police because of his activities during the Civil War and the post-war. He knew a local Falange chief and thanks to that he could avoid prison arguing “what could a poor shepherd do?”. In Santa Coloma he met his wife Carme; she was an emigrant from Sariñena (Huesca, Aragón).
During the sixties and the seventies Josa suffered a great depopulation. When Tino migrated in winter with his flock, his village remained uninhabited. During this period he looked after the houses of the village but he could not avoid some robberies. When the democracy arrived Tino was the Josa mayor for many years. He died on 2004, during the autumn.