Honorary Citizen, Manizales, Colombia

When I was about to leave Manizales, Colombia, and head back to the U.S., having resigned my post as Director of the Centro Colombo Americano, the U.S. cultural center in that city, the citizens of Manizales planned some fare-well parties for me.  They were not going to let me leave without a series of ‘despedidas’ or good-by parties.  One such was attended by hundreds of persons.  The main guest was the governor of the state of Caldas plus many persons from the oligarchy and heads of social programs in the city.  At that function a beautifully illustrated pergamino (parchment) was available for attendees to sign. It read: La Sociedad de Manizales lamenta positivamente la ausencia del distinguido callabero George Drake, aprecia su vida y su obra como ejemplo para la comunidad y tiene orgullo de declarlo “Hijo Adoptivo de la Ciudad.” [3.3.2]

In another ceremony the Mayor of Manizales, Dr. Fernando Londono Londono (former Colombian Ambassador to France, Ambassador to the United Nations, former head of the Conservative Party of Colombia, one of the wealthiest coffee growers in the nation) conferred on me, my wife and son David the title of “Honorary Citizen of Manizales.”  In addition he presented me with the “Keys of the City in Gold.”  The actual decree reads as follows:

Decree 039
(February 20th, 1964)

By which public gratitude to a widely known friend and worker on behalf of the city is expressed, by the Mayor of Manizales, in the exercise of his legal authority, and

W H E R E A S:

Dr. George Drake, a citizen of the United States, has served for two years in the capacity of Director of the Centro Colombo-Americano of Manizales where he has developed a program of incalculable proportions both cultural and civic.

Dr. Drake has lived the life of the city intensively, working with the high and middle classes in favor of all and especially of the poorest sectors, seeking to improve the living conditions of the people and to upgrade their moral standards.

Dr. Drake made of his life in Manizales an active professorship of democratic conduct by means of the practical and constant exercise of those virtues that characterize the truly free man and society, praising the values of the human society, the laws of civic honor and the commands of social solidarity.

Dr. Drake made it evident how it is possible to live and perform in the society of our times, without tarnishing himself with the sordidness and fear that incubate in the oligarchical and demological practices, by only the purity of the purposes the healthy balance that rises from a pure heart and a pure mind.

D E C R E E S :

First Article: To bestow upon Dr. GEORGE DRAKE and his wife Dona MARY ANN, and their son DAVID, the title of CITIZENS of MANIZALES.

Second Article: To expressly recognize that Dr Drake knew, loved and served the interests of the people of Manizales with a devotion that could hardly be challenged by any other son of the city.

Third Article: To award him in demonstration of our gratitude the “Keys of the City in Gold”, as a maximum distinction assigned to a son of Manizales.

Fourth Article: The Keys of the City will be delivered to Dr. Drake during a special ceremony.

Fifth Article: The expenses incurred by this Decree are chargeable to Chapter IV-102 of the current Income and Expenses budget.

Sixth Article: This Decree is in effect from the time of its date.

P U B L I S H   A N D   E X E C U T E

Granted in Manizales, on the twentieth (20th) of February of the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Four (1964).

Fernando Londono Londono