About Pamela Vivian
I am honoured and excited to use my 15 years experience in video production to tell the story of the BC volunteers of the International Brigades.
I have produced a range of community television programming including documentaries and news magazine shows, but nothing as personal as this story.
In my journey to find out more about why my great uncle went to Spain, I have learned a great deal and gained so much respect of all the volunteers that fought for the Spanish Republic.
Their story is one of incredible courage and of taking a stand when it mattered the most.
It took 81 years to find the final resting place of Peter Johnson. On May 31 (the anniversary of this death), I was honoured to visit the resting place of this brave and honorable man. In these unmarked graves is the remains of International Brigaders from around the world.
I can't know for any certainly that I was in the exact spot of his grave but if not, I was feet away. I spent an emotional week in Spain - full of tributes to the International Brigades but on Thursday, as the first family member to visit this unmarked grave- well I just lost it.
“You are history. You are legend. You are the heroic examples of democracy, solidarity and universality. We shall not forget you, and when the olive tree of peace puts forth its leaves again, come back, and all of you will find the love and gratitude of the whole Spanish people who, now and in the future, will cry out with all their hearts, long live the heroes of the International Brigades”
~Dolores Iburri, La Pasionaria, to the assembled Brigadistas in Barcelona in 1938 as the International Brigade was disbanded
Last month, I went to Caspe, Spain for the opportunity to speak with Virgilio Fernández, a 99 year old volunteer of the International Brigades. Virgilio had just been released from the hospital but that didn't stop him from making his way to Caspe to be honoured by the Mayor and the State Governor. it was a thrill and an honour to speak with such a great man.