jueves, 2 de enero de 2020

Granting of the Francis Joseph Order Cross to Carlos Bories, governor of Magallanes (1898-1904)

 The granting of the Cross of the Order of Franz Josef to Carlos Bories, governor of such a remote corner as Magellan, is a historical rarity that moves us because of its excellence, and because it came from the hand of the Kaiser of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Francis Joseph I. Carlos Bories was an extraordinary governor, who at the beginning of the century found himself in an underdeveloped territory and transformed it into a dynamic and wealthy region. With this purpose he developed new regulations, ordered public viability works, making the roads passable, laid new telephone and electricity lines, modernized the towns with new pipe networks, promoted hygiene, vaccinations, the creation of hospitals, health and sewerage.

   It was also a great promoter of trade, and of the prosperity of rural property, livestock and other industries. Mr. Boríes provided Punta Arenas with more police, created the Civil Registry, the Post Office, was concerned with education, creating new educational centers and libraries as well as illuminating the Strait with numerous lighthouses. He is also remembered for being a great promoter of immigration, and for being a pioneer in diplomatic relations with Austria-Hungary, the reason for this concession.

      Although this concession on the part of the emperor was known to our family, new investigations that I have undertaken in the Austrian State Archive have made it possible to have a much more elaborate knowledge of these interesting events. This is a short work, about 48 pages, which recovers the words of the Kaiser and includes a foreword by Guillermo Piedrabuena, great-grandson of the aforementioned.

     A brief episode in universal history, but very interesting for Chile because of the relevance of the event. At that time, my great-great-grandfather protected a colony of some 1500 people in Magallanes and this fact was very well appreciated by the government of Vienna and by the Kaiser, who did not hesitate to make him a member of his beloved Order of Franz-Josef.

Daniel Piedrabuena Ruiz-Tagle

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