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Euskal Idazleen Elkartea

Imanol Elias Odriozola

Azpeitia (Gipuzkoa), (1935-2013)

He first attended school in Azpeitia and afterwards by means of a scholarship qualified as a Master Craftsman at the School run by Salesians in Deusto (Bilbao).

When the Technical College of Azpeitia started up in 1956, and after he had passed the required competitive exams, he was a substitute teacher of vocational training in 1962 while he studied to gain his qualifications. During that time he was the Treasurer and Deputy Head of the School on occasions.

In 1963 he went to work at the Aforasa factory in Azpeitia as a Maintenance Prevention Assistant; three years later he complied with the wishes of the company management and qualified to run the Safety and Hygiene department. He worked in this new position until 1978.

That year, however, he sat for some competitive exams and secured a job with the Provincial Savings Bank of Gipuzkoa (Gipuzkoako Aurrezki Kutxa Probintziala). He was put in charge of the Antxieta Cultural Centre in Azpeitia and continued working there until October 1992. He later worked in the Department for Cultural Initiatives of the Gipuzkoa Donostia Kutxa Savings Bank before joining the ranks of the early retired. But it has to be pointed out that he did not entirely give up the cultural activities he had been engaged in previously at the Antxieta Centre and until 2005 he continued to promote the activities that were organised in his town, until the Kutxa savings bank closed its own Cultural Centre.

He has always been involved in cultural activities and besides delivering lectures he has had many articles published in Basque and Spanish in the newspapers of Gipuzkoa: El Diario Vasco, La Voz, Unidad, Deia, and as the Urola area correspondent for the Loiola Herri Irratia radio station for many years from the moment it was founded. He is always happy to recall that the first words in Basque broadcast by the radio station were his.

For a number of years he also had a small section in the Zeruko Argia magazine. It was published under the title of "Mundu Biribila" and he used the name "Gaiztoa" as his nom de plume. He has also had many articles published in the local Olatz monthly magazine in Azpeitia. Likewise, he had a number of articles published at one time by the Gipuzkoako Kutxa Probintziala Savings Bank in its magazines Guipuzcoa and Noticias CAP and in the booklets of the programme of events of the local fiestas of Azpeitia.

At one time he also presented films during the Basque Cinema short film sessions held in Zestoa and Lekeitio.

Between September 15 1989 and January 1993 he had a piece published every week in the El Diario Vasco newspaper in its section entitled Hitz apurrak and which dealt with all kinds of subjects. At the same time, since 1986, he has been working for the Arrate radio station as its correspondent for the Urola valley and is responsible for a short programme every Wednesday.

Mention should also be made of the fact that while he was studying at the school run by Salesians in Deusto, he was often involved in the drama productions put on there as an actor. He was a promoter and special participant after he had completed his studies. From 1965 onwards and until a few years ago he participated in practically all the drama groups that had been organised in the town of Azpeitia, sometimes as the scriptwriter or as an actor and at other times as the director. He recalls that he also participated in the play Jaunaren bideetan put to music by Agustin Zubikarai and Joxe Mari Altuna, in which about a hundred people took part as actors and singers.

Besides being one of the founders of the Antxieta Drama Group of Azpeitia, through him and in his capacity as director, the group has put on plays which became well-known, not only in the town itself but also outside.

On February 9, 1995 in a ceremony organised at the Antxieta Cultural Centre in Azpeitia he was accepted as a member of the Euskalerriaren Adiskideen Elkartea (Royal Basque Society of Friends of the Basque Country) and his inaugural lecture was on the subject of the people of Azkoitia and Azpeitia at the time of the Count of Peñaflorida, who was one of the people who founded the Society back in 1765.

Today he is no longer involved in the world of theatre but continues to write and produces not only plays, but also works of history, which is another of his lifelong interests.

He has also contributed articles to Uztarria, the local magazine of Azpeitia, from the moment it began to be published.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

- Mendizale zaharra | Azkoitiko Udala
- Arrosalore zuria | Azkoitiko Udala
1980 Opera Omnia. Antxieta, sarrera | (beste egileekin) Kutxa
1982 Sendagai traketsa | Azpeitiko Udala
1983 Gipuzkoako baserria kondairan zear | Gipuzkoako Kutxa Probintziala

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2011 Euskal Idazleen Elkartea
Zemoria kalea 25 · 20013 Donostia (Gipuzkoa)
Tel.: 943 27 69 99 - Fax.: 943 27 72 88
eie@idazleak.eus

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