T wenty five years ago has saluted and acknowledged many personalities for their hard work and contributions to our community. Today we are honoured to add one more to our list of Hall of Famers, Mrs. Flora Graniel Ancona.
She was born in the fishing village of San Pedro of humble parents, Mr. Rosendo Graniell and Mrs. Marina Trejo. Flora was raised among five brothers (all fishermen) and three other girls. This sweet little girl attended the Roman Catholic School, played hopscotch on our grassy streets, helped her mom with laundry and dishes and swam in the sea every afternoon like all the growing kids in San Pedro, 25 years ago.
Elementary education was all of Flora's formal education, there being no high school in San Pedro during her youthful days. Soon she married Manuel Ancona and was soon the typical wife of a fisherman, then of a tourist guide, and mother of four. Today at the age of 47, Flora has raised two pilots, an electrician, and an office man. She has also adopted a young girl, has raised her and got her married, and is a grandmother through that adoption.
In 1980 when most airlines only had one plane each and there was one flight every morning and sometimes one in the afternoon, Flora and Manuel rented a little house that was sitting on the northern end of the airstrip. It used to be called the Katrinca, which was a house built on two huge tanks that served as floats. It used to belong to Coral Beach Ltd. and was used to carry tourists to the reef. Paisano was the owner when Florita rented it to sell soft drinks, coffee, and snacks. Soon Flora was also selling tickets for Tropic Air while Gach Guerrero sold at Holiday Hotel. When Johnny Greif was not flying the one and only plane, he was busy sailing his hobey cat and Flora was at the airstrip carrying out business, As Tropic Air grew, so did Miss Florita and she moved into the new office, sold tickets, dispatched airplanes, welcomed visitors and kept the office going. Then there were dpartments and Miss Flor soon moved on to become the head of operations where you find her receiving calls, making reservations, entering information into the computer, scheduling airplanes and pilots, and generally speaking, keeping things going as shedid in the 1980's. Miss Flor has been labeled by friends as the "Mother Theresa," due to her willingness to assist anyone with a special favour.
When Miss Flor is not busy at the Tropic office, she would be at home being a diligent housewife or caring mother. If not at home, she would be downstairs at the Tropical Take Out Restaurant which she and her husband operate. The snack place at the Katrinca developed into the Coffee Place, now Tropical Take Out.
In her spare time Miss Flor does a lot of community work. As a Lioness Auxiliary she sells barbecues to support the local Lions club. There she is also engaged in cultural events, talent shows and queen pageants. Miss Flor was among the first group of women to actually join the club and become Lion members, She visits the sick, helps the needy and is constantly being called upon for special favours. One wonders how she finds the time to be a dedicated professional and a neighbourly friend. Her biggest virtue is that she can always do it all with a smile. She is a devoted Catholic, a member of the school board and other community organizations.
Twenty Five Years Ago salutes this very special woman. A mother, a housewife, a professional, a social worker, a service minded lady and a neighbourly friend. We salute a woman who can do anything with a smile and that is a positive difference. It is with honour that Twenty Five Years Ago welcomes Miss Flor Ancona into San Pedro's Hall of Fame.