Fernando Blanco de Lema

Birth Date: 18th october 1796 (†8th april 1875)
Birth Place: Cee (A Coruña)

He emigrated to Cuba when he was thirteen, where he dealt with ironmongery and commercial relations business. He wanted his possessions to be invested in his native village when he died and created a foundation with a school to teach Primary and Secondary Education free. Thanks to the contribution of the City Council of Cee, the works started on 2nd August 1880 and finished on 1st October 1886. It was a centre of interdisciplinary teaching that combined humanistic and scientific education with necessary subjects for the economical development of that area. There were courses on accountancy, trade, industrial mechanics, languages, agriculture, drawing and music (solfa, singing, piano and violin). In 1887, the first long-distance telephone station was installed in this school.

 Other Interesting Aspects

His remains were transferred from the parish church of Cee on 7th April 1880 and nowadays lie in the chapel of the school. There is a street in Cee with his name and he is remembered in a memorial erected before the façade of the school. Professor Dionisio Barreda from Valladolid University was in charge of elaborating the statute, according to which the school must govern. Modern pedagogical attitudes were already reflected in this statute such as the refusal of any sort of punishment to pupils. These attitudes were not accepted until many years later.