The government of Spain, with the Royal Sanction of King Felipe VI, has awarded John Regan the Order of Isabel la Católica, in recognition of his contributions to cultural exchanges between the US and Spain, and in particular for his work commemorating the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, according to a press release received by Historic City News Friday.
Consul General of the Kingdom of Spain in Miami, the Honorable Candido Creis, made the presentation in a ceremony at City Hall on September 9th. The Order of Isabela la Católica was created in 1815 with the intent of rewarding the Spanish citizens and foreigners who contribute to the enhancement of Spain’s relations with the nations of the Americas.
“Commemorating the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine was a great opportunity to reinvigorate our city’s ties with Spain and our common history,” said Regan. “This recognition is truly for all the people of St. Augustine who every day, each in their own way, express their pride in the Nation’s Oldest City and its very unique history.”
The city undertook a four-year series of events, programs, and projects highlighting the historical and cultural achievements of the city shortly after Regan was appointed City Manager. The multi-year commemoration, under his leadership, closed with a five day-long series of events that drew thousands to the city for free concerts and a reenactment of the founding of the city on September 8, 1565.
“He is a wonderful honorary ambassador, active and discreet, helpful as always, thinking of ways to promote better understanding between Spain and the U.S.,” Consul General Creis said of Regan during the presentation, calling him “a great and true friend of Spain”.
Regan was named St. Augustine City Manager in 2010 following over 12 years of service to the city as Utilities Director and then as Chief Operations Officer. Regan came to the City of St. Augustine from Gainesville Regional Utilities where he worked in engineering, management, and administration over a ten year period. He is a professional engineer licensed with the State of Florida and has published numerous articles on research and development of engineering technology and public utility management issues.