"In every place there is a story that should not be forgotten." - E.F.
Over time there have been numerous honest and modest professionals who, with their great vocation for solidarity, have known how to exalt medicine and build an inseparable bond with an entire community. Sometimes undervalued and misunderstood, these men and women persevered in their profession without giving up and brought well-being and joy to many families.
Roberto, The People's Doctor
On January 3, 1898, Carlos Roberto Foster was born, theater director, educator and the first doctor that Las Carabelas had, from 1929 to 1949. This town in the Rojas district in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was founded in 1910 by the Sierra brothers and began to develop with the inauguration of the railway station, received Dr. Foster with incomparable joy.
Carlos Roberto Foster was born into a middle-class family in Buenos Aires, being the fifth of the six siblings that made up the family, to a father named Enrique Arturo Foster, an Argentine merchant and politician, and a mother María de los Dolores Castaño, originally from from Galicia, Spain. His paternal grandfather, Enrique Foster (1842-1916), had been a surveyor, founder of Monte Oscuridad and co-founder of the city of Resistencia in the Province of Chaco. In 1875, he was appointed by President Nicolas Avellaneda (1837-1885) by regulatory decree of Law No. 686 to join the Foster-Seelstrang Exploration Commission and explore the unknown northeast of Argentina together with Arthur Von Seelstrang (1838-1896) and Manuel Obligado (1838-1896). On the other hand, his maternal great-grandfather, José Manuel Llames y Roldán (1802-1867), originally from Santiago de Gobiendes, Spain, was the grandson of Spanish nobles and in the exercise of his profession he was a notary for numerous patriots including Manuel Belgrano (1770-1820), Manuel Vicente Maza (1779-1839), Manuel Obligado (1838-1896), Tomás García de Zúñiga (1780-1843), Manuel Dorrego (1787-1828), Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793-1877) and Mariano Saavedra (1810-1883), son of Cornelio Saavedra (1759-1829).
"Dr. Carlos Foster practiced medicine since 1929, for twenty years, in this town. He was, in turn, in charge of popular public good companies such as the School, the Temple, the Cemetery, Clubs, etc."
"Las Carabelas" magazine in its Year 1 edition, No. 1 of August 1960, published on the occasion of the "Fiftieth Anniversary" of the Carabelas town. Page 31.
Carlos Roberto Foster studied in Buenos Aires and after completing his medical studies, he developed his medical profession for some years in the city where he met the former Argentine president, Arturo Umberto Illia (1900-1983), with whom he maintained a long friendship. It's said that Dr. Illia once wanted to appoint him minister of health, but Foster did not accept the position.
In 1928, Dr. Foster arrived in Las Carabelas to set up his office as a municipal doctor in a town that was just being formed, and there he formed a commission together with Mr. Alberto Salaber, collecting signatures from the inhabitants, and presenting the request of public lighting service to municipal authorities. The following year he settled permanently there and practiced his profession with great vocation, a year in which the town was able to count on a health professional who would remain there until 1949, ensuring the health of the inhabitants.
In March 1929, Dr. Foster had a daughter named Raquel Ana Foster with María René Ayerza Bertorelli, who later was treasurer of a commission that would be created some time later. The year after the service request, municipal delegate Mariano Iribarne and councilor Enrique Huerta endorse the request and public lighting is installed with a 20-year contract. Electric plant with two 120 HP motors and 70 lamps. Price: consumption cost $0.40 per kilowatt and public lighting $0.05 per meter of built land and $0.07 without building.
The Carabelas Social and Sports Club, founded on May 6, 1923, obtained its legal status on July 20, 1932 and had Dr. Carlos R. Foster as vice president. Within the framework of the cultural invasion, the Catholic Church had a lot of participation in Las Carabelas and found official support and support from foreign neighbors, descendants of Europeans. For this reason, in 1932-1933 the first Protemplo Parish Commission was promoted for the formation of the Christian community of Carabelas, with the Spanish Francisco Burgués Montardit as secretary and Dr. Carlos R. Foster as president.
Chaired by Countess María Unzué de Alvear (1862-1950), one of the richest heiresses in Argentina, who lived there at the Estancia San Jacinto, on September 7, 1933, a Ladies' Commission was also formed, whose purpose was to collaborate with the Parish Commission established by president Dr. Carlos Roberto Foster and the honorary president, María Unzué de Alvear together with the treasurer, María René Bertorelli de Foster. Until 1938, Foster was a member of that commission.
In the first resolution, it was decided to place the Christian community of the town under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the dedication of Our Lady of the Angels, who becomes protector of the town of Las Carabelas.
According to the plan provided by the countess and the addition of specifications and modifications by the architect Cayetano de Plácido, the temple was built under the responsibility of the architect Ángel Plácido. In February 1934, Countess María Unzué de Alvear (1862-1950) and her nephew César González Guerrico (1880-1950) helped in the final location of the temple and on April 11, 1938 the first stone was laid in the presence of the municipal authorities and Dr. Carlos R. Foster (1898-1972).
On the other hand, Dr. Foster worked at the Bernardino Rivadavia No. 2 Elementary School and in 1934 he was elected President of the Cooperative Executive Commission. In 1938, he was re-elected to the same position.
For many years he was a pioneer and director of the Las Carabelas Vocational Theater, directing a large group that offered memorable evenings to the entire town, beginning his work around 1930 and remaining as director in the following years.
Foster was responsible for dozens of stagings and worked with many casts in his early days. His first public appearance as a theater director was around 1930 and he directed works such as: Los Cardenales (1932), El Conventillo de la Paloma (1933), El Rosal de las Ruinas (1933), El Suplicio del Tartaro and Guerra Conyugal (6 July 1933), among many others.
Due to the success of his previous works, he continued writing until the end of his life and one of his most notable works was Ciego de Amor, written and premiered on August 10, 1933 with amateur actors from Las Carabelas.
Throughout the next decade, the entire town of Las Carabelas gathered to witness performances that ranged from the dramatic genre to the most divine comedy.
Finally Carlos Roberto Foster died on July 18, 1972, at the age of 74, after dedicating his entire life to helping the most vulnerable. His work as a doctor and his concern for those most in need built a great bond with the community that is remembered over the years.
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