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The Islander - Thursday 12th November 1998

Remembrance Sunday Service

Some 140 people attended the annual Remembrance Sunday Service on 8 November 1998. There was also a full turnout of Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, who marched in column to the service with Colours on parade.
The annual service was held outside St Mary's Church on Sunday 8 November 1998 at 10.00am. The service was conducted by Fr Keith James, Vicar of St Mary's and Officiating Chaplain to the RAF, who also gave the address. The lessons were read by Maj Jeff Lowdermilk and Phillip Stevens, the Act Of Remembrance led by Sqn Ldr Adrian Hayward and Mr Graham Avis, and the Act of Commitment introduced by Ag Insp Merlin George.
After observing 2 minutes silence the wreaths were laid by Mr Graham Avis, representing HH the Administrator Mr Roger Huxley, on behalf of HM the Queen and the Ascension Community, Sqn Ldr Hayward (Commander British Forces Ascension Island), Captain Keith Hope (on behalf of the Merchant Navy) , Maj Jeff Lowdermilk(on behalf of the USA), Ag Insp Merlin George(on behalf of the St Helenian Community), Mr Mike Kelter(on behalf of the American Legion), Karl Yon(on behalf of the Scout Movement) and Gina Williams(on behalf of the Guide Movement).

Sue Ryder Charity Fun Day

Nathan Prince (The On-line editor) cooking the Burgers for the Sue Ryder Fun Day.
(Sorry I didn't have any other photos!)

A large crowd attended at Traveller's Hill for the Sue Ryder Charity Fun Day. The big football match, was won by the Saints team 5 - 1. Read next week's edition for full details of the funds raised and other winners.


Parish Priest: Fr Keith James

Vicarage: (Telephone and fax:) 6431
Church Warden: Jonathan Green 6795
Church Warden: Mervyn Isaac 6230
Times of Services
Sunday, 15th November
Please note revised time of evening service
Weekday Services (Not Fridays) 08.30am Morning Prayer

Dear Friends
First this week an extremely big "Thankyou" to all who worked so hard in preparation for our Remembrance Sunday service. The fact that we got caught out without enough seats at the last minute only emphasised how much planning and foresight is needed, and the willing co-operation of several strong men in bringing out pews from the church was a good example of what we can achieve when we all pitch in together.
It was good to have all sections of our community represented, so thank you to all who came and all who took part and gave generously, enabling us to send nearly 300 to the Earl Haig Fund.
One of the problems any church has when it comes to "special" occasions and new things is that you never know how many are going to turn up.
Last Sunday evening, just as in the morning, the community was well represented - one organist, one priest, one St Helenian, one American, one other person from the UK and Sootie the church cat.
This coming Sunday we hope to re-start the Children's Church. Perhaps two classes, four-to-seven year olds and a senior class as well. Who knows till it happens? But we shall begin all together in the main service at St Mary's, and then the children will go down to the Children's Church till 11 o'clock. How many, I wonder, will come to Junior Church starting this coming Sunday at 10.00am in the church?
God Bless You
Fr Keith & Ginny

From the Administrator's desk

It's "sod's law" I suppose, but as soon as my previous article was published containing my regretful farewell to Brian Joshua, things changed and Brian has decided to stay on a while longer. This is good news. But there are four confirmed farewells, which must not be allowed to pass without my comment. Two for long-standing members of the community and two to shorter term "birds of passage". Firstly I wish Dorothy and Gordon Knipe a long and happy retirement in St Helena. Gordon came here in 1956 (whilst I was still at school!). He has seen Ascension develop from very much a C&W company island to the high tech, multi-faceted place it is now. I thank them both for their contribution to the island over all these years.

And my next farewell is to Chris and Graham Avis. Graham first came here in 1972 as the Assistant Resident Engineer at the BBC Relay Station at English Bay. So he knows a thing or two about the island (witness "Amble with Avis" and his conducted walks around Georgetown). I have a particular reason for regretting Graham's departure in that he has always been ready to offer advice when asked - and with his expert knowledge of the history and people here, his advice has invariably been good. And Chris has contributed to the island in too many ways to list but I shall remember her for her music and her art - at which she was so adept. Niddy and I will miss them both - as I know all other islanders will too. Two people who have been great members of the community and who have now left are Stephen Fowler (ex-Ariane) and Mick Evans (RAF PTI). Both will be missed and I wish them well on their next postings. So to all of them I wish God speed and every success in the future.

As most of you will know Niddy and I have just returned from a couple of days on St Helena where the Governor and his team worked me very hard. My thanks to Graham Avis for being Acting Administrator during my absence.

This time I managed to see quite a bit of the island. Jamestown we thought looks much neater and more prosperous than our previous visit in May 1996. And the countryside looked beautiful after all the rain with the snow- white arum lilies and the blue and the white anthopansis' (if the spelling is wrong - my apologies; but it's not listed in any of my dictionaries!) in full, spectacular bloom. And the golf course looked in perfect condition with lush green fairways - but there was no time to play!

I visited the new developing environment awareness centre at Sandy Bay (and my knuckles turned white as we drove down to the beach - give me the Mountain Road anytime). I also saw the impressive endemic plant section at Scotland - it is heartening to see that the Saints are doing so much to improve the island's environment. I hope I was able to rub-off some of the Department's professionalism and enthusiasm so that we on Ascension can learn more to safeguard our environment for future generations. A also met many of the SHG Heads of Departments (and shall report my findings to the Forum, AIMG and Pensions Committee as appropriate in due course). And as an added bonus Niddy and I attended a police parade. The lone WPC and two PCs who had just completed their training were a credit to the Force and all concerned are to be congratulated.

Whilst I was beavering away on business Niddy invested what seemed like a fortune in buying some beautiful lace work - a perfect memento of a happy stay.

Our thanks to Governor and Mrs Sandi Smallman and their staffs for giving us both such a happy busy and fruitful programme.

I brought back with me from St Helena a copy of the 1988 St Helena Constitution Order, 30 copies of an information sheet which is a synopsis of the Order, plus a copy of "Constitutional News". Readers will be welcome to consult these documents at my office during working hours. The Governor's Constitution Commission is an important exercise which will affect all Saints. So I strongly urge our Saint readers to consult these papers and contribute to this particular debate.

Finally, our congratulations to Jack Whitaker and his CSR team who on Saturday next, celebrate the company's 10th anniversary as prime contractors to the United States Air Force here.

R C Huxley
10 November 1998

Launch of Major Marine Turtle Research Project on Ascension Island

Between December-June, Ascension Island plays host to one of the largest breeding populations of green turtles in the Atlantic Ocean. Male and female turtles migrate many hundreds of kilometres across the Atlantic from the coast of South America to mate around Ascension. Following this, female turtles crawl ashore, dig nests in the sand and lay clutches of a hundred eggs or more before covering them over to be left in the heat of the sand to incubate.

The 1st of December 1998 will see the start of the most comprehensive marine turtle monitoring and research endeavour undertaken on the Ascension Island population for over 20 years. Spanning the nesting seasons of both 1998/9 and 1999/2000, this project is the result of a partnership between the Ascension Island Administrator's Office and British scientists from the University of Wales, Swansea; a project funded by the Darwin Initiative for the Survival of the Species.

The Darwin Initiative is a scheme run by the UK Department of Environment, Trade and Regions launched at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. It is designed to help safeguard the world's biodiversity by enabling British expertise to assist countries around the world with conservation related issues.

The major aims of the project include assessing: the current size of the Ascension Island green turtle population, the reproductive output of individual turtles, the sex ratio of hatchlings and identification of the feeding grounds of the turtles through the use of satellite transmitters.

Project personnel include three scientists from the University of Wales, Swansea: Dr. Graeme Hays, Dr. Annette Broderick and Dr. Brendan Godley. Dr. Hays may be familiar to some from previous research visits and will act as project supervisor. Drs. Broderick and Godley will live on the Island for the duration of the study period. In addition, it is hoped that a network of both voluntary and paid field workers will partake in the Initiative. Both background and practical training will be freely available.

Additional information regarding the project will be regularly disseminated via "The Islander" and the project's website, which is currently under construction. Those with any questions or information related to the project are asked to contact the project personnel either by e-mail or by leaving a message c/o the Administrators office. All dialogue is welcomed. E-mail contact for the project is:

Ascension Island Scouts 25th Year Anniversary

On Sunday 1st November the 1st Ascension Island Scout group celebrated 25 years of Scouting on Ascension Island. All Scouts, Cub Scouts and Beaver Scouts past and present, young and old, along with proud parents and friends assembled en-masse at the Scouts Beach Hut. The evening began with a brief welcome from the group Scout leader, Johnny Hobson who has been leading the Scouts for more years than he probably cares to remember! (He fondly recalled memories of many of the older looking adult ex-Scouts who were present!).

The Ascension Island Beaver Colony
After Johnny's welcome, the present Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, all standing smartly in their groups, began their individual routines. The Beavers began with their "Grand Howl" and a badge presentation.
Next were the Cub Scouts, who have only just recently re-started after quite a long break. All of the Cubs said their Cub Scout promise and were officially invested and welcomed into the "Worldwide brotherhood of Scouts"

The Cub Scouts being enrolled

Adam Ryan, William Ellick and Gerwyn George saying their Cub Scout Promise

The Scouts being invested

Next came the Scouts who took the opportunity to invest several new Scouts into the movement as well as promote new Patrol Leaders.

After the formal bits Johnny read out several congratulatory telegrams from around the world, including one from the Chief Scout at Baden-Powell house London. Following on from this were presentation "Scout, Thank you badges" which were presented to Mr Graham Avis (Who leaves Ascension shortly) by Scout Steve Thomas and another "Thank you badge" to Corbett Williams (who is about to retire) which was presented to him by his Cub Scout Grandson, Michael Williams. These badges were in recognition of the help given to the Scout Group by these two generous people.
Graham Avis & Corbett Williams receive Scout "Thank You Badges".
Johnny, resplendent in his Irish Kilt once again addressed those present and to the shock of everyone whipped his Kilt off to show them what a good red-blooded Irish man wears under their kilt!


The evening continued with a speech by the St. Helena Scout Leader, Mr Terry Richards and after this the celebrations started with a Fish Fry and some interesting Turtle Racing (not real Turtles!) where Parents, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers. Leaders and anyone else joined in the games. Great fun!
The Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Leaders of the 1st Ascension Scout Group.

Here's to the next 25 years!


During 27 October to 3 November, we were exposed to an Environmental Compliance and Management Inspection (ECAMP). This assessment was performed jointly by CSR and US Air Force personnel. The assessment was extremely comprehensive, and I am pleased with the results. The specific findings were not the result of our failure to comply with any island standard, but areas where we can improve within the strict standards we have imposed on ourselves through the Overseas Environmental Final Governing Standards for Ascension Island. This document was drafted in September 1993 to ensure we maintained high standards in our environmental stewardship on Ascension Island.

I recently had the privilege of reviewing the new walking books that will be in circulation. I must say that the group that has drafted the new books has really worked hard and done an exceptional job. In the new books, access to the letterboxes is much better explained, and the letterbox walks are now rated for degree of difficulty/safety.

While listening to one of my weekly staff meetings via teleconference, I overheard our weather personnel discussing a meteor shower that will be visible on 17 November at 1900 hours. I am told the experts are in disagreement as to whether this will actually be a meteor shower or storm, a storm being much more brilliant. The peak viewing location is in the southwest US and Mexico, but given our latitude and lack of light, it may be brilliant here as well.

The double elimination softball knockout tournament at Moon Valley Stadium is in full swing. The results so far have been as follows:

Monday, 2 November		Friday, 6 November		Wednesday, 11 November
Admin		26		Bad Boyz	53		A-Team
Security	8		Bulldogs	16		Bad Boyz
Scheduled for 1730 hours

Monday, 2 November		Monday, 9 November		Friday, 13 November
Cable Dawgs	51		Security	25		Admin
Airheads	28		Corrosion	24		Georgetown
Scheduled for 1730 hours

Wednesday, 4 November		Monday, 9 November		Monday, 16 November
Georgetown	32		Bulldogs	31		two games scheduled
Corrosion	11		Airheads	15		Game 1 begins at 1730 hours
Game 2 begins after Game 1

On Monday, 7 December 1998, we will have a scheduled base wide power outage from 0800-1600 hours. This time will be utilized to perform preventive maintenance at the powerhouse. All personnel are advised to recognize this period and schedule activities accordingly.

Major Jeff Lowdermilk

From The Islander Editor

Saturday 14 November sees the departure from the Island of two Islander stalwarts, Graham and Chris Avis. They have both been involved with the paper over their many years on the Island supplying articles, artwork and generally supporting the publication whenever they could. I know everyone has enjoyed Graham's Amble with Avis over recent months (coming soon to the On-Line edition) and he has promised to finish this excellent series before he leaves to take up his new job with the BBC in Bush House, London.

Where will we go now for all the obscure facts about Ascension? Graham has always been relied on to give a convincing answer to everyone's questions, even if he didn't know the answer himself?

They will both be missed by all and we hope that they will be back one day soon.

Graham & Chris Avis pictured in the Saints Club at their farewell party.


Deep sea.

The last week has seen UK anglers dominating the fishing scene as they booked nearly every trip to leave the pier head. The fishing started off slowly but got going at the weekend. Three boats left the pier head on Tuesday but returned with small catches. Fish Hawk took nowt, Rainbow Runner with 2 small fish and Sea Spray with one small Tuna but brought Harry the Hammerhead shark home. The fishing remained inconsistent the next night. Rainbow Runner with the biggest catch of 8 Yellow fin but the anglers lost 7 fish, Sea Spray returned with 2. Manta Ray returning with nowt. The next night as we set out it seemed that there was one jinxed among us. We all had to catch this night. Boats now went different directions in search of Tommy Tuna. Ocean Wave drew a blank as did Fish Hawk. Rainbow Runner took 8 but lost 7. Ascension Frigate took some nice Wahoo in the morning and I have a bit in the freezer, thank you very much. After the inconsistency of the week the weekend started with Sea Spray going to Red Dirt, the place of sharks, big fish and big sea. She returned with nowt. What next? Rainbow took 5 that night but the tuna all week had not been of a good size. The weekend turned out to be Tommy the Tuna's coming out party with Wally Wahoo gate crashing through where he could. Sea Arrow hammered Mr Wally Hoo ripping home with 5 lovely Wahoo. Sea Spray came home heavy with fish and a good variety too. She took 4 Rainbow runners, 11 nice fat Tuna and 2 stinky reef sharks. The fishing being none stop for the anglers. Rainbow Runner cruised home with 4 small fish after being the first out in the dark of morning. Blue Fin trolled for a while and then anchored up but returned with nowt. Ocean Wave set out in the afternoon and we took 7 nice size fish over 50 pound each and landed my biggest fish so far. A baby of only 165 pound. I knew I should have thrown it back but I just couldn't. We got it in the boat, lips, fins, tail and all. Sunday saw Sea Spray play it again Sam. She rolled under the weight of fish. 11 Tuna, 100 pound, 112 pound and 115 pound were the biggest three and the rest were nice fish too. Jeffrey and Robby being "they who dance with fish" Done job ! Rainbow Runner danced with 12 Tuna, Dog gaffing the lot and telling me how easy it was. Sea Arrow came home with 6 Wahoo. Bo Bo being he who dances with Wahoo. That totals 42 Tuna, 4 Rainbow runner, 11 Wahoo and some sharks in two days. We all danced with fish.

Rock and Shallow water.

Ol' spotty the grouper has been jumping in the boats in such numbers that it takes more time to clean them than catch them Conger eels too like to jump aboard and slither around. The pier head has not seen very many landed though. No silver fish have been caught but they are there. The pier head seems a bit quiet with only a few people taking up the challenge. Jacks are there for the fun of it. And that spiny fella the soldier fish is an easy catch. This coming weekend will see Saints Club rock fishing comp. I expect a good turn out and heavy catches so get it together and I'll see you all there and may the best bag of flay win. I have worked a winning plan out with Dutch so look out.


Last updated: 15/11/98
All articles copyright 1998 The Islander Newspaper.
All rights reserved.