FIRST SATELLITE PICTURES OF ASCENSION ISLAND GREEN TURTLES
The first satellite pictures of Ascension Island Giant Green Turtles received from space.
The tracking system appears to be working well.
We are hoping to have pictures from the
on-shell cameras in next week's issue.
|Our deepest sympathy fo the family and
friends of CSR employee, Raymond "Beano" Young
who passed away at the John Radcliffe Hospital in the U.K.
at 10.15pm on Friday, March 26, 1999.
Raymond, Age 52 worked at the U.S. Base Ascension for the past 36 years. He was a dedicated employee, extremely popular and will be greatly missed.
CSR Management and Staff
Let's begin this week with a look at holidays. Not more holidays I hear you say! Well, the general public is due these and, of course, that includes the school! So this week and the next are short ones for us because of the Good Friday and Easter Monday holidays. A nice long weekend seems a very good idea doesn't it. Our end-of-term holidays begin from Monday, 19th April and Term 3 commences May 3rd.
New School Bus
Cynthia Bowers with the new mini-bus
Some of the "Georgetown" Children with their new bus
It is always good to share our children's achievements with you and since we last brought news to you of these, we have had some of our youngest members receiving praise for their fine efforts. Jamie Herne has been trying really hard in all activities. Well done Jamie! Christiane Anthony, Michael Yon and Jack Howell have been successful in being able to write their names. Well done to the three of you!
This fundraising event takes place on Wednesday, 14 April at the school from 1.15 to 2.45 p.m. If you wish to contribute, we would welcome any contributions from you for any stall (Cake/Confectionery, Craft, Bottle & Can Tombola, White Elephant) and thank you in anticipation of your support. Funds raised are being divided between the Ascension Day Fair and our School Playground Enhancement Funds.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER
'Truly, this was the Son of God.'
That's what one of the Centurions said. He had probably been part of the events right through that first
'Holy Week', part of the guard that was sent to follow Judas to Gethsemane to arrest the man he kissed.
That was the pre-arranged signal.
And he may well have been on duty at the court of Pilate, watching the mockery of a trial that took place there.
And then, out of boredom and the want of something better to do, he had joined in the fun as they spat on him and mocked him and put that ridiculous purple cloak and crown of thorns on him, then after stripping him had cast dice with his mates to see who would get Jesus' clothes.
Then there had been that long treck up the hill, and watching as the prisoner was nailed to the cross.
And in the scorching heat he had had to stand there, keeping guard.
Then, after Jesus had died, he came out with it.
'Truly, this was the Son of God.'.......that was his conclusion.
Not the sort of thing you would expect from a rugged, tough, been-everywhere and seen-it-all-before, hard-drinking soldier of the Roman guard.
Maybe there was something about this man Jesus after all.
What do you think?
God Bless You and Keep You this Eastertide and Always,
Fr Keith & Ginny.
URGENT - PLEASE COULD ANYONE PLAY THE PIANO FOR EASTER SUNDAY SERVICE, l0am??
God Bless and Keep You
Fr Keith & Ginny
Six members from most island organisations attended. The meeting was briefed on the AIMG meeting held on 18 March (see The Islander of 25th March). Then the following matters were discussed:
Millennium: An organising committee has been formed.
RMS Baggage: The Administrator will discuss further with AIS the recently introduced baggage collection system. He will also ask about the promised 6-month review of baggage allowances. Staff continue to feel that the new allowances are unfair.
Pension Scheme for Saints: the Administrator had heard from the Governor. No final decision has been taken. But one possibility is for all employees to be required to make contributions to private insurance schemes. The Forum will keep this matter under review.
Sponsorship for visitors to Ascension: the Administrator has been in touch with Solomons who will ensure that RMS tickets will only be issued to travellers with sponsors on Ascension.
AIS: Mrs Caswell, the new Customer Services Manager, had responded helpfully to various Forum concerns.
Postal Services: now that mail is the first item off the RMS it is distributed much faster than previously. The Forum noted with approval that a parcel-post service to the UK would soon be started.
Bookings on RMS: Forum members had seen a copy of a letter from the Governor in which he said that pricing policies are currently under review with a view to rationalisation. The Administrator reported that from mid-2001 the RMS would operate a 3-week shuttle Cape Town-St Helena-Ascension (i.e. omitting any UK calls). That would provide easier access to both our islands.
RAF Flight Bookings: the Administrator reported on the new seat allocation for Ascension which he considered an improvement over the old system although in future residents would only be able to book immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children). All bookings from St Helena must be via Curnows.
Black box activities: several teams of scientists are visiting over the next two months to establish seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide stations as the UKs contribution to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty monitoring programme.
MV Ascension: the Forum welcomed Capt. Haffs offer to transport cargo to Ascension from the US - although this is subject to USAFs agreement.
Telephone Services: the Administrator had heard that C&W is proposing to reduce the costs of many international calls and perhaps introduce local call charging. The meeting decided to await developments.
CSR Representative on the Forum: in December the Administrator had expressed his concern to Gen. Starbuck at the lack of a CSR representative on the Forum, given that CSR is the largest employer on Ascension. The General had replied explaining that because of legal and contractual constraints, no CSR staff could be released during working hours.
25-year old age limit for dependants: the Forum asked if the present 25 year old limit for resident dependants could be extended or, even better, done away with. The Administrator agreed to consult the users.
Dangers from radiation: some concern was expressed at possible radiation dangers to members of the public from the new RAF Donkey Plain transmitter aerial field. The Administrator assured the meeting that he had seen copies of impact assessment studies which said that there is no such danger.
The Islander: all members were asked to do what they can to encourage their colleagues to help produce the paper. Some Saint Helenian members of the editorial staff would be especially welcome. Without more help the paper might expire.
The next meeting: of the Forum will be on Tuesday 4th May at the Residency.
R C Huxley
25th March 1999
Statistics for the week ending Sunday 28th March 1999.
|Max (deg C)||Min (deg C)||Rainfall (mm)|
|GREEN MOUNTAIN FARM||23.5||19.4||3.5|
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST (based on data available on Monday afternoon) : NWly 1.2 - 1.5 m.
Sea temperature around Ascension Island : PS 28 DEG C
Thanks to Si, again for completing the summaries for UK and here!
ASCENSION ISLAND: What a week! Its almost been a completely dry, hot and sunny week with low humidities. However, the day I decided to go up Green Mountain on Sunday, it poured down with low cloud bases! Temperatures still havent made 31.0 C at the Airhead but watch this space.
ST HELENA: Gary Thomas reports: Generally sunny and warm with light showers spread over the whole week making no significant impact on farming. Some decent rainfall is still awaited, but it is pleasing to report the domestic and irrigation supplies are in good stead.
Mean temp 20.3 C, sunshine 38.8 hours and mean wind speed 9.2 kts. Sea conditions have been very good.
U.K: The first half of the week saw near normal temperatures with a westerly airflow and only small amounts of rain. Temperatures were generally a respectable 13 C in many areas by day and remained fairly mild overnight. By Friday, colder air spread down from the north, however many places stayed dry with good sunny spells but night frosts.
FALKLAND ISLANDS: The week started quiet with temperatures around average for late March, but as a series of depressions swept up from the Antarctic peninsula, running to the south-east of the Falklands, much colder air began affecting the islands. Combined with strong winds for much of the week, the weather has certainly changed, with daytime temperatures of 7 or 8 degrees, compared with the 16 or 17 of the previous two weeks. Since Tuesday a dusting of snow can be seen lying on the tops of the hills - a taste of things to come perhaps? A 24 hour special visit was conducted by a certain Ascension Met person this week, she quickly scurried back north again on Saturday seeking warmth.
So I made it. To the Falklands and back in 35 hours and thirty five minutes, never to return, I hope. I only managed to see MPA, Port Stanley and the Messing and accommodation blocks (know what I mean?) and two bars in my short stay. I can confidently assure you that was sufficient. I need not see any more of the Islands ever again. Its far too cold down there and Ive never seen such a bunch of hairy, scary Met men. Ive become a real whimp and can no longer cope with temperatures below 18 deg C. The memories of life below 18 deg came flooding back as I remembered just how cold a loo seat can be and how much Wayne hates me warming my ice cold hands by sticking them up his jumper. But if youre only around for less than a day, you can get away with anything, I highly recommend such a trip for this alone.
The fearless, handsome, dashing crew who bravely took the Tristar south and back, made me very welcome on the deck but threatened me with unthinkable torments if I didnt lie about what they were like and what they got up to. I said, No, you ruggedly good lookings hunks. Youre just too damn hot. The people have a right to know. I have to report it was a hive of activity on the flight deck, a kind of abandoned type of hive but I can honestly say, blink and youll miss the action. And guys it no good getting your Loady to sweet talk me to stop me telling the punters just how gorgeous you lot really are out of uniform. The world must know just how womanly you look in Baco foil skirts, long blond wigs and false boobies. I dont think it went down well with the other passengers. I really think Charlie is the RAFs answer to Lilly Savage.
Geoff is, apparently, the only Capt who carries anything useful in his flight bag ie salt and pepper mills, which brings a certain refinement to meal times at 33000 feet. Neil adds a touch of badly needed glamour to the trio as apparently he can be seen topless on various adult educational internet sites. Steves role is to keep the cabin crew continually occupied with his requests for drinks and/or half hourly light snacks through the whole flight. The other things Im not allowed to mention are the landings, which I wont say anything about, except I was really impressed by the use of the full width of the runway. Saves wearing out just that middle bit. I guess Im going home by boat now but thanks for a great trip, it was really good fun.
The Met Office is having to diversify the services we offer to survive in the cut throat real world. Here at Asi Met were branching out into the long distance dating agency game. Roger has taken to this with unseemly gusto and can often be found networking with an unknown female, meteorological person resident at Joburg Airport, on the pretext of securing some South African weather. The Tristar crew are quite perplexed as why they keep getting Cape Town weather updates on their route to Brize! Im not sure were going to be so successful at this match making malarky, especially if Roger wants to date all the clients!
Turners are also diversifying into personal health assessment. Its all based on a revolutionary system called the Murray Unit Count. Simon tells me hes been assessed and also Andy, their Murray Unit Count is way above the safety limit and corrective action is needed. The Hugh Murray Clinic, once finished will offer patients the safe and secure environment they need to make the transition from Ohlssons to Lilt under the close eye of its founder. Appointments for your own individual assessment arent needed, just offer to buy Hugh a drink at the bar.
|From the Editor -
Another week and another Islander in the bin, as we editors say. We are as always on the lookout for helpers/ volunteers or pressed men to join the team. Have a good Easter Weekend, enjoy your buns, and rolling the eggs. Then volunteer to help to help your independent weekly to survive.
E-Mail from Steve Hill
What a place! After landing in what appeared to be an opencast mine we wondered what we had let ourselves in for. But, to cut along story short, we had a fantastic 10 days. Ascension is the friendliest place we have ever been and everyone went out of their way to make our stay an enjoyable one. Thank you one and all.
Special thanks go to :
Julie & Barry at the guesthouse (especially for organising the car - we thought we would be able to walk everywhere!!), Donald, Patsy, Lisa and Patrick at Two Boats Club (lots of Ollies and the best fishcakes). Alfie, Tony, Taff & Steve at the Airhead for all their advice and assistance. Mr 'Ariane' (sorry - forgotten the name) at the Heritage Society exhibition. We'll take up your kind invitation on our next visit. Paddy 'the dogfish' for the Pierhead photo opportunity. Mr Huxley and his staff for granting us permission to visit in the first place. Iain for the underwater experience - appropriately described as diving's best kept secret (and how!). David, Mel, Lion & Ginger at the farm (the honey is definitely coffee flavoured - very tasty). Noddy for the fishing trip and Platter for the disco trip. Finally to Errol, Ascension's coolest rigger and number one host. Thanks mate - we look forward to seeing you in July.
Sorry if we have missed anyone. We are already planning our next trip, so , if everything goes to plan, we'll see you all again next year.
Chris Stevens & Kev Goodlass
ENTRY FEE £5.00
22nd March 1999
Commission Meeting in Oxford
ANALYSIS OF THE WHITE PAPER
The United Kingdom Branch
BISHOP OF ST HELENAS
COMMISSION ON CITIZENSHIP
On Wednesday, 17th March 1999, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonweath Affairs, the Rt Hon Robin Cook MP, presented a White Paper to Parliament entitled Partnership for Progress and Prosperity Britain and the Overseas Territories. We have published this brief analysis to help people on St Helena and in the UK understand more fully its implications for the Island.
Our only authority for such a judgement is that we have been working as members of the Commission for the past seven years; we claim, however, no formal expertise. Nor do we wish to preclude further or even contrary reactions from the Island Branch of the Commission. It seemed better to publish something quickly (that could be later superseded) than to produce a committee report across five thousand miles.
We warmly and wholeheartedly welcome the restoration of full British passports and the right of abode in the UK for all Saint Helenians. The Government has understood the justice of the case and responded with both honour and generosity.
We are, however, worried that the need for a fundamental constitutional change in the relationship with mainland Britain does not seem to have been fully grasped and outlined. And this despite the official Response from St Helena of April 1998, by the elected members of Legislative Council as well as the Commission, in which these issues were clearly raised.
We remain encouraged that this oversight does not appear to come from a lack of commitment from the Government but from an insufficient appreciation of the Islands unique history and circumstances.
A FULLER ANALYSIS
Chapter Three on citizenship is unequivocally excellent. It does not merely restore full British passports and the right of abode in the UK, it does so in a manner that is open, honourable and generous. It expresses the issues involved far better and with greater clarity than the press reporting of it, before or after its publication.
We recommend people to read it in full. Over recent years (not surprisingly) we may have become a little cynical about past UK Governments approach to the overseas territories. The fair-mindedness of this chapter, and its understanding of the justice of the claim of citizenship, comes therefore as something of a surprise.
We note the phrase regarding the necessary legislation when parliamentary time allows; we feel confident in presuming such time will be found soon; and we sincerely hope that it will not be delayed by any difficulties over human rights in any other Overseas Territory.
It is worth taking time to appreciate this chapter and to grasp the Labour Governments undoubted commitment. Not only because what it offers in terms of citizenship is of inestimable value, but also when considering where this text as a whole fails to meet all St Helenas needs.
Chapter One outlines the background to the drawing up of the White Paper, and Chapter Nine simply commends it by way of conclusion. Chapter Four is on human rights, Chapter Five on finance, and Chapter Six on drug trafficking and drugs-related crime: none of these are directly relevant to St Helena, and therefore need no comment.
Chapter Eight, on the environment, is positive. The greater seriousness which the Government is giving to these issues will surely be positive for the Island. St Helenas national heritage is of national importance, and must therefore receive national support. This leaves Chapters Two and Seven as a cause of concern.
Chapter Seven is on sustainable development economic and social development. The commitment to providing development assistance is serious and to be welcomed as far as it goes. This seems the key phrase. As far as it goes, we are pleased with what this chapter offers. It might seem churlish to put it this way, for the commitment to offer assistance is real.
The fundamental issue, however, is not about the quantity of funding, but the manner of it. Assistance provided by the Department for International Development is welcome, but it does not properly respond (we would suggest) to the character of St Helena as a British Island Saint Helenians as British citizens deserve government support as of right, not by way of assistance.
The first point to note is that while passports and the right of abode are restored as a matter of justice and for ever, the offer of assistance is inevitably contingent. Circumstances change and the level of assistance with them. It may not have been the intention, but if such assistance is linked to such concerns as good governance and proper management (7.3) it offers future (less honourable) Governments the opportunity for economic blackmail.
An earlier White Paper stated that the reasonable assistance needs of the Dependent Territories are a first call on the development programme. But what is reasonable, and what about cutbacks in the (unknown) future? Other overseas territories, more economically independent, may be reassured by the promise of assistance in time of need, but St Helenas relationship with the UK is different.
The paragraph on the Island (7.11) ends We shall continue to look for other ways of expanding economic activity on St Helena, in partnership with the private sector. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But it does not go far enough. It is not the encouragement of a private sector that will answer the Islands economic and social development. We would have expected/hoped for a following chapter on the next stage a new constitution. That chapter is not there. To find out why, one must turn back to Chapter Two.
Chapter Two has the same title as the White Paper itself: this implies a general overview as well as its own particular concerns.
We welcome the clear statement in 2.7 Each Overseas Territory is unique and needs a constitutional framework to suit its own circumstances. Suggestions from Overseas Territories governments for specific proposals for constitutional change will be considered carefully. However, the statement in 2.6, We concluded that neither integration in the UK, nor Crown Dependency status, offer more appropriate alternatives to the present arrangements, does not seem to accord with St Helenas unique circumstances.
It is true that it continues these arrangements need to be revisited, reviewed and where necessary revised, but it seems clear to us that more is needed for a stable long-term future that simple improvements to the existing constitution.
At the conference in February 1998, Councillor Eric George made it clear. The restoration of citizenship rights will be a major step towards a better future for St Helena. However, for a permanent and lasting solution in the long term, we need to consider our constitutional relationship. The Response to Her Majestys Government in preparation for the White Paper, by the elected members of Legislative Council in April 1998 was equally clear. We look to British Island status and a closer political and constitutional integration with Britain. Being a Crown Dependency would give . . .
Why does St Helenas request for constitutional change seem to have been overlooked in the White Paper, when its request for citizenship is given unexpected prominence (box on page 17)? The reasons may be: 1) The consultation referred to in 1.11 was not as thorough as intended; perhaps because of difficulties of communication; 2) The Commission (and perhaps LegCo as well) laid the stress on the principles of a new constitution, rather than on its title: much of the time we used the term British Island; 3) Is there an inate conservatism within the FCO? There is also (inevitably) a lack of first-hand knowledge of the Island among ministers.
The White Paper should be warmly welcomed.
But the case for constitutional change must not be forgotten!
- St Helena should request, as a priority, a visit by the Minister for Overseas Territories passing through Ascension and staying on the Island for at least a week in order to get to know it.
- Members of Legislative Council (we respectfully suggest) should ask specifically for Crown Dependency status, as it did in its Response; and work through the details at the next stage.
- Legislative Council should lay stress on their Response. It was brief and clear. Its points are still valid and it should be insisted upon.
- We should not confuse tinkering with the present constitution with the real change that is needed.
Canon Nicholas Turner
UK Chairman of the Commission
Once again the faithful followers of the ash gathered at
the turn off to the Pines from the NASA road. There were a few
enthusiasts who decided to walk down from the mountain, and had a
sneak look at the trial that was to come for the rest of us.
After some very strange parking along the road, the briefing was
given by Ivor The Engine, and the On On was given! Which
direction? Well, it was a HASH, and there was a rather big
mountain near by! Need I say more
The FRBs were of like a shot, and the On On calls started to filter back to the knitting circle. After a climb up to a small monument along the road to the Pines, there was the first Circle check. When the knitting circle has all arrived, there was a lone figure spotted in the distance the HASHers with the better eyesight picked out the figure of Hong Kong Phooey panting up the hill! When he arrived he gave some excuse about looking for fellow HASHer Shirley Temple! But we all knew that Shirley was one of the first followers to arrive at the HASH start! The On On went around towards the Mountain Red side of the road, and after the first Bar check, dipped down into the valley, only to come out again and head for the Pines picnic area, where there was a debate about the type of check it was .. Circle or square, polo or cube! Who cares?!
The On On was directed up the valley, when another circle was found a short distance away! Strange The On On again was given farther up the valley, and the FRBs found they were had! A back check! After a few descriptions of the hares were exchanged, we all made our way back to the last circle, the hares with grins from ear to ear, and pass! The real On On had to be found, and Up Up to another circles check! The FRBs again trying to be smart, went farther up the hill to wait for the knitting circle, only to be caught out again as the On On turned into a Down Down, with Stealth doing his thing again
A few more circle checks and a bar check, and it was Down Down to the cars for the beer and Sandwiches. Nobody flatten any trees, no major blood loss, but a great HASH guys, and Sandwiches!
This weeks HASHers: Smallthing, Sniffy, Dozy HaPorth, Roly Poly, Gilligan, A-Drain, Frank-n-Furter, Prambo, Stealth, New Knees, Warp Speed, Hot Lips, Ivor The Engine, Morticia, Radar, Lollipop, Occasional, Lady Like, Thomas The Tank Engine, Chief Longpole, Shirley Temple, Hong Kong Phooey, Penguin.
Next Weeks HASHers: Dozy HaPorth, Peacock & Lollipop from Nasa Site car park.
10th April: Stealth & New Knees, Georgetown.
17th April: The Fugitive & A-Drain, to be announced.
|Visit the Ascension Island Hash Web Site|
Fixtures - News
Ascension Island Premiership Football
TRAVELLERS vs GEORGETOWN
Kick Off at 4pm - Long Beach
Look out for more in next week's Islander
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327
Deadline: 12 pm Tuesdays
Contributors: Gwen Roberts, Penny Peters, Nathan Prince, Father Keith, , Roger Huxley, Betty Joshua, Richard Thomas, , Sharon Andrews,Cheryl Anthony, Raxa Sukhtaker
The Islander post-box is situated in the entrance to the Administrators Office.
Deadline for all contributions as 12.00 on Tuesday