Ascension Island goes romantic, Exiles diners enjoy a candle lit Valentine meal on the balcony.
Well, it's Monday afternoon and I've still got a quarter of the Valentines' Cake to eat. Mike did say as I was cutting it into pieces for the 35 brave souls who came to church to renew their wedding vows that I should be giving them more generous pieces, but I'm not that stupid!
Anyway thank you to those who came.
Was it worth it?
That's a question that clergy must often ask themselves when they put in a little extra work to provide something that's a bit 'different'. If the only measurement we had was how many 'extra' people came then perhaps the answer would often be a rather grudging 'maybe.'
And even the Church gets obsessed at times with 'bums on pews' and statistics when it comes to measuring cost effectiveness and whether a church is seen as successful or not.
I was wondering the other day whether all those Royal Marines who compulsorily attended Sunday Services even before St Mary's was built were any more religious that the present population of the Island.
Probably not, but how 'successful' the Chaplain must have felt. 95% turnout!!
My criteria for success is somewhat different.
This afternoon some 150 people came to the memorial service held for Carolyn Thomas.
They came to honour someone who had touched their lives; to show support for her husband Nigel and daughter Candice even though they are not here, but on St Helena.
They came united in grief, but also united in care and compassion and love for a fellow human being who had suffered and died young.
The number attending said a great deal about the place that Carolyn had in the hearts of those she lived among.
But the numbers were not really important.
The love Carolyn gave to others, and the love she received in return was the real criteria of 'success'.
Jesus said "Love one another as I have loved you."
That, after all, is what really matters. Love.
Well, there is quite a bit going on in space right now. The space shuttle Endeavour did launch from Kennedy Space Center last FridayTopography Mission ( data in both Cthe Earth that are at least well with the missiondesigned to keep the antenna mast positioned properly during the flightmust use the Endeavourwithout as much data as they initially thought they would have17 the Kennedy Space Center on (This will be the first spacecraft to ever orbit an asteroid space news, though she was a few minutes late. On board was the Shuttle Radar (SRTM). Over the weekend, the shuttle astronauts deployed the longest rigid structure the radar mast is 60.95 meters or just under 200 feet long) ever built in space. The SRTM will record radar -band and X-band radar wavelengths. This data will eventually be processed into 3-D maps of 30 times more exact than those currently available. Unfortunately, not all is going . The shuttle astronauts have detected a possible leak in the nitrogen gas thruster system . As a result of the problem, the crew 's onboard thrusters as a substitute. Potentially, the mission may have to conclude . As of Monday, the SRTM has mapped over million square miles of the earth (including about 38 % of all landmass). The shuttle is scheduled to land at 22 February. As for other space news, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous NEAR) spacecraft will hopefully go into orbit around the Eros asteroid on Valentine's Day, February 14. . You can view images at http://near.huapl.edu.NEAR was launched Feb 17, 1996 on a Delta 2 from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL. For the latest in , you can also go to http://spaceflightnow.com.
Starting in mid-February, the traffic in and out of Catherine Point will steadily increase. We will have a lot of construction and contractors in the area. Be especially careful as you drive by the entrance.
I think everyone will agree that last weekend's storm generated more rainfall than what we have seen on the island for some months now. Several roads on the island, including some on the base, were covered by standing water, mud, and clinker. Just as a reminder, during such heavy downpours, be especially careful when you drive, especially around blind curves and hills. We will dispatch road crews as soon as practical; however, for those few hours during and immediately after the storm, the roads may be in a dangerous condition. So slow down and be extra careful during and after those heavy rains. Also, watch out for those road crews!
For those of you who drive by or visit the Volcano Club, you will have noticed some construction work going on. This Friday, we will install speed bumps at both ends of the Volcano Club. These speed bumps will be installed for safety reasons. For the amount of traffic that goes through this area, we have to install the speed bumps to help protect the heavy pedestrian traffic. If at all possible, if you are driving through the base on your way to the airhead area, please bypass the main base area and continue on the Queen's Highway. You will find that if you are obeying posted speed limits, the Queen's Highway is probably quicker. Due to some complaints we have received, we will install these speed bumps a little lower than the standard installation. Also, we will remove and lower the two other speed bumps on base. Plus, the west speed bump will be relocated further west.
Until next time,
|From the Editors:-
mix week of emotions, sadly Carolyn Thomas lost her fight
against her illness and past away last week, leaving
behind Nigel and her daughter Candice, she will be very
much missed by all who loved and knew her.
Just received copies 20th and 27th Jan,
Only UK 2nd class stamp and package over 150 grammes
We had to pay 'excess postage' of 51p,
Made up, handling fee 20p PLUS 31p of UNPAID DEFICIENT
My wife and I will be on the island again in 4 weeks time.
So you can repay us in stamps then.
We were last there 3 years ago when we tagged 177 turtles.
Bye for now.
In November last year it was announced that the tender for the Fiscal and economic Study of Ascension Island had been awarded to the University of Portsmouth and that two members of a 5 men team, who had begun work on Ascension Island already would be visiting St Helena that month.
However, because of problems encountered with the RMS the visit was postponed but Dr Mark Hampton, the project leader and his colleague, John Christensen will be visiting St Helena from 17th February to 1st March.
A program for them was drawn up when they were expected in December and this is now being revised. It will include two informal meetings of the Legislative Council and in this context readers may find it helpful to be reminded of some of the main questions and issues.
What is the purpose of Ascension?
RAF - strategic use; staging post for the Falklands.
USA - strategic; monitoring of missile launches; reserve landing site for the Space Shuttle.
Users - telecommunications; broadcasting but subject to commercial considerations and changing technology could effect viability and employment prospects.
For St Helena - significant offshore employer; remittances; sources of revenue (fishing licenses); potential access point for international air services; air access to the UK.
What are the employment prospects?
- Largely determined by market forces
US Space Command and RAF likely to continue
BBC reassessing their presence
Cable & Wireless are in a competitive industry where technology is changing rapidly
CSO no longer a significant employer
without change employment prospects likely to decline rather than increase
Future employment prospects could include tourism and fishing. Like St Helena, Ascension has little in the way of other natural resources. It also starts from a higher labour cost base compared to St Helena
With British citizenship, would St Helenian's go to the UK rather than Ascension to work? If so, would this affect the flow of remittances to St Helena
would the flow of remittances to St Helena be effected by allowing St Helenian's to become resident on Ascension
What are the considerations relating to democracy on Ascension?
- What resident population can Ascension support?
Is there a critical mass in terms of the economics of service provision?
Is there a critical mass in terms of the introduction of democratic institutions?
If Ascension were incorporated as a responsibility of the St Helena Legislative Council and the Executive Council, how would practical arrangements be made for appropriate democratic representation of Ascension? How many opportunities are there for meetings? Scope for video conferencing?
Would those on Ascension feel suitably represented at a Legislative Council and Executive Council normally based several hundred miles away?
What is the economic picture with regard to changes on Ascension?
- How can services be run and financed?
Is the Ascension economy likely to contract or expand in the short term?
Does the niche tourism that might be promoted justify investment on the Island in terms of water, roads, safety, designation of potentially dangerous sites, etc?
Hoe would fishing license revenue be allocated between the two islands?
What are the implications for the Bahamas Agreement?
Could St Helena afford to take on the responsibilities for Ascension given apparent reluctance from DfID and FCO to find necessary resources?
What time scale is envisaged for changes?
- The users are currently committed to provide services only until 2001; discussions about their budget for 2000/2001 appear rather fraught.
Office of the Chief Secretary,
NEWS FROM THE ARMOURER
The users of the earliest small arms in the 15th century had muzzle loading shot weapons fired by a match. We don't know if such weapons (which were fired while butted against belly or breast) developed a variant fired in one hand i.e. the pistol, but if such a variant had appeared, it can only have emphasised the unreliability of the match for ignition and the disadvantages of a single shot weapon. All that can be said is that basic cannon were in use in Europe in the first half of the fourteenth century and by about 1450 they had been joined by the portable one-man firearms.
An illustration of 1536 tells of Henry's ship "the Great Harry" mounting, as well as cannon and one hundred and two serpentines, 100 hand gonnes to be fired by men manning the rails of the castles. These weapons were all discharged by the direct application of fire to gunpowder. This process entailed the use of a match, apiece of loose card impregnated with chemicals to make it burn, when the cord was ignited it was allowed to smother slowly, the gunner blew on it to produce a hotter spark when it became necessary to discharge his weapon. Needless to say this was not a quick fire weapon.
"Muskettes" were an extension of "Hand Gonnes", longer of course, and they required a "Y" shaped stand to rest the barrel on fishing rod style. The principle of firing was still the same, but you had to knock your stand into the ground first. The glamour of the "Three Musketteers" was far removed from reality I'm afraid. As developments continued, match-lock gave way to wheel-lock, a much more reliable method of firing the weapon.
Many thanks to all who have used the amnesty box this week. As always keep safe.
Bryn the SERCO Armourer.
Last Wednesday the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Grey Rover arrived of off Georgetown for refuelling from the Maersk Gannet, and for the crew to have a brief rest from operational duties in the South Atlantic, having been on patrol virtually continuously since the second of January.
The RFA Grey Rover currently occupied, as the South Atlantic Tanker is a small fleet support tanker and was built for the RFA in 1973. She weighs just over 7,500 tonnes (net) and has a crew of around 50.
Originally in a class of 5 ships, the Grey Rover is one of two Rover class tankers left, the others having been sold to other NATO navies. The Rover class typically have a self-defence armament of 2 x 20mm anti aircraft cannon, 4 x 7.62mm machine guns and an anti-ship missile decoy system. The Rovers are built primarily for underway refuelling (Replenishment At Sea or RASing) with refuelling points to port, starboard and astern, giving her the capability of refuelling 3 ships at the same time.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFA) is a civilian manned fleet, owned by the Ministry of Defence. Its main task is to supply warships of the Royal Navy at sea with fuel, food, stores and ammunition which they need to remain operational while away from base. It also provides aviation support for the Royal Navy, together with amphibious support and secure sea transport for Army units and their equipment.
The RFA, created in 1905, has seen service in every naval theatre of operations in the 20th Century and has supported the Royal Navy and the Army in World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Suez, Cyprus, Beira, Kuwait, Borneo, Belize, Aden, the Icelandic Cod Wars and the Falklands Conflict. In 1982, the RFA spearheaded logistic support for the Falklands Task Force, losing RFA SIR GALAHAD and RFA SIR TRISTRAM to heavy air attack at Fitzroy whilst carrying the Welsh Guards. More recently, the RFA played a fundamental role in the Gulf War supporting the British task Force and in the Adriatic supporting the UN Task Force as well as providing disaster relief for a host of Caribbean Islands and Logistic Support for a multitude of United Nations operations.
The RFA employs over 2000 civilian officers and ratings, and is one of the biggest employers in British Shipping. UK personnel serve under RFA conditions of service which contain clauses that take account of the Service centred around replenishment at sea, and also provide that the crew stay with the ship in the event of its being directed to an area where warlike hazard's might arise. Personnel follow the traditional training paths of their Merchant Navy counterparts to obtain professional qualifications, but with a substantial overlay of Navy training to develop the skills needed in an operational environment.
In total there are 21 ships in the RFA fleet; 9 Fleet and Support tankers, 5 Dry Cargo Fleet Replenishment Ships, 5 Landing Ships (Logistic), 1 Aviation Training Ship (which is larger then the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers), and 1 Forward Repair Ship.
The Grey Rover left on Friday morning for a quick trip to the north before resuming her normal South Atlantic duties in and around the Falkland Islands.
Let me excuse myself, because from a shelf
Some spuds we had to buy
But I still can't see what came over me
As I tossed them in the sky
Let me explain about this potato rain
I'd created in that shop
Things had ground to a halt, but it wasn't my fault
I tried but could not stop
It was a hot summers day and people walked in my way
Two cashiers having a nag
Someone tightened the screw and the potatoes I threw
I was stood there clutching the bag
My advice to the men, don't go shopping again
In a hot, cramped, sticky store
On a mid summers day, send your wife on her way
While you're outside the door
By Misty Mourn (A poet who didn't know it!)
Hash number: 788
Hash Hares: Xena, Chief Longpole.
"This hash will fondly (well, maybe) be remembered as the hash of hills. The starting point was butt mountain ('pain in the?'). A good turn out, everyone looking fresh and ready for an afternoon of fun apart from Ivor the Engine, who looked like he had run the hash already. On-on was called and off we went only to see A-drain not following the hash but a pretty young thing called Sally the Sheep, tut-tut.
Over one hill and down the side only to be confronted with another hill. Up we went and down into the crater, where a few people admired the circular form of the volcano, while the rest of us concentrated on the steepness of the next climb. A few cheats did not have to!
On-on to the top, with Lady Like taking one step forward and three back, Gilligan's new haircut appearing not to have made him any faster although maybe more light footed as no wounds this week. Yes, and then down again we go. Up the next hill, a few sensibly taking a short cut around the side.
A few twists and turns and we are home. HKP being presented with a 'hash quietner device', thanks from all of us to the clever hash member who thought of this.
Hash Hounds: Small Thing, The Fugitive, Gilligan, Near Miss, Roly Poly, A-Drain, Sticks, Ma Bell, Whynot?, Rat Boy, Ivor the Engine, Thunderthighs, Crystal Tips, Fit Guy, Wannabe, Beany baby, HKP, Morticia, Lollipop, Occasional, Lady Like, Thomas the Tank Engine, Chief Longpole, Herbie, Woodswrecker, Nocturnal Emergence, Urchin, Long Come, Jenni, Rick, Mike, Mark
Next week's hares: Xena and A-Drain from Scout beach hut
Hash Scribe: Nocturnal Emergence
Visit the Ascension Island Hash Web Site
Need volunteers to market and design T - Shirts for the Ascension Island Hash House Harriers
Don't have to be a 'Hasher' to design the T - Shirts
Call Maj Martin, USAF Base at 2200
DEW POND RUN
American Legion Post #363 is sponsoring the next Dew Pond Run
Get involed and help plan the event!!!
Help us decide the date. Right now we are looking at the last week in April.
Want to help out? Want to design T - Shirts?
Call Maj Martin, USAF Base at 2200
18 brave souls turned out this Sunday for the February monthly medal; brave in the fact that they must have known the rain would be making an appearance after the night downpour. Jimmy Bennett was the exception deciding to stay tucked up in bed, shame on you!
The rain abated for six holes, then it came lashing down for most of the round, making grip and judgement difficult. The browns became waterlogged, the tee boxes soft and the bunker's became ponds.
With all these distractions it was a minor miracle that a net 58 would be smashed to take the spoils. Jeffery Joshua cultivating a 9 under par round to take the medal at a canter. 2nd place when to Martin Cranfield with an impressive net par 67.
1st place Jeffery Joshua 80 - 22 = 58 2nd place Martin Cranfield 74 - 07 = 67 Patrick O'Dean 79 - 10 = 69 Patrick Moyce 80 - 11 = 70 Martin Joshua 82 - 12 = 70 Two Ball Patrick Sim (6th) 18 balls. Best Gross Martin Cranfield 74
Congratulations to all contestants and winners, especially Jeff who has finally found his favorite weather conditions and apparently has changed his holiday to a golfing week in North Scotland.
Next Week. The November Monthly Medal.
Sunday 20th, We travel back in time to the year 1999 to play the mysterious monthly medal that no one remembers winning.
Week After. Cross-Country.
Sunday morning 27th February. Two team, Texas Scramble, 9 hole, Cross-Country. Start picking your teams.
Sandbagger - 16th Feb 2000
Results from the Weekends Action
Sat 12th Feb
|4.30pm||N Lawrence, G Youde||J Deacon, N John, C Warbiton, M Joshua|
|Referee: Kenny Everett||Man of the Match: Alan Stevens (Georgetown)|
Sat 13th Feb
Two Boats Rowdies
|5pm||Game postponed due to flooded pitch.|
Merlin Raiders became League Champions despite not playing this weekend. With Georgetowns win over Harts they have enough points to take the cup without needing a win against Two Boats Rowdies. Rain stopped play on Sunday, and it looks like the game will possibly be played at Travellers Stadium.
Georgetown proved their draw against Harts was no fluke and went on to win the ex-League champions in a hard fought battle.
Harts set the pace with Gavin Youde sending in a strike, or
was that a cross? And gave them the lead early on. Georgetown
replied with a goal from Marty 'Jazzy' Joshua. Harts then went
ahead again with Neil 'DickerBoy' Lawrences header. Joey Deacon
then converted a penalty to put Georgetown back in the game.
Georgetown placed themselves even further ahead when Chris 'PTI'
Warbiton connected on to Joeys cross. Half time score, 3 - 2.
Harts were still in the game. But the second half saw Georgetown
finish off Harts, and the day, with a final strike from Nicky
Thus putting them equal in points with Harts. But just one goal separates them in goal difference. Tragically, this goal defines the Harts as League Runners Up, whilst Georgetown as 'oh so close third'. Commiserations Georgetown.
|Two Boats Rowdies||7||0||7||0||7||36||-29||0|
9 M Joshua(Gtn) 8 C George(MRdrs) 6 J Deacon(Gtn) , A Bennett(Hts)
4 C Warburton(Gtn) , L Peters(Hrts), T Reynolds(MRdrs), R
Benjamin(TBR) 3 N Lawrence(Hrts), R Joshua(Hrts), A Henry, B
Minto, D Henry(Rgrs) 2 M Cranfield, N John(Gtn) G Peters, T
Reynolds(MRdrs), McLaughlin (Rgrs) R Thomas (TBR) 1 A Williams, G
Yon, T Moyce(Gtn) G Robinson, G Youde, N Yon, S Yon, T Loker(Hts)
C Duncan, I Wade, M Andrews(MRdrs) Alfie, G Plato, I Lawrence(Rgrs)
Georgetowns strike force move up the table with Martin 'Jazzy' Joshua heading the table. Will he stay on top when Chris 'Guvernor' George takes on TBR? This game will spell top goalscorer of the League.
Remember though, Top Goalscorer is taken from all tournaments, League, District and Knockout.
The Knockout draw is as follows. This will take place following the District. Dates of games to be published later.
|Saturday 19th Feb||5pm||Two Boats||v||US Base||Ref:||Dean Collis|
|Sunday 20th Feb||5pm||Travellers||v||Georgetown||Ref:||Simon Williams|
International duties this week! The District Competition
starts on Saturday.
These games will be played at Travellers Stadium due to rain damage at the Georgetown Stadium.
US Base were last years champions. Who will take the cup to their 'neck of the woods'?
So the best of island will be battling it out at the weekend. Come and support your District.
The Local Derby between TBR and Merlin Raiders will have to wait. I am sure fans will be waiting in anticipation!
EDITORS - Caz Burns
& Dean Collis
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327
Deadline: 12 PM Tuesdays
Internet compilers - Paul Bennett, Nathan Prince & Gavin Yon
Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday