week saw the official opening of the Georgetown Community Pool. After much
hard work, the pool was handed back from No 187 Tancred Squadron 23rd Pioneer
Regiment to The Administrator, eagerly watched by members of the Swimming
Pool Action Group (SPAG).
SPAG would like to express its heart felt thanks to everyone who has helped the project to succeed. Without the generous donations of both time and money we would not have such a fantastic Community facility. Together we have managed to achieve much more than we had ever dreamed.
The SPAG are now working hard to put everything in place to ensure that the pool stays open. It has been agreed that we need to purchase safety aids, including new steps, to make the pool a safer environment for all. In addition, due to the huge commitment required to maintain the infrastructure and cleanliness of the pool, it has been agreed that 'volunteers' will be paid for their time. There are already several people on the rosters. However, many more helpers are needed to spread the task. If you would like to be added to the roster for either 1 hr a day general cleaning or the 2-hour a week pool refill cleaning then please contact Gavin Ball on 6565.
For safety reasons the normal opening times for the pool will be governed
by the available daylight. The pool will, therefore, be open from approximately
7 am until 7 p.m. However, many people have asked about the possibility
of holding parties at the pool, as has happened in the past. Therefore,
it has been agreed that people may apply to hire out the pool for private
functions. There will be a charge for hiring the pool to cover the cost
of utilities and a deposit, which will be refunded once the pool is handed
back clean and intact! Any consequent reduction in community swimming
times will be notified in the Islander in advance. Anyone wishing to hold
a private party at the pool should, again, contact Gavin.
187 (TANCRED) SQUADRON
DEW POINT RUN SUN 9th JULY 2000
On a mild Sunday morning at 8 O'clock 59 members of 187 Squadron 23 Pioneer Regiment, 4 Royal Engineers, 2 Royal Air Force and 2 civilian personnel set off on the arduous 7.2 mile Dew Pond run. After the start, the Stopwatch was raced up to the Dew Pond and with the water points set out a long the route; competitors started the long climb upwards.
Crossland - Glorious!
The first person to touch the water in the Dew pond and with a new Pioneer Record was 2Lt Crossland (Pictured above) in an amazing time of 59 minutes and 53 Seconds. Second place was Cpl Moir with a time of 1 hr 15 minutes and 34 seconds. Third place and the first civilian was John Bound in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and 20 seconds.
All personnel who took part in this unique race completed it in less than 2 hours. Most competitors were first timers however the few that had completed it before, managed to beat their personal best times (congratulations).
When the administration staff for Sunday completes the Dew Pond run next week, all soldiers from 187 (Tancred) Squadron here on Ex ATLANTIC PIONEER will have competed the Dew Pond Run.
Last but not Least Cpl Carter and LCpl Meleleu
(Previous Pioneer record was 2 hours 23 minutes and 37 seconds, set by SSgt Haggart and Sgt McDowall)
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF 187 (TANCRED) SQN 23 PIONEER REGIMENT
187 Company Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (Pioneer Corps 22 Nov 1944, became Royal Pioneer Corps 1946) was formed at Clacton on 26 August 1940 and remained in the UK until they sailed for Algiers on 123 April 1943. On 9 Sep 1943 the Company landed at Salerno (the Italian invasion). The unit distinguished itself in actions in Italy between 1943 and 1945, especially during the second battle of Monte Camino, the attack on the Garigliano River. The unit moved to Trieste in May 1946 and disbanded later that same year.
It was decided due to a perticular heroic act during the battle of Monte Camino that the company, on its reformation in January 1983, would have the name "Tancred" included in its title.
Private Tancred was 43 years old when, during the battle of Monte Camino in December 1943, he set off on a downhill journey from the battle area carrying a severely wounded officer. It was bitterly cold and the journey both difficult and dangerous. The full details of that night are still not known, but 16 hours later he stumbled into the advanced dressing station, handed over the wounded officer and died - from exhaustion. He was awarded a posthumous mention in despatches.
Since the reformation of the squadron, it has served in the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Belize, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bosnia, Slovenia, Norway, Kenya and more recently Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Egypt.
On the 5 Apr 1993 the Royal Pioneer Corps was amalgamated into the Royal Logistics Corps and 23 Pioneer Regiment was formed consisting of a Regiment Headquarters, 144 Suport Squadron, 187 (Tancred), 206, 518 and 522 Pioneer Squadrons.
Labour Omnia Vincit
SSgt R Teague
As this will be our last Parade Service until October, the children will be taking a bigger part in it. They will announce the hymns and prayers and if this proves successful we will continue this for future Parade Services! To understand the Gospel (Mark 5 21.43) the children will be reading it in parts. Please do come along to support them and join us in some well-known hymns, played by "George".
Don't forget the Songs of Praise Service on 9th July at 10:00 a.m. Perhaps you can choose your hymn this week while having coffee at the back of the Church.
|From the Editor:- Ian
Hi everybody, tis me again.
Is the island getting greener, or are there just loads of soldiers impersonating bushes around here at the moment. I'm not complaining as they have done a massive amount of work on the Georgetown swimming pool. Still only 2 more weeks of hard labour before they leave.
Please note everyone that as of next week The Islander will not have a Fax Machine, this is due to an economy drive on behalf of us here, and as there are less than 4 faxes received per month, it is thought that the money could be better spent elsewhere.
Special thanks to Cable and Wireless Customer Services for their assistance with the e-mail stuff Tuesday evening, we couldn't have done it without you - thanks again.
All the best
|Letters to the Editor can be sent to
|FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
ASCENSION DAY FAIR
I hope that elsewhere in this edition you will find mention of the total amount raised - it was around £8000 and does the Island great credit. The organizing committee had decided before the event that 15% of the amount raised should go to Island charities. We received four applications for grants - from the Guides, the Saturday Club, the Playschool and the Education Fund. The Committee decided to make grants of £200 to each of the first three applicants with the balance going to the Education Fund. This is an appropriate time to remind people of the existence of the Education Fund which provides financial assistance to those young people who wish to go on to Sixth Form studies in the UK. The amount available is not huge but it is there to be used. I hope that young people who in September will be starting their final year at Two Boats Schools will be thinking of possibly continuing their education next year. The Fund is there to help.
FISCAL & ECONOMIC REPORT
I hope that people are now absorbing the Report. It contains a great deal. However I have not yet received any written comments from the Island. The Report suggests many changes and in my view offers the prospect of great opportunities, especially for small businesses. I know that many of you do have comments to make but for whatever reasons, you're reluctant to speak up. It might help if people could give me some questions that we might publish unattributably in the Islander, along with my responses. Any takers?
FORMER HAIRDRESSING SALON, TWO BOATS
This small property has now reverted to Government. I have two people interested in using it for business purposes. Before I decide on its future, are there any others who wish to be considered?
I shall be taking leave in UK between 27 July and 24 August. Bill Dickson from Overseas Territories Department, FCO will be Acting Administrator in my absence.
10 July 2000
No 09/00 (Replacing Public Notice No. 06/00)
IMMIGRATION PROCEDURE FOR YACHTS
Ascension Island warmly welcomes members of the sailing community.
Arriving Yachts may anchor in the area to the North of the Pierhead. They must not anchor in any position that could obstruct the arrival and departure of ships or the unloading of cargo. They must not tie up to any buoy or mooring in Clarence Bay;
Landing is permitted only at the Pierhead steps, Georgetown. An Entry Permit fee of £7.50 per person is payable at the Police Office.
At the earliest opportunity after arrival the Master of any yacht must report to the Police at the Police Office (open from 08.30 am to 3.30 pm Monday - Friday and 8.30 am to 12.30 pm Saturday). Emergency message may be passed on VHF to the Maersk Gannet or via Ascension Radio. The Master should bring ashore details of his vessel , a crew list and crew passports. No person may take leave of a yacht at Ascension without prior permission of the Administrator.
Permission will normally be given for a yacht to remain for any reasonable period and for the crew to come ashore between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm unless they have a special pass issued by the Police to stay ashore overnight. This pass will give details of the Island sponsor with whom the visitor must stay. (Sleeping rough on-shore will not be permitted). Applications for such passes will not be accepted after office closing hours.
The Master and all crew members are required to take out medical insurance (ideally in advance of arrival) to cover medical costs including, if necessary, medical evacuation by air to country of origin. If medical insurance is not taken out in advance, a local medical insurance cover must be taken out on arrival at Ascension, the cost of which is currently £4.00 per person per day. Fresh water shower facilities are available at Georgetown Swimming Pool. This is a community project provided by the people of Ascension and we request that you keep the facilities clean and use the scarce water sparingly.
06 July 2000
Statistics for the week ending Monday 10th July 2000.
|Max (deg C)||Min (deg C)||Rainfall (mm)|
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST: The swell is actually from the northeast as I write, at a height of 1 metre and a peroid of 5 seconds. Our forecast charts show that the main swell will remain mostly southerly at around 1 to 1.5 metres, but it may touch a couple of metres at times.
Whilst on the subject of swell, it has certainly turned quite choppy lately, as out southeasterly wind has picked up to force 6 or 7.
Sea temperature around Ascension Island: 26.5 Celsius
ASCENSION ISLAND: The weather has been getting a bit more mixed lately. There was one day in particular, Thursday, when the heavens opened! The weather otherwise was mostly fine, but do read Metchat for a more detailed insight...
ST.HELENA: Gary Thomas writes:- Monday was rather overcast with not a glimpse of sunshine. The cloud began to break up during the following couple of days and as of Thursday we were treated to some very sunny weather with gentle breeze. However overnight on Saturday the wind increased to fresh to strong breeze otherwise ending a chilly but pleasant week. Most of the rainfall recorded fell during a moderate shower on Wednesday afternoon. Sunshine 37.4 hours.
U.K: I keep trying to find different words to describe the weather back in the UK, but changeable is still top of the list! Others that come close are miserable, cold, wet, windy, cloudy and thundery. High pressure is still a relative stranger to northern Europe but across southern parts of Europe it's been bloomin' hot, hot, hot!
FALKLAND ISLANDS: When writing about the weather in the Falklands we always try to look for some good points, but I'm afraid it's impossible this week. Strong southerly winds, straight off the Antarctic ice cap have brought nothing but bitterly cold weather with frequent outbursts of snow. Somehow, I prefer the climate of Ascension...
Well, last week's Islander was bloomin' interesting, eh? The future of the island lies in our hands, I guess it's time to make your feelings known! However, I expect that's enough politics from me. I would like to make a political joke, but the trouble with political jokes is that they keep getting elected...
I guess you could say people never trust a politician or a meteorologist, but maybe you could include Estate Agents, solicitors and insurance salesman in there as well? The Metmen are a pretty reliable bunch though, at least when it comes to the 'green flash'. I've been watching for it all week, but it's been too cloudy! It's good to hear that others also enjoy the spectacle and it certainly bears looking for, so keep the Ollies, G&T or Bell's handy!
As mentioned above, the weather last week saw one wet day. It was Thursday. It was a cloudy and overcast day with rain, rain and more rain. Now you can say what you like about the Metman, and people usually do, but we are brave souls. How else would you account for the fact that Shipwreck decided to go for a long walk that day. Not only that, but also how do you account for Devonian and Kenny also deciding to go for a walk on the same day - to Weather Post of all places! Brave (& wet) souls indeed, eh?
In fact, I just need to say a little about the UK weather at the moment, and the height of their Summer. I work with the media in the UK, and I confidently predict that very soon, after wash-outs at most major sporting events, talk will soon turn to St Swithin's Day. It's actually this week, the 15th July! Tradition holds that if it rains on that day, then each of the next 40 days will have some rain. Well, we'll use any method at our disposal!
One of the things (parameters) that we record here is the visibility. This is not as easy as it sounds, but it is vitally important when you are trying to land an aircraft. So it was with some interest that I read Dana Haff's letter last week about the horizon. After some thorough-ish research Dana's figures look pretty good, although I got a bit confused with metres and feet, and kilometres and nautical miles. I even mailed the Maersk Gannet for their help and advice, and their figures pretty well back up the whole story. They even tell me that from their bridge they would expect to see the top of Green Mountain from a distance of 71 nautical miles. I wonder if Juan Da Nova spotted Ascension from so far away?
Well, it's all fascinating stuff, eh? It has answered a question I've long wondered about, of course you can't see that far from the top of the mountain, 'cos all you can see is bamboo! Still, that didn't stop a good number of hearty Pioneers, and a few other stragglers, from running all the way from the Turtle Ponds in Georgetown to the blessed Dew Pond on Sunday.
Yes, I can think of better things to do on a Sunday, but it simply has to be done. In fact, well done to the Pioneers for all the organisation, and particular congratulations go to Tim for a fine run in under one hour. The crowds were a bit disappointing, but the gathering at Two Boats was a most welcome sight.
After all that exercise I think I need to lie down at English Bay, catch some rays, and test whether the sea temperature really is 26.5 Celsius!
Sweet dreams By Misty Morn
Clear your mind last thing at night
You're in a world you want to be
It's in a field and painted white
You then awake and wonder why,
From Bryn the Armourer
The inventor of the percussion cap cannot be positively identified as there were several claimants but on balance it seems likely that the best claimant was an English artist named Joshua Shaw. He had apparently been advised that his invention was not patentable in the United Kingdom, so he departed forthwith to the United States of America where he registered his patent in 1822.The final improvement chemically was the manufacture of fulminate of Mercury. This when properly handled proved both stable and reliable and very soon became the most widely used compound in the manufacture of percussion caps. Once perfected the percussion cap system conferred great advantages as guns with locks working on the new system were reliable and if sensibly used were very much more weatherproof than the flintlock with its vulnerable priming. The lock action was much faster which improved accuracy, while the jet of flame that lanced from the cap into the charge caused it to burn rather more rapidly, thus improving muzzle velocity. A good many flintlocks were converted to the new system and a few guns naturally failed under the increased strain. Most of these were sporting guns. It does not seem likely that many pistols were converted. The removal of the somewhat bulky flintlock made it possible to streamline weapons to the stage where double barrelled arms became a practical proposition.
The disappearance of the pan was particularly useful as far as pistols were concerned as very small or double-barrelled pistols capable of being concealed in a pocket soon became popular. Nor did the process stop there, for if two shots were better than one, four were clearly better still although care had to be taken not to increase the pistols weight and bulk overmuch.
Probably the most practical of these multi-barrelled arms were those with two pairs of barrels, one on top and one on the bottom, each with their own nipples, but able to be pivoted quickly and simply by hand, so that they came under hammers in succession. You still had to hand load the barrels with gunpowder, shot and wad. Only the means of ignition had changed, with a hammer hitting the percussion cap. A notable aspect of the percussion lock was the relative speed with which developments occurred as compared with the flintlock, in pistols especially so. But let us catch up on Land and Sea before proceeding there. My thanks to all who have handed in items. Keep Safe.
Cheers for now.
Bryn the SERCO armourer.
HASH No. 809 - From NASA car park
The assembly point was bleak, cold and very windy, this was the first time I had seen hash hounds waiting inside cars hoping the hares wouldn't show so that they could go home!!
And their wish was nearly granted because by 4:40p.m. it was starting to look like a disaster had happened "does anyone know where the hares are?" It appeared that the hares had forgotten to turn out for the hash. "Which way do we go!!!" was called to which the unison reply was "home!". Alas a car arrived carrying a tray of sandwiches and a mixed bunch of hashers. HKP will be punished for nearly forgetting to bring the butties!!
So we set off in the only direction down .it felt like we were being shepherded, like lemmings, in the direction of Crysal Bay . From the looks on our faces it was obvious that the question in everyone's mind was "how far down do we go, because we've got to get back up this lot and it's going to be hhhhhaaarrrrdddd!". As we gathered pace, (which is easy when you're going downhill), Ivor decided to have an argument with some tree roots he lost. He was sent sprawling across the dirt, but by some miracle ended up on his feet, so just kept running
Suddenly we realised that we were off-trail, in the excitement of running downhill, the FRB's had forgotten to keep an eye out for hash!! So we applied the brakes and set off across the slope, heading west. This soon became a test of balance and boot traction as we all skated to the first circle check. By now Woodswrecker, who was bringing up the rear, realised his boots were full of clinker and decided to empty them out. HKP, in true hare tradition, felt he should hang back with Woodswrecker.
What happened next was bizarre!!!! HKP decided to shout instructions to the group so that we could continue without him. Through the howling wind it sounded like he said "I feel so randy!!" What he really said was "I'll wait for Randy". The effect of this was devastating, before he could continue with the all important directions we scattered in all directions each hoping and praying not to be caught by HKP!!! How we all got safely back to the start point where the beer and sandwiches were I do not know. Perhaps hashers possess a sixth sense?
The scribe above is simply my personal recollection of Saturday's events. I can not be held responsible if they are not entirely accurate. Please send all complaints to my employers island representative.
Thank you Hong Kong Phooey and A-Drain - so where did the proper trail go anyway and where were you A-Drain!!
HASH Awards: go to Woodswrecker for the shortest short-cut ever!!!
This week's HASHERS -Sniffy, Near Miss, Arsonist, Ma Bell, Warp Speed, Rat Boy, Ivor the Engine, Thunderthighs, Fit Guy, Wannabe, Hong Kong Phoey, PJ's, Ladylike, Woodswrecker, Grasshopper, Mr. Tickle, Butch, Janice, Jeff, Joshua.
Next week's HASH: Rat Boy, Sticks, Fit Guy, Wannabe and Thunderthighs - starting from Red Lion car part, Green Mountain. Don't forget Near Miss will be burying his boots!
EDITOR - Ian Andrews
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327
Internet compilers - Paul Bennett, Nathan Prince & Gavin Yon
Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday