ASCENSION'S MOST WANTED
First the good news, then the s(b)ad news.
Good to be asked to conduct a service for Pete and Kim Powell asking God's blessing on their marriage as they renewed their wedding vows last Saturday.
Then on Sunday the sad news as we said Goodbye in our morning service to Mark and Karen Giles and family returning to the UK at the end of their tour here with the RAF. Both Mark and Karen have worked very hard as members of St Mary's congregation and in undertaking various roles as Officers of the Church Council. And the boys have certainly added a bit of spice - and volume - to the services from time to time. We shall miss them and wish God's blessing on all the family as they move on to a rather cold and wet summer (!) in England.
Alright, I admit it. I am one of those infuriating people who never (well hardly ever, as Gilbert and Sullivan fans will recognise) admit to their own mistakes but can spot them at 500 yards in others. So the first thing I noticed in last week's Islander was that a nought had been left off one of the figures in the ADF accounts. We are greatly indebted to the Maersk Company for their donation of ONE THOUSAND - not one hundred - pounds. Theirs was the first response to our appeal, and it is the second year running that they have been so generous. Thank you, and apologies for the mistake.
Easy enough to miss off a nought; or a Cross for that matter. And it's because it is so easy to miss of the Cross, to go through life from day to day without a thought of all that that Christian symbol stands for, that St Mary's publishes an "Ascension Island Cycle of Prayer".
Last week, a little belatedly due to my having been off Island, I printed and distributed 75 of these little lists. Wherever you work or take your leisure on the Island there should be one on a notice board somewhere. They are just to remind you that God does care, that you do matter, and that week by week a different area of Ascension Island life gets prayed for. This coming week it's the Met Office we remember in our prayers, but everyone is included, four times each year.
God Bless and Keep You,
Fr Keith & Ginny
|From the Editors:- Caz
Typical of you ungrateful lot out there…..the first time in over 6 months that I edit this paper and NOTHING happens. No births, no marriages, no christenings, no scandal, no big fish, no VIP visitors, no big sporting events. Just what is wrong with you all? It must be the flu bug! Ah well, I suppose this happens to real newspapers too sometimes.
You have all by now had a chance to read the Fiscal Survey and should have formed some opinion on Ascension's future. The request from Geoff and FCO for feedback and questions is not a trick but a genuine effort to guage the wishes of Ascension residents. Whether you like it or not, Ascension is going to become a democratic society in which you will have you chance to comment on, question or even be involved in local government. If you wish to put forward ideas for the island's future or to ask any questions at all on the implications of the end of the Joint Venture, then please feel free to either send them direct to the Administrator's Office or via the Islander Newspaper. You don't have to sign your name if you don't want. We will publish as many replies in the Islander as we can.
Maybe you will be surprised to receive an e-mail from Holland. But let me explain. I should like it very much to have (pen)friends from Ascension and I hope that you can help me by publishing my name and address in the Islander newspaper.
I am am male person, working at an office as an accountant and still studying in the evenings. I have many interests. Besides I collect phonecards, banknotes and postcards and further I love it to play tennis.
Hoping you can help me and thanking you in advance, I am, yours truly,
|Letters to the Editor can be sent to
when we arrived here in April 1998, we were told that our tour would fly by and that before we knew it we would be back in the UK. Now we are heading to "sunny" Shrivenham we can see how correct they were, the last two years have disappeared so fast. During that time we have met many people and made some good friends, and our memories of Ascension will never leave us. We are intending to come back in December to see you all again, and to catch up on all the latest Island news.
Special thanks go to Steve and Sean for keeping us entertained each Saturday morning; to Banned on Ascension for filling our evenings and weekends (when we could have been sunbathing) with plenty of rehearsals so we didn't have a chance to get bored; to all our friends from the RAF, Serco, Turners, Eurest, AIS, CSR, Ariane, Cable and Wireless, Merlin, the Hashers, the Wednesday night Hockey players and everyone at the Exiles Club (If we've missed anyone - sorry). You have all made this tour very special, Donk, Gemma, Sean, Phil we'll meet up with you in the UK the pint you promised! To the Sunday School, we will think of you when we're in a traditional English pub for Sunday lunch.
Aunty Phyllis thank you for being a susbstitute Gran to Graham, Ian and Christopher, and also to Betty and Karen for all their babysitting, time and patience. We will all miss you, but hope to meet again some day. Our address in the UK is:
2 Days Ground Shrivenham
Karen, Mark, Graham, Ian and Christopher
ARIA MEMORIAL WORKING GROUP BULLETIN
It's now time for an update as the May 5-6, 2001 weekend takes more shape and planning is falling into line. The web site for the overall event is the place to go for all related information. The URL is: www.geocites.com/ariahome/index.htm The priority of the moment is to let one and all know that the reservation form has been produced and is available from the web site. Just a few points to tweak your enthusiasm. Many former Wing and ARIA Commanders have already checked in with sincere interest in attending the affair.
The Saturday evening banquet will be held in the AF Museum Modern Flight Gallery --thus providing a stable environment in the event of a spring storm. So, there is a limit to reservations -for the banquet ONLY! The banquet MC should be a pleasant surprise. The name will be provided on the web site as soon as confirmation is completed.
A special committee has been formed to work toward locating the families of the Crew from ARIA 328. The lead members of this committee are volunteers from this group that have already been located. However, much help is needed to insure that no one is missed! If you have any shred of information, this committee would certainly appreciate your assistance.
There is exceptional enthusiasm regarding the dedication of ARIA 374 to the USAF Museum! Watch the web site for progress and bulletins. Please help forward this bulletin to one and all. Better a friend receive two copies - than none!
See you next May.
Hello again to all of the residents of Ascension Island, I have just recently returned from the UK as I have now completed my 2 year A-level course. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those kind people who enabled me to further my education in England. There are too many names to mention individually but I am truly grateful to you all. Thank you to the island's Administrators - Mr Huxley and Mr Fairhurst - and everyone who contributed to the Educational Trust Fund in any way. I hope that this fund is kept up and running so that other students are also able to have the opportunity to receive further education.
To all of my excellent teachers at Two Boats School, including those who have now left the island, thank you so much for encouraging me to take this great opportunity - I have no regrets about going now, and thanks for teaching me well enough to get good enough grades in the first place. J Gerald and Linda Yon - I am extremely grateful to you both for allowing me to live with you for the past 2 years, London was a very " different " experience for me - it has its good sides as well as its bad sides but it is nice to be back in the sun and the more relaxed pace of Ascension. Life sure is less entertaining without Joshua's wit though ! Finally to my family and friends, both here and in the UK. Without your constant support I would most certainly not have coped too well.
Thank you to my big brother Darren and Julie who put up with me whenever I needed to get away from London or see a familiar face - I can't wait to see you both in September. I think my parents, Colin and Pam Benjamin, deserve the biggest thank you of all - I will never be able to thank you enough and it's so good to be back with you.
Well I think I have said enough now - I don't want to bore you all. If I missed anyone out I'm really sorry but thank you too ! Also, I would just like to say something to you guys who are still in Two Boats School - basically, work hard and do the best that you are capable of and you will achieve great things. If you get the chance to go to the UK to study don't hesitate just go for it, you will not regret it. J P.S. good luck to all of you who took your exams this year, I'm sure you all did brilliantly.
Thanks once again to everybody,
Having read of the FCO Report on Ascension Island. I have drafted a response to my UK Member of Parliament, Ms. Dari Taylor. The main theme of my letter was to expand the idea I mentioned in a recent posting re: local government in the South Atlantic. I will keep you posted about any response/feedback I receive. In the meantime my letter (dated 21st July 2000) reads:
Dear Ms. Taylor,
FISCAL AND ECONOMIC REPORT ON ASCENSION ISLAND
You will be no doubt aware of a report entitled "Fiscal & Economic Report on Ascension Island" prepared for the UK government to assist it in deciding the future of the UK Overseas Territory of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. I have read this report and enclose a copy for your reference. I do not claim to speak on behalf of any organisation representing Ascension Island or the South Atlantic I speak as a local UK voter with a private interest in the matter. The concept of the British Empire has gone forever but many residents of the UK's remaining Overseas Territories remain extremely loyal to Britain and I think that as "mother nation" the UK has certainly a moral duty to her remaining overseas possessions in their development and welfare. Ascension Island is no exception.
I think that any development in the South Atlantic must be led by the residents of Ascension Island (and St. Helena Island) themselves with the appropriate level of assistance from the UK - "a hand up, not a hand out." The key to such development is in sustained and organic growth. Ascension Island's/South Atlantic's unique ecology could provide a lucrative market for eco-tourists and student marine biologists and ornithologists supported by the creation of a "South Atlantic National Park." Market gardening could also be developed in St. Helena, with products such as the unique St. Helena Coffee. The Internet could play a very important role in selling and marketing. Leisure and cultural activities could be developed such as golf courses and tours of St. Helena Island where Napoleon was exiled as well as the history of Jacobs Ladder and the East India Company. The opening of Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island is vital for the development any effective tourist industry. Even Gibraltar has regular civilian flights despite being predominantly used as a military base. Military and Communication I think will continue to play an important role in the future of Ascension Island but speaking as an employee of the logistics industry "value added services" could be developed on Ascension Island for goods crossing the Atlantic such as warehousing, inventory management, re-packaging and product assembly.From what I have learned from my father who worked for a UK local authority, none of the above can succeed effectively without a more organised structure of accountable local government.
Therefore, how feasible would it be to develop local government in the South Atlantic along the same system of two-tier UK local government?
By that I mean the creation of a "St. Helena County Council" comprising an "Ascension Island Borough Council" and a "Tristan da Cunha District Council."
The St. Helena County Council elected along the same principles of UK local authorities would be responsible for education, health and social services and central economic development (including tourism) with the borough councils responsible for housing, local development, refuse collection, utilities and highways and transport. In many cases these services could be contracted-out on the principle of whoever provided the "best practise." "Ascension Island Services" already has experience of running local services maybe they could be allowed to bid to run contracts? Thereby maintaining public services and being publicly accountable.
Each local authority would have an elected leader with the role of 'Administrator' and 'Governor' replaced by 'Lord Lieutenant' thus maintaining local representation of the Crown. St. Helena is the largest island within the South Atlantic (not including the Falkland Islands) in terms of population so it seems logical that a small civil service could be established which would administer the county council and its duties.
Law and order could be maintained by establishing a "St. Helena County Police." By its very nature it would be the largest police force in the world in terms of area served. Its main role would be to maintain law and order on the islands including cycling and car proficiency tests and road safety campaigns, protect fishing waters and oversee customs and excise. There is already a police presence on St. Helena including "the British Empire's smallest prison" so again it would be logical to base any police service on St. Helena. I saw on a TV programme how Tristan da Cunha's sole police officer was trained in England. Again, it would make sense to establish appropriate training on St. Helena reducing costs and promoting internal development and job creation. With local government there is national government. How feasible would it be for each island to have its own elected Member of Parliament?
One MP could be elected representing the "South Atlantic Constituency." He/she would sit in the UK Parliament and have full privileges and access to Parliamentary resources like any other Westminster MP and would be elected on the same terms as his/her Westminster counterparts. The point of doing this would give the South Atlantic islands greater representation within the UK, which would advantageous when discussing issues regarding citizenship. The MP for South Atlantic need not be affiliated to any political organisation but it is perhaps inevitable that MPs affiliated to an established political party are likely to be more "effective" (lobbying, gaining support, parliamentary time).
There are many more ideas that could be developed or expanded which time prevents me from mentioning here.
I can appreciate your time is exceptionally busy but any response or input you can give would be gratefully welcomed not just by me but especially by the people of the South Atlantic. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The Fiscal Survey has been in the public domain for a few weeks now. Long enough for Ascension residents to have an opinion and certainly a few questions. In response to the Administrator's plea for people to make known their views and concerns the Islander decided to start the ball rolling with a few questions of our own. Thanks to Geoff Fairhurst for taking time off his holiday packing to answer them.
1. What has been the scale of response by Ascension Island residents to the survey?
I have spoken to a number of people and there is obviously keen interest. I welcome the Islander's initiative today. It's a long report to assimilate and challenges virtually every aspect of the way of life here on Ascension. To date I have not had much in the way of questions or opinions but over the next few weeks I hope that more debate will take place.
2. Are you encouraged/disappointed by the response?
I would have liked a more immediate response but I am not altogether surprised. Unfortunately people here are not used to being consulted but they are being asked now. That's something everyone will have to get used to in the future too. Baroness Scotland (FCO Minister for the Overseas Territories) has told us that she wants Ascension to have a system of Government closer to that which exists in other Overseas Territories. We have to make a start on the recommendations of the Fiscal & Economic Report soon. Remember they are recommendations and suggestions. If people have something to contribute they should do so now. Perhaps when the process of change has started, people will realise that we are serious in our intention to bring about change for the better. I am about to start four weeks leave in the UK but Bill Dickson will be Acting Administrator in my absence. He's from the Overseas Territories Department of the FCO and leads the FCO team dealing with Ascension affairs. He is keen to hear what people think so I urge people to have a word with him whilst he is here.
3. Given that the Joint Venture is due to end in 8 months time, have things not been left a little late?
We are talking to the Joint Venture partners (BBC World Service and Cable & Wireless) about the way forward. Let me say here that we are working hand in glove with the JV partners. But decisions need to be taken soon and if people don't let us have their views, they will miss out. There is no time to lose.
4. Is it likely that there will be an extension of the JV in some shape or form to provide a transition period?
No. The Joint Venture Board has made it clear that the partnership comes to an end in March 2001. Ascension Island Services (AIS) will still exist of course and will continue to provide its existing services. One decision that has to be taken soon is who will own AIS when the Joint Venture ceases to exist? To an extent this will depend on legal advice but the matter is under consideration now. We need to finalise this soon so that the employees of AIS and other Island residents know where they stand. But this will be the start of a transition period. The F & E Report covers a lot of ground. There is a great deal to be done and it will take several years to complete.
5. The authors of the survey hinted that AIS could not only provide council services (hospital/school/roads etc) but could in fact form the nucleus of a new council. This gives rise to 4 questions :
i) Do you envisage Ascension being run on a day to day basis by a local council or will it be governed more directly by SHG?
ii) If we do have a local council will the councillors be democratically elected in a free and fair election?
iii) If there is to be no council will there be some form of representation for Ascension on St Helena?
iv) Will the contract for the provision of council services be put up for competitive tender? If not, why not?
Let's sort out which is the dog and which is the tail. I see a council as being a body of democratically elected people who within broad boundaries will direct Island policy. That's the dog that wags the tail ie the service providers. For example the Council will direct how many times a week the refuse bins are to be emptied, the service providers will do it. To take your last first, much depends on who is going to own AIS in the future. If it is to be Government, AIS will provide the services where it can, provided it can give value for money. If others can do it cheaper (or if AIS were to be a private sector contractor) I would certainly expect to see competitive tendering. I have no doubt that ultimately we will introduce a democratic process here. What form it might take will depend very much on what people want. It will be even more important that people speak up.
6. The survey dismisses offshore banking as a commercial venture. Do you personally feel that with the right advice and professional expertise it could actually be a good source of income for Ascension in the future?
I am certain that the F & E Report offers the right advice on this. There is no shortage of offshore banking centres around the world. We have nothing special to offer to enable us to compete. It's a business that would need extensive regulation, which we do not have. The more shady side of the trade would speedily set up business here but the Overseas Territories White Paper made it clear that HMG expected all the Overseas Territories to clean up their acts on financial services.
7. There has been a lot of coverage in the St Helena News and the Islander regarding the SheLCo proposal to build an airport /hotel on St Helena. Assuming that SHG is sensible enough to take them up on this offer, St Helena could have an airstrip by the end of 2003. Do you envisage Wideawake playing host to commercial aircraft by this time?
I am not going to comment on the relative merits of the ShellCo initiative. That is for the St Helena Government. We are negotiating with the US Government over the opening up of Wideawake Airfield to civilian charter traffic. As you might expect they are being conducted in a friendly and helpful manner and we hope to make progress soon. Baroness Scotland will be discussing this when she visits Washington this week. 2003? - I hope so.
8. When will an announcement be made regarding free enterprise on Ascension? By this I mean when will private businesses be allowed to 'set up shop' or tender for work on Ascension? Will they have to wait until April next year to start and what will be the conditions under which they can operate?
Ideally we need to be able to offer businesses the opportunity to buy or lease property. We don't have the necessary legal framework in place yet and it might take a year or two to do this. However for the time being we can offer a "letter of comfort" in lieu of a certificate of occupancy which might suffice in some cases, though I admit it falls short of the ideal. For the first year ie starting next April, I envisage that all Island businesses will pay for public services through a per capita levy rather as they do now but with everyone paying at the same rate. During that year we will attempt to organise alternative ways of funding public services (see below). So if businesses can live with that, I see no reason why free enterprise cannot start now. Indeed we are alive to the need to identify soon someone to provide a shop service as the current NAAFI contract comes to an end next year. I hope that an announcement on this will be made soon.
9. I think Ascension Islanders are appreciative of the fact that whatever system of Government is in place next year taxation is inevitable. What do you think will be the most likely form of taxation and what will be the most efficient way of collecting it? Ie income tax, customs duty, VAT etc)
If we want public services (school, hospital, sanitation etc etc) they have to be paid for. The F & E Report has a section on taxation (Section 5) and I am not going to repeat all that. As I see it the per capital levy is a pretty blunt instrument and I think various forms of taxation are inevitable. But they must be collected efficiently. I see little point in spending £90 on collecting a tax of £100. PAYE income tax is widely used and efficient to collect. There is a ready made system in St Helena that we could import. The Report envisages import duties on alcohol, tobacco and hydrocarbon vehicle fuel. Again these are widely used and efficient to collect. There are on the Island a number of scientific measuring devices, usually operated remotely. I think their owners should pay a licence fee for the use of the Island. If we introduce leasehold land it is normal to charge a rent or if we were to have freehold land, stamp duty on registration of title documents is an efficient and widely used form of taxation. Your readers may be feeling despondent about all this and whilst I cannot speak for employers, I simply point out that when these measures are introduced, the employers will not be paying the per capita levy. As I said before, we are working closely with the JV partners on all these points.
10. Ascension has a unique chance to start from scratch as a self-governing, economically viable community that will take onboard the lessons learned by other small islands. Would you agree that now is the perfect time to lose, once and for all, the dreaded South Atlantic war cry of "We've always done it that way" . Surely now is the time to encourage new people with fresh ideas who will take Ascension forward.
Exciting isn't it? I do see this as a splendid opportunity for all sorts of people to make better lives for themselves whether it be economically, socially or politically. The old ways have served - up to a point - but I think Ascension now needs to examine everything it does. Why are certain things done? Do they need doing at all? If so, is there a better way? We are at a cross roads and it does need the people of Ascension to involve themselves in the decision making process. I should like to end by saying that the FCO, the Governor and I all believe that Ascension has a future. But we need the support of the people who live here to make it work.
On a similar theme, here is the Administrator's reply to last week's letter from Pip Waller…Ed
Gambling on Ascension Seekers
Your issue of 20 July included a rather agitated letter from Mr Pip Waller about an article in the Daily Telegraph of 15 July by Paul Miles (whom I have never met, spoken to or corresponded with). I hope that you will allow me to comment. For a start may I urge Mr Waller and others to read the Fiscal & Economic Report, a summary of which can be found on the FCO website www.fco.gov.uk Alternatively I can send a paper copy to anyone who wants one.
There you will see that a casino is but one of a number of options suggested for the economic advancement of this Island. Personally I agree that it would be a travesty for someone to come to Ascension just to gamble. But as an add-on to a small hotel complex? An alternative way of spending an evening? Why not, if it boosts Ascension's income and employment prospects? Mr Waller goes on to bewail my reported comments in the Telegraph article. The only comment attributed to me referred to my view that if we are to protect Ascension's unique environment, we must generate the wealth to pay for it. I don't see anything wrong with that. We cannot expect the world to pay our environmental bills.
There is currently no on-Island expertise or finance devoted to protecting our unique environment. Over the years Man has not treated the Island well. To take but one example, if we leave the Mexican Thorn tree to spread as it had done in the last 30 years, we can say goodbye to the endemic flora, possibly even our famed green turtles. We have also lost a number of historic buildings - North East Cottage, Bells Cottage, Governor's Lodge, the tanks at Dampier's are in a sorry state, even the powder magazine is threatened by the sea. These are things worth fighting for but there is a price to be paid. Moreover we cannot expect the people of this Island to continue to live as they did when Mr Waller was here some 20 years ago. People's expectations and ambitions have moved on. It is admittedly a fine balancing act between using and protecting our natural assets but I am determined to use my best efforts to preserve this wonderful Island for future generations.
Statistics for the week ending 5th June 2000.
Max (deg C) Min (deg C) Rainfall (mm) AIRHEAD 28.3 22.3 0.4 TRAVELLERS 27.4 20.4 5.6 GEORGETOWN 29.5 22.5 0.1 RESIDENCY 24.5 17.7 8.6 ST. HELENA 19.6 13.8 22.6 FALKLANDS 3.7 -3.3 15.6 BRIZE NORTON 25.9 6.5 Trace
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST (based on data available on Monday afternoon): The swell at the time of writing, is 1.2 metres with a period of 8 seconds and it's mainly from the south. The forecast is for the swell to remain from the southern end of the Atlantic Ocean, and it may reach 2 metres at times through the week
Sea temperature around Ascension Island: 26 Celsius, or for those that still work in old money, its 79 Fahrenheit
ASCENSION ISLAND: Quite a dry week looking at the above figures. The Residency saw nearly one third of an inch of rain, but still they want more. You can imagine the trouble we have trying to arrange the weather so that it suits everybody. Still, I think we do a pretty good job don't you?
ST. HELENA: Gary Thomas reports:- The rains continued this rather overcast/chilly week and eased off on Friday with the occasional shower over the weekend. The best day for the week was Saturday with 6 hours of sunshine.
The domestic water shortage is reported full with excess filling the irrigation reservoirs and flowing over the Heart-shaped waterfall - A rare sight.
Sunshine 16.3 hours, Mean temp 16.3 C and Mean wind speed 13.4 kts.
U.K: 'Much of last week was actually quite good. It was dry, sunny and warm, but that was during the week. Of course Friday beckons and that's when the clouds rolls in, one description of the weekend's weather that I heard was 'dull'. Says it all doesn't it?
FALKLAND ISLANDS: Erm, cold with snow showers, and when it wasn't cold with snow showers it was cold and misty. I suppose children might enjoy the snow but I reckon they're the only ones.
Well, last week wasn't so bad weatherwise. True, we did have some showers and people do point this out to me. However, we arrange these showers mainly for the night-time period, which is pretty considerate.
The clouds have remained fairly well broken oven Ascension Island, we keep a track of them from two different satellites. One sits directly above the equator at a height of 35,000 km and we get continuous 'pictures' from it. The really good satellite, and it can give us a picture from the north pole right down to the south pole. In fact, there's a ring of these all around the world, so the whole world's weather is constantly monitored.
That's quite reassuring, and it shows the lengths that we go to better understand the world's climatic habits, and ultimately to provide better forecasts. This one is in a much lower orbit which is only 850 km above the Earth. It whizzes around the poles, taking about 100 minutes to complete the orbit. This produces high quality pictures, and sometimes we can even see the cloud that Ascension produces as it trails off into the distance.
Of course we also look at the clouds directly outside the Office. Theses cumulus clouds don't actually last very long. The typical small clouds that we see only last about 1/2 an hour, from beginning to end. The bigger cumulus clouds, including cumulonimbus, generally last for about an hour or an hour and a half. Surprising, isn't it?
Clouds are simply lots of water droplets all hanging about together. If you want to see what the inside of a cloud looks like, then go up the mountain when it's covered in cloud!
I mentioned that Devonian and indeed Shipwreck, were caught out on walks by these collections of water droplets. Well, I am pleased to report that Devonian managed a return trip to the Weather Post, in fine weather this time. Certainly you have to pick your day, but the time for the mountain walks is now, rather than later in the year.
Talking of walks, Sister's is an imposing sort of peak. It doesn't really take that long to get to the top, but what concerns many people is the trip back down. At times it's rather like walking on marbles and can be quite hard work, it's also quite slippery and falls are not uncommon.
The really hard way up Sister's is from the other side, and that is also the really easy way down as well. We raced down the scree slopes in seconds, it was brilliant! OK, you end up miles from anywhere, but otherwise it's a complete hoot. Actually, it leaves you very adjacent to a couple of fumeroles. These are not for the faint hearted and they are certainly challenging. There's not an awful lot to see down there, but at least we can now say we've been inside a volcano. I have to say that the sunlight was a very welcome sight when I emerged from the 'chimney'.
I am not usually a betting man, but the Horse Racing Night at the NAFFI was a complete laugh. We had a syndicate, we had tactics, we even had spread betting, but it didn't help. Still, there was an awful lot of fun as people even ended up bidding against themselves for horses. Well done to Steve and Sharon and Sarah and Donc, and everybody else for a terrific evening.
And finally, some long serving members of the island community are heading towards the Airhead for their final departure. I must say goodbye to one couple, and if I say, 'Live long and prosper' I think they'll know who they are...
'bye 'bye now!
From the Headteacher - Mrs Betty Joshua
Hello from TBS!
This week we read about what Julian, Mario and Verena did while on work experience. Apologies for omitting RAF from the list of organisations who participated in the programme.
Julian spent his work experience time with three different companies.
His first week was spent at Cable & Wireless with their technicians. Among the many things they taught him were how the telephone system operated, how to install new card phones and a lot more. Week two was spent at CSR Fire and Security, where he learnt various fire and rescue procedures and the correct use of a lot of the equipment needed for this particular job. Turner's was the venue for week three where Julian spent time with the carpenters learning the various skills of carpentry.
IA for Julian
For the past three weeks I've been on work experience with different companies around the island. For my first two weeks I was at the Merlin TX Station. During my time there I was told the purpose of the station on the island. Told and shown how the Senders worked and did wave changes on them, I also did the weekly and monthly maintenance checks. I was told how resistors, transistors, capacitors and relays worked. The people I worked with whilst I was there was Chris G, Crocky, Dennis, Chris T, Nikki N, Eric J, Darren, Linda and Lucy.
For my last week I went to the Cable & Wireless Earth Station and worked with Paul, Gary, Craig and Bradley. Whilst I was there I was told what the Earth Station was there for and how the equipment worked. We were also testing the coverage of the police radios. This involved putting an aerial for the radio on various parts of Green Mountain to see which spot had the best coverage of the island. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Merlin Communications and Cable & Wireless for allowing me to go and experience work at their stations and for making me feel very welcome. I now hope the experience that I have gained can benefit me in the future.
Recently I completed a three-week work experience, from the 19th June to the 7th July. This enabled me to become familiar with five different jobs that I might be interested in doing in the near future. This involved spending a week with C&W, AIS and CSR.
C&W Main Office Within this week I covered the majority of sections in the main office. This included working with the Operators, Customer Services, the Finance Department and the Work Shop Technicians.
The Operators included answering telephone calls and connecting international calls when necessary. Dockets were filled out for the use of the Finance Department at a later stage for billing.
Customer Services deals with difficulties or enquiries, which customers might encounter. They also promote products for the company at the main desk. The Finance Department handles the Island's telephone bills and other money transactions.
The Technicians monitor the mechanical side of the company, mainly the Internet and telephones. Email addresses, ID and PIN numbers are issued or removed when a customer requests it. This is brought to their attention by Customer Services through an AN note which is passed around the company. I also took part in testing and setting up the new card phones, which are to be allocated around the Island.
AIS Hospital Doctor Shub, who explained what the various things were and what they were used for, gave me a tour around the Hospital. I later joined the Nurses and Technicians. There I helped to prepare used items to be sterilised. During Clinic time, I witnessed a mole on a patient's back and a lump from the ear of another patient being incised and removed from the body. I also took temperatures, pulse rates and blood pressure readings from those who were suffering from flu. Being given the chance to have a go on Resussy Annie, I performed the vital routine required if a casualty is not breathing, which is respiration (mouth to mouth ventilation) and circulation (external chest compressions) so that the flow of oxygen to the brain is maintained.
CSR Clinic I did chemistry: this involved testing blood from Antigua and Ascension for various things such as the amount of potassium and glucose present. Using slides, which I made, I observed them from under the microscope, identifying and keeping count of the different types of red and white cells. Cultures were made, which displayed the growth of Ecoli and other bacteria. I drew blood from Debbie (Lab Technician) for blood banking. This involved spinning the blood down until the serum was separate. Test were done on both the blood and serum, which revealed your blood type. I also did finger pricks tests on diabetic patients.
CSR Commissary Office Menus were made for the following day, which were emailed to different sections of the Company. Signatures of those who signed in for a meal were counted for billing. I dealt with food orders from those who were unable to collect it themselves, either because they were unwell or unable to leave their place of work. I was also expected to update food stock levels, in view of recording those items that were running low. This included the Snack Bar requirements as well.
CSR Store After restocking the shelves, I was shown how to download and monitor products onto the computer. When the Store was opened, I was given the chance to serve customers, "ring up" the purchases made at the cash register and receive and give change. During these three weeks, I endured many things that I thought I could never do. Working in all the individual divisions has given me a clear insight in the procedures which these jobs require. This experience will be of great value to me in choosing a career.
I would like to thank all the companies for allowing me the opportunity to work with them and gaining this experience. My time spent with you has been most enjoyable.
To celebrate our on-going success at Two Boats School we would like to share with you today and in forthcoming Islanders some of our achievements and examination results, we are beginning with the SATs results in the Senior School.
From strength to strength!!
The Year 9 SATs results (averages) in the Senior School just keep getting better!!
Below are the Year 9 SATs results for the past three years (we only started doing them in 1998!) in the three core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and so that you have something to compare this with we have included the UK National averages in brackets (it is expected that an average pupil in Year 9 should be between level 5 and level 6)
SUBJECT PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WITH LEVEL 5 AND ABOVE 1998 1999 2000 TB School (UK) TB School (UK) TB School (UK)* English 43 (65) 100 (63) 75 (63) Mathematics 14 (59) 63 (62) 88 (62) Science 14 (56) 50 (55) 63 (55)
*1999 averages as the averages for 2000 will not be published until November/December 2000
WOW!! Some excellent results all round! Full marks to all the hard work behind these results, both students and staff.
The trend is upwards and we are outshining the UK averages by considerable amounts. Now we will use this information to set targets for students so that they can fulfill their potential at GCSE; we also use the results to identify areas of strength and weakness so that we can build on these to raise standards and achievement even further. Well done again!
NEWS FROM THE ARMOURER
The mounting of the "Carronade" also broke new ground, for instead of the standard ship carriage (except for one or two of the first made) they were not given trunnions. Instead, they had a lug cast in the lower part of the barrel which was anchored to a top carriage, a simple sled of wood. This was free to slide across the top of a truncated truck carriage bolted firmly to the ships side. The Carronade" had some spectacular successes in its early days.
In 1782 the "Rainbow" was officially armed with a variety of carronades up to 8 inch calibre by order of the navy board, and by way of a trial. In the course of a cruise, she came up with a French frigate, the "He'be", which was armed with conventional long cannon.
Had the "He'be's" captain known better, he could have "stood off" and battered the "Rainbow" into submission. But the "Rainbow" decoyed "He'be" into close range and then fired a broadside of cannonade, ending the action almost before it had begun!! "He'be" surrendered and the cannonade grew in popularity.
In an endeavour to obtain the highest possible velocity from the short carronade, hollow shot were developed. Being lighter than solid shot they attained a greater velocity and thus a greater striking force over the short ranges used. It's remarkable that, except for some minor experiments in the early carronade days by Melville, there seems to have been no suggestion of taking the projectile further - and developing an explosive shell. Also remarkable because the explosive shell was no mystery by this time; as we've said, the French were using them in bomb ketch's as early as 1682 at Algiers. With this experience with explosive shells, it is all the more surprising that the shell and the carronade were never brought together! It would seem but a short step from having a hollow shot, and the boring a hole in it, to allow the insertion of powder and a fuse to produce a shell. The shell idea was slow to permeate among the naval minds of the time, but it eventually took root in the French navy.
My thanks to all who have handed items in a few of 1941-2 vintage this period.
Bryn the SERCO armourer
1. The following statistics relate to the period 1st April 2000 to 30th June as compared to the same period in 1999.
1999 2000 a. Total number of reports received and dealt with by police 30 23 b. Total number of criminal cases 13 06 c. Total number of criminal cases to court 04 01 d. Sudden death 00 00 e. Total number of persons committed to prison (including overnight arrest) males 02 00 2. Out of the total number of criminal cases reported the following are included: a. Offences against the Theft Act 1968 11 01 b. Summary Offences Ordinance 1975 01 00 c. Offences Against The Person Act 1861 00 02 d. Telecommunications Ordinance 1990 00 00 e. Criminal Damage Ordinance 1979 01 03 Total 11 06 3. Out of the total number of reports received the following action was taken: a. All offences resulting in conviction 06 03 b. Formal cautions 00 04 c. Written warnings 01 02 d. Verbal warnings 08 04 e. Cases closed, No further police action 10 04 f. Investigation inconclusive, no crime established 02 02 g. Cases Closed Undetected 02 00 h. Cases under investigation 00 02 i. Cases pending court 00 00 j. Cases closed insufficient evidence 00 02 k. Advice given 01 00 Total 30 23 4. Out of the total number of criminal cases to court resulting in conviction, the following penalties were imposed: a. Financial penalty 04 03 b. Custodial Sentence 02 00
The total number of ships excluding her Majesty's ships that called at Ascension during the period under review:
SHIPS 16 22 YACHTS 16 16
There are 569 privately owned motor vehicles of all classes registered, 482 of these are licensed. There are 53 motorcycles registered, 20 of these are licensed.
CATS AND DOGS
There are 188 cats registered and 22 dogs registered.
Hash number: 811
Hash Hash Hares: A Drain & HKP
Hash Hounds: Sniff, A-Drain, Xena, Arsonist, Ma Bell, Warp Speed, Rat Boy, Ivor the Engine, Thunderthighs, Fit Guy, Wanna-be-first, Beany Baby, Hong Kong Phooey, PJ's, Occasional, Lady Like, Thomas the Tank Engine, Grasshopper, Mr Tickle, Pants, Chris, Wendy, Butch
As the details of this days hash are given, groans can be heard. Circle checks, bar checks, back arrows, home arrows, loose rock, orange pail(?), and that gleam in HKP's eyes are the hazards. More groans!! After the first leg of the trail, Ma Bell decides to short-cut right to the end. Flashing is also witnessed as Ivor shows his better side. (Just showing the hashers what his home town has already seen.) No sheep harassed. No hashers lost. I say it was a fair hash.
A BBQ afterwards calms most nerves and feeds the hungry pack. Great curry Ivor and tasty legs Lady Like. Oops…. A sad farewell to 7 hashers as they choose to leave this paradise. To Sniffy, Doz'y, Thomas the Tank Engine, Lady Like, Occasional, Warp Speed & Xena a hearty "Hear-Hear and Good Riddance" was given and toasted to. We wish you all many hash's for the future and we will miss you greatly. (sniff-sniff)
Next week's hares: Warp Speed + 1 from North East Bay Rd. (ouch)
Hash Scribe - HKP
EDITORS - Caz Yon
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