On Sunday 27th August the traditional Ascension Bank Holiday Sportfest took place at the Long Beach Stadium. The event was a bit slow getting off the ground due to a lack of athletes and the dreaded Ascension fear of being the first to arrive anywhere. Or perhaps there were just too many good parties the night before. Once the proceedings did get under way there were some very good performances on the track and field Thanks to the organising committee who worked very hard to implement the day's program and all of the preceding sports events and to AIS for preparing the field. Well done to Sheena Johnson and Gary Robinson who emerged victorious with the highest overall scores.
Finally, congratulations to all who took part throughout the whole of the tournament - you are all winners for doing so
Above : Tracey Yon crossing the line to win the Women's 400m her second win of the day following success in the 200m.
Right : Timmy Reynolds on course to win the 200m before going on to victory in the 100m as well
1st Ascension Island
The Scouts have submitted their fourth week report.. They are having a fantastic and enjoyable trip and their excellent reports and 'naughty bits' with brilliant colour photographs can be found at http://www.scouts.org.ac .
(P.S. don't forget to leave a message on the Scout's Visitor's Book!).
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Half past eight in the morning.
Into the church for Morning Prayer. It is fairly dark as usual but this morning something is different. The candles on the altar are already lit. Someone has been there before me.
And then Jane, who has come to say Morning Prayer with me, sees the poem - or is it a prayer - written on the back of an old Almanac and left on the back pew.
"Whilst I watch alone
In a church forlorn
For a peace I've often
A silent tempest to the Lord,
I will walk always the valley of death."
As yet I do not know who wrote these words; in a sense that does not matter, for they are beautiful and haunting and addressed to God. But they express feelings and emotions that are strong and powerful, maybe a searching for answers. I should like to know more.
I suspect that what is written lies hidden beneath a very ordinary outward expression, a face maybe that I see every day, a person I see but really do not know.
And I would like to get to know some of you better. Not because I want to poke my nose into your affairs, but because you matter to God and you matter to me.
Before I came here I was told "the Saints don't like the clergy to visit. They would be suspicious." Maybe it's time that changed. If I knock on your door you might like to ask me in. Fine. If it's just "hello" on the doorstep that's fine by me too.
But If you would like me to call, or if there is anything or anyone you would like me to pray for, please let me know. You only have to phone. .
God Bless you and keep you,
Fr Keith & Ginny.
Editors:- Caz Yon
Apologies for this somewhat slimline version. We're just following the lead of the professional newsies in Fleet Street. All Bank Holiday papers are skimpy - honest!
You will also notice the deliberate mistake of there being no Hash Trash this week (who's that cheering?). Unfortunately the copy was sent in a Powerpoint format and we don't have that software down here. We've only just stopped using old fashioned typewriters you know. Anyway, attempts to open the disk on other machines - with powerpoint - proved unsuccessful as did attempts to contact the author. So there you have it, sorry, but it couldn't be helped. Please use Word format in the future.
The Scouts seem to be having a whale of a time in Northern Ireland. Gliding no less! - perhaps we could be looking at pilots of future commercial flights to Ascension.
On that scary thought I'll leave you to this week's meagre offerings.
Thorn Trees Targeted
You can always tell when Ben Juhl is back on island, the thorn trees started shaking in their roots! Once again, Ben and a hardy gang of tree-busters have spent a Sunday afternoon de-thorning Devil's Riding School.
Pictured above: enjoying a well deserved drink and pizza at the Exiles Club and Pictured below: . the gang in action - hardly a thorn tree in sight.
The Thorn Attack was sponsored by the Ascecnsion Island Heritage Society
I'm sorry this letter comes so long after the article was written in The Islander. I sent it to the wrong address, and it has taken me this long to find out . J.R.
Well done! to the children of Middle One for such an interesting and informative article, about the history of their lovely school. We have a special place in our hearts for the school, since we taught there for two years, 1967 - 1969. (Just to pick up on one tiny error, we arrived on Ascension in June 1967, and actually taught in Clinker Hall for a couple of months before moving up to the Two Boats site. That would have been about July or August of 1967).
Robin (Randall), my husband, spent a couple of days in Two Boats, with a West Indian workforce, supervising the unloading of all the equipment, while Mr. Simpson supervised all the packing up, in Georgetown.
We loved the new building, and so did the children. We didn't have a teacher who could play the piano, so, as I could pick a tune out with one finger, I became the pianist for morning assembly! Robin taught the one senior class, approximately 16 St. Helenian children over 11 years of age, and I taught the top Juniors. There were about 9 in my class when I started, but it grew a bit over the two years we were there. I think there were about 80 children altogether in the school.
A school bus used to take children to and from Georgetown, and I remember one very sad occasion when it accidentally ran over an old dog which was sleeping in its shade. Miss June Clingham, (now Mrs. Yon, ) was our school assistant, and we attended her wedding in 1968.
As you can see, I have many memories of your school, and if anyone is interested, I would love to correspond with you via e mail. Thank you for your lovely article in The Islander, and the super photos.
Congratulations to you all.
Greetings from the Air Force Base, As most of you know, we have been very busy with the Presidential Support this past two weeks. I am sure many of you have seen the airhead abet crowded at times with the huge C-17 and C-5 aircraft.
On the 16th of August, at 0900, we had the Assumption of Command by Maj Phil Chechowitz, as the new Base Commander. Col. Sam Fancher, 45 SW LG/CC was the Presiding Officer; yours truly served as the Master of Ceremonies. Due to our DC-8 being almost 17 hours late, we had to reschedule the ceremony from 1600GMT on Tuesday to the next morning. Although the CSR employees were unable to attend, we were delighted with the turn out of the local dignitaries and apologize for the reshuffling of your calendars, not once but twice. CSR employees will have their opportunity to greet the new Maj on Friday afternoon the 1st. Special thanks to the Acting Administrator, Mr. Bill Dickinson, and Rev. Keith James and Ginny. After the ceremony, a brief reception was held for the local heads of companies to meet the new base commander.
WE continue on with our construction projects. The POL farm at Catherine Point. Renovation continues and the contractor is slightly behind due to interruptions caused by demands of the fuel being used by the extra influx of aircraft resulting in more pump-over than planned. Our road maintaince is an ongoing program. The bids are in for the removal of the NASA radar site at Devil's Asphalt. Work should commence sometime in October.
Our supply vessel arrived on the evening of the 17th. Due to rough seas the next day we lost precious time. We again suffered another setback on Sunday when the winch broke and they were unable to open the number two hatch. Poor Capt. Dana, he was unable to sail until late Tuesday afternoon. Not all was bad, on Sunday, the new commander and myself and TSgt Preuss were invited out to have lunch with the Capt. We then were taken for a tour of the vessel. I should like at this time to publicly thank all our employees who work both the off-loading and the on loading, for the truly magnificent job they do. To see first hand the dangers that the wind and sea present at all times. Stringent safety precautions, that must be enforced with every move. Hats off to Troy and all the gang for no accidents and mishaps for a long time. What a great work force CSR has for this labor-intensive job.
WE aren't even through with the Presidential Support and here come the aircraft from both the RAF and the USAF enroute to the South African Airshow. The US will have 2 F-15, and 2 F-16 fighters, together with support KC-135 refuel tankers, and a KC-10. The RAF will have five of its own passing through. Our airhead will look like Heathrow between the First and the Fourth of September.
Our Volcano Club continues to be busy. We extended the hours for the snack bar in order to accommodate our late night workers for the Presidential Support. Problems that I previously identified to you seem to have quieted down. We have not had any repeat offenses of the under age, and we have managed to cut down on the number of incidents of leaving the club with open bottles and cans. Thanks to stronger enforcement and the help of the Georgetown Police. We will continue to monitor these problem areas and if they continue we will have to take stronger measures. Everyone's cooperation will go a long way to ensuring that the club remains open to all on the island.
As many of you know, I will depart the Island early the morning of the sixth. I plan to submit my final words for next week paper. However, I have enclosed my remarks given at the Assumption of Command. I wanted all to know my true feelings about Ascension and its people.
Jules' speech, as given at the Assumption of Command ceremony:
As you all know, we are
gathered here today to witness the Assumption of Command by Maj. Phil Chechowitz.
I have graciously been allowed to share a few comments.
When I was notified of my selection to be assigned to Ascension Island, I seized upon the chance to accompany Col Fancher on his orientation tour to Ascension. After that trip, and the impressions I had, there was no question that I would enjoy my assignment to Ascension.
Many people have asked me how I like it here, I tell them it's a fantastic place. This is truly the 'Paradise Island of the South Atlantic Ocean'. Then they ask, "what makes you say that?" First and foremost is the welcome that I received. Such friendly people. It's very quiet and peaceful. Beautiful blue water surrounding the island. Clean air. Crime and drug free.
There are so many people to thank for the good life on Ascension. Father Keith and Ginny who selflessly provide spiritual guidance to all of us. Monsignor Tony for trying to keep the 'Grotto' Catholic Church services going even though he is located in the Falklands. His Honour Geoffrey Fairhurst and Wendy. They have the toughest jobs on the island. It isn't only the day to day activities, they are also deeply involved in the outcome of the future of the island. To all the heads of the various organisations, for the support in working to provide services and well being for the islanders.
In closing I should like to thank Sqn Ldr Colin Menage and all of the RAF, Army and their contractors. We have worked some challenging issues, and while we did not necessarily agree on every facet of every issue, we certainly shared the same vision which I believe is indicative of our strong allied ties.
I have made many friends here and to try and single out all and especially the Saints would take too long. It has been an honour and a privilege to have been associated with each and every one of you. The memories I hold will last a lifetime. I will be assisting the new commander in the transition and then working the presidential support and the South African plane movements. I will be departing the 6th September.
2nd Annual Beano Cook Chili Cookoff/Texas Scramble
10th September 2000
Where: One Boats Gold Club
Please bring in a crock pot if possible.
Raffle for prizes - Computer, Stereo, Train Set, Camera, and others.
All proceeds will go to the
There will be plenty of food, music and fun. See ya-there. Any info call Don or Dudley at 2353
The Met Office Weather Report
Statistics for the week ending 28th August 2000.
Max (deg C) Min (deg C) Rainfall (mm) AIRHEAD 27.9 20.8 1.3 TRAVELLERS 26.6 18.3 5.5 GEORGETOWN BANK HOLIDAY RESIDENCY 25.9 16.5 9.4 ST. HELENA BANK HOLIDAY FALKLANDS 8.3 -0.6 1.9 BRIZE NORTON 26.5 8.0 10.4
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST: Now that we get daily reports from the skipper of the Maersk Gannet himself, we are well and truly up to date with the swell. The report for every day last week was southerly, and around 1/2 a metre. Little surprise then that we are forecasting more of the same...
Sea temperature around Ascension Island: At the same time that we get our swell report, we also get a sea temperature. It's getting decidedly chilly in the South Atlantic at the moment, at 24.9 Celsius
ASCENSION ISLAND: Actually last week wasn't so bad. Most days were warm, dry and sunny, even hot. However, it all turned a bit more gloomy at the weekend
ST HELENA: Gary Thomas deserves his Bank Holidays as much as we do, well all apart from us guys, Ops and CommCen. My guess though, is that St Helena was cloudy for much of the time, in fact the same cloud that plagues us every now and then.
UK: Apparently it's been a cracking week! Well, mainly... It's been hot and dry with bags of sunshine, but in the UK hot and sunny weather can lead to heavy showers. On this occasion the heavy showers turned into thunderstorms. You may have heard about three inches of hail in East Yorkshire, which our friends in the media translated as snow...
FALKLAND ISLANDS: Westerly winds have again prevailed and by and large the weather hasn't been too bad. The weather at least hasn't been to blame for any delayed aircraft!
How can one follow last week's Metchat then? We should have more guest appearances, and maybe we will in the near future. Nige didn't really want to leave Ascension, so he was granted another 9 hours, or so, on the island. Getting him to the aircraft for 5am was no mean feat, and thanks go to all who made the appropriate phone calls to make sure we were there in time!
Because of the delayed aircraft we were able to enjoy two leaving do's, rather than the statuary one. The first was a reasonably quiet affair with a BBQ, friends, and beer. The second you may have heard. Banned on Ascension played a farewell, outdoor, 'gig on the basha'. It was terrific! The best I've heard them anyway, they were quite 'together' and even managed to finish the songs at the same time. Mario made his debut on keyboards and gave the band a much fuller sound. Billy was on drums and Paddy, Phil and Steve all played guitars, while Nige struggled manfully with the bass - of course it wouldn't have been complete without Markie Mark on the horn section. A guest appearance from Alan on guitar completed a top evening.
Ian is Nige's replacement, here for his six months worth of sun, sea and sand. You'll see him cycling about the place, and bimbling off into the 'bondu'.
It was a week of parties, just like the old days. Friday saw the MVC Winter Ball, and what a cracker it was too! Excellent entertainment, heaps of friends, good food and a fine disco. All in all a great night out...
If all the partying left you tired and listless then the cure was to go to the Ascension Sports day on Sunday. This turned out to be another terrific day out. We'd arranged a mostly cloudy but generally dry day so it wasn't too hot. A lot of hard work had gone into the preparation of the facilities and the track down at Long Beach, and it all looked very impressive. After a rather slow 'Ascension' start to the day things picked up, and a 'useful' crowd developed during the day.
As for the track and field events there was some exciting competition. It was a lot of fun to run on a proper track at known distances, with a crowd too. It beats tramping the roads of Ascension, anyway.
In between the 'proper' events there were one or two competitions for younger people and even the adults were involved in the Egg & Spoon Race and also the Three Legged Race. I haven't had so much fun since school sports days all those years ago.
The competition was healthy and there were some close run finishes. Two or three individuals seemed to come away with the majority of trophies, all well presented by Geoffrey and Wendy. For me there was a sense of 'family' about the day...
So, many thanks from Metchat to all those involved in making this such a special day. The committee, AIS, those who provided the bar and the food, the timekeepers and officials and even to those who went along and competed!
One sad note to the day came at the end. Apparently the Mystery Race has been a feature of Ascension sports days for years. Personally I didn't care for the cargo net - it's too bloomin' high! Then there was a water obstacle cunningly followed by a flour hazard, and then through a tyre. Finally there was a greasy mountain to climb. All very well, but on this occasion Stu Williams slid down the slope and fell awkwardly. I have just spoken to him in hospital and he sounds well and cheery, but there is a fracture of the tibia and fibia. All I can say, and I'm sure this is echoed across the island, is thanks for being a good sport and joining in (winner of Egg & Spoon and Three Legged Race) oh aye, and get well soon!
And if I can indulge in a tiny bit of meteorology...You may remember Hurricane Alberto? Well, before it became another common or garden area of low pressure Alberto made it into the record books by being the third longest lasting Atlantic tropical Storm on record. The record still belongs to Ginger of 1971 with second place just held by Carrie of 1957. What more can I say...?
NEWS FROM THE ARMOURER
After the introduction of the percussion system in the earlier 19th Century, the next logical step in the development of multi shot pistol was a relatively simple one.
Arms with two barrels, revolved manually through 180 degrees, so as to bring successive pairs of nipples under double hammers, soon led to arms with a cluster of four, five or six barrels. These revolved mechanically under trigger pressure so as to bring each nipple in turn under a single hammer.
Weapons of this type made their appearance by the 1830's and very soon became known as 'pepperbox pistol', because of the similarity of their cluster of barrels, to that household utensil. Their manufacture was however largely confined to small calibre pocket models, because otherwise the bulk and weight of their barrels made them clumsy and heavy.
The next significant step in development was made by a citizen of the United States, Samuel Colt, whose name was to become a household word not only in his own country but also over most of the world. But, he was not on his own, he had a serious rival in the person of Robert Adams, who had developed a revolving pistol of his own in the United Kingdom.
Although Adams' pistols only had five chambers, and Colt's six, (hence the famous 'Six Gun') the former rapidly outsold the latter in the United Kingdom. Colt very sensibly closed his London factory and concentrated on the huge market in his own country.
My thanks to all who have handed items in.
Cheers for now, keep safe
Bryn the SERCO armourer
More Pictures from the
Ascension August Sports 2000
The full results for the August Sports Tournament will not be available until next week. To help alleviate disappointment and to fill up empty space in the Islander, here's a few photo's.
Timmy ahead of Gary & Paul in the 100m
Stephen leading the way in the 80m sprint
Suelaine and Tracey battle for the finish line
Chris the 'PTI' crossing the finishing line to win the 800m
Cheryl wins the ladies 100m ahead of Tracey & Sheena
Tara first across the finish line in one of the childrens races
A kids novelty race with their parents
Chelsea finishing ahead of Alex and Kieran
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, Mark & Laura Handley
Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday