We would like to announce the arrival of Maisie Jane Collis, who was born on the 30th January at Bath hospital weighing a massive 4 lbs 11 oz. She was born early morning & 4 weeks before her time which took us all by surprise.
Maisie & Caz are doing well after a week stays in Bath, the midwife who help with the labour had visited Ascension the year before so we were in good hands.
Thanks to everyone for the phone calls, cards & flowers they were lovely. Everything else is going to plan & hopefully we will be moving into our new house in 4 weeks time in Westbury, Wiltshire.
Thanks again all our love Dean, Caz & Maisie PS it's bloody freezing
With a bit of luck and Tri-Star permitting by the time you read this Ginny and I will be in the UK.
Each year at Amport House the Chaplain's Branch of the RAF holds a conference for the Officiating Chaplains; most serve stations in England but a few of us attend from 'overseas'. This will be my third conference, and I look forward to the chance to worship with others doing a similar job, although most would agree that being on Ascension adds a uniqueness to my ministry.
It can also be a chance to put forward ideas which might help those serving in such a distant place, and last year I made a plea for someone from "up there" to actually visit the families and wives once a year to see how they were coping. Being a small place with so few personnel means there is no "Welfare" set up, and I shall put in a similar plea this year. Just for someone to come and let the people here know that they are not forgotten, that they do matter, and that their contribution is appreciated.
While we are away there will be only one service each Sunday, Morning Prayer at 10.30.
Historically there have always been periods of time when the Island has been without a priest.
The Records show that lay people have always "kept things going." In the Anglican Church they cannot take a service of Holy Communion, but they can, with the Churches permission, do most things. For instance on October 7th 1841 James Parfitt was married to Elizabeth Whiley by the Commandant of the Island, Captain Henry Bennet in the "Garrison Church". This was before the building of St Mary's. Captain Bennet died only seven months after taking up the post here, and his memorial is in Georgetown Cemetery. Those were difficult days, and a witness to the marriage, Elizabeth Gullick, left the Island later in 1841 with her three remaining children, having lost two daughters and her husband during her time here.
I am not expecting a rush of weddings, and hopefully no deaths while we are away, but please support the Churchwardens who will take services in our absence.
God Bless you and keep you,
Fr Keith & Ginny.
I bumped into two people on Thursday of last week to discover that Tom Geddis and Lucimar De Souza were staying on the island until the boat arrived for St Helena.
Tom had been here in the early 60's as the medical officer and was going to St Helena to provide pastoral care for 6 months. Tom and Lucimar were missionaries and I invited them to our service on Sunday; to tell us their experience of their work in Brazil.
Tom opened by telling a joke " There were two missionaries in a cauldron simmering nicely, surrounded by cannibals. One missionary said to the other " Don't worry, at least we have taught them something they are saying grace".
Tom explained the cultural differences and the communication difficulties. He had lived in a village only accessible on foot which took two weeks to tackle the path through the jungle vegetation. They could also land a small plane, but this could not land in the landing area,( a field ), if it was wet; which was usually the case., but he felt that he had made no sacrifice..
Tom made us laugh a lot, and Lucimar read the first psalm.
We wish them well in St Helena.
We also had a collection for India.
Mr Geoffrey Fairhurst
The Silver Shadow is due to visit Ascension on 8 March. She has 250 passengers and an even larger crew. I propose sending to the ship a flyer with details of those shops/organisations that will be looking for business. Full details to me by the end of February please.
The Guides and members of the Saturday Club socked it to us last week! That was an incredible amount of litter collected from just one of our picnic sites. I make two points. Our young people should not have to pick up our litter. We should be setting the example and it should be a good one. Secondly, and this is a bit like the debate on noise that has been raging on St Helena, if we want tourists to come to Ascension (and the jobs that this entails) we have to be careful about how we present the Island. Quite simply: Take your litter home!
A new face at the Post Office. We welcome Laura Lawrence.
Bronwen Corrall arrives this week to say her farewells. Her successor as Desk Officer in the FCO responsible for this part of the world is Russell Phillips who will also be on the Island this week.
Swimming in the Sea
Most of those resident on the Island know of the dangers of swimming in the sea. English Bay and Comfortless Cove can be very dangerous in the sort of seas we had running last weekend. Already this year we have had two near fatalities. Please help prevent a tragedy by briefing your visitors on the dangers. Geoffrey Fairhurst
12 February 2001
There have been many rumours circulating the island with regard to the future provision of services post 01042001. On Friday 2nd February a meeting of AIS staff was addressed by the Administrator, Mr Fairhurst, and Mr Matt Young.This was followed on Tuesday 6th February, when a meeting was held by the Joint Venture board of AIS; and their staff.
The basic points addressed were:-
AIS would cease to exist on 31st March 2001.
All staff employed by AIS on 31st March would continue to be employed after the 1st April, though perhaps not in the same position and not in the same company, but their terms and conditions of service would be guaranteed as the Transfer of Undertakings.(Protection of Employment) regulations would be deemed to apply on Ascension Island.
Ascension Island Government ( AIG ), which would consist of the Governor of Ascension and the Administrator of Ascension, would take overall responsibility for the provision of services, with direct responsibility for Law and order, Finance and Fiscal policy, healthcare provision and Education.
A Statutory Body would be set up initially for the provision of services currently undertaken by AIS works and services, but that the long term aim would be for these services to be provided, where practicable, from the private sector.
A new company, jointly owned by BBC, Cable and Wireless, and AIG, would be set up to run the commercial areas of AIS, the shop, the petrol pump, the guesthouse, car hire and the laundry: With a view to disposing of these assets within a year.
There is still no date for the future taxation, duty, land tenure, right of abode, citizenship, or the setting up of a democratically elected body. But work is progressing as quickly as possible to introduce these.
The Island will continue to be funded by BBC and Cable and Wireless, with contributions from other users, for one more year.
ASCENSION ISLAND GOVERNMENT (AIG)
Agreement has been reached between the Ascension Island Government (AIG), the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Cable & Wireless plc (C&W) and the BBC World Service (BBC) on the future provision of services on Ascension. A division of responsibilities is set out in the attached paper.
There are a number of issues still to be settled. Discussions will continue until they have been resolved. AIG welcomes questions and comments received from all those with an interest in Ascension.
The transfer will as far possible, take place in accordance with the principles established in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations. This will give protection, where applicable, to AISJV employees as the current contract of employment will continue to be honoured by the new employer. This will give stability to the Territory and will help to retain the current, much valued, workforce.
We will keep you up to date with progress.
Ascension Island Government - direct administration
The AIG will have responsibility for the following government activities. The Governor may, at his discretion, delegate any responsibility to the Administrator.
Current Responsibilities · Staff of the Administrator's Office
· The Ascension Offices of the St Helena Government Savings Bank
The AIG will seek professional and technical assistance from St Helena Government Departments as required and on a full repayment basis. There will be Service Level Agreement between the Education Department on St Helena and the primary and secondary schools on Ascension Island. The former will take over the employment contracts of staff currently enagaged in education services. Similarly there will be a Service Level Agreement between the Department of Health and Social Services on St Helena and the hospital healthcare facilities on Ascension Island with the former taking over the employment contracts of staff currently engaged in health services.
Statutory Body (SB)
A SB will be established by the AIG to perform the following services:
· Maintenance of public roads including street lighting and traffic control
measures (except where agreements with other parties exist)
New Private Limited Company (Newco)
A new private limited company (Newco) will be formed to run the commercial services not appropriate to government from 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002. Newco will have a primary responsibility to the shareholders for disposing of these services to the private sector within the first year of its existence. The following services will be closed down if not sold, or otherwise disposed of by 31 March 2002.
· The shop in Georgetown currently run by AISJV
C&W, BBC and AIG will own Newco, in equal shares. It is envisaged that a Chief Executive will relevant previous experience will be appointed. He or she will be tasked to seek to disaggregate the activities into viable units for disposal. HMG would wish residents of St Helena and Ascension to be given the opportunity to take on commercial opportunities and would prefer separate units to "en bloc" transfer.
It is envisaged that laws regarding land and other issues will be enacted or extended to Ascension with a view to enabling the successful development of small businesses in the territory and private ownership of property.
Two Boats and Saints Club
The Administrator and AISJV will hold discussions with members of the Two Boats and Saints Club to decide whether members could, and would be willing to, take over and run the clubs from March 2001 as membership organisations. If members are not willing to carry on the clubs, further discussions will be necessary to assess what to do with the relevant assets.
|From the Editors:-
Tony Jenkins & Phillip Stevens
The rollers have arrived. Ascension has now become the target of the forever pounding waves of the South Atlantic Trade Winds. Be warned it's not exactly the best time for skinny-dipping in the sea after visiting the Saints Club. There are too few people on the island as it is, we don't want to be losing anyone, now do we.
News has at last reached the island of the likely future of the services presently provided by AIS, after over a years uncertainty. The palaeozoic pace of change may seem painfully slow, but there are many things that had to be taken in consideration. Now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted, perhaps Ascension Islanders can contribute to there own future.
Hope all you love bunnies and slush puppies got all you wanted from St Valentine (it only comes once a year).
Ton & Phil
|Letters to the
Editor can be sent to|
The Met Office Weather Report
Statistics for the week ending Monday 12th February 2001
|Max (deg C)||Min (deg C)||Rainfall (mm)|
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST : A dangerous north-westerly 2.0 metres decreasing to 1.5 metres by the end of the week.
Sea temperature around Ascension Island:
Remains at 26.2 Celsius although it is expected to rise another 1 or 2 degrees over the next few weeks.
Mainly dry, hot and sunny except for a wet Thursday night on Green Mountain and a cold night down on the beach on Saturday (see below).
Gary Thomas reports:
A fair number of moderate showers and fog during Tuesday gave the impression that maybe the usual rains for this time of year, had finally arrived. Unfortunately? it cleared by midday and the remainder of the week continued dry and sunny. Mean temperature 19.9 deg C, Sunshine 56.4 hrs & the Mean Wind Speed 9 kts.
Yet another unsettled week with occasional strong winds and the south yet again bearing the brunt of the rain with places in Kent yet again reporting flooding. Friday, however, proved to be a nice day everywhere. I just thought I'd tell you that!
I said last week that us Met guys would be making a supreme effort on the social front this week and by and large we have done just that. It all started on Tuesday night with the barbecue on Turtleshell Beach where great food and copious drink was enjoyed by all. It was also Jim's wife's final night on the island and she signed off in grand style by falling out of a Landrover, whilst stationary I hasten to add, and thus became the latest member of the swelling ranks of Ascension Island's fallen! Green Onions too, thinks he may have come a bit of a cropper after the frivolities of the Restaurant Night on Friday having woken up rather bruised on Saturday morning although regular readers will know that this is not a first time for him!
Meanwhile, the Caveman attended the Movers' beach party on Saturday night down at the Scout Hut where once again food and beer were to be had a-plenty. The night saw one of the strangest games I can ever remember playing. Some bright spark found a bugle and this was then passed around the group to see who could and who could not get a note out of it. Poor old Frenchie nearly blew a gasket in finally getting a note out of it that was something akin to a gnat's fart! The night was then topped off by four of us more intrepid souls (most drunk more likely), deciding to sleep on the beach. It is an experience that I do not plan to repeat as, a) it gets flipping cold on that sand around dawn and, b) we had foolishly forgotten to arrange for anyone to come and pick us up the next morning. Many thanks therefore go to Ed and Avril for taking pity on the four filthy and bedraggled vagrants who pitched up on their front porch on Sunday morning.
A more serious theme now and once again it is all to do with swell. The last weekend has once again seen the surf up with reports of waves measuring between two and three metres. That's getting on for ten feet. It is not for me to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be doing but a near tragedy at English Bay on Saturday just highlights how dangerous the beaches around this island are and in conditions such as this, that includes English Bay and Comfortless Cove. The name at the bottom of this page is the result of my own stupidity in getting caught in a small cave when the swell got up at English Bay and I've still got the scars to prove it. Green Onions' phrase says it all for me, 'If in doubt, do nowt, keep out'!
Getting away from the sea and the beach for the first time this week and I can thoroughly not recommend playing five-a-side football for one and a half hours during the hottest part of the day in an airless gym with only four people on each side. The only comparable torture I can think of is the subsequent long walk back up 'Snobs' Hill' to my basha, which in my debilitated state felt more like making an attempt on the north face of the Eiger but without the cold.
Last week I rather boringly asked you what the average annual rainfall on Ascension is and the answer is 191 mm or around 7½ inches in old money. This week's effort is to name the ocean current that predominates in this part of the world. The answer will follow in two weeks time as Ian Bartram will be writing his farewell Metchat next week. Ian, by the way, is the only one of your current Met crew who has any sort of grip on reality so it should be worth a read. However, to coin a well worn phrase, 'I'll be back'!
Hash number: #840
10 Feb 01
Hash Hares: The Major & Skipper
Hash Hounds: Fugitive,Boots,Bonehead,A-Drain,Frank-N-Furter, Pants,Ma-Bell,Thunderthighs,Crystal Tips,Beany Baby, Hong Kong Phooey,Drip,Yeti,Twin Peaks
"Tiggers are supposed to have big bellies." With the hares all bloodied and torn, confidence about the hash sways. "Some scratchy bits and thorns,..."the Major states as he replaces his arm into bandage and sling. The on-on is shouted and off the pack goes only to be confused by a bar check first up. Across the football field to a circle check and many false trails. Up we go and then MORE UP. A great view of the area from on high as Twin Peaks tries to catch her breath at the top of Thistle Hill. Fugitive takes the blame for this up from the Major during a Rum-induced blur. With more tricky back checks and false trails, A-Drain & HKP find themselves at the back of the pack. Some really fun downs however, brings these two bouncers back to the lead. Down and around we go to find ourselves at the pole line and an 'O' check. From here back to B34 where food and liquid await. It is here that we admit three more misfits to our fold - Drip,Yeti,and Twin Peaks. Great hash guys and some lovely food!!
Next week's hares: Limp Sausage & Fido from Two Boats football field(the one we just ran thru)
24 Feb hares: Frank-N-Furter & Fugitive
Anyone interested in helping with an ALL-Day hash, see HKP or A-Drain.
Hash Scribe - HKP
Mud Dogs defeated Cable & Wireless in the Finals
Mud Dogs & Cable & Wireless Pictured with Shelly Phillips
Last weekend we saw the Jeff Hercules six-a-side competition got on the way, and finish with the most exciting, entertaining and sporting atmosphere. Ten teams turn out for the competition and all ten teams played two games before they were knocked out. Both sides A and B received trophies. The Champions Mud-Dogs, and the Runners-up Cable & Wireless on the A side. Winners of the B side was Travellers and the Runners-up were the young All Stars, the name is not right yet! but it will be soon and very soon. Congratulations to all the teams for their sportsmanship and an enjoyable weekend. (What a weekend!!)
Six-A-Side Champions: MUD DOGS
Runners-up: CABLE & WIRELESS
Losers Side Winners: TRAVELLERS
Runners-up: ALL STARS
Referees: Russell Yon and Donald Johnson
Winners the Mud Dogs
Back Row L-R: Steve Yon, Paul Thomas, Melvyn Moyce
Front Row L-R: Martin Joshua, Paul Crowie, Johnny Hobson & Paddy
Runners-Up - Cable & Wireless
Back Row L-R: Andrew Bennett, Craig Young, Nicky John, Alan Stevens
Front Row L-R: Gary Robinson, Gavin Yon, Patrick Robinson
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking everyone who played a part in making this a successful competition over the weekend. In particular the spectators for the support, the teams for entertaining everyone. Eurest Maintenance Team, RAF, Alan Stevens, Gordon Mittens and Russell Yon for his help with the refereeing. I would like to express my appreciation to Miss Shelley Phillips for presenting the cup and trophies. Thanks also to anyone else who helped in anyway
EDITORS : Tony Jenkins & Phillip Stevens
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327
Internet Team: Caroline Armstrong, Adrian Fowler, Mark & Laura Handley, Gavin Yon
Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday