|The Ascension Scout Group are organising around 50 Red Noses to be sent
out to all the heads of organisations and sections for them to wear between
8.00am - 5.00pm on Friday! Also, all the school teachers have been asked
to join in and to get their classes to sponsor them!
The idea is for the departments respective staff to sponsor their bosses at least £10 per nose to be worn during this time.
The Scout Group, kids and leaders, aren't getting away with it either! They're all to join in with this year's theme of "Pants to Poverty" and will be wearing "undies" over the outside of their trousers!
A Comic Relief is seriously committed to helping end poverty and social injustice in the UK and the poorest countries in the world.
Q When was Comic Relief set up?
A Comic Relief was launched from a refugee camp in Sudan in 1985.
Q What is Red Nose Day?
A Red Nose Day is a national fund-raising event that takes place in the UK every two years and is organised by Comic Relief.
Q When is the next Red Nose Day?
A Red Nose Day comes around once every two years. It's usually on a Friday in March. The next one is on Friday March 16th 2001. The last one was on 12th March 1999.
Q What's so special about Red Nose Day?
A On Red Nose Day everyone in the country is encouraged to throw caution to the wind, cast their inhibitions aside, put on a red nose, and do something wild to raise money. In the country's schools, uniforms are replaced by fancy dress, and teachers are auctioned off to pupils. In offices across the nation, bosses are splatted and assistants take over for the day. In sports halls and stadiums, teams of hefty ballerinas scrum down with hairy-chested Madonnas, and aerobics classes go on, and on, and on...
Q How do people find out about Red Nose Day?
A The build up to Red Nose Day begins in early February with the revelation of the new Nose at a celebrity-laden Press Launch. Over the next five or six weeks there's a steady build-up of Red Nose stories in the press and on the television. Our supporters receive a newsletter twice a year to keep them informed, and they also receive a fantastic Fundraising Pack jam-packed with fun ideas for fundraising a couple of months before each Red Nose Day.
Q So it's all about having a laugh then?
A No - we try to raise awareness too. Whenever we communicate with the public we ensure that amongst all the fun and games we include information about the very serious work we're supporting in the UK and Africa. We especially encourage young people to look into the issues underlying our work by running special education initiatives every Red Nose Day.
Q How much did you raise last Red Nose Day?
A Red Nose Day 1999 raised an amazing record breaking £35 million!
Q What does Comic Relief do between Red Nose Days?
A Comic Relief is involved in an number of other projects to raise money or awareness, and the Grants team are very busy spending all the money we raise.
Q How does Comic Relief raise money?
A During Red Nose Day, money is raised in three main ways:
· Public Fundraising: People at home, at work and at play doing something silly and being sponsored for it.
· Merchandise: People buying the Noses and other special products like T-Shirts, that include a donation to Comic Relief.
· Donations: People watching the Night of TV and making a donation with a credit or debit card over the phone or on the Internet.
Recently, we have started to diversify our income streams outside of Red Nose Day.
In 1999 we launched the Little Red Card which works like any other credit card, but with a fabulous twist. Comic Relief receives a donation of £5 the first time a new card is used, and 60p for every £100 spent thereafter. In 1999, we were also kindly awarded the writers' royalties on the "Blackadder" publications, the "Vicar Of Dibley" book and all profits from "Robbie The Reindeer" merchandise.
Q How does Comic Relief let people know about the projects they fund?
A We produce documentaries that really bring to life the issues surrounding our work. These are shown during the build-up to Red Nose Day. Between Red Nose Days we report-back to the public showing how the money is being spent. We also send out newsletters and other pieces of print that contain stories of how Comic Relief cash is making a difference. We've also got a website that holds information about exactly how we spend the money you help us raise - check out Where The Money Goes!
Q Where does the money go?
A The money you help us raise is spent in the UK and the poorest countries around the world.
Q Who decides where does the money goes?
A Every two years we review our grant-making programmes by consulting with leading professionals in the voluntary sector. This is to ensure that the money we raise best meets the needs of the people and communities we want to help.
We also monitor and evaluate individual grants regularly to see the difference that they have made. The public put their trust in Comic Relief to use the money we raise wisely and well. Our grant-making teams take that trust very seriously indeed. All grant applications go through a rigorous assessment process before a single penny is released.
After a thorough shortlisting process, grant applications are assessed by Comic Relief Grants Officers or assessors. Each assessment is then considered by the Grants Managers, Grants Director and discussed by the Grants Committees. Once the Committees are happy to recommend funding, Comic Relief's trustees make the final decision.
Comic Relief has 15 dedicated Grants staff, 25 expert external Grants Assessors, 35 specialist Grants Committee members and 11 brilliant Trustees to help decide where the money goes.
There is a huge cloud of uncertainty hanging over Ascension these days as to
just what is going to become of the island in the near future. The Islander
team decided to put to the Administrator those questions which seem to be plaguing
a lot of people on Ascension. Thanks to Geoff Fairhurst for taking the time
to answer them
1. It seems that all recent news to do with the imminent changes on Ascension
is bad news or at the very best, unpromising. Can you give the readers anything
to be optimistic about for the future of our island ?
It is true that we are still trying to ensure that we have the funds for public services that we are going to need in the coming year. We hope that this will be finalised this week. As for the rest, we know that we are going to need Land Tenure legislation very soon. This will give people the right to either purchase or lease property/land. We will also need legislation to provide for the right of abode on Ascension although we will have to decide how we are going to provide for the unemployed, the elderly etc. Just these two pieces of legislation are going to give people enormous opportunities. It will give people more responibility for the way they run their lives on Ascension - which I think is how it should be.
2. Given that Senior Managers of the Joint Venture have known for the last 3 years of the intention to end the JV and have held countless discussions on the subject, why were the members of Two Boats Club and the Saints Club given only 3 days to make a decision over their clubs' future ?
It is only in recent months that the Joint Venture and Government have been
able to work out a system for the future. We are not rushing people into making
decisions in only three days. These meetings were simply asking for expressions
of interest from members to see if they would be willing to sit on a Club management
committee. The meetings were not asking members to make a decision on the future
of the Clubs. I returned to the Island on 1 March so I missed the first meeting
went to that on 1 March at Two Boats Club. There seemed to be some interest among the members in forming a committee to run the Club - their Club afterall. I am not sure how or why in the past the members ever decided that they did not want to run it - normally if a Club has no committee it ceases to exist. I understand that AIS stepped in to keep
the facility going. Now AIS is about to disappear and the members are being asked to run their club themselves. It needs a committee of say half a dozen to meet for a couple of hours a month to decide the club's activities. That keeps it non-profit making and so prices are kept low. If the members don't want the Club we'll see if someone can make a business of it. But people only go into business to make a profit
3. In the last few years we have lost 3 clubs (Exiles, Ocean View and Senior Mess). The future of the Saints Club and Two Boats are now in jeopardy - how can we possibly expect tourists and indeed workers to come here and settle when we are faced with a lack of facilities.
Exiles was a prime example of the members saying that they did not want the Club - they were not sufficiently motivated to form a committee to run it, so it ceased to exist. That was their decision. Similarly the Saints Club and Two Boats Club are only in jeopardy as clubs if the members decide that they do not want them. I believe that they are both healthy financially and only nominal rents will be required if they remain as clubs. It just needs a small group of people sufficiently motivated to spend a bit of time running the Clubs. It's another aspect of the people on Ascension taking more responsibility for their own lives. The alternative will be to see if anyone wants to run them as businesses.
4. What will happen to Two Boats and Georgetown swimming pools ? If Two Boats Club closes will the pool have to close ? Even if the club does go to private enterprise there is no guarantee that the new owners will want the responsibility of a pool. Will the Georgetown pool still have to rely on private sponsorship or will it pass back to the same people that allowed it to fall into disrepair in the first place ? (namely SHG and AIS.)
Rather to my own surprise I have learned recently that Two Boats Pool is not a Club pool but a public amenity, like Georgetown pool has been of late. I don't think AIS was responsible for the Georgetown pool - they were simply contractors. We hope to be able to keep both running but as I said above, we are still negotiaiting the funding for publice services..
5. There are strong rumours to the effect that the US Base and Traveller's Hill will become 'No Go' areas thus denying us access to the only remaing facilities for socialising and sports. How true are these rumours ?
Acces to the US Base and to Travellers' Hill are questions for their respective commanders. However if we get agreement to the opening up of Wideawake Airfield to civil charters, I can well imagine that the airfield's security may have to be improved. But no decisions have been take that I am aware of.
6. It was hoped that the new Government system would be a chance for the island to start afresh and relinquish all the old, tired and secretive ways becoming an open, democratic island where initiative and modern standards could flourish. Can you please explain how this is expected to occur when the same people are going to be doing the same jobs as before ?
The new Government system is a chance for the island to move forward to a proper democratic base. The changes that come into effect on 1 April are the first stage in the process. In a year's time we will be on the verge of personal taxation and I think democracy goes hand-in-hand with taxation. I would also comment that, in the interim year it is only right that Government should be as open and accountable as possible.
I am unsure what you mean by the 'old, tired and secretive ways'. However, I will take it as a reference to the influence of the various organisations on the island and their representatives. As these organisations currently fund the provision of public services on the island it is only proper that there are forums such as the ICB for the service providers to be accountable.
You refer to 'the same people doing the same jobs as before'. It is true that for the large majority of AIS employees there will be little change in their day to day roles. However, the organisational structure has changed considerably, as have the reporting lines and a number of the key management posts. It would be inefficient to bring in new personnel to fill these positions when the considerable expertise and knowledge that is already here on the island would be lost.
A great deal of changes are happening on Ascension. Government are taking proper responsibility for public services and democracy is coming. These are positive movements.
7. Through the Forum committee it has been very clear that Ascension Islanders are very wary of allowing SHG any influence over the governing of Ascension. Despite this, it would seem, with no consultation of the population SHG are being given more that a foothold in Island politics bearing in mind they will be responsible for the most important factors in any society : health, safety and education
No decisions have been taken yet about the degree of involvement of the St Helena Health and Education Departments. I emphasise that the proposal concerns those Departments - not St Helena Government itself. We are looking to see whether there are opportunities for the two Islands to co-operate with mutual benefits. I am hoping that the two Heads of Departments from St Helena will be able to visit us later this month so that we can look into this further. I will of course keep the AIMG and the Forum aware of what is going on.
About three years ago, BBC World Service's "Calling The Falklands" had an item about the possible sale of an island just off Harris in the Outer Hebrides called Teransay. The McKay family had owned land in the area and had farmed it for many years and, for a brief spell, the small island was considered for sale. If memory serves correctly, the island was bought by the McKay family for £100,000.00, a tenth of the value it is worth now. Nothing was heard about the island until, in the Summer of 1999, the BBC aired programmes about a competition where people were competing for a chance to live on the island for a whole year. Competitors had gone to Wales for a training camp where they learned many of the skills they would need in order to survive on the remote Scottish island. The looming question that SARTMA asked former castaway, Ben Fogel (BF) why he wanted to give up a year of his life to live with thirty six strangers on a remote, wind-swept, treeless island.
BF: I think what interested me most was I spent my whole life fascinated by islands. I think most small children go through a fascination. In England we had a whole series of books called, "Swallows" and "Amazons" and of course we had Ribinson Caruso Books and I have always, always been fascinated and finally, one day when I was sitting in a hot, steamy office, wanting to be anywhere but there. I saw an advert offering me the chance to go and live on an island for a year. I just thought it was too great an opportunity to not at least try to get it.
SARTMA: How did you get in contact with the BBC when you decided to
go for it?
BF: Actually, what happened was that on Mondays the Guardian has a G2 section and it was the front page. This was early 1999. And they had a front page that asked why did the BBC want to send thirty people to live on a piece of rock in the Outer Hebrides and there was a picture of a wind-swept island. And, it was about a three page feature about this project that the BBC were planning as their big Millennium project. It didn't say who was making this or why, or anything else. So, I called up the BBC and said I really, really wanted to do their project, who's making it and how can I join. They told me the name of the production company which was Lyon Television. And, I got the phone number for Lyon Television through Directory Enquiries. The rest is history, really.
SARTMA: When you went through your survival training was it in Wales?
BF: It was just near Aberystwyth at a centre for alternative technology.
SARTMA: Did your training prepare you for your year on Terransay?
BF: It gave me good incite because it was a very stormy week with all the people. Physically, we did all sorts of things during that week, lots which was shown on the television during the selection processed and lots that wasn't. Yes it did because we had to do everything from shoveling human pooh to killing chickens to building rafts and things and it did give us a good incite. What perhaps they didn't show in the programme (I have seen those programmes.) was that there was a lot of human conflicts going on in that week as well, between volunteers and volunteers and volunteers and the production crew. And it gave me a good incite into what the year was going to be like.
SARTMA: Was some of the conflict caused by competition between people trying to get into the project?
BF: I think it was probably because they had around 5000 applications for the Castaway Project. And, they went through the CVs and application letters and sifted out all the ones they really didn't want that they realised wouldn't be right for the project. It would have been a very boring project for the year if they chose lots of passive, calm people. They have to choose people who had strong personalities and strong characters. I would put it down more to the strong characters. As you quite rightly say, there was quite a huge sort of competitive element during the week. There were lots of people that really wanted this chance. So there was a mixture of competitiveness and strong personalities.
SARTMA: On Millennium Eve, when you were all on the island....
BF: We were all there on Millennium Eve. Everyone was there for the night.
SARTMA: And then the illnesses took hold?
BF: We were all there for that first night but the problem was it was in the throws of winter there and the following day we had 145mph winds recorded on the island which ripped off the roof of the compost loos and picked up the whole pig shed and knocked our dropped it on our polly tunnel. At this stage the only accommodation on the island was what we called the McKay House which was very, very small. None of the pods were up at this time. At the same time the whole of the UK were suffering from the worst flu epidemics that they had in years. Obviously some of us were carriers of it. Unfortunately there was a mixture of no accommodation, dreadful winds, and a huge flu outbreak. That meant that on the first of January about 15 or 16 of the castaways left the island until everything was ready.
SARTMA: Using some hindsight do you think that perhaps the project should have started in the Summer months?
BF: It should have been Summer to Summer. Ideally it should have been Summer to Winter of the following year. It should have been a year and a half. Ideally the project, if it was really going to work, and the whole point was to get it working properly, then it would have been a two-year project because it took us a year just to reach the performance stage, or the very beginning of it when we had to leave. Fact is I don't think it is hindsight that it should have started in the Summer. I think even the BBC knew it should have started in the Summer but this was their Millennium Project and the point of it was it started when the clock struck midnight of the year 2000. And, it finished when the clock struck midnight 2001.
SARTMA: Now that you are off the island, do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms?
BF: Yes. I do. I suffer. Not since I have been here in the Falklands because it's pretty closer to the island life. I miss the people and I suffer withdrawal because I had my moments when I thought I just wanted to get away from them. Now I am away from them I go through lots of moments when I miss them and that's when you pick up the telephone and call them. In London if I am at a busy, crowded party or in a busy pub, then I have lots of moments when I just think I really want to be back on Terransay. I think that will go on for a long time.
SARTMA: Is there any plan to go back to the island or is everyone well and truly scattered.
BF: Everyone's too scattered right now. There will be a reunion. It goes without saying there will be a reunion. The question is when? I wish it would be sooner rather than later. There will be little gatherings. There's going to be a small reunion with about six or seven people next weekend in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day. But as far as a bigger reunion, I don't think there will be a reunion for another few years.
SARTMA: Is there anything left on the island?
BF: All the pods have come down and the polly tunnels have come down
and the steading where we had our kitchen and ate, that's all been converted
to sheep steading again, so the island now has reverted to pasture for sheep,
basically. The schoolhouse which had been converted is going to be kept for
a little cottage, I think.
SARTMA: I was wondering about the education of the children because for years here in the Falklands the remote settlements had radio lessons. Had they thought about doing that on Terransay?
BF: The main idea for the education of children was that it was going to be a form of home education. That's why the parents or the families with children came on to the island. They all had ideas that they wanted to see what home education was like but they were slightly too scared to try it back home and remove their children to try it just themselves. So the parents saw it as an opportunity to experiment. I would say the children on Terransay were about the luckiest in the world. Though having visited the school here, it is a very close call because the facilities here are so excellent. But, on the Island there were 36 of us in total of which there were 8 children. That meant there were 8 children and 28 teachers. We all gave them so much time and we all took time out to teach them. As far as we were concerned, the children were as important on the island as we were. Any of the children on the island was given as much social time to talk to as I gave anyone else on the island. In that sense the children were so well educated and came off so mature, it's incredible. I have seen some since I've been back and they are bright, sharp young things now. So, there was never an idea of giving them radio lessons like you have here. There was never a need. We had all the facilities and in fact, we had two former teachers amongst the castaways anyway. They had a brilliant education - far better than they would have got anywhere else.
SARTMA: Would you ever do anything like this again?
BF: Yes. I don't know where or when but I would. Like I say, I am fascinated by islands. And, I feel really flattered that I've been given an opportunity to visit the Falklands. I think my main mission in life now is to visit as many islands as I possibly could.
SARTMA: You were saying earlier that you wanted to visit Ascension and St. Helena. People on those islands saw Castaways. Do you have a plan to go to those Islands?
BF: Definitely. I used to have a big map on my wall and I just look at all the little islands. There was the Falklands and the South Sandwich Islands and I would see St. Helena on the map and I had this desire that I really wanted to visit all those places. As it happens, the Falklands were the most convenient because of the airstrip so it's easy to come in and out. But I would love to go to St. Helena. All I need is time and a bit of money which, hopefully I will find.
SARTMA: Do you find it difficult to get used to the fact that everyone else around you had the internet, telephone, and television and you weren't allowed to have any?
BF: I think that was a really important part of the project for us. That's what made our project slightly more false than the reality of St Helena or the reality of the Falklands or Ascension Island. The modern day means that you can have satellite dishes and e-mail access to anyone anywhere in the world as well as television from all over the world. I think one of the aims of the project was to see how we formed without that. I remember reading a fascinating story about St. Helena when Television was introduced very recently and how people thought it was going to effect life. And I think one of the ideas for Terransay was to see how people like us could live without television, newspapers and magazines and computers. How did we cope and pass our tome without those things? They wanted to see that. We became innovative, we read more and we socialised more. It was frustrating to live without them but it was part of the project.
Mr. Fogel and Ken Lenox, a photographer from Hello Magazine will leave the Falklands on Saturday's LanChile flight. Will he be back? Ben certainly hopes so. His travels included visits to Weddell Island, Port Howard, Darwin and Goose Green as well as places in Stanley. On Thursday he had tea with H.E. the Governor Mrs Lamont and attended a reception at the Malvina House Hotel where he met with Children from the Infant/Junior School. Students from FICS Interviewed Mr. Fogel for their Newspaper Day, which is coming up later in the month. Friday there was the Tumbledown run and trips to see wildlife on East Falkland. It was, for him and Ken, a very busy week.
On Wednesday the 16th March, it is NO SMOKING DAY. If you want to stop smoking this is a good day to start. Here is some information regarding the effects of smoking and some of the things you can do to help you stop. Good luck
What are the risks of smoking?
Smoking kills over 400,000 people a year, making it more lethal than AIDS, automobile accidents, homicides suicides, drug overdoses and fire combined. Smoking may be even more dangerous now than 30 years ago, because of the low tar and nicotine levels in most cigarette brands, cause people to inhale more deeply.
42% of male lifelong smokers reach the age of 73 compared to 78% of non smokers.
Second hand, or side stream smoke are also at risk to those who are exposed to cigarette smoke.
Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for at least 20% of all deaths from heart disease. Smokers in their thirties and forties have a heart attack rate that is five times higher than their non smoking peers. The more a person smokes the higher the chance of developing coronary heart disease and experiencing a heart attack. In women who smoke the risk for a heart attack is about 50% greater than in male smokers. Quitting will rapidly decrease the risk of developing heart disease, but long-term smoking may still permanently damage arteries.
Smoking accounts for about 39% of all cancer deaths. It is the cause of 85% of all cases of lung cancer, which is expected to kill 160,000people this year. Regular exposure to second hand tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer in the non smoker by about 25%.
There is simply no safe way to smoke
Although low tar and low nicotine cigarettes may reduce lung cancer somewhat, they do not lessen the risks of heart diseases.
The only safe and healthful course is not to smoke at all
If you now use cigarettes, you can stop. There are as many ex smokers in this country today as there are smokers
HOW CAN I STOP SMOKING?
To stop smoking has to be your choice. Ask yourself - "Do I really want to stop".
Make a checklist that might help you to stop smoking. For example:
I want to improve my health
I don't want my children to become smokers
I can do with the money
It smells, makes the house dirty, and clings to clothes
It' not fair to people I work, live and go out with
'm afraid of getting cancer
QUESTIONS YOU ARE LIKELY TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STOPPING?
It's to late to stop, the damage is probably done?
If you stop smoking before you get cancer, bronchitis or heart disease, you're likely to remain healthy. The sooner you stop the safer you will be.
Will I put on weight when I stop?
If you're worried that you will put on weight, try not to eat more when you stop. And try not to eat high calorie food you would not normally eat.
But doesn't smoking help me cope with stress?
Not really. Nicotine is a stimulant which increases heart rate and alerts the brain. It only seems to make you feel calm. When your nicotine level falls you feel edgy (stressed) because of withdrawal. So you smoke to boost your nicotine level. What feel like stress was actually caused by craving.
PLANNING TO STOP.
Choose a day. It might be the first day of the week or a weekend.
Tell family and friends you've decided to stop and ask them for their understanding and support.
The day before you stop get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
Reward yourself at the end of your first day, then at the end of the first week, and at the end of the first month.
The good news about quitting . There is nothing easy about giving up cigarettes, but as hard as quitting may be, the results are well worth it. In the first year after stopping smoking, the risks of coronary heart diseases drops sharply, then it gradually returns to normal that is, the same risk as someone who never smoked. So no matter what your age, quitting will lessen your chances of developing heart diseases
Breaking the habit
Surviving Day One - on the evening before your quit day, throw away your cigarettes, lighter and ash tray. Plan some special activities for the next day to keep you busy. Ask family members and friends not to offer you cigarettes or smoke in front of you. Your goal is to get through the first important day smoke free, which will help you succeed each day after that
Be good to yourself - get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, eat 3 balanced meals each day. If you are not cheerful and energetic as usual during the first few weeks after quitting, don't feel guilty. You are making a major change in you life and for that you deserve a lot of credit
More help is available - we have a lot of information available on, living a healthy life style that can be obtained from any of the health care staff and from the internet.
Two things to help you - nicotine gum and nicotine patches are available and can be purchased from the UK and also via the internet.
Know what to expect - Shortly after quitting, you may experience headaches, irritability, tiredness, constipation or trouble concentrating. While theses symptoms are not pleasant, it is important to know that they are signs that your body is recovering from smoking. Most symptoms end after two to four weeks.
Keep busy - get involved with activities that require you to use your hands, be as physically active as you can.
Find new habits - replace 'triggers' with new activities that you do not associate with smoking. Eg, having a cigarette with a cup of coffee, switch to tea. If feeling tense, try deep breathing to calm yourself.
Know yourself - To quit successfully, you need to know your smoking 'triggers', which are situations and feelings that bring out the urge to light up. Make a list of your smoking 'triggers' and try to avoid as many as you can
Helpful hints that may help you
If you need to put something in your mouth, try (sugar free) chewing gum, or something healthy and non-fattening.
If you need to do something with your hands, find something to fiddle with - a pencil, coin, anything but a cigarette
Drink juice and eat fruit. Vitamin C helps the body get rid of nicotine more quickly
If you slip
. Don't worry, most slip three to five times before you quit
for good. But to get back on the non smoking track, here are some tips.
· Don't get discouraged - having a cigarette or two, does not mean you have failed and does not mean you can't quit smoking. Keep thinking of yourself as a non smoker.
· Learn from experience - What was the trigger that made you light up? Were you having a drink at a party? Or feeling angry at something or someone. Think back to the days events that made you light up.
· Take charge - make a list of things you will do next time you are in that situation. Reread the list of reasons you want to quit.
YOURE ON YOUR WAY!
The Silver Shadow is a passenger liner registered in Nassau, Bahamas, and operated by Silversea Cruises. She arrived at Ascension on Thursday 8th March at 8am, and departed the same day at 4:30pm bound for St. Helena.
She started her tour from Rio de Janeiro and is carrying 247 passengers and 303 crew members. 240 of the passengers came ashore, 80 of which went on a bus tour around the island. She has a gross registered tonnage of 28,258 tons and is length 186m by breadth 24.8m, built at Mariotti Ship Yard, Genoa in 1999. Maximum passengers she can carry is 382.
She took mail and medical supplies with her for delivery to St. Helena.
I am constantly aware of the isolation of this place, and in a time of change
such as the Island is going through it can seem that decisions are taken thousands
of miles away by people who have no concept of the uniqueness of Ascension.
St Mary's Church is fortunate in that we have a Bishop who cares for us and is only a fax or phone call away on St Helena. Nevertheless there are times when we are apt to forget that we are part of a world-wide Communion of no less than 70 million Christians, and that they too care for us and remember us in their prayers as we too remember them in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer.
The 38 Archbishops of our Anglican Communion have just held their annual conference
as guests of the Episcopal church in America, meeting at the Kanuga Centre in
Last week I received a copy of the statement they put out at the end of the Conference. It is an encouraging document, and emphasizes not only the global nature of the church but also its concerns for the world's problems. The church is not irrelevant in the world today. As the letter reminds us in the concluding paragraph "We do not live to ourselves or die to ourselves. May God help us to show what a living, generous and faithful Communion might be."
The willingness for the Church to engage with the world was reflected in the subjects discussed: dialogue between the church in Iran and the government; the Congo, where violence has driven people from their homes; the Sudan, where the Archbishop attempts to mediate between warring factions; the pain of all caught up in conflict in the Holy Land; the escalating atmosphere of intimidation n Zimbabwe where a priest was recently murdered; the unimaginable scale of the HIV/AIDA pandemic, and how many nations are rendered voiceless and enslaved by unpayable debt.
In asking us to pray for all these concerns the Conference ask that we "dedicate ourselves to seeking and following the wisdom of God in our own situations, in the confidence that he will bring to fulfillment the work he has begun in us."
May we seek and follow that wisdom here in all the changes on Ascension Island.
God Bless you and keep you,
Fr Keith & Ginny.
On Sunday, 25 March 2001 the Ascension Island Post Office released the stamps entitled "500th Anniversary of the Discovery of Ascension Island". . Please visit http://www.ascension-island.gov.ac for purchasing instructions.
The stamps were beautifully designed by Julian Vasarhelyi and printed in the United Kingdom by BDT International Security Printers using the lithography process.
Denominations and designs are as follows:-
15p - Alfonso de Albuquerque
35p - Portuguese Caravel
40p - Cantino Map
50p - Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn
Mint sets costing £1.40 and Official first day covers at £1.90 will be on sale at the Georgetown Post Office for a period of three months from the date of issue. They will still be available to collectors from the Philatelic Bureau for a further period of twelve months providing stocks last.
L J Moyce Post Office
12 March 2001
|From the Editors:-
Adrian O Fowler & Penny Peters
Was anyone surprised by strangers last Thursday? There was over a thousand people on the island for about 8 hours! Ascension's population increased by at least a third Wow!
Geoff provides a few answers this week to those burning questions about the future of Ascension. I must admit there are people asking the same questions via email - now I will refer them to this weeks version of the Islander - a better explaination than what I could give!
We want to see you all putting 150% into the Comic Relief on Friday! We are going to be sponsoring our boss to wear his nose all day on Friday - and we have even got a 'web cam' set up in his office so that we can keep an eye on him .. (anyone want the address . Cost you ) We are also going to have a strange looking scout leader with his 'Y' fronts on the outside of his trousers talk about just add alcohol! I can see those digital photos now ..
Seriously people, this is for a good cause - I know that we hear these words all the time - but if you read on in this weeks paper all about Comic Relief - you will see what you are supporting! So wear the Red Nose and 'trunks' with pride!
2001 - PAX VOBISEUMS
What good things do I see? Well I see the Island and the Island sees me. I came here originally 30 years ago to return 20 years ago. Neither cause was good of itself but I learned to love the rock. What else is good? The people. Marry the two (and the Saints and the Island are wedded L.F.) and I'll be back, as a friend of the family, if not a blood relation.
What has changed? Sure even in a year it's greener. And in the East where Met Men never go, it's wetter. A sharp cold shower at 10am on Weather Post and the fact that the cloud descends past Elliots is a worry. There are more sheep and consequently more flies. There are less feral cats but surely more feral donkeys. There are fewer folks and fewer names in the Letterboxes. (Yes I do rise before down and mean to be stamping dust at sunup).
What is the same? In a word, Two Boats. When you do blast off a major hike it is good to be on that terrace at 1230 for wahoo, chips and beans. And Reflections, pot of tea, on the quieter days. St. Mary's when no one is looking except Big G. A beer with the lads.
What is worse? Litter, broken glass and the odd grockle, who manages to award himself the GOOTFPB which is not as rude as you might think. It is decodable by any Comcen person and merely means that the odd person manges to point up the overwhelming goodness of 99.99% Well done thou good and faithful servant! Truly you will have your reward in Heaven!!
Thanks Julie, Patsy, Wilson, Adrian, Chris, Billy, Larry, Fr Keith, Ginny, Barry, Raymond, Paddy (the man), Paddy (the dog, who slept beside me a little hour on turtle watch), Alec, George and Ed. Thank you Geoff and thank you all who have waved to me. Thank you up at Merlin and Ariane. Thank you Rock.
Oh! Stu, answer that blasted phone or else!
Moss Scott (Musk)
to the Editor can be sent to
The Met Office Weather Report
Statistics for the week ending Monday 12th March 2001.
|Max (deg C)||Min (deg C)||Rainfall (mm)|
ASCENSION SEA SWELL FORECAST:
Ranging from north-westerly to south-westerly 1.5 to 2 metres.
Sea temperature around Ascension Island:
Steady at 27.0ºC.
Hot and sunny with just an isolated refreshing shower. Lovely jubbly!
Gary Thomas reports: Sunny weather was the order of the week with 7 to 8 hours daily, and the odd light shower. Becoming cloudy on Sunday followed by a fair amount of rain overnight.
Mean Temp 20.5 deg C, Sunshine 52.8 hrs & mean Wind Speed 10.8kts.
Milder with everywhere seeing at least some sunshine, some showers and some rain. How about that for a summary!
Sunshine, showers, windy and now, after a disappointing summer, autumn has arrived. The leaves would be coming off the trees next except, of course, there aren't exactly many trees!
Bang goes another week then! It was, in truth, a relatively quiet 'social' one for us Met guys which in effect means that we can remember more than we have forgotten for a change! Trade though, has been brisk with a good number of aircraft movements, especially going into the weekend and I sit here at the moment thoroughly looking forward to briefing a Hercules crew at three thirty tomorrow morning. Not a pretty sight for them or me I suspect!
I'm sure everyone will join me in welcoming back Kenny, the Operations Supervisor, from three months sick leave in the UK. He tells me that it was dull, cold and wet back home and that the best thing about being back is the marvellous Ascension Island climate. I must admit that it will feel very strange returning to work at home and having to wear such alien garments as a pair of trousers, long sleeve shirt and even a tie. I bet none of the blinking things fit anymore either!
'Met cat' seems to have taken a liking to living life dangerously recently. I woke the other morning to discover that the cat had obviously been uncomfortable in the night. She had only gone and ripped all my clothes off the washing-line to make herself a nice bed outside my door. She's obviously not a 'mouser' either. Donald and I have the cockiest mice on the island and I'm also pretty sure that we now have more of the rodents than we did when we inherited the cat. Catching mice is obviously too much like hard work whilst pulling some mug's washing down is obviously much more fun. I do however, have a pretty effective mouse-trap in that the mosquito net and frame above my front door have taken to unexpectedly crashing down every now and then. Any mouse caught underneath would be pretty much obliterated. On the down side, any human similarly ensnared would also be down for at least a count of ten so I think a call to Turners FM might be in order. What does 'FM' stand for by the way? It sounds like a radio station to me - Green Onions calling?
The big talking point back in the UK is of course the Foot and Mouth crisis. If one was a real cynic, (and of course I am, I just deal in facts, I'm a weatherman!) (Ed: Excuse Me !?!?) you could be forgiven for believing in some kind of conspiracy theory against farmers. First there was BSE, then the hike in fuel prices and now the first outbreak of Foot and Mouth since 1967. Even the most hardened city dweller would have to have a certain amount of sympathy with our poor old farmers. Even here on Ascension we are not immune in that footwear decontamination may shortly be introduced for persons arriving or travelling through from the UK. Meanwhile Gary from Ops had arranged his leave to coincide with the Cheltenham Festival so I would imagine that he's not exactly doing cart-wheels at the moment either! When will it all end?
A couple of little tit-bits from the last couple of weeks now. Jim is always accusing me of drinking his beer so he recently raided my fridge only to be driven back by a load of full but rusty cans. He's therefore probably got a point. Meanwhile, Joy from the Med Centre asked Donald to get her a drink of lime and lemonade at the VC the other night. Donald, who has got off pretty lightly so far in this edition (apart from the fact he hardly ever buys a drink), then dutifully returned with a cup full of lemonade, ice and about ten segments of lime. Not quite what Joy meant I think! Finally, I now know what the opposite of illegal is. During the course of a serious conversation I was told that a certain car wasn't thought to be unillegal ! (Rustle Peters at his best !!)
And now the moment you've all been waiting for! The zone where the winds of the northern and southern hemisphere collide is the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. There are also a few other names but I won't bore you with those! This week I want to know the date at which the sun reaches its furthest point from Ascension.
Until next week.
Hash Hare: Frank-N-Furter
Hash Hounds: Fugitive, Floppy Top, Island Boy, Hong Kong Phooey
Thunderthighs, Crystal Tips, Beanie Baby, Yeti,
The Major, Soon Kum, A-Drain, Twin Peaks, Ivor
the Engine, Skipper, Gilligan, Jack
"Tiggers are quiet the morning after the night before"
Welcome back Gilligan. It was nice to see our hasher's well prepared for the arduous task ahead. Island boy with his corset on, Ivor the Engine with his knee brace and even Beanie Baby was being groomed. With an obviously large amount of spiced rum consumed the previous night by various hashers, the on-on was declared in the region of Kyle's Beach Hut. The pack amble on their way in silence only to be bought back to life by crashing waves as we go rock climbing to follow our leader. After this, thoughts were going through many a head as to whether this would be another death defying hash on the rocks, produced by Fugitive and Frank-N-Furter only 2 weeks ago. Alas it was not to be - across, over, rocky down and across again. A back arrow caused many of our leaders to forfeit their titles and so ended the hash. Fugitive declared he would ring out his T-shirt and re-drink the alcohol - cheapskate. It would be true to say that F-N-F produced a working hash counting turtle tracks along his way, maybe I'll lay my hash through my house giving everyone a duster. Drinks all round were greatly appreciated and a tin of turtle variety biscuits were produced for all to snack on. Twin Peaks rejected an offer from HKP and A-Drain to stay out and play.
Next week's Hare - The Major
Starting from B34
Hash Scribe - TP
EDITORS : Adrian O Fowler & Penny
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
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Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday