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The Islander - Thursday 27th March 2003

Rain, rain & more rain...

The recent downfall of rain has caused some havoc over the last few days. The forceful downpour over Monday and Tuesday has led to the unexpected closure of Two Boats School on Tuesday and such unwanted flooding on the roads and difficult driving conditions. Hopefully, no one has been badly affected by this surge of rain and it only remains for us to Beware of the Puddles…

News From St. Mary's:

ASCENSION ISLAND (Diocese of St. Helena)

Rev. Brian Birchmore
Church Warden: Mervyn Isaacs
Church Warden: Cheryl Anthony


Last Friday morning, before work, a number of people, including families and representatives of the Island community and the Forces working here, met briefly in St Mary's Church to remember and pray for all those involved in the Iraq conflict. We have a number of young men from Ascension Island and St Helena who are there as members of HM Forces along with friends and colleagues of Royal Air Force and American personnel working here.

It is difficult to tear oneself away from the TV screen with its constant hour on hour presentations of the conflict as it unfolds. War is always a tragedy and all thinking people hope for some other way to resolve the world's problems. However, we are all caught up in it now along with many innocent civilians who will suffer yet more pain and tragedy. For those who watch and wait for news there is little respite and for those who are part of the coalition on the ground in Iraq our primary concern must be to support and surround them with all the care, love and prayers we can muster.

I received a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury this morning assuring us all of his "thoughts and prayers in these difficult and testing times" It's a letter to all Forces Chaplains emphasising the responsibility he shares with us in caring for all involved. He makes the point that "those who are deployed with their units will, I am certain, acquit themselves with courage and dedication" and we should all pray for "those who carry the great burden of responsibility for making key judgements in these matters".

Please remember in your prayers: David Leo, Dean Williams, Darren Yon, Alvin Stephens, Mark Osborne and
all those others known by colleagues and friends on Ascension Island.

We here in the South Atlantic are so far away from this conflict, but we are still involved as members of ONE World, where people of all nations, cultures and faiths belong to one another. I was brought up in a war and have a son who was in the last Gulf War, but as I've grown up I have longed for a world where peace and unity, freedom and respect can be the gifts that all people can enjoy.

Let us pray that this hope may be fulfilled for the future.

Fr Brian

Next Sunday is MOTHERING SUNDAY and we have a special Family/Parade Eucharist when we hope to offer some flowers to the mothers present.

DO COME - in time for 10.30 am!


From the Editors:- Marie & Sherilyn Anthony


The Islander is experiencing problems with one of its printing machines. Until we have both machines on line, the Islander will be a more concise issue.

Contributors please bear this in mind when submitting articles for publication.


Raxa Sukhtanker


Letters to the Editor can be sent to

The most important preparation in a desert war...

David Kurns is baptised by Task Force Chaplain Capt. Ron Cooper, left, and 1st Lt. Brian Case, right, in the desert north of Kuwait City, Wednesday, March 12. Eight members of the 3rd Infantry Division were baptised in the desert last Wednesday


Source: Major J Fason



Sunday 03/23/2003 10:45:19pm
Name: stephen greek
E-Mail: sgreek327@yahoo
Location: lebanon mo usa

Sunday 03/16/2003 7:50:32pm
Comments: I was stationed on the island 1957 or 1958 . Operated a shoran station on top of green mountain and lived at a base station Two Boats. I remember exploring the tunnels and tank farms. We also had a nav. station erected above a sea cave that trembled every time a wave entered the cave.

Saturday 03/15/2003 10:07:18pm
E-Mail: CHAZ8330@AOL.COM
Comments: Pan Am Supply at ASI '65 thru '70. I served 33 years downrange, best five on "the Rock". Remembering Shaky, Mau-Mau, Jr., Brian Reynolds, Warby. Wish we could do it all over again. Best wishes and enjoy your days there. Time will come when you also are no longer young and full of it.

Thursday 03/06/2003 12:11:23am
Name: Mick Abbott
Location: Democratic Republic of Congo
Comments: Hi to all, As you see by address I still travel although everytime I leave UK I tell my family this is the last time. Many happy memories of ASI in my time with the RAF and Serco. Sorry to say Jerry Marr has returned to UK but had the biggest shock of my life when Mario George transited through my small airfield here in the jungle last week. I think I just like the heat as its extremely hot here. Communications are limited here ie e-mail so if any ex-asi firefighters or any one who may remember me please drop a line. Enjoy

Monday 03/03/2003 8:06:17pm
Name: Birmingham (nee Petfield)
Location: Germany
Comments: Nice to see Ascension on the net. I was stationed on the Island back in 1988. I did my stint at the medical centre and had a great time(like everyone else it seems!)I also met my husband Mark Birmingham on the Island who served with the signals at the time. Is deli still at the hospital? I remember the two Dons little Don and big Don, is the saturday club for the kids still up and running? I have so many good memories, now that I know the Island is open to visitors I'll be saving hard.

The Met Office Weather Report


Statistics for the week ending Monday 24th March 2003

Max (deg C)
Min (deg C)
Rainfall (mm)
ST. HELENA 25.1 17.7 9.8

ASCENSION ISLAND: Generally sunny days for much of the week with a few isolated showers overnight. However from Friday it became cloudier with sometimes frequent showers. At the Airhead Warmest day was Wednesday 19th March. Coldest night was Thursday into Friday and the wettest day Sunday with 1.2 mm.

UK: High pressure dominated the weather for much of the UK but frontal troughs brushed the north and north-west of Scotland on Thursday and again on Sunday. Warmest place was Central London on Sunday 23rd with a temperature of 20 Celsius.
Coldest day-time temperature was 4 Celsius at Edinburgh on Monday 17th and Inverbervie on Tuesday 18th. Coldest night-time temperatures were Minus 9 Celsius at Altnaharra (Highlands of Scotland) in the early hours of Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th. Wettest place was Kirwall (Orkney) with 2.7 MM on Thursday 20th. 11.6 hours of Sunshine were recorded at Morecambe on Monday 27th and at Prestatyn on Sunday 23rd.

FALKLANDS: Generally unsettled with a series of depressions and associated fronts crossing the islands interspersed with transient ridges of high pressure.

From the Inspectors Desk

Ascension has no immediate and updated plans for a Major Disaster in terms of civilian issues. The only Major Disaster plan which is known as the Red Bird formulated by the Royal Air Force in conjunction with the USAF. This plan takes into account for an aircraft crash on the airfield or for any other reason it is forced to ditch in the sea. Both the RAF and USAF have other plans in place in the event of any other issues that may occur on their bases. It is of extreme importance that specific plans are formulated for immediate action in the event of a disaster. One may consider is it necessary for such plans, but we must be in preparedness for a disaster. There is certainly justification for this where there is a need for natural and man-made disasters. In order for theses plans to be prepared expert advice is required. Mr Roger Bellers Disaster Management Adviser for the Overseas Territories and Jill Marie St John, Community Preparedness Officer for Disaster Management visited the island from the 14 -17 March. The purpose of their visit was to deliver training to the Disaster Management Committee. This will enable us to achieved expert advice in how to set our goals in compiling a useful plan for implementation.

First and foremost what is the definition of Major Disaster. A disaster is commonly understood by the public as a great misfortune or calamity. A useful working definition of a disaster is any event (happening with or without warning) causing or threatening death or injury, damage to property or the environment or disruption to the community, which because of the scale of its effects cannot be dealt with by the emergency services alone.

As we all must recognise, disaster usually strike suddenly, unexpectedly and anywhere. Many agencies with the emergency services have a part in dealing with disasters and its aftermath. The effectives of the total response will depend on how well the emergency services other agencies and departments have harmonised their preparations and exercise their arrangement with emergency procedures. The objectives for a combined response is to save life, prevent escalation of the disaster, relieve suffering, safeguard the environment, protect property, facilitate criminal investigation and judicial public enquiries, continue to maintain normal services at an appropriate level, restore normality as soon as possible and to evaluate response and identify lessons to be learnt.


At the first meeting of the Disaster Management Committee a risk assessment was completed, to identify the natural and man made disasters that are likely to occur on the island and the impact. As plans unfold for the development of the island more problems are likely to be encounter, which would give the committee reason to put further plans in place.

On Monday 17th we met with the team from DFID, including serval members of Island Council. A presentation of the risk assessment was presented to outlined the likely disasters that are likely to occur on Ascension. The main objective for the committee was to gain as much information as possible to give them clear directions on how to formulate plans for submission and implementation. The plans must be professionally presented so as the key players can carry out their respective role efficiently.

These meetings will be held on a basis as necessary until a complete resourceful and workable strategy, to up date progress and reviewing new methods and ideas. I take this opportunity of thanking the team for their visit which was most welcome. Their expertise in this field was most valuable and without their support and our contribution the meeting would have not ended with results. There will however be teething problems as one can expect, but through dedication and commitment those will be identified and rectified.



Reg Williams









The environmental heritage of the Overseas Territories must not be allowed to fade away, Bill Rammell, Foreign Office Minister responsible for Global Issues, stressed today.

Speaking ahead of a conservation conference taking place in Bermuda from 22 - 27 March, the Minister said:

"The UK has a rich natural heritage in the environment of the Overseas Territories. We must not squander this or allow it to fade into obscurity. We have a shared vision with the Overseas Territories, to implement sustainable environmental management practices. And for this reason I am pleased that the UK has been able to co-sponsor the international conference beginning tomorrow, taking us a step closer to ensuring that we do not lose these rich ecosystems."

Notes for Editors

1. The conference in Bermuda, entitled "A Sense of Direction" will be attended by government and NGO representatives from the UK, the UK's Overseas Territories (UKOTs), and other small island communities. The aim of the conference is to provide an opportunity to discuss conservation issues of common concern, as well as to share expertise and best practice.

2. The UKOTs' ecosystems range from tropical to Antarctic, with at least 10 times as many endemic species as the British Isles. In particular, the UKOTs have:

- 2% of the world's coral reefs, including the world's most northerly coral reefs (Bermuda) and one of the world's largest and most pristine coral atolls (the Great Chagos Bank in the British Indian Ocean Territory)

- some of the world's most important breeding colonies of albatrosses (Falkland Islands, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands)

- the most important Atlantic nesting sites for Green Turtles (Ascension Island)

- two remote island World Heritage Sites rich in endemic species (in the Pacific, Henderson Island, the largest of the Pitcairn Islands; and in the South Atlantic, Gough Island, the most southerly of the Tristan da Cunha group)

- Gibraltar is a key migration route for birds of prey

- some of the finest wider Caribbean marine resorts (Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands, Anguilla)

- an active volcano (Montserrat)

- a fine current example of habitat restoration (the Millennium Gumwood Forest on St Helena)

- British Antarctic Territory: a sensitive barometer for the effects of human actions on the world's climate and atmosphere

3. The conference will be officially opened on 23 March by the Premier of Bermuda, The Hon Jennifer M Smith. The Bermudian Minister of the Environment will also attend. The main agenda sessions will cover conservation issues of Bermuda; Environment Charters and strategic planning; managing conservation organisations; implementing management plans; climate change; dealing with invasive species. Delegates will also have an opportunity to visit some of Bermuda's key environment and heritage sites.

4. The FCO will be represented at the conference by the Head of the Environment Policy Department. She will deliver a presentation on the "UK Government's commitment to the Environment Charter process in the UKOTs". The Environment Charters, signed in September 2001 by the governments of the UK and UKOTs, represent a shared vision to support the implementation of sustainable environmental management practices in the UKOTs. The conference will focus on progress made to date by the governments of the UK and its Overseas Territories in taking forward the commitments laid down in the Environment Charters. The texts of the Charters are available on the FCO website (

5. The conference has been sponsored by a number of organisations including the FCO's Environment Fund (which contributed £70,000 towards the cost of the conference) and the Bermudian government. It has been organised jointly by the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, the Bermuda National Trust, the Bermuda Zoological Society, the Bermuda Audubon Society, and the Bermuda Ministry of the Environment.

6. This is the third conference of its kind: the first was held in London in 1999, and the second in Gibraltar in 2000.

7. More details on the UKOTs are available on the FCO website, and on the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum website,

Press Officer: Trish O'Donnell, 020 7008 3114

News Department, Downing Street (West), London SW1A 2AH Telephone: 020 7270 3100 Fax: 020 7270 3094

Hash Trash

Hash number: 944

Hares: Goat & Fido

Hounds: Major, Predator, Skipper, Yeti, Bloodsucker, Mama 3 Bones, Slap Head, Dick Head, Island Boy, Grim Reaper, Fluffy Bunnikins, Baywatch Babe, Mr. Bubbles, Hardcore Heidi, Mildew, 100 Watt, Budweiser Belly, Oh That Woman, Puff Grannie, Uncle Fester, Barry Tone, Chicken Hawk, Buzz Lightyear, Rusty Head, Matt, Timo

Apres Hashers: Titpecker, Diane, Elliott, Sophie B, Joker, Joan

The meeting place was the Two Boats playground. All hopes that the little hashers had set the trail and would it consist of a few quick turns around the playground were dashed when the on-on sent us off in the direction of the pool. We passed that by as well and headed off down the hill, through the thorn bushes. This was just a taste of what was to come. After a brief downhill spurt we crossed the road and the real fun began. The on-on led us straight up the side of the hill, a challenging climb up loose klinka. You know it's not good when the only thing to grab hold of to keep oneself from sliding down are thorn bushes! And you grab them anyway! A lot of huffing and puffing (where is that wind and you need it?) and we eventually reached the top.

As usual, a steep tough climb was rewarded with great views, and a circle check! If going up was a challenge, coming down the back side towards Traveler's was almost as bad! Although we did get a little wind. Slippery slopes, more thorn trees, and loose rocks knocked a few of the hashers on their backsides, including our fearless leader Fido. Proof that there is some justice in this world. Mildew decided that the thorns from last week weren't quite enough, and decided to tangle with a few more this time. A bar check at the road sent the hounds off in different directions looking for the route. Of course it headed off downhill, away again from Two Boats. We soon veered off back towards Traveler's. A few of the weary hashers were heard grumbling about the forty minute estimate for the hash since we just kept moving farther away.

A short hop across the hot open ground and we were rewarded with a nice cool circle check in the shade of a building. Juice was handed out, really convincing us that we still had a long ways to go. It was refreshing, however! On-on down the road and into the parking lot of the gym, where to our surprise, transportation awaited to return us to Two Boats. The ride was shunned by a few hardy souls including Matt, Yeti, Hardcore Heidi and Fluffy Bunnikins (although the ladies later hitched a ride). Back at the playground Diane and her little helpers, Elliott and Sophie B arrived with a great spread and the après hash festivities got off the ground. Joker and Joan showed up a little while later. Apparently they got lost on the way and missed the start so they made amends by hiking Sisters.

Titpecker showed up for customary burying of his hash shoes (surprisingly he does wears shoes to hash). He is off to the UK to spend the next few months working on a cruise ship guiding birding tours to other remote spots. Tough gig, Richard! Best of luck in all your future adventures.

We hope to see you in this part of the world again soon. We will miss you. Who will we try to keep up with now? Thanks Fido and Goat for a great hash and a great time!

Next week: Grazing Valley

Hare: Major

EDITORS : Marie & Sherilyn Anthony
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327


Internet Team: Alan George, Andy Roberts and Gavin Yon

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