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The Islander - Thursday 27th April 2003

Thomas Nicholas Herne

is baptized.



Sunday's Service at St Mary's Church saw the baptism of Thomas Nicholas Herne. The congregation at the Easter Service saw Father Brian Birchmore perform his last baptism before returning to the UK on 1 May.

News From St. Mary's:

ASCENSION ISLAND (Diocese of St. Helena)

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


Just a small group of 15 met outside St Mary's at 6 am on Easter Morning - the moon and stars were still shining brightly as we lit the Paschal Candle and processed in to the dark church lighting it up with our candles, and to the words:

"........ grant that this Easter Candle may make our darkness light; for Christ the Morning Star has risen, never again to set....."

This was the drama of Easter spelt out in symbols that we could use in the world of everyday where the vision of New Life is such an essential part of our thinking and our living.

The chocolate eggs we gave out at the later Eucharist and Baptism of Thomas Nicholas Herne provide the same symbol - new life bursting out with hope, where once there was only the prospect of despair and death. The Resurrection of Jesus is about replacing darkness with light - moonshine with the sunshine of a new day - a New Life that makes us look again at what we are and what we have and to see these not as limitations to our life, but stepping stones into a future full of promise.

There are those times when all of us feel despairing and down, when it seems everything goes wrong for us - it's all darkness and hopelessness! To know that the darkness can be replaced by a bit of sunshine is the primary message of Easter. Love has overcome even death and a NEW DAY OF HOPE is not only possible - but a FACT that we can SHARE!

It seems strange to us at the Vicarage that next Sunday will be our last on Ascension Island and it makes us wonder what the future will be like in our little retirement house in Bishop's Stortford ..... we shall miss the sun and the sunshine of so many friendships and this unique community of which we now feel so much a part ....

The next steps in life for us will bring new days, with new hope and the certainty that the God who "makes all things new" will be with us all. Thank you for all you have shared with us, which will be treasured - but let us all look forward to the new days that lie ahead with hope and expectation.

A very happy Eastertide to you all

Fr Brian and Daphne

Lessons for next Sunday: Acts 4: 32-35 and John 20: 19-31

Friday 04/11/2003 3:45:18pm

Name: Darlene Thomas


Location: St Helena Island

Comments: Hi, I just wanted to say hi! to all my friends on Ascension and especially to my favourite little girl Suzanne Leo. thinking of you always and be a good girl to mommy, daddy and Joey. Hope to see you soon

Friday 04/11/2003 11:30:51am

Name: Primary Four St. Peter's School


Location: Scotland UK

Comments: Hello to Ascension Island. Our teacher's husband used to land here on his way to the Falkland Islands. We have compared your weather to ours in Scotland. Yours is much warmer. Bye for now.

Sunday 04/20/2003 7:38:46pm

Name: Denise & Andy Johnson

E-Mail: denisejohnson@manxnet

Location: isle of man

Comments: hi to George and Winnie Johnson looking forward to seeing you both soon.

Monday 04/21/2003 7:45:59pm

Name: Caroline and Stuart Wadsley


Location: Kenilworth UK

Comments: Hi to anyone who remembers us. We had a fantastic tour out there 1986-1989 (BBC) and have many happy memories of Ascension life and can bore many a person with our stories. Perhaps we'll make it back one day with the kids. Great web-site to feed our nolstalgic moments!

Monday 04/21/2003 5:09:21pm

Name: James N. (Jim) Irvin


Location: Melbourne, FL USA

Comments: Glad to find this site. Worked for RCA there between 1963 and 1969. Active DJ, News Director, and Asst. Manger of Volcano Radio. Active also at Exiles, BBC, and Island Clubs; Exiles Cricket, Football and table tennis leagues; Ascension Players (play reading and Panto's). By the way, does the Heritage museum still display the "Lucky Strike Green package we found while cleaning out the old fort near the dock? How about the day Stan Rawlings tapped the first keg of draught bitter at the Exiles club?

Friday 04/18/2003 1:04:59am

Name: Terry Rushent


Location: Lower Stone, Gloucestershire, England

Comments: A well presented site. I was based on Ascension shortly after the Falkands War for 6 months and it was nice to see some familar sites. I first visited Ascension in 1971 (I celebrated my 21st birthday there in English Bay!) as part of RAF Tangmere's 50 Tactical Signals Unit's Long Range Communications Trials.

Wednesday 04/16/2003 8:28:27pm

Name: Jeff Coleman


Homepage Title: Steam Powered Studio Homepage URL: Location: Lancaster, PA Comments: My dad was a radio op in the Ferry Service during WWII. They delivered bombers to Africa and India via SA. I'm sure his route took him over Ascension, but he never mentioned landing there. Great virtual tour! Some parts of central PA look a lot like this due to the giant heaps of coal tailings. No ocean views, however...


Letters to the Editor can be sent to


Discovery Gradually the young island began to cool and the volcanic activity became less frequent. Seabirds began to visit and eventually made their nests on its rugged cliffs and outlying stacks. Later green turtles began to lay their eggs on its beaches, probably finding this a convenient place to stop on their way to Angola or St Helena and then deciding it wasn't worth going any further as these beaches were quite adequate for their purpose. At sometime land crabs reached the island but we know not how they arrived. The island was still barren though, and it was not until a few seeds either drifted onto the island via pieces of driftwood or else came in bird droppings that a handful of plants could take root. It was all very peaceful for thousands of years, but then along came Man. The island was discovered by a Portuguese explorer named Juan da Novha, whilst on his way to the Indian continent in 1501. He must have been totally under-whelmed by its appearance because, apart from naming it Conception Island after the day on which he made the discovery, he did nothing about it and told nobody. The following year another Portuguese explorer with the glorious name of Alphonse D'Albuquerque, and a magnificent beard to match, was on his way home from the Indies when he came across the island of St Helena. After naming it, he came across this other island which as far as he was concerned was undiscovered. Then, like da Novha, he also named it after the day on which it was discovered and that is the name by which Ascension Island has been known ever since. Still nothing very much happened on the island, the Portuguese did not even bother to register a claim on it. Ships did start to visit though, and some goats were put ashore to fend for themselves and to be available as fresh meat when required. Turtles were taken and left upside down on the decks of ships until required for the table. The island was even used as a post office of sorts, messages being left by outgoing ships on their way to the far east and put in bottles near to the shore, ready to be taken back to England nor Holland by the next returning ship. Father Navarette mentioned this "Ocean Letterbox" in 1673. Other early explorers to visit the island included Peter Mundy (1656), James Cunningham (1698), William Dampier (1701) and Captain Cook (1775) in HMS Resolution. The visit of William Dampier is an interesting story in that he only came here because his ship was falling apart. He had been on a voyage of discovery to Australia and the Western Pacific Ocean but had been given a very old ship for his work. On his way home the ship "HMS Roebuck" began to leak badly and he put in to Ascension to effect repairs. It's a long and fascinating story but the essence is that the repairs were not sufficient and the ship sank, leaving Dampier and his crew to fend for themselves on the island for six weeks before being rescued. The bell from "Roebuck" was found off Long Beach by an Australian diving team in 2001, almost exactly on the 300th anniversary of the sinking.

That's this week's episode, if you have any suggestions, or corrections please let me know, either by an email to the Islander or on phone 00 247 4548. Neil MacFall



The Met Office Weather Report


Statistics for the week ending Monday

Max (deg C)
Min (deg C)
Rainfall (mm)
27.0 (Cardiff)
-4.0 (Aviemore)

Hash Trash

Hash number: 949

Hares: Rat Boy, Rug Rat and Rusty Head

Hounds: Uncle Fester, Frank-n-Furter, The Vamp, Radar, Twin Peaks, Skipper, Woodswrecker, Fluffy Bunnikins, Grim Reaper, The Joker, Spiderman, Shadow, Bay Watch Babe, Batman,, Bart Simpson, 100 Watt, Mildew, Slap Head, Richard Head J, Dick Head, Talking Head, Hardcore Heidi, Fido, Plumbline Pete, Yeti, Brendan, Goat, Bonehead, Morticia, Sophie B and Buzz Lightyear.

This week's hares were not going to deter the willing but, perhaps, slightly sun damaged hashers as yet. There were a few new faces and lots of children. The start from the end of Long Beach may partly have been a lure as a beautiful sunset is guaranteed from this spot. On-on was up towards the rocks and sea. A few relieved sighs as the pack was directed away from the incline of Cross Hill. This relief will prove to be short lived. This hash was starting out to be an equaliser. Adults (well most of them)and children had one speed and one path to take. It allowed plenty of opportunities to enjoy the scenery of spectacular waves crashing on the rocks. The first Circle Check produced its first victim. The rocks were just not tame and the shorts just not tough enough. The sound of ripping shorts brought chuckles and smiles, sniggers and jokes, but no sympathy. Bet this hare was pleased not to have Bridget Jones's wardrobe of 'smalls'. J On On, brought more rock hopping. Each circle check was a test in survival to the dry heat, more bearable for some due to the added ventilation to clothing. It was a glorious day and each resting point allowed a breather and a better view of Green Mountain and Sisters Peaks as the paper trail led them towards Cross Hill! As some of the sensible hashers, an oxymoron perhaps, decided to conserve energy and take a slower pace, the FRB's were informed they had a chased a back arrow. More sand runs and then the challenge. The road split for the runners and the walkers. Some of the tired hares looked longingly at the walkers path, some just had bad hearing and started running on the wrong trail, only to realise belatedly that the easier route would have been a better idea. Rat Boy had his last laugh, On-On towards Cross Hill, down the dry slope without skis, more rock hopping and a wonderful home run to stretch the legs. The Beach Hut looked very welcoming with its shade, ice cold drinks and chatter of happy children. Thanks for a great Hash, with lots of variety and beautiful sights. Delicious food Rug Rat. Rat Boy many happy returns of the day. Lastly, bye to our two escapees, Radar and Shadow who return to their studies. Stay safe and healthy. Next week's hash: From the Picnic Bench on Green Mountain Hares: Hardcore Heidi and Plumbline Pete

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

Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday

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