The Administrator-Andrew Kettlewell and Baker Freddie Maggott
From the Editors:- Marie & Sherilyn Anthony
Hello once again
We hope you've had an enjoyable week so far. A small edition but lots to read; update on the ASI bakery, School news and notices. That's it for this week!
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Praise the Lord, O Praise God in his Sanctuary: Praise him in the firmanent of his Power: Praise him in his mighty acts: Praise him according to his abundant goodness:
This is exactly what the congregation was doing on Sunday morning outside St. Mary's Church. A number of people told me that they were looking forward to the 'Songs of Praise' and from the comments received after the service was most encouraging. The congregation numbered 52 (50 adults and 2 children).
The weather was good and the band did a marvellous job in spite of having only one practice on Thursday evening. Readers, Girl Guides, Patrick and Sandra all added to what can be described as a joyful occasion, not to mention the bring and share lunch which was thoroughly enjoyed . Next Sunday will be a parade service, please do try and come along to support the youth organisations. We will be using the 'Children's Eucharist'. ALL ARE WELCOME.
Last Sunday the Gospel reading was about the sick woman who had to this amazing faith in Jesus. She believed that all she had to do was to touch the hem of his robe to be healed, and she was. Jesus knew at once that someone had touched him as he felt the power flow out from him. We can no longer make physical contact with Jesus, but nevertheless his power is available to us just as it was for that sick woman. We all can do a little healing but only if we allow ourselves to become Christ's instruments e.g. showing sympathy, care, spending time with the lonely, etc. Have a nice week.
News From the Grotto
Thought for the Week June 29, 2003 "You always have the most of everything". This phrase in the second reading serves to remind us that we are truly blessed. So many times in our lives, those times when we are going through our own personal trials and tribulations, we tend to forget this. We tend to forget the blessings and the good in our lives and only focus on the bad.
Every once in a while, we need to sit back, take stock of our lives, and reflect on the blessings we have. Something like in a business when the debits and credits are tallied. Did the company show a profit at the end of the year? Or when we are considering buying a new car and we sit down to balance the pros and cons of the purchase, the reliability of a new vehicle against the increased bank payments. We have all done this, both in our private and professional lives.
So now, maybe it is time to do this in our spiritual lives. Te remember who it is who makes all the good in our lives possible. Who it is who gives us the strength, the commitment, and the ambition to achieve our personal goals. Who gives us the emotional strength to weather the storms. God, through His love and faith in us has given us these gifts. He only asks that we use them wisely, fairly, and with concern for others. Have we done this ? The answer is within ourselves.
All we have to do is look around us to realize that He has given us the most of everything. We live on an island that has the most of everything. Perfect weather, no extreme weather like hurricanes or typhoons. Interesting terrain to hike, a little strange we'd all agree, but definitely one of His wonders. Wonderful beaches, with great water to swim, and to snorkel and scuba dive in. With more wonders under the sea to admire.
And most of all, we are surrounded by some of the nicest people on earth. I've traveled, lived and worked in a great many locations. I have met great people everywhere I have gone, but never so many in one place. When living on a small island it is especially important that the inhabitants get along, that they be kind to each other and care for one another. This is all so evident here on Ascension. We have no serious crime, a person can walk safely anywhere, at any time. What a wonderful feeling to feel so safe in one's surroundings. Especially when we see the news and see the state of the world, the many areas where the people live in constant fear of violence and danger.
Of course, we have our drawbacks. Resources are limited due to our remote location. Many of us are separated from our loved ones and we miss them terribly. We have to travel many miles to get to visit them. No matter how far away they are, we all have people in this world we love and who love us. We are all blessed with some combination of parents, partners, children, relatives and friends. And even though all of us have suffered some sadness in our lives, because even the happiest of lives has its moments of darkness and loss, our joys sustain us.
Whatever our personal circumstances, we are all lucky to be here, to be alive, to be surrounded by God's wonders, and His providence, by friends, and by peace. So, even as we work through the trials in our lives, let us not forget to give thanks and praise to God. He has given us great blessings in our lives along with the strength to overcome the bad. Let us always remember that and be grateful it. And as the opening words of this service instructed, shout with a voice of joy to God.
ASCENSION ISLAND - A NEWCOMERS GUIDE
We now need to take a look at the Island's plants and I must confess that this is a subject with which I am not altogether familiar. However, the following has been compiled from the notes of others and I hope it does not contain too many errors. As always if you have any suggestions or corrections please either send a note to the Editor of the Islander or else e-Mail me at email@example.com
Ascension Island now has a varied plant life with many exotic species thriving, especially on Green Mountain but it was not always like that. Before the arrival of human settlers there was very little in the way of vegetation. The main reasons for this were the comparative young age of the island and its isolation. Other tropical volcanic islands with their lush vegetation are much older than Ascension's one million years and are not so far from the nearest land mass. To establish new colonies seeds have to be transported by wind, by sea or by birds and the 1300 miles of Ascension Island from the nearest continent makes a formidable obstacle.
One early traveller, James Cunninghame in 1699, found only four species of flowering plant, though like most early visitors he did not bother to climb up Green Mountain and he took no notice of ferns and lichen.
With the arrival of the British Navy in 1815 new species began to arrive, the sailors found a good depth of fertile soil on the mountain and vegetables were soon growing. More exotic species quickly followed and when the "Chanticleer" arrived on a survey visit in 1830, her surgeon W H B Webster found such a wide variety of plants growing wild that it was impossible to ascertain which were indigenous and which were introduced.
Kew Gardens sent a great many seeds from the mid-19th century onwards and ships brought others from South America and South Africa. Palmer's was set up as a small experimental farm at the foot of the mountain to grow exotic plants, the settlement did not last very long but many of the plants are still there today. .
A group of botanists from Edinburgh University came to look for the Island's original plant species in 1998 but could only find six species left that could be called endemic. Another four are recorded but cannot now be found and must be considered extinct. These six species will now be described along with the other flowers, ferns and trees. It is impossible in a booklet of this size to describe all the plant life of Ascension but a selection of the more popular and well-known now follows. For fuller details and a more complete listing please refer to the works by Packer and the Ashmoles listed in the bibliography.
Last Friday afternoon we held the Annual Leavers' Assembly
at school. This was to say goodbye to our Year 11 pupils who completed
their examinations last Thursday. Although it is normally held in the
final week of the term it was brought forward this year as many of the
leavers have travelled to St Helena this week.
We hope that prospective employers will ask to see the Record of Achievement which, as its name suggests, is a summary of the student's achievements both inside and outside school.
We were pleased to welcome a number of guests to the Assembly to help
with the presentations. The Administrator presented achievement certificates
to one pupil from each class of the school and Lawson Henry, Chairman
of the School Governors Committee, presented certificates to the pupil
in each class judged to have made the most effort in their studies.
Similarly three pupils were presented with the Hutchinson Award for Special Effort by Major John Lansberry, the Commander of the US Base.
Tara George, who has supported the school in many ways this year, presented awards to those pupils in each of the school sectors who had gained the most house points over the year. Canon Clive Duncan closed the Assembly with prayers and with a few words. It was particularly pleasing to see so many parents at the Assembly supporting the recognition of their children's achievements
Thanks are due also to Patrick George and Wendy Joshua and a group of pupils who provided a musical contribution.
A gift was presented by the school to the Head Girl, Justine Yon, and the Head Boy, Leroy Fowler who in turn thanked all the parents for sharing their Leavers' Assembly with the Year 11 students. Those receiving awards at the presentation are shown on the accompanying page.
As you may have read from the pupils in last week's edition of the
Islander they are looking forward to their three weeks in the work place.
I would like to acknowledge the support that the pupils and the school
have received from the following in helping to bring the organisation
of the work experience to fruition.
We would also welcome any offers from members of the community to run classes whether for leisure pursuits or for more academic areas. If you feel that you have a skill that you could offer to pass on to others and you wish to discuss this please contact me.
We will hope to publish a programme of evening class opportunities early in September with a view to starting the classes in the week beginning 22nd September.
That's all for this week, David Higgins Headteacher
Philpott Awards for Kindness
Hutchinson Award for Special Effort
Most House points of the Year Boy/Girl
Red Suns and Blue Moons,
by Brian Davey. The Met Office.
On Monday 23rd June 2003 Ascension Island witnessed a beautiful red sunset. As that great red sphere which was our white hot midday sun sank slowly towards Lady Hill and the horizon of the South Atlantic, there was no doubt in my mind why Lady Hill was so named. Her pointed silhouette must have been first noticed by someone from RAF Travellers or thereabouts.
At noon when the sun is high in the sky, light from the sun is at its most intense and looking directly towards it at that time can cause irreparable eye damage. However near sunset or sunrise, the rays coming from the sun strike our atmosphere at a very low angle. They must then pass through a much deeper layer of air than at any other time of the day before they reach our eyes. When the sun is just 4º above the horizon sunlight must pass through an atmospheric layer that is twelve times thicker than when the sun is directly overhead. At this time most of the shorter waves of visible light have been scattered away by the air molecules.
Most of the waves of visible light from a setting sun that make it through the atmosphere on a fairly direct path are the yellow, orange and the red. However bright yellow-orange sunsets only occur when the atmosphere is fairly clean. If the atmosphere contains many fine particles whose diameters are a little larger than air molecules, the slightly longer yellow waves would also be scattered away. Then only orange and red waves would penetrate through to the eye and the sun would appear orange-red. When the atmosphere becomes loaded with small suspended salt particles and water vapour, as was obviously the case around Ascension Island on Mon 23rd June 2003, only the longest red wavelengths were able to penetrate and we enjoyed the spectacle of a brilliant red sun as a result.
In the dim and distant past the erupting volcanoes of Ascension must have produced vast amounts of dust and ash high into the atmosphere. These fine particles moved by the upper level winds would have produced beautiful sunrises and sunsets for months or even years. The scattering of light by large quantities of atmospheric particles can cause some rather unusual sights. If the volcanic ask, dust or smoke particles are roughly uniform in size they can selectively scatter the sun's rays. Even at noon various coloured suns have been observed in the past. Although very rare the same phenomenon can happen to moonlight, making the moon appear blue and giving us the expression "once in a blue moon".
It's just a pity nobody from the Met Office was about on Ascension Island to observe and enjoy it here at that time!
EDITORS : Marie & Sherilyn Anthony
The New Islander Office, Fort Hayes, Georgetown, Ascension Island.
Tel/Fax 00 + 247 6327
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Deadline for all contributions is 6.00pm on Monday