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					Friday, 1st February

A Press Release from the General Manager of Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Limited today says that the
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Company was granted a licence to process fish on 17 January 2007, last year. This licence has now
expired. The Inspectorate of the Competent Authority has inspected the premises and issued a report.
The report states that there are a number of issues which the Cold Store must address immediately.
The only responsible course of action is to close the Factory forthwith. Therefore, no fish deliveries will
be accepted with immediate effect. “We are well aware that this will cause much inconvenience for the
St Helena Fisheries Corporation, the fishermen, K G T Williams Fish Retailers and the St Helena
Cannery, but until these issues are resolved we are unable to continue normal operations”, says the
General Manager of Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Limited.

Following the Argos Press Release earlier today of the closure of their Factory, the Fisheries
Corporation in conjunction with the Competent Authority, Public Health and Social Services Department,
have offered to Argos the use of the Ruperts Cold Store Complex as option for processing fish until the
Argos Factory is re-licensed and reopened. The Corporation is also looking at the feasibility of
alternative arrangements in order to enable the industry, the fishermen, the processors, retailers and
consumers and the public to function during this period of the closure of the Argos Factory. Mrs Ivy
Ellick OBE, the Chief Administrative Health and Social Services Officer and in charge of the
Inspectorate, said to Saint FM this afternoon that the hygienic conditions at Argos Atlantic Cold Stores
were not up to EU standards, but the improvements necessary could have been undertaken by Argos.
She also said that the works necessary would only take a few days to complete. It is now uncertain
what’s going to happen to the local fishing industry.

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The annual Wirebird Census was scheduled this year for the month of January and was completed
yesterday with a count being taken at Stone Top. The total number of adult Wirebirds counted was
373. This is 27 more adults than the 2007 Census. Despite the overall increase in numbers, the
populations at individual sites show both increases and decreases. However, the main indicator from
the annual Census is the general trend for total numbers counted. Over the last three years, the
Wirebird count has increased year on year. The most significant increase has been at Deadwood Plain
where the number has almost doubled during that time. The National Trust is always reviewing the
project programmes it is funded to complete, but the headline figures indicate the plans in place for
helping the Wirebird to breed successfully seem so far to be along the right lines.

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A Press Release from Governor Gurr yesterday afternoon said that it is with regret that I announce that
the Chief Secretary, Martin Hallam, has tendered his resignation and will be returning to the UK in the
near future. Martin has not been with us for long and we wish to express our gratitude for his work on
the island and wish him well for the future. Mr Hallam is no longer working in his office and will leave the
island at the earliest opportunity. Councillors were informed about Mr Hallam’s resignation, which did
not come as a complete surprise, yesterday morning. He had only been in post since late October of
last year. Mrs Ethel Yon OBE will resume the post of Acting Chief Secretary on her return from Cape
Town next week and hold this position until a new, substantive Chief Secretary is recruited.

More about Mr Hallam’s resignation in today’s Independent.

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And the RMS St Helena departed Cape Town at 10 minutes past 12 yesterday with 87 passengers and
53 crew onboard. The vessel is expected to arrive in Walvis Bay at half past one tomorrow afternoon.
She is provisionally expected to arrive in James Bay at 10 o’ clock on Wednesday of next week, and to
leave for Ascension with 119 passengers next Friday, 8th February at 6pm. Arriving to the island on the
ship are Dr Cathy Rowe, Project Manger for Nico, Mr Peter Brasher, Ear Nose and Throat Consultant
and Mrs Brasher, also Mr Steven Cannon who is the Vet Consultant and Mr Darren Duncan, Chief
Agricultural and Natural Resources Officer, who is arriving together with partner and daughter.




Weekend News: 2nd & 3rd February
On Saturday morning, a male person was arrested in Jamestown for being drunk and disorderly. He
was later charged and released from custody and will appear in the Magistrates Court in due course.
On Saturday afternoon, another man was arrested for the same offence, being drunk and disorderly in
Jamestown. He was also arrested, charged and released to appear in Court. Also on Saturday
afternoon, a road traffic accident occurred at the Wells between Longwood and Levelwood. The two
vehicles involved sustained damages but nobody was injured. The accident was not alcohol related but
is still under investigation.

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A Press Release from the General Manager of Argos, Melvin O’Bey, on Friday afternoon said that Argos
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Atlantic Cold Stores Limited was granted a licence on 17 January last year to carry out the business of
the Company and the licence has now expired. The Inspectorate of the Competent Authority has
inspected the premises and issued a report. The report states that there are a number of issues with
the Cold Store that must be addressed immediately. The only responsible course of action is to close
the Factory forthwith and therefore no fish deliveries will be accepted with immediate effect. “We are
well aware that this will cause much inconvenience to the St Helena Fisheries Corporation, the
fishermen, K G T Williams Fish Retailers and the St Helena Cannery, but until these issues are resolved
we are unable to continue normal operations”, said the Press Release.

After the Board Meeting of the Fisheries Corporation on Friday afternoon, a Press Release from the
General Manager of the Fisheries, Terry Richards, said that following the Argos Press Release earlier
today of the closure of their Factory, the Fisheries Corporation in conjunction with the Competent
Authority, which is the Public Health and Social Services Department, have offered to Argos the use of
the Ruperts Cold Store Complex as option for processing fish until the Argos Factory is re-licensed and
reopened. The Corporation is also looking at the feasibility of alternative arrangements in order to
enable the industry to function during this period of the closure of the Argos Factory. Mrs Ivy Ellick, the
Chief Administrative Health and Social Services Officer in charge of the Inspectorate, said to Saint FM
on Friday the hygienic conditions at Argos Atlantic Cold Stores was not up to EU standards, but the
improvements necessary could have been undertaken by Argos. She also said that the works
necessary would only take a few days to complete.

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The RMS St Helena departed Walvis Bay at 6 minutes past 7 on Saturday evening with 106 passengers
and 53 crew onboard. She is due in James Bay at 10 o’ clock on Wednesday morning.

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The Falkland Islands flagged trawler Ferralemes went down early Saturday morning in the Falkland
Islands economic exclusive zone after having run into severe weather and sea conditions, reported
Spanish sources, later confirmed in Stanley. All 31 crew members, mostly Spaniards, were rescued by
another fishing vessel, the Loitre Dor and the Captain by the Castello belonging to the same Falklands
Fishing Company Eurofishing. The Captain remained in the area until the Ferralemes actually went
down on Saturday morning. She was listing and adrift after the crew abandoned the vessel when she
was considered technically lost. Most of the crew is from Galicia in that they are good seamen and are
all in good health and spirit, reported the Broadcasting Stations in Virgo in Spain. The Ferralemes was
catching rock cod when she apparently was surprised by the bad weather.




Monday: 4th February

On Friday afternoon, Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Limited closed down its operations in Ruperts Valley
after the Competent Authority issued a report pointing out several deficiencies at the Cold Stores. This
meant that Argos and thereby Fisheries Corporation could not purchase any of the fishermen’s
landings. Over the weekend, work has been undertaken to remedy the problems, but it is believed the
work will not be finalised until at least Wednesday. When the work is finished, a new inspection needs
to be undertaken and the matter of renewing Argos fish processing licence will be put forward to
Executive Council.

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The Police Service received and dealt with a total of 20 reports for the period Monday, 28th January to
            rd
Sunday, 3 February. There were five criminal reports; three resulted in arrests being made and two
road traffic reports. During the evening of Monday, 28th January Police arrested a person in the Half
Tree Hollow area for the offence of breach of the peace. The person was detained in custody where he
was later given a formal caution for the offence and released from Police custody. And during the early
hours of Saturday morning, a person was arrested in Jamestown for the offence of being found drunk
and disorderly in a public place. The person was later charged with the offence and bailed to appear
before the Magistrates Court in due course and released from Police custody. And also on Saturday,
Police arrested a third person in the Jamestown area for the offence of being found drunk and disorderly
in a public place. The person was later charged with the offence and bailed to appear before the Court
in due course and released. On Tuesday of last week, 29th January, a report of criminal damage was
reported to Police. This incident occurred in Jamestown and is currently being investigated. And on
Saturday, 2nd February, a report of theft in Half Tree Hollow was reported as well. The case is also
under investigation. Two road traffic collisions were dealt with during the period under review. None of
them was alcohol related and they are both under investigation. The first occurred on Wednesday of
last week in Blue Hill involving two vehicles and the second occurred on Saturday in Longwood, also
involving two vehicles. The Ascension Police Detachment had another quiet week from 28th January to
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4 February, today, with only one report of a road traffic accident and that was in the early hours of
Saturday morning that Police received a report of a road traffic accident on the NASA straight road
whereby only one vehicle was involved. The driver was given a verbal warning for the offence of driving
without due care and attention.

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And the RMS St Helena departed Walvis Bay at 6 minutes past 7 on Saturday afternoon with 106
passengers and 53 crew for St Helena. The RMS is due back in James Bay on Wednesday at 10am.
Labour take on time is half past nine on Wednesday. For you that are leaving for Ascension on Friday,
all baggage should be handed in between 9 and 11am on Friday, 8th February. Embarkation is set for
4pm on Friday and the RMS is due to sail for Ascension at 6pm. So far, 119 passengers are booked to
leave on Friday.




Tuesday 5th February

The water filters installed at Red Hill Treatment Plant last week are working well, said the Manager and
Head of Public Works and Services Department, Derek Richards, to Saint FM yesterday. Positive
comments have been received from consumers after the water quality has improved. Derek stressed
that there are still areas within the Distribution System where quality problems are experienced and it
will be much appreciated if the consumers notify the Department concerning any queries about the
quality of the water.

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On Friday afternoon, Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Limited closed down its operations in Ruperts Valley
after the Competent Authority issued a report pointing out several deficiencies at the Cold Stores. This
meant that Argos and thereby Fisheries Corporation could not purchase any of the fishermen’s
landings. Since Friday, work has been undertaken to remedy the problem, and the General Manager of
Argos Atlantic Cold Stores, Melvin O’Bey, said to Saint FM this morning that he is on target to finalise
the necessary works by tomorrow. After the work is finished, an inspection by the Competent Authority
is needed and a licence, temporary or permanent, needs to be issued.

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The refurbishment of the third Wind Turbine at Deadwood Plain is progressing well. The Head of
Energy, Simon Oliver, said to Saint FM this morning that the Turbine will be back in operation later this
week. This means that all three installed Wind Turbines will be producing electricity.

Investigations into the suitability of the alternative site for additional three turbines is also commencing
shortly. A wind measuring device is had carried from UK to be installed at the site at Sheep Pound Gut.

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The RMS is making good progress in fine weather. Her estimated time of arrival at St Helena is now 8
o’clock tomorrow morning and she’s coming with 106 passengers onboard. Labour take on time is 7.30
tomorrow morning. For you that are leaving for Ascension on Friday, all baggage should be handed in
between 9 and 11am on Friday. Embarkation is set for 4pm on Friday and the RMS is due to sail for
Ascension at 6pm. So far, 119 passengers are booked to leave on Friday.

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Arriving tomorrow are Ethel Yon OBE, the Deputy Chief Secretary returning from overseas leave
accompanied by her husband Gilbert; Mr Darren Duncan, the Chief Agricultural and Natural Resources
Officer is also returning from overseas leave and he’s accompanied by partner and daughter and Mrs
Bronwyn Yon, Internal Audit Manager, she’s returning from overseas leave and training accompanied by
her husband and daughter; Ms Cathy Rowe, the Project Manager for Nico is also coming together with
Mr Peter Brasher who is the Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant and he’s accompanied by his wife and
also Mr Steven Cannon, the Vet Consultant is arriving tomorrow.

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The Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Ascension and airmail via Ascension will
close in the main Post Office at 1pm on Friday. Collections from the sub Post Offices will close from 12
noon on Thursday.

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A Press Release today said that the St Helena Government is working on an employment policy which
will affect employers and employees on the island. The employment policy will consider matters such
as minimum wage, holidays with pay, maternity and paternity leave, redundancy pay, unfair dismissals,
unauthorised deductions from pay and belonging to trade unions or staff associations. Social
Development Planner, Ann Muir, will be preparing the policy from which legislation will be drafted. She
has, however, stressed that the employers and employees must be consulted before the policy is
finalised. The month of February will be used for extensive consultations and Ann is hoping to talk with
as many people as possible.

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The Attorney General, Ken Baddon, this week issued a circular to persons involved in media services,
that’s radio, television and newspapers, inviting comments as to whether the present laws about media
services might need to be modernised. Although the consultation at this stage is mainly with the
interested parties, comments would also be welcomed from members of the public. Copies of the
circular and of the documents mentioned therein can be obtained from the reception desk in Essex
                                                           nd
House. The closing date for this initial consultation is 22 February, but there will be further public
consultation at a later stage if any changes are proposed.




Wednesday 6th February

The Air Access Project Manager, Nigel Kirby, released today that in early 2007 we announced that out
of a total of seven companies who responded to our contract notice for an air service provider for St
Helena, three companies were short-listed and asked to provide more detailed proposals. Following
detailed evaluation of the proposals, we have decided not to proceed any further with these companies
at the moment. Our aim in seeking an air service provider now, well in advance of actual services
commencing, was, in part, to enable the future service provider to review and influence the contractor’s
detailed design. While we received a fairly strong response, none of the short-listed companies has
provided a solution which exactly matches our needs. The advantages in regards to advice that we
were aiming for by an early appointment would not be achieved through the present bidders. We
therefore judge it more sensible now to get that advice through other means and we will seek
independent advice during the design and construction phase of the airport. The process has
demonstrated a considerable amount of interest in providing air service to St Helena even before a
design, build and operate contract has been signed. Having reviewed the proposals, we consider that
we are likely to be able to negotiate a better service at a later stage.
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The RMS St Helena blew off in James Bay at about 5 past 8 this morning with 106 passengers
onboard. For you that are leaving for Ascension on Friday, all baggage should be handed in between 9
and 11am on Friday. Embarkation is set for 4pm on Friday and the RMS is due to sail for Ascension at
6pm. So far, 119 passengers are booked to leave.

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The Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Ascension and airmail via Ascension will
close in the main Post Office at 1pm on Friday. Collections from the sub Post Offices will commence
from 12 noon tomorrow, Thursday.

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And a Press Release yesterday afternoon said that the St Helena Government is working on an
employment policy which will affect employers and employees on the island. The employment policy
will consider matters such as minimum wage, holidays with pay, maternity and paternity leave,
redundancy pay, unfair dismissals, unauthorised deductions from pay and belonging to trade unions or
staff associations. The Social Development Planner, Ann Muir, will be preparing the policy from which
legislation will be drafted. She has, however, stressed that employers and employees must be
consulted before the policy is finalised. The month of February will be used for extensive consultations
and Ann is hoping to talk with as many people as possible.

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An outsourcing update was received from the Public Relations and Information Office yesterday saying
that three outsourcing pilot projects were launched inviting expressions of interest. Expressions of
interest were received from people interested in providing a sawmill service and a grounds maintenance
service. Unfortunately, nobody indicated an interest in providing a laundry service. It is planned that
this will be re-advertised shortly. All people and organisations who expressed an interest in the grounds
maintenance and sawmill service and who submitted a pre-qualifying questionnaire have now been
evaluated and those who pre-qualify will be invited to tender for the service. St Helena Government
envisages that these functions will be outsourced early in the new financial year.

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The Attorney General, Ken Baddon, this week issued a circular to persons involved in media services;
radio, television and newspapers, inviting comments as to whether the present laws about media
services might need to be modernised. Although the consultation at this stage is mainly with the
interested parties, comments would also be welcomed from members of the public. Copies of the
circular and of the documents mentioned therein can be obtained from the reception desk in Essex
                                                           nd
House. The closing date for this initial consultation is 22 February, but there will be further public
consultation at a later stage if any changes are proposed.

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Bank of St Helena, they have announced that it is extending its opening hours. Starting from next week,
13th February, the Bank will remain open on Wednesday afternoons until 3pm. This applies to all the
Bank’s offices, both in St Helena and Ascension Island. Manager, John Turner, said that with the new
Bank now open for longer hours our customers will find it easier to avoid the busy times.




Thursday 7th February

Yesterday, a potentially serious accident occurred at Prince Andrew School when a teacher dropped an
amount of bromine on the floor. Bromine is a toxic liquid which cause burns when it gets into contact
with the skin. The teacher had to be taken to Hospital for treatment of burns on her hands. The
bromide vapour is very toxic and can cause poisoning. Protection for at least hands and eyes should be
used when it’s handled. The teacher did not have any protection when the incident occurred. The
incident yesterday highlighted the safety aspects of the storage of dangerous chemicals at Prince
Andrew School where considerable amount of dangerous chemicals are stored in one place without
separation between toxic and inflammable chemicals. The Fire and Rescue Service they are concerned
over the lack of safety measures taken in the storage of chemicals, which is a danger to both students
and staff at the school.

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The necessary works at Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Ltd at Ruperts Valley are now finalised and an
inspection from the Competent Authority took place this morning at 10 o’clock. On recommendation
from the Competent Authority, the plant can be granted a licence to continue its operations. An
extraordinary meeting of Executive Council will take place tomorrow to consider whether Argos can
have a new licence or not. It has been suggested, but not confirmed, that the Competent Authority will
recommend Executive Council to issue a new licence to process fish. Argos closed down last Friday
after an unfavourable report from the Competent Authority.

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The Police Service said to Saint FM yesterday that they have mainly dealt with minor reports so far this
week. On Tuesday morning, a male person in Half Tree Hollow was arrested for being drunk in a public
place. He was later charged and released to appear in Court in due course. Also, yesterday afternoon,
a road traffic accident occurred in Longwood. The accident involved one vehicle and the driver
sustained injuries and was taken to Hospital.

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The RMS St Helena blew off in James Bay yesterday morning at 5 past 8 with 106 passengers
onboard. For you that are leaving for Ascension tomorrow, all baggage should be handed in between 9
and 11am tomorrow, Friday. Embarkation is set for 4pm tomorrow and the RMS is due to sail for
Ascension at 6pm. So far, 119 passengers are booked to leave.

And the Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Ascension and airmail via Ascension will
close in the main Post Office at 1pm tomorrow.

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When the RMS returns from Ascension next Thursday, it will bring the new Financial Secretary, Virginia
Grace. We will also see the return of Ms Sharon Wainwright, Access Project Manager from overseas
business, also Mr Garth Armstrong OBE, temporary Economist is coming back and we will also see the
arrival of Mr David Dover who is EMIS, Mr Richard Parker and Mrs Kim McKenzie, biomedical scientists.

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Four members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association are due to transit Ascension next week
en route to the Falkland Islands. They are Mr Jeff Aneis, MP for Labour, Mr Paul Homes, MP for the
Liberal Democrats and also Lord Jones of Cheltenham, also Liberal Democrat and Lord McCall of
Dulwich and he’s a Conservative, are to be transiting Ascension Island en route for the Falklands and
their stopover will be early in the morning at 7.30 for about an hour and a half.

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And Cable and Wireless they have informed us that all international direct dialling, IDD, and international
internet services will be down tomorrow, Friday, from half past eight in the morning to half past twelve
and on Monday, 11th February, from half past eight in the morning to half past one. This is to allow
essential earth station mechanical maintenance. It will also affect Saint FM’s internet stream and
rebroadcast on Ascension and the Falkland Islands.




Friday 8th February
Executive Council met today to consider the renewal of a fish processing licence for Argos Atlantic Cold
Stores Ltd. In a Press Release from St Helena Government this afternoon, said that a meeting of
Executive Council was held this afternoon, 8th February, and Council considered and was pleased to
grant a licence to Argos Atlantic Cold Stores Limited of Ruperts Bay, St Helena, to manufacture fish and
fish products for local and export markets. The licence is for a term of one year and carries with it
conditions of practice to which Argos Atlantic Cold Stores has agreed to. These conditions are imposed
to the benefit of health and safety standards to ensure that the local produce meets a high standard and
receives a good name in both local and international markets. In conjunction with this, the St Helena
Fisheries Corporation would like to inform all fishermen that with the opening of Argos Factory
tomorrow, ice, bait and fuel issues will be available from half past eleven tomorrow morning.

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The Police Service said that they have received two reports today. One road traffic accident, involving
two vehicles, occurred at Two Gun Saddle earlier today. Both vehicles sustained damage and the driver
at fault was given a verbal warning. A report of driving without due care and attention was also received
after an accident in Market Street. It resulted in the vehicle receiving damage and the said driver was
given a verbal warning. None of the accidents were alcohol related.

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The RMS St Helena left James Bay at a quarter to seven this evening with 115 passengers onboard.
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The ship is due to call at Ascension on Monday and return at St Helena next Thursday, 14 February
with 50 passengers onboard.

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On the Falkland Islands, three people were arrested and interviewed last week in a joint Police/Customs
investigation in relation to the importation of drugs. The Chief of Police down the Falklands confirmed
all three had been released on Police bail pending further inquiries.

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Ten years have flown by and the big count is up on us once again. This Sunday night, 10th February,
will be the Census Night on St Helena. By now most households and institutions would have received
their Census forms and should have them completed and ready for collection on Monday, 11th. The new
Census will allow the Statistics Office of the Development and Economic Planning Department to gather
vital information essential to building a better future for everyone in St Helena. Population census is the
primary source of information on population size and its characteristics. The data collected through
population census serves as a benchmark for all types of socio economic development, planning and
evaluation and provide basis for all administrative activities, demographic research and various
projections of population characteristics. Census taking is a universal practice and is undertaken in
almost all countries of the world. Through population census, a vast amount of data on all basic
demographics and socio economic variables is collected about each person living within a country or
territory. The main advantage of a population census is the large amount of data it produces at one
point of time, thus giving a comprehensive picture of the social and living conditions of St Helena this
year 2008.

A Press Release on the Census was published in this week’s Independent and we learn that it is also
important as a means of determining and improving the wellbeing and quality of life of all on St Helena.
It helps identify island and community needs and can establish likely future demands, for example, on
present infrastructure. A Census can also provide accurate baseline data against which changes can
be monitored, for example, changes in employment levels, total resident population and other things.
Help assist St Helena Government to be able to prioritise the use of resources and to develop policies
and strategies to help ensure the future stability of the island. So make sure you fill out your Census
                       th
form by Sunday, 10 February or contact the Statistics Office of the Development and Economic
Planning Department if you’re still awaiting a copy of the form.




Weekend News: 9th and 10th February
Overnight, between Friday and Saturday, a large section of the Western wall of High Knoll Fort
collapsed. It also damaged an electricity pole and High Knoll was without power and this affected Saint
FM on 93.1MHz, Cable and Wireless Television rebroadcast and the Police repeater station, which were
all put out of operation. The power and the services were reinstalled about 11 o’clock on Saturday
morning. The Chief Engineer, Alan Hudson, said that it is a great pity that such an important heritage
structure and landmark is rapidly deteriorating at a time when the Island is moving forward to attract
tourists and economic growth and that funding for a full restoration project is not yet available. In
October last year, Alan carried out a visual inspection of the Fort when the first collapse occurred and in
his report to the Estates Management he highlighted that some significant structural defects are
becoming noticeable in the other sections of the walls, especially in areas where this recent collapse
occurred. He stated that in view of this it is imperative that a detailed condition survey is carried out by a
specialist to ascertain the extent. He also said he was not surprised that this section of wall collapsed
as telltale signs suggest it was imminent, but he could not predict a time on it. He said that because the
old masonry walls are so unpredictable and the seriousness of the incident is such that he recommends
the Fort to remain closed until all safety issues are addressed. The safety fence which was planned to
be erected today will now be reviewed as the purpose of the fence was to allow the Fort to be reopened
to the public. Informal discussions have already taken place and this week when the Estate
Management meets formally to discuss the matter, he will suggest that a project identification document
for the full restoration of High Knoll Fort be put forward to St Helena Government for consideration in the
Infrastructure Plan.

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And a Press Release from St Helena Government on Friday afternoon, said that at a meeting of
Executive Council held this Friday, Council considered and was pleased to grant a licence to Argos
Atlantic Cold Stores Limited of Ruperts Bay, St Helena, to manufacture fish and fish products for local
and export markets. The licence is for a term of one year and carries with it conditions of practice to
which Argos Atlantic Cold Stores has agreed to. These conditions are imposed to the benefit of health
and safety standards to ensure that the local produce meets a high standard and receives a good name
in both local and international markets.

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The Police Service they have reported another quiet weekend. Early Saturday morning, a report was
received regarding a window being broken in the Benjamin/Musk’s Shop in Jamestown. It was later
revealed that it had been broken by accident and not from criminal activity. Also on Saturday, Police
received a report of a missing person. The person had been missing from Friday night, but was later
located and found safe.

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And the RMS St Helena was due to arrive at Ascension Island this morning at 7 o’clock. She is leaving
for St Helena again this afternoon with only about 50 passengers onboard. She is expected back in
James Bay on Thursday morning.

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Cable and Wireless has informed that all international direct dialling, IDD, and international internet
services will be down today, Monday, from half past eight this morning to half past one this afternoon.
This is to allow essential Earth Station mechanical maintenance. This will also affect Saint FM’s internet
stream and rebroadcast on Ascension and the Falkland Islands.




Monday 11th January

Overnight, between Friday and Saturday, a large section of the Western wall of High Knoll Fort
collapsed. This afternoon, the Crown Estates Management met with the Public Works and Services
Department to discuss the way forward for High Knoll Fort. As a result of the meeting, it has been
decided that in the interest of public safety, High Knoll Fort and its immediate perimeter will be off limits
to the general public until further notice. The Chief Engineer, Alan Hudson, said to Saint FM that it is a
great pity that such an important heritage structure and landmark is rapidly deteriorating at a time when
the Island is moving forward to attract tourists and economic growth and that funding for a full
restoration project is not yet available. In October last year, Alan carried out a visual inspection of the
Fort when the first collapse occurred and in his report to the Estates Management he highlighted that
some significant structural defects are becoming noticeable in the other sections of the walls, especially
in areas where this recent collapse occurred. He stated that in view of this it is imperative that a detailed
condition survey is carried out by a specialist to ascertain the extent. He also said he was not surprised
that this section of wall collapsed as telltale signs suggest it was imminent, but he could not predict a
time on it. He said that because the old masonry walls are so unpredictable and the seriousness of the
incident is such that he recommends the Fort to remain closed until all safety issues are addressed.
The safety fence which was planned to be erected today will now be reviewed as the purpose of the
fence was to allow the Fort to be reopened to the public. Informal discussions have already taken place
and this week when the Estate Management meets formally to discuss the matter, he will suggest that a
project identification document for the full restoration of High Knoll Fort be put forward to St Helena
Government for consideration in the Infrastructure Plan.

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Governor Gurr has appointed Ethel Yon OBE, Deputy Chief Secretary to be Acting Chief Secretary.
The appointment follows the resignation of former Chief Secretary, Martin Hallam, which was
                                   st                                        th
announced by Governor Gurr on 31 January. Ethel returned from Cape Town on 6 February and her
appointment took effect from the day after.

Gillian Francis, Senior Assistant Secretary, continues to serve as Acting Deputy Chief Secretary. The
roles are not new to Ethel or Gillian since they have both served in acting positions for several months
during 2005 and for most of 2006 and 2007 while St Helena was without a Chief Secretary. The acting
appointments are expected to run until a new Chief Secretary is appointed in the next few months.
Governor Gurr has said that St Helena Government and the Department for International Development
are working towards this at present.

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The Police Service received and dealt with a total of thirty-two reports for the period Monday, 4th to
              th
Sunday, 10 February. There were three criminal reports, one of which resulted in an arrest being
made and five road traffic reports. On Tuesday morning of last week, Police arrested one person in Half
Tree Hollow for the offence of being found drunk in a public place. The person was later charged with
the offence, bailed to appear before the Court in due course and released from custody. Last
Wednesday evening, Police received a report of an assault in the St Paul’s area and on Friday
afternoon, a report of theft in Jamestown was received. Both investigations are still ongoing. Two road
traffic collisions were reported and dealt with during the week. The first occurred on Wednesday
afternoon involving one vehicle. The driver received injuries and was taken to hospital. A breath test
was conducted but was under the legal limit. The driver concerned was given a verbal warning for
driving a motor vehicle on a road without due care and attention. On Friday, a damage only collision
occurred at Two Gun Saddle involving two vehicles. Both vehicles sustained damage and the driver at
fault was given a verbal warning for driving without due care and attention. Also on Friday, a report of
driving without due care and attention in Market Street, which resulted in the driver’s vehicle receiving
damage, and the said driver was given a verbal warning. Both incidents were not alcohol related.

---

A meeting of Executive Council will be held tomorrow, Tuesday. The meeting will be open to the public
from half past nine in the morning. Items on the open agenda, they include three memoranda to be
presented by the Attorney General, one concerning an Airport Development Order, a second
memoranda concerns a draft Bill to make provision in law for the Bank of St Helena’s transition to a
Mutual Organisation. Thirdly, the Attorney General will be proposing an amendment to the Road Traffic
Ordinance. The Chairman, Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee will present a memorandum
on a proposed amendment to the Customs Export and Import Regulations.

---

And the RMS St Helena arrived at Ascension Island this morning just after seven o’clock. Passenger
disembarkation proceeded with a small launch due to swell at the landing steps. The RMS left for St
Helena again this afternoon at about three o’clock with only forty-nine passengers onboard. She is
expected back in James Bay at six o’clock on Thursday morning. Labour take on time is also at 6am
Thursday. For you that are leaving for Cape Town on Thursday, all baggage should be handed in
between 5 and 7pm on Wednesday. Embarkation for Cape Town is set for 11am on Thursday and the
RMS is due to sail at 1pm. At the moment, 104 passengers are booked to leave on Thursday.




Tuesday 12th February

First this evening, we have the report from Governor Gurr from today’s Executive Council meeting:

“This week’s EXCO was the longest one I have chaired. There were 8 papers in all, a few more than
usual, and some of the issues were worthy of lengthy deliberation.

The first Paper in the public part of the meeting was the introduction of a concept to be known as the
Airport Development Order. This authorises the Governor in Council to designate land as an Airport
Development Area. The idea is to simplify the whole process of having to approve of detailed plans
related to the many aspects of construction that will take place on the airport site over the next few
years. The recommendations take care of all the necessary controls relating to the environment and
such like and I accepted the advice that this matter should now move to public consultation.

The second Paper was endorsed straight away as being sensible, and that was to remove the ban on
the importation of live animals, meat and milk from the UK now that the threat from foot and mouth
disease there has passed.

The third Paper was one that follows logically from earlier legislation to do with our ability here to form
Mutual Societies. It has always been intended that the Bank of St.Helena should become such a
society. In other words it will be owned by the users of its services. At present the Governor appoints the
Board of the Bank, but in future, when this legislation goes through, those of you who use the bank will
have a direct say in who is on the Board. It is a strange quirk of the situation we are in that the Bank has
no owner at present; but before you all volunteer to step into that space, it has long been our intention to
clear up the position by adopting mutuality. There are changes in the Banking Ordinance and the Bank
of St.Helena Ordinance that are now required to enable all this to happen. I was happy to see this
proposal pass through to public consultation.

Finally in the public section there was a Paper tidying up the present situation with regard to the
distinction between light and heavy vehicles. By passing this amendment to the Road Traffic
Regulations, we are establishing a consistency in that Licence Fees and Driving Licence Vehicle Groups
will be the same. The cut off point between the two will be 5,000lbs weight. We do not have a
weighbridge, but we measure from net weight as published by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

We bid the single member of the public a fond farewell at this point and moved to consider proposals
from the Acting Financial Secretary that are by way of preparation for the forthcoming budget. There
were two papers involved in this discussion and the core of the issue was whether we needed to raise
more revenue, and could do so by raising taxes in some areas, and whether we could afford to give
anything away by lowering taxes in others. We were concerned that if all we were doing was fiddling
with the tax system it would be better to leave it alone. Nevertheless I asked Councillors to consider the
various options that may be open to us in trying to create a society that is deemed to be fair in the way
that what wealth we have, is distributed. Sometimes it is possible to use the taxation system to help
those who may need it most in a manner that is fair to all.

We were unable to reach any specific conclusions but we did agree to meet again for further
consideration later this week. There were three principles outlined that were felt to be helpful:

¬      We should aim for a balanced budget and not overspend,

¬      We should only consider any increase in tax in areas that involved discretionary spending and
might be considered injurious to health and wellbeing and,

¬      Any tax reduction should have an equal impact throughout society. In other words it should be
based on a sum of money rather than a percentage, so that the worse off received just as much benefit
as those who are better placed.
The next Paper has been round the houses a bit, (well round the hotel actually). It was the reintroduction
of approval of a landholding licence for Ms Hazel Wilmot to enable her to complete her transaction in
buying the Consulate Hotel. I say “round the houses” because a small error in the last submission had
required the re-gazetting of this situation. No objections have been received, and Councillors were
happy to recommend the granting of the licence.

The final Paper was entitled SHDA Project (Airport Construction and Opening Phase), and dealt with the
fact that the current SHDA Expansion Project ends on 31st March this year. It is being replaced by a
new project where the focus of much of our development will be around the preparation for the airport.
DFID is pouring over £1.5m in to this over the next five years and this is a most welcome continuation of
Development Aid. We in SHG will continue to contribute to SHDA staffing and overhead costs.”

That was Governor Gurr from this afternoon’s ExCo meeting.

---

Four Companies have been short-listed for the contract of reviewing future freight and passenger
shipping options for St Helena and Ascension Island, which is funded by DfID. The Companies are the
Maritime Group, Europe Limited, Europort Limited, W S P International Limited and Jacobs
Consultancy. W S P International and Jacobs are Companies already known to St Helena and Europort
Limited, they’ve already got the RMS St Helena on their website.

---

The RMS St Helena arrived at Ascension Island yesterday morning just after seven o’clock. Passenger
disembarkation proceeded with a small launch due to swell at the landing steps. She left again for St
Helena again yesterday afternoon at about three o’clock with only forty-nine passengers onboard. She
is expected back in James Bay at six o’clock on Thursday morning. Labour take on time is also 6am
Thursday. For you that are leaving for Cape Town on Thursday, all baggage should be handed in
between 5 and 7pm tomorrow. Embarkation for Cape Town is set for 11am on Thursday and the RMS
is due to sail at 1pm. At the moment, 104 passengers are booked to leave on Thursday.

The Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Cape Town, airmail via Cape Town and
surface mail via Cape Town will close in the main Post Office on Thursday at 10am. Collections from
the sub Post Offices will commence from 10am tomorrow, Wednesday.

---

Definitive evidence that Napoleon did not die of arsenic poisoning was published in The Telegraph
yesterday. After nearly 200 years of debate about what killed the French Emperor, researchers at Italy’s
National Institute on Nuclear Physics had accepted his hair to shed light on the suggestion that he was
poisoned by guards in St Helena. In 1961, an elevated level of arsenic was found in Napoleon’s hair
inspiring widespread rumours about the cause of his demise, but his autopsy revealed no telltale signs
of poisoning. Now a new study has concluded that there was no significant increase in arsenic level in
his last years. The levels of arsenic in Napoleon’s hair were typical of those seen at the beginning of the
   th
19 century and the arsenic levels when Napoleon was a boy and during his final days in St Helena
were similar. The work provides indirect support for the suggestion that Napoleon died of stomach
cancer linked to a poor diet. His risk of cancer might have been increased by his diet of salt preserved
foods which lacked in fruits and vegetables, common fare during long military campaigns.




Wednesday 13th February

There was a fire in the fish processing factory on Tristan da Cunha at around three o ‘clock this
morning. This destroyed generators that power the Island. The fire has now burnt out and has not
damaged the diesel supplies. Emergency power has been provided to the Admin Office and they are
working on getting limited power out to the Island for freezers so that food does not get spoilt. The
Hospital and other essential services will also get power as quickly as possible. There had been no
injuries. The generators are the responsibility of Ovenstone, the Company that fishes Tristan waters
and they are working to procure a generator that can be used to support the one that is currently
                                                                                        th
supplying the emergency power. The RFA Lyme Bay is due to arrive in Cape Town on 20 February to
pick up supplies before heading down to Tristan. Ovenstone are hoping to procure a new generator to
either be on the island in time for the Engineers arrival or go on the Lyme Bay. This cannot be
promised. There is a shortage of generators in South Africa because of power cuts. The UK MOD will
want to evaluate the impact of the fire on the work they are going to be doing on the harbour.
Fortunately, the diesel supplies are secure so the impact should be manageable.

This afternoon, we talked to the Administrator on Tristan da Cunha, Mr David Morley, who said that……

David Morley: I suppose I was woken up at about 4 o’clock in the morning by the emergency bell and
looked out of the window and I could see that there was a large fire down by the harbour and so I went
down and was pretty dismayed to see the Ovenstone Factory totally ablaze. We had a very strong
South-easterly wind last night which really whipped up the flames very quickly and although the Fire
Engine was on the scene there was nothing anybody could do so we just had to let it burn itself out. No
injuries, glad to say, nobody was around at the time so nobody hurt. The main problem, there’s two
main problems.....?......one is, of course, the Factory is destroyed, but luckily it’s the end of the fishing
season so we’ve got time to, Ovenstone have got time to replace it, one hopes in time for the next
season, but it also wiped out our generators, so we’re currently on standby generator which is, we’ve got
to be a bit careful with, so people are being very cautious about how much electricity they use, we can
really only use it for, sort of, essential things like freezers and fridges and so on, so that’s just being
cabled in as I speak so I hope that will be on line a bit later today.

Mike           Yes, and was it anything in the Factory, anything in the freezers that might be damaged?

David Morley Well, I’m afraid we lost about, I’m not sure of the exact quantity, but we lost about 20
tonnes of processed lobster which, I think, if you’re downwind of the Factory at the moment, there’s a
smell of it, of course it’s now totally cooked, and, sadly, inedible, so that’s totally wasted, I’m afraid, but
apart from the product and the Factory itself, there was nothing else in there of any great value.

Mike           At this stage, it’s too early to say what can be done to get it up and running before the
next season, I guess?

David Morley Yes, well Ovenstone, obviously it’s Ovenstone’s responsibility to replace this, it’s not the
Tristan Government’s job and I know, I’ve spoken to their Managing Director several times this morning
and they’ve already been talking to their Insurers and I think the first step is for them to send a couple of
guys down on the next boat to assess, you know, what can be kept and can’t be kept, but it’s fairly, I
think it’s almost totally destroyed, so I think they’re going to have to plan for a new Factory and, as you
say, we need it ready for the next season.

Mike             Thank you very much for that and good luck down there on Tristan. Of course this is a
hard blow for Tristan da Cunha because it is your main income, so we can only hope that everything
sorts itself out as soon as possible.

David Morley Yes, well I certainly agree with that, Mike. Thanks, very good to talk to you.

That was the Administrator on Tristan da Cunha, Mr David Morley, talking about the fire in the Factory
down at Tristan this morning.

---

After last week’s accident at Prince Andrew School when a teacher spilt bromine on the floor in the
chemistry class, discussions have taken place to make the storage and handling of hazardous
chemicals at the School safer. The Deputy Fire Chief, Alan Thomas, has had discussions with the
Health and Safety Officer, Darren Williams, who is now compiling a report which will be forwarded to the
School. The report contains recommendations how to make the handling of hazardous chemicals at
Prince Andrew School safer. The first thing to do, Darren said to Saint FM, is to try to get rid of
chemicals that are not needed. This might not be easy, but things need to be done. A previous Health
and Safety Official, Stewart Bailey, said that one store only is carrying toxic, harmful, flammable,
radiation sources, acids and lots of other classes of chemicals. It’s a cocktail of substances making up a
ticking time bomb. He also said that he had stressed strongly that urgent action was needed to prevent
a disaster, but this appears to have been completely ignored.

---
The discussions continue after the collapse of a section of High Knoll Fort in the weekend. The Crown
Estate Management met with the Public Works and Services Department on Monday to assess the
situation. In this meeting, it was decided to close down the Fort to the public for safety reasons. This
incident has also raised concerns over the island’s future as a tourist destination. One of the main
components in the island’s attraction to tourists is our built heritage. With main locations as High Knoll
Fort and Ladder Hill Fort having serious structural deficiencies due to deterioration and many other
historical buildings experiencing the same problems the possibility to promote these sites as tourist
attractions is doubtful. Vince Thompson, Director of the National Trust said yesterday that underlying
situation which allowed the condition of High Knoll Fort to decline to its current state is a familiar one
and other similar situations exist. Long-standing common reasons are lack of money, not having the
right materials for the repair nor the right skills available to complete a satisfactory maintenance job.
“We are losing our built heritage at an increasing rate. Wranghams is another example of inadequate
maintenance. Hopefully that property is not destined to disappear beneath an undergrowth of alien
invasive species. The island’s Tourism Policy will be judged against the fortunes of the Fort and houses
like Wranghams.

The Head of the Crown Estate Management, Gavin George, said to Saint FM that High Knoll Fort is a
headache as there is no money to repair the damages and at this stage no funding for even a proper
survey has been identified.

---

The RMS St Helena is expected back in James Bay at six o’clock tomorrow morning. Labour take on
time is also 6am tomorrow, Thursday. For you that are leaving for Cape Town tomorrow, embarkation
for Cape Town is set for 11am tomorrow and the RMS is due to sail at 1pm. At the moment, 104
passengers are booked to leave tomorrow.

And the Postmistress, she has informed us that all items of mail for Cape Town, airmail via Cape Town
and surface mail via Cape Town will close in the main Post Office tomorrow, Thursday at 10am.

And arriving tomorrow is the new Financial Secretary, Ms Virginia Grace and Ms Sharon Wainwright, the
St Helena Air Access Project Manager is returning from overseas business and leave. Mr Garth
Armstrong is coming back for a second tour as locum Economist.




Thursday 14th February

This morning, the Chief of Police, Mr Derek Thomas, gave us an update about the latest events when it
comes to the stowaways on the island.

Insert – COP, Derek Thomas - “Yes, I have a Press Release to make to the public. The public would be
aware that the two stowaways were due to be repatriated to their home country, the Republic of Congo,
on the RMS today via Walvis Bay. Due to recent events that have occurred with the two stowaways at
the Prison, it has been necessary, in the interest of public safety, to review these arrangements.
Therefore, it has been decided that only one of the stowaways will travel, under Police escort, on the
RMS today. Arrangements will be made for the other stowaway to be repatriated at a later date. Thank
you.”

The stowaway leaving today is escorted by four Policemen on his way back to Walvis Bay and the
Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been alleged, but not confirmed, that one of the stowaways
attempted to commit suicide yesterday.

----

Further to the devastating fire at the Fishing Factory on Tristan da Cunha, Saint FM today spoke to Mr
Dorian Fenn, the Operations Director of Ovenstone Limited who owns the Factory. Mr Fenn said that
they are optimistic about procuring a new generator in time for the departure of the RFA Lyme Bay
which is leaving for Tristan next Friday to undertake emergency repairs to the harbour. The new
generator will get the electricity supply on the island back to normal. He also said that the Company
was negotiating the terms of the insurance with the Insurance Company and he also said that it will be
difficult to rebuild the factory at least before the end of 2008, this year. This will mean that Tristan would
lose the entire fishing season this year.

---

And in the Magistrates Court today, Mr Basil William Francis of Longwood pleaded guilty and was found
guilty of driving over the prescribed limit of alcohol in his breath and also for driving without due care and
attention. He was fined a total of £140 and ordered to pay £10 costs. He was also disqualified from
holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of twelve months. Patterson John Samuel of Half Tree
Hollow was fined £20 and ordered to pay £10 costs for driving without due care and attention. And
Jeremy Arthur Henry of Cow Path was fined £10 for being drunk and disorderly and £10 for a breach of
a probation order and also Raymond Charles Augustus he was fined £10 and ordered to pay £10 costs
for being found drunk in a public place.

---

Last night, six members of the public and five Councillors turned up to a public meeting at Harford
Community Centre. The Attorney General, Ken Baddon, was also in attendance. The aim of the
meeting, which was chaired by the Chairman of the Public Health and Social Services Committee, Bill
Drabble, was to consult the public on the proposal to ban smoking in enclosed, public spaces. As
anticipated, there is some resistance against the proposal, but there are no well founded arguments
against stopping smoking in public spaces.

---

And the Beekeepers Special Meeting at Kingshurst last night brought people from Longwood,
Levelwood, Sandy Bay, Two Gun Saddle and St Paul’s areas. As a result, three people have joined the
Association. The Association wanted to meet with not only its members, but anyone who kept
beehives. It is important to find out how members were coping with this year’s harvest, whether there
were any problems that the Association could assist with and to establish where on the island they have
established their hives. It was extremely interesting to learn that in some areas there is no honey to
harvest whilst other areas there have been a good one. There are some beekeepers who will not be
harvesting until March or early April this year and some beekeepers have reported they have lost
swarms due to the wax moth infestation. This moth is causing havoc to many hives and is a setback in
the honey production. Members told the meeting what quantities they have harvested from the hives,
that is approximately 350 pounds in weight. This is nowhere near the real figure for this year’s harvest
which should end in March.

---

The RMS St Helena left James Bay for Walvis Bay and Cape Town at about twelve minutes past one
this afternoon with 107 passengers onboard and also with 53 crew. It is expected in Walvis Bay at 8am
on Monday, 18th February.




Friday 15th February

Stacy English, Project Manager for the Cliff Stabilisation Project over the Wharf gave Saint FM an
update on the process thus far. Most working and living in town will have, from time to time, glanced at
the team of cliff workers from Canne France as they work their way over the cliff face. Stacy says, to
date, they have almost completed the protection of buildings and have began drilling anchors for the
mesh, starting at the top of the cliff and also drilling just below the patch to Mundens. Also, onlookers
will have noticed the construction of sections of wall on Mundens path. In addition to the process for the
cliff, the Team welcomed three new members, including a new Foreman last week and yesterday said
goodbye to two of the original team members.

---

Mrs Ivy Ellick, Chief Administrative Health and Social Services Officer, said to Saint FM this morning
that the work on the Elderly Care Unit at Ladder Hill is processing along steadily and is almost complete
with only a few minor aspects to finish such as the outside pavements and some decoration. Once the
buildings are complete and the electricity installed, clients and staff from both the Haven and Sundale
will amalgamate ready to move into the new complex. This week, clients from the Haven and Sundale
were informed of the move hopefully in the not too distant future and the Department eagerly awaits the
installation of electricity to the complex. Public Health and Social Services Department also welcomed
two new members of staff this week, Richard Parker and Kim McKenzie, two bio-medical scientists
joining the Lab Department as locums in the absence of Geoffrey Benjamin, our local Senior Biomedical
Scientist. Geoffrey, on the 1st March this year, completes his three-year contract with the Department,
will be leaving the island to continue with locum work in the UK as well as attend a few courses.
Geoffrey says it will be good to update practices and knowledge in the field that is ever changing.
“Working as a locum in the UK will allow me to refresh my knowledge”. Richard Parker and Kim
McKenzie who only arrived yesterday, have already begun their familiarisation of the Lab and will be on
                   th
the island until 11 April on a job share basis.

---

In a very brief Press Statement yesterday, the Chief of Police, Derek Thomas said that the public would
be aware that the two stowaways were due to be repatriated to their home country, the Republic of
Congo, on the RMS today via Walvis Bay. Due to recent events that have occurred with the two
stowaways at the Prison, it has been necessary, in the interest of public safety, to review these
arrangements. Therefore, it has been decided that only one of the stowaways will travel, under Police
escort, on the RMS today. Arrangements will be made for the other stowaway to be repatriated at a
later date. The Chief of Police did not want to answer questions about if anybody had been injured in
these recent events or what had happened. The Head of the Governor’s Office, Ernie Manley, was also
reluctant to answer questions regarding the nature of the events and the stowaway who left yesterday
was escorted by four Officers from the St Helena Police Service. Yesterday afternoon, it could be
confirmed that the stowaway remaining in the HM Prison tried to commit suicide by hanging earlier this
week.

---

Further to the devastating fire at the Fishing Factory on Tristan da Cunha, Saint FM yesterday spoke to
Mr Dorian Fenn, the Operations Director of Ovenstone Limited who owns the Factory. Mr Fenn said
that they are optimistic about procuring a new generator in time for the departure of the RFA Lyme Bay,
which is leaving for Tristan next Friday to undertake emergency repairs to the harbour. The new
generator will get the electricity supply on the island back to normal. He also said that the Company
was negotiating the terms of the insurance with the Insurance Company. Mr Fenn said that it will be
difficult to rebuild the factory at least before the end of 2008. This would mean that Tristan will lose the
entire fishing season this year due to the fire.

---

In the Magistrates Court yesterday, Basil William Francis of Longwood pleaded guilty and was found
guilty of driving with over the prescribed limit of alcohol in his breath and also for driving without due
care and attention. He was fined a total of £140 and ordered to pay £10 costs. He was also disqualified
from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of twelve months. Patterson John Samuel of Half
Tree Hollow was fined £20 and ordered to pay £10 costs for driving without due care and attention. And
Jeremy Arthur Henry of Cow Path was fined £10 for being drunk and disorderly and £10 for breach of a
probation order. Also Raymond Charles Augustus was fined £10 and ordered to pay £10 costs for being
found drunk in a public place.

---

The RMS St Helena left James Bay for Walvis Bay and Cape Town at about quarter past one yesterday
afternoon with 107 passengers and 53 crew onboard. It is expected in Walvis Bay at 8am on Monday,
18th February. And the RMS is due back at St Helena on Thursday, 28th February.




Weekend News: 16th & 17th February

At about lunchtime yesterday, the fishing vessel Portzic broke her anchors and drifted away across the
harbour in a westerly direction. The incident was reported to the authorities. The owner of the Portzic,
Bank of St Helena, gave Peter Benjamin on his boat Helena Dorothy the task to tow her to Ruperts Bay
to tie up to the tanker mooring. Solomons and Company have given permission for the Portzic to be tied
up to the tanker mooring.

---

A statement yesterday said that Andrew Weir Shipping has advised that due to some mechanical
difficulties and adverse weather conditions, the arrival of the RMS St Helena in to Walvis Bay is
expected to be delayed. The vessel’s current estimated time of arrival to Walvis Bay is 6pm today, but
this is subject to weather conditions. The call at Cape Town is not expected to be affected by this
delay. It has been suggested that the RMS is in heavy weather without functioning stabilisers. She has
also experienced engine problems on her way to Walvis Bay.

---

The Police Service, they have only received two reports worth mentioning this weekend. On Friday, a
report of criminal damage and the theft at a pub in Jamestown was received. Also Friday night, one
male person in Half Tree Hollow was charged with discharging a missile by throwing a stone at
somebody’s roof.

---

In a statement from Tristan da Cunha on Saturday, the Administrator, David Morley, said that following
the fire at the Factory, the community will be interested to know what plans are being put in place to
replace it as well as install a new power plant. “I’ve been working closely with Andrew James of
Ovenstone and he’s asked me to inform the community of what’s going to happen next. Ovenstone’s
strategy is that immediately work towards normalising the community’s power supply with the standby
generator set already installed. Ovenstone has procured a new generator which should be in Cape
Town on Monday, that’s tomorrow and working towards shipping it down to Tristan as soon as possible,
hopefully on the Lyme Bay. With this new Gen Set, the island might be able to return to 24-hour
electricity. It is crucial that this accident does not disrupt the plans for the harbour repair project, which
remains on track. The Royal Engineers will be self sufficient in power so will not require any local
electricity. The only challenges outstanding are to power up the factory crane and replace the ship to
shore fuel and water lines. Solutions have already been found to resolve these issues. The final phase
will be to start a planning process for a new generator room which is first priority, then a brand new
factory and cold store. The objective here is to build modern facilities that will support the future
development of the Tristan economy. For example, the factory will be built to European Union
standards and will have improved holding tank and processing capacities that will facilitate greater hold
and value added production. It is Ovenstone’s intention to work with the community to overcome this
disaster to the mutual benefit of both partners”.

---

The new Catholic Priest, Father Michael Griffiths, will be arriving on St Helena when the ship arrives
from Portland. A message from Bishop John yesterday said that the Bishop of Northampton, the Right
Reverend Peter Doyle has created Father Michael Griffiths a Canon of Northampton Diocese. In
Saturday evening’s Mass, the new very Reverend Canon Michael Griffiths was thanked for all he had
done in the Diocese and wished well in his future ministry on St Helena.




Monday 18th February

A statement yesterday said that Andrew Weir Shipping has advised that due to some mechanical
difficulties and adverse weather conditions, the arrival of the RMS St Helena in to Walvis Bay was
expected to be delayed. It has been suggested that the RMS was in heavy weather without functioning
stabilisers. She has also experienced engine problems on her way to Walvis Bay, but she arrived at
Walvis Bay this afternoon. On arrival, the stowaway known as Eddie will be handed over to the
Protection and Indemnity Insurance Company, P and I Associates who have been hired to take Eddie
from Walvis Bay to Johannesburg and on to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. P and I is
a well known Company of working for shippers to repatriate stowaways. Unfortunately, the flights out of
Walvis Bay have been fully booked and the stowaway and his escort cannot leave until Saturday. The
repatriation of the two Congolese stowaways will cost a great deal of money for St Helena, but it is
believed that some of the money can be recuperated from the Shipping Company owning the ship which
took them close to St Helena before sending them ashore in a liferaft. It has been reported that the
Shipping Company has taken prompt action against the Captain and the crew of the ship after being
made aware of what happened to the two stowaways outside St Helena. The second stowaway cannot
be sent off from St Helena until May of this year.

---

At about lunchtime yesterday, the fishing vessel Portzic broke her anchors and drifted away across the
harbour in a westerly direction. The incident was reported to the authorities. The owner of the Portzic,
Bank of St Helena, gave Peter Benjamin on his boat Helena Dorothy the task to tow her to Ruperts Bay
to tie up to the tanker mooring. Solomon and Company have given permission for the Portzic to do so.
Having been unable to find a buyer for the vessel, the MFV Portzic, the Board of the Bank of St Helena
has decided that the only course of action is for the vessel to be disposed of. The vessel will be made
safe under the instruction of the appropriate authorities and then sunk. The Bank is now advertising for
contractors able to undertake all or part of this work. Any queries should be directed to Julie Thomas,
Commercial Lending Manager.

---

A budget meeting of the Executive Council was held at Plantation House today. Due to the delicate
nature of all budget deliberations, no public information will be given about this meeting. His Excellency
Governor Gurr said today that the Financial Secretary, Virginia Grace, hopes to present a balanced
                                        th
budget to the Legislative Council on 14 March.

---

The Tourist Office said today that they were happy to announce that the cleanup of the Run will begin
                 th
next Monday, 25 February by members of the Conservation Section at A&NRD and the Environmental
Health Section of Public Health and Social Services Department. This is a collaborative effort co-
ordinated by the Legal Lands and Planning Department involving the Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department, Public Health and Social Services and Social Security, Public Works and Services and the
St Helena Tourism. We will be updated as we go along.

---

The new Catholic Priest, Father Michael Griffiths, will be arriving on St Helena when the ship arrives
from Portland. A message from Bishop John yesterday said that the Bishop of Northampton, the Right
Reverend Peter Doyle has created Father Michael Griffiths a Canon of Northampton Diocese. In
Saturday evening’s Mass, the new very Reverend Canon Michael Griffiths was thanked for all he had
done in the Diocese and wished well in his future ministry on St Helena.

---

From today, the three Saint FM transmitter sites, Jamestown, High Knoll and the Flag at Levelwood are
all sending out an RDS signal with the normal Saint FM broadcast. This signal can give additional
information to your radio if it is RDS compatible. One of the main benefits if you have an RDS receiver
in your car, you do not need to manually change the FM station you are listening to, it will change to the
strongest Saint FM channel itself without you having to move your hands from the steering wheel.
Messages can also be relayed to your RDS radio. Saint FM experienced some minor interference after
connecting the equipment, but this has now been rectified.




Tuesday 19th February

A road traffic collision occurred at Half Tree Hollow near the Army Hall involving one vehicle. This
collision resulted in personal injuries to the driver and passengers and all the injured parties were taken
to Hospital and the vehicle sustained damage. The damage was also caused to roadside property. The
accident is currently under investigation.

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The RMS St Helena arrived at Walvis Bay at twenty to five yesterday afternoon GMT. Forty-five
passengers disembarked the vessel. Forty-one and a half tonnes of cargo was loaded and three
passengers embarked at Walvis Bay prior to the vessel departing at six minutes past eight last night, our
time. The thirteen containers that were short-shipped on the last voyage from Cape Town as the
container carrier SAF Nqwanda could not dock in time to discharge the containers for the RMS, these
containers are now in Cape Town waiting to be loaded for St Helena. Unfortunately, it appears that the
container carrier scheduled to take transhipment cargo for the RMS for this sailing, the DAL Kalahari will
also be late to connect with the RMS before the RMS is due to leave for St Helena on Saturday. This
could mean that the RMS will once again be short-shipped.

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Ann Muir, the on island Social Development Adviser, is currently in the process of formulating an
employment policy for legislation. The purpose of the policy is to protect the interests of employers and
employees and to promote growth of the private sector. Ann says the contents of the policy will be
informed by internationally recognised minimum rights and protections, many of which are set out by
International Conventions and are found in UK law. A consultation process with employers and
employees will also be taking place on the island the first of which is to take place tomorrow evening at
the Jamestown Community Centre at 7 o’clock for small businesses which employ one to three
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members of staff. The second will be at the same place and time next Wednesday, 27 February and
will be for staff members of any business and other interested persons to ask questions and to present
their views. The employment policy for legislation will focus on terms and conditions of employment
between the employer and the employee. It will not include pension issues or health and safety which
Government are considering separately. As part of the policy, Ann will be looking at the internationally
recognised minimum rights and standards which include regulations about minimum wage, holidays with
pay, maternity and paternity leave, redundancy pay, unfair dismissals, unauthorised deductions from
pay and belonging to trade unions or staff associations. Ann adds that some minimum rights and
protections are probably not practical at present, particularly in terms of affordability by small employers
and the St Helena Government. However, for the long term development of the island, the St Helena
Government wants to develop a route map, a strategy about what minimum rights and protections could
be introduced by Government and when. Some minimum rights and protections could be introduced by
Government in the short term and the purpose of the consultation exercise is to inform the identification
of a starting point and a route map. The consultation with employers and employees will focus on the
practicalities of each minimum right and protection. Ann plans to visit approximately fifty percent of
medium and small employers in the seven districts with questionnaires.

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The Bank of St Helena said yesterday that having been unable to find a buyer for the vessel MFV
Portzic, the Board of the Bank of St Helena has decided that the only course of action is for the vessel to
be disposed off. This morning, Julie Thomas, the Commercial Lending Manager at the Bank of St
Helena said that….




INSERT (Julie Thomas)            “The Bank of St Helena has been the owner of the Portzic for a few
months now and we have been trying to sell the Portzic. That has turned out not to be that successful, it
is costing us money to keep it afloat and we’ve tried through both papers and via the radios and via
Cape Town to advertise, we also had another person in Cape Town doing it on a personal basis as well
and still we had no, we had a few potential buyers, but in the end that turned out not to be successful so
the Bank of St Helena now needs to make a decision as to what we’re going to do with it and because
we’ve tried all those different avenues we now think that it’s time that we dispose of it because there’s
nothing else we can do in our power to get it sold”.

And that was Mrs Julie Thomas the Commercial Lending Manager at the Bank of St Helena.

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And further on fishing, the Chairman of the Fishermen’s Association, Trevor Thomas, said this afternoon
that low fish catches continue to dog the fishing industry. Fishermen are finding it more hard to cope
with the cost of going fishing. If the current trend continues, there is every possibility fishermen will need
to consider alternative options to earn their living. The knock-on effect of such a manoeuvre will
obviously be felt throughout the fishing industry as a whole. The Fishermen’s Association brought this
very real possibility to the attention of the Directorate of the Fisheries who in turn made an appeal to the
St Helena Government for some kind of assistance to help the industry …?... In an effort to help, the
Government agreed to assist the ten main full-time fishing boats by approving 50 litres of fuel per week
for a period of six weeks. The Fishermen’s Association would like to express their gratitude for this
gesture, especially at the time when a safety net is desperately needed.




Wednesday 20th February

After the news that the Portzic will be scuttled, the St Helena Government is actively investigating the
possibility to fund the vessel to go to Walvis Bay for maintenance and certification and to get her back to
fishing. Mr Terry Richards of the Fisheries Corporation has been given the task of investigating the
matter. The Manager for the Bank of St Helena, John Turner, said that if anybody wanted to buy the
vessel it would be for sale at the price as low as one pound. He also said that the Bank would start
stripping the Portzic of useful items on Monday of next week. After the announcement from the Bank of
St Helena that the Portzic should be sunk, the Attorney General, Ken Baddon, has argued that the
vessel cannot be scuttled without approval from St Helena Government as the sea is Crown property. It
appears to be an interesting continuation of the Portzic saga.

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The transhipped containers for St Helena on the vessel DAL Kalahari, which was due in Cape Town
yesterday, arrived in Port Elizabeth this morning, but had, due to lack of time, not the possibility to
offload the containers before the ship left for Durban. This was due to the containers being under deck
and not accessible. The DAL Kalahari will not be back in Cape Town with the containers until the 26th
February, which is too late for the RMS. Therefore, the RMS will be short-shipped again. The
transhipment of containers from UK was vital for St Helena as we have no more connection from Cape
              th
Town until 30 April, due to the RMS’ UK trip. The main consignment of medicine is among the cargo
that will be short shipped. This will also mean that we will have a shortage of many items, not least
eggs for Easter. The thirteen containers that were short-shipped on the last shipment from Cape Town
are now ready to be loaded on to the RMS.

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Anthony Green is leaving Solomons. This afternoon, Tony Green, the Managing Director of Solomon
and Company said that he is leaving the Company. His contract is expiring on 6th August and he has
told the Board that he would not be interested in renewing his contract. He also said that he wants to
keep his options open what to do in the future after his two-year contract with the Company expires.

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It has been confirmed that Kedell Worboys, the St Helena Government UK Representative and also a
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Board Member of St Helena Line, will arrive on St Helena on 28 February, next Thursday. Also
arriving next Thursday will be the former Financial Secretary, now Financial Director of St Helena Line,
Matt Young. They are visiting the island after Councillors have raised questions about St Helena Line,
which is controlling the RMS. The function and justification for the St Helena Line has been in dispute
for many years and now Mrs Worboys and Mr Young will be given the opportunity to explain the
situation in front of Legislative Council.

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Last night, the Police Department responded to a call from a member of the public implying that two
minors were walking along the cliffs above the West Rocks area. It appeared that they had walked
down a short part of the Ladder and then diverted out on the cliff side. Members of the Police Service
and the Fire and Rescue Service later apprehended the two fifteen year old girls who had resisted
assistance and took them safely at the Police Headquarters where questioning was undergone.

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The Air Access Project Manager, Sharon Wainwright, said today that a video conference was held this
morning with one of the tenders for the Design, Build and Operate Contract, Basil Read. The meeting
aimed at clarifying various aspects of the submitted tender. Involved in this Conference were also
personnel from DfID and W S Atkins. A similar meeting with the other tender, Impregilo, will be held
tomorrow. These meetings, they are part of the evaluation process in the tender process for our air
access.




Thursday 21st February

The saga about the motor fishing vessel Portzic has taken a U-turn. Today, it has become clear that the
vessel does not legally belong to the Bank of St Helena. This is because the Portzic is a French-
registered vessel and the change of ownership which would include a re-registration process in France
has not been completed. Therefore, Roger Morice will still be the formal owner of the vessel, but as he
is not on the island and the harbour has to be kept safe, the Portzic is now in the care and duty of the
Harbour Authority. The Attorney General, Ken Baddon, said that he had notified the Harbour Authority
about this turn of events at a quarter to three this afternoon. As the Portzic is moored at the tanker
anchorage in Ruperts Valley, it is now the main responsibility for the Harbour Authority to make sure that
she does not sink as this would jeopardise the arrival of the tankers to the island in the future.

Dr Corinda Essex, Chief Development Officer and in charge of the Harbour Authority said this afternoon
that arrangements had been made to continue to pump the Portzic to keep it afloat until further
decisions can be taken.

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This afternoon, the St Helena Air Access Project Manager, Sharon Wainwright, visited Saint FM to give
an update about the Air Access Project. This update will be broadcast in the end of the news.

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After the news of the short-shipping of containers from Cape Town, the Public Health and Social
Services Department, which will have their bulk consignment of medical stores left behind, has started
to order supplies to fill the gap. Already medicines have been ordered from Cape Town to be delivered
in time before the RMS leaves on Saturday. The Chief Administrative Health and Social Services
Officer, Ivy Ellick, said this afternoon that some medicines have also been ordered from UK for delivery
to Ascension Island to reach St Helena before the RMS heads north to UK. She has also said that
mainly medication for hypertension and diabetes that need to be stocked up, but also other medicines
will be needed, before the containers that will be left in Cape Town on this sailing, reach St Helena on
   th
30 April.

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A meeting for small employers to discuss future employment policy was held at Jamestown Community
Centre last night. The meeting was chaired by Councillor Bill Drabble and the Social Development
Planner, Ann Muir and the Crown Counsel, Frank Wastell made up the panel. The attendance was
much higher than expected with almost thirty people present. The meeting was a part of the public
consultation process to introduce employment legislation for St Helena. St Helena Government is
looking at introducing internationally recommended minimum rights and standards which include
regulations about minimum wage, holiday with pay, maternity and paternity leave, redundancy pay,
unfair dismissals, unauthorised deductions from pay and belonging to trade unions or staff associations.
Last night, lively discussions took place and many employers felt that new legislation in this area is not
necessary as there is a shortage of labour on the island which forces the employers to maintain high
employment standards to keep their employees. A meeting for employees and other interested persons
will be held next Wednesday at 7pm at the Jamestown Community Centre.

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And this is Sharon Wainwright, the Air Access Project Manager with an update –

I have been involved in the evaluation of the bids. You might remember and the public might remember
                                     th
that we received two tenders on 30 November last year. Both came in on time and then, of course,
one of the first things that had to be checked was the compliancy to make sure that they were two
compliant bids, and that is, that they came up with expectation to see, the client, which would be
ourselves and DfID, that’s SHG and DfID, came back with our expectations and covered the client’s
requirements. So that was the first thing that had to be checked, and, of course, we’ve got Atkins
checking this for us and working on our behalf, but there had to be involvement as well from SHG and
DfID and hence the reason for my visit. So I was working in the DfID office very closely with Nigel Kirby,
who just about everyone here knows, and made a few visits to Atkins and likewise Atkins came up to
DfID. Atkins have got a team that’s working on the two bids. They are, well, there’s an enormous
amount of paper work to go through as anybody would expect. In fact, there’s ten, just to give people an
idea, from one Company there’s ten, sort of, Lever Arch files, the big files, full of documentation and
from another Company there’s eight of those and then additional drawings etc, so there’s a lot to go
through, and, of course, you have to be careful in the evaluation or Atkins, who is acting on our behalf,
has to be very careful that they do pick up everything that could be critical to the Contract. So we spent
a lot of time working on that.

Mike          Does this work, does it go in stages or is it an overall view, or what stage are we now,
you know that people are interested in where we stand now?

Sharon           Right, of course. Yes, it will go in stages and it is going in stages and basically what
we’ve done first is set out, prior to receiving the bids, we set out our evaluation strategy, the way we
would attack the evaluation, how we would work on it and also we needed to set up an evaluation
criteria. Now, the reason for setting up the criteria prior to the receipt of the bids is because it’s all clear
and transparent when you start to mark and give a points system on the bids. That was put into place
before you had sight of any of them. So we’ll work through that and that’s the evaluation phase. Now,
that is what we have been working through in DfID, as I just mentioned, although mainly Atkins and
Atkins team of advisers. And then, what we were hoping, or the plan was, that we then go in to a
negotiations phase, so from the evaluation phase we go into the negotiation phase. Now, the
negotiation phase would either be with, what we would term, the preferred bidder, or, indeed, both and
then we could possibly go into a best and final offer, asking, right, can you please submit a best and
final offer. All of that depends on negotiations and value for money. What we have found, going
through the evaluation stage, is that both tenders, there was a lot of information missing that we would
have liked to have had more clarification on, so, in effect, what’s happening now is that we’ve almost
added another stage in the middle of the evaluation and negotiation and that is a clarification phase and
that’s what we’re in at the moment, and, in fact, we’ve just met, I was in a meeting this morning via
teleconference and yesterday morning, yesterday morning was with Basil Read’s team and Atkins and
SHG, DfID and this morning with Impregilo, and, of course, I know you’ll understand and that public will
understand that I can’t talk about what was discussed in those meetings, because it is commercial in
confidence at the moment and it’s confidential to those contractors, but it just goes to show how quick
we are trying to get the clarification stage over with so we can enter into the next stage of negotiations.

Mike             Are there big pieces of work now that the contractors have to do to be able to make these
clarifications; a lot of work involved in doing so?

Sharon          They do have to go away and work on some of the responses, but they’re quite happy to
do this, both parties were and we’ve given them sufficient time to work on that and they have gone
away, and, you know, with no doubt that they will meet the time frame as well to come back to us. And I
should also add here something I didn’t mention, that also during my time in the UK, Nigel and I held
some interviews for a Senior Negotiator and we have taken onboard a gentleman called John Hinchliff,
his name will come up in future, no doubt, and John is a Quantity Surveyor and Arbitrator, very
experienced in the field, he also has a Masters in Risk Analysis, which is what we need at the moment
as well and the reason behind contracting John was to help us in the evaluation and negotiation phase,
working directly for SHG and DfID, because these are areas of expertise that neither Nigel or I have, so
it’s good to have somebody onboard that can provide that as well.

Mike           So when will this person start working?

Sharon         He has actually started. He started while I was in the UK and he was also in the meeting
this morning and yesterday morning as well with Basil Read and Impregilo.

Mike           So will he come out and work out here on the island?

Sharon          I don’t know. At this point, it’s not absolutely necessary that he’s out here. All he needs
to be doing is looking at the tender documents, looking at our requirements, seeing if they fit, if they
match and if they don’t match, then go into clarification and negotiation, which is what we’re doing, so
it’s not necessary that he needs to be here on island. We’ve also, whilst I was away as well, appointed
the Project Management Unit, which you already know and some people might remember, is Helcro and
they’ll be coming onboard, well, they’re onboard now and they will be coming in on the Risk Analysis
and Risk Allocation side, we will be looking for their expertise and they are also now working on who
they will get or who they will appoint in the team to come out to St Helena. They will be here and they
will be here for the entire time that the airport is being constructed.

Mike           But if we look at the overall picture, I think the most accurate, really confirmed time
schedule that we have got is that this should be finalised during the second quarter of this year, then we
should have some kind of answer coming out of this process. Is that still on line?

Sharon           Well, it’s still as long as, you know, it’s always been down to acceptable contracts and
that is what it’s still down to, a rigorous, environmental analysis, which we’ve done and we continue to
do and we’ve got an Environmental Management Plan to work to, and, of course, acceptable contracts,
so that’s what we’re working towards and as long as we can get acceptable contracts, then there should
be no reason, and as long as that is acceptable to DfID Ministers, then there should be no reason why
we can’t go ahead. There will be, like I said earlier, that there’s another phase squeezed in there at the
moment, which is the clarification phase, but I can’t see that knocking us back too much and prolonging
it, but what I can say is, both contractors are still very enthusiastic and both contractors are, sort of,
ready to get up and get started, so as soon as the okay is given, the contract signed, both contractors
will be ready to mobilise to St Helena.

Mike           Yes, so we’re on line for having some kind of result of this process next quarter then,
between April and June…….

Sharon           That is the hope, I mean, obviously with any times, it’s very difficult to predict times,
because you don’t know whether something is going to come up unexpectedly, so what I would say is
next quarter or the following quarter, it will be in there somewhere.

Mike         Of course that was up, I think, in a parliamentary question not so long ago, that’s why I
used that ……

Sharon          That’s right, of course, yes.

Mike            And we haven’t talked to you before really about the Air Service Provider either, because
that’s been laid on ice, the Air Service Provider, at the moment, and how long will it be laid on ice?

Sharon            Well, first of all, if I can just explain the reason for going out early to find the Air Service
Provider. We needed the Air Service Provider onboard to get their expertise in the detailed design of
the runway. It was important, we felt, that if you’re going to fly into the runway you need to be able to
have input into the detail, hence we went out early. What we have found, by going out early, is that
there was interest out there, as you know, we short-listed to three Companies, we carried out the
evaluation of all three Companies and I have to say there is nothing, absolutely nothing sinister behind
putting the three Companies on hold at the moment. The main reason they have gone on hold is
because none of the three Companies, I think we said in the Press Statement, meets, exactly matches
our requirements. Now, I can go as far as to say, one that could meet the requirements as well or one
of them is a, sort of, broker type Company, it’s fully operational and would only reserve seats on a
plane. Now, if you’re just reserving seats on a plane, but not an airline provider yourself, Air Service
Provider yourself, then you don’t have the expertise in house to give us what we need, so we didn’t see
the point of continuing and paying retention fees, drawing up contracts etc, to retain these people when
they couldn’t really give us the detailed input we need into the design, so it made complete sense to
write to them, put it on hold at this moment and then we go back to it and what we’re going to do now,
what we’ve decided to do is to buy that expertise in from elsewhere. That is workable and I can say as
well that the Companies who we wrote to, they have written back and said that they have continued
interest in the, you know, Air Service Provider contract.

Mike            But there is no plan at this stage when this will come back out for a new contract or for
tendering?

Sharon          No, we don’t have dates at this stage, but I would like to suggest that it will have to
happen at least a year, eighteen months before the airport is due to open.

Mike          So from what you have seen when you’ve been in UK and everything is on track really
when it comes to the airport development?
Sharon           Well, from what I’ve seen when I went to the UK is that everybody is working absolutely
flat out to try and make this happen. Obviously, like I said, it is subject to acceptable contracts, so I
can’t say, oh, you know, it’s absolutely a hundred percent without doubt, but we are working towards it,
everything is going as planned, both contractors are enthusiastic, both contractors want to do it and
we’re working and trying to find every possible way to make it happen.




Friday 22nd February

The Chief Executive Officer of one of the airport contractors, Basil Read Holdings, that’s Maurice Heyns,
was interviewed by the South African newspaper Financial Mail. The interview was published today. Mr
Heynsis quoted as saying that his Company is currently bidding against foreign competition for the
construction of a new, two hundred million plus airport project on St Helena Island, about 2,400
kilometres north-west of Cape Town, at present only accessible by ship. The UK Government is the
potential client and the project is sitting with two close bids after a lengthy three-months tender project.
We have to assume that Mr Heinz is talking about the construction cost of the airport and this is the first
time that we’ve been given a qualified estimate of what the airport in St Helena might cost. Sharon
Wainwright, the Air Access Project Manager said that the price of the airport is under negotiation with
the two tenders and it’s not possible to comment on the contract sum at this moment.

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From the Falklands, it has been reported that on Wednesday Mishara Yon, aged 27, pleaded guilty to
conspiring with Mr Alan Francis to import cannabis resin and was jailed for four months. The Crown
Counsel told the Court that Customs and Immigration officials had found a suspicious parcel in the Post
Office and on discovering it contained four ounces of cannabis resin that had been substituted with
another package to be collected. The parcel was traced through that person to Alan Francis who was
jailed for three months; that was done last week, and then onwards to Mr Yon.

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The saga about the motor fishing vessel Portzic has taken a U-turn. Yesterday, it became clear that the
vessel does not legally belong to the Bank of St Helena. This is because the Portzic is a French-
registered vessel and the change of ownership which should include a re-registration process in France
has not been completed. Therefore, Roger Morice would still be the formal owner of the vessel, but as
he is not on the island and the harbour has to be kept safe, the Portzic is now in the care and duty of the
Port Management. The Attorney General, Ken Baddon, said that he had notified the Port Management
about this turn of events at a quarter to three yesterday afternoon. As the Portzic is moored at the
tanker anchorage in Ruperts Bay, it is now a main responsibility for the Port Management to make sure
that she does not sink as this would jeopardise the arrival of the tankers to the island in the future.

Dr Corinda Essex, Chief Development Officer and in charge of the Harbour Authority said yesterday
afternoon that arrangements have been made to continue to pump the Portzic to keep it afloat until
further decisions can be taken.

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The stowaway we call “Eddie” who left St Helena last Thursday arrived safely in Walvis Bay and will be
escorted back to his home country, Congo, by the Protection and Indemnity Insurance Company P and I
Associates. In the meantime, he has been taken into custody by the Namibian Police awaiting a flight
out of the country. The latest information indicates that he will leave Walvis Bay under escort for
Johannesburg and Kinshasa in Congo on Sunday. The second stowaway will not leave H M Prison in
St Helena until mid May.

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Today Thinking Day is celebrated by Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides around the world. It is a day
of remembrance all across the world and is celebrated on 22nd February because it is actually the
birthday of the original founders of the Girl Guides and Scout Movement in the UK, Lord and Lady
Baden-Powell, both of whom share their birthday on 22nd. This year’s theme for Thinking Day is Water.
St Helena also is focusing on aid in Africa, and, as a consequence, all monies raised from their activities
on Thinking Day will be donated to water projects in Africa. With the theme set, each Troop on island
was assigned an African country to represent them in the parade giving the girls the opportunity to learn
more about different cultures in Africa. Five different countries in Africa are presented today with the
Guides focusing on culture, a dance presented by Brownies and African dress for the Rainbows. The
Parade was well received by onlookers when it passed Saint FM offices at 11 o’clock this morning. The
Parade was followed by a full day’s planned activities at the Jamestown Community Centre, including a
welcoming speech by the newly appointed President of the Association and that’s Mrs Jean Gurr.




Weekend News; 23rd & 24th February

The RMS St Helena departed Cape Town at half past ten on Saturday night. The vessel has
experienced some engine problems, however, both engines are now up and running. She is now
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expected to arrive at St Helena on Friday, 29 February at 6 o’clock in the morning, twenty-four hours
behind schedule. No explanation for the delay has been given.

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It has been a busy weekend for the Police Service. Saturday night the St Helena Juvenile Court was
sitting considering a case involving two young girls. Early yesterday morning, a serious incident
happened at Donny’s Place in Jamestown. One person is in custody and one is in the General Hospital
with serious injuries. The person in custody has been charged with malicious or wilfully wounding or
inflicting grievous bodily harm. He will appear in the St Helena Magistrates Court today. Interviews with
witnesses took place all day yesterday. The offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm can give a penalty
of lifetime in prison.

Also Saturday morning, a road traffic accident occurred at Ladder Hill road in which a car was severely
damaged. The driver was breath tested but found to be under the prescribed limit.

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From the Falklands, it has been reported that on Wednesday Mishara Yon, aged 27, pleaded guilty to
conspiring with Mr Alan Francis to import cannabis resin and was jailed for four months. The Crown
Counsel told the Court that Customs and Immigration officials had found a suspicious parcel in the Post
Office and on discovering it contained four ounces of cannabis resin and they substituted it for another
package to be collected. The parcel was traced through that person to Alan Francis, who was jailed for
three months last week, and then onwards to Mr Yon.




Monday 25th February

Ricky Alan O’Dean appeared in the Magistrates Court today. He had been charged with maliciously or
wilfully wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm under section 18 of the Offences against the Persons
Act 1861. This is an offence that could give a maximum sentence of lifetime in prison. The Attorney
General, Ken Baddon, who appeared as Prosecutor on behalf of the Crown, said in Court that Mr
O’Dean early yesterday morning at Donny’s Place had deliberately broken a bottle and with the sharp
glass edges caused laceration of the neck and body of the victim, Mr Kevin Thomas. According to the
early reports from the Hospital, Mr Thomas’ injuries were life threatening, but his condition was now
stable. The Defence, under Mr John Newman, OBE, Lay Advocate, did not make a bail application and
it was decided that Mr O’Dean should remain in custody until he reappears in Court on Thursday of this
week. This was not least for Mr O’Dean’s safety as threats against Mr O’Dean had been made by Mr
Thomas’ family, according to the Prosecution. This is the most serious charge of a violent crime since
2004 and if the charge stands it has to be deliberated by the Supreme Court in due course.

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The RMS St Helena departed Cape Town at half past ten on Saturday night. The vessel has
experienced some engine problems, however, both engines are now up and running. She is now
expected to arrive at St Helena on Friday, 29th February at 6 o’clock in the morning, twenty-four hours
behind schedule. Labour take on time is also Friday morning at 6 o’clock. For you that are leaving for
Ascension Island, hold baggage receiving time is 1 to 3pm on Thursday and cabin baggage, perishables
and freezer packages should be handed in between 2 and 4pm on Saturday. Embarkation for
Ascension is set for 12 noon on Sunday and the RMS is scheduled to leave at 2pm and that’s Sunday.

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In an update from the Public Works and Services Department, it said that the iron and manganese
removal filters at Red Hill had now been in operation for just on a month and the staff at the Office and
those who work with them have nothing but praise. Whilst the Department has been suffering from
discoloured water for many years, the introduction to the Treatment and Distribution systems seem to
have created a light at the end of the tunnel. Coupled with this introduction, proactive cleaning of the
tanks from that distribution system which in turn enhances the quality of the water. There are, of course,
a few pinch points from which we still have a few problems, but we are working with residents in order
that we can clear up the problems over the short term. We still experience problems in Pounceys and
Kunjie Field area, but this is largely due to an undersized tank feeding those areas. This is being closely
looked at and will hopefully be resolved.

The update also said that two of the wind turbines have now been back in commission for a month.
Unfortunately, it has not been a good month in terms of the wind speeds and whilst they have been
contributing to the grid, an average of their contribution will be given at a later stage. Number Three
turbine went through a testing stage two weeks ago and after a trial was taken out of service to replace
some bearings. This is a simple procedure and will be completed within the next two weeks.

Work has also begun on another component of the Electricity Distribution Project. This was to provide
the Fitzstevens Estate on the Western side of the island with electricity. This component has been
brought forward as it is a small component and an outstanding one. SHG had made a commitment on
this supply many years ago and a complete installation in this area will mean that only the Levelwood
component will need to be put in place before all homes on the island are connected to an electricity
supply. The Levelwood component is also in the Electricity Distribution Projects.




Tuesday 26th February

Today, the contractors for the Rock Stabilisation Project in Jamestown, Canne France, continued the
scaling of the hillside above the wharf and more loose rocks were brought down to the ground.
Yesterday, a vast amount tumbled down and this work continued today. Tim Gould, Project Manager
from Canne France, said that the scaling of the particular area should be finalised tomorrow to allow
time for clearing up before the RMS arrives on Friday morning. He also said that the Project was going
according to plan and that the ship Millwall, chartered as supply ship for the operations, would arrive at
St Helena at the end of March. Tim explained that the helicopter to be used for spreading the netting
will arrive on the Millwall in about a month’s time. The Millwall is a ship registered at the Cape Verde
Islands and has a deadweight of 960 tonnes.

---

The RMS St Helena departed Cape Town at half past ten on Saturday night. The vessel has
experienced some engine problems, however, both engines are now up and running. She is expected
to arrive in St Helena on Friday morning at 6 o’clock, twenty-four hours behind schedule. Labour take
on time is also Friday morning at 6 o’clock. For you that are leaving for Ascension Island, hold baggage
receiving time is 1 to 3pm on Thursday and cabin baggage, perishables and freezer packages should be
handed in between 2 and 4pm on Saturday. Embarkation for Ascension is set for 12 noon on Sunday
and the RMS is scheduled to leave at 2pm. So far, 121 passengers are booked to leave.

---

Arriving on Friday are Mr Roger Young, Locum Dental Officer, Mr John Hayes, who is a Tax Adviser; he
is accompanied by his wife; also Mrs Kedell Worboys, the St Helena Government UK Representative,
together with Mr Matthew Young, Financial Director of St Helena Line will arrive on Friday and also Mr
Roger Bellers who is Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser is coming, together with Mr Frank Savage who is
an FCO Adviser.
---

The Travel Writer, Chris Pritchard has written a feature about St Helena which was published in the
latest edition of the Australian major newspaper Sunday Telegraph. The author calls it “An old time sea
voyage carry you to land of exile”. Much of the article deals with the RMS St Helena and sea travel, but
it also gives a positive view of the island and Mr Pritchard, he was travelling as a guest of St Helena
Line.

---

From Ascension, it has been reported that the blunt-nosed six-gill shark of approximately 500 kilos, half
a tonne, was caught last Friday. The catamaran, Shannon Ray, owned by Sam Arms, landed the huge
shark. Onboard the catamaran was Sam Arms, Ludovichi Walfram and Robert Ruby Henry.




Wednesday 27th February

Today, information was received that the public announcement about the air access for St Helena will
be made in the Houses of Parliament in July of this year, just before the summer holiday of the House of
Commons. This was not received from official sources, but it appears to be reliable. It coincides with
the statement made last week that the announcement is expected in the third quarter of this year.
Governor Gurr said this afternoon that he believed that the island will get an indication of the initial
outcome of the tender process towards the end of March, but he also said that it was not unlikely that
the formal announcement would come before the summer break of the House of Commons.

---

The RMS St Helena is expected to arrive at St Helena on Friday, 29th February at 6 o’clock in the
morning, twenty-four hours behind schedule. Labour take on time is also Friday morning at 6 o’clock.
For you that are leaving for Ascension Island, hold baggage receiving time is 1 to 3pm tomorrow,
Thursday and cabin baggage, perishables and freezer packages should be handed in between 2 and
4pm on Saturday. Embarkation for Ascension is set for 12 noon on Sunday and the RMS is scheduled
to leave at 2pm. So far, 121 passengers are booked to leave.

Among the 103 passengers arriving on Friday are Mr Roger Young, Locum Dental Officer, Mr John
Hayes, Tax Adviser, accompanied by his wife; Mrs Kedell Worboys, the St Helena UK Representative,
Mr Matthew Young, Financial Director of St Helena Line and also Mr Roger Bellers, he’s a Disaster Risk
Reduction Adviser, together with Mr Frank Savage who is an FCO Adviser.

The Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Ascension, airmail via Ascension and surface
mail to the Falklands will close in the main Post Office on Saturday, 1st March at 12 noon. Collection
from the sub Post Offices will commence from 10am on Friday. The Postmistress wishes to advise that
                                                    th
when the RMS St Helena leaves here on or about 7 March, this will be an opportunity to send surface
mail and parcels direct to United Kingdom.

---

The Police Service has reported a quiet start of this week after the busy weekend with only a minor road
traffic accident in the report book. It occurred at Red Hill and only damages to the vehicle were
sustained. The accident was not alcohol related.

---

The Tourist Office said today that work began on clearing the Run on Monday of this week as
scheduled. The Conservation workers of A&NRD started from the Quarry and got as far as Mrs Rosalie
Joshua’s house. There was an amazing amount of debris that will now be collected by Public Health.
The clearing will continue from where the Conservation workers have left off.

---
News from Tristan da Cunha says that the RFA Lyme Bay left Table Bay Harbour in Cape Town on
Sunday and was reported to be making 40 knots in good weather on Monday so it’s expected at Tristan
da Cunha tomorrow, Thursday morning. And the MV Edinburgh also left Cape Town on Tuesday and is
due to arrive on Monday of next week. Onboard MV Edinburgh is a team to assess the fire damage and
plan a new factory for Tristan and also onboard the MV Edinburgh is the equipment to set up a
rebroadcasting station for Saint FM on Tristan da Cunha.

---

On the Falklands, ordinary Islanders will have the chance next month to give their opinion of the British
Foreign Office attitude towards the Falkland Islands. The UK Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of
Commons is visiting the Falkland Islands from 12th to 18th March as part of its inquiry into the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office exercise of its responsibilities in relation to the Overseas Territories. The
Committee is being represented on the visit by Members of Parliament Eric Isley and Jusla Stewart.
Nobody from the Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to visit St Helena.




Thursday 28th February

In the Magistrates Court this morning, Ricky Alan O’Dean reappeared to be remanded in custody for a
further two weeks until 6th March after being charged with maliciously or wilfully wounding or inflicting
grievous bodily harm under section 18 of the Offences against Persons Act 1861. This is an offence
that could give a maximum sentence of lifetime in prison.

Also in Court today was Patrick Vincent Peters of Ladder Hill who was bound over to keep the peace for
a period of twelve months in the sum of £50.00 after having pleaded guilty to breach of the peace on
31st January.

David Paul Peters pleaded guilty of being drunk and disorderly and was fined £10.00 and ordered to pay
£5.00 costs. He is also on restriction order for a period of six months.

Brandon Leslie Bone who on 31st January pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour was given a
probation order for a period of twelve months and also ordered to pay £10.00 costs.

And finally, Theodore Patrick Lawrence appeared in the Magistrates Court for non payment of fines
amounting to £150.00. He was given two months to pay the outstanding amount.

---

Last night, a second public meeting was held regarding the implementation of an employment policy as
foundation for employment legislation on the island. Last night, employees and other interested parties
were invited. Ann Muir, the Social Development Planner, said this morning that only six people turned
out, which was a disappointment after about thirty people, mainly employers, turned up to last week’s
meeting on the same subject.

---

Yesterday, information was received that a public announcement about the air access for St Helena will
be made in Parliament in July of this year, just before the summer holiday of the House of Commons.
This was not received from official sources, but appears to be reliable. It coincides with the statement
made last week that the announcement is expected in the third quarter of this year. Governor Gurr said
yesterday afternoon that he believed that the island would get an indication of the initial outcome of the
tender process towards the end of March, but he also said that it was not unlikely that the formal
announcement would come before the summer break of the House of Commons.

Earlier this week, Lord Jones of Cheltenham, who has visited St Helena as MP Nigel Jones, asked Her
Majesty’s Government when they expect to award the contract to build an airport in St Helena.
Baroness Crawley answered on behalf of Government that they are currently evaluating bids submitted
by two contractors to build an airport on St Helena and they will, in due course, be able to disseminate
more specific information.
On the RMS St Helena on Friday, Mr Roger Bellors, Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser arrives in St
Helena. He will be here for a week to look at and advise on Disaster Management. Next week, there
will be a Desktop exercise, of a similar nature that was undertaken in September last year, when most
Government Departments were involved. The scenario last year was that an explosion and fire had
taken place on a fictive US cruise ship CS Millwall in St Helena territorial waters. The cruise ship was
hosting an international conference of Tour Operators. The outcome of September’s exercise was of
mixed nature.

---

Also on the RMS on Friday, Mr Frank Savage, CMG, who is an FCO Adviser, arrives in St Helena. Mr
Savage has a background as Governor of Montserrat and British Virgin Islands where he left in 2002.
He is now part-time Adviser and Trainer for new Governors and has visited St Helena and Ascension
before.

---

Mrs Kedell Worboys, the St Helena UK Representative and also a Board Member of St Helena Line and
Mr Matthew Young, Financial Director of St Helena Line are arriving on the RMS on Friday. The
purpose of their visit is to discuss shipping and St Helena Line with the members of Legislative Council.
This meeting will take place on Friday. His Excellency Governor Gurr said yesterday that in the meeting
it will be decided what contents should be released to the public after the meeting.

---

The Police Service has reported a quiet start of this week after a busy weekend with only a minor road
traffic accident in the report book. It occurred at Red Hill on Tuesday and only damages to the vehicle
were sustained. The accident was not alcohol related.

---

The Tourist Office said yesterday that work began on clearing the Run on Monday as scheduled. The
Conservation workers of A&NRD started from the Quarry and got as far as Mrs Rosalie Joshua’s
house. There was an amazing amount of debris that will now be collected by Public Health. The
clearing will continue from where the Conservation workers have left off.

---

The RMS St Helena is expected to arrive at St Helena on Friday, at 6 o’clock in the morning with 103
passengers onboard. Labour take on time is also Friday morning at 6 am. For you that are leaving for
Ascension Island, cabin baggage, perishables and freezer packages should be handed in between 2
and 4pm on Saturday. Embarkation for Ascension is set for 12 noon on Sunday and the RMS is
scheduled to leave at 2pm Sunday. So far, 121 passengers are booked to leave.

And the Postmistress has informed us that all items of mail for Ascension, airmail via Ascension and
                                                                               st
surface mail to the Falklands will close in the main Post Office on Saturday, 1 March at 12 noon.
Collections from the sub Post Offices will commence from 10am tomorrow, Friday. And the
Postmistress wishes to advise that when the RMS St Helena leaves here on or about 7th March, it will be
an opportunity to send surface mail and parcels direct to United Kingdom.




Friday 29th February

Just before nine this morning, Saint FM was alerted of a road closure in Upper Jamestown due to a
rockfall. The Police Service has since confirmed that a small rockfall had taken place in the New Bridge
affecting a few homes. Fire and Rescue Services evacuated the area and made an assessment of the
cliff face. Once the point of origin had been determined and inspected, it could be deemed safe and
people were eventually returned to their homes. There were no injuries reported.

---
In the Magistrates Court yesterday morning, Ricky Alan O’Dean reappeared to be remanded in custody
                                 th
for a further two weeks until 6 March after being charged with maliciously or wilfully wounding or
inflicting grievous bodily harm under section 18 of the Offences against Persons Act 1861. This is an
offence which could give a maximum sentence of lifetime in prison.

Also in Court yesterday was Patrick Vincent Peters of Ladder Hill who was bound over to keep the
peace for a period of six months and paying the sum of £50.00 after having pleaded guilty to breach of
the peace on 31st January.

David Paul Peters pleaded guilty for being drunk and disorderly and was fined £10.00 and ordered to
pay £5.00 costs. He was also on restriction order for a period of six months.

Brandon Leslie Bone who on 31st January pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour was given a
probation order for a period of twelve months and also ordered to pay £10.00 costs.

And finally, Theodore Patrick Lawrence appeared in the Magistrates Court for non payment of fines
amounting to £150.00. He was given two months to pay the outstanding amount.

---

Earlier this week, it was announced by the Tourism Office that a major cleaning project for The Run in
Jamestown had begun on Monday of this week. Marjorie Fowler, Conservation Officer of A&NRD told
Saint FM this morning that the team will work Mondays and Tuesdays of each week. However, this
Tuesday, cleaning operations were postponed due to the rain and the risk of rockfall. Five men have
been assigned to the project from A&NRD along with four workers under the Social Security Scheme.
Since they started collecting on Monday from the Quarry area, a truck load of debris has been collected
consisting mainly of shrubbery and litter and the team have managed to cover a distance of roughly a
hundred and fifty metres. Although the Run contains a huge quantity of debris, Marjorie estimates that
the work should hopefully be completed in two months.

---

The RMS St Helena arrived in harbour this morning just after 6 o’clock with 103 passengers onboard.
For you who are leaving for Ascension Island on Sunday, cabin baggage, perishables and freezer
packages should be handed in between 2 and 4pm tomorrow, Saturday. Embarkation for Ascension is
set for 12 noon on Sunday and the RMS is scheduled to leave at 2pm. So far, 121 passengers are
booked to leave.

All items of mail for Ascension, airmail via Ascension and surface mail to the Falklands will close in the
main Post Office tomorrow, Saturday, at 12 noon. The Postmistress wishes to advise that when the
RMS St Helena leaves here on or about 7th March, this will be an opportunity to send surface mail and
parcels to United Kingdom.

---

Yesterday, Solomons Shipping Office advised of recent changes to the shipping schedule for voyages
112 and 113. The RMS, having arrived back at St Helena a day later than scheduled today, means her
scheduling will be affected up until she leaves Portland on 26th March. She departs St Helena on
Sunday, a day later than originally scheduled, but hopes to arrive at Ascension on Tuesday, 4th March,
                                                                           th
back on schedule and then depart the same day arriving at St Helena on 7 March before setting sail for
                                                                 th
Portland. It is hoped she will arrive at Tenerife on Sunday, 16 March, a day earlier than previously
scheduled, having made up lost time in her trips between the two islands. She should reach Portland on
21st March, once again a day earlier than previously scheduled and will then depart for the journey south
                   th
on Wednesday, 26 March, a day later than previously scheduled. The extra day in Portland will be to
allow for general maintenance.

---

And finally, Mrs Kedell Worboys, the St Helena UK Representative and also a Board Member of St
Helena Line and Mr Matthew Young, the Financial Director of St Helena Line, arrived on the RMS this
morning. The purpose of their visit is to discuss shipping and the St Helena Line with the members of
Legislative Council. This meeting will take place today. His Excellency Governor Gurr said yesterday
that in the meeting it will be decided what contents should be released to the public after the meeting.

				
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