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					                                                                        VOLUME I, ISSUE 29, 26th MAY 2006, PRICE 50p

                            An independent newspaper in association with Saint FM

              TO URI SM
Tourism has been destined to be the main-                                                    its potential as yachting destination. Most of
stay of St Helena’s future economy. The                                                     them find St Helena beautiful and friendly but serv-
airport will, according to the consultants, bring                                        ice very poor and the price they have to pay a ‘rip-
in enough wealthy tourists to the Island to lead                                      off’. Several of the regular visitors, normally deliver-
us to prosperity. Unfortunately, the route to be-                                 ing yachts from South Africa, say that 70-80% of all yachts
come a successful tourism destination is long and wind-                        sailing on-route from Cape Town avoid St Helena, mainly
ing. We have enough problems looking after the few tourists that               due to the poor reputation of our hospitality to the sailing
find their way to the Island now. Most of our tourists arrive on the            community. They are saying that they do not mind paying
RMS St Helena. However, these tourists do not come for free.                      fees and dues but the visitors expect to get something
Much money is spent on advertising, expert marketing advisers                      back, in form of service and facilities. With very simple
and even more expensive tourism consultants. The most profit-                       meant and to little expense we could improve the sta-
able tourists for the Island arrive here on their own keel without                   tistics of visiting yachts considerably. Proper toilets,
any expense to the Island– the ‘yachies’. Unfortunately this cat-                      showers and washing facilities at the Wharf would
egory of visitors has been forgotten in most reports and consul-                        cost peanuts in comparison to what revenues it could
tancies undertaken in the field of tourism development. Last year,                       give both to SHG and to the private sector. If we
2005, 170 yachts anchored in James Bay, giving St Helena Gov-                              assume that only a quarter of the passing yachts
ernment revenue of about £10,000 in harbour and landing fees.                              stop in James Bay we have lost out on revenue of
It can also be calculated that they spent another £25,000 in shops,                     over £100,000 per year, which could be as much as
bars, restaurants and on island tours. A total revenue of £35,000       eight to ten job opportunities on the Island. We can ill afford to let
in one year is not much, but it did not incur any expense from our      this continue. We need the money and the jobs. What we do not
side. During this week, the Independent has talked to several of        need is a bad reputation.
the visiting sailors to find out what they think about the Island and                                          Also see Pages 3 and 4

Miss St Helena & Miss Ascension

                                                        Page 7           Page 9
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Another week has passed and another            addressing the Aids/HIV issue is the
issue of the Independent is available.         stigma and political tension involved.
This week we have looked at our for-           Whatever decision is made by the Gov-
gotten tourists, our sailing friends.          ernor and Executive Council in the fu-
Maybe, somebody will say that we               ture, we hope that this debate will not
should not highlight the Island’s prob-        go on forever.
lems. There is often an attitude of “peo-
ple overseas might read it and decide          Tender tender
not to come here” and “Media should            It appears likely that it will be a delay in
only write nice things to make St Helena       the issuing of the invitation to tender        These letters are for those of you who
look good”. We don’t believe that you          documents to the interested contractors.       wish to have an overview of Indy Blue
can promote anything without being             In the original plan the documentation         and the tings he do. They might not be
truthful. What is the use of attracting        should be issued in the end of May. With       false or true.
people to sell a product if it does not live   only a few days to go and with many            Saturday night at the Saints Club was
up to what the salesman has promised?          difficult issues still to address, a delay,    a good opportunity to witness the
The best thing to do is to face the prob-      we don’t know how long, seems inevi-           Crowning of Miss Ascension 2006
lems and to do something about them.           table. We have not seen any official           As usual Indy Blue was on the scene,
We hope that the issues that we have           statements telling us when all the pa-         ducking and diving in between.
highlighted in this week’s Independent         pers are ready to be sent out. Yester-         The Million Dollar Question came up
will be addressed as soon as possible.         day, somebody suggested that it would          again, something like: “What are the
It is not viable to charge a yacht crew        not be ready until September this year.        main qualities do you think Miss
almost £75 before they step ashore and         I don’t know where this information origi-     Ascension should have”
not even offer toilet paper in the toilets.    nated from and whether it is true or not.      I was pretty beat up but I think the
There are not two ways about it –it is         Only the future can tell.                      answer went along these lines:
poor.                                                                                         “She should not only be involved with
                                               Rumours                                        political and environmental issues, but
It appears that St Helena starts appear-       When I have got time to spare, I often         she should also be a role model for
ing in UK press again. This week, we           take a walk in Main Street. It is encour-      other young ladies to follow in her
have published a small article from the        aging with the amount of people stop-          footsteps” Those were the words of
Telegraph in UK on page 22 and another         ping to take time for a chat and giving        winner, they knocked me right back in
one from the gay news agency pink              small hints about possible news stories.       my chair. Another question that came
news on page 24. We can also count             Every day, people come up to me or Nick        up was: If you were to describe yourself
on an article in the Sunday Times shortly.     suggesting that we look into this, or in-      as a fruit what would it be and why?
Maybe more international media cover-          vestigate that. Many of the stories are        Answer: I would have to say orange -
age will follow. The Aids/HIV issue will       rumours but some ideas and informa-            sometimes acid, sometimes sweet, but
stir up emotions internationally as well       tion find its way to the columns of the        always easy to squeeze. I fell out of
as it has done on the Island. I don’t have     Independent or to the Saint FM news.           my chair. Mind you the flashing colours
any strong feeling for or against Aids/        Often people say; “you are media and           of the dresses! Naturally my favourite
HIV screening and the matter has been          you should know everything that is go-         was the “Ice Blue” dress but there
blown out of proportion. It is fascinating     ing on”. This is not quite true. The truth     were lots of ladies in Red, and there
to see how politically sensitive this dis-     is that media knows bugger all. We are         was also a lady in a Green dress that
ease is. If somebody would have sug-           completely reliant on people giving us         wanted “world peace”, hey why not? As
gested screening for syphilis, chlamydia       information. If nobody tells us, we would      always it was well enjoyed by the
or gonorrhoea nobody would have lifted         be in the dark and the newspaper would         audience. I gotz to go, will leave you
an eye-brow. What is the difference?           be empty. “Rumours should never be             all with this:
They are all sexually transmitted dis-         neglected but investigated.”                   “If you don’t have a Dream how you
eases with only main difference that                                                          gonna make a Dream come true”
syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea can
be cured - Aids can’t. The problem with                                                       Indy Blue
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                   2
             Yachties Paying
             Money for Old Rope?
                 Nick Hewes

                                                                                                              The ferry service
                                                                                                                at the Wharf
With the airport as little as four years       state of affairs is, he believes, due to      o’clock sharp. ‘OK Buddy, I’ll be there!’
away, the Island’s only hope for a sus-        the fact that “services and conditions on     the guy assured us. 11 o’clock came
tainable economic future, we are told, is      the Island have been permitted to dete-       however, and no boat showed up. We
the development of a prosperous tour-          riorate to such an extent” together with      rang again, and the same guy picked
ist economy. The various consultants           the “costs of landing at St Helena”.          the phone up. This time though, he was
who come out here all bring the same                                                         quite obviously drunk. He started shout-
message: - a tourist infrastructure must       If you take a look at the cost of landing     ing at us, saying he was too busy to
be in place, if the Island is to gain any      here, it is a fact that a skipper has to      come and pick us up that morning. Then
significant kind of benefit from the ex-       part with a not insignificant amount of       at the end of the call he told us to ‘F***
pected flow of visitors that an airport will   money – at least by local standards –         off!’ That was disgusting. We still waited
hopefully bring. It must be said that all      before he has even stepped foot on the        and waited, but in the end we had to
these projections are placed in the mid-       Island. There is a £25 mooring fee for a      give up on our appointment. My wife was
dle distance of the future; as a result,       yacht, plus an £11 landing fee for each       in tears because of that.

any mention of a viable tourist economy        person aboard. Given that it is quite
looks a very long – and therefore com-         common for visiting boats to have four
fortable – way off indeed. It is easy to       or five passengers on board, then you                  There is a whole
forget however, that the Island already        can add £44 or £55 to the mooring fee.                  word-of-mouth
has, here and now, a fairly reliable           There is also a £1-per-head charge for               thing going on now,
stream of prosperous tourists who, if          the ferryboat. If you put all these charges
only they were properly catered for, could     together, the skipper of a four-berth
                                                                                                     within the yachting
add significantly to St Helena’s economy       yacht to St Helena may have to hand                   community, that St

– the yachties.                                over £73 before he even steps foot onto              Helena has become

                                               the Wharf.                                             a bit of a rip-off.
        Something really                       That may not sound like much, but the         “The ferryboat men are supposed to be
       needs to be done to                     yachting community is now asking              available for contact at all times over the
         make the sailing                      searching questions as to what people         intercom, but a lot of the time there is

         fraternity come                       get for handing over their hard currency.     simply no answer. If you do manage to
                                               And more and more yachtsmen are               get through, you might get a promise of
        back to the Island
                                               coming up with the same answer – very,        a ride, but then they don’t show up for
Having recently received an letter (pub-       very little! The Independent managed to       hours and hours, or no one bothers to
lished in the letters page of this edition)    talk to one aggrieved yachtie this week       come and get you at all. Worst of all,
from a yachtsman who is clearly fed up         (for obvious reasons he wishes to re-         you can get bad manners and abuse,
with the low level of service provided to      main nameless). He told me, “One of           because the operator has had too much
visiting mariners, The Independent has         the biggest problems is the ferry serv-       to drink. Another problem is that the
taken a look at both the fees charged          ice: - it’s disgusting! It’s rubbish! We’ve   service stops dead at five pm. Then, if
and the amenities provided to yachties,        been out in the Moorings for a few days       you want to come to town for an evening
and it does appear that there is indeed        now, and for the whole of Sunday and          meal or drink, you either get stranded
some substance behind our correspond-          Bank Holiday Monday we couldn’t get a         at the Wharf, or you have to fork out
ent’s grievances. In his letter he says        lift ashore on the ferryboat. Nobody          extra money to get a lift back to your
that, “something really needs to be done       would come out to get us. We had ar-          boat. Sometimes it even stops before
to make the sailing fraternity come back       ranged to meet someone in Jamestown           five, and then you can really be stuck!
to the Island”, and goes on to say that        at 11.30, so we rang up the ferry opera-
most crews “choose to by-pass the is-          tors two hours in advance, and they
land on their way to the Med, Brazil and       promised they’d come and get us at 11
                                                                                                        Continued on NEXT PAGE
the Caribbean”. The reason for this sad
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                     3
   Yachties Paying Money for Old Rope?                                                   She said that there are also parts of the
                                                                                         infrastructure that need attention. “The
                    Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE                                         showers, for example, could be im-
                                                                                         proved. One problem there is that they
                                                                                         are – how should I put it – being abused
                                                                                         by the local population. There are a lot
                                                                                         of the facilities that need to be looked
                                                                                         at: - you’ve got anchorage, toilets, wash-
                                                                                         ing and laundry facilities and so on, all
                                                                                         in need of attention. At the moment
                                                                                         we’re working with SHDA, with a view
                                                                                         to getting the private sector involved in
                                                                                         the improvement of some of these serv-

                                                                                         “The fact is, we’d love more yachts to
                                                                                         call in here. Every crew that moors here
                                                                                         needs provisions, fuel, and entertain-
                                                                     Enterance to        ment. If they were given the chance
                                                                     the women’s         they’d spend their money here just like
                                                                     public toliets/     any other tourist. That is why it is good
                                                                     shower block        to hear this person’s views on where we
                                                                      at the Wharf       are going wrong. It’ll help us to learn how
                                                                                         to improve what we offer to visitors. I’m
“The sad thing is, lots of us yachties       when you put in at Jamestown’. He said      sure that people often cover up what
really love St Helena, but more and          he was sorry, but he no longer stopped      grievances they might have with a smile.
more of us are deterred from calling         here, because the fees were too expen-      But there’s no point in pretending there’s
here, due to the expensive landing fees      sive. Now the Island has lost his cus-      no problem: - if we do that, nobody
and the crap service. In short, a signifi-   tom. That’s a real shame. And his is not    learns and so nothing changes.

cant number of us are now choosing to        just an isolated case – every yachtie has
bypass the Island altogether. What peo-      a negative story to tell about St Helena.             What do you get for
ple here should be aware of is the fact      I reckon about 70% of yachts that travel
that yachtsmen are constantly talking to     up from the Cape are choosing not to                    the money you
each other over the SSB radio. There         call here. That really is a lost opportu-              hand over? The
                                                                                                   answer is – almost

is a whole word-of-mouth thing going         nity.”
on now, within the yachting community,                                                                  nothing!
that St Helena has become a bit of a         Another lady who is currently staying
rip-off. This is so damaging for the Is-     here told me that she had heard numer-
land, because – and I can tell you this      ous complaints during her journey on a      “I do hope that the service we provide
for a fact – each boat that doesn’t put in   catamaran from the Cape. The lady,          gets better. Change always takes a bit
here is another blow against the Island’s    who named herself simply as Margaret,       of getting used to, but if we can man-
economy. To give you a recent exam-          told me, “It really comes down to ex-       age it, it’ll open up a whole new thing for
ple, I know one guy, called Garry, who       pense. That’s the main concern. What        the Island. We’ll just have to do what

                                             do you get for the money you hand over?     we can to make things better.”
                                             The answer is – almost nothing! Whilst
          I reckon about 70%                 I was at sea it became apparent that        It is reassuring to learn that there is an
          of yachts that travel              lots of crews are now choosing to avoid     awareness in government that the
            up from the Cape                 the Island.”                                yachties have a genuine and definite
          are choosing not to                                                            grievance. In short, there is a deficit be-

                                             The Independent Ro:asked Mrs Pamela         tween the fees they are charged, and
                call here.
                                             Young, Head of the Tourism Depart-          the level of service they receive. The
                                             ment, for her views on these complaints.    most worrying aspect of all this is that
has stopped here between 20 and 30           She said that she was not unaware of        the former reputation of St Helena as a
times whilst delivering yachts made in       the yachties’ grievances. “We recognise     welcoming port of call is being dam-
the Cape. He’s been doing this for           that there are problems, and we are         aged. The word is going out over the
years, and his usual practice was to         looking at ways of improving facilities.    airwaves amongst the yachting commu-
break his journey here on his way to         The main problem of course was the          nity, and as a result they are, to some
Brazil, the US or Europe. The other          ferry service. We had a lot of complaints   extent voting with their feet. If this is in-
week I was in touch with Garry on the        about that, and that’s why we have re-      deed the case, it has could have ex-
short wave radio. He was going in the        cently given the contract to a different    tremely negative implications for the
same direction as we were, and so I          operator. Hopefully, that will solve some   whole economy of St Helena, and that
assumed he’d be calling in at St Helena      of the problems associated with the         alone should demand a change of ap-
at the same time as we were. I said          ferry.                                      proach to this undervalued part of the
‘Garry, it’ll be great to meet up with you                                               tourist population
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                   4
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Dear Independent,                             attention is also given to preventative      Dear Independent,
All appears very quiet on the question        measures such as education and infor-        I refer to the article that appeared in The
of controlling the importation of AIDS to     mation.                                      Independent, Vol. 1, lssue27, headed
St Helena. I assume the councillors           I have not yet found any discussion,         “Marine safety a top priority, says Kevin”.
have offered an opinion to the DfID. To       policy, action plan or even considera-       In your interview with Kevin Denning (a
my knowledge they have given no indi-         tion given to circumstances where a          marine surveyor) you touched on the
cation to the public as to what that opin-    self-contained community has no              issue regarding the definition of ‘inshore’
ion might be. So much for the bit about       known cases of AIDS. There does not          and ‘offshore’. Based on some of the
accountability in the ‘Good Governance’       appear to be a policy in place which         comments he made it seems obvious
referred to by Lord Triesman in his re-       assists a community such as St Helena        that he would like to return to St Helena.
cent keynote speech.                          to stay AIDS free. Surely to take as         But do we really need a marine surveyor
In the UK things are done slightly differ-    many precautions as possible to stay         on a long-term basis? Why all of a sud-
ently. In November 2005 the Interna-          AIDS free is a perfectly valid form of       den is “marine surveying work becom-
tional Development Committee pub-             AIDS prevention. In short, it appears        ing more and more pertinent” because
lished the report of its findings into the    that St Helena’s situation is not covered    of the Harbour Board jurisdiction, or for
DfID’s assistance to countries suffering      in current policies, action plans or pro-    that matter the issues of insurance
from the AIDS pandemic. Every UK              grammes for assistance.                      cover? In my opinion, and backed by
ministry has a committee which exists         I hope the DfID are acknowledging, at        over 30 years of inshore and offshore
to ‘examine the expenditure, adminis-         least to themselves, that St Helena’s        marine experience here, I am confident
tration and policy’ of the ministry they      situation requires some new thinking         that our present system works suffi-
are appointed to investigate. The Inter-      and that a plan for preventative meas-       ciently well. Why? Well, you only need
national Development Committee is             ures is required which is specially suited   consider our very low marine accident/
chaired by Malcolm Bruce [Liberal             to preventing AIDS in St Helena. Also,       fatality rate over the years as evidence
Democrat, Gordon - e-mail address             I would encourage St Helena’s news-          to this claim (touch wood). Anyone re- ] and spends its         papers, in the interests of accountabil-     motely involved with the sea conditions
time assessing the performance of vari-       ity, to find out whatever they can from      off and around St Helena will very eas-
ous aspects of the work of DfID.              their local councillors about their stance   ily understand how we in the business
There is normally a government re-            on the AIDS issue and publish their find-    can differentiate between inshore and
sponse to a report from one of these          ings.                                        offshore without any difficulty. In very
investigative committees. A government        Lastly, if the proposed Constitution for     practical terms, you only need work on
response to the AIDS report from the          St Helena had found favour with the          the windward side of the Island to be-
International Development Committee           electorate, investigative committees         come exposed to the full onslaught of
was published in February 2006. Fol-          similar to the International Development     the prevailing South Atlantic sea condi-
lowing that, Malcolm Bruce MP intro-          Committee referred to earlier, would         tions.
duced his Committee’s report for dis-         now be part of the Island’s governmen-       Therefore, whether you are 10 miles or
cussion by MPs at a Westminster Hall          tal committee system in St Helena.           only 3 miles from the Harbour often
debate on 11th May this year.                 It may be worth adding that, personally,     makes very little difference in the equa-
There is plenty to read in all of this and    this issue is seen simply as an impor-       tion of actual exposure. If there is a gale
I have to admit I have not had time, yet,     tant matter of public health and has         blowing most experienced boat users
to read all of it. However, two signifi-      nothing to do with any of the ‘camps of      will avoid becoming too exposed, and
cant points are immediately obvious.          self-interest’ referred to in a previously   in any case we here in St Helena take
Part of the government response was           published letter.                            pride in keeping our boats up to notch.
to re-assert its view that it is up to each   Yours faithfully,                            To suggest that we now need some kind
country to set its own targets. Second,       Vince Thompson                               of certified authority to exercise what our
much attention is given to the measures                                                    forefathers – and we – have been do-
being taken for the treatment of AIDS                                                      ing for more than a century seems a bit
where the disease is a national emer-                                                      awry. Ninety percent of inshore fishing
gency or likely to become one. Some                                                        is conducted within the 100-fathom line,
                                                                                                        Continued on NEXT PAGE
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                   5
                                              suring conformity to certain guidelines       boat just after 14:00. We had to get the
                                              provided by the MCA for a vessel of her       ferry driver out of one of the local pubs,
                                              class and size.                               which took three quarters of an hour
                                              There is this view on St Helena that,         before he arrived, drunk. He ran us out
                                              without a piece of paper, there is no         to the boat and promptly rammed the
                                              qualification; but in practical terms how     ferry into the boat, totally missing the
                                              often has this been put to the test. One      fenders that had been placed to protect
                                              supposes there can be no harm in St           the boat. As one of the crew members
                                              Helena having its own local “qualified        was climbing aboard the boat he revved
                                              marine surveyor”, however, we should          the ferry, in gear, moving the ferry away
                                              try not to deviate too far from the spe-      from the boat resulting in the lady end-
which, in most cases lies within the 3-
                                              cial circumstances attached to our ma-        ing up in the sea!
mile limit from the shore. For a period
                                              rine sector. In certain cases on St           Prior to this incident and whilst waiting
of some 2-3 weeks a year boats ven-
                                              Helena it is often better for a simple safe   on the pier, the same lady needed to use
ture out further in teams in search of the
                                              practical approach than to try to imple-      the public toilet - it was filthy with empty
long fin schools. Outside of this the in-
                                              ment or enforce complicated rules and         beer bottles lying around and had no
shore boats would have no commercial
                                              regulations to justify the means to an        toilet paper.
interest in venturing out to the suggested
                                              end. For example there are hundreds           Again, before seeing you this afternoon,
10-mile limit (or more). What is this ju-
                                              of boats no larger than Gogga 11 oper-        a kid was operating the ferry and when I
risdiction being referred to, once the 3-
                                              ating more that 40 nautical miles from        requested transport to the shore, I was
mile limit has been cleared? The present
                                              the coast line of South Africa in search      told that I had to wait for the ferry driver
safety measures implemented by the St
                                              of tuna and having no more nor less           to return. He pitched up an hour later
Helena Harbour Board are in my opin-
                                              safety requirements than our own fleet        and had obviously been called out of the
ion very adequate, providing of course
                                              (I know, I have been out in them!) In         pub again. On the return trip to the boat
they are enforced properly. The “small
                                              most cases these boats operate at high        I called the driver out of the pub to trans-
problem” (if any exist) lies not in the
                                              speeds, under a sort of false security of     port me back to the boat. Beer in hand
Harbour Board professional perform-
                                              ‘quick out, quick in’ approach. This might    he drove down to the pier and took me
ance/jurisdiction or the sea-worthiness
                                              sound like complete recklessness, yet         out to the boat, still drinking!
of our boats, but rather in the way the
                                              it seems to work well enough under the        Oh well, the good publicity was watched
legislation has been drafted. All it really
                                              circumstances.                                by the crew of the catamaran that had
requires is to review this and then apply
                                              Here then, is a typical case of simple        just dropped anchor near our boat. Good
the necessary amendments to the leg-
                                              practicality being an exception rather        PR for the island!
islation and leave the rest to people who
                                              than the rule. With a practical approach      Regards
know what they are doing. I would go as
                                              in mind I cannot see why future devel-        Frequent Visitor
far to say that the present Harbour Board
                                              opments in St Helena will require the
should also be restructured.
                                              constant input of a marine surveyor.
The special circumstances involving the
                                              Yours faithfully
Atlantic Rose (where all this started) no
                                              Trevor ‘Otto’ Thomas (Skipper)
longer exist, and the John Melliss is as
seaworthy a boat you will ever find, (that
                                                                                              Miss May Queen 2006-
is, if you know what you are looking for).                                                       Falkland Islands
There are apparently a few items she
needs to put right before she can return      Hi Mike,
to offshore fishing. Once this has been       Thanks for the hospitality during our
done however, then surely the contin-         short stay on the island. It is greatly ap-
ued need for an expensive offshore            preciated from all aboard the catama-
marine surveyor becomes unnecessary.          ran Moorings 40.
The John Melliss was originally built to      I hope your “Investigation into Tourism”
proper Lloyds specifications and her hull     spread does well and produces some
has hardly deteriorated since the time        kind of reaction with the powers that be.
she first came to St Helena: - trust me,      Something really needs to be done to
this is one heck of sea-worthy fishing        make the sailing fraternity come back
boat. There are boats of very similar         to the island. At the moment you can go
design currently fishing the bitter condi-    to any yacht club in South Africa and
tions of the North Sea on a regular ba-       Namibia and the “yachties” are warned
sis. Fortunately – and unlike – the case      about the costs of landing at St Helena
with the lost Atlantic Rose, she can be       and the great lack of facilities. Most
lifted onto the Wharf, during which time      choose to by-pass the island on their
her hull and other structural parts can       way to the Med, Brazil and the Carib-
be checked on a regular basis. With           bean. It is a great shame that services        On Falklands the annual May Ball,
some commitment on our part it would          and conditions on the island have been         which took place on Friday, Miss
pose no great obstacle to have all her        permitted to deteriorate to such an ex-        Layla Crowie, daughter of Nicola and
safety equipment checked by the same          tent by the powers that be.                    Bobby Crowie, was crowned May
Harbour Board on an annual basis, en-         Today the crew wanted to return to the         Queen 2006 on the Falkland .

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                     6
                                                                                           evening was John Joshua, and he was

 Miss St Helena 2006                                                                       supported by his wife Betty Joshua who
                                                                                           described the outfits that the competitors
                                                                                           were wearing.
                                                                                           After the judges had been introduced and
                                                                                           had taken their seats the girls came out
                                                                                           in their casual wear and introduced them-
                                                                                           selves. This was followed by the evening
                                                                                           wear and questions from John.
                                                                                           Warrens Department Store then took over
                                                                                           with a fifteen minute fashion show whilst
                                                                                           the judges short listed the group to seven
                                                                                           girls. This group was again short listed
                                                                                           to five - Tiffany Plato, Stacey Thomas,
                                                                                           Kirsty Yon, Talia Herne and Soraye Law-
                                                                                           rence. After another 15 minutes fashion
                                                                                           display organised by Warrens Depart-
                                                                                           ment Store the successful contestants
                                                                                                    were announced.
                                                                                                     Delia says that the judges had a
                                                                                                     very hard task finding a winner
                                                                                                      but eventually the 2006 crown
                                                                                                      went to Miss Tiffany Plato who
                                                                                                       also won £500. 1st runner-up
                                                                                                       and winner of £250 was Miss
                                                                                                        Stacey Thomas, who is also
                                                                                                        first in line to fill in for any “Miss
                                                                                                         St Helena” task that the win-
Traditions are slowly fading here                                                                         ner is unable to do. Miss
on St Helena but it’s nice to see                                                                          Kirsty Yon walked away with
that some are still supported. Of                                                                          £100 as 2nd runner-up.
course with May comes the antici-                                                                           The Independent contacted
pation and planning for celebrating                                                                         Delia during the week and
our National Day on the 21st and one                                                                         she said that at the mo-
popular way is to support our young                  :                                                        ment the proceeds were
girls in the Miss St Helena pageant.         Photos                                                           still being counted. She
                                             Miche al
Years ago the competition was held                                                                 wanted to apologise to the Judges
on an annual basis with fierce compe-        Richar                                        for the mishap in the beginning and also
                                                                      (whereby she “mis-
tition for the great prizes that were on                                                   thank them for their participation. “Thanks
                                                       laid” the judges)
offer. This is looking back more than                                                      are also extended to the sponsors of the
                                              everything went off well. The judges this
ten years, when the grand prize was a                                                      evening; everyone who took part, the
                                              year were Mr Derek Richards (HOD,
trip to Cape Town. Sadly the number of                                                     spectators and of course the organising
                                              PWSD); Guy Collins (Nurse Tutor); Frank
girls that entered over the years has dwin-                                                committee for making the night the suc-
                                              Vastell (Crown Counsel); Noleen Fowler
dled, to the point that today the total that                                               cess it was”
                                              (Consulate Hotel) and Mrs Wendy
enter struggles to barely pass a dozen.                                                    Here’s looking forward to 2008!
                                              Benjamin (Hair-4-U) The MC for the
The age limit for entrants has been ex-
tended and prizes are now handsome
monetary gifts. Another big change is that
the competition is and has been for a few
years held on a bi-annual basis and has
been organised each time by the St
Helena Girl Guide Association as one of
their biggest fund-raisers of the year. Last
time the competition was held – back in
2004 – Miss Carol O’Dean was the win-
ning competitor with runners-up Talia
Herne and Juliet Piek. This year the com-
petition was held at the Consulate Hotel
last Friday and there were fourteen en-
trants playing for the prestige of becom-
ing Miss St Helena 2006. Tickets for the
restaurant and ballroom sold out and
there was a good response to the tel-
evised event in the Consulate’s Dinning                                                                   Governor Clancy
room. Girl Guide Association Deputy                                                                          presenting
Commissioner, Delia Allen said that apart                                                              Miss St Helena with her
from a minor mishap in the beginning                                                                       cheque of £500

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                           7
St Helena Day Celebrations - CPTA Fun Day

Sunday the 21st May was St Helena Day         The full list of
and the island turned out in force to cel-    prize win-
ebrate on a damp and windy Francis            ners is as
Plain. The celebrations organised this        follows:
year, by the Combined Parent Teachers         First adult
Association, officially started at 10 am      m a l e :
when His Excellency the Governor              Raymond
started the Sponsored Walk. Sixty one         Yo u n g ,
hardy adults and children walked from         time 46
Francis Plain to Lemon Tree Gut,              minutes.
Stitches Ridge and round to Bates             First adult
Branch, White Gate, past Plantation to        female: Tiffany Plato, time                          Photos
                                                                                                           : John
Red Gate and Scot’s Mill before climb-        49 minutes.                                  soon                    Turner
ing back up to Francis Plain. It is actu-     First 12 to 16 year old male: Chay Plato,    underway, fol-
ally not true to say they all walked as the   time 1hr 4 minutes.                          lowed by the athletics events organised
first man back, Rodney (Buffalo) Young        First 12 to 16 year old female: Sarafina     by Nicky Stevens. The crowds began
took only 46 minutes to complete the          Yon, time 1hr 8 minutes.                     rolling in to watch the events and enjoy
course and Tiffany Plato, the first lady      First 11yr old and under male: Alex          the numerous stalls and sideshows.
back was only 3 minutes behind him.           Osborne, time 1hr 6 minutes.                 These were organised by the individual
                                                                  First 11yr old and un-   school PTAs, for the CPTA and various
                                                                 der female: Justine       other charities and non-profit making or-
                                                                 Francis, time 1hr 13      ganisations, whose individual courses all
                                                                 minutes.                  benefited from the generous purchases
                                                                 The prize for the per-    made by those who attended.
                                                                 son collecting the        The day was a great success thanks to
                                                                 most sponsorship will     the hard work and efforts of the parents
                                                                 be announced when         and teachers and all the volunteers that
                                                                 all the money is in.      manned the various stalls, check points
                                                                 (Please could this be     etc. Special thanks are also due to Nicky
                                                                 handed in by Friday       Stevens and Peter Yon and Guy Collins
                                                                 2nd June?)                for manning the first aid. Also The RMS,
                                                                 Tiffany Plato then re-    W.A. Thorpe & Sons, Solomon’s, The
                                                                 appeared at 12 noon       Rose & Crown, The Queen Mary and
                                                                 as Miss St Helena.        Eric Andrews, Melvin Benjamin and the
                                                                 She carried out her       Education Department for their gener-
                                                                 first official engage-    ous donations of prizes, Gary Benjamin,
                                                                 ment by opening the       Jackie Richards and Derek Henry who
 Conducting her first                                            family fun afternoon.     were key helpers before, during and af-
 offical business as                                             Despite dull skies and    ter the event. The biggest thank you of
   Miss St Helena,                                               occasional showers        all goes out to all the wonderful people
  Tiffany Plato cuts                                             the 5-aside football      who turned out to support the event de-
  the birthday cake                                              competition, organ-       spite wind and rain and made it the ex-
   for the Museum                                                ised by Peter Yon, was    cellent fun that it was.
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                 8
Miss Ascension 2006 was held at the
Saints Club on Saturday 20th May. Four-
                                             Runner-up was Penelope Bennett and
                                             2nd Runner-up was Shelley Magellan.
                                                                                                            Penny Peters &
                                                                                                              Glen Yon

                                                                                       Firstly to all the contestants, who with-
teen contestants paraded the catwalk to      Miss Ascension 2006 was crowned by        out them there wouldn’t have been a
a seated audience of 350 with many           Mrs Tracey Yon who was 1st Runner-Up      show. Despite a few nerves back stage
standing outside.                            in 1988.                                  - everyone deserves congratulating for
The contestants were; Shelley Magellan,      This event would not have been suc-       what they have achieved.
Debbie Stevens, Tara Lawrence, Lisa          cessful without the dedication of the     The sponsors; IDL, CSO, Two Boats
Roberts, Laura Oliver, Andrea Benjamin,      Committee; Andrea Benjamin, Shelley       Club, Saints Club, Mr & Mrs Lawson
Lisa Lawrence, Corrinda Thomas, Kelly        Magellan, Alexi Leo, Nola Henry, Susie-   Henry, Mr & Mrs Michael Hill, Cranfield
Leo, Mashay Yon, Kerry Benjamin,             Gal Arms-Lawrence, and Carrie             Family, Solomons Shop, Obsidian,
Natalie Greentree, Penelope Bennett          Augustus.                                 Serco, Cable & Wireless and Birdies
and Casey Lawrence.                          They would like to thank the following    Fuelling Station.
The evening was transformed into a           people who helped made the evening a      Natalie Hewitt for the bouquets, Myrtle
fashion show, ending with a collection                                                                  Continued on Page 12
of beautiful evening gowns. Credit goes
                                                            Left to Right: 1st Runner-up: Penelope Bennett,
to all the contestants who looked equally
                                                 Miss Ascension 2006 Casey Lawrence, 2nd Runner-up: Shelley Magellan
stunning on the night. The compeer, Mr
Alan Nicholls, did a splendid job in en-
tertaining the crowd and putting the girls
at ease. The escorts for the evening
were; Gary Benjamin and Gary
Robinson, both of whom pocessed
charm and professionalism.
The Judges were; Mrs Sarah Bennett,
Mrs Vera Gradinski, Mrs Nicola
Kerslake, Mr Tony Misco and Mr Mark
Out of the fourteen contestants, the fol-
lowing seven were short listed to go
through to the second round; Mashay
Yon, Natalie Greentree, Penelope
Bennett, Casey Lawrence, Andrea
Benjamin, Laura Oliver and Shelley
Congratulations to Casey Lawrence who
was crowned Miss Ascension 2006.

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                             9
      TEXAS SCRAMBLE - STABLEFORD                                                   On Saturday 20th May the St Helena Golf
                                                                                    Club played a Texas Scramble Stableford. 32
                                                                                    Players entered the competition and the win-
                                                                                    ners were:
                                                                                    1st Place - Scott Crowie and Freda Harrison
                                                                                    on 51 points
                                                                                    Runner up - Leon Crowie and Pudge Tho-
                                                                                    mas on 47 points.
                                                                                    The 2 ball pool winners were:
                                                                                    Scott and Freda Harrison with 2 pools and
                                                                                    Paddo Johnson and Freda Green with 1 pool.
                                                                                    The Four Ball Better Ball competetion on
                                                                                    Sunday was abandoned due to bad weather.
                                                                                    Also on Sunday 21st May the Final of the
                                                                                    Handicap Match Play- singles knock-out was
                                                                                    played between Gerald George and Tony
                                                                                    Green. The prizes were
                                                                                    presented to the winners by the President -
                                                                                    Arnold Flagg. The competition was started
                                                                                    on 29 April with 32 players. The final result is
                                                                                    as follows:
                                                                                    1st - Gerald George
                                                                                    2nd - Tony Green
                                                                                    3rd - John Cranfield
                                                                                    4th - Donald Bowers
                          Gerald George and the President                           Well done to all players.

 The preliminary lists of Electors were issued today, 23rd May       munity Centres, Scotland Office, Head O’Wain Clinic, Mrs
 2006, in an Extraordinary Gazette. The lists may be in-             Audrey Yon’s shop at Blue Hill, Solomon’s shops at Sandy
 spected at the Office of the Registration Officer at the Cas-       Bay and Silver Hill, Half Tree Hollow Spar, Longwood Su-
 tle, the Public Library, the Police Stations at Half Tree Hol-      permarket and W A Thorpe & Sons’ shop at Sandy Bay.
 low, White Gate, Longwood and Alarm Forest, the James-              Copies are also held by the Assistant Registration Offic-
 town, Kingshurst, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay and Harford Com-             ers in each electoral area who are:

  EAST ELECTORAL AREA                                                WEST ELECTORAL AREA
         Mr Douglas Bennett                                                Mrs Connie Johnson
         Mrs Trudi Constantine                                             Mrs Karen Yon
         Mrs Alicia Thomas                                                 Miss Michelle Yon            Half Tree Hollow Polling
         Mrs Olive Williams          Jamestown Polling District                                         District

         Mr Ronald Coleman           Levelwood Polling District            Mrs Syrena Ellick
                                                                           Mr John Lawrence
         Miss Priscilla Isaac                                              Mrs Maria Yon                St Paul’s Polling District
         Mr Peter Johnson
         Miss Paula Moyce            Longwood Polling District             Mr Harold Francis
                                                                           Mr Stedson Francis           Blue Hill Polling District
         Mrs Jane Augustus                                                 Mrs Lorrian Yon
         Mrs Brenda Thomas
         Mrs Carol Thompson          Alarm Forest Polling District         Mrs Phyllis Coleman
                                                                           Miss Anita Legg              Sandy Bay Polling District

 Any person who claims to be entitled to be registered as an         Polling District or, indeed, if your
 elector and whose name is omitted from the lists, should            name is entered at all to ensure
 submit his/her claim on the prescribed form to the Registra-        that the Register of Electors is as
 tion Officer, Mrs Ethel Yon, at the Castle. Any person who          accurate as possible.
 objects to the name of any person appearing on the lists            All claims and objections must be
 should also submit his/her claim, on the prescribed form,           submitted by TUESDAY, 6 JUNE
 again to the Registration Officer at The Castle. Both forms         2006.
 can be obtained from Mrs Ethel Yon, Registration Officer or         Office of the Chief Secretary
 Mrs Carol George, Assistant Registration Officer, The Cas-          The Castle
 tle. It is important for you to inspect the lists to see if your     23 May 2006
 name is entered correctly in the correct Electoral Area and

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                    10
      Graduation in
       Martial Arts
Saturday 20th May 2006 saw the big-
gest graduation in Martial arts for
Leighchilds Martial Arts Academy in
Swindon, Wiltshire UK. The Academy,
which teaches ‘Tae Kwon Do’ saw over
400 students graduating to a higher
ranking belt. Dennis George and his
Mum Thelma being two of the students.
Dennis and his mum started classes in
September and are working towards
their Leadership Blackbelts, including
weapons training with Escrima sticks,
Nunchuka and shortly with staves. At
present they are in their intermediate
coloured belts. They are tutored by
Chief Instructor Davis, professional in-
structors Elliott, Miller and on ocassion
Master Leighchilds himself. Mr. David
Prowse MBE who played Darth Vader
in Star wars l, ll, and lll, was also in at-
tendance to present Belts. The Acad-
emy is recognised by over 1000 other
schools/academy. Website for the acad-
                                                      Back row- Elliott, Thelma George, Miller.   Front row:- Dennis George and Davis.
emy is

                        ANDREW WEIR SHIPPING LIMITED                                               Dwayne
                                              DEXTER HOUSE.
                              2 ROYAL MINT COURT, LONDON EC3N 4XX
                                                                                                   & Family
                            TELEPHONE: 020-7265 0808 TELEX: 887392 FAX: 020-7481 4784              would
                                                                                                   like to

       Notice to Customers                                                                         express their
                                                                                                   sincere thanks to
  Andrew Weir regrets to advise that following a delay to the pre-carry-                           the rescue/emergency
  ing service there is a possibility that cargo being shipped from the UK
  intended for loading on voyage 87 estimated time of arrival St Helena
                                                                                                   services that helped in
  16th June 2006 runs a risk of not connecting with RMS St Helena in                               the     recovery       of
  Cape Town. This has been brought about due to delays suffered by                                 Dwayne’s son, Keenen
  Safmarine Nomazwe whilst working cargo around the Southern Afri-                                 Bennett, on 26 April 2006.
  can coast during its current Northbound voyage. The Nomazwe has                                  Special thanks to friends
  lost around 10 days on its earlier published schedule dates. This situ-
                                                                                                   and family for their support,
  ation has been further complicated by the intended backup vessel (in
  case of delay) the DAL Kalahari having to undergo emergency dry                                  especially             Brian
  dock repairs, thereby leaving a gap in the SAECS schedule. At the                                Constantine and Gary
  moment the Safmarine Nomazwe is due to arrive Cape Town 10th                                     Corker – You were a great
  June 2006 the day before RMS St Helena is due to sail. AWSL, our                                 help to us all. We would
  agents (MacAndrews and RNC Ships) and the pre-carrying line will                                 also like to thank Fr Alan
  try their utmost to ensure that the cargo booked for this sailing is
  loaded on the RMS as scheduled, but if there is any further delay to
                                                                                                   Bateman and all those who
  the Nomazwe either during European port operations or as a result of                             offered their condolences
  bad weather then the UK cargo may not arrive in Cape Town in time                                and support.
  to connect with the RMS.
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                        11
Miss Ascension 2006                                  Continued from Page 9
                                                                                                                   Miss Ascension
                                                                                                                   Casey Lawrence

Magellan and Obsidian for the sashes.         on the night and to anyone who we
Shelley Magellan for the design of tick-      might have forgotten to mention –
ets, Prudy Peters, Peggy Benjamin,            THANK YOU!
Shirley Francis and Winnie Bagley for         For all the pictures of the night and to
selling tickets on the night.                 see all the contestants visit
Saints Club for use of the Cinema and
for all the support given whenever it was
needed. Two Boats Club, One Boat
Club and Joyce Bennett for use of
chairs. AIG for materials for the stage.
Building & decorating the stage; David
Lawrence, Errol Lawrence, Aaron Pe-
ters, Dutch Lawrence, Nicky Augustus
and Susie-Gal Arms-Lawrence.
Smudge & Johnny Swain for music/
smoke machine etc, Russell Yon,
Mickey Yon for the loan of his micro-
phones. Gary Robinson and Gary
Benjamin for escorting the girls; Alan
Nicholls and Penny Peters for comper-          Escorts Gary
ing and narrating. All the Judges, Tracey      Benjamin &
Yon for crowning and presenting the           Gary Robinson
prizes and Gary Robinson and crew for         with Compeer
doing the video. Finally to the audience       Alan Nicholls
– a big thank you for supporting the girls

                                                                   regularly prevent cruise
                                                                                               management. Pressures are being gen-
                                                                   ship passengers from
                                                                                               erated by high demand for fish products
                                                                   disembarking. Even if it
                                                                                               in rich countries, by poverty and the in-
                                                                   were possible to make
                                                                                               creasing numbers of people having to
                                                                   an acceptable safety
                                                                                               resort to fishing to sustain basic liveli-
                                                                   case to the regulator
                                                                                               hoods and, in some places, by devel-
                                                                   for this type of opera-
                                                                                               oped countries subsidising their own
                                                                   tion, ticket prices would
                                                                                               fleets to move into the waters of poorer
                                                                   be high, unaffordable
                                                                   to the local population,
                                                                                               In the long run, the contribution of sus-
                                                                   and long flight times
         House of Commons                                          would discourage tour-
                                                                                               tainable fishing to the economies of de-
                                                                                               veloping countries can only be realised
                                                                   ism. St. Helena re-
                                                                                               if the rich countries take into account the
                                              quires reliable, affordable access that is-
The question about using sea planes for                                                        impact of their policies on developing
                                              landers and tourists alike can depend
access to and from St Helena was raised                                                        countries and if the latter have the ca-
                                              upon if it is to build its economy and work
in the House of Commons last week                                                              pacity to manage! their own resources
                                              towards its own goal of financial self-suf-
when the Conservative MP Brooks                                                                in a sustainable way
                                              ficiency. Construction of an airport that
Newmark asked the Secretary of State                                                           DFID is working hard to ensure that in-
                                              supports scheduled flights from a recog-
for International Development if he will                                                       ternational fisheries policy takes account
                                              nised international hub is the best and,
assess the merits of using amphibian air-                                                      of impacts on developing countries. Par-
                                              in the long term, most cost effective way
craft to service the island of St. Helena                                                      ticular problems are being caused by il-
                                              of achieving this.
in preference to the construction of a new                                                     legal fishing—DFID-funded research
                                              A question also of interest to St Helena
airport. Gareth Thomas, the junior Min-                                                        has found that countries in Sub-Saha-
                                              was asked by the MP, Gordon Prentice.
ister in charge of the Overseas Territo-                                                       ran Africa are losing as much as $1 bil-
                                              He asked the Secretary of State for In-
ries in DfID answered that “the merits of                                                      lion a year from this alone. DFID is now
                                              ternational Development what steps he
using amphibious aircraft to service the                                                       working closely with DEFRA to support
                                              is taking to promote sustainable fishing
island of St. Helena were assessed as                                                          the development of an international plan
                                              in the developing world; and if he will
part of the 2004-05 feasibility study. This                                                    of action to tackle illegal fishing. We are
                                              make a statement. Again, Mr. Thomas
option was rejected for a number of rea-                                                       also ready to support poorer countries
                                              answered. “DFID recognises that fisher-
sons. There are no civilian seaplanes cur-                                                     to develop their capacity to manage their
                                              ies can make a significant contribution
rently in operation that could provide a                                                       fisheries resources.
                                              to economic growth and poverty reduc-
reliable service in the sea conditions that                                                    It appears that there is a possibility
                                              tion in the developing world but that, in
exist in St. Helena, where there is no                                                         for St Helena to receive funding from
                                              many countries, this contribution is be-
shelter from the South Atlantic swells that                                                    DfID to protect our fishing waters. Ed
                                              ing constrained by problems of poor
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                      12
                         MANAGING DIRECTOR,
   The St Helena Development Agency wishes to recruit an experienced individual to the position of Managing Director.
   Reporting to the Chairman SHDA Board, the Managing Director who is also the Chief Executive Officer, will be respon-
   sible for-

   a)     Working with the Board to develop policies and strategies,
   b)     Ensuring that the Agency achieves its strategic objectives
   c)     Providing leadership and direction to staff
   d)     Overall planning and running of the day to day business of the Agency

            Salary for this post will range from £16,000 - £19,000 per annum.
   Interested applicants are expected to possess a degree in Business Management or Financial Manage-
   ment or equivalent, or at least five years proven experience in business and financial management and the
   development of policies and procedures.
   Interested persons are invited to collect an Application Form, Job Description and a Briefing Sheet from
   the SHDA Enterprise Centre No. 2 Main Street, or email:, fax: 2166. For further
   details about this post, please contact Tony Green, Managing Director on telephone No. 2920, or Mr.
   George Stevens, Chairman SHDA Board on telephone No. 4333 after 25 May 2006.

          The closing date for applications is Monday 5 June 2006.

      Serviced                                                          HOUSE
    House Plots in                                                     FOR SALE
                                                                    An established detached bungalow
  Half Tree Hollow                                                   ( part stone built) in lower Half
                                                                      Tree Hollow standing on 0.42
                                                                     acres of freehold land. Serious
    Interested persons                                                enquiries and / or offers only.
       can contact
                                                                        For further information,
        telephone                                                   interested persons please contact
                                                                              Elsie Hughes
      3163 or 3592,
         or email:                                                   Tel. / fax: +44 1656 769197.
                                                                      Mobile: +44 774 873 3206.                                                 E-mail:
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                         13
                                Invitation to register
                              Expressions of Interest
                               for the provision of a
                          Turnkey Meter Reading Service

   The Public Works and Services Department of the St.Helena Government invites competent
   individuals or organisations to submit Expressions of Interest in respect of providing a
   complete turnkey service to read all utility meters (Water and Electricity) on a regular
   schedule for a fixed fee.

   The current mechanism for obtaining utility meter readings engages PW&SD personnel
   and external contract staff on a quarterly basis.
   With the introduction of the new billing system (CUBIC), the St.Helena Government has
   decided to make additional changes to the way that utilities meters are read:
         a. Meters for Water and Electricity for a given customer are to be read at the same
         b. While bills will continue to be issued on a 3-monthly schedule, meters are to be
            physically read on an annual basis only, with the billing system keeping readings
            history to provide the ability to estimate usage for those quarters when meters are
            not physically read.
         c. Approximately 1/12th of the island’s meters are to be read each month.
         d. On the occasion when a meter is to be read, a correct reading must be taken – an
            estimate is not acceptable.
   The St.Helena Government has further resolved to contract out to one or more private
   sector organisations, the responsibility of reading utility meters on a regular basis, for an
   agreed fee.

   Any person or organisation that wishes to express an interest in providing the service
   described above should write to the Manager of Public Works and Services Department,
   briefly outlining the proposal (no details or pricing are required at this stage)
                                        by 31 May 2006.
   Outline proposals will be reviewed by PW&SD and those which PW&SD consider practical
   will be considered further – in these cases, the submitter will be provided with a complete
   specification of contract requirements and invited to tender a detailed proposal with pricing.
   Final contract award will be subject to standard tendering regulations.

   Further information
   If you need any additional information or clarification, please contact Mandy Constantine
   on 2644.

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                   14
                               Centenary Celebration –
                                                                    On the 4th June 2006, which is Pente-
                             RCH                                    cost, we will celebrate the centenary
                       IC CHU
                  OSTOL                                              of the first Apostolic church building
            NEW AP HELENA                                            that was built on the African Continent.
                           N                                          We look forward to having Chief Apos-

                INVITATIO                                             tle Leber with us to celebrate this
                                                                       memorable occasion. Let us for a
                                                                        moment reflect on history:
            Centenary C                                                     Services in Cape Town were initially
                                                                             held in Wilhelm Schlaphoff’s
                  riend                                      ETelevised      house, but by 1904 there was a
          Dear F                                  d a LIV             to
                                   ited  to atten u t h A f r i c a           real need for a proper church
                          ially inv n f r o m S o             Aposto
           You a re cord         issio              ir st New          an      where regular services could be
                             sm           of the f
                    l Tr a n                                  e Afric
           C h o r a the Centenary s built on th                               conducted. The embryo congre-
                     te                   wa
            celebra uilding that
                        b                                                       gation (nine families in all)
            Church .
                      nt                                                         somehow managed to raise
             contine                                     ne 2006
                                             y 3 Ju ve, HTH
                                   Saturd                 ri                     £700, £175 of which was used
                          When: less Station D
                                 Wir e                                            for the plot in Palmyra Road.
                       Venue:                    pm
                                        Time: 3 served after
                                            will be
                                                                                   With the balance of £525 a
                          Refres  hments                               ds          small church was built and
                                                              nd frien
                                                ng   family a                      completed in the remarkably
                                       ring alo
                      Feel f  ree to b                                    short time of four months.

                                    Above: The
                                   original church
                                    built in 1905

                                                                        The church after it was renovated in 1932

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                   15
                  Saint FM                            Saturday 27th
     The Heartbeat of St Helena                       7am – 1pm         Saturday morning Brunch - Joe Terry
                                                      1pm – 3pm         Backstreet Mixture - John Coleman

 Programme                                            3pm—6pm
                                                      6pm - 6:30
                                                      6.30 – 9.30pm
                                                      9:30 – 7am
                                                                        Youth Radio - Kaylee Young, Danelle Yon, Emma Piek
                                                                        Mike Olsson
                                                                        Satuday Night Special
                                                                        JUKEBOX entertainment

  Schedule                                            Sunday 28th
                                                      7am – 9am
                                                      9am – 10am
                                                                        Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
                                                                        Knowing Me, Knowing You - Mike Olsson,
           Programming is being                       10am—1pm          Sunday Mix- Charlie Williams and Lucas Benjamin
                                                      1am—4pm           Youth Radio - Kaylee Young, Danelle Yon, Emma Piek
            updated all the time                      4am—6pm           Beans Mix - Patrick Henry
             and is subject to                        6 – 7:30pm        Sunday Night Rock Show - Mark Heron
           change without prior                       7:30pm – 9:30pm   Disorderly Mix - Colin Forbes
                                                      9:30 – 6am        JUKEBOX entertainment
                                                      Monday 29th
            LOCAL NEWS                                6am - 9am
                                                      9am - 12:30pm
                                                                        Wake-up call - Mike Olsson
                                                                        Downtown Party - Angela Williams
             BULLETINS:                               12:30pm - 4pm
                                                      4pm - 4:30pm
                                                                        Another Day in Paradise
                                                                        Drive Time
                  Weekdays:                           4:30 - 6:30 pm    Kathy Bowers
                  7am & 9am                           6:30pm 9:30       Monday Night Special
                                                      9:30 – 6am        JUKEBOX entertainment
                12noon & 2pm
                4:15pm, 7pm &                         Tuesday 30th
                    9:30pm                            6am - 9am         Wake-up call - Mike Olsson
                                                      9am - 12:30pm     Downtown Party - Angela Williams
                  Weekends:                           12:30pm - 4pm     Another Day in Paradise
                                                      4pm - 4:30pm      Drive Time
                 1pm and 7pm                          4:30pm – 6:30pm   The Country Specialist - Bert Constantine,
                                                      6:30pm – 7:30     Evening Drive
                                                      7:30pm – 9:30pm   Rock Solid - John Coleman
                                                      9:30 – 6am        JUKEBOX entertainment

                                                      Wednesday 31st
                                                      6am - 9am         Wake-up call - Mike Olsson
                                                      9am - 12:30pm     Downtown Party - Angela Williams
                                                      12:30pm - 4pm     Another Day in Paradise
                                                      4pm - 4:30pm      Drive Time
                                                      4:30pm – 6:30pm   Rock +
                                                      6.30 - 7.30       Evening Drive Time
                                                      7:30pm – 9:30pm   The Mix Up - Kieran Forbes, Dominic Hewes
                                                      9:30 – 6am        JUKEBOX entertainment

                                                      Thursday 1st June
                                                      6am - 9am         Wake-up call - Mike Olsson
                                                      9am - 12:30pm     Downtown Party - Angela Williams
                                                      12:30pm - 4pm     Another Day in Paradise
                                                      4pm - 4:30pm      Drive Time
                                                      4:30pm – 6:30pm   Fran-tastic -Francesca Constantine,
                                                      7:30pm – 9:30pm   Forget the frills -Jeanine and Ruth
                                                      9:30 – 6am        JUKEBOX entertainment

                                                      Friday 2nd
                                                      6am - 9am         Wake-up call - Mike Olsson
                                                      9am - 10pm        Downtown Party - Angela Williams
                                                      10pm - 12pm       Another Day in Paradise
                                                      12pm - 4:30pm     Drive Time - Angela Williams
                                                      4:30pm – 6:30pm   May contain Nuts - Woodrow Stevens and Friends
                                                      6:30 – 8pm        Friday Allsorts: Alexia lawerence & Cloe Terry
                                                      8pm – 10pm        Evening with Tony Johns
                                                      9:30pm – 7am      JUKEBOX Entertainment

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                        16
                            Fish and Bird Extravaganza
                                                           Nick Hewes
The St Helena National Trust held an          long, the wirebirds are apt to stay away.     and 70% of eggs and chicks simply dis-
evening of combined lectures at the           The very best habitat of all is grass which   appear, and predation is the most likely
Consulate Hotel on Tuesday evening.           has been grazed. These conditions tend        reason for this. The problem is that
The presentation, by three naturalists        to attract a large number of birds. For       there is no hard evidence for this; and
who have been conducting research on          this reason, Tony said that, “Grazing         without evidence, it would be unwise to
St Helena over recent months, was well        animals are the key to the survival of        initiate an expensive control or eradi-
attended, attracting about 40 members         the wirebird”.                                cation campaign. He went on, “What
of the public. Dr Tony Prater has been                                                         we need are definite reports of cats
out here studying the wirebird, whilst                                                         taking wirebirds. We need that evi-
Dr Howard Choat and Dr Ross                                                                   dence before we can take any action.
Robertson have been doing some in-                                                            So if anyone has a definite sighting of
tensive marine research into the life                                                         predation by cats, rats or mynahs, then
cycle of the grouper (more commonly                                                           they should get in touch with Eddie as
known on the Island of course, as the                                                         soon as possible, so that he can log
jack).                                                                                        it. If we to embark on a widespread
                                                                                              control campaign without hard evi-
Tony Prater was sent out here by the                                                          dence, then it could lead to some un-
RSPB, and his role has been to fol-                                                           fortunate and unforeseen conse-
low up on the work done for the                                                               quences. The human race is very good
Wirebird Conservation Project at the                                                          at embarking on a course of action
end of last year by the Scottish orni-                                                        without thinking through the results of
thologist, Dr Neil McCulloch. The                                                             that action. Just look at the present dis-
RSPB has become concerned at the                                                              aster of the mynah birds: - it’s hard to
sharp decline in the wirebird’s num-                                                          imagine that they were deliberately in-
bers over the last 20 years, but – if                    Dr Tony Prater                       troduced to get rid of cattle ticks! It may
the expenditure involved in sending                                                         have seemed like a laudable reason at
highly qualified professionals thousands      After the primary question of establish-      the time, but just look at the results! It’s
of miles across the ocean is anything to      ing the most suitable habitat for the         a great lesson on what happens when
go by – the organisation is seriously         wirebird, the problem of predation was        you don’t pay attention to the conse-
committed to saving this unique species       of great importance. At present there is      quences of your actions.”
of plover from extinction. Tony began by      a lack of concrete evidence, but Tony         Tony went on to say that policy needs
reminding his audience of the extent of       said that there were three types of           to be ‘joined up’ if the wirebird is to be
the wirebird’s decline. In 1988 Dead-         predator that needed to be monitored in       saved. He said that although the gov-
wood Plain had a population of 125            the future.                                   ernment was generally sympathetic to
birds; this year that figure is down to 35.                                                 the RSPB’s conservation efforts, cer-
Furthermore, it was only a few years ago      Feral cats, of which there are a great        tain details of Government policy might
that the wirebird was commonly seen           number. One problem is that there is no       actually be damaging. He cited as an
on Horse Pasture, and even in built up        recorded evidence of cats taking              example the Government’s Land Use
areas like Half Tree Hollow. There are        wirebirds.                                    policy: - by encouraging a hotel and golf
other areas, such as the central peaks        Rats, which probably take eggs and            course at Broad Bottom, the wirebird
of the Island, which have however, never      chicks.                                       would lose valuable habitat. “Even
provided a suitable habitat for the birds.    Mynah birds, which it is thought, might       though there is a general intention to
He said that the birds do seem to have        attack chicks. Again, there have been         save the wirebirds” he said, “specific
some flexibility in their choice of habi-     no actual sightings.                          details of policy might actually be nega-
tat, and he mentioned three main types                                                      tive for the wirebird. If these policies are
of conditions they favour.                    Tony said that the recent decline of the      not brought together, it’ll be hard to pro-
                                              wirebird is a mystery. “We really don’t       tect this unique species.”
Wet pasture with fairly high rainfall (for    know what is causing the decline”, he         He ended on a positive note. “The po-
example, the land at Broad Bottom).           said. It is in the hope of finding some       sition of the wirebird is serious, but that
Pasture which is regularly cropped by         concrete answers that Eddie Duff has          does not mean nothing can be done.
cattle or sheep. The best example of this     been recently appointed as a conserva-        The wirebird can recover.”
is Deadwood Plain.                            tion officer for the National Trust.          The remainder of the evening was
Arid semi-desert, such as Prosperous                                                        taken up by a fascinating talk on the
Bay Plain.                                    There were questions from the floor af-       grouper, by Drs Howard Choat and
                                              ter Tony’s presentation. One member of        Ross Robertson. They are concerned
The most favoured conditions appear to        the audience suggested that it was            that, with the growth of a tourist
be closely cropped grass, with gaps           surely a good idea to get rid of as many      economy on the horizon, the grouper
between the clumps of vegetation: - this      cats and rats as possible, in view of their   population on St Helena might be un-
means that the soil is accessible to feed-    destructive influence on the wirebird’s       der threat. A crucial part of their re-
ing birds. If the grass is too thick or too   numbers. Tony said that between 60%                        Continued on NEXT PAGE
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                     17
    Fish and Bird Extravaganza
 Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE
search was the question of establishing     when examined give an indication as to
how long it takes for the grouper to grow   the fish’s age. They also tell the re-
to a large size. In order to settle this    searchers how much growth has taken
question, they have spent much of their     place within a single year. The analysis            House of Commons
time here diving into the ocean and         of the otolith rings revealed that, just like    The Consevative MP, Anthony Steen,
spearing fairly large numbers of fish.      us, “generally, the grouper grows rap-           asked in the House of Commons on
Ross said that it might seem a bit of a     idly at first, and then their growth stabi-      Tuesday if a Minister on had consid-
contradiction, to go out and kill the very  lises”.                                          ered visiting St Helena to discuss
animal you are seeking to conserve, but     One fascinating aspect of the grouper’s          ways of improving relations with the
                                            growth pattern is the fact that all fish start   UK.
                                            off life as females. It is only when they
                                            get to a certain size that the ovaries turn      The Minister for Europe (Mr. Geoffrey
                                            to testes (a truly terrifying thought) and       Hoon): The Government value our rela-
                                                                                             tionship with St. Helena. We have dem-
                                            the fish turn into males. Thus, male
                                                                                             onstrated our commitment by agreeing to
                                            groupers are large and grow rapidly,
                                                                                             invest in the construction of an airport on
                                            whilst females stay small.
                                                                                             the island. In addition, other UK financial
                                            Howard said that it was amazing how              assistance for St. Helena will amount to
                                            profuse the numbers of groupers be-              more than £40 million this financial year.
                                            came only a short distance from known            Foreign engagements for my right hon.
                                            fishing areas. “The numbers of fish are          Friend the Foreign Secretary and other
                                            often very low in the main fishing areas,        Ministers are kept under constant review.
                                            but you only have to go 40 metres away,          It is not our practice to announce such
                                            and the numbers pick up markedly”.               visits until they are firmly established in
                                            They felt that, at the present level of fish-    the diary. Because of the unpredictable
                                            ing, the grouper population is not under         nature of world events, final decisions on
                                            threat.                                          overseas visits are often not possible un-
                                            There may however, be two problems               til very shortly before the day of travel.
          Dr Howard Choat with a                                                             Mr. Steen: One way for the Government
                                            for the grouper in the future, one of
                  grouper                                                                    to improve their relations with St. Helena
                                            which is that the advent of a large scale
he justified his actions by saying that, in tourist economy on the Island. This may          would be for a Foreign Office Minister to
the context of the vast numbers of fish lead to over fishing. The other threat is            go there. None ever has, although I know
which occupy the coastal waters, the from the live fish trade. The Chinese in                that the journey takes 10 days. The Min-
sample they were killing for research particular have a voracious liking for live            ister referred to the airport that is to be
was in fact infinitesimally small.                                                           built, but the island’s 3,800 inhabitants are
                                            fish, and if the grouper ever became
Once the fish are landed, Ross and popular in the Chinese fish markets, it                   concerned about the health implications.
                                                                                             They are worried that the large numbers
Howard measure them, and then slice could have a serious impact on local
                                                                                             of foreign workers needed to build the air-
off the top of the skull, so the they can populations. “At present levels fishing
                                                                                             port could bring with them diseases that
analyse a small bone, known as the oto- is not a problem for the grouper popula-
                                                                                             are alien to the island, such as HIV/AIDS.
lith. This bone, whose function is to pro- tion around St Helena, but we need to             What can the Minister do to help in that
vide the fish with positional information, be aware that there may be problems               regard?
has striations, or growth rings, which, on the horizon” they concluded.                      Mr. Hoon: I am genuinely sorry that it has
                                                                    At the end of the        not been possible for Foreign Office Min-
                                                                    evening the audi-        isters to visit St. Helena, either in recent
                                                                    ence went away           times or at all, although I know that my
                                                                    much better in-          Front-Bench colleagues share an ambi-
                                                                    formed about the         tion to do so. I recognise the substantial
                                                                    humble jack than         concern that the hon. Gentleman identi-
                                                                    they could ever          fies, and I assure him that the Govern-
                                                                    have imagined.           ment are taking very seriously the need
                                                                    The only drawback        to find appropriate ways to screen work-
                                                                    was that there was       ers arriving on the island.
                                                                                             Mr. Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley) (Lab): I
                                                                    no fish and chips
                                                                                             welcome the Government’s commitment
                                                                    on the menu. All in
                                                                                             to helping the people of St. Helena by
                                                                    all, it was a very
                                                                                             building the airport. That runway will bring
                                                                    well organised and       new lifeblood to the island, as the lack of
                                                                    informative              employment has caused many people to
                                                                    evening, kindly          leave. I hope that my right hon. Friend will
                                                                    presented by the         make a visit-perhaps he will take with him
                                                                    National Trust.
                    Weighing and measuring                                                              Continued on NEXT PAGE
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                      18
              House of Commons
                     Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE
my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary-and that he will also call in at the Falklands
and Gibraltar, to ensure that the people there get the proper representation that they
Mr. Hoon: I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware that the airstrip is not planned to be
finished until 2010. Given what I said about Ministers’ engagement diaries, I cannot
commit my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to such a visit. However, the new
airport is clearly important to the islanders, and the Government are delighted to be
able to make the money available. I have visited Ascension island several times and
had the opportunity then to meet a number of people from St. Helena. My hon. Friend         We would like to thank everyone
is right that many islanders have had to leave to find employment, but we believe that      - you know who you are - too many
the airstrip will change that and offer valuable economic opportunities, not least in
                                                                                            to mention for the kind support
respect of tourism, as it becomes easier for people to visit the island.
                                                                                            they gave to all the family on the
Dr. Vincent Cable (Twickenham) (LD): When the Minister met those St. Helenians
on Ascension island-which is a British dependent territory and an American base-did
                                                                                            sad day of 26th April when our
they communicate to him their enormous sense of betrayal? Five years ago, they              loved one Keenan Bennett had a
were assured by the Governor of St. Helena and the British Government that they             tragic fall and lost his life.
would have permanent residency rights. However, those rights have now been with-            Special thanks are extended to all
drawn, much as they were on Diego Garcia a generation ago.                                  the Fire and Rescue Service, the
Mr. Hoon: In fact, that issue did arise. It is something that we have taken very seri-      Rock Guards and Ambulance
ously.                                                                                      staff who also risked their lives on
                                                                                            that day.

  For Sale...                                                                               Thanks to Fr Alan for conducting
                                                                                            the funeral service and to all who
                     Ford Cortina Car Mk 5                                                  sent cards, telegrams and words
                                                                                            of comfort to all the family.
    Not licensed or insured but can be made roadworthy as                                   Mum Patricia, Sisters Delraye and
           some spare parts are included in the sale.                                       Robyn and the rest of the family
  For further information contact Gary Corker at his garage at                              both here and overseas.
   Ladder Hill Corner or on telephone 4686 in the evenings.                                 God Bless

        Production Assistant
                     To work with Saint FM
              £250 - £500 per month, depending on
                                 qualification and
                                 For more details
                                 Emma-Jane Yon.
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                  19
“International Internal Audit Awareness Month” is nearly over. Throughout the month, the Saint Helena Audit Service
has told you more about Internal Audit work – including Risk Management, Internal Control, Corporate Governance,
Special Investigation work and Careers within the profession.

The Saint Helena Audit Service includes a dedicated Internal Audit function which currently provides its services
exclusively to Saint Helena Government (SHG).

WEEK 4 – Careers in Internal Auditing & Up Coming Vacancies
Auditing is a highly regarded international profession. Could it be for you? If you can combine an inquisitive nature,
enthusiasm, clarity of thought and tenacity with the ability to analyse, interpret and report on both financial and non-
financial information before translating your findings into practical and understandable recommendations, then you
may be well suited to a career in Audit.

At the Saint Helena Audit Service we offer varied and challenging positions with the opportunity to specialise within
one of our 3 core streams of activity; Internal Audit, External Audit and Value For Money (VFM) Audit.

Those new to the profession can enter at Assistant Auditor level and then through training and development
progress to the level of auditor, then audit manager and ultimately Chief Auditor. Our staff follow professional
qualification programmes leading to their becoming both qualified Accountants and Auditors.

Fancy a rewarding career? We will be recruiting to the posts of Internal Auditor & VFM Audit Manager later in the
year. To register an initial interest call Bronwen Yon, Internal Audit Manager on 2112, Andy Bonner, Chief Auditor on
2107, or view our Careers page at to view a detailed job profile.

   Find out more at – No Internet? No problem – Just contact us (details below) to make an appointment to see our web site.

                                                                      Web: E-mail: Telephone: 2112

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                              20
                                          SV EUROPA

The Dutch barque skip Europa arrived in James Bay last Saturday morning with 28 crew and trainees onboard. She left for
           Ascension early Sunday morning. She is scheduled to arrive at Ascension, today Friday 26th May.
                                              Pictures: John Titterton

        Oil Platform Lost                                                              Contribute to
The 282 GRT tug Mighty Deliverer, built 1981, departed
Macae, Brazil towing a Semi-Submersible Oil Platform bound
for Cape Town, South Africa. On the 30 April the tug was
forced to release her tow 80 miles west-north-west of Tristan        Hundreds of Saints around the world download and
da Cunha on the belt of the roaring forties. The oil platform is       print the St Helena Independent each week for
346 feet long, 341 feet wide and has a draught of 42 feet.           FREE. Stay closer to home by contributing what’s
The last reported sighting of the Oil Platform was on the 10         happening in your world. A Saint dance in London,
May when it started to draw away from the M/V Mighty Deliv-          Reading Day Sports, What’s happening on Ascen-
erer.                                                                sion or the Falkland Islands. You too can be a part
A search operation commenced on the 16 May and is still in                             of the island first
progress. All vessels in the vicinity are to maintain a sharp          independent paper. We’d like to here from you.
lookout and to report any sightings to Cape Town Radio -

                                Audit Committee to be set on F.I.R.E.
                                                  By the St Helena Audit Service
Working together with the Saint Helena Audit Service, the Saint Helena                     issues throughout Government. In
Government has today taken another significant step in the ongoing enhancement             short, the Audit Committee has been
of a strong Corporate Governance framework. Agreement has been reached to                  brought into existence as a ‘best
introduce an Audit Committee within Government which will have a wide ranging              practice’ mechanism to help ensure the
remit to oversee and champion the cause for the four fundamental governance                healthy internal workings of Saint
areas known collectively as FIRE. That is, Financial reporting, Internal Control,          Helena Government.”
Risk Management and Ethical principles. The body will also oversee audit delivery          Membership of the Committee is now
– reviewing the proposed scope of the Internal and External audit functions – and          being finalized but it is expected that
assessing overall effectiveness and output in relation to established performance          invited to join will be 2 independent
indicators.                                                                                persons from outside Government, the
This will help answer the question, “Who audits the audit function?” This                  Crown Counsel, Saint Helena
development comes well ahead of what is expected to eventually become a legal              Government’s Accountant (Financial,
requirement – with a European Directive issued in April requiring all ‘public interest     Planning & Analysis), the Chief Auditor
entities’ to form an Audit Committee - meaning that the United Kingdom now has             and His Excellency the Governor’s Staff
two years to transpose the directive into national law. Clarifying how this new            Officer. This combination will establish
Committee fits into the overall Governance framework, Chief Auditor, Andy Bonner           a well balanced team with sufficient
comments;                                                                                  skills, independence and operational
“Its role is much wider than just overseeing the work of the Audit Service and so          knowledge to deliver the
it shouldn’t be seen as comparable to the Government Departmental Committees               important role of an Audit Committee.
that already exist. Its work is also distinct from the Councillor driven Public Accounts   The first meeting of the new Committee
Committee which reviews the published financial accounts and value for money               will be held in early July.
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                               21
                St Helena                                                             The Governor’s decision of 15 December
                                                                                      2005 stated that Jeremy Thomas should

         ‘risks importing Aids’
                                                                                      be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure at
                                                                                      HM Prison, Jamestown, where, following
                                                                                      treatment he would be assessed periodi-
                           From The Telegraph, UK
                                                                                      cally to determine his condition and state
                                                                                      of mind.
The islanders of St Helena, one of the last specks of British Empire in the
                                                                                       Professor Gregory O’Brien (MB ChB MA
South Atlantic, fear that an influx of South African workers to build an airport
                                                                                      (Cantab) FRCPsych FRCPCH MD) Medi-
will risk their homeland’s unique status as being entirely free of Aids.
                                                                                      cal Director/Professor of Developmental
Many of St Helena’s 4,000 inhabitants, the descendants of British settlers, are
                                                                                      Psychiatry, has been in regular contact with
demanding compulsory HIV tests for the construction workers.
                                                                                      those on the island who have been treat-
A team of 300, all from South African companies, are expected to start build-
                                                                                      ing Jeremy and will be arriving on the RMS
ing the airport next year. Islanders point to the fact that six million South Afri-
                                                                                      tomorrow to carry out his first face to face
cans are infected with HIV or Aids.
So far, no cases of HIV or Aids have ever been recorded on St Helena. Thanks
to the isolation afforded by the South Atlantic, the island is also free of tuber-
                                                                                      Professor O’Brien will stay on St Helena
                                                                                      until 2 June during which time he will meet
Imposing HIV tests could force the South African companies to withdraw their
                                                                                      with the various relevant bodies before
bids and risk the future of the airport project.
                                                                                      reporting directly to the Governor at the end
The final decision on whether to impose HIV testing on the South African
                                                                                      of his visit. It is envisaged that there will
workers will rest with St Helena’s Executive Council, chaired by the governor,
                                                                                      be further assessments.
Michael Clancy.
                                             become familiar with the Island’s physi-     are any fiduciary risks. When assess-
    Press Release                            cal layout and the economic resources        ing whether budgetary aid is used for
                                             including natural, commercial and in-        the intended purposes, Ian will look at
       Consultant and                        dustrial. He also intends to gain a full     how the budget is set – including its
       Advisors Visit                        understanding of the points of view and      comprehensiveness, transparency,
                                             the attitudes of key people, particularly    and the extent of participation by offi-
         St Helena                           on the role the St Helena Development        cials and politicians in the budget set-
Two advisors from the Department For         Agency has to play in Private Sector         ting process. He will also compare the
International Development and a con-         Development, investment, tourism de-         budget to how the money was actually
sultant arrived today, 25 May, to focus      velopment and outsourcing.                   spent.
on key areas including private sector        Peter will also have input into the re-      It is important that Government fi-
development, fiduciary risk and change       cruitment of a new Chief Executive for       nances are properly accounted for, so
management.                                  the Agency as a result of the recent         he will need to ensure that the Gov-
Private Sector Development Advi-             resignation of Tony Green, and he will       ernments financial systems are main-
sor, Peter Wilson                            look at whether the Agency needs to          tained so that accurate information can
Peter Wilson is DFID’s new Private           change its role in light of the tourism      be extracted on a regular, accurate and
Sector Development Advisor and he            and investment opportunities facing the      timely basis, and whether accounts are
will be making a familiarisation visit to    Island.                                      audited on a regular basis by an inde-
the Island from 25 May to 2 June 2006.       As part of his programme, Peter will         pendent auditor. He will also look at
As part of his role in DFID, Peter will      visit commercial and industrial areas,       scrutiny of the financial statements by
be responsible for following up and ad-      the planned airport site, and tourist at-    the PAC.
vising on key SHG/DFID projects such         tractions and sites.                         In terms of value for money, Ian will
as the draft Tourism Strategy, the policy                                                 want to see that government has ways
on investment, outsourcing, the St           Ian Lang, Fiduciary Risk Assess-             of ensuring that they are achieving
Helena Development Agency, and the           ment Consultant                              value for money, for example, through
general promotion of private sector de-      Ian Lang will visit St Helena from 25 to     the procurement process, for both peo-
velopment on the Island.                     31 May 2006 to conduct a fiduciary risk      ple and goods, the on-going monitor-
The visit to St Helena will allow him to     assessment. For the assessment, he           ing of the budget by managers at all
become familiar with the Island’s busi-      will be looking at whether St Helena’s       levels, and the presence of effective
ness conditions and to meet key per-         Budgetary Aid is used for the intended       systems of internal audit and control.
sons from the St Helena Government,          purposes, whether it is properly ac-         Ian will work closely with the Financial
Councillors, the private sector and oth-     counted for, and whether it represents       Secretary, Linda Clemett, the Chief Fi-
ers who are either involved in, or able      value for money. Ian will look at what       nance Officer, Desmond Wade, other
to influence, private sector develop-        the St Helena Government intends to          staff members from the Finance De-
ment. Additionally he will have the op-      spend its money on, what the Island          partment. He will also work with the
portunity to meet with local business        hopes to get out of it, and how effec-       Chief Auditor, Andy Bonner, and staff
owners.                                      tive SHG’s financial systems are. In         from the Audit Department. In addition
From these meetings, Peter hopes to          doing so he will look at whether there
                                                                                                     Continued on NEXT PAGE

The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                22
    Press Release                                    Miss RMS St Helena
       Consultant and
       Advisors Visit
         St Helena
 Continued from PREVIOUS PAGE
he will meet with other Government
Officials including Executive Council
and Heads of Department. Ian will also
meet the Public Accounts Committee,
the Tender Board, the PSC and the
Chamber of Commerce.

Catarina Alari, Overseas Territories
Department Governance Adviser
Catarina Alari, OTD Governance Advi-
sor, will visit St Helena from 25 May to
2 June 2006 and will work on a number
areas including the Fiduciary Risk As-
sessment and Change Management.
Catarina will accompany Ian Lang to
key meetings and will discuss and
agree findings of the assessment as
well as propose a way forward.
The St Helena Government intends to            The RMS St Helena anchored in James Bay just after 8 yesterday morning,
recruit a Change Manager and                   landing 89 passengers, 8 bags of mail and some 494t cargo, of which there
Catarina will work with key SHG                are 39 pallets of onions & potatoes.
Stakeholders to agree terms of refer-          The passage over from Walvis Bay was reported as a lively one with a strong
ence for this post. She will also pre-         south - east breeze and a few large swells. But this didn’t dampen the spirits
pare a plan of what the Change Man-            on board as passengers and crew took part in their very own Miss St Helena
ager will be doing in his/her first 12         Competition. The well attendended event saw Miss Gazalina Henry crowned
months following appointment. This             as Miss RMS St Helena 2006 and Miss Marilyn Blinkles as runner up.
falls in with the modernising govern-          A St Helenian Dinner menu and a crew disco rounded everything off with
                                               invited passengers danced the night away into the early morning. These two
ment initiative, and Catarina will do fur-
                                               lovely ladies will not be recognised ashore as they are in great demand.
ther work on this by meeting with

Heads of Department to determine
training and development needs in the
field of management and organisa-
tional development. She will also dis-
cuss the St Helena Government’s tech-
nical support requirements, and outline                                              In addition to being sold in 23
what needs to be done by 2010 in                                                      outlets around the Island, the St
terms of modernising government.                                                            Helena Independent is free
Outside of modernising government,
Catarina will focus on agreeing terms
                                                                                                    to download and
of reference for the Chief Auditor posi-                                                             print each week
tion, following the recent resignation of                                                          from
Andy Bonner. She will also discuss in-                                                            Downloaded by over
terim arrangements during the transi-
                                                                                                  1,300 readers each
tion between Andy’s departure and the
appointment of a new Chief Auditor.                                                            week - thats on average
Part of her visit will also be spent with                                                       186 perday!! You know
the St Helena Access Team discuss-                                                                it pays to advertise
ing the composition and role of the                                                                      with us.
Access Project Management Unit.
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The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                               23
       UK controversy over ‘alien disease’                                                     Police & Court
                  Also see ‘From the UK Parliament’ on Page 18

The debate over HIV screening is continuing to cause controversy and debate in            The Police Service received and dealt
the UK. According to the gay news organ, Pink News, Anthony Steen, the Con-               with a total of 13 reports for the period
servative MP for Totnes, has angered HIV charities by defending the concerns of           Monday 15th to Tuesday 23rd May. There
Saints that the proposed airport will import “alien diseases such as HIV and AIDs”.       was 1 criminal report and 5 road traffic
Mr Steen went on to say that he had met with representatives of the Island, and           accidents.
defended his position by emphasising that “St Helena is a small population and an         On Wednesday 17th May a report of
isolated community which is currently HIV and AIDs free.”                                 harassment, alarm or distress was re-
In response, Pink News quoted Lisa Power, Head of Policy at Terrence Higgins              ported to Police. The offender was given
Trust: “No island can avoid 21st Century problems unless they refuse to admit             a verbal warning.
visitors. We know that the British Government has already set underway work to            Out of the 6 road traffic accidents, two
improve sexual health on the island, including a recent visit b sexual health expert      accidents were closed with no offence
Professor Mike Adler, to discuss communicable disease.”                                   being established and three other acci-
The news agency also contacted the National AIDs Trust over Mr Steen’s stance             dents were closed with the driver at fault
on HIV/AIDS. Their official response emphasised the connection between the Is-            being given a verbal warning for driving
land’s perfectly reasonable concerns about preserving public health on St Helena,         a motor vehicle on a road without due
and the possibility that the debate has become tinged with less benign, xenopho-          care and attention. Two of these driv-
bic overtones. They point out that, “Fear of disease and fear of foreigners are           ers at fault were free from alcohol and
examples of discrimination which sadly often go together, and are a major obsta-          the other driver was under the pre-
cle in responding to the HIV pandemic. The focus for effectively preventing HIV           scribed limit.
spread in St Helena should be on HIV awareness programmes and making treat-
                                                                                          Mr Eric Lionel Joshua of Rural Retreat
ment and care widely available.”
                                                                                          appeared before the Magistrates Court
The most extreme response however, came from the Labour MP for Rhondda,
                                                                                          yesterday morning, charged with pos-
Chris Bryant. He told Pink News, “If the people of St Helena really think that they
                                                                                          session of a small quantity, 125
can contract HIV by having a runway built on an island, that is very depressing, but
                                                                                          grammes, of a controlled drug, namely
it is even more depressing that a Conservative MP still holds such Neanderthal
                                                                                          cannabis. He was sentenced to 2
                                                                                          months imprisonment suspended for
It is quite startling to hear phrases like “fear of foreigners” and “Neanderthal” being
                                                                                          twelve months.
associated with St Helena’s recent, defensive position on HIV/AIDS. Whilst it is
                                                                                          Mr Joshua was represented by Colin
likely that the benevolent and worthy sentiments expressed on the Pink News
                                                                                          Forbes Public Solicitor and Frank Vestell
website may hold some currency amongst the liberal classes in the UK, it is equally
                                                                                          stood for the Prosecution in his first court
certain they will win very few brownie points here on St Helena. Still, it’s good to
                                                                                          appearance. On the Bench were Mr
know that the present debate is being conducted not just here on the Island, but as
                                                                                          Harry Legg, OBE, JP; Mr David Clarke,
far afield as Westminster. As Oscar Wilde once said, “There is one thing worse
                                                                                          JP and Mrs Patsie Flagg, JP
than being talked about, and that is not being talked about!”

                         Audit Service awarded “Investor in People” status.
The Saint Helena Audit Service is delighted to announce today that it has received        “This is a brilliant achievement – receiv-
confirmation of having been awarded international “Investor in People” status.            ing the award has re-enforced our ob-
This follows the report of the assessor, Graham Pursey, who visited the Audit             jective of total commitment and
Service in March this year. The Audit Service, formerly known as the Audit Depart-        support of staff development, and our
ment, was first recognised as an “Investor in People” in 2002 but funding restric-        recognition and appreciation of their
tions resulted in the planned review to re-new the accreditation being delayed            contributions.”
beyond the three-year maximum time allowed and consequently a thorough ‘first             The Audit Service is grateful for the mi-
time assessment’ was required. The assessor was able to hold individual inter-            nor areas for possible further develop-
views with every individual within the Audit Service which enabled him to comment         ment that were identified during the
that;                                                                                     course of this worthwhile review and
“Beyond any doubt, the Audit Service meets the standard set and demonstrates              have already begun considering the
an impressive level of achievement with only minimal scope for improvement.               practicalities of their implementation in
There is a very strong commitment to the development of People here and con-              line with its overall commitment to con-
sistently good feedback about the effectiveness of all managers in supporting             tinual improvement
people’s development.”
Andy Bonner, Chief Auditor, comments;                                                     Press Release from the St Helena
“This is great news for us – it is independent recognition that we have got our           Audit Service
people management right. It helps underline what all the managers here are achiev-
ing so it is thanks then to all our managers for their hard work and commitment in
achieving this; Bronwen Yon, Connie Stevens, Charlene Young, Delma Williams,
Liz March and Helena Bennett.”
Bronwen Yon, Internal Audit Manager and also Staff Welfare Officer within the
Audit Service, adds;
The St Helena Independent Volume 1, Issue 29 Friday 26th May 2006                                                                  24