Customs Officers, Juliette O’Dean and Rosemond Fowler, will depart the Island today (8 October 2014) to undergo training in St Lucia on implementing St Helena’s first Automated Data System (ASYCUDA).

This web based system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of cargo, import duties and other paper transactions. It also provides for the faster and more streamlined clearance of goods, and for payment online. The system allows for a one-stop gateway for HM Customs and Excise business, providing both Government and Merchants with trade figures and statistics in ‘real time’ which is invaluable for budgeting and planning.

Head of Information Technology, Jeremy Roberts and Juliette O’Dean have previously undergone their initial training in Geneva to ensure the system could be firstly installed and the initial phase of the system implemented.

Head of Customs and Port Control, Jon Holland said:

“Unlike other locations, St Helena has had the minimum of ongoing hands-on technical support when implementing ASYCUDA. The first step has been completed but we are too remote for trainers to be sent to the Island for the system to effectively progress to the next phase. 

“St Helena will be moving away from the current standard international trade classification codes to the International Harmonized System codes and staff will need hands-on training to implement them as the current codes are not compatible with the ASYCUDA system – the training in St Lucia will enable this to move forward.”

 

Notes to Editors:

The ASYCUDA system was funded by the Department for International Development.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version of the software and was designed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The system can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide but this is the first time for it to be introduced on an Island as remote as St Helena. (NB Montserrat is smaller than St Helena and has the system).

 

SHG

8 October 2014

Prince Andrew School commemorated its 25th Anniversary in a special assembly held at the school on Friday morning, 3 October 2014.

Invited guests, staff and students were welcomed to the assembly by Head Teacher, Paul Starkie, who remarked on the significance of the occasion and spoke of events taking place this year to celebrate 25 years since the opening of the School.

HE Governor Capes too recognised this special occasion and spoke of the importance of Prince Andrew School to the education of our young people and to the development of St Helena.

A number of presentations followed from the Director of Education, Colin Moore, former Chief Education Officer, Basil George, and Vice Chairman of the Education Committee, Nigel Dollery. Paul Starkie relayed a message from the Chairperson of the Parent Teacher Association, Father Dale Bowers, who was unfortunately ill and could not attend. There were also reflections and memories shared from former Prince Andrew School staff and students. A video message had also been received from former Head Teacher John Birchall, who spoke of the initial preparation for the opening of the school.

Through the guest speakers’ presentations, audience members were given a brief history of the school and the important role that leaders of Prince Andrew School have played over the years, and the challenges of change prior to the school’s opening.

Guests, staff and students were reminded of the importance of teachers and the influential role they have in the lives of students and the school as a community.

Throughout the assembly there were musical pieces from the Prince Andrew School Choir and students.

Student President, Lizemarie Robbertse, and Vice Student President Chrystabel Greentree closed the ceremony by sharing perspectives on the future of the school and the importance of students striving for success.

Following the assembly guests were invited for light refreshments in the school foyer, prepared by VRQ Food Students.

Speaking about the assembly, Head Teacher, Paul Starkie said:

“The assembly on Friday was a celebration of the foundation of the school and to all those who were involved in the successful launch and the ongoing development over its 25 year history. The memories were vivid and passionate by all those who participated as former leaders, students and staff. We look forward to another 25 years where we will continue to inspire our students to achieve their full potential.”

Director of Education, Colin Moore added:

“Prince Andrew School has successfully served the community for the past 25 years and Friday’s ceremony was a fitting event to recognise this important anniversary.

“It was particularly enjoyable to listen to the stories that past and present staff and pupils presented and to participate as the School and the community joined together in a collective celebration of educational achievement.”

‘To Inspire and Achieve’

SHG

6 October 2014

The Governors Office has once again been invited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to submit recommendations for HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2015 Birthday Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above what normally is expected.  Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services.  It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or have given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.  It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager and completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked confidential, by Friday, 7 November 2014.

SHG

6 October 2014

 

In a special reception held last evening (Thursday 2 October 2014), at Plantation House, His Excellency Governor and Mrs Capes paid tribute to the hard work of Darrin and Sharon Henry with the South Atlantic Media Services Ltd (SAMS).

With the support of a small but dedicated team, Darrin, the outgoing CEO of SAMS, launched the Sentinel newspaper on 29 March 2012. The SAMS website followed soon after on 1 April 2012 and on 13 February 2013 they launched their first hosted radio show on SAMS Radio 1.

Two years later Darrin steps down as CEO as he and Sharon move on to a new adventure.

In the presence of invited guests, including Councillors, Darrin and Sharon’s family, the Sentinel team and SAMS Radio 1 voluntary presenters, Governor Capes spoke of Legislative Council’s decision to establish SAMS Radio and The Sentinel  as ‘unquestionably one of the most important and positive acts in the recent history of St Helena’.

Governor Capes said:

Governor Mark Capes with Darrin and Sharon Henry
Governor Mark Capes with Darrin and Sharon Henry

“Councillors recognised, rightly, that St Helena needed an objective, modern and sustainable media operation. It was clear that this would be especially important at a time of major change as the Island prepared for air access. 

“Darrin and Sharon Henry, two Saints and two of the best people you will meet anywhere, stepped up to the challenge. Over the past few years they have worked incredibly hard for St Helena.

“To say that they have succeeded in their work is an understatement. Through SAMS Radio and the Sentinel they have given Saints, here and around the globe, access to a quality news service that they can trust, a service that is professional, objective and dependable.  Along the way they motivated, trained and mentored many young Saints who helped to establish and run both the radio station and the newspaper. 

“I think you might agree that to develop a newspaper and a radio station from scratch would be a huge challenge for anyone. More than that, from the word ‘go’ Darrin insisted on setting and maintaining high standards.

“The result is a quality media operation of which St Helena can be proud.  A media operation with a strong community focus to give Saints, and all those with an interest in St Helena, an accurate and unbiased account of who and what makes this Island tick. 

“As many of you will know, apart from the huge challenge of setting up a new media operation, Darrin and Sharon had to contend with the efforts of a handful of sad people who sought to undermine their work. A handful of sad, gloomy people, unable to accept change. 

“Of course, as strong and confident Saints, Darrin and Sharon conducted themselves with dignity and were able to bat away the nasty jibes.

“As always, let’s stay positive and hope that one day the sad ones will ditch their dark cloaks of doom and gloom to experience how much better life is with a positive attitude.”

Governor Capes then went on to present Darrin and Sharon with a framed copy of the very first edition of the Sentinel newspaper.

Governor Mark Capes with Sentinel Team
Governor Mark Capes with Sentinel Team

In his speech on the night Darrin recognised the challenges of running the Sentinel and setting up SAMS Radio 1, but reflected on the enthusiasm of the Sentinel team, the success of the service and the good memories that he and Sharon have from serving the community of St Helena to the best of their ability.

Two photos are attached to this release.

SHG

3 October 2014

Prince Andrew School is pleased to announce the introduction of their new radio show on SAMS Radio 1.

This exciting initiative, hosted by former Prince Andrew School student, Liam Yon, celebrates the talents and interests of Prince Andrew School students.

The ‘News and Views’ show aired on Mondays, following the 7pm ‘News and Notice Board’, enables students to share their views on a range of issues (both local and global), informs parents and the wider community about news and forthcoming events at Prince Andrew School, while also helping participating students to develop their public speaking skills.

The show is repeated on Sunday afternoons.

Head Teacher, Paul Starkie said:

The show has had a tremendous start and is an important forum for Prince Andrew School to reach out to the local community. We hope to involve different students each week.”

Director of Education, Colin Moore added:

“This is an excellent way of turning up the volume of the voice and opinions of young people and will make excellent listening for the local community.”

The school has also recently launched a new website www.pas.edu.sh providing a window into the life of Prince Andrew School.

The school website contains essential information for both parents and students, including news on curriculum subjects together with photo galleries on events and activities.

SHG

1 October 2014

At around 9.30am on Monday 29 September 2014 the St Helena Emergency Services were notified of a yacht, the ‘Benguela’, which was reporting a problem with its rudder and required assistance. At the time of the initial call the yacht was some 80 miles north of St Helena.

Upon being informed of the situation the St Helena Sea Rescue Boat ‘Lima’ was deployed. Given the sea conditions and the likely action required, support was sought from the Skipper of the Extractor who deployed his boat with the Sea Rescue Boat towards the Benguela. The yacht had limited steering but was able to head, at slow speed, towards St Helena. When it was between 25-30 miles from the Island the rudder failed completely. The Sea Rescue Boat had made good progress and arrived on the scene to ensure the safety of the 7 persons onboard.

Working with the Extractor, the yacht was towed back to St Helena where it arrived at around 8pm last evening. All crews of the Lima, Extractor and Benguela were uninjured but tired after a long rescue deployment.

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting commented:

This was a challenging rescue in heavy seas but the Sea Rescue team, working with the Skipper and crew of the Extractor did a fantastic job in ensuring the safety of the Benguela and its crew. I am grateful to the Skipper of the Extractor for the support given to the Sea Rescue crew but not surprised at the level of support given when needed. Working together, they provided a professional and timely response to those in need in the waters surrounding St Helena.”

Governor Capes praised the excellent response to the distress call:

I commend all those who took part in the rescue operation. Thanks to their courage, professionalism and well honed seafaring skills, the operation ended happily with the safe return of all concerned.”

SHG

30 September 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 30 September 2014 with just one item on the Closed Agenda.

The item was a memo on the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Functional Review, and was presented by the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, supported by the Head of ANRD and the Chairman of the Fisheries Corporation.

ExCo was asked to agree in principle the St Helena Fisheries Corporation Review recommendations, subject to budget approval. Approval in principle was given.

In Any Other Business the Governor and ExCo recognised yesterday’s successful rescue of the ‘Benguela’ yacht and thanked the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services and Extractor team for ensuring the safety of the yacht and her crew.

At a previous meeting of Executive Council, it was agreed that subject to ministerial approval, the Airport should be named St Helena Airport. This name was strongly supported by aviation industry experts as it has instant recognition for all passengers and will allow potential visitors to easily access information about the Airport, flight bookings and the Island. Council noted today that ministerial approval had been received.

This was a short session and the meeting ended at 10.15am.

ExCo

30 September 2014

Island-Wide Chicken Vaccination Programme

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD) would like to advise the public that there have been 3 further outbreaks of Newcastle Disease in chickens, in and around the New Ground area.

All live chickens in the affected area have been culled and quarantine conditions established for the associated poultry units.

To help stop the spread of the disease ANRD will from Monday, 6 October 2014 commence an Island-Wide Vaccination Programme to run over the coming weeks.

The programme will begin in St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow and extend to other districts when these two districts are completed and vaccine supplies become available to ANRD.

The success of the programme is dependent on the support of poultry keepers who are urged to follow the simple measures provided in the attached information sheet.

ANRD will be promoting the vaccination programme via the radio over the coming week.

Vaccination to Protect Chickens Against Newcastle Disease – 29 September 2014

SHG

29 September 2014

TUESDAY 7 OCTOBER 2014

The second formal session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take place on Tuesday 7 October 2014 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The meeting will be open to the public and broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The Order Paper for the meeting is detailed below and appropriate officers will answer questions on their respective item.

1.         Chairman’s Address

2.         Enterprise St Helena Financial Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2013

3.         St Helena Fisheries Corporation Financial Statements for Year Ended 31March 2013

4.         St Helena News Media Services Financial Accounts for Two Year Period Ended 31 March 2013

5.         St Helena Currency Fund Accounts 2012-2013

6.         Performance Audit Report: Delivering Government Objectives

7.         Follow-up Action to PAC Report of 10 February 2014

8.         Public Accounts Committee: Terms of Reference

9.         Public Accounts Committee: Reporting Mechanism

 

SHG

29 September 2014

In July this year an SHG press release highlighted a change in entry regulations for persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa. The date that was previously announced for this change was 1October 2014.  This date has been changed and revisions will now be put into effect from 1June 2015.

From 1June 2015 parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children.  This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa.  This is not specific to St Helena – it applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports. The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.

For children born on St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown.  For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp.   Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK.  A one day despatch service is available.  Services vary in other countries.

Until the 1 June 2015, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa.  However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel. General UK guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad.

There remains no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.

Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22626.

SHG

29 September 2014