Basil Read’s Certification & Operational Readiness Manager, Simon Walker, arrived on St Helena, today Tuesday 17 March 2015, to discuss plans for Airport Certification and Operational Readiness.

Simon is a familiar face to the St Helena Airport Project, having previously provided aviation advice to DFID and SHG.

In his new role, Simon joins the team in Basil Read working on Airport Certification.  During his visit, Simon will work closely with Basil Read, the Project Management Unit and the SHG Access Office to review key responsibilities and tasks required for Airport Certification and the operation of the Airport.

Further details on Simon’s visit and work programme will be published in the March Airport Update.

Simon will depart the Island on Wednesday 1 April 2015.


17 March 2015






SHG and DFID are pleased to announce the appointment of Comair Limited as the preferred bidder for the provision of air services to St Helena.

Comair is a South African aviation and travel company offering scheduled and non-scheduled airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.  Managed and owned by South Africans through its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Comair has been operating successfully in South Africa since 1946. The company operates under its low-fare airline brand,, as well as under the British Airways livery as part of its license agreement with British Airways plc.

Comair is proposing a weekly flight between Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International Airport, formerly known as Johannesburg International Airport) and St Helena using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The flight time from Johannesburg to St Helena will be about four and a half hours.

Through Comair’s partnerships with numerous international airlines, the St Helena air service will offer connections to the international route network, via Johannesburg, to destinations such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, Sydney and Hong Kong.

SHG and DFID will be holding detailed discussions with Comair over the next few weeks and will make a formal and more detailed announcement once these have been concluded.

This marks a very positive step for St Helena in working with an airline that has such a long track record of successful operations and which provides an excellent gateway to the rest of the world, including the UK.

Further announcements will follow.


16 March 2015

Professor Brian Robertson, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, will be making his annual visit to St Helena, arriving on Monday 30 March and departing on 27 April 2015.

During his time on Island Professor Robertson will be seeing patients as well as advising SHG as to how Mental Health services on St Helena can be strengthened.

Persons wishing to see Professor Robertson should first speak with their doctor or the Community Psychiatric Nurse, Ian Rummery, to discuss a referral.

Mrs Francoise Robertson will also be offering free relationship counselling for couples, and she be contacted directly on 22185 after Wednesday 1 April 2015.

Should you require more information, please contact Ian Rummery on tel: 22593 or email


16 March 2015


SHG wishes to advise the public that due to a delay in the regular RAF flight from the Falklands to Ascension, it has become necessary to delay the departure of the RMS St Helena from Ascension tomorrow, Saturday 14 March 2015, to allow connection with the delayed flight. It is envisaged that she will now depart Ascension slightly later on 14 March than originally scheduled.

At this time it is also envisaged that the delay will not have any impact on the scheduled arrival time at St Helena.


13 March 2014



Executive Council met today, Tuesday 10 March 2015.

There was one item for discussion on the Open Agenda. This was a request for development permission to allow the construction of a new building to house VHF telecommunications equipment at the Depot, Blue Hill, in accordance with a recommendation from the Land Development Control Authority. Council noted the conditions that had been set and granted permission on the basis that it was a necessary piece of equipment that would enable aircraft to communicate with air traffic control from anywhere over St Helena – a pre-requisite requirement of ASSI accreditation.

On behalf of Legislative Council, Executive Council would like to thank everyone involved in the recent successful medical evacuation.  We wholeheartedly congratulate and thank you all.



10 March 2015





Members of Project and Safeguarding Team at Ebony View
Members of Project and Safeguarding Team at Ebony View

The refurbishment of Ebony View (Ex-Half Tree Hollow School), the new home for residents of the Challenging Behaviour Unit (CBU) at Sundale, is making good progress, with residents expected to move into their new home later this month.

The refurbished premises offer a much more open and bright environment for residents and units are fully equipped with the necessities for residents to be able to live positive and more independent lives.

Ahead of an official opening, local media were invited for a tour of Ebony View on Friday 6 March 2015 to view progress and talk to members of the Project and Safeguarding team.

Director of Safeguarding, Greg Hall, commented:

“This building was designed and built as a replacement for the former CBU which is not ideal for residents. It is brilliant, totally different and designed specifically for people with disabilities.”

Assistant Chief Secretary, Paul McGinnety, added:

Living Room and Kitchen Area
Living Room and Kitchen Area

“Ebony View promotes independent living and will be a huge change for residents and staff. Residents will be living in modern accommodation that is purpose built for their needs.

“The contractors have done an excellent job in meeting specifications and we’ve now got a fantastic building we can be proud of.”

Ebony View comprises two detached and one semi-detached block, each with two bedrooms. The transition from the CBU to Ebony View will take place towards the end of the month and a small ceremony will be held for residents’ family and friends to come and celebrate their new home.

Chairman of the Social & Community Development Committee, Councillor Les Baldwin, concluded:

“There is no comparison between Ebony View and the old CBU. Ebony View is beautifully bright, open and airy. Johnny Isaac and his team have done a brilliant job and the facilities are fantastic.

“The residents have already been up for a look and they’re really looking forward to moving in. They are all getting genuinely excited and I think they will settle in easily. There is a lot more independence built into these units but with supervision they will soon get used to their new home.”


10 March 2015



Today, Monday 9 March 2015, is Commonwealth Day – a day when the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth take part in national Commonwealth activities focused around the theme of ‘A Young Commonwealth’.

This year, history was made as more that 730 Commonwealth flags were raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.

St Helena took part in the day’s celebrations with special Commonwealth assemblies in each Island school and activities planned around this year’s Commonwealth theme.

At Prince Andrew School a special ceremony was held in the School Hall attended by HE Governor Capes, Councillors, Members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) St Helena Branch and other distinguished guests.

In his welcome speech, Headteacher Paul Starkie, spoke of the 53 sovereign states of the Commonwealth working together in mutual support towards shared values and aspirations. He said:

“St Helena shares the same values and the same unity of purpose, the importance of tolerance, respect for human rights, equality of opportunity, freedom of expression, safeguarding the vulnerable and protecting the environment. We all aspire for the very best health care and education provision for our families.

“Half of the people of the Commonwealth of Nations are under 25 years old. You as students of Prince Andrew School represent the future of the Island and whether you remain here or move away, St Helena will always be your home and in your heart. As students at Prince Andrew School, we are very proud of you all. You all have special gifts and it is important you have the self-belief, determination and commitment to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you.

Commonwealth Day is a good time to reflect how you as young people can get involved and make a difference. The future of the Island is very much in your hands.”

Mr Starkie also congratulated the four young people selected to take part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, later this year.

Student President, Lizemarie Robbertse and Student Vice-President, Chystabel Greentree then gave their perspectives on what the theme of a young Commonwealth means for young people on St Helena. Lizemarie mentioned young people as future leaders, encouraging them to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. She also spoke of St Helena as being isolated but yet part of a global community as we represent our Island at events like the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The assembly continued with HE Governor Capes reading the Head of the Commonwealth, HM the Queen’s message (attached), followed by Councillor Nigel Dollery introducing this year’s Commonwealth essay competition, encouraging young people to take part and win some great prizes.

At 10am a special flag raising ceremony was held at the Francis Plain Pavilion as St Helena, along with 729 other states,

Student Vice-President Chrystabel Greentree Raises the Commonwealth Flag
Student Vice-President Chrystabel Greentree Raises the Commonwealth Flag

raised the Commonwealth flag in a shared celebration of the amazing family of nations that encompasses the globe. HE Governor Capes read a special message from HM the Queen:

“I am pleased to learn that so many people throughout the Commonwealth will be taking part in the ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’

initiative on Commonwealth Day this year, which I understand will see the raising of a record number of Commonwealth flags. I send my good wishes to all who are taking part.”

Hon Secretary of the CPA St Helena Branch, Gillian Francis, read the Commonwealth Affirmation:

“Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish. 

Invited Guests at the Flag Raising Ceremony
Invited Guests at the Flag Raising Ceremony

“We draw inspiration from our diversity, and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world.  We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally, and internationally.”  

The Commonwealth flag was raised by the Student President and Student Vice-President. It was a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, enabling participants to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens around the world.

HM Queen Commonwealth Day Message – 9 Mar 2015

Four photos are attached to this release.


9 March 2015


The schedule for the remaining Councillors’ constituency meetings is displayed below. All meetings will begin at 7.30pm.

Topics for discussion are Health and Water, but members of the public are encouraged to attend the meetings in their districts to raise any issues they might have.

Date Venue Chairperson
Wednesday 11 March 2015 Jamestown Community Centre Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean
Monday 16 March 2015 Half Tree Hollow Clinic Councillor Corinda Essex


9 March 2015


Dr Francisco Reyes Milian
Dr Francisco Reyes Milian

The St Helena General Hospital has recently welcomed two new Doctors to their Health Service Team.

From Guatemala, Central America, joining the Team is Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Dr Francisco Reyes Milian and Specialist Anaesthetist with general medicine duties, Dr Erick Diaz Rivera (photos attached).

Dr Francisco’s role is to take care of all pregnant women tending the Hospital, looking after them from the beginning right through to the end of their pregnancy. Dr Francisco runs the Antenatal Clinic and ensures, through checking laboratory tests and ultrasound scans, that everything is going well with the mothers, detects if there is any kind of anomaly or problem with the baby and tries to get ahead of that problem. As the Gynaecologist, Dr Francisco will tend to women with other conditions and provide advice on contraception or diseases of the uterus or ovaries for example.

Since his arrival on 25 February 2015, Dr Francisco has already delivered two babies.

He said:

“From a city of 13 million people and a big city hospital with 50 births per day, coming to St Helena is a big change for me – I have seen a lot of births in my life.

“The Hospital here is very well structured, it has everything basic that a Hospital needs and what I’m trying to do now is learn what equipment we do have and see if there is anything that we need that could improve the system here in any way.”

Dr Erick Diaz Rivera
Dr Erick Diaz Rivera

Dr Francisco is settling into his new role and familiarising himself with the Hospital and its staff.

Anaesthetist, Dr Erick, will take over the anaesthetic role currently held by Dr Atilla who is soon leaving the Island.  Dr Erick will provide anaesthesia in the theatre as well as carry out practice duties on Mondays and Fridays when he will tend patients at the clinics. Dr Erick will also be able to provide a certain level of intensive care to patients if required.

Dr Erick has a wealth of experience in his field and trained for his residency of anaesthesia from 2009-2012. He has worked in Social Security in Guatemala where he gave up to 500 anaesthesias a year working with different types of patients, including Neurological patients, Proctology patients and general surgery patients. Dr Erick was also in charge of conducting kidney transplants.

He commented:

“I am looking forward to working at the General Hospital. The Hospital itself is complete and the wards are very good. I am working with a new anaesthetic machine, which is good, and I have the tools to be able to complete my work. I would like to help with renewing some of the protocols here and hopefully can provide my experience where needed.”

Both Dr Erick and Dr Francisco are enjoying the Island.


6 March 2015



The Marine Conservation Section, of the Environmental Management Division, has today identified that green turtles have been attempting to nest in the Sandy Bay Beach area.

Human disturbance on nesting areas through unregulated access is a risk to potential nests and can cause an unacceptable level of disturbance which can affect nesting success.In an effort to minimise human disturbance, the Marine Conservation Section has been granted permission to close the beach area until nest status can be fully ascertained.

Visitors to Sandy Bay Beach are kindly asked to adhere to the signage displayed.  The public are advised to keep any pets on a leash and to not allow their animals to enter onto the beach area, not to use torches/flashlights if a turtle is seen as this may deter the turtle from nesting, and not to light fires after dark.

Anyone visiting Sandy Bay Beach who does happen to see a turtle attempting to nest, are asked to please contact the Marine Conservation Section on telephone 22270 or email

The Marine Conservation Section will update the public as events develop and thank the public in advance for their support.

Notes for Editors

Habitat and diet: Green turtles occupy different habitats during different life stages. Adults are predominantly herbivorous and undertake cyclical, long-distance migrations between coastal feeding habitats and nesting sites, which are often located on oceanic islands. Green turtles nesting at St Helena likely forage along a 6000km stretch of coastline from northern Argentina to northern Brazil. Hatchlings are pelagic and are thought to associate with floating vegetation and other debris entrained in ocean currents.

Reproduction and life history: Green turtles nest on sandy marine beaches. Females lay an average of 6 clutches of 120 eggs within a nesting season and breed at intervals of 3-4 years. Sex is determined by nest temperature during the middle third of incubation, with a pivotal temperature (giving an equal sex ratio) of 28.8oC. Hatchlings emerge 45 – 60 days after nesting, normally at night, and disperse rapidly into the open ocean.

The green turtle is protected under both domestic legislation and multilateral environmental agreements that have been ratified by the UK and extended to its Overseas Territories:

  • Listed under Appendix I of CITES (commits parties to adopt legislation prohibiting the import of export of listed species without license from local scientific and management authorities).
  • Listed under Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (commits parties to conserving and restoring the habitats of listed species [Article III, para. 4a], minimising activities that impede their migration [Article III, paragraph 4b] and prohibiting the taking of those species [Article III, para. 5]).
  • Listed on the Schedule of the Endangered Species protection Ordinance, 1996 (forbids the endanger of the welfare of the animal and prohibits the killing, capture or taking of turtles or their eggs).


5 March 2015