Following reports of damage to private property in the vicinity of the upper level of the disused Duke of Edinburgh Playground, the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate would like to remind the public that this area is no longer a designated Playground.

Legal Notice 6 of 2016, the Public Recreation Ground (Revocation) Order, 2016 revokes the Duke of Edinburgh Recreation Ground Order (L.N. 9 of 1957), which declares the Duke of Edinburgh Recreation Ground as a public recreation ground reserved for the use of children and young persons. 

The public is therefore reminded that this area is no longer designated a playground and shall not be used as such until further notice.

 #StHelena #ENRD


29 January 2018

The Statistics Office today released new estimates of the size of St Helena’s population. At the end of 2017, there was an estimated 4,846 people on St Helena, with an estimated 4,761 residents and 4,267 persons with St Helenian status.

Chart: Population, total on-Island and St Helenians, end of each month

The release also includes estimates of the total number of passenger arrivals and departures, including those by air, and the number of births and deaths registered during 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2017, over 700 passengers arrived by air, contributing to the 4,118 arrivals during the year. There were 58 deaths and 36 births during 2017.

For more details, please see the full version of the bulletin attached, or available online at:

#StHelena #Population #Stats


29 January 2018

Attorney General, Angelo Berbotto, departs the Island tomorrow, Saturday 27 January 2018, after spending two and a half years on St Helena. 

Angelo originally came to the Island as Crown Counsel in July 2015. He was acting Attorney General from December 2015 and appointed as Attorney General on 2 May 2016.

Angelo said:

“I am truly grateful for the time Szymon and I have had here. St Helena is a beautiful island. We have met great people and made friends for life and look forward to returning in the future to visit. It has been a privilege serving as AG. I am grateful for the opportunity. 

“I will miss my team. They have supported me and we have achieved our goals. Since 2015 to date, I have seen positive changes on St Helena and I am convinced that the Island has a bright future ahead.”  

Governor Lisa Phillips added:

“I am very grateful for the work Angelo has done during his tenure, not just for St Helena but for Ascension and Tristan da Cunha too.  He leaves a strong legacy of legislation which will allow the islands to grow economically and will allow citizens’ rights to be better protected. 

“Angelo has also been AG under a time when prosecutions and other cases have been at their highest, in terms of numbers, in recent history meaning that the judicial system is working well. And he and his partner have also contributed to many other areas in the community, particularly through their charity work. I am particularly grateful to them both for that. I wish them well.”

Angelo will remain Attorney General until the end of his contract in mid-March. Upon Angelo’s departure from the Island, Attorney General (Designate), Sara O’Donnell, will become Acting Attorney General and will conduct the day-to-day management of the AG’s Chambers.

#StHelena #AttorneyGeneral #Farewell


26 January 2018

The RMS St Helena departed on her final voyage from Cape Town yesterday, Wednesday 24 January 2018.

To mark this occasion, a number of celebratory events took place in Cape Town, starting on Tuesday evening with a reception onboard the ship hosted by Captain Adam Williams and Directors of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, and Mr John Marden. Guests included representatives from companies who have been involved with the RMS over the years – Cape Town Port Authorities, RNC Ships Agency, Dormac Marine & Engineering, AWSML, Lloyds Register, Seamen’s Mission, AirSeaMed and P&I Club.  Other invitees included those with close links to the Island – representatives from Mantis St Helena, the Tristanian community and the British and French Consulates.

The Associated Press and the editor of Maritime SA, Cape Times were also in attendance.

Passengers embarking the RMS on Wednesday, 24 January, were treated to musical entertainment by local musicians. A reception in the passenger terminal followed and invited guests and members of the public wishing to see the final sailing of the RMS were allowed quayside from 5pm.

The 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant, to mark the 27 years’ service of the RMS St Helena, was carried by a number of RMS Officers and crew, who signed off this call in Cape Town, and was received by a contingent of ship’s crew on the dockside before being presented to Captain Williams by Director of St Helena Line, Kedell Worboys MBE. The pennant was flown from the RMS main mast as she set sail from ‘F Berth’ amidst a cloud of confetti and to the sounds of the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band.

The farewell was covered by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC.

The RMS is now on her way to St Helena and is due to arrive on Monday, 29 January 2018.

RMS Farewell Programme on St Helena

A programme of events to mark the RMS Farewell on St Helena has this week been published in local newspapers.

The programme starts on Tuesday, 6 February, with a Thanksgiving Service at St James’ Church. The service starts at 7pm and all are invited to attend. Following the service the RMS crew will proceed to the Seafront for a Blessing. 

Friday, 9 February, has been declared a Public Holiday by Governor Lisa Phillips for the main RMS Farewell celebrations.

The RMS Open Day will take place between 9am-4.30pm for those who have already made a booking. Celebrations on the Seafront will start at 3pm and will include a local market, RMS entertainment, an exciting performance by the RMS Amateur Dramatics Society and live music by various local bands. Festivities will continue until midnight.

The RMS will depart St Helena on her final voyage from the Island on Saturday, 10 February.  At 9am on this day current RMS crew members in their respective uniforms will parade from the Canister in Jamestown through to and along the Seafront before returning to the ship. They will be accompanied by the Scouts band and uniformed contingents.

At 2.15pm, the 27ft paying off pennant will be walked from the Customs Building to the lower wharf steps by competition winners. Kedell will present the pennant to Captain Williams. Members of the public will be allowed access to the lower wharf to witness this and to say a final farewell.

It is planned for a flotilla of boats to circle the harbour and the RMS St Helena before she pulls up anchor. Captain Williams will sail at 4pm towards Buttermilk Point before turning around for a steam past the harbour, allowing all ashore to view the RMS for one last time decked out in full dress and to view the 27ft paying off pennant. The RMS will then stop at Lemon Valley where her flags will be taken down before continuing her onward journey to Cape Town.

Please see this week’s newspapers for an outline programme of events. Further details will follow over the coming weeks.

RMS Open Day

An overwhelming response was received for the RMS Open Day. Thank you to everyone who contacted the Tourist Office to book a space.

Unfortunately due to the high level of interest, no further bookings can be taken.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #Farewell

RMS Farewell Working Group

25 January 2018



St Helena Government is in the process of creating a new detailed topographic map of St Helena, the first update since 1990. Since then, a lot of things have changed, not just a new airport being built with regular scheduled flights and the imminent decommissioning of the much loved RMS.

In 1990, Sat Navs were still an expensive novelty, mostly used by the military. Nowadays, GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers are everywhere, very inexpensive and almost everyone with a smart phone has the ability to find their position with an accuracy of about five metres anywhere on the planet. The 1990 series St Helena 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 topographic maps are based on the old Astro DOS datum setup by the UK’s Directorate of Overseas Surveys (DOS) in 1971. Back then, GPS did not exist and far less precise astronomical methods were used to work out positions in the open ocean like St Helena Island. It turns out that the Astro DOS datum in St Helena is 732 metres off from truth (today’s GPS position). This means that anyone using a GPS in default setting mode with the 1990 series maps will plot their position 732 metres out, which on St Helena could be a serious mistake.

Of course, if you select the Astro Dos 71/4 option in GPS receivers this error goes away but this isn’t the ideal situation for safety reasons. In the ideal world your GPS position in default mode should match up exactly with the map, so this has necessitated preparation of new maps by SHG. The construction of the new airport, associated roads and port facilities has also warranted the update as well of course.

During 2015 and 2016, geodetic surveyors led by Murray Henry from SHG re-surveyed the Island visiting many of the original 1971 trigonometric stations and also surveying all of the post box walk tracks. The surveyors used state-of-the-art geodetic grade GPS receivers to get centimetre accurate positions of the trigonometric stations. The new datum is called the St Helena Geodetic Datum 2015 (SHGD2015) and is directly compatible with the default GPS datum which is called WGS 84.

A geodetic consultant from Australia, Richard Stanaway, who first visited St Helena as a tourist in 2009 was engaged to compute the new coordinates and work out the difference with the old coordinates. These transformations were checked using different GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to validate them with the latest satellite imagery over St Helena.

St Helena hasn’t really moved 732 metres, that is just the error of the old datum, but the Island is moving a few centimetres each year as she drifts away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The GPS base station at Longwood run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA can monitor this tectonic motion precisely. St Helena is a key station in the international monitoring network.

Further information or the full report on this project, entitled ‘Geodetic Datum Modernisation for St Helena’ is available on request from Samantha Cherrett ( or Devlin Yon ( at Essex House, Tel: 22270.



25 January 2018

A formal session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take place tomorrow, Friday 26 January 2018, in the Council Chamber at 1pm. This is a continuation of the meeting held on Monday, 15 January 2018, to examine Sessional Paper 40/17 – Statements of Expenditure in Excess, Financial Year 2016/17.

Members of the public and interested persons are invited to attend.

The meeting will also be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

#StHelena #PAC #FormalMeeting


25 January 2018

The Mantis St Helena hotel is wholly owned by St Helena Government (SHG) having taken the decision to fund the building of a hotel in the absence of any investor, international or local, coming forward to do so. The Company, St Helena Hotel Development Ltd (SHHD), is a SHG entity which was tasked by Executive Council to oversee the construction and initial operation of a four star hotel. Mantis has been contracted by SHHD to manage the operation of the hotel. It was never part of the Hotel Management Agreement that equity would be offered to Mantis.

SHG is being asked by SHHD, not by any other organisation, to provide a Guarantee to allow the company to seek additional loan finance from the Bank of St Helena. The Company is not asking SHG to provide this funding from the Government reserves – a Guarantee is a ‘promise to pay’ in the event the loan is not paid. The additional loan finance of £500,000 is required to pay for the completion of the build, which was hindered not only by currency fluctuations but also the RMS delays and additional costs incurred through bringing artisans to the Island to complete the project. The construction project was over budget by 13.9%, which while regrettable, is not unusual for a project of this size. The remainder is to provide working capital for the hotel, due to the uncertainty of future visitor numbers. While the operation is only a few months old, operating performance over the Christmas and New Year period has been encouraging.

SHHD is aware that allegations have been made regarding overcharges on equipment and is working with the project management team including their Quantity Surveyor, to ascertain any validity and will take the appropriate action if required. SHHD’s financial statements are verified by the Saint Helena Audit Service and scrutinised annually by the Public Accounts Committee.

24 January 2018

The public is advised that the lower Wharf will be closed tomorrow, Thursday 25 January 2018, between 7am and 4pm.  This is due to the St Helena Government Garage carrying out necessary inspections on the cranes 001 and 002, including testing lifting capacity. 

Fishermen and boat users will have access to the landing steps but will need to obtain permission from Government Garage staff before entering into the work zone.

Port Control would like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation.

#StHelena #LowerWharfClosure #PortControl


24 January 2018



Governor Lisa Phillips, last evening, Tuesday 23 January 2018, hosted a reception at Plantation House to mark the tenth anniversary of Chief Justice Charles Ekins Esq’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of St Helena.

Governor Lisa remarked:

“I am happy to host this reception, bringing to a close the session of the Supreme Court.  I would also like to particularly recognise the contribution of the Chief Justice, Charles Ekins, to St Helena and the rest of the territory – a contribution that has now spanned over 10 years. I would like to join others in congratulating the Chief Justice on his decade of service. I consider the Chief Justice to epitomise what integrity, principle, dedication and compassionate service looks like. He understands intimately the mood of St Helena and the way that it thinks.  He has been patient where he knows he needs to be, but impatient when we need to be pushed.  In particular, his personal support for the system of Lay Advocates and Lay Magistrates has meant that we can say there is truly justice for all in the territory.  This shouldn’t be underestimated.  Around the world some countries would look enviously at us for this.  

“The work of the Supreme Court today and the other parts of the system mean that our judicial system continues to go from strength to strength. Providing an effective judiciary and rule of law is a foundation of good governance and is also absolutely necessary as a precondition to economic development.  St Helena’s future depends on continuing high standards of governance.

“I very much appreciate the work of the Chief Justice, this Supreme Court, and the work that is done by all those who are here this evening.”

Chief Justice Ekins thanked the Governor for her kind words. He said:

“St Helena is a very special place and the last 10 years has been an education for me. The work we do in the courts is of huge importance to the Island and it’s not down to a single individual. I am in awe of the support we receive at every level.”

The Chief Justice then went on to praise the work of the Lay Magistrates and Lay Advocates. He also made special mention of the Judicial Services’ team – Yvonne Williams, Belinda Piek and Amelia Gough – for their remarkable work in ensuring the smooth administration of justice for both the Magistrates and Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice departs the Island on Saturday, 27 January 2018.

#StHelena #ChiefJustice


24 January 2018





A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Thursday, 25 January 2018, at 10am in the Council Chamber. This is the first sitting of the third meeting of Legislative Council and will be broadcast live via SAMS Radio 1.

The Order Paper includes six Sessional Papers and 13 Questions for oral response. There will also be three Motions relating to the Port and Aerodrome (Health) Bill, 2018, the First Supplementary Appropriation (2017/2018) Bill, 2018, and approval of the terms and conditions of the St Helena Government Guarantee to the Bank of Saint Helena Ltd.

The meeting will conclude with the customary Adjournment Debate, giving each Elected Member the opportunity to raise various Island issues.

A copy of the Order Paper can be viewed on the SHG Website at:

#StHelena #LegislativeCouncil #FormalLegCo #OrderPaper

23 January 2017