For the first time on St Helena, a heart surgery operation has been conducted at the General Hospital, Jamestown (on Friday 16 January 2015) – carried out by Senior Medical Officer Dr Attila Frigyesi and Surgeon Dr Carlos Soto – assisted by the theatre nurses.

This emergency and life-saving heart surgery was successful and the patient is doing well and now recovering at home.

Dr Atilla said:

“Friday’s operation highlights the fact that it is possible to perform relatively advanced healthcare on St Helena if we have appropriate trained staff and suitable equipment.

“I would like to thank all of the team involved for their efforts in saving the life of this patient.”


19 January 2015


Customs Officers Juliette O’Dean and Rosemond Fowler recently undertook four weeks of training in St Lucia to gain a greater understanding on the implementation of St Helena’s first Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World).

This web based system will set a platform for e-Government and will improve trade facilitation and avoid delays. Significant improvements will become evident in the future in terms of faster and more streamlined clearance of goods processes, better accounting and statistical capabilities and a paperless system.

Juliette and Head of Information Technology, Jeremy Roberts, had previously undergone initial training in Geneva to ensure that the system was appropriate and could be installed on St Helena, and to undergo initial implementation training. The most recent training has now enabled Juliette and Rosemond to see ASYCUDA in practical real-time operation and learn about the different features of the system, especially the International Harmonised System Codes, risk management, rates and rules.

Juliette explained:

“The training in St Lucia was very productive and involved both practical and theory – with the focus on understanding the International Harmonised System Codes and other operational features. Currently on St Helena, we use SITC Codes (Standard International Trade Classification Codes) which are not compatible with full implementation of ASYCUDA World. This training has enabled us to learn and understand these new codes and implement them in ASYCUDA World here on St Helena. All Customs staff and relevant stakeholders will now be trained on how to classify goods through classroom sessions.”

The ASYCUDA World system will now be fully implemented on St Helena – firstly with the online manifest submission procedure to be used by carriers and others. The next stage will involve putting in place the declaration module, which involves the new international harmonised codes, selectivity and the rates and rules. This phase will affect major stakeholders and importers.

There are significant benefits for traders and the public, including online trade input, fair trade practices, real time statistics, faster clearance and simplified procedures.

Juliette added:

“Stakeholders are aware of the benefits of ASYCUDA World and have been open-minded and optimistic. Change is always difficult, but we hope to make this transition as smooth as possible. It is important that we make the system as user-friendly as possible, adapted to our environment here on the Island.”

Juliette and Rosemond would like to thank their colleagues in Customs and SHG for enabling this training, and the St Lucia Customs team who were very welcoming and helped establish a positive, professional link between the two Islands.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version, developed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide.



19 January 2015



A formal meeting of Legislative Council will take place on Friday, 23 January 2015 at 10am in the Court House, Jamestown.

The purpose of the meeting will be to elect a Chairman of the Public Health Committee and Member of Executive Council, following the resignation of Ian Rummery on 8 January 2015.

The Order paper for Friday’s meeting is available on the SHG website at


19 January 2015


Arriving on the RMS on Saturday, 10 January 2015, was Ian Johnson (photo attached) to take up the permanent emergency planning position, vacated by interim Emergency Planner, Alistair Smith, in December.

Based at the Access Office, Ian is contracted by SHG for two years and will be responsible for all emergency planning on the Island. This will include new risks brought about by the Airport, new infrastructure and the new Bulk Fuel Installation site, as well as the normal day-to-day risks the Island faces. Ian’s role will be to ensure that emergency plans are current, in place and ready to deal with any incident.

Ian explains:

“We have in place a Major Incident Response Plan. Now that the December major incident exercises have been completed we’ll be putting together an overall debrief report and reviewing the plan to see if we need to enhance it or improve on any learning points.”

The Major Incident Response Plan is a ‘live’ document and will be reviewed regularly – after future exercises and after any major incident. Ian will look at all the risks identified by the Island Risk Register and make sure that there are plans in place to deal with each of them. These individual plans will then form part of the overall Major Incident Response Plan.

Ian added:

“An emergency plan is very important for St Helena, as in worst case scenarios, if something happens, we’ve got a plan there and everyone knows their responsibilities. Working together, both in SHG and the private sector, is absolutely vital – because we’re limited in resources on the Island.”

Ian has 40 years experience in Fire & Rescue Services, having spent 33 years in Manchester as a Supervisory Officer for Operations and in the last seven years as a Contingencies Officer in Cumbria, responsible for emergency planning for the Fire Service, plus responsibility for the Cumbria Emergency Plan.

Ian hopes his fire and rescue experience will be of real benefit to these services on St Helena. In addition, he is pleased to have been able to arrange for a gift of some specialist equipment for the Island’s Fire & Rescue Services – donated from the Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services. Further details will follow on this.

Ian concluded:

“I am looking forward to my new role and to utilising my knowledge and experience in major incident planning here on St Helena. The Island is brilliant, the people are lovely and friendly and I’m eager to get around and meet everyone.”


16 January 2015


Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 20 January 2015, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for the following Open Agenda items:

  • An Application to Waive a Work Permit Fee
  • Undertakings And Resolutions Made At The Formal Meeting of Legislative Council Held on 11 & 12 December 2014
  • Information Paper on Revised Fuel Prices

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan, Leslie Baldwin and Christine Scipio-O’Dean.


16 January 2015

The public is advised that the Councillors’ Offices – previously situated at No.3 Main Street, Jamestown – have this week relocated to the Castle (to the Ex-Pay Roll Section).

Contact details for Councillors remain unchanged.

Members of the public with any questions or queries can contact the Secretary to Elected Members on tel: 22590 or email:


16 January 2015


Currently visiting the Island are Dr Alistair Dove, Director of Research and Conservation at the Georgia Aquarium, USA, and Rafael de la Parra, Executive Director, Ch’ooj Ajauil AC (The Blue Realm Project), Mexico.

Alistair and Rafael arrived on 3 January 2015 and are on-Island until Saturday, 17 January, with the goal to better understand how Whale Sharks use the habitat around St Helena, and in turn how St Helena fits into the Atlantic (and global) Whale Shark picture.

Alistair explains:

“The Atlantic is drastically understudied for Whale Sharks compared to the other oceans, and we are here to work with SHG and all interested Saints to help fix that.”

The work is a collaboration between ENRD, the Georgia Aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory, Ch’ooj Ajauil, and the Marine Megafauna Foundation. This work is only possible with the help and active involvement of local stakeholders on St Helena such as fishermen, tour operators and naturalists.

Whale Shark in St Helena Waters
Whale Shark in St Helena Waters

Since their arrival to the Island the team have been working off the ‘Enchanted Isle’ every day, scanning the leeward side of the Island for Whale Sharks, gathering identification photographs (their spot patterns are unique) and attaching satellite tags to help identify what the sharks do when they leave St Helena.

Alistair added:

“St Helena is home to adult Whale Sharks of both sexes in reliable numbers, which is unusual in the world. In most places that have Whale Sharks, they are either male-dominated groups of juveniles, or occasional individual adults. This makes us think St Helena may be important for the reproductive cycle, which is a big deal because mating and birthing in this species have not been documented before.”

When they leave on Saturday, Alistair and Rafael will have a lot of work to do identifying Whale Sharks and extracting measurements from the photos taken. It will then be a waiting game until the satellite tags start to report in 6-12 months time.

Rafael concluded:

“It is simply a pleasure to be in such a strikingly unique place. The landscape and geology is spectacular and everyone we have met with has been super friendly and accommodating.

“St Helena’s marine life is stunning. As a marine biologist, the experience of putting your head underwater and recognising almost NONE of the species is an absolute pleasure. There are so many animals not found anywhere else – this really is the Galapagos of the Atlantic.

“We can’t wait to come back. With the help of the SHG and the St Helenian people, this has been an extraordinarily successful expedition!”

Both Alistair and Rafael are marine biologists interested in a wide range of marine animals, especially Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Devil Rays, dolphins and whales. Alistair is from Australia but has lived in the US for 15 years. Rafael is from Mexico City and now lives in Cancun, Mexico.

13 January 2015

Greta Pat Musk MBE JP was today reappointed as Sheriff of St Helena by His Excellency Governor Capes.

Mrs Musk took the prescribed Oaths before the Governor in his office at the Castle (photo attached). Mrs Musk’s appointment is effective until 31 December 2015.

Mrs Musk and HE Governor Capes
Mrs Musk and HE Governor Capes

The Sheriff of St Helena is nominally responsible for enforcing Court Orders, with this usually carried out by the Police Service on the Sheriff’s behalf. The Sheriff is also responsible for summoning Jurors when a Jury is required, either in the Supreme Court or for a Coroner’s Inquest. Her most conspicuous public role, however, is the swearing in of Governors and Acting Governors.

13 January 2015

The Environment & Natural Resources Committee has given approval to three merchants in Main Street to temporarily reserve a parking bay on the Stand for loading and unloading of goods for a period of up to four hours per day for local deliveries – on the understanding that this takes place outside of busy times and busy days.

In cases when off-loading goods received from the RMS St Helena means that it is not possible to avoid the busy times/days, merchants may need to reserve the car park for longer than four hours. This will be the exception and not the norm.

The portable signs used for this purpose are identified with “MERCHANT” printed above “NO PARKING” in large black letters on a white background.

Merchants are required to adhere to this arrangement. Should these conditions be breached then this arrangement may be withdrawn.

13 January 2015

A Director has been appointed for the new Safeguarding Directorate. Greg Hall (photo attached) is the successful applicant and will arrive to the Island on Thursday, 29 January 2015.

As Director of Safeguarding, Greg will be responsible for the integrity and quality of social services on St Helena, ensuring that services are provided in the most cost effective and ‘joined up’ way and, so far as possible – at a common standard, with a focus on prevention. This will include promoting collaboration across services, including those to children and young people, for those with learning disabilities, and other services such as residential provision.

Greg Hall
Greg Hall

Greg commented:

“It’s a privilege to have a chance to work with the local community and help develop social services on St Helena.

“Social services are vital to improving the everyday lives and security of people in the community, and most effective where they respect and value community input which can help shape their delivery.”

Greg has worked in community and Government social services settings for 20 years. Prior to his appointment on St Helena, Greg was the manager for a large team of social workers across rural and regional communities in New South Wales, Australia, as well as Director of Professional Development and Research for the Australian Department of Human Services Social Workers nationally.

Greg has a wealth of practical experience of shaping social service delivery in conjunction with communities and service users. He recently spent several years working with CSIRO (an Australian scientific agency) researching and developing evidence around the delivery of quality social services.

Greg concluded:

“I hope that my previous experience will be of real benefit in my new role. I’m looking forward to learning from the community in St Helena and building on the good work which has already been done by SHG. There have been some significant steps taken in social services, particularly recently, and I’d like to add to this.”
Greg will travel to St Helena from his home in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales.

13 January 2015