Baton at Rosemary

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton completes its busy schedule on St Helena today as it comes to the end of its visit.

Today’s programme, organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), saw the Baton visit Pilling Primary School, Plantation House to meet Jonathan the Tortoise, Cape Villa Sheltered Accommodation, Prince Andrew School and the General Hospital – before a final walk through Jamestown.

Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, who is accompanying the Baton, said:

“Words really can’t describe the reception we’ve had while on St Helena, it’s been second to none and more importantly for us it’s the community spirit that’s here. This is one place that has actually shown what we want to do – take the Baton to the communities and let everyone, see it, feel it and touch it.

“I can’t believe what we’re seeing on St Helena, it’s absolutely fantastic. All I can say to everybody is thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us since we’ve been here and we’ll be very sorry to leave.”

The Queen’s Baton and the Relay Team will depart St Helena this afternoon bound for its next stop at Ascension Island.

Seven photos are attached to this release.


21 February 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 25 February 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: An information paper on The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.


21 February 2014

At the Public Accounts Committee meeting held on 10 February 2014, the Financial Secretary gave an undertaking to issue a press release on the differences between Qualified and Unqualified Opinions. This follows the audit of SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12 by the Chief Auditor.

What is an Audit Opinion?

An Audit Opinion is a statement by the Auditor as to whether or not the financial statements are materially correct.There are four types of opinions: Unqualified, Qualified, Adverse and Disclaimer.

What is an Unqualified Opinion?

An Unqualified Opinion is the best result, and is often referred to as a ‘Clean Opinion’.  It means that the financial statements are materially correct.  This can be described as either ‘presented fairly’ or ‘true and fair’.

What does Qualified mean?

A Qualified Opinion means that the financial statements are materially correct, except for one or more specific errors (with the rest of the financial statements being fairly presented).

What about Adverse and Disclaimer?

An Adverse Opinion means that there are so many errors that the financial statements are not materially correct.

A Disclaimed Opinion means that the Auditor has not been able to obtain enough evidence to come to a conclusion.

What does this mean for St Helena Government?

SHG’s 2011/12 accounts were Qualified on two matters – the Eligibility of Social Benefit Payments and the Pension Cost Disclosure.  An Adverse Opinion was given in regards to the Non-consolidation of Subsidiary Bodies.

Future Improvements

The Qualification for the Pension Cost Disclosure should disappear in 2012/13, but the other two Qualifications will remain. Work will be carried out on pension legislation in mid 2014 – to remove the Qualification of Pension Costs.  The Adverse Opinion on consolidation requires a detailed review, including of the cost v benefits of such a consolidation and the benefits of this to the general public.

Want to Know More?

SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12, the Chief Auditor’s Opinion and his Management Letter can all be found on the SHG website at: or by calling into Corporate Finance at the Castle and requesting a copy.


21 February 2014 


Invited to SAMS Radio 1 this morning, HE Governor Capes commented on the Queen’s Baton Relay, the problem of litter and the anniversary of SAMS Radio 1. Here is an excerpt of his comments:

Queen’s Baton

‘It’s important that we recognise our sports on St Helena. We are a part of the Commonwealth, of the 70 Nations, and that’s important, but it’s also about profiling St Helena as a very special place. There’s a BBC film crew accompanying the Baton and I’m sure St Helena will feature in their final cut, because everywhere else they go they will be arriving by airplane mostly and next time the Baton comes here it will be by air. So it was really nice to capture the RMS event yesterday – an historic occasion.

‘The schoolchildren made it.  They were very well behaved and patient, a little bit excited, and it all looked very good for St Helena with lots of atmosphere.’


‘Rubbish is something that has been irritating me. I love going into Plantation Forest and it’s nice to have it on your doorstep to take a walk, but when you see how a few thoughtless people can throw glass bottles into a beauty spot where people go with their children and dogs, you think well, what goes through their mind? What does somebody think when they’re throwing a glass bottle into a public place? Do they really want to hurt and injure people? It’s a minority, but I think it will help if we all make an effort to show that it is not acceptable behaviour, to spoil our beautiful places around St Helena and also to endanger people’s safety and health.  It’s unacceptable that people who do it don’t care about their fellow Saints and their neighbours, it just shows a lack of respect for our community and for St Helena. And if you look at the bigger picture, we were talking about the Baton coming here and a chance to showcase Helena for what it is – a beautiful Island with lovely people – if when they’re filming they see old beer cans and broken wine bottles in a corner, what does that tell you about St Helena?

‘If we’re serious about developing tourism, and that’s what we are doing, then we have to care about our community and our environment. It doesn’t take much to put a bottle, a crisp packet or a cigarette packet in a plastic bag and take it home, so I think we all have a duty to try and encourage the idiots who throw this litter and glass around to persuade them that actually there’s a better way of living.’

SAMS Radio 1

‘You’ve had a very successful year since you kicked off just over a year ago, so congratulations on that and well done – I think you’ve made a huge difference. The people have a choice of listening, a choice of opinion and I think you’ve done a great job in attracting a young audience. A lot of younger people enjoy what you do.  You’ve also had your flagship programmes like Sunrise and Juicy Mango, and Second Chance Sunday is very useful. The outstanding thing you did last year was the Election coverage where you broke some ground with very thorough interviewing of candidates, which was very good. So Happy Birthday to everyone involved in SAMS Radio 1. May there be many more.’


20 February 2014




Commonwealth Queen's Baton at St Helena Airport Site, Prosperous Bay Plain

National Amatuer Sports Association St Helena with Commonwealth Queen's BatonCommonwealth Queen's Baton at Napoleon's House in LongwoodBaton at Harford Primary School

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton continues on its busy schedule of events today as it journeys around the Island.

The Island programme, organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), will today see the Baton making various stops at Ladder Hill and Half Tree Hollow, Levelwood, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill and St Paul’s, before touring the streets of Jamestown this afternoon.

Chairman of NASAS, Eric Benjamin said today:

“We are very happy to have received the Queen’s Baton on St Helena for a third time and have been much impressed by the enthusiasm of the local people in welcoming the Baton here. The Team accompanying the Baton have also praised the tremendous reception they have received since their arrival.

 “Although the team were exhausted at the end of a long day yesterday, they are enthusiastic and eager to get out again today and explore the rest of the Island with the Baton and to see as much as possible of the St Helena community.”

Four photos are attached to this release. Further photos will follow as the Baton makes its way around the Island.


20 February 2014



The Baton is relayed up Jacob's Ladder

Queen's Baton arrives at St HelenaChairman of NASAs Eric Benjamin andLouise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games AssociationGovernor Capes with Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association and NASAS Chairman Eric Benjamin

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton has this morning arrived at St Helena Island, the fortieth stop in its impressive relay around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The Baton stops at the Island en-route from Cape Town to Ascension Island and has already begun a busy schedule of events (organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS)) during its two day stay on the Island.

Accompanied by Pam Young, NASAS Secretary, Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, Queen’s Baton Relay team member Shona Purves, plus three members of a BBC team and a Queen’s Baton Relay photojournalist, the Baton was brought ashore from the RMS St Helena and received by HE Governor Capes at the Wharf this morning, with schoolchildren and members of the public looking on.

The Baton was then transferred to participants of past Commonwealth and Island Games at the seafront, before the Primary Schools relayed the Baton across the Wharf to Jacob’s Ladder. Prince Andrew School students relayed the Baton up the 699 steps of the Ladder before it was brought back to Jamestown by members of St Helena youth group, New Horizons.

The Queen’s Baton was then officially received in the Governor’s Office and by Members of St Helena Legislative Council.

HE Governor Capes commented:

“The people of St Helena are delighted to be included in the Queen’s Baton Relay and I am sure that the team accompanying the Baton will receive a warm welcome as the Baton tours our Island. And after the pleasant five day journey from Cape Town on the RMS St Helena, I have no doubt that our visitors will be excited to see the beauty of St Helena and to meet as many as Saints as possible.”

The Baton is now making its way around various assembly points on the Island where the community are encouraged to take part in this international event by touching and viewing the Baton.In its journey around St Helena, the Baton will visit all Schools, Longwood House, the Airport site, the Community Care Complex and Sheltered Accommodation, SHAPE, the General Hospital, and Plantation House to visit the Island’s oldest resident, Jonathan the tortoise. 

The Baton will leave on the RMS St Helena on Friday 21 February, bound for her next stop at Ascension Island.

Note for Editors

This is the third time St Helena Island has participated in the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations. The first Baton visited the Island in May 2005 and the second in February 2010.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a much loved tradition of the Commonwealth Games and symbolises the coming together of all Commonwealth nations and territories in preparation for the four-yearly festival of Sport.

The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay is the curtain-raiser to the 20th Commonwealth Games. Over a period of 288 days the Baton will visit 70 nations and territories, cover 190,000 kilometres and involve a third of the world’s population, making it the world’s most engaging relay.The finish line is in the host nation Scotland just in time for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Glasgow on 23 July 2014, where Her Majesty The Queen will read aloud Her Message to the Commonwealth.


19 February 2014

Footage will be shown of the assembly of the massive Liebherr LR1200 Crawler Crane at Rupert’s on Local TV channel 1.

Voyage 22 of the NP Glory 4 (which arrived on 24 January 2014) brought the crane in 33 separate section, which were assembled after the arrival of two Liebherr technicians.

The footage will be broadcast on Local TV 1 at:

  • Wednesday 19 February – 8:30pm
  • Thursday 20 February – 8:30pm
  • Friday 21 February – 8:30pm
  • Saturday 22 February – 8:30pm
  • Sunday 23 February – 8:30pm


18 February 2013 

Councillors’ Corner is a new local TV programme involving members of Legislative Council discussing topical matters.    

This Councillor’s Corner will focus on Councillors Derek Thomas and Tony (Wilson) Duncan, answering questions regarding the last round of Constituency meetings.  Topics covered include the Lucy Faithful Report and the Sainsbury Report on social welfare.

The programme will be shown on Local TV 1 at:

  • Wednesday 19 February, 6:40am and 7pm
  • Thursday 20 February,6:40am and 7pm
  • Friday 21 February,6:45am and 6:50pm



18 February 2014 


St Pauls Primary School held its first Speaking and Listening workshop on Monday 17 February 2014. 

A presentation began the evening, which referred to the importance of speaking and listening in the curriculum and the aim of the night, which was to understand strategies taught at school and to transfer that into learning at home.

Sherell Thomas (Advanced Skills Teacher) highlighted that speaking and listening can be learnt and conveyed across a number of subjects – Maths, Science, Physical Education and Art.

With around 24 parents in attendance, the workshop ran a carousel of activities, consisting of spelling, listening and responding, promoting reading skills and role play.

Throughout the evening parents were shown short clips and asked a variety of questions in relation to listening and responding.  A debate of well-known TV and book characters got parents into the idea of role play and a spelling test was given to develop parents understanding of phonics.

Head Teacher, Pat Williams commented:   

Parents discussing role play
Parents discussing role play

“Parents are always asking for workshops to help their children at home.  These are very important and help educate our parents on strategies used in the classroom today compared to the days when they were at school. We have already had a Maths workshop last year and tonight it is an English one.

“It is such a shame when parents evenings are held, and you do not get the numbers you are looking for.  But it is pleasing to note that those who do attend appreciate the hard work staff put into delivering these workshops.”

Cara Joshua (parent) said:

“As English is not one of my child’s favourite subjects, it’s important to learn different techniques for me to use to encourage and help when doing homework.  The way children learn today is very different from when I went to school.  I have picked up new concepts, such as phonology (where some letters are commonly grouped together, and how to pronounce them).

“It also helps that when parents attend workshops, we can see that we are not alone in trying to understand new approaches of teaching children important skills within the English curriculum.”  

The evening rounded of with an evaluation, where parents were encouraged to assess the night and give ideas on improving workshops in the future.  Overall the evening showed that communication between school and home is vital.

Two pictures are attached with this release.


18 February 2014 








Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas
Inspector Matt Webb with St Helena Inspector Jonathan Thomas

Currently on-Island is Police Inspector Matthew (Matt) Webb (photo attached) from Sussex Police – to develop Neighbourhood (Community) Policing on the Island.

Inspector Webb arrived on 6 February 2014 and is here for three weeks working alongside relevant agencies and authorities to help develop better policing on the Island. He will be working closely with St Helena Police Inspector Jonathan Thomas, to reach out to the Island community and find out what Saints want their Police Force to be doing. Inspector Webb will also be sharing ideas on how to change the way the Police work here to deliver the best service for the community.

Inspector Webb said:

“Rather than be a target driven service we need to provide the very best service for the victims of crime and listen to what they want and need – not necessarily what we think they want and need.”

To develop Neighbourhood Policing on the Island Inspector Webb is adapting UK Policing tactics to fit the smaller population of St Helena. Neighbourhood Policing is important as it forms the basic building blocks of the Police Service.

Matthew explains:

“The problems on St Helena are different to those in the UK, so we need to evolve the work I have done previously to make it more suitable for St Helena. Briefing and instructions are being given to all Officers to encourage the way they think in order to engage fully with communities on the Island and to meet their needs. We have to protect people, protect life and property and we have to make sure that people can go about living their lives peacefully. On top of that we need to be linked as closely as possible with the community we serve.”

The St Helena Police Service are also being encouraged to work more with Schools to ensure they are properly connected with the younger people on St Helena – helping youngsters understand what Police Officers are here for and what they can do.

Matthew concluded:

“In my opinion, if you get Neighbourhood Policing right then you’ll get everything else right – you can reduce crime and friction between people, making it a more peaceful neighbourhood in which to live. By doing that you’re completing all the things a Police Officer needs to do to prevent and detect crime – and keeping people safe.”

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting added:

“I am delighted that Inspector Webb is on-Island to work with my team. I am committed to providing a police service that puts the public at the heart of everything it does, is open, trusted and engages with the community to ensure that we provide policing that the community can be proud of.”

Inspector Webb has 23 years of Policing experience and first started working in Community Policing in 1995. He has served as a Village Policeman for two small villages in Sussex and has worked in Response Policing – dealing with crimes and incidents as they occur. In 2009 he was promoted to Inspector and after a year was asked to run the Community Team in Crawley, Sussex, where he spent two years developing a brand of Community Policing which allowed his team to reach different groups in society and make life better for residents.


18 February 2014