Sean Burns is Sworn in as Acting Governor
Sean Burns is Sworn in as Acting Governor

Head of the Governor’s Office, Sean Burns, was this afternoon sworn in as Acting Governor, taking the prescribed Oaths in the presence of the Sheriff of St Helena, Mrs Pat Musk MBE JP, in the Governor’s Office at the Castle (photo attached).  Sean’s appointment is effective immediately.

HE Governor Capes accompanied by Mrs Capes departed the Island today (30 April 2014) for a period of overseas business and leave. The Governor will return to the Island on Tuesday 17 June 2014.



30 April 2014

The St Helena Police Service needs the trust and confidence of the local community in order to be properly effective. Changes are being made in policing style to forge closer links with the community, putting public service at the core, protecting and serving the public and delivering a safe environment for all.

The Police Service, as part of the wider Police Directorate, has developed a clear set of values. These values drive the service and how Officers serve the public. Other measures that are being put in place will ensure that the team are community and victim focused and that local links across the Island are strengthened.

Inspector Johnny Thomas is leading the changes and says:

“The St Helena Police Service is putting the Beat back in the community.

“This programme of change will take time and to help me gauge its success, I am keen to understand what the public think of the service we are currently providing. The voice of the local St Helenian community counts – so a St Helena Police Public Satisfaction Survey is about to be launched.”

Survey forms will be available across the Island in local shops (together with boxes to post your completed surveys) in Jamestown, Half Tree Hollow, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill, Levelwood and Longwood. Alternatively, completed forms can be handed into the Police Station or given to any Police Officer. They are also available on the St Helena Government website at the following link:

The survey forms are short and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. The Police Service will be grateful for your views. Once completed, the survey results will be published.

29 April 2014

Chief Secretary Owen O’Sullivan departs the Island tomorrow (Wednesday 30 April) on completion of his contract.

Also leaving tomorrow for a brief visit to Cape Town for personal reasons is Deputy Chief Secretary Gillian Francis.

During the period up until the new Chief Secretary is in post, Assistant Chief Secretary (Performance) Paul McGinnety will take on the duties of Acting Chief Secretary. While Gillian is away from the Island, Corporate Services Executive Manager, Carol George will be appointed as Acting Deputy Chief Secretary.

The new Chief Secretary, Roy Burke, will arrive on Island on Wednesday 4 June 2014.


29 April 2014

The Post & Customer Service Centre wish to advise Social Benefit recipients, who collect their benefits at Longwood, that due to the Road Closure (between Hutts Gate and Longwood Gate) the issuing of payments from Harford Community Centre will start at 8.45am and end at 9.30am – commencing from this Friday, 2 May 2014, until further notice.

It would be appreciated if recipients could be at the Harford Community Centre between these new times to avoid any delays.


29 April 2014

HE Governor and Mrs Capes will depart the Island on Wednesday 30 April 2014.  The Governor will participate in a Governor’s Conference and the annual ‘Leadership Conference’ at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Governor and Mrs Capes will also attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace before taking some leave and returning to the Island in June.

If time permits, on his return journey through Cape Town, Governor Capes will renew contact with officials and business contacts there.

Mr Sean Burns, Head of the Governor’s Office, will be appointed Acting Governor until the Governor’s return on Tuesday 17June 2014.

Also departing the Island this week on completion of his contract will be Chief Secretary Owen O’Sullivan, accompanied by his family.


28 April 2014 


With the Easter weekend behind us, many young people and their families are beginning to look towards the examinations that will take place in the next few weeks. For our young people who are taking exams in May and June they are now entering the ‘revision season’. This can be a worrying and tense time for all of the family and here are a few tips to help you prepare for those important exams.



Your teacher will have helped you to work out from your mock exam which areas of study you need to give extra attention to. Once you know the timetable of when your exams take place, try to develop a weekly schedule of which subject you are going to revise and how much time you are going to spend revising each topic.

Once you have drawn up your plan, let your family know how important it is and then stick to it!



Doing past papers or practising how to write an essay in the time that you will have for an exam, is very beneficial.



Set yourself realistic targets to improve the marks you can get by repeating exercises you have learnt, not only once, but maybe each week and see how you start to improve your scores.



Making mistakes is how we all learn.  When you check your answers, spend some time working out why you went wrong and practice doing things the right way!



It is important that apart from your busy revision schedule, that you have a good amount of sleep each night and also keep fit.  Regular exercise is a great way of keeping fit and alert.  A healthy body makes a healthy mind!



During revision time, some people will always pretend they are not doing any revision and might encourage you to do the same.  It is really important that you focus on what you are aiming to achieve and don’t get distracted by people who might want you to develop bad habits. Exams do matter and people who are properly prepared for the exam do better than those who aren’t.



For the person in your family who is taking an exam, it can be a very stressful time.

Be patient, be helpful and give your son, daughter or relative lots of encouragement to do their best.  Don’t forget to ask them how it went, when they get home. Once one exam is finished help them to prepare for the next one.


And finally……..




Colin Moore

Director of Education, SHG

28 April 2014







   GP - 1On Saturday 26 April 2014, a Garden Party was held at Plantation House to mark the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

The weather held out, and with good organisation of the event by Debbie Stroud many mingled and enjoyed the day which included a mixture of St Helenian society; Prince Andrew School Students, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, private sector individuals, retired public servants, SHG Officials and Councillors attended – with many individuals having their medals on display.  

HE Governor Mark Capes, called the gathering to order by blowing the ‘Bosun’s whistle’, presented to him by the Captain of the French Frigate ‘La Fayette’ on 15 April.

In addition to recognising the commitment and service of Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor also acknowledged individuals on the Island for their dedication and service to the community.  The Queen’s Certificate was awarded to Mr Lionel Lawrence, whose working career commenced in 1949 when, at the age of 15 years, he was employed as an apprentice in the Agriculture and Forestry Department.  Lionel retired in 1991 having served the Department for a total of 42 years.GP - 2

GP - 4The second award for the Queen’s Certificate of Honour went to the late Mrs Shirley Anderson-Leo, who worked for 40 years as a registered general nurse and midwife.  

The achievements of those returning from study were also commended.  Ricardo Fowler, April Lawrence, Nikita Crowie and Tara Thomas, who have recently returned from the United Kingdom, were all recognised for their achievements.  

Also mentioned were Robyn Sim, who will shortly be leaving St Helena on a three year teacher training course at the University of Hertfordshire and Matt Joshua, who will be taking up a place on a three year Diploma in Hotel Management at the International Hotel School in Cape Town. 

GP - 3The Governor highlighted these individuals as examples of those who choose to better themselves to improve the Island’s skill base, vital for the future prosperity of St Helena.

 The Governor’s speech is attached, together with four pictures.




28 April 2014

The Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) has today announced that the one calendar month of Quarantine applied to Farm Lodge, St Paul’s, will lapse at midday on Saturday 26 April 2014.  Farm Lodge will then be open for business as normal.

The period of Quarantine was applied on 26 March 2014 to the entire premises and land at Farm Lodge, following an outbreak of Fowl Cholera amongst the flock of ducks. In all, 111 ducks died or were humanely destroyed.

The remaining flocks of guinea fowl and chickens have been monitored by ANRD, initially daily, with no signs of any spread of the disease. In the meantime, the duck areas have been cleansed and disinfected, and kept free of any stock.

As a precaution, and based on international data available on this infectious organism, the Economic Development Committee, chaired by Councillor Lawson Henry, has agreed to apply a further five calendar months of Quarantine (until 26 September 2014) on the duck area alone – comprising a pen, yard and small paddock. This small area of Quarantine will remain unstocked with poultry and be out of bounds to the general public.

In all other respects, Farm Lodge will resume for business as usual.  Stephen Biggs and Maureen Jonas are commended for their cooperation and hard work which has provided this successful outcome.


25 April 2014


Paul McGinnety, former Interim Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (photo attached), has today been appointed to the new post of Assistant Chief Secretary, Performance.  This post replaces that of Director of Strategic Policy and Planning, vacated by Susan O’Bey in February 2014.

The post of Assistant Chief Secretary will be vital in supporting SHG in delivering its short, medium and long term strategic goals as the Island enters a defining period in her long and proud history.

To ensure that Government becomes more effective and efficient, the Assistant Chief Secretary will have a strong corporate policy and planning focus, will implement improvements across SHG and build strong relationships between SHG and DfID, ESH, the private sector and civil society.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul McGinnety said:

“It is clear to me that SHG needs to continue to modernise, maximise the impact of all available resources and tightly focus on delivery of our key objectives, while ensuring we protect vulnerable groups.

“It’s vital as the Island moves forward that we achieve sustainable economic, environmental and social improvements, particularly at this time of change. I’m looking forward to leading on this important area of our work, partnering with all our key stakeholders, including the public.”


22 April 2014


Saturday 19 April 2014 saw St Helena’s new offshore fishing vessel reach the Island at around 5:30 pm, to an enthusiastic welcome party of around 200 people. 

Terry Richards, General Manager of the Fisheries Corporation, commented:

The seven day journey from Hout Bay to St Helena was uneventful except for a period on Wednesday when the vessel was dead in the water, due to the raw seawater pump malfunctioning.  But thanks to the ingenuity of the Skipper, Trevor Thomas, and Engineer, Errol Thomas, the problem was soon rectified and the Extractor resumed her journey after 2 ½ hours.

“The vessel proved to be very responsive and handled all sea conditions encountered with ease.  Hopefully she will continue to do so and be an effective fishing platform when commercial fishing commences.”

Extractor 2
Extractor 2

The Extractor, built in 1998, is 22 metres in length.  The welcome party was given a brief demonstration in St James’ Bay of her handling ability, followed by clearance by Customs and Immigration officials.

Lead Skipper, Trevor (Otto) Thomas, and crew members Waylon Thomas, Peter Benjamin, Errol Thomas, and Terry Richards, were presented with a St Helena Flag for the MFV Extractor by Cllr Lawson Henry, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

Following the presentation, the crew was welcomed by a reception at the St Helena Yacht Club, where Councillor Henry, Terry Richards, Trevor Thomas and Rob Midwinter all commented on the significance of the Extractor’s arrival at St Helena and thanked all who supported the crew during their time away.

Extractor Flag

Robert Midwinter, Director of Enterprise St Helena, said:

“The arrival of the ‘MFV Extractor’ marks a real turning point in the economic development of the Island’s fisheries.  Not only does it allow local fishermen to target our seamounts, but it also provides us with a platform on which we can re-build the industry, including opportunities for training, scientific monitoring, and the policing of our waters.  The Extractor will also provide a measure of assurance for those smaller vessels that are capable of going further offshore.”    

Four pictures are attached to this release.



22 April 2014