Alistair Smith
Alistair Smith

Arriving on Tuesday 17 June 2014 was Interim Emergency Planner Alistair Smith (photo attached). Alistair is on Island until 22 December 2014 to temporarily fill the Disaster Management role previously carried out by Disaster Management Executive Kevin Hornett.

Alistair’s primary aim while here will be to further develop the way we think about disaster planning, refocusing on contingencies and planning for emergencies.

Alistair explained:

“Disaster management focuses on dealing with matters after an incident has actually happened.  Emergency Planning is about building resilience, identifying systems and processes and having them in place before a crisis actually occurs – it’s  a subtle shift towards what we’re trying to achieve and what works best for the Island.” 

The current National Disaster Management plan will now be operationalised and rolled out across the various parts of SHG, other service providers and the general public to raise awareness of the plan – advising people what their role is, what they need to do in the event of an emergency and where they fit in. This will also cover what they might be asked to do and what they should expect to receive in terms of services.

Putting this Emergency Plan into operation will involve extensive stakeholder engagement through public meetings and the media. Keeping everyone updated as the plan develops is very important. And the Emergency Plan is not only about the Airport – it will take into account a raft of issues that could affect the Island and her community.

Alistair said:

“Recognising the full range of risks, those that exist today and those that will come with the Airport, we will develop a workable plan that will enable emergency services and Government to respond effectively and efficiently to any scenario that arises.”

Legislative Council has been briefed on what Alistair will be doing while here and his next steps are to expand on the work already in place and the capabilities on the Island, to understand how best an emergency plan should be drafted.

Alistair commented:

“The key here is about working with people to develop a plan that will stand the test of time.”

Over the coming weeks Alistair will be visiting various sites and meeting different organisations, gathering information on what works well and what doesn’t. This will be an ongoing process to set the basics for a plan which will be continually reviewed and updated against the risks as seen. Having a national emergency plan in place is fundamental for the Island as there are risks here that need to be acknowledged.

Alistair added:

“Having a plan is the starting point. It doesn’t necessarily take away the fact that scenarios will differ but it’s a good foundation on which to act and respond to any crisis that occurs.”

Alistair has a wealth of experience in emergency planning. Prior to coming to St Helena he completed 30 years with Surrey Police. For eight years he was an Inspector and the last seven were spent with the Force Planning Resources Team, where Alistair had responsibility for emergency planning, operational planning, force resources and force duties for the Surrey Police.

Alistair concluded:

“The Island is great. You soon realise how far you are from the rest of the world but many of the challenges here are the same as you would expect back home. Obviously it’s on a different scale with special local variations, but in essence it’s very similar.

“I’ve been made to feel very welcome, it’s a beautiful place and I’m keen to get around and see a bit more. Hopefully when I leave I’ll take away some great memories, and will have contributed something to the Island’s safety.”


24 June 2014

The public are once again reminded that while construction works are ongoing at the Wharf, the area will be open to pedestrians only between the hours of 16.00 & 08.30 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 Friday to 08.30 Monday – ie, open evenings and weekends only.  There will be restricted access to vehicles, and a barrier will be in place.

Authorised users only will be able to drop off/pick up equipment (e.g. diving equipment, fishing tackle etc) at the lower steps – before returning their vehicle to the area beyond the barrier. No vehicle at any time can be left parked on the Wharf between the construction site and the landing steps – this area needs to be kept clear in the event of an emergency.

Port management would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued co-operation.


24 June 2014 

To mark the construction of the Terminal Building at the Airport, the Laying of a Commemorative Stone, Blessing of the Building and Burial of a Time Capsule will take place at the Airport site on Saturday 28 June 2014.

Since early May the St Helena Government Public Relations Office has been running a competition in Island schools for young people to submit a drawing, poem or essay – with winning entries to be placed in the Time Capsule and buried at the Terminal Building.

Other contents of the Time Capsule will include photos and short films showcasing the Island community and Airport progress, Island newspapers, a comments book from all involved in the St Helena Airport project, a special Airport stamp issue, St Helena currency, St Helena crafts, seeds from plants endemic to the Island and the Electoral Roll.

A total of 131 entries were received from the schools and were judged by Lindsay McGinnety, Pamela Murray and Liam Yon. The high quality of the entries meant Judges had a difficult task of choosing winners for each category, and as a result an additional three entries were highly commended.

Competition winners are as follows:

Primary School Pupils – Paint or draw a picture of What St Helena looks like to you in 2014

Age 3-6 years

1st Prize – Leonna Coleman (Picture of the Seafront and RMS St Helena) – Harford Primary School

2nd Prize – Jordi Henry (The STAR Supermarket and Post Office in Jamestown) – Harford Primary School

3rd Prize Zach Robinson (Francis Plain Football Field) – Harford Primary School

Age 7-11 years

1st Prize – Ananda Thomas (Basil Read Road and Rupert’s Hill on St Helena) – Harford Primary School

2nd Prize – Jacob Williams (Airport Site and Dry Gut Fill) – St Paul’s Primary School

3rd Prize – Nesta Yon (Jamestown and James’ Bay) – St Paul’s Primary School

Highly Commended

Ben Crowie (RMS St Helena in James’ Bay) – Pilling Primary School

Charlize Crowie (Bradley’s Camp) – Harford Primary School

Christy Jo Scipio-O’Dean (St Helena, June 2014) – Harford Primary School


Lower Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write an essay entitled ‘How St Helena will Change with an Airport’ of up to 500 words.

1st Prize – Jacob Bowers, Jamestown


Upper Age Students, Prince Andrew School – Write a poem entitled ‘St Helena – Past, Present and Future.’

1st Prize – Jodie Scipio-Constantine, Jamestown

2nd Prize – Jordan Stevens, St Paul’s

Commenting on the competition entries, the judges said:

“We’re very impressed with the level of thought that has gone into the entries – there are some really interesting perspectives and viewpoints. It’s very interesting to see what young people see now in 2014 before the changes from the Airport fully appear.

“The poem and essay entries were amazing and it was such a hard decision. In the drawings there is so much quality in all of them, from the younger groups right up to age 11. Everyone draws differently and has their distinct styles, so we’ve tried to choose drawings that are not necessarily the most artistic but those that have ideas, and there are a lot of ideas here.”

First Prize Winners in each category will now receive an invitation to the Commemorative Stone Ceremony on Saturday and their entries will be placed into the Time Capsule to be buried on the day. These entries – two pictures, one poem and one essay – are a snapshot of St Helena and these children will now be an important part of the Island’s history showing how they lived and saw their Island home in 2014.

SHG would like to thank all pupils and students who took part in the competition and for sharing their amazing ideas and views about St Helena. All entries will soon be displayed in Porteous House and members of the public are encouraged to take a look at the talent of the Island’s young people.

Prizes will now be distributed to all schools and presented to competition winners in the coming weeks.

Three photos are attached to this release.


23 June 2014

Highly Commended
Highly Commended
Winners Age 7-11 Years
Winners Age 7-11 Years
Winners Age 3-6 Years
Winners Age 3-6 Years

Open to the Public from 9.30am 

Executive Council meets tomorrow, Tuesday 24 June 2014, in the Council Chamber.

Commencing at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the following Open Agenda items:

  • Amendments to Customs and Excise Ordinance and Customs Regulations (Tariffs and Exemptions) (Amendment No 2) – Duty Free Products
  • The Customs  Regulations 2014 (Arriving and Departing Ships) (Amendment)
  • Application for Development Permission – Fire Station
  • Application for Development Permission for proposed improvements to Constitution Hill Road
  • Request for approval for variation of Order relating to the constitution of land as National Forest, in order to remove unproductive land from the National Forest Estate
  • Winding up of the St Helena News Media Services Board
  • Request for approval to register the company St Helena Hotel Development Limited (SHHDL)


Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Lawson Henry and Wilson Duncan. Councillor Brian Isaac is temporarily sitting on ExCo while Leslie Baldwin is away on overseas business



23 June 2014

Governor Capes Welcomes Senior Colleagues
Governor Capes Welcomes Senior Colleagues

HE Governor Capes formally welcomed the new Chief Secretary, Roy Burke and his wife Jill, and the new DfID resident Representative Morgan Riley – at a reception at Plantation House on Friday 20 June 2014 (photo attached).

Extending a warm welcome and expressing his own pleasure at being back on St Helena, Governor Capes addressed invited guests, commenting:

“This evening we welcome our new Chief Secretary Roy Burke and his wife Jill, and also Morgan Riley, the successor to Eddie Palmer as DfID’s representative on the Island.

“St Helena is changing – and that’s a fact. Our shared task is to ensure that the change will give St Helena a bright future, a future in which all who live here can share in its progress, in increased prosperity, in new opportunities and to ensure that no part of society is excluded or left behind.

“And we must take care to safeguard, as far as possible, all the things that make St Helena such a special place, not least her precious environment.

“Of course, financial prosperity is not going to happen overnight – it is right that development should be incremental so that St Helena can manage and adapt.

“The challenge is considerable and complex. But the reward is great – the opportunity to make a real difference for the future. To lay the foundation on which the Island can prosper for the benefit of everyone on St Helena.

“That is our goal. That is what we are all about. That is why the British Government is investing over two hundred million pounds here – the biggest ever investment in an Overseas Territory. To give this Island and its people a positive future. To give this Island the means to grow and prosper. To give this Island confidence in itself and about the future. And we must do our part in return for the UK’s investment and vote of confidence in St Helena.

“So change we must, and promoting a positive attitude is the key – for it is a positive attitude that makes the difference between success and failure. People are either can do or can’t do.

“So Roy and Morgan, there is plenty here to keep you busy.  Life on St Helena is never dull.  I welcome Roy, Jill and Morgan and wish you all a happy and productive stay at an exciting time for this extraordinary and much loved Island.”


23 June 2014

The word Occupation refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow us to live independently and give us a sense of identity and self worth.  This could be anything from essential day to day tasks, such as dressing or cooking, to the things that make us who we are – our jobs, interests, hobbies and relationships. 

Occupational Therapists are trained health professionals that provide practical support to enable people to overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities that matter to them, helping them to live as independently and fully as possible.

Adele Bailey, St Helena’s Senior Occupational Therapist, based at the Community Care Complex (CCC) in Half Tree Hollow, said:

‘These barriers may be due to a physical or mental illness, an accident, a disability or general deterioration due to simply getting older.  Participation in meaningful activities promotes positive health and well-being because it keeps us physically and mentally engaged.’ 

St Helena’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Service provides a free service to residents of the Island, both children and adults, with physical disabilities, mental health conditions or learning disabilities.  Occupational Therapists work in the Hospital, in the community, at residential homes, SHAPE and all of the schools.   Employers can also access the service for help in supporting their employees with disabilities, and for training, such as moving and handling.  The service is based at the CCC and runs from Monday to Friday 8.30-4.30pm.  Accessing the OT Service is easy, anybody can make a referral.  Adele commented:

‘You can refer yourself by giving us a ring at the CCC, on telephone 23090 extension 216,  and tell us what problems you are having.  You can ask a relative or friend to ring us if you like or you can ask your doctor or any other health professional, such as a nurse or the physiotherapist, to make a referral for you.  If you are having difficulties at work then either you or your employer can give us a ring.’

Employers can also contact the service if they are concerned about one of their employees – but you must have permission from them before you do this.   If you are unable to get hold of the service on the phone you can e-mail either or

Other Activities Provided by OT

Craft Group – The OT service is currently providing a craft class at the CCC on Tuesday nights, 5-6pm.  Adele is looking for volunteers to help out, so if you are interested in arts and crafts please feel free to come along and be part of something worthwhile and fun.

Anxiety Management & Relaxation Classes – These will be starting on Wednesday 2 July 2014, from 5-6pm at the CCC, and if these classes prove to be popular they will be rolled out to all other areas.  If you would like any further information about the classes, then give Adele Bailey a ring on 23090, ext. 216.

Volunteer Programme

About volunteering, Adele added:

‘We would very much like to deliver more activities but unfortunately do not have the capacity to do this on our own.   If you have a little spare time – it could be as little as 1 hour per week that you would like to give to help provide meaningful activities for our elderly and disabled people – then please contact the OT team. 

‘You may have a hobby or interest you would like to share with other people or you may like to learn a new skill, and as a volunteer you would be a valued member of the Occupational Therapy team.  ‘You would gain experience of working in Occupational Therapy and access in-service training opportunities – but most of all you would be making a massive difference to individuals’ lives.’ 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the Occupational Therapy team or finding out more about it, then please ring Adele on 23090, ext. 216.



20 June 2014 


Main Street
Main Street

On 30 May 2014, works were announced to continue the Main Street Enhancement Project on pavement areas in lower Jamestown.  The project was awarded to Brian Leo, project managed by ProArc. 

The work has begun outside Porteous House, gradually moving upwards towards the Consulate Hotel, then working back down the street from the Post Office.  It is expected to take around 20 weeks to complete. 

The work is restorative in nature, aiming to stay true to the character of the town by preserving and replacing cobble stones wherever possible.  The insertion of cobbles between entrances along both sides of Main Street will provide a reference to the dominant historic feature of the street while allowing for a smoother, safer and more accommodating surface for use as the principal walkways.  The installation of bollards is designed to protect and preserve restored surfaces and to avoid vehicles parking in undesignated parking areas on top of the pavement. 

Funding for the Main Street Enhancement Project is provided under tourism development, aided in this particular case by SHG’s capital programme.  

Main Street 2
Main Street 2

A Main Street Project Working Group has been established (see below) to assist the contractor and to ensure that historic features of the streetscape are maintained wherever possible.  Members of the working group are: Trevor Graham, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Jeremy Harris, Director of the National Trust, Lucy Ceaser, Director of the Museum, Cathy Ablerts, Director of Tourism (ESH), Michielle Yon, Director of Resources (ESH) and Paul Scipio of ProArc Ltd.  

Jeremy said:

“It is exciting to see rejuvenation of the Jamestown streetscape. Whilst a few compromises have been made by necessity, I am confident that the finished product will greatly enhance the look and feel of Jamestown and will serve the population well. The St Helena National Trust is proud to have been part of this and we also look forward to enhancing our prominent headquarters, in turn benefitting the local community and those visiting this very special town.”

Michielle continued:

“The Main Street Working Group is committed to ensuring that the final outcome is something that all locals and visitors can admire.  If any person wants to raise their concerns or make enquires please feel free to contact anyone in the group.”

The working group wishes to thank the general public in advance for their cooperation and patience during this work, which will inevitably cause some disruption.   

Main Street Drawing 2014

Two pictures and one illustration accompany this release.

Notes for Editors

Contact details for the Working Group are as follows:


Name Telephone Email
Trevor Graham, Director of ENRD 24724
Jeremy Harris, Director of National Trust 22190
Lucy Ceasar, Director of Museum 22845
Cathy Alberts, Director of Tourism, ESH 22158
Michielle Yon, Director of Resources, ESH 22920
Paul Scipio, ProArc Ltd 23850


20 June 2014



Currently featuring on Statistics Views (a global statistics website) is a feature by St Helena Government’s Statistician Paula McLeod.

The article is entitled ‘Small Island Statistics in a World of Big Data’ and highlights the big changes that St Helena is facing.  With the impending arrival of air access, the Island now, more than ever, needs useful and reliable information – for example on the economy and the environment.

The article states: ‘As we head into this change, St Helena has a higher than ever demand for reliable data on the people, the economy and the environment.’

St Helena’s Statistics Office is continuing to improve the range and timeliness of its outputs, and to establish valuable connections and raise the Island’s statistics profile in the context of data on a global scale.

Paula explained:

“Through promoting statistics on the Island, we are collaborating on a bigger scale and allowing the office to raise its standards alongside those in the United Kingdom.  Improving our systems allows us to be equally matched, so that anyone anywhere can read and trust the data that we produce.”

For the full article please see the link:


17 June 2014



To mark the construction of the Terminal Building at the St Helena Airport site (Prosperous Bay Plain), a special ceremony will be held on Saturday afternoon, 28 June 2014.

Invited guests from the community, charitable and non-Government organisations, the schools, the private sector, the local media, St Helena Government and Basil Read will witness the laying of a Commemorative Stone by HE Governor Capes and the Blessing of the building by Bishop Richard Fenwick.

Speeches on Airport progress and wider economic development will be made by Governor Capes, Basil Read, PMU, the SHG Access Office and Enterprise St Helena.

The highlight of the ceremony will be the burying of a Time Capsule by the Student President and Vice Student President of Prince Andrew School. Included in the Time Capsule will be photos and short films showcasing the Island community and Airport progress, Island newspapers, a comments book from all involved in the St Helena Airport project, a special Airport stamp issue, St Helena currency, St Helena crafts, seeds from plants endemic to the Island, the Electoral Roll, and an essay, poem and drawing from winners of the ongoing competition in Schools.

This event is the first of many to mark significant milestones of the Airport project.

Unfortunately, due to the area being an active building site (for health and safety reasons), the event is restricted to invited guests.

The event will be filmed and broadcast on local TV in due course.


17 June 2014 

I am pleased to announce the award of an MBE to Mr George Frederick Thomas JP, in recognition of his services to the judicial sector on Ascension Island.

George, affectionately known as ‘Dover’, has served the community of Ascension Island as a Magistrate since July 1988.  George has made a positive contribution to the governance of Ascension Island during that 25-year period. Delivering justice in such a small community requires a high degree of responsibility and civic-mindedness that George has demonstrated throughout the time he has served as a Magistrate, which has been on a purely voluntary basis.

I am further pleased to announce the award of a BEM to Stedson Graham Francis for his contribution to the community of St Helena. Stedson was a voluntary producer for Radio St Helena for some 43 years until its closure in December 2012, providing much welcome entertainment to the community.  Stedson has also served as Chairman of the Blue Hill Community Centre Association for 25 years, one of the few community centres which have continued to function continuously during that period of time. Stedson’s contribution to the community has also included taking on various roles in a number of associations concerned with farming activities since 1984, such as the Beekeepers’ Association, Farmers’ Association, St Helena Growers Cooperative Society and the Man & Horse and Blue Hill Cattle Syndicates. Stedson also served as a Member of the St Helena Legislative Council for a period of 12 years from 2001- 2013, during which time he served on Executive Council for four years.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating both George and Stedson on these well deserved recognitions.

Sean G P Burns

Acting Governor

13 June 2014