28 January 2019
St Helena has begun plans to commemorate the 200th anniversary of French Emperor Napoleon’s death on 5 May 2021.
The Emperor of the French’s death is significant in the Island’s history and a special Visioning Group has been established to create a vision for how St Helena will mark its bicentenary. The group will also look beyond 2021 to capitalise on the Napoleonic legacy in terms of education and tourism/economic development.
Councillor Lawson Henry chairs the group which comprises members, Special Advisor, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, SHG Representative, Gillian Francis, Community & Communications Representative, Tammy Williams, and Tourism Representative, Juliet Williams. The group is supported by Adam Sizeland from the Museum of St Helena and Kerisha Yon from the SHG Press Office.
Their key responsibilities include:
- Working together to define St Helena’s vision for the Napoleonic Anniversary
- Creating the vision and articulating it in a high-level document, to be ready by end-April 2019
- Playing an active role in the visioning process by attending meetings and utilising their expertise and networks for the benefit of the Island’s vision
- Gathering views/input from key external stakeholders and sharing these insights with the wider group
- Being ambassadors to promote community engagement and support for the 200-year anniversary
- Suggesting a network of people and/or organisations to be involved in the next stage of implementation
Once the visioning group task is complete, a new group will be created to carry out the more detailed work of developing the Vision into an Operating and Implementation Plan.
Councillor Henry said:
“The death of Napoleon is a significant event in St Helena’s history and it is therefore important for us to commemorate its 200th anniversary on 5 May 2021.
“We have started putting together a vision of how we would like to see the event commemorated but, of course, this is for everyone on St Helena and as an island we need to own the Napoleonic brand and create a lasting legacy for future generations.
“We will therefore be approaching businesses and other organisations to come on board with us to create mementos and commemorative items and to share ideas of events, initiatives and other opportunities we can consider to mark the anniversary. We will also be approaching the schools to see how they can help us to raise awareness amongst our young people so that the history of Napoleon is not only in our past but remains in our present and continues into our future.”
Further updates will be provided to the public as the group’s work progresses.
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28 January 2019