15 June 2022
A Ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Islands conflict was held outside of the Court House and at the Museum of St Helena, Jamestown, on Wednesday, 15 June 2022.
In attendance was HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook and Mrs Rushbrook, the Right Reverend Lord Bishop Dale Bowers MBE, Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, and Ministers, members of Legislative Council, Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, Portfolio Directors, SHG Officials, members of the St Helena Veterans Association, and those who served on-board the RMS St Helena during the Falkland Islands conflict.
The Ceremony began at the Court House with a welcome speech by Minister for Safety, Security & Home Affairs Portfolio, Jeffrey Ellick, who explained that the ceremony was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict and the Saints who served on-board the RMS St Helena during the conflict. The flag of the Falklands Islands had been raised to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands.
Attendees were then invited to the Museum of St Helena where speeches were delivered by HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook, Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, and Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey.
In his speech, the Governor said:
“It is my honour and privilege today to remember the active service and selfless contribution of those sailors from St Helena who joined the conflict in the RMS St Helena and other vessels. You should continue to take pride in that service.
Throughout the intervening forty years, the territory [Falklands] has continued under the protection of the UK and achieved a significant rise in prosperity. Today we salute the bravery of the contribution of St Helena on the liberation day of the Falklands and we salute too, the outstanding professionalism of the British forces.”
A former crew member who volunteered to serve in the catering department on-board the RMS St Helena, Maureen Jonas, gave an account on behalf of the crew who volunteered to serve on-board the RMS St Helena during the conflict. Maureen explained that adjustments had to be made to the RMS (a passenger/cargo vessel) in order to serve in the conflict. These adjustments included a conversion of fresh water tanks to fuel tanks and the instalment of a flight deck and hangar to accommodate a helicopter, six guns, and a reverse osmosis unit to provide fresh water. Maureen also spoke about life on-board, and how the RMS provided support to two mine hunters – HMS Brecon and HMS Ledbury – during the conflict. Maureen concluded with a tribute to former crew members who have since passed away.
The Ceremony concluded with prayers and a blessing led by The Right Reverend Lord Bishop Dale Bowers MBE, followed by one minute’s silence for those who lost their lives during the conflict.
Attendees were then invited to the Museum of St Helena to view a display dedicated to the RMS St Helena and the Falklands Islands conflict.
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15 June 2022