Friday, 22 November 2013

Philippines Typhoon Fundraising and a wander in the Dockyard.

Well hasn’t it been a busy week this week!

Last Friday night a fundraiser was held at the Trough, raising money for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. On Saturday there was a cake sale, with donation buckets at the West Store and JACS café sold cupcakes of which the profits also went to the appeal.

On Monday we held a Pay to Play Day here at Falklands Radio, taking requests and pledges throughout the day. I myself paid to have five songs played…and yes of course there was a Buddy Holly song in my choices…
My song choices....

The FIC Insurance Department went to work in fancy dress and made sweet treats for everybody that turned up and donated money. The Community School took this one step further by holding a ‘Give us a P please’ themed day. Onesies were classed as pyjamas and they seemed to be the favoured outfit to fund raise in. The tuck shop sold food with a ‘P’ theme, pizza, pasta, pies, etc. They also held a teacher vs. student PE session.

Students are interviewed by FITV, crowd around the tuckshop,
and hang around waiting for the bell to ring.

The Falkland Islands Government donated £5,000 to the appeal and as of Thursday lunchtime a massive total of £14,654.07 has been raised. This is a very impressive amount of money from a community of this size. So much so that when we tweeted the amount, the UK’s Ambassador to the United Nations congratulated the efforts of Falkland Islanders. That’s right, Mark Lyall Grant replied to our tweet. He offered his congratulations, noting that the figure was 18% of what the Chinese Government had originally offered.
Some events so far...

More fundraising is happening tonight at Bittersweet, where five young musicians are holding a live music night. No doubt it will be good event.

Also happening over the last seven days was the now annual Craft Fayre, held at the FIDF Hall, the first Public Meeting of the new Legislative Assembly and a public meeting to discuss the ongoing Port Project.

Today I took another look around the location of the new Museum and National Trust. When the building works are complete the Museum will be moving from Britannica House down to the Dockyard, next to Gilbert House, behind the Penguin News building. I had previously went along to an open day and managed to wangle myself a solo tour of the old buildings and new, and was told all about what the future holds for this project. It sounds like an exciting project. We’ll be broadcasting that information soon.

Left - inside the Central Store at present
Centre - The Central Store
Right - Reflection of Dockyard in Central Store window

A (slightly distorted) view of the Dockyard

The old sheds opposite the Central Store

All of that was all going on, along with our usual workload of finding news, writing news…the news will be up soon too…

We also had a good number of interviewees come into the studio this week, including a number of the MLAs to talk about their portfolios, Neil Judd, the new Senior Agricultural Advisor for the Department of Agriculture, and finally, Steve Massam who has been commissioned to produce the memorial bust of Baroness Thatcher that will go on display in Stanley.

So like I said, a busy week here at FIRS HQ.


Friday, 8 November 2013

General Elections 2013

Well what a busy few weeks we've been having. On top of our usual workload we've been preparing for the Falkland Island General Elections 2013. We've been holding public meetings, both in Stanley and out at Goose Green. We've been interviewing all the candidates in the election and we've been preparing for our live coverage of the event.

And now it's all over!

Look at what we saw flying ovehead on our way back into Stanley
A week or so ago I went with Hannah from FITV ( to cover the Goose Green Public Meeting for the Camp Candidates for the Camp Constituency. On our way back to Stanley we were treated to a Typhoon flying overhead. Unfortunately this is the best shot I could get from the car window.

Here is a list of the Election Candidates and the votes cast:

The results of this years General Election

The boxes came in from camp, the counters counted and we interviewed - and in my case, I was interviewee for FITV. We had alovely chat about the media coverage of the run up to the election.

The boxes brought in from Camp and from Stanley

Some of the counters busy at work
Our very own News Editor talking to first time candidate Michael Poole

FITV hard at work, waiting to interview HE the Governor Nigel Haywood
Everyone was eagerly awaiting the results. The closer it got to 10pm
the more people turned up.

It was about 10 o'clock at night when the results came through. It was Chief Executive and Returning Officer Keith Padgett who announced the results.

Stacy Bragger makes sure Returning Officer Keith Padgett is heard live on air.

So we have six re-elected Members of the Legislative Assembly and two new Members. Michael Poole and Phyl Rendall both had an impressive number of votes and all MLAs were sworn into office at the Governor's House earlier today.

Following our busy few days of watching democracy in motion, we have the Remembrance Day Parade this Sunday. I'm always impressed by the turnout at each of the memorial occasions throughout the year here in the Falklands and I expect there to be just as good a turnout this year.

Until next time...


Friday, 1 November 2013

News Direct 28th October to 1st November 2013

This is the news from this week.


Argentina Again

This week Argentina has pledged to strengthen its relationship with the Caribbean community.

Argentina’s representative to the CARICOM group, Luis Martino, has said that the Argentine Government intends to have a greater presence in the region. He said this was exemplified by the opening of new embassies in St Lucia and Suriname and the re-establishing of a diplomatic presence in Guyana and Barbados.

He said that the Argentine Government is ready to start working toward the implementation of the agreement with Caricom to establish a Standing Joint Commission on Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination.

In recent years, the Argentine Government has sought support from the Caribbean community on its sovereignty claim to the Falklands.

Local News

Pagefield for the Falklands

London’s fastest growing communications agency, Pagefield, has been appointed by the Falkland Islands Government. They are to provide strategic and tactical advice in relation to all public relations and media issues in the UK, following a competitive pitch.

The account will be serviced by the Pagefield Diplomat team led by Florence Quirici. Pagefield Diplomat specialises in strategic advice and communications for overseas governments and companies, with projects covering countries in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The contract is for three years.

Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands Government Keith Padgett says that Pagefield's integrated offer, experience across key territories, and unparalleled understanding of the Falkland Islands and the UK media and political landscape means that they are uniquely suited to working for the Falkland Islands Government. Mr Padgett says that their experience and energy will help FIG to tell their story and provide the UK public with a better understanding of the Falkland Islands.

Mark Gallagher, Senior Partner and Founder of Pagefield, says Pagefield Diplomat is delighted to be working for the Falkland Islands Government. Mr Gallagher says that they are looking forward to tackling misconceptions, raising awareness and promoting a better understanding of and support for the Falkland Islands in the eyes of the Government, the media and the wider public in the UK.

Murrel Road Incident

Officers of the Royal Falkland Islands Police assisted a member of the public this week following an accident on the Murrell Road.

At 3pm on Monday 28th October two police officers Daryl Harada and Neil Mitchell were on patrol on the Murrell Road when they came across an upturned vehicle which was sinking into a wide stream. The officers checked the vehicle to find the sole occupant trapped in the vehicle bleeding heavily from a deep head wound. The vehicle was beginning to slip into the stream and was filling with water so Constable Harada freed the driver and gave him first aid whilst Constable Mitchell summoned other emergency services personnel.

It is believed that without the officers prompt actions this may have turned into a fatal accident.

The Director of Emergency Services Barry Marsden says that the incident demonstrates how changes in the police service are having a positive effect.

Executive Council approved for one year a new Station Enquiry Officer post which is enabling police officers to get from behind the control room desk and get out on routine patrol.

The Director of Emergency Services says that the increase in police numbers has allowed them to develop Neighbourhood Management Policing which allocates geographic and thematic areas to dedicated police officers and places a personal objective on them to get to know their area and the people who live there. The Murrell Road area is one of the areas assigned to Constable Mitchell.

Without the additional resources, the Director of Emergency Services says that they would not be able to do routine patrols and the individual involved in the accident may have either bled to death or drowned.

Falklink Discuss

Two business consultants are currently visiting the Islands to engage with local businesses and discuss their readiness for any upcoming oil industry requirements.

David Owen and David Stewart will be developing a skills gap analysis of Falkland Islands readiness whilst here.

They will be identifying gaps and the extent they might be solved with local support. A second seminar will take place in Aberdeen and will specifically target oil related businesses in Scotland which will investigate development opportunities that may lead to the creation of partnerships between Falklands businesses and Scottish oil industry service companies.

Credit Union Consultation

A period of public consultation is underway on the possibility of introducing a credit union to the Falklands.

FIDC have been leading the project and are now asking the public if it believes that there is a need for alternative financial services in the Falklands and whether they feel a credit union can provide a solution.

Michael Betts, Business Relations Manager for FIDC says that he would encourage the public to give their opinions on the proposal.

Shackleton Scholar Ezequiel

A Shackleton scholar is currently visiting the Islands to carry out research on a project examining the Falklands War.

Ezequiel Mercau, who is Argentine and has studied in Ireland and Copenhagen, has been sponsored by the Shackleton Scholarship Fund to visit the Islands to work on his thesis.

He is in the Islands for two weeks.

Local Events

Island Parish

The production team who will be filming a new series of the BBC’s Island Parish programme in the Falklands have arrived to begin their work here.

The team will be here for six months to produce the series which is expected to be broadcast towards the end of 2014.

Film-maker Robin Barnwell says that the series will be an observational documentary on the way of life in the Islands.

Titan Surveys

The Ramform Titan survey ship has arrived in the Islands. It is the largest seismic ship in the world.

It is in the Islands to carry out survey work for Noble Energy Falkland Islands Ltd.

Raising Money

Two hundred and sixty pounds was raised at a car boot sale held last weekend.

The car boot sale was organised to raise money for the Stephen Jaffray Memorial Fund. The day was very successful with 16 vehicles attending. The money was raised by entry costs and sales.

A second car boot will be held on Sunday 1st December following requests. This car boot sale will be held as a family day, with events such as a bouncy castle.

The family and trustees of the Stephen Jaffray Memorial Fund wish to thank everyone who helped make the day a success.

Pink Money

Funds were also raised at the Community School on Friday on Wear It Pink Day.

£75 was raised from cake sales and £77 from general donations.


Motocross Returns

The motocross season returned this week, with the first event taking place at the Ponds Track.

Jay Moffatt was the winner of the Experts section with Scott Henry Roberts and Adrian Sim following him in second and third places.

In first place in the Clubman Class was Joe Clarke, Nathan Lowe in second place and Arthur Turner was in third place. Angeline Joshua was the winner of the ladies class.

In the Juniors Class, Adam Dickson was first, Jack Alazia second and Kia Alazia third. Travis Jaffray took first place in the Pee Wee class with Rebecca Clarke second and Kyra Smith third. 


Monday, 21 October 2013

Elections, Ghurkas and Go-Karting

We had a quiet week a couple of weeks back here at FIRS HQ. Now that the General Elections are coming up we're getting much, much busier.

Recently we've interviewed visiting Ghurka veterans of  the 1982 War. They were lovely people and very happy to be back in the Islands and see how things are here now. They visited the memorials and friends that they haven't seen in 31 years. When I interviewed three of the Ghurkas I was told how it's been like a miracle for them to return to the Islands. This was the first visit since the conflict for most of the group.

Monica has taken well to presenting to the new radio show. Scott had a lovely send off with a meal at the Malvina House Hotel. He hasn't left us for good though, as he'll be popping in on occasion to say hi and to cover the occasional show. Monica's new show, Pick 'n' Mix (you pick them, she'll mix them) seems to be going over well, and it nice to see our Monica more regularly.

The sever winds left a tree blown across the front road last week. It was very quickly moved off the road, but it did cause a good ten minutes of gossip there.

Manager Corina took two weeks holiday, but she's back now, so we again have the full compliment of staff at the station. More driving lessons should be heading my way soon.

I found out what it was like to be on the other side of the microphone, with the added stress of having a camera pointed at me. I've been spending my Friday lunchtimes giving circus skill lessons to students at the Community School and Falkland Islands Television came along to film some of the acitivities. this included my giving FITV presenter Joshua a lesson in poi and explaining the reasons behind my starting the circus sessions.

Some members of staff may be joining the MPA Media Ops crew go-karting this week. It's time for a change of staff there, and this is a lovely way to send them off.

We're currently recording the election candidates manifestos ready for our start of the election coverage. Five candidates for camp and eleven candidates for Stanley means Studio 2 is going to be unavailable for a short while. I'll give you more information about our election coverage when things have been firmed.

So that's our October so far.
Happy Listening :)


The News for October 2013

It's been too long since I last gave an update on the news in the Falklands. Here's a smattering of news from October 2013.



Representatives of the Falklands this morning talked to Prime Minister David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference.

Jan Cheek and Ian Hansen along with FIG London Representative Sukey Cameron attended this year’s Conference which took place in Manchester.

Ian Hansen said that the Prime Minister reiterated his support for the Falkland Islands.


The Conservative Party will stand by the people of Gibraltar “no matter what” according to the Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Mr Hague was addressing the Gibraltar reception at the Conservative Conference in Manchester.

Mr Hague revealed that he expects to start ‘ad hoc’ talks “soon as a way of enabling all relevant parties to explore differences”. But, the Foreign Secretary stressed, that this does not weaken UK’s commitment to a Trilateral Forum of Dialogue between the UK, Gibraltar and Spain.

The Foreign Secretary said that the British Government will continue to respect the wishes of the people of Gibraltar and will never agree to any transfer of sovereignty – or even start a process of negotiation of sovereignty without their consent. He emphasised that the British Government will take whatever action is necessary to safeguard Gibraltar, its people and its economy.


The Argentine ambassador in London Alicia Castro used a speech at a recent meeting of the Anglo-Argentine society to re-iterate her Government’s desire for talks over the Falkland Islands.

She said there was a “very deep friendship and understanding links” that exists between Britain and Argentina. She re-stated her belief that there should be dialogue over the Falklands.

The Argentine “Gaucho Rivero” bill which bans the access of British flagged cruise vessels which had previously called into the Falkland Islands will remain fully in force for Ushuaia, according to Marcelo Echazú, head of the Tierra del Fuego Tourism Institute.

He said that the law is in full force and that the authorities in Ushuaia will not allow ships which have visited the Falklands to call into their port.

Difficulties were experienced last season by several vessels which tried to call into Ushuaia.

Peter Carrington, the UK’s former foreign secretary, says Margaret Thatcher blocked efforts to reach a settlement on the Falkland Islands using a leaseback deal with Argentina.

Margaret Thatcher’s determination to stand up to the military junta in Argentina over the Falkland Islands is well documented, but new light has been shed on the battles that she fought with her own Cabinet on the issue.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Peter Carrington, who resigned as foreign secretary after the invasion in 1982, has disclosed that Baroness Thatcher blocked efforts by him and Nicholas Ridley, then his junior minister, to reach a settlement on the Falklands using a Hong Kong-style leaseback deal with Argentina.

Three weeks after she became prime minister in 1979 she invited Lord Carrington to a lunch at Chequers. Carrington mentioned that one of the problems he faced was what to do about the Falklands, suggesting a leaseback deal.

Lady Thatcher “erupted in anger”, and spent the next 10 minutes denouncing the very idea of exploring a Hong Kong solution Carrington tells Jonathan Aitken, the former cabinet minister, in his book, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality, which will be published later this month.




It has been announced this month that four of the key companies exploring for oil in Falklands waters are to team up.

The first part of the deal will see the recommended takeover of Desire Petroleum for £61million by Falkland Oil & Gas.

The deal will create a substantially larger oil explorer, with key assets in the South Falkland basin and the North Falkland basin. The combination is subject to Falkland Oil and Gas and Desire Petroleum shareholder votes as well as approval from the Falkland Islands Government.

At the same time, Premier Oil and Rockhopper Exploration, the joint developers of the Sea Lion field have agreed to team up with the to-be-merged group.

Together they will drill two wells, one each on the Isobel/Elaine and the Jayne East prospects.

Premier and Rockhopper will pay for the drilling in return for a joint interest of 52.5% in Isobel/Elaine and 35% of Jayne East. The Desire/Falkland Oil and Gas entity will retain 40% of each project.

Desire Petroleum Chairman Stephen Phipps says that the company is entering an extremely exciting period in the Falklands with shareholders in the combined group now having fully funded, material exposure to five wells across three basins, testing three different play types.

Falkland Oil and Gas chief executive, and nominated chief executive of the enlarged group, Tim Bushell says that this combination is a compelling opportunity to consolidate the portfolios of Falkland Oil and Gas and Desire, diversifying the risk profile for both companies' shareholders and enabling the combined group to move forward with an active, long-term programme for growth in the Falkland Islands.

Speaking about the Heads of Agreement with Rockhopper Exploration and Premier Oil, Rockhopper Chief Executive Sam Moody says that they are delighted to have agreed this farm-in, which allows Rockhopper access to a much larger working interest in what they regard as highly prospective acreage. Situated in the North Falkland Basin, it includes the Isobel/Elaine and Jayne East prospects and is adjacent to the Sea Lion development.


Falkland Oil and Gas’s decision to takeover Desire Petroleum in a £61million deal has been welcomed by investors and oil analysts.

Analysts Oriel Securities said it is a good deal because it has broadened the portfolio around the Falklands while preserving cash and that the deal creates access to five exploration wells and will put £170m in cash on the balance sheet.

Analysts at Jefferies, the broker advising Falkland Oil and Gas, said the deal enables the execution of an enhanced drilling programme.

Shares in Desire Petroleum initially rose by over 30% yesterday. Falkland Oil and Gas slipped 0.75% and Rockhopper increased by 2.25%.


 Noble Energy Falklands Ltd presented their plans for their upcoming exploration campaign and temporary dock facility at a very well attended public meeting held earlier this month.

Michael Radabaugh, who is Noble’s Business Unit Manager for International Frontier Ventures, told the audience that the company’s aim is always to leave a country better than what they found it.

Mr Radabaugh said that the 3D seismic data gathered by Noble Energy this year had cost around £50million with 5500 square kilometres covered. The initial analysis of the data was said to be looking positive. Another 3D survey is due to start next month. The largest seismic vessel in the world, the PGS Titan, will be arriving in the Islands at the end of the month for the project which is expected will last for four months.

Regarding the temporary dock facility to be constructed in Stanley Harbour, the company undertook a worldwide search for a suitable barge and found one on the west coast of Mexico. The company are hoping to have construction for the temporary dock begin in February next year. A planning application for the dock is currently being prepared.

The company have also been engaged in discussions recently in order to contract a drill rig for their exploration campaign. Mr Radabaugh said that this is challenging due to there only being thirteen rigs in the world suitable for drilling in the Falklands but they are hoping to secure one by the end of the year. They are aiming to begin drilling in early 2015.

Taking questions from the public, the Noble representatives were asked, regarding the temporary dock, what would happen if they did not receive planning permission from the Falkland Islands Government. The Noble representatives responded by saying that they were confident that they would be able to meet all of the requirements that the Government would have for the project and would do their best to ensure that any potential problems were addressed fully.

Michael Radabaugh concluded the meeting by saying that that the company hope to be in the Islands for a long time and also hoped that the Falklands and Noble are successful together.


In a new corporate update available from its website, Rockhopper Exploration says it is in a good position going forward.

In the presentation, Rockhopper say that the Sea Lion project has made good progress since Premier Oil assumed operatorship. Premier are said to be satisfied that the floating production, storage and off-take vessel concept meets its economic requirements.

Rockhopper and Premier continue to favour a phased drilling programme starting in the north of the field; where an estimated 284 million barrels of Sea Lion’s resources are located.

Premier has confirmed that a floating production, storage and off-take vessel solution is viable although it is possible that a tension leg platform might be used. Initial cost estimates for a tension leg platform are being calculated and a final decision on the host facility is anticipated by the end of the year.

Rockhopper are also looking to carry out exploration drilling in 2015. Rockhopper has identified four wells that it wishes to drill in the next campaign. It is still expected that the first drilling on Sea Lion will take place in 2018.

Local News


The candidates for the General Election to be held on the 7th November were announced last week. There are five candidates for Camp and eleven for Stanley.

Standing for Camp are Roger Edwards, Melanie Gilding, Sharon Halford, Ian Hansen and Phyl Rendell.

Standing for Stanley are Teslyn Barkman, Norman Besley Clark, John Birmingham, Candy Blackley, Lynda Buckland, Jan Cheek, Barry Elsby, Faith Felton, Michael Poole, Gavin Short and Mike Summers.

Falkland radio’s election coverage will begin next week.


Further to purchasing Darwin House in October 2012, Stanley Services Limited say that they are pleased to announce that refurbishment works have commenced.

Some of the changes include increasing the number of ensuite bathrooms from two to all of the six guest bedrooms, along with new soft furnishings. The lounge and conservatory will benefit from new furniture and soft furnishings. The lodge will also have new internal lighting and an upgrade to the fire alarm for the safety of the guests.

The work is being carried out by local contractors; Tony Courtney Plumbing, No. 1 Electrical (Falklands) Ltd, Carpentry by Smith’s Building Service, painting and decorating by Any Job and flooring by Décor Services Ltd.

Stanley Services Limited Managing Director, Tom Swales says that the purchase of Darwin Lodge and the subsequent investment confirms their confidence in the future of the tourism sector in the Islands.

Mr Swales says that their long term aim is to add more rooms to the existing Lodge and look for other areas in Camp to develop and in which to invest.

Not only will SSL be investing in the accommodation element, Darwin will also offer more leisure activities to encourage people to visit and enhance their stay.

Mr Swales says that the improvements in Darwin Lodge are only part of a continued long term investment plan by Stanley Services Ltd.


At a meeting of the Planning and Building Committee held yesterday, approval was given to an outline planning application from FIG for a new water supply system from the Murrell River.

Plans for the new water supply were recently highlighted to the public. The new development is required so that the water supply for Stanley can keep up with increased demand.

The application was for outline planning for construction of a dam and pump station at the Murrell River and construction of two holding tanks in the area of Two Sisters Gate.


Falkland Islands bank notes, some over 100 years old, were recently sold for more than £46,000.

The Falkland bank notes were on offer at Spinks London Auction House at the start of this month. Sold in six lots, it was the two eldest notes that fetched the most money.

The first lot was a five shilling bill, dated 12 January 1901. The note is green on tan and bears three manuscript signatures of Charles Hill, M.Muirfield and J.J.Felton. The note is annotated on the reverse, "from J.J.Felton to Mansell Esq Gallegos". This bank note sold for £26,000.
The next bank note was a £1 bill dated 16 October 1899. This note is blue on tan and is also signed by Charles Hill, M.Muirfield and J.J.Felton. This also has a notation on the reverse, "from J.J.Felton to Mansell Esq Manager of National Bank of Argentina Port Gallegos". This is the first Government note ever issued in the Falkland Islands and fetched £19,000.

 The remaining lots included various other notes of Falklands Government Issue, from a 50pence bank note to a £50 note, most uncirculated. These lots fetched £1280, making a total of £46,280.


The next series of the popular BBC programme ‘Island Parish’ is to be filmed in the Falkland Islands during this summer.

Reverend Richard Hines says that the team will be keen to learn more about the Falklands community.


Local Events


The Queen's Baton Relay - heralding the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - has been launched at Buckingham Palace.

The baton contains the Queen's hand-written message to the Commonwealth and will visit all 70 competing nations and territories over the next 288 days.

The baton's journey will end at the opening ceremony on 23 July 2014, when the Queen will read the message inside.

The Baton will reach the Falklands on the 27th February next year.

Chairman of the Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association Mike Summers says it will be a great occasion for the Falklands.

School News


 The new Director of Education Annie Tempest reported on activities within the Education Department at a meeting of the Education Board held this month.

On staffing matters for the Community School, it was reported that advertising is taking place in the UK for an English teaching post as well as a Complex Needs Teacher for a January 2014 start date. A staffing vacancy for an Examination/Vocational Post did not attract any applicants. The Director of Education said that the salary needs to be revisited as well as the experience required as the grading did not reflect the reality of the position, or the responsibility.

 It was reported at the meeting that the Accommodation Working Group will meet later this month to discuss the next stage of the work to develop new accommodation for the Education Department.

 Ms Tempest also stated that there are 28 new children at the Infant and Junior school this year bringing the roll up to 280. Three year groups are completely full, resulting in implications for recruitment of new staff.

Academic achievements at the Infant and Junior School were also discussed at the meeting. The Director of Education said that children at the school had exceeded their expected progress in the areas of maths and reading which was said to be very positive.



 Further honours have been awarded to a Falklands competitor for their involvement in the Bermuda Island Games.

 At the Island Games, competitors from islands with a population of less than ten thousand compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze 'Small Island Certificates'.

The Falklands team won several gold and silver certificates in Bermuda however an oversight was made regarding the efforts of Falklands runner Bill Chater.

The Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association have been advised by the International Island Games Association that Bill has been awarded a Gold certificate for the 1500 metres and a Silver certificate for the 5000 metres.

 Along with the Gold he received as a member of the football team he has become the Falklands most certificated athlete of the 2013 Games.


And finally, the Falklands Archery Association had much to celebrate at the end of its second year of existence when its members, guests, friends and family gathered together at the Malvina House Hotel recently. During the last year coaches had visited courtesy of the Shackleton Fund; members competed at the Guernsey Games, bringing medals home, and the Association became members of World Archery – the governing body of the sport.

A presentation was made of a donation of £500 from the Archery Association to the Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association as a token of thanks for FIOGA’s assistance with competing at the Guernsey Games.

The Association also took the opportunity to recognise the achievements of some of their best archers from the last six months and to award the Argos Ltd Challenge Trophy to the junior club member for the month of September.

The Association also thanked a number of organisations and individuals who have generously supported them over the last year.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

News Direct 16th to 20th September 2013

This is the news from this week.



A group of parliamentarians from Panama recently visiting the Islands say that the information that they have learned from their trip will inform the Panamanian Government’s position on the Falklands sovereignty issue.

The group, which consists of three parliamentarians and a legal advisor for the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, will prepare a report when they return to Panama.

Dalia Bernal, who is the President for the Foreign Affairs Commission of Panama’s National Assembly, said that she hopes further representatives from Panama will travel to the Falklands. She also said that this year’s referendum has been very effective in making clear the wishes of Falkland Islanders.


The Argentine ambassador in London has apologised to Prime Minister David Cameron for branding him “dumb” over the Falklands.

The Sun reported last week that Alicia Castro sent the Prime Minister a two-page letter of regret over her comments made last month where she called Mr Cameron dumb after he questioned the Pope’s view on the Falklands.

In the letter, the Argentine Ambassador expressed her “respect” for Britain and said her remarks were in no way intended to be offensive and not meant as a personal affront to Mr Cameron or his office.


A Conservative Member of Parliament has said that Argentina’s G20 membership should be revoked because of its behaviour towards the Falkland Islands.

In a discussion in the House of Commons, Henry Smith MP labelled Argentina's leader Cristina Kirchner as "disgraceful" for how she has treated Falkland Islanders.

Mr Smith also accused Argentina of deliberately falsifying its economic statistics, refusing to abide by international court judgments and refusing to pay its debts to other nations and institutions.

Mr Smith said the country's failure to pay back international loans could set a bad example for current financially-stricken eurozone nations.

Mr Smith called on the British Government to take a tough position on Argentina's G20 membership.

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said Mr Smith had raised a number of serious issues but he said the UK intended to develop its bilateral relations with Argentina through the G20.

He said that the British Government has always been clear that it would like a full, bilateral relationship with Argentina but that the Falkland Islands are British and will remain British.


The Falklands delegation at last week’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference received a strong message of support.

MLAs Jan Cheek and Ian Hansen along with FIG London Representative Sukey Cameron represented the Islands in Glasgow at the Conference. MLA Hansen said that the Conference was very positive for the Falklands.

Local News


Desire Petroleum has announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2013.

Highlights for the company included their data room opening in February, their farm-out process continuing with a number of companies still said to be engaged in the process and subject to rig availability, their new exploration programme could start as early as the fourth quarter of 2014.
The company posted a loss for the period of $1.6 million.


As part of a continuous review of capability and training within the Royal Falkland Islands Police Force, officers have now received specialist training to carry and use CapTor 2 Incapacitant Spray. Chief Superintendent Barry Marsden said it is part of a continuous review of equipment, and he hopes the spray will not be needed.


The Stanley Leisure Centre swimming pool is likely to re-open in the New Year following its refurbishment.

It had been hoped to have the facility open by Christmas but a delay has been experienced. Unhappiness has been expressed by parents when it was announced that the toddler pool would be scrapped in order to install a Jacuzzi and sauna.

Director of Central Services Simon Fletcher accepts that the situation could have been handled better.

Local Events


A passenger ship striking an object underwater and then crashing into a port facility was the scenario for last Wednesday’s major incident exercise carried out by the Falkland Islands Government.

The exercise involved the emergency services and other agencies, with the military helping to facilitate. FIG Director of Emergency Services Barry Marsden said it is important that the Government conducts these types of exercises.


A reception was held at Government House on last Wednesday evening to celebrate Chile’s Independence Day.

The strong links between the Falklands and Chile were recognised with many members of the Falklands Chilean community attending the event.

Governor Nigel Haywood said that the relationship between the Islands and Chile goes back many years. Chilean Ricardo Leyton was pleased to be able to celebrate the occasion at Government House. He says it’s good knowing that the Falklands celebrates such an important day for it’s Chilean community.

School News


Community school students and their parents have been expressing their concerns recently over what seems to be a sudden change in the school’s dress code policy.

Leggings and ‘skinny jeans’ are the topic of the concern as it appears students have been sent home to change due to these items of clothing being deemed inappropriate.

Following outcry in the community and comments on facebook head teacher of the Community School, Martin Winward has sent out a letter to parents in which he says he is aware there are various interpretations regarding the school’s dress code.

In the letter he says it will be his job as Headteacher with the support of Senior Leadership Team and staff to look at this in more detail and up-date parents with a clearer interpretation of our current policy.

In the meantime he has asked all staff to relax their approach to challenging students and their clothing and he also asked that parents support the school by ensuring their child arrives for school wearing clothing that is decent and fit for purpose.


And finally for last week, children at the Infant and Junior School took part in Thursday’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I spoke to Thomas, Selena, Soraye, Richard, Abigail and Christopher, who all enjoyed talking like a pirate for a day.


For more information on talk like a pirate day go to

Monday, 16 September 2013

News Direct 9th - 13th September 2013

This is the news from last week.


Oil Ban

Premier Oil has been added to the list of companies banned by Argentina from operating in the country. The Argentine Government said it was placing the ban because of the company’s hydrocarbons activities in the Falklands which it described as ‘illegal and clandestine’.

It follows last month’s banning of Borders & Southern Petroleum, Desire Petroleum, Argos Resources and Falkland Oil and Gas. None of the companies involved have any business interests in Argentina. Rockhopper Exploration has not yet been added to the list.

Royal Protest

An anti-Britain protest took place in Buenos Aires last weekend during the visit to Argentina by the Princess Royal.

Protestors burned an effigy of the Queen ahead of an announcement of the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires which the Princess Royal was attending. Around 250 demonstrators burned flags and chanted against British involvement in the International Olympic Committee.

Falklands at the CPA

The Falklands message of self-determination was delivered by Members of the Legislative Assembly Barry Elsby and Roger Edwards last week before a large audience at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held in South Africa. The meeting was held following a Small Branches Conference which the MLAs attended.

The Falklands in Gibraltar

MLA Ian Hansen and FIG London Representative Sukey Cameron represented the Falklands today at the events to mark Gibraltar’s National Day. The day marks the anniversary of Gibraltar’s 1967 sovereignty referendum.

Representatives of eight Overseas Territories attended the events. MLA Hansen was also involved while in Gibraltar in meetings in advance of the Joint Ministerial Council between the Overseas Territories Governments and the UK Government which will take place at the end of the year.

The events in Gibraltar today have included a large rally which MLA Hansen says was a fantastic occasion.

Local News

Pool Turns Spa

It has been announced that as part of a programme of improvement works at Stanley Leisure Centre, new spa facilities will be installed.

A Jacuzzi and sauna will be installed where the toddler pool was previously situated. A statement by the Falkland Islands Government said that the decision to replace the toddler pool was taken following advice about its suitability and safety.

The decision has proven controversial with comments made online questioning the rationale behind the decision and the lack of consultation on the issue.

Simon Fletcher, the Director of Central Services says that the toddler pool has been underutilised for some time and following advice they received from the STA, they took the decision to develop the space with new facilities as part of the pool refurbishment. He says that the Jacuzzi and sauna were improvements requested by members through their last customer survey.

Mr Fletcher says that the safety of all their guests is paramount and that they would like to encourage parents to continue to bring their babies and toddlers into the main swimming pool where they can offer the necessary support and safe environment.


Chamber of Commerce AGM

The Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce held its AGM recently.

In a speech to Chamber members, President of the Chamber of Commerce Roger Spink said that the Islands are at the threshold of a new chapter in their economic development.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce says that he is upbeat about the Falklands economy going forward over the next year.

Minerals Analysis

The Mineral Resources Committee this week supported a proposal for the Falkland Islands Government to fund 50% of the cost of a proposed two year research programme which would address environmental data gaps prior to oil production operations beginning in Falklands waters.

A gap analysis working group was set up as a spin-off from the Falkland Islands Offshore Hydrocarbons Environmental Forum and this has produced a proposal which focuses on what the working group perceive to be the highest priority data gaps.

The Mineral Resources Committee endorsed the action plan which had been presented previously to the Environmental Committee, and supported the provision of FIG funding for up to 50% of the cost of the proposed programme. It was also agreed that the Director of Mineral Resources should approach the members of the Falkland Islands Production Licensees Association to request the remaining 50% of the funding required to support the project.

It is estimated that the total project cost will be just under £600,000.

Minerals Legislation

Also at this week’s meeting of the Mineral Resources Committee, a recommendation was supported to initiate a review to assess the potential requirement of additional environmental legislation to ensure adequate regulation of the Falklands offshore oil industry.

It was proposed that a review of regulation is carried out and led by the Department of Mineral Resources in conjunction with the Environmental Planning Department. The Director of Mineral Resources Stephen Luxton said the review was necessary to make sure that the legislative regime is watertight.

The Committee also noted the possible requirement for significant additional funding to recruit external expertise.

Local Events


Invenio Falkland Islands Ltd has announced that it has teamed up with two business consultants based in the North East of Scotland to develop Falklink.

Falklink has been engaged by the Chamber of Commerce funded by the Falkland Islands Government to undertake a skills gap analysis of Falkland Islands readiness for any upcoming oil industry requirements. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of the opportunities that lie ahead and to assist Falklands businesses to rise to the challenge of the emerging hydrocarbons industry.

The project will feature two seminars with the first to be held in the Islands in October. One to one sessions will also be available.


Redcar Memorial

A memorial to former Governor of the Falklands Sir Rex Hunt was unveiled at a ceremony in his home town of Redcar last week.

In the shape of a lectern and coupled with a Governor’s sword, the memorial was commissioned by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to pay tribute to Sir Rex.

Sir Rex’s widow, Lady Mavis attended the service and said that it was wonderful to know that he is being remembered in his hometown.

During the services the Last Post and the national anthem were played and there were prayers in honour of Sir Rex who died last November age 87. Prayers were also said for the people of the Falklands and those who died in the islands during the 1982 war.

Councillor Josh Mason commissioned the memorial and said that it was a moving ceremony.