Friday, 9 August 2013

News Direct 5th – 9th August 2013


Kirchner at the UN

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner renewed her country's demand for talks on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands at the UN Security Council.

The Argentine President said it was not a fanciful stance and that they simply wanted the United Nations resolution to be enforced and for Argentina and the UK to sit down and discuss the issue.

Stacy Bragger reported.


SB:    Argentina is the new rotating chair of the Security Council, and Kirchner admitted it was controversial to raise the Falklands during a debate ostensibly about the United Nations' ties with regional bodies.

The Argentine President said that one can have discordant opinions about something that has not been resolved by the United Nations, but when this body that covers all nations, that they are all signatories of, whose resolutions they have all committed to respect, issues a resolution through its General Assembly, it is not a matter of discordant opinions.

Britain is a permanent Council member and its ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, was in the chamber to hear Kirchner's speech.

The British ambassador's response was firm. Mr Lyall Grant said that the views of the people of the Falkland Islands cannot be dismissed and there can be no discussion on the sovereignty of the islands unless and until the islanders so wish. Mr Lyall Grant told the Council that they made their views unequivocally clear in the referendum in March when they voted overwhelmingly to remain a UK overseas territory".

Mr Lyall Grant said that "The United Kingdom fully respects all its obligations and responsibilities as a member of the United Nations. The principle of self-determination on which our position on the Falkland Islands is based is enshrined in the UN Charter."


Support for Gibraltar

The Falkland Islands Government has sent a message of continued support to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

Tensions have risen between Gibraltar and Spain in recent days.

In the letter to Mr Picardo, MLA Ian Hansen writes that on behalf of the people and Government of the Falkland Islands, he would like to say how concerned Islanders are to learn of the rising tensions between Gibraltar and Spain.

MLA Hansen says that Falkland Islanders are pleased to hear the strong messages from the British Government in support of Gibraltar and would like to echo those sentiments. MLA Hansen says that he hopes that the situation does not escalate and that a swift resolution to the current crisis can be found.

James Neish, a reporter with Gibraltar Radio, says that the message of support from the Falklands is greatly appreciated.


JN:    I think that the people of Gibraltar see many parallels with the Falkland Islands and of course the support is very warmly received. Gibraltarians are very angry with Spain. This is nothing new for the people of Gibraltar but just like the Falkland Islands when you get hassle like this from Argentina, you can imagine how furious Gibraltarians are and in fact the message of support which has come from the Falkland Islands has been very well received here in Gibraltar. Also many messages of support from MEP, from UK politicians, the Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that the Government will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Gibraltar but that’s at the political level. On the ground here when you have to sit in up to six hour queues to drive from Gibraltar to Spain you can only imagine just how angry Gibraltarians are.

          The people are very much welcoming the intervention of the Prime Minister and the assurance he’s giving, not only to the government in Gibraltar and the Chief Minister, but also to the people on the ground. However, there has been a bit of a confusion because David Cameron has said that the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had agreed to reduce those queues, Mariano Rajoy, in a statement in some interviews to Spanish media is saying otherwise; so it’s a bit of a moment of confusion. I am sure that perhaps they will both sit down, they will talk again, but the interpretation of how this is going to be resolved may be slightly different from both parties.

The Government of Gibraltar has thanked the Falkland Islands Government for its message of support this week.

Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, said it is most reassuring to know that so many people are behind them on this current issue and so they are so grateful, not only for their support but for the fact that they have taken the trouble to express that support so emphatically.

MLA Hansen says it was important that the Falklands stand shoulder to shoulder with Gibraltar at this time.


IH:    I think it was very important that we showed our support to Gibraltar because certainly in the past Gibraltar has been very supportive of the Falkland Islands and are great friends of ours so I think just to show support and wish them well in the situation they have now is very important. This morning I was on BBC Gibraltar Live, just after the Chief Minister of Gibraltar in fact and they thanked us for our support and we compared some of the similarities between Gibraltar and the Falklands.


The Falkland Islands Government has welcomed the announcement by the Senate of Argentina of the establishment of a Marine Protected Area within the area of Burdwood Bank which lies within the Argentine Economic Zone. They describe it as a ‘positive step’in the interest of marine conservation and fisheries management.

In a letter sent on behalf of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly to the Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, MLA Dr Barry Elsby said practical co-operation on safeguarding straddling fish stocks was the responsibility of both the Falkland Islands Government and the Argentine Government. He encouraged the resumption of scientific exchanges under the auspices of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, which last met in full in 2005. Thereafter, Argentina became increasingly uncooperative over the workings of the Commission.

MLA Elsby said that the Falkland Islands Government hoped the formation of the Marine Protected Area heralded a more positive and constructive approach to issues in the South Atlantic and towards the Falkland Islands.

Local News

Immigration Consultation

In other news, consultation began on Monday on proposed changes to the Falkland Islands immigration system.

The proposals being put forward seek to ensure that the Islands has an immigration system that enables growth in the population to facilitate economic expansion, while ensuring that all the appropriate checks and balances are in place to protect and preserve the Falklands way of life.

The consultation will explore these issues and explain the reasons behind the changes being proposed. A series of public meetings in camp and Stanley will be held with a live phone-in program on Falklands Radio to take place on the 21st August.

FIG Head of Policy Jamie Fotheringham says that a balance needs to be struck.


JF:     The whole point of the review, we had a specialist down for six months to really look at that system in depth and to work out what’s going to work for the Falklands going forward over the next ten/twenty years, so a system the reflects and responds to those kind of changes. But in a way, that’s managed and controlled and we have to have, you know, it’s not about opening the floodgates to people coming into the Islands; it’s about getting the people we want and that the Islands needs but managing those numbers so we can retain the social cohesion of the Islands way of life. That’s something that I know the Islanders are very keen to protect.

Public Meeting

Members of the Legislative Assembly this week held the first of two public meetings in camp this month.

The meeting was held at Fox Bay Southern Cross Social Club on Tuesday.

MLA Ian Hansen says that the proposed designation of all roads in the Islands was one of the key issues raised at the meeting.


IH:    I think it was a good meeting, a good, frank exchange of views. We began with the Financial Secretary doing a presentation on this year’s budget and took comments and questions on that. Then Richard Cockwell spoke about the roles and remuneration for MLA’s and comments and questions on that; and then we opened the floor up to, just to anything that other people had concerns about.

          The main topic probably was the road designation. That has been talked about quite a lot lately. We actually are coming from the angle now that instead of perhaps just designating roads per say, we are talking about taking the relevant pieces out of the road traffic ordinance and just applying them to a highway, which will make road safety better but it’ll cut out all the impractical things that could be in place if we just designated roads.

SB:    How likely do you think they’ll be to get through before this assembly finishes?

IH:    I think it’ll probably be quite unlikely because we get a paper to ExCo (Executive Council) at the end of this month with the amendments or suggestions and whether that’ll go through ExCo or not I really have no idea. If it doesn’t then obviously it won’t go through in the life of this Assembly and as we only have one more meeting of the Assembly, which is the day after ExCo, I’m not quite sure if the procedure states we can put it through then anyway.


Meeting of the Education Board

The Acting Director of Education Tom Hill gave an update on activities in the Education Department at a meeting of the Education Board.

On staffing issues, Mr Hill said that an English teacher post and a new complex needs teacher post will be advertised in September for the Community School.

Mr Hill said that the Education Department will at the end of the school year say goodbye to three Community school teachers. Also, leaving the Infant and Junior School and Camp Education will be Anna Stenning after over twenty years working within the Education Department in many roles. Six other teachers will also be leaving. This was the last Education Board meeting for Tom Hill who is departing the Islands next week.

On other matters, Tom Hill said that further vandalism had taken place at the Community School which has highlighted the need for security cameras to be installed. Money for this work has already been allocated in the budget.

Ascension/Falkland Collaboration

Discussions were recently held between the Education Department and the Ascension Island Government about the possibility of sharing teaching resources.

Acting Director of Education Tom Hill told the Education Board yesterday that he met recently with a representative of Ascension Island Government who expressed interest in the Falklands and Ascension collaborating more closely.

Mr Hill said that it could lead to teachers from the Falklands who are travelling to the UK at the end of term for leave spending a couple of days in Ascension en route which he said could increase their professional skills and would allow them to share their knowledge. Mr Hill said possibilities in the future could include collaborative projects and perhaps staff swaps.


HMS Richmond

Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond has sailed for a routine seven-month Atlantic Patrol Tasking which will see her visit the South Atlantic.
Leaving Portsmouth this week, the ship will maintain the continuous Royal Naval presence in the Atlantic. The Type 23 Frigate will provide ongoing protection and reassurance to British interests within the region.
The Atlantic Patrol Task will see HMS Richmond undertake maritime security operations, including counter-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols, providing opportunities to work with a number of other navies to further strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.

She is expected to complement and replace HMS Argyll which is currently on the end of its Atlantic Patrol.

Commenting on the deployment, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Robert Pedre, said HMS Richmond’s deployment represents the culmination of many months of planning and preparation. Commander Pedre said his ship’s company has worked tirelessly to ensure they are now ready for operations.

Local Events

Italian Quiz

£1188 was raised at the Italian themed Quiz Night held last Friday night at the Community School.

The money raised will go towards the students of the travel and tourism course who have been planning a school trip to the UK. Teacher Emma Brook said that the evening went very well with thanks going to everyone for supporting the event, including the businesses who donated raffle prizes.

The students are now said to be very close to their target amount.

School News

Martin Winward

The new head teacher of the Community School has arrived in the Islands.

Martin Winward takes over from Helen Bell who had been acting head teacher following the departure of David Tongue.

He says he is looking forward to helping students prepare for their future.


MW:  There’s been changes in past years and I’m sure the children and families and certainly the teachers with they’re contracted or local teachers will want to see that stability really, on the good work that Helen Bell and others have done. So my time will be to continue with the vision of the school which is for students to exceed, not just their potential but beyond that and to really go for those jobs and those aspirations in the Islands, beyond the Islands in terms of their academic qualifications so it will be all about giving the people of the Islands the best opportunity for the future.


Goose Green Book Project

Children at the Goose Green School have completed a project to create a book.

The book ‘Colin Headwick Gets Lost’ follows the adventures of a young boy in camp.

Layla Bone was one of the children involved and she says that they are very proud of the book.


LB:    We started off by one song called ‘Brand New Day’. It was like, how we wake up in the morning and what we do on a regular day and then we made the sad song up, after we made, after we realised it was gonna be sad in a moment. And then we made a happy song for the end about what you can see in Goose Green by looking at the mountain. All the music come from our heads, we did all the pictures. It took us nearly a year and Andi Neate helped us put all the music together, she helped us compose it, she did all the chords with the violin. She said low or down, high, so she helped us quite a bit. And Mrs Adams-Leach spent hours at the weekend, putting all the music into a special document and Richard Cockwell showed us how to do pictures with watercolour so we could do our pictures and we’re very proud of it.

Teacher Jackie Adams says that the children have received great support with their work.


JA:     It’s a project that’s been going on all year and it’s just encompassed all the curriculum in just a lovely way; and what’s really special about this book is that the children have had ownership of all of it. They’ve made up the story, they’ve made the pictures and they’ve chosen the direction it needed to go. I’ve just never been part of a project where the children has total ownership of the project and it’s just been magic. We’ve had a print run of twenty, and we’ve sold a few and it’s going over to Scotland where Colin Headwick, who was the inspiration for the book, so we’re sending it to…over to Scotland, so yes, it’s going far and wide. I’d just like to thank the children for just being part of a fantastic project really. We’ve had a lot of adult support from the community. The book is firmly based at Goose Green for all those who see it, and it is dedicated for those living the camp life out at Goose Green.


FICS End of Year Awards

The end of the academic year was marked with a prize giving ceremony at the Town Hall this week for the students from the Community School.

During the ceremony new head teacher Martin Winward said he was looking forward to working with the students and staff. Helen Bell was thanked for her work during her time at the school.

After the awards were presented Samantha Addison spoke to students Dephne, Kirsty and Emily and to Helen Bell.


MW:  I guess if I were to say what are the ingredients for success in life then they would be People First at all Costs, the second is Hard Work, and the third would be Commitment. The fourth would be the Inspiration of Others and I stand here looking forward to my team, to being inspired by my students and what made them a  success during the last academic year; and the fifth and certainly not last would be to be proud of our achievements, large or small. Often we say that to be proud and to get puffed up in our importance can often be a bad thing, but I certainly recognise that being proud of our achievements and successes as being something we should celebrate.

DA:    It makes me feel very pleased and happily surprised because I wasn’t expecting it.

SA:    And how’s it feel to get up in front of everybody to actually collect those awards?

DA:    Nerve-racking but I can’t help smiling.

SA:    And how’s it feel to get an award?

KM:   Amazing.

SA:    And how nervous were you to go up in front of everybody to collect that?

KM:   It’s quite intimidating.

SA:    What was your award for?

KM:   For Champion Intermediate Girl Swimmer.

SA:    And can you tell me what you got your award for?

EB:    Champion Junior Girls Swimming.

SA:    And how’s it feel to be able to get that award?

EB:    It’s the first in a long time. It’s good.

HB:    Oh it’s been absolutely wonderful tonight. It’s nice to resurrect some awards that haven’t been seen since 1983 like the Chess Award; and I always get heaps of pleasure from seeing the students coming up and being recognised for their success and hard work and achievements.

SA:    And it must be really nice to go out on a high with this?

HB:    Oh, definitely, yes. As we said in my final assembly, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, so I really feel that we finished very well and I look forward to hearing how the school progresses and it always has my love and I’ll always think of it.

IJS End of Year Awards

The achievements of the infant and junior school and camp education children during the academic year were also recognised this week.

At the ceremony, awards were presented to the children, with the ceremony also featuring several well received musical performances by students.

Head teacher Karen Steen said that this time of year means the school will sadly be saying goodbye to a number of children and staff. She thanked everyone’s continued support of the school and said that she was looking forward to seeing everyone again at the start of the next academic year in September.

Samantha Addison spoke to Year Six students Lachlan Crowie, Zoe Millar, Chico Thomas and Shaun Sackett.


LC:    It was really good, a lot of talking went on. I got two awards, I got my leaving certificate and most achievement in the year award. It was a great feeling, really nice.

SA:    And are you excited about moving on to the big school?

LC:    Excited, and a lot of nerves. Yeah.

SA:    And can you tell me about the awards you received please?

ZM:    I got my leaving certificate and the most achievement.

SA:    So how did it feel for you getting up to collect those awards?

ZM:    A bit nervous.

CT:    Just a leaving certificate.

SA:    And how did you feel getting that?

CT:    It was fine.

SS:    It was really good, I reckon everyone enjoyed it.




The Community School hosted a display of memorabilia from the Bermuda Island Games this week.

A number of the Falklands squad were at the school to speak to students about their experience of the Games. Governor Nigel Haywood also visited the school to learn more about the Falklands participation at the Games.

Stacy Bragger spoke to Falklands competitors Laura Minto and Scott Thain and to Governor Haywood about the display.

Laura said she has been motivated by the Games in Bermuda to again represent the Islands.


LM:    We were there just to train and play badminton. I didn’t think we’d collected this much. It’s pretty impressive.

SB:    Are you hoping that youngsters who come along and see this might be inspired to take part in the future?

LM:    I hope so. I mean, we just want to promote it as much as we can. It’s not all about the competition, we do have fun as well.

ST:    Scott, you’re one of the Islands Games competitors. You’ve come along to the Community School today, is it quite nice to see all the material you’ve collected from the games, and show people that?

ST:    Yeah it’s nice to show all the people all the stuff we’ve brought back and hopefully it motivates them to join the sports and hopefully compete in the next Island Games.

SB:    You must have had a fantastic time, would you recommend it to people to represent the Islands, at things like the Island Games?

ST:    Yeah. The Island Games was a fantastic experience and I think anyone who joins a sport and is good enough to go away, that they’ll enjoy the next games.

SB:    Governor Haywood, you’ve come along to the Community School today to look at some of the memorabilia that the Bermuda team have collected. It must be nice to see the team here and hear how well they did and how much they have enjoyed it.

NH:    Yes, it’s very good and I think everyone’s learnt an enormous amount form it and everyone was very enthusiastic and clearly they’ve enjoyed participating. I think what’s also very important is that they’ve taken plenty of time to look around Bermuda and learn about other teams and talked to people from other areas so it’s a really broadening experience apart from the sports aspect.

SB:    And important, do you feel, for the Falklands just generally getting out there and speaking to the rest of the world about the Falklands?

NH:    Yeah, I think, two things really, I think that is immensely important and it’s good to have the Islands being visible, but I think the other thing about the Island Games team is now they’re back and they’re enthusiastic about it. I hope what they’ll do is encourage other people to take part and people can see, other youngsters can see what fun they had and how the main thing really is to compete and do your best. You’re not going to beat, really, top medallist countries, but you’re going to participate so I hope that the enthusiasm that this team brings back and they display they’ve just put on will encourage lots others to take up sport.

Otto’s Outlaws Leads

Otto’s Outlaws have extended their lead at the top of the darts league.

After the 15th week of matches, they have 41 points and have won 185 legs. Sharpshooters follow them in second place with 37 points.

For the men, Colin Smith has won the most legs and has the highest on the back of the card. Darren Plato has scored the most tons and Alan Bonner has scored the most ton pluses.

For the ladies, Natalie Smith and Jackie Thomas have won the joint most legs. Lizzy Bonner has scored the most tons and has the highest on the back of the card. Teresa Clifton has scored the most ton pluses.


Admiral Woodward

Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward, who led Britain’s successful task force to retake the Falkland Islands after they were invaded by Argentina, has died.

He died on Monday aged 81 after a long illness.

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Admiral Woodward's leadership of the taskforce, saying that the admiral was a truly courageous and decisive leader, proven by his heroic command of the Royal Navy taskforce. The Prime Minister said that Britain was indebted to him for his many years of service and the vital role he played to ensure that the people of the Falkland Islands can still today live in peace and freedom.

A statement released today by the Falkland Islands Government says that the people and Government of the Falkland Islands were very saddened to hear of the death of Admiral Sir Sandy Woodward. The statement says that Islanders recall with gratitude the important part he played in the Liberation of the Islands from Argentine Forces in 1982 and that Islanders thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time.

Speaking to the BBC, the Evening Standard’s Defence Correspondent Robert Fox said that Admiral Woodward knew how to take risks.


RF:    He had to take some of the biggest risks of any commander in modern British history, certainly in the last 50 years; and I think to some extent he didn’t quite get the full credit with them because the kind of risks he took and was ordered to take wouldn’t be taken today.

It’s very, very difficult to take a force of around ten thousand, 8,000 miles to recapture islands, and do it all in eleven weeks. But the point is, the biggest risk, there was going to be minimal, minimal, minimal air cover. They had got rid of the big aircraft carriers so they only had the little jump-jets, the Harriers of which they had, in the teeth of the fighting, only 20 fighters about at a time. That meant they landed troops on the 21st May 1982 on the islands with, and we didn’t realise and I was one of the first reporters amongst them, we did not realise how minimal to absolutely negligible the air cover was because he would only put up two Harriers at a time, close into the Islands which could pick up the Argentine aircraft attackers, and they were, they were pretty hit and miss, they were pretty good as they came back, so there we were; and he got a very bad press with us. I can remember being with Dave Norris of the Mail in the middle of goodness knows what at Goose Green and where were the Harriers, where were the Harriers? We kept on getting the message that they had to protect themselves and there was fog at sea and a battle went on there for ten, twelve hours before the Harriers came in at sunset and it was a very much ‘come as you are’ campaign. Woodward could be quite peppery, but by his sheer grit that the whole thing got through, but he wasn’t in charge of everything, that was the point.

He took criticism, I think, quite hard, wouldn’t you, because he had run a successful campaign, he took personal criticism from me about that lack of coverage at Goose Green quite hard, and we talked about it and at least he was very fair. He was absolutely part of a tradition that goes back to Nelson. Those, the ships stood there, I watched some of them and took it all. He knew how to take risks. 255 fatalities. The risks, the lack of air cover, the way the whole thing was conducted against the unknown would simply be deemed amongst the people in Westminster as unacceptable today.

Ray Burke

The Falkland Islands Company regrets to advise that Ray Burke, Export Manager for the Falkland Islands Company, died on Sunday the 28th July after a short illness.

Ray joined the FIC on the 19th June 1978 as Export Administrative Assistant and over the years he assisted many people in shipping their goods to the Falklands.

He is survived by his wife Lesley and their three children. His funeral will be held on the 16th August at 12 Noon in the large room at the Crematorium on Ockenden Road, Corbets Tey, Upminster, Essex.

Peter Lapsley

The death has been announced of Peter Lapsley. He died on 3rd August aged 70.

Peter’s father, Air Marshall Sir John Lapsley, who was a founder member of the UK Falkland Islands Committee, spent his early childhood in the Islands; his uncle, Captain Paddy Vincent, formerly chairman of the UK Falkland Islands Trust, was born here. Peter visited the Islands a number of times in his professional capacity when he worked for the Aviation Security Section of the Department of Transport and for many years he served on the Executive Committee of the Falkland Islands Association.

His funeral will take place in London on Monday 19th August and the Islands will be represented by Sukey Cameron.


Local Reports


Both the mean maximum and minimum temperatures were above the long-term average for July, making it the third warmest July on record according to the MPA Met Office. Rainfall was well below average, being 69% of the long-term average, the 8th driest July on record. Sunshine was well above average, being 128% of the long-term average, making it the 3rd sunniest July on record.

The highest temperature recorded was 9.5 degrees Celsius recorded on the 2nd July. The lowest minimum was –3.2 degrees Celsius recorded on the 22nd.

The monthly sunshine total was 84.0 hours compared with the long-term average for July of 65.7 hours.

The monthly mean wind speed was 16.8 knots, which is well above the average of 14.0 knots, making it the windiest July on record.

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