The RMS St Helena, affectionately known as the RMS, made an emotional departure from St Helena Island today, Saturday 10 February 2018, following 27 years of dedicated service to the Island.

As the ship steamed past the harbour for a final time, many spectators onshore waved banners and flags to bid farewell to the ship. 

The RMS’ departure today followed a true St Helenian style programme of farewell events. Island residents came out in the hundreds to say their goodbyes to the crew and the ship, starting on Tuesday evening with a special Thanksgiving Service at St James’ Church. The Church was packed to capacity with many people having to stand inside and also outside on the Grand Parade before making their way to the Cenotaph for a Blessing.

Yesterday, Friday 9 February, which Governor Lisa Phillips had declared a public holiday, many people gathered at the Seafront for the main farewell celebrations, while those who were lucky enough to secure a space attended the RMS Open Day and were able to view the workings of the ship for one last time. 

A cake of the RMS St Helena, superbly crafted and baked by St Helenian, Steve Yon, was unveiled and shared amongst the public during the evening celebrations.

The highlight of yesterday’s events was the evening performance by the RMS Amateur Dramatics Society as they performed their Final Act of Stupidity much to the crowd’s delight. A firework display and release of lanterns rounded off the evening.

Celebrations continued this morning with a poignant parade of the RMS Crew accompanied by the Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from the Canister to the Seafront in Jamestown. A large crowd of people turned out to say a last goodbye to the current crew of the Ship.

Before the Ship’s departure this afternoon, spectators were able to access the Landing Steps at the Lower Wharf to witness the carrying of the 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant (marking the 27 years’ service of the RMS) by competition winners and its presentation by Director of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, to Captain Adam Williams.

A spectacular flotilla of 15+ boats including jet skis and yachts circled the RMS while the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service saluted her with a water arch before she pulled up anchor. The RMS then made her way to Buttermilk Point, turned around and steamed past the harbour in full dress.

Farewell RMS and thank you for your 27 years of dedicated service to the people of St Helena.

Further coverage will be provided throughout next week.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #ThankYou #Farewell

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SHG

10 February 2018

 

 

At a special reception held at Plantation House last evening, Wednesday 7 February 2018, Governor Lisa Phillips paid tribute to the Master, Officers and Crew of the RMS St Helena and those involved in the operations of the ship over the years.

Governor Lisa said:

“I have been reflecting on what the RMS means to me personally, as I’m sure everyone has during this final week.  She has enabled me to visit the other territories for which I am Governor, reunited me with friends and family, given me the chance to do a fantastic job, and her crew and (all three St Helenian) captains have given me wise advice and insights into the Island which have been invaluable. 

“I have boarded her surrounded by strangers and disembarked having found new friends.  Like everyone far and near, I am immensely grateful to her.  She has changed my life. 

“But the RMS is the ship.  It is the crew that is the heart and soul of what the RMS stands for and means to the Island.  It is the crew as well as everyone who has been involved in her operations over the years, to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.”

 

Captain Adam Williams thanked Governor Lisa for hosting the reception and also recognised the dedication of the crew, both past and present, St Helena Line, AW Ship Management ltd and everyone who has been involved with the RMS during her 27 years of service to St Helena.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #ThankYou #Farewell

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SHG

8 February 2018

St Helena Police have been consulting with communities across the Island as part of their Neighbourhood Policing Programme. A series of meetings and surgeries were held but were not as well attended as in previous months.

However, concerns raised in the various districts included:

Longwood

The Bottom Woods community raised concerns about vehicles speeding on Bottom Woods Road and along the road towards the Airport. The community would like for the Highways Authority to take action, and would appreciate if speed bumps are put in place to prevent speeding and potential accidents, and to assist with the overall safety of the residential community

Police have shown a high visibility presence within the area both on foot and mobile. Road Safety Policing is in place, and any anti-social use of Island roads is being targeted. Drivers are reminded that they will be stopped and dealt with if they continue to drive in an anti-social manner. The Highways Authority is aware of the suggestion regarding speed bumps.

Sandy Bay

The road leading to Sandy Bay Beach is in need of repair. The number of ditches is considered to be dangerous to vehicles and pedestrians

Enterprise St Helena and the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate are actively exploring options to address this matter in the near future depending on resource availability.

St Paul’s

There were concerns about the amount of loose grit on the road at Plantation Square

 The Roads Section has been informed of this issue. However, until the issue has been dealt with, Police are asking all drivers to proceed with caution in this area.

Rupert’s

Residents would like to see speed ramps in the Rupert’s area to reduce vehicular speed and enhance community safety

 The Police will patrol at busy times in order to provide an effective deterrent. Police have also been in contact with the Roads Section to see if consideration can be given for speed ramps, and are awaiting a response.

Inspector Julianne Benjamin said:

“For last month’s surgeries the attendance was not as positive as previous months, therefore we encourage the community to let us know what time works best for them and where they would like to see us. We understand that people are busy but we want to help address any issues that are taking place in your area. If you can’t come to us, we can come to you!”

 District teams can be contacted via the below details should you not be able to attend the surgeries:

 To contact Team 1 – Tel: 25301 or email: Team1@sainthelena.gov.sh

To contact Team 2 – Tel: 25302 or email: Team2@sainthelena.gov.sh

To contact Team 3 – Tel: 25300 or email: Team3@sainthelena.gov.sh

#StHelena #St HelenaPolice #BeatSurgeries #NeighbourhoodPolicing 

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 SHG

8 February 2018

The instruction prohibiting the landing and importation of poultry and poultry products originating from South Africa published as Gazette Notice No. 101 of 18 July 2017 is withdrawn with immediate effect.

This means, with the exception of ostrich products, all bird eggs, chilled and frozen raw meat, and chilled and frozen raw offal which were previously prohibited can now be imported to St Helena.

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Avian Influenza ‘bird flu’ in ostriches in South Africa and to prevent the introduction of the disease into St Helena, Governor Lisa Phillips has issued a Prohibition Notice, by virtue of section 55(1) of the Public Health Ordinance, 1939.

This is to prohibit, with immediate effect and until further notice, the landing and importation into St Helena of the following products originating, produced or packaged in, or imported from, South Africa:

  • All ostrich eggs (whether fresh for consumption or fertilized for incubation)
  • All raw ostrich meat
  • All raw ostrich offal

Under section 55(2) of the Public Health Ordinance, 1939, any person who contravenes the provisions of this notice commits an offence and is liable to prosecution.

#StHelena #RestrictionsLifted #AvianInfluenza #ProhibitionNotice #OstrichProducts

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SHG
7 February 2018

 

As has been previously advised there are ongoing aero-political issues affecting the provision of an air service originating in Cape Town and transiting through Windhoek. Airlink has therefore recommended to St Helena Government (SHG) that all flights to St Helena should be booked from Johannesburg until the aero-political issues are resolved. This recommendation will be implemented immediately. SHG anticipates this will be a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the current issues.

The flight will be from Johannesburg to St Helena with a technical stop at Windhoek. Passengers will not be able to disembark, or board, the flight at Windhoek.  The return from St Helena to Johannesburg will normally route direct but may require a technical stop on some occasions.

This means that tickets can only be purchased to fly from Johannesburg. Customers who already have tickets or confirmed reservations travelling between Cape Town and St Helena will continue to route via Johannesburg. Airlink will continue to advise affected customers of arrangements prior to their departure travel date.

Arrangements for medevacs/medical referrals will be unaffected.

Passengers arriving or departing Johannesburg requiring extra time to board, who cannot walk long distances, or are in need of assistance can make suitable arrangements through Airlink on tel:+27114517350.   OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg is a very large sprawling airport and help can be arranged to assist passengers transiting the airport. The same arrangements can be made for St Helena Airport if required.

A solution to the continuing aero-political issue continues to be sought.

Further updates will be made by SHG and Airlink in due course.

#StHelena #StHelenaAirport #StHelenaFlights

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SHG

7 February 2018

TWO-DAY TRAINING COURSE

In January 2018, Head of Research at The National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC), Dr Rowena Merritt, delivered a two-day training course, introducing Social Marketing to a number of Government employees on St Helena.

Over 30 people attended the course including staff from the Health, Education, Corporate Services, and Safeguarding Directorates.

Dr Rowena said:

“All the participants were inspirational. They were very passionate about their work on St Helena and are excited about using social marketing to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone on the Island.”

The Introduction to Social Marketing training covered the key concepts and planning tools of social marketing. The highly interactive course used live case examples to illustrate the key concepts.

The course provided staff with an understanding of how social marketing can be used as part of ongoing work to develop a new approach to health promotion on the Island, focusing on the issues that underlie the high rates of diabetes, cancers and heart disease in the community.

Health Promotion & Social Marketing Lead, Dr Angie Jackson-Morris, said:

“This new approach will involve working with different parts of the community, private sector and government to develop ways that make it easier for people to make the kind of lifestyle choices and changes that will keep them and their families healthier. Social Marketing is one of the ‘tools’ we can use to design the things we will do specifically for, and suited to, the Saint community.”

At the end of the two-day course, participants were given the opportunity to sit an assessment to gain a qualification in social marketing – accredited by the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing.

#StHelena #NSMC #SocialMarketing #HealthPromotion #AltogetherHealthier

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SHG
7 February 2018

A significant occasion such as the RMS farewell celebrations on St Helena should be recorded for posterity; many people will want to take photographs and footage leading up to and throughout the forthcoming events.

Given that these events will be popular, this is a reminder to drone users, who may wish to record these events, that safety and privacy issues are paramount at all times.

Therefore, drone users are reminded of the following:

  • You must keep your drone in unaided visual range at all times
  • You are not permitted to fly higher than 400ft above the surface
  • Flights over and within 150 metres of Jamestown (including the seafront and wharf area) are not permitted
  • Flights over and within 150 metres of crowds are not permitted
  • You must maintain a distance of at least 50 metres between your drone and any person or vessel at all times
  • You should respect the privacy of the public and be sensitive to this
  • If your drone goes out of range or develops a fault which affects its trajectory, please contact the Airport immediately via tel: 63131 or 22112

No flying will be permitted in the restricted zone on Saturday, 10 February 2018.  A map depicting the three drone zones can be found at: http://sthelenaairport.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Drone-Zones-Map.jpg.

It is important that these events are recorded, especially for those with fond memories of the RMS who live on-Island but perhaps are unable to attend the events, or for those who live overseas, as well as for future generations.  However, drone flights must be conducted safely to ensure this is a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.

 #StHelena #StHelenaAirport #DroneUse

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 SHG

7 February 2018

The UK’s Department of Health & Social Care has advised that Her Majesty’s Government intends to increase the annual amount of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) later this year, subject to Parliamentary time and agreement.

The IHS was introduced in 2015 and requires anyone seeking permission to reside in the UK for six months or more to pay an IHS with their Visa application fee. It is expected for the IHS to increase to £400 per annum for most applicants, with a reduction for those applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme, who would likely need to pay an IHS of £300 per annum.

Holders of a British Citizen passport on St Helena are not liable to pay the IHS as they are not required to apply for a Visa to enter or reside in the UK.

Those, including on St Helena, travelling on a British Overseas Territories Citizen (BOTC) passport who intend to reside in the UK for more than six months will need to apply for a Visa and will therefore be liable to pay the IHS.

#StHelena #UK #DepartmentOfHealthAndSocialCare #HMGovernment #IHS

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SHG
6 February 2018

The RMS St Helena arrived from her last trip to Ascension Island today, Tuesday 6 February 2018.

During her call at Ascension and in commemoration of her long and established friendship and partnership with the Island, an Open Day was held onboard the RMS on Saturday, 3 February 2018, for 100 visitors. In the afternoon, the ship hosted an official cocktail party where Captain Adam Williams presented a plaque to the Administrator, Mr Nick Kennedy.

The plaque depicts the RMS St Helena crest and is inscribed: ‘Presented to the people of Ascension Island by the Master, Officers and Ratings of RMS St Helena commemorating the final call and 27 years of dedicated and loyal service to this Island – February 2018.’

In his acceptance speech, the Administrator said:

Thank you from everyone on this Island to all the crew of the RMS St Helena. Your hard work and kindness over the years has meant a huge amount to us, as I am sure you will hear from anyone you speak to this weekend. Whatever paths you choose from now on, we wish you every success. You will always have friends on Ascension.”

The plaque will be on display in the Post Office in Georgetown before being moved to the Museum.

Celebrations continued on Saturday evening with a farewell party ashore, hosted by Islanders at the Saints Club in George Town. The party was well attended and was an opportunity for RMS Officers and crew to mingle with Ascension Island residents.

A programme of events for the RMS Farewell celebrations on St Helena begins this evening with a Thanksgiving Service at St James’ Church at 7pm. All are invited to attend.

Tune in to local radio stations for further details of events taking place this week.

#StHelena #RMSStHelena #Farewell #AscensionIsland 

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SHG

6 February 2018

Executive Council met today with only one item on the Open Agenda.

The Governor opened the meeting by marking the 100th Anniversary of the day when women were given the right to vote in Great Britain and Ireland.

Council then considered and recommended for enactment the Rabbit Control and Destruction Trial Rules 2018.  It was recognised that there is a significant problem with rabbits on the Island, which not only affects people’s livelihoods but also poses a significant risk to the regeneration of native endemic plant species.  The trial will investigate the feasibility and cost effectiveness of poison baiting in comparison with other methods of control currently used.  This will be in addition to the proposed use of repellent.  Although it is recognised that there was previous consultation there will now be a period of public engagement, particularly in the areas where the trials will take place, as well as information broadcast on the radio. It was noted that the SPCA supported the rabbit control initiative.

In any other business, Council looked forward to the farewell celebrations for the RMS this week.  Members were keen to reassure the public that all artwork and the name ‘RMS St Helena’ are excluded from the sale. The artwork will be returned to St Helena once the decision has been taken regarding the disposal of the vessel.

The Governor informed Executive Council that she would be away from the Island on leave from 3-17 March 2018.

The meeting concluded at 11.30am.

ExCo

6 February 2018