Friday, 31 March 2017

All Saints Church – Part 1

From the 1947 edition of  "The Pilot", this historical sketch of All Saints Church in St Helier from G.R. Balleine under the headline "Our Younger Churches". Part 2 to follow next week.

I rather enjoy "mining for gold" in these old magazines! And this explains why the Church has its distinctive name.

All Saints Church – Part 1
By G.R. Balleine

In 1793 the Town Churchyard was full, and no one could be buried in the new Green Street cemetery who had not bought a grave. Yet from time to foreign labourers died in the Town or sailors on ships in the harbour or unknown bodies were washed ashore.

So the Parish proposed to make a Strangers' Cemetery on Les Mielles, the sandhills west of the Town. These formed part of the Fief of Meleches.

The commoners agreed to surrender 50 perches for this purpose, and in 1800 this was confirmed by the Seigneur. For nearly forty- years burials took place here ; but of the many tombstones only one survives, that of Madame Elie, a French lady, and her little daughter Fanny, who were drowned in a wreck off Elizabeth Castle in 1825, a stone known to boys of the neighbourhood as "the pirate’s grave” because it has on it a skull and cross-bones, the emblem of mortality.

But the character of the neighbourhood changed. During the Napoleonic wars General Don levelled the sandhills to be a Parade Ground for the militia, hence its name, “The Parade”. When peace came, houses were built round it, and what had been waste land became a residential suburb. In 1832 there was a cholera epidemic, and an outcry was raised against burying the victim, in front of these prosperous villas, and a new cemetery was opened further afield on West Mount.

Meanwhile the population of the Town had outgrown the church accommodation. The Town Church, though crowded with galleries, could not ,seat its congregation, and St. Paul's and St. James' - the only other churches, were private chapels, which could only he attended by courtesy of the proprietors. So on 25th October 1832, Dean Hue called a Public Meeting, which decided "to establish a Chapel of Ease in the Western Part of the Town in consequence of its increased population and the inadequate accommodation for the poor and middling ranks of life."

Money flowed in freely. The States voted £200. Dean Hue gave £130 Lord Beresford, the Governor, £30 the Bishop of Winchester, £25 : the S.P.C.K., £25 the Queen, £27 the Duchess of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester, £10 each. Every church in the island gave a collection, the largest being the Town Church £37 and St. James £27.

Then came the question of a site : and an offer from the Parish of the old Cemetery was gratefully accepted. The foundation stone was laid by General Thornton, the Lieut.-Governor, on 9th April, 1534.

Then trouble began. The Impartial, a leading paper of the period, published a sarcastic article : “A strong detachment of troops marched to the Parade armed to the teeth as though to repel an invasion. A considerable crowd wished to witness the ceremony ; but no one was allowed to pass, unless he was wearing white gloves, a well-brushed coat, a top hat, and freshly-blacked hoots. They alone were deemed worthy to approach the Temple that was to he dedicated to God.”

This, however, was nothing to the storm that broke, when building began. It was impossible to dig foundations without disturbing graves. The Impartial denounced this ' sacrilege ':-- "Is this a civilized land ? Is this a Christian country? Who would believe that creatures exist barbarous and inhuman enough to scatter the dust of our dead '

It printed columns of sob-stuff, including a letter from a heart-broken Frenchman (probably composed by the Editor), who had come to weep over the tomb of his dear ones, and arrived ,just in time to see his daughter’s skull being flung into a common pit. Other correspondents raised a scare that disturbing the graves would start a new cholera epidemic.

Nevertheless the work went on. The architect, a J T. Parkinson, designed the church to contain 600 seats, half to be free, the other half let to provide stipends for a Chaplain and a Clerk. The first Services were held on 25th June 1835, in English in the morning, in French in the afternoon, by Helier Touzel, the newly appointed Minister. On 9th September the church was consecrated by Bishop Sumner of Winchester, in the name of “All Saints” in memory of the dead who were buried around.

Next day the Bishop confirmed in the church more that 300 candidates. In 1836, Dean Hue endowed the Church with £500 consols [consolidated securities], the interest to accumulate till it could produce and income of £70 per year, “provided always that Divine Service shall be performed in French at least once every Sunday.'

The interest on this Fund grew sufficient to be released in 1870.

Part 2 can be read at:

Thursday, 30 March 2017

And so to bed

I finish each night with a quote on Facebook, and for those who have missed them, here are some recent picks. My rules for choosing them are that they must be short, but not one-liners, and must say something inspiring and joyful, or reflecting the sorrow and pain of the world.

Mainly I choose them because I like them, and I hope you, gentle reader, will like them too. On the blog I've also taken the opportunity to add a few extra pictures of the writers themselves as I think it is rather nice to see the authors as well as their quotes.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Charles Dickens, and isn't he just spot on!

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Malcolm Guite:

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday's cross;
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands,
The very stones themselves would shout and sing,
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognize in Christ their lord and king.
He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from William Shakespeare:

Each new morn,
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland and yell'd out
Like syllable of dolour.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Dave Mearns:

In our hearts we know that with a different fate, we, too, could be in the ranks of the dispossessed, stripped of our identities and belonging nowhere. The refugee becomes a sinister symbol of what can quickly happen once personhood is denied and people are transformed into disposable units of contemptible impediments to the greed or power-mongering of others.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from George Sand:

In times when evil comes because men misunderstand and hate one another, it is the mission of the artist to praise sweetness, confidence, and friendship, and so to remind men, hardened or discouraged, that pure morals, tender sentiments, and primitive justice still exist, or at least can exist, in this world.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Gautama Buddha:

In the Way of Liberation, there is no caste.
To the eyes of an enlightened person, all people are
equal. Every person’s blood is red. Every person’s tears
are salty. We are all human beings. We must find a way
for all people to be able to realize their full dignity and

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from C.S. Lewis:

The old man said in a quiet voice, "I am the Hermit of the Southern March. And now, my son, waste no time on questions, but obey. This damsel is wounded. Your horses are spent. Rabadash is at this moment finding a ford over the Winding Arrow. If you run now, without a moment's rest, you will still be in time to warn King Lune."

Shasta's heart fainted at these words for he felt he had no strength left. And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Glenda Reichman (who suffers from early onset Parkinson's disease):

Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from the late Peter Skellern:

When like some ember I gradually fade out and die
Who’s going to stand there and cry?
Which one of my friends will know where the book ends; will know how to tell me “Goodbye”?

If like some daydream, I drift through interminable sky
Would it have been worth all the pain?
Yes, sure would and again

Just like a shadow, we leave such a mark and no more
Life will go on as before
You’ve broken your heart and you’ve played out your part and your story don’t go on anymore

If like some whisper that falls with the winter’s first snow
We're here for a moment or so
Then as dust, we go

If we are numbered like some treeless leaf on the breeze
Sure we are easily pleased
We hang on to existence just to cover the distance until we are brought to our knees

If one drop of rain leaves more of a stain than I
Should I just curl up and die?
No, no, no, not I

When I am called to whatever is calling me home
Is there a thing I have known?
How long have I lost if I counted the cost I could say I have possibly grown?

What take I with me? Nothing but this:
For once in a momentary kiss
I found your love, alone

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Bailiff’s Clarification

The Disallowed Questions:

1) To Minister for Treasury:

Will the Minister state whether, following the publishing of R.3/2017. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report entitled ‘Jersey Innovation Fund‘, he was requested by the Chief Minister to resign, or whether he offered his resignation to the Chief Ministefl

2)To the Economic Development Minister:

Will the Minister state whether, following the publishing of R.3/2017, the Comptroller and Auditor Generals report entitled ’Jersey Innovation Fund’, he was requested by the Chief Minister to resign, or whether he offered his resignation to the Chief Minister?

The Bailiff’s Clarification

Below is printed a clarification by the Bailiff to Deputy Tadier (and sent to all States members) on why he ruled out questions regarding the resignation of Ministers.  It appears that Deputy Tadier had to ask for a written explanation for the decision, and it would I think be far more transparent when any question or proposition is ruled out of order, that a statement is made clarifying the reasons is made for the record. Incidentally, the statement does not appear as yet on the States Assembly website.

Publishing the explanation for a veto would also help other members of the States and create a body of case studies which must surely benefit the democratic process. Nothing is more invidious that decisions taken by the Bailiff where the reasoning is not in plain view to both States members and the general public where it impacts on the ability of members to ask questions or bring propositions to the house.

The core argument is that “Parliamentary questions must relate to a public matter for which a Minister has official responsibility.”. But surely past responsibility must count for something, otherwise Ministers could just move on and leave a trail of mistakes in their wake for which they cannot be called to account (except at the ballot box)?

As a Freedom of Information request cited by the Jersey Evening Post noted, Senator Maclean and Senator Farnham both signed off loans.  While they no longer have official responsibility, they must surely have had that responsibility at the time: how else could they have signed off the loans?

However, it does appear though that any statements by themselves about whether they offered to resign are a private matter for them, and it is up to them to make a private statement. That they have failed to comment on their responsibilities at the time says a lot about the culture of ignoring where mistakes are made in the past. But that does not mean it would necessarily be it as a resigning matter: just a bit of openness about their decision making. It may in fact be that at least one of the Senators signed off on the loans we know were successful.

Regarding Deputy Tadier’s question, referred to in the Bailiff’s clarification:

“Given that Senator Ozouf was not the only Minister to have signed off loans from the Jersey Innovation Fund, will the Chief Minister also be asking Senators Farnham and Maclean to ‘step aside’ from their ministerial duties until the relevant investigation has fully reported back?”

This was in fact neatly side-stepped by Senator Gorst:

“Both Ministers that the Deputy referred to are indeed honourable men and they are getting on delivering on behalf of this community. As I said in my opening answer, Senator Ozouf was the person who most recently had political responsibility of being delegated and that is why he chose honourably to step aside. We should now let the reviews take their course and once those reviews are finalised and, in the case of the political one, published, then if further action is required that further action will be taken, as I indicated at the last States sitting.”

This is a fudge and one can see why Deputy Tadier felt frustrated.

In the meantime, it seems that the question cannot be raised as to how much responsibility Maclean (who set up the fund) and Farnham took over signing off loans.

Indeed, the real question which needs to be answered is whether they made a mistake in signing off loans with problems that could have been seen at the time, and whether they were aware of the failures in the procedural governance of the fund. They should really clarify their position on this, either now, or certainly they may have to face the question at the hustings when such questions may not be so easily disallowed.

The Bailiff’s Clarification

Dear Deputy

I am writing in response to your request for my reasons for ruling out of order the questions you submitted asking whether the Minister for Treasury and Resources and the Minister for Economic Development. Tourism, Sport and Culture were asked to resign or offered to resign following the publication of the Comptroller and Auditor General‘s report on the Innovation Fund.

Parliamentary questions must relate to a public matter for which a Minister has official responsibility. This is set out in Standing Orders 9(1) and 10(2).

In relation to whether either minister has been asked to resign, that is properly a matter for the Chief Minister who has official responsibility for the Council of Ministers and you pursued this line of questioning with him at the sitting on 14' March.

As to whether the ministers themselves offered to resign, that is a personal matter for them not an official responsibility, which is one of the reasons why statements of resignation are personal statements rather than statements of matters of official responsibility.

In this context, it does not matter whether the questions are asked in relation to the period after the publication of the report on the Innovation Fund or specific meetings of the Council of Ministers.

Furthermore, if the questions were allowed it is very likely that Members would seek to ask supplementary questions concerning the Innovation Fund. However, neither minister has official responsibility for that matter. Removing the reference to the report on the Innovation Fund from your questions, as you suggested, would not help as the questions would then become entirely hypothetical and thereby infringe Standing Order 10(6)(a).

I understand that the application of the Assembly’s rules on questions can sometimes be a source of frustration. The Greffier can offer advice on how to use the Assembly's procedures to scrutinise ministers and there are likely to be opportunities for further questions in relation to the Innovation Fund when the reviews instituted by the Chief Minister are completed.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Time to remove the Bailiff's Veto

The Jersey Evening Post has highlighted a perennial problem with the role of the Bailiff. Despite protestations that the Bailiff has no vote and no power other than that of Speaker, in fact he has the power to veto questions and propositions from members.

This is the recent example in the JEP:

A DEPUTY’s questions to two ministers about the Innovation Fund scandal have been blocked by the Bailiff, it has been claimed. Deputy Montfort Tadier lodged oral questions to the Treasury Minister and Economic Development Minister asking whether they had been ‘requested by the Chief Minister to resign’ or had offered to resign following the publication of a damning report by the Island’s Comptroller and Auditor General into the fund. He had wanted to ask the questions during tomorrow’s States sitting. However, the Reform Jersey politician claims he has been told by the Bailiff, William Bailhache, that the questions ‘are not allowed’.

While the Bailiff is President of the States, unless deputised to the Deputy Bailiff, the Greffier or even (as in the law), a States member (which has happened in the past), what is of more concern is not keeping order, making sure standing orders are adhered to, but what happens behind the scenes.

In a past exchange with Deputy Mike Higgins, Deputy Higgins said that the Deputy Bailiff, who was then William Bailhache (supposedly acting on behalf of the Bailiff) had denied the opportunity to bring forward a proposition to the States:

“I have asked for this proposition to be put forward to the States because I believe the States were misled by the former Minister for Home Affairs at the time. My matter of privilege is that you have denied me the opportunity to bring this proposition, which I think needs to be heard by the House and the decisions need to be made by the House, and I believe the public must be assured that information that was put out at the time is correct. “

In reply, the Deputy Bailiff noted that "the arrangements are that when a Member wishes to lodge a proposition he or she needs to have the consent of the Bailiff before it is an option."

Propositions should, as Deputy Higgins himself mentioned, meet three tests -to be lawful, to corresponds with Standing Orders and not to be detrimental to States business. What emerged was that the Standing Orders make it plain that a Member has no right to lodge a proposition or indeed ask a question without the leave of the Bailiff.

This incident is significant because it shows an often overlooked power of the the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff - the ability to use his power to block propositions again - this relates to Haut de La Garenne and the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry. Mike Higgins wanted to open up a short piece of the transcript of an "in camera" debate on the suspension of Graham Power to the public gaze.

Importantly, it shows that there is a power to veto propositions held by the Bailiff (and by virtue of that office, devolving to the Deputy Bailiff). Note the way in which the Deputy Bailiff suggests that it is just a matter of form - "a Member has no right to lodge a proposition without the leave of the Bailiff. That leave has not yet been given.".

What is clear is that he had in fact blocked the proposition from Deputy Higgins, and if Deputy Higgins had not raised the matter, no one in the States would know. The same has happened now. Unless Deputy Tadier had made apparent this veto, it would have gone hidden.

Surely it cannot be good for open and transparent government if the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff (unelected members) can veto a proposition, and that the grounds for that are not made public - or even the fact that he has done so?

This is something which is perhaps in an overlooked section in the Carswell report on the role of the Crown Officers in the States. The report notes that:

“Outside the Chamber, the Bailiff has to consider draft propositions and draft questions, which he must admit unless they contravene Standing Orders. The Bailiff may on occasion discuss these matters with individual members of the States. If questions are not properly framed, the Greffier or the Bailiff will regularly suggest amendments to address the defect and allow the questions to proceed.”

“It was represented to us by a number of respondents that although the Bailiff must apply Standing Orders in all decisions which he makes and is bound to give all members an opportunity to speak when they express a wish to do so, he nevertheless exerts a degree of political influence by the manner in which he carries out his function. “

“Members of the States may also suppose that the Bailiff has allowed political considerations to affect his application of Standing Orders, particularly when he has ruled against their submissions”

Former Deputy Bob Hill made this plain in an interview he had with the Carswell committee:

“There are problems where conflicts are clear, and my first conflict came when soon after being elected as a member of the States and we had a big debate on the sixth form college. And I felt really that there was an opportunity here for us to have an overall sixth form college, and I tried to lodge an amendment to include Victoria College as part of the sixth form college system, and it was refused. But, of course, I did argue with the Bailiff [Sir Philip Bailhache] and said, ‘Well, with respect, sir, you are Chairman of the Governors of Victoria College as well’. He said, ‘Well, that doesn't come into it’ and I said, ‘You allow me to put an amendment in about the ladies' college, but not allow me to put an amendment in’. He said,’"Well, I make the final decision’.

“Sir, I learnt at an early stage that there was no right of appeal, because that is the situation. You make your application to the Bailiff, and the Bailiff says you can have something or you cannot. That is the same for amendments and propositions in questions so, if one wants to ask a question, at the end of the day, it is the Bailiff that has the ultimate decision as to whether you can ask it or not.”

In his written submission, Bob Hill summarised the lack of appeal against a decision, which might be conflicted:

“At present the Bailiff is responsible for approving requests from Members when lodging questions, both oral and written, propositions, amendments and making personal statements. If the Bailiff rejects the requests there is no ability to appeal against that decision. I have personal experience and the current arrangements should not continue.”

The lack of accountability, and the way in which the Bailiff could and did block questions and propositions also came up in the public meeting that was held by Lord Carswell:

Former Deputy Paul Le Claire stated that it could be difficult to separate the personalities from the offices they inhabited. He advised that he too had often been to see the Bailiff [Sir Philip Bailhache] in the Bailiff's Chambers en masse with other elected Members. He had personal experience of bringing propositions which had ultimately been refused. Deputy Le Claire admired the Bailiff; however, it was time for his role to be put to rest as the question continued to tear at the community. He hoped that the Panel could untangle the situation through its Review.

He expanded on this in his written submission:

“Censorship of Propositions: There have been occasions when States members, including me, have put forward propositions, only to have these amended, censored or ruled out of order by the Bailiff in his role as President or speaker of the States. This has happened in the context of matters which were potentially critical of the Courts and the judiciary, ultimately only being permitted without further delay by the Bailiff [Sir Philip Bailhache] in an amended proposition P62/20093. (That proposition related to my involvement in respect of a children case. My criticisms of the Court were vindicated in the Serious Case Review in respect of those children at paragraphs 8.14-8.18, 9.3 and 10 of the recommendations. Further concerns are highlighted subsequently in my submission). “

“States members (who have been duly elected by the people of Jersey) have consequently felt frustration when thus denied the right to debate an issue by virtue of a decision of an un-elected Crown appointee.”
As former Senator Ted Vibert highlighted some 5 years ago that "The right to approve the content of questions and personal statements is a subtle power that controls a certain amount of what a member can say in the House. It will be argued that this vetting process is to ensure that there is no breach of Standing Orders but this power is discretionary and open to question"

"I would contend that there have been occasions in my own experience, where this power has been misapplied. Others have made the same point, the other Deputy and three Senators, one being myself when I was the holder of that office some years ago"

The Bailiff is also President of the States Assembly. That is to say that he convenes all meeting of the States and presides over all sittings. He controls the debates and in particular controls the contents of questions which can be asked of the Government.

In practice the position as President of the States is one of enormous political power. He controls what questions may be asked in the States, he is able to refuse to table questions such as might embarrass the Government, which he heads, himself or his supporters.

Advocate Tim Herbert, in his submission to the Carswell Review, stated that

The title "President of the States" is just that. It does not connote political power.

But Advocate Herbert is mistaken. Clearly, the ability to rule a proposition out, and not allow the States to vote on it, as appears to be the case with Deputy Higgins, does connote political power.

This is a subtle form of power behind the scenes, which is not usually in display, for which there is no means of appeal, and no way to call the Bailiff to account for using his powers to veto any question or proposition. That's probably why Deputy Higgins wished to raise the matter in the States, to call to account that this was happening. And why Deputy Tadier has also done so.

This is a serious lack of transparency at the heart of the Bailiff's power. If he does veto propositions, as it is within his powers, but he should also make available to public scrutiny and the States Assembly the reasons for doing so. The veto must not be exercised beyond closed doors.

I have no objection to the Bailiff remaining President of the States, but - because his office is not open to election at the Ballot Box, the power of veto, behind the scenes, should not be exercised by an unelected and unaccountable individual.

One individual cannot often see their own bias, and certainly there should also be provision to appeal in the States itself. It is members, democratically elected, who should have the final say on what can or cannot be asked, and not an unelected Bailiff whose decision making is shrouded in secrecy.

PPC should be requested to make necessary changes in legislation so that it can be changed as soon as possible.

It is time for the veto to go! 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Goray Castle

From "The Pilot", 1965, I found this rather nice poem by Catherine Giles. If anyone knows anything about her, I'd be most interested to know. I believe she was the wife of Alan Giles, Dean of Jersey from 1959 to 1971.

Goray Castle
By Catherine Giles

Sombre and red against the changing skies
Guarding a peaceful, wave-washed stretch of sand.

The towers and battlements of Gouray rise
Enduring as the rock whereon they stand.

Beneath, white houses, like a string of pearls
Adorn the quay. The little sailing fleet

Basks in the sunshine: brown-limbed boys and girls
Explore the rocks on nimble, shoeless feet

They ponder, where the Castle’s shadow falls
The sea-shells microscopic mystery:

Nor heed the grandeur of those ancient walls
Whose very stones are steeped in history.

By day those walls – once refuge, dungeon, keep –
Look arrogantly down, their granite towers

Silent and grim, like giants half asleep
Oblivious of the changing tides and hours

But, with descending night, some elfin hand
Touches the battlements and, swift as thought,

Transforms the vast rock to an airy strand.
Surmounted by a gleaning fairy fort

You catch your breath, and gaze. A thing so fair
Seems strange, unearthly, as a dream at night:

Mirrored across the bay, it floats on air –
A phantom castle, moulded out of light!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Lenten Reflections - Part 4

The 2006 Desert Southwest Annual Conference of United Methodists in the USA directed the Conference Board of Church and Society to provide a way to study the issues we face concerning immigration.

As part of this, they went to Mexico to explore, on a personal face-to-face level, what the issues were, what economic pressures the Mexicans faces, how Mexico and the USA were interlocked together, what effect trade deals had on Mexican farming, and all this comes out in their report. Below is the third part.

This was long before today’s troubled issues about immigration, but it opens up some good ethical questions with each section. I’m not giving my opinions; I’m leaving it for the reader to look and make up their own minds.

The Desert Southwest Conference Board of Church and Society
Borderlinks Trip Reflection - Part 3

After our trip to the desert, we visited a casa de huespedes, a hospitality house.

Hospitality houses are inexpensive rooms provided to migrants for one to three nights as they make their preparations to cross the desert. As we entered the courtyard of the rooms, we were an instant attraction.

Many migrants gathered around us as Poncho and our Borderlinks guide explained that we were representatives from the Desert Southwest Conference’s Board of Church and Society, and that we had come seeking to attain a better and more comprehensive understanding the migration issues.

What we experienced immediately were responses filled with anger. The migrants could not understand why we, in the United States, would be so mean and hurtful toward them. They only wanted to come and be productive, helpful people in our country. They could not understand why we would place the kind of restrictions and have the kind of attitudes that we did toward them. We believe their deeper question was, and is, “Why would you treat us as less than people, and why would you cause us to place our lives at risk, when all we want to do is work and contribute to your country?”

After 15-20 minutes much of the tension subsided, and we asked them to tell us a little about themselves and why they were making such a long and dangerous trek. In nearly every case, the reason they were migrating was to earn enough money to provide their families with enough food and adequate shelter, to give those they loved a little higher quality of life. As we listened we realized that they simply were trying to do for those they loved the same things we do for those in our hearts.

One man was leaving a wife and six children behind. There was a 14-year old girl, a 16- year old girl and 16-year old boy as part of the group preparing to cross. Several of us who had daughters that age became very quiet as we thought about our own daughters preparing to make this journey.

We asked if they planned to permanently live in the United States. Approximately 90% of the group shook their heads and responded that they were only going for one to three years.

Poncho then reminded us that because of American policies and actions, many people who simply wanted to come and spend just enough time away from family to earn enough to live a better quality of life decided to stay because it was becoming so hard to make the crossings. So, again, our policies are creating the very scenarios we are trying to prevent.

After about an hour of some very frank, very emotional conversations and the promise that we would take their stories back with us, we closed in prayer. We prayed for the migrants and their safety, we prayed for an end to the policies that created the economic issues that diminished life, and we prayed for the families left behind without a father, mother, daughter, or son.

What do you believe are the economic impacts of these migrants upon our economy?

Do you believe we should revisit our policies in light of the fact that many people simply want to come to our country for limited periods of time to make enough money to bring a better quality of life to their families?

How do we respond to people who want to know why we create and support policies that threaten the lives of others?

Saturday, 25 March 2017

An Act of Terror

For those caught up in the attack, those of us who read it, saw how it unfolded, those who were mained and injured, those who died, and those who mourned, the world changed with the attack on Westminister Bridge. And for some more than others, caught up in the violence, nothing will be the same again.

An Act of Terror

Nothing will ever be the same again
The world fractured and broke apart
Pedestrians left dying, so much pain
Death drives a car, madness to impart

In the beginning, this came to start
A young man, and the mark of Cain
Nothing will ever be the same again
The world fractured and broke apart

The thread is cut, just a broken skein
Sorrow weeps with a broken heart
A crack in time, poor souls depart
Mourn those dead, so cruelly slain
Nothing will ever be the same again

Friday, 24 March 2017

Raise a Glass to Drink to Lost Heritage

Raise a Glass to Drink to Lost Heritage

In 1985, Glenn George, who was then “mine host” at the Old Smugglers Inn at Ouaisne Bay, produced a small booklet called “Jersey Pubs and Inns: A Souvenir Guide to the Local Pubs, Inns and Bars of Character”.

Some of those he described are still around, like the Smugglers itself. Some have changed their name, like L’Auberge du Nord, which is now the Farm House. But others have fallen away, and are either closed or demolished. Here are a few mentioned in the booklet, along with Glenn’s descriptions which bring them vividly back to life.

Of these, the only two I have visited was the Lillie Langtry Bar, which also used to be a favourite watering hole for beer drinking teachers from Victoria College, and the Harvest Barn, which was indeed providing good food at reasonable prices, as Glenn says.

La Folie Inn, South Pier, St Helier

There are few pubs where you can rub shoulders with a French fisherman, talk to a Jersey sailor, and then buy a live crab or lobster to take home for supper. But then locals like La Folie Inn are few and far between.

Tucked away in a sheltered corner of St Helier Harbour this tiny pub oozes character - right from its authentic nautical decor to its authentic nautical clientele.

It's the meeting place for the Harbour folk - the fishermen, seamen, sailors, pilots and dockers. To them, drinking and conversation are a serious business, so you won't find any pub games, television or juke box at La Folie - just good honest company and good honest beer.

The pub has been this way since 1733, and it will take more than the twentieth century to change its habits. It sells beer in a rather unusual way. To make things easier for the many foreign sailors and yachtsmen, all the beers are numbered. You simply order a pint of `Number 3', thus eliminating the language problem.

Outside the Fo'c'sle Bar is the area where the local fishermen sell their catch. It couldn't be fresher. and the range of fish, crabs and lobsters are always well below town prices.

Mermaid Tavern, St Peter

Sitting on the beer patio, looking out over the ornamental lake, it's hard to imagine that the Mermaid Tavern is just a few hundred yards from bustling Jersey airport. True, the illusion is shattered when an occasional jet takes off, but otherwise this tranquil sun trap provides a peaceful and welcome retreat.

Now part of a larger hotel complex, the Tavern dates back to the sixteenth century when it was a typical farm-house. In fact, it still boasts one of the few remaining `Witches' Rests' on its chimney.

Local folklore states that superstitious farmers built these resting places so that any witches flying by on their evil business could sit down and rest their weary broomsticks. By providing them with this welcome relief, the farmer and his family were then left free from any curses.

The main fireplace inside the Tavern is a superb example of granite workmanship, and the hearth is made from an old cider press wheel. Above the fireplace do note the 'genuine' stuffed mermaid in a glass case -apparently caught by local fishermen!

The Mermaid offers quite a range of food - good pub grub in the Tavern itself and a really high-class menu available next door in the Grill Room. 

Lillie Langtry Bar, La Motte Street

This tiny town bar is named after Lillie Langtry, the famous `Jersey Lily', who attained fame and fortune in the late 1800s as an actress, and some notoriety as mistress of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

Born Emilie Le Breton in St Saviour's Parish, Lillie enjoyed success in England and America until she passed away in Monaco in 1929. She is buried locally in St Saviour's Churchyard.

The bar itself is a favourite meeting place for many St Helier businessmen, drawn by the good company and excellent food, enhanced by an Edwardian decor.

The Harvest Barn, Vallee des Vaux

Many years ago the only customers at the Harvest Barn would have been a contented herd of Jersey cows. But following extensive renovations, the granite barn and cowshed were skilfully converted into a thriving pub with several bars and restaurants. Today it enjoys a reputation second to none on the Island.

Rurally situated in the Vallee des Vaux, the Harvest Barn is still only a mile or so from the centre of St Helier. The drive to the pub, along a pleasant winding country road flanked by a stream, is a delight in itself and the pub's two large car parks make life easy for the visiting motorist.

Once at the Barn you have the choice of two low-beamed rustic bars: the appropriately named Granary Bar or the Barn Bar itself, and each of these has a restaurant situated above. Quick service and keen prices are the hallmark of the pub's catering success, and it is possible to have a meal for two, with wine, for under £5. Bar snacks are also available for patrons not wishing to use the fully licensed restaurants.

During the summer months tables and chairs are placed outside in the courtyard, which is a real suntrap. Children are welcome to join their parents in the courtyard or eat in the Restaurants, but don't forget the Chef's day off is Sunday.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Shape of Things to Come

Five people have died and 40 people have been injured in a terror attack near the Houses of Parliament. These kinds of attacks, involving cars and knives, what are seen as "low tech" attacks, seem to be the new way terrorists are unleashing murder on the world. We mourn those who have died, we pray for those injured, and we look for the courage to face a future that is more uncertain, more full of fear.

“the flames are silent,
Peace is violent,
Tears are frozen
’cause massacre was chosen.

~~ 26/11– Mumbai terror attack memories”
― Ankita Singhal

The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.

How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.”
― Salman Rushdie, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back....”
― Erica Jong

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
― Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's First Inaugural

"What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”
― David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
-- W.H. Auden

“Just above our terror, the stars painted this story
in perfect silver calligraphy. And our souls, too often
abused by ignorance, covered our eyes with mercy.”
― Aberjhani

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Guernsey Watch

Guernsey Watch

Alderney Transport Links

Looking at the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the news from Alderney is not good. Guernsey Press reports that:

“ALDERNEY’S need for a runway extension has been sidelined, the president of the island’s Chamber of Commerce has said, as he and an Alderney politician said ‘unmanageable’ transport links were making local businesses unsustainable. Alderney States member Louis Jean said transport issues ‘would continue to worsen’ without intervention. ‘Plane fares are rising every year and it is now around £120 just to get to Guernsey, and I believe those increases will continue without bigger planes because of customer resistance and there being less seats available,’ he said”

But a number of residents do not believe that the runway is the cure-all it is suggested, and call for simply making sure the existing one is fit for purpose:

“The misconception that a longer runway will sort out all our problems has wasted 4 years, during which time our runway has been reduced in width to 18 meters and the surface has deteriorated daily as more and more of it is swept up as FOD. The States of Alderney now need to really get behind a push to encourage Guernsey to get on with the essential work of widening back to 23 meters, full resurface, and installation of centre line lighting. More delay and argument over wishful thinking could cost us the whole airport.”

Alvin, another Alderney resident, comments that:

“The repairs to Alderney's runway are indeed essential and that should be immediately carried out. But an extension would be of no benefit. If the runway is repaired, then the airport could accommodate the existing small passenger aircraft that are being operated in the UK... the Islander, Dornier 228, Let 410, Twin Otter etc etc.”

“A runway extension would basically be a complete rebuild of the runway - up to 1200 - 1300 metres could be possible but would need a lot of additional land being purchased, re-alignment of the flight path, new navigational aids and lighting, enlarging and strengthening of the taxiways and aprons, extension and upgrading the terminal and ancillary services, such as security, fire services...  We are talking about almost a brand new airport! Cost? £50 million? £ 80 million? More?? Why?”

“Because whilst the above-listed aircraft can operate into Alderney with its existing runway length, the next step up in passenger aircraft are basically the Saab 340/2000s, ATR 42s and 72s, Dash 8s etc etc. These aircraft take 48 - 78 passengers but need a much longer and stronger runway as well as all the other facilities of a larger airport.”

“And it still would not do any good for Alderney. Back in its heyday, Alderney used to attract 80000 passengers a year, now it has fallen to around 57000. Two daily rotations from Alderney to Guernsey using the smaller ATR42s would give an annual seat capacity of almost 70000! Using ATR72s, then over 100000! Alderney would land up having just two daily flights to Guernsey and none to Southampton, or, if the ATR42s were used, maybe a three times a week route to Southampton. Better for Alderney Airport is just to repair the runway and encourage more flights to more destinations such as a Jersey and a Cherbourg route.”

And another comment:

“I’d love to visit Alderney but for the same money as flying there I could travel to 5-6 other interesting places in Europe. Why isn't any effort being put into a viable ferry service? I assume this has been asked a million times but I can't find many clear answers.”

I personally remember visits to Alderney on the small Condor hydrofoil, which went directly from Jersey, arriving early, leaving late, ideal for a day trip. The Aurigny planes used to have a direct flight to Alderney from Jersey as well, although they were much pricier. I can’t help feeling that the last two comments are right.

Alderney has too narrow a gateway primarily via Guernsey, and opening up air and cheaper sea routes might encourage people to visit, especially day trippers, for whom a boat journey from Guernsey or Jersey would provide a better option. As it stands, those critical links are gradually being eroded, and with the falling population on Alderney – almost certainly because it is almost a transport cul-de-sac – I do wonder how much longer Alderney will be viable as a place to live.

Reciprocal Care Agreement

Guernsey Press reports that:

“WORK to implement a medical insurance scheme to cover Guernsey and Alderney residents visiting the UK has moved one step closer and could be in place by next summer. Employment & Social Security was directed in 2015 to investigate the options for replacing the former reciprocal health agreement, which ended in 2009, with an insurance scheme covering hospital treatment.”

A comment follows:

“Three years from States direction to implementing this scheme. This speaks volumes about the way this island is run. What a shame the island doesn't have a group of people who understand how to implement an insurance scheme such as this”

The Reciprocal Health Agreement came into being in the heyday of Tourism, so that the UK would pay Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man for treating visitors, and in return visitors to the UK would be treated as UK citizens if they required health care.

As tourism declined, those in charge must have been aware that the arrangement was not equitable, but it was an extra boost to the health budgets so they kept quiet about it. Neither Chief Officer Mike Pollard not Minister Stuart Syvret did anything to alter this status quo in Jersey. There was a £3.9 million a year imbalance in the system in Jersey’s favour made it inherently unstable and unsustainable. But action which could have averted the loss of the RHA never took place.

Of course, the UK government woke up to the fact that they were now paying money for almost no return. The Isle of Man, which had an intensive lobby of contacts with Westminster, was able to hang onto its RHA, albeit without any money now changing hands.

Jersey and Guernsey lost theirs on 18th September 2008 after a decision made by Minister for Health, Dawn Primarolo. Health Minister Ben Shenton was surprised by the decision, which suggests that either Ministers were being kept in the dark by their Chief Officer, or they were turning a blind eye to the imbalance in funding.We will probably never know.

In the interim, health insurance was required for trips to the UK, which sometimes was not available or available at a reasonable cost for elderly people wishing to visit their children. In the background, better links were being forged, and credit where it is due, both Senator Sir Philip Bailhache and Senator Philip Ozouf had a great deal to do with that. It was restored on 1 April 2011.

It was realised that Jersey had not the same links which had proven so advantageous to the Isle of Man. While some may criticise Senator Ozouf for the time spent commuting to London, this is an essential strategy which helped the case for reinstating the RHA for Jersey, and also improved Jersey’s financial standing in Parliament.

The new RHA simply had no money passing either way; it was a straight quid pro quo, just as the Isle of Man had successfully negotiated. Obviously, Health Minister Anne Pryke was in on negotiations, but it was the behind the scenes work in the UK which did the trick. 

Guernsey has evidently failed to see this and as a result, they are still without an RHA, which must be something of a nightmare. As one correspondent to the paper wrote:

“The absence of the RHA and the high cost of travel insurance, or indeed the inability to obtain it because of age or medical history, means that no prudent person, unable to afford or obtain insurance, can leave their island. It was one thing to be imprisoned for five years by German occupying forces, quite another to be imprisoned here by our own government. Many would love to be able to visit friends and relatives in the UK or have them visit here, but cannot run the risk.”

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Digression on Cats

From the Pilot of 1965 comes this rather nice piece by G.R. Balleine. When he was not writing history, he was editor of The Pilot, and in that capacity, he penned both religious pieces, and other odds and ends that seem to have been written as much for his own pleasure and that of the reader than anything else. Here is a piece which has only a marginal connection to Christianity, but it is very interesting.

One thing to note. Cats are not quite as colour blind as he suggests, and don't see the world in shades of grey. Both cats and dogs are partially colorblind. Specifically, due to lack of L-cones they have trouble with differentiating between red, orange, and chartreuse shades, though they can do things like distinguish red and blue and distinguish between the various shades of blue and the like.

However the notion that they were just seeing the world in shades of grey had scientific backing and Balleine, widely read as he was, would have been aware of that. An experiment 1915 at the University of Colorado seemed to demontstrate they they could not see colours, but a retest in the 1960s showed that they could see colour (and were only partially colourblind), but also that colour was not terribly significant for them: colour simply does not really factor into the daily life of a cat

Know Your Pussy
by G.R. Balleine

Who would live in a cat less home? The old ideal of a cosy home was at cat and a fiddle, though today I suppose for the fiddle we would substitute the television.

But there is no real substitute for a cat. Among civilised men cats have always been treated as one of the family, though curiously enough tame cats are never found among savages. But from Ancient Egypt four thousand years ago, where, when the cat died, the whole household shaved off their eyebrow s as a sign of mourning, and the little body was mummified and preserved in a Temple, to modern France, where every door has its chattier, a little opening through which the cat can pass in and out at will, Puss is a personal friend: though we do not all go as far as the person who advertised in a recent paper: "Wanted by a lady for adequate remuneration – a few well-behaved and respectable dressed children to amuse a cat two or three hours it day"

But, though you have kept a cat for years, there are probably things you do not know about it. How many toes has it? Count- and you will find five on the front paws but only four on the back. What colour are its eyelashes? It has not got any. When does a kitten officially become a cat? When it sheds its first teeth, usually when eight months old. How long should your cat live'? Its normal life is from twelve to eighteen years, though some live to be twenty-four. Do you know that tortoise-shells are never males, and orange cats hardly ever females, and white cats generally y deaf? Why does Puss claw the furniture? Because its claws are drawn inside its paws, and, unless it exercises them regularly by thrusting them out against resistance, it becomes lame.

Why does it cat turn round and round before it lies down? Because in its wild state it is a jungle beast- and has to smooth the long grass into a bed, before it can he comfortable, and it has never lost this habit. Why does it cat put up its tail and arch its hack and spit when it is frightened? Because in the jungle every beast is terrified of a serpent and so the cat pretends to be one, and often saves its life.

Why is it almost impossible to teach a cat tricks? Dogs are easily taught to beg, to sham dead, to fetch and carry. But you hardly ever find a performing cat. Again the answer comes from the jungle days. The dog belongs to a stock that has always lived in packs, and obeyed the orders of its leader. By nature it is accustomed to do as it is told: But the wild cat lives by itself, thinks for itself, chooses its own course, and in its absolute independence is more like Man than any other animal. If you want to he friends with a cat you must respect its independence. You can strike a dog and it will fawn at your feet: but it cat never forgets a blow.

Do you know that cats are colour-blind? All colours to them are different shades of grey. But they are very musical. High shrill notes make them nervous: but they adore rich, deep tones, such as those of the cello: and they love a stirring march with a strong bass.

Indeed, almost the only trick that it is easy to teach them is to come for milk, when a certain note is struck on the piano, and to ignore all others.

In many ways a cat's intelligence is very mysterious. It has a strong sense of the difference between right and wrong. If it commits an offence its uneasy conscience gives it away, before its crime is discovered. It has an extra-ordinary sense of time. There are well authenticated cases of cats which, winter and summer (so they cannot depend on the light) never failed to return at ten. And everyone has heard of their amazing sense of direction, how they can be carried a hundred miles in a closed basket to a new house, and yet find their way back to their old home across utterly unknown country.

Do you know that a cat's stomach can only consume half-a-pint of food? So she is a dainty and delicate feeder. Never tempt her to eat more than she needs. More cats die of overfeeding than of starvation. Cats are by nature meat-eaters. So give them all the meat you can. And they simple adore asparagus. Two things are absolutely essential to their health: plenty of clean fresh water and plenty of grass. The latter is nature’s way of enabling them to get rid of the fur that they swallow when they wash.

There is only one thing more essential, and that is lots of love. No cat can keep health without it. It looks to its owner for love and pines when this is lacking. In one of the Apocryphal Gospels the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, we read this story: "As Jesus entered a certain village, he saw a young cat that had none to care for her; and she was hungry and cried. And he took her up and she lay in His Bosom. And, when he came into the village, he set food and drink before her. And some said. This Man careth for all animals. Are they his brothers and sisters?' And he answered 'Yea, and they are your brother and sisters too. Whosoever careth for the least of these doeth it unto me." This Gospel is a late one, and is not thought to have much authority; but this particular story sounds very much like Jesus.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Lenten Reflections - Part 3

The 2006 Desert Southwest Annual Conference of United Methodists in the USA directed the Conference Board of Church and Society to provide a way to study the issues we face concerning immigration.

As part of this, they went to Mexico to explore, on a personal face-to-face level, what the issues were, what economic pressures the Mexicans faces, how Mexico and the USA were interlocked together, what effect trade deals had on Mexican farming, and all this comes out in their report. Below is the second part.

This was long before today’s troubled issues about immigration, but it opens up some good ethical questions with each section. I’m not giving my opinions; I’m leaving it for the reader to look and make up their own minds.

I would mention, however, that there already exists a wall and fence (as described here in 2008) long before Trump.

The Desert Southwest Conference Board of Church and Society
Borderlinks Trip Reflection - Part 2

Poncho explained that Altar had also been an agricultural community, but because they were experiencing the same economic difficulties as the rest of those engaged in agriculture, they changed their economic focus to aiding the migrants.

After several hours of dialogue and reflection with Poncho, we took a trip to the desert.

This may not have been as important an experience for a group from Arizona to do as groups from other areas of the country, but it set an important context for the rest of our day. First we were reminded that our country, directly after NAFTA was passed, began a policy of building fences in populated areas, discouraging crossings into this country.

Poncho shared that the perception, believed by many in Mexico, was that it was beyond coincidence that the fences would be built at the same time NAFTA was passed. The construction of these fences at that time implies that many already knew what the impact of NAFTA would be on the Mexican economy.

Secondly, it was our government’s policy that these fences would be a deterrent to migration in several ways.

First, there is the obvious fact that no one could cross at these traditional entry points.

The second rational for these fences was that it would force anyone wanting to enter the United States to do so by crossing in the more remote and dangerous stretches of desert. This policy was passed knowing that people would die in the desert, but the theory was that after several deaths the people would see the hazards involved and would not attempt further crossings in those areas. This obviously did not work as we have seen literally hundreds of deaths in the desert. It was this policy that lead to the organization of groups such as Humane Borders and No More Deaths.

Do you believe we have lost our moral underpinning as a nation when our leaders will formulate and embrace policies knowing that they will result in the deaths of human beings?

What does this show other nations about our national character?

What is our role as the church, when it comes to addressing these policies?

Alex DeToqueville was a French Philosopher who came to this country to study this incredible experiment called America. After observing us his comment was, “What makes America great is the fact that America is good. When America ceases being good, she will cease to be great.” Are we on a journey to a loss of greatness? Why or why not?

Knowing that labels and names have power and shape perceptions of reality, is it fair to look at migrants and instead of labeling them “illegal immigrants” re-name them “economic refugees”?

Does the name “economic refugee” paint a more realistic picture of most migrants?

What connotation does the name “illegal” illicit?

What connotation does the name “refugee” illicit?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Winter Spell

Winter Spell

Light from lantern, snow gleams bright
Through wardrobe into Narnia’s land
Where the faun, amazed did stand
A daughter of Adam in his sight

Cold the snows,  White Queen’s blight
Comes Empress Jadis, ever so grand
Light from lantern, snow gleams bright
Through wardrobe into Narnia’s land

Betrayed, and cold, children in flight
Towards Cair Paravel, by sea and sand
And Aslan gives them helping hand
And helps to make all Narnia right
Light from lantern, snow gleams bright
Through wardrobe into Narnia’s land

Pirate’s Song

One of my first memories of reading a book which might be considered a "classic" was Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island". The blind man, tap, tap, tapping. The Black Spot. Old Ben Gunn. All the trappings of adventure.

Later I enjoyed Russell Thorndyke's Dr Syn books, with their background in the piracy of Dr Syn, when the meek parson was actually the feared Captain Clegg. And there are also Pirates in Neverland, in Peter Pan, flying to a land of adventure.

There is something romantic about the sea, and about the treasure chest, whether buried on an island, or as in this poem, sunken treasure in Davy Jones' Locker. This poem is more dream than reality: it is like a dream of sailing the seven seas, of finding treasure, and the sheer joy of the wonderful adventure.

Pirate’s Song

I am soaring above in the clouds and the rain
Leaving far behind earthly sorrows and pain
Over the rainbow, spyglass sees a new land
Very lovely, rocky coast, sea and the sand
Every day I awake, and feel here I belong
Yesterday, swept there by currents so strong
Out of the harbour, my ship passes by rocks
Under the ocean, I seek a chest and its locks
Prying it open, I find my treasure inside
At breaking of chains, an opening wide
Time erupts in my joy, opening fate’s door
Reach gold flowing out, that spills on the shore
I soar in the spray, and with seagulls I cry
Comes glorious moment, with joy I do sigh
Inside treasure chest, I plunder with glee
And back to the harbour, to anchor at quay

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Victorian 1983 - Part 1

Today's post comes from a 1983 edition of "The Victorian", a magazine published by Victoria College. I've only met two of the names here - Bob Le Sueur, who was just retiring as teacher, but whose time of retirement has been anything but retiring and low key, and Geoff Hamon.

Bob is a distant relative, whom I've tended to come across occasionally in the past at funerals. I remember him enlivening the tea and biscuits after the funeral of my Great Aunt Eunice Le Marquand many years ago, when the Minister got her name wrong as "Eunice Hannah". "I'm sure I heard a knock from the coffin at that point" he said jovially.

The other is Geoff Hamon, whom I remember we came across on a package holiday in the 1970s to Tunisia, where he asked my father not to make mention of Geoff's profession as Comptroller of Income Tax. That's very understandable: other guests may not be as easy to get to know at a holiday resort if they know you head a tax office!

I have heard of Sir Arthur De La Mare, of course, one of the most distinguished Old Victorians, of whom more can be read at:

The Victorian 1983

Association of Old Victorians: O.V.S Here, There and Everywhere
Complied by “Dixie” Landick

In our last edition I appealed for news of OVs. The response has been overwhelming and I wish to thank sincerely all those who have written to me. The volume of mail has, however, produced its own problem! Some letters are brief whilst others run to several pages of fascinating detail. Should I offer the Editor a limited selection on a first-come, first-served basis? This would mean holding back many letters until the next publication in July 1984 or even later. After troubled reflection, I have decided to acknowledge as many letters as possible in this issue by including a totally inadequate reference to each of nearly 50 replies. Writers and readers may rest assured, however, that future editions of 'The Victorian' will contain much of the interesting detail I am obliged to omit from this issue. At all events, this edition spans some OVs from 1908 to 1981, so I hope all readers will find news of someone from their generation at V C J. !

L. A. L.

Brigadier Laurence Owen Clarke was at V.C.J. from 1908-1916. After a distinguished military career he is now living in Devon. Has received The Victorian regularly since 1916. He has a photo of the 1914 O.T.C. camp at Tidworth Pennings on which he "recognises A. T. Pirouet, A. D. Ogilvy. C. E. Gilbert, A. P. Whitley and A. G. Rundle"

Carl T. Quinn-Young, O.B.E., M.A., F.R.G.S. (1912-1922). After a fine academic and sporting record at College, gained an Honours Degree in Physics at Oxford. Was appointed Superintendent of Education in Nigeria (1926) where he served for 30 years. Subsequently, manager and editor of overseas books of Evans' Brothers. Now an octogenarian "with itchy feet" living in retirement in West Sussex.

Major G. E. Field, M.B.E. (1912-1918). Refers to his splendid army career in India, Malaya and Singapore as "undistinguished"! POW for three and a half years. Subsequently worked with Max Factor & Co. Inc. until 1968, when he retired to Bournemouth.

Major-General D. J. Wilson-Haffenden, C.B.E. (1917-1918). Another outstanding military record. Was on the staff of Field Marshal Lord Alexander during the final B.E.F, evacuation from Dunkirk, where he was on the beaches for ten days Subsequently served in Burma and finally in India under Field-Marshal Lord Auchinleck. Now President of the Dunkirk Veterans' Association (Pool of London branch), receiving a warm welcome when he went with his wife on this year's Dunkirk Pilgrimage. Resident in Wimbledon.

W. I. A. Faed (1918-1924). Both this O V. and his brother F. C. Faed were outstanding members of College's cricket eleven in the early 'twenties. He recalls the Elizabeth match when his brother took nine wickets from 26 overs, catching the last man off his own bowling. In the 'away' match, his brother captured six Guernsey wickets for a total of 15 runs in two innings! From 1928 to 1961, managed a tobacco, maize, cattle and poultry farm in Southern Rhodesia. Subsequently moved to Western Australia where he and his wife are breeding Limousin cattle, "whose meat commands premium prices"

Graham M. Moore (1918-1923) has also been living in Western Australia for the last twenty years. In 1923 he joined the Eastern Telegraph Co., now known as Cable and Wireless P.L.C. Was appointed variously to Lisbon, Gibraltar and Alexandria. After spells at Salisbury (Rhodesia) and London, was sent in 1941 to Ascension Island. Was torpedoed en route and, after six days in an open boat, reached land on the Guinea coast, eventually reaching Ascension Island in July! Further
appointments took this much-travelled O.V. back to Rhodesia and then to Bermuda. Durban. Buenos Aires. Rio de Janeiro, Trinidad, Cyprus, Vancouver, Aden and Hong Kong.

Robin Le G. Mauger (1921-1927) has written a most charming letter in which he recalls that, in his school days, he was generally nicknamed 'Fatty' or 'Tubby' because he was 10 stone 10 lbs on entering College and 19 stone 5 lbs. when he left. Robin writes: "Unfortunately, apart from one occasion when I was tug-of-war anchor man for Dunlop. it was considered that other sporting activities were beyond my capabilities " But Robin certainly had other capabilities and, on leaving College, joined the local firm of J. W. Huelin, the timber merchants from which he retired as director in 1971.

Sir Arthur de la Mare, K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O. (1926-1932). It is almost an impertinence to write of the career of such a distinguished O.V. and it would certainly be simpler to refer the reader to "Who's Who". As Sir Arthur has, however, written to me. I am permitted to recall that he entered College in 1926 from Trinity School on a States Scholarship, became the first Dan's Scholar and went on to Cambridge in 1932 on a Major Open Scholarship After his retirement from the Diplomatic Service in 1971 (his last post was H.M. Ambassador to Thailand) he spent some years as Adviser to Massey-Ferguson. the world-wide organisation manufacturing and marketing agricultural machinery. He has been chairman of the Anglo-'Thai Society, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and is still the dynamic chairman of the Jersey Society in London. Sir Arthur writes that his only criticism of the latter society is that "it has long since forsaken the admonition of its principal founding father that all its transactions should he in Jersey-French!"

William O. Johnson (1923-1927) resides in Chiswick and states briefly that he was in the Metropolitan Police for 25 years. Thereafter, he worked as an investigator for an insurance company and is "now pottering about in an insurance broker's office".

Cecil G. Crill, Commander R.N, Retd. (1926-1933), now resident in Cheshire, writes ". I attended the
O.V. dinner last November after an interval of 45 years - the last one at the Palace Hotel. I might be there for my 50th anniversary of leaving V.C.J. this December I left College at the same time as R G. Scrisen, who died last year, and A. G. Candlin w ho was killed in Burma in 1942 (and whose sister. Marguerite. I married in October 1942). We all had tea with the Headmaster. Mr. J. H. Grummitt. the day we left V C.J.. being the first leavers of his time. I see P. R. d'A. Aplin. who left in 1925 regularly as he lives nearby. He is a descendant of Admiral Philip D’Auvergne. who became temporarily Due de Bouillon and after whom Prince's Tower was named, I understand."

Donald P. Vardon, D.F.C. (1930-1937) writes: "We recently had the pleasure of a visit from Wing Cdr. Alan Nessitt and his wife. We were also visited recently by Denis Clift and his wife who came up from Wiltshire for the day. Denis and I had an enjoyable game of golf at my club at Chipping Norton."

R. W. ('Bob') Le Sueur (1932-1931;) Haying retired in 1981 after 24 scars of teaching at Hautlieu. Bob. who still lives in St. Clement. has written a most amusing and informative letter about a "five-month jaunt to Asia". Look out for a full account in it future edition of The Victorian.' Suffice it to say that Bob's exploits involved hiking. trekking and camping through deserts and over mountain peaks to say nothing of visiting ancient temples and "sensitive- areas in Turkey. Iran and the Middle East (Golan height)s

Geoffrey H. Hamon (1934-1941) Widely known as Jersey's Comptroller of Income Tax. Geoff goes into retirement at the end of this year after 29 years of service in that awesome post. He writes "If I say I have enjoyed the duties. the reaction will be that I am a sadist, but nevertheless it is true that I have found the job quite fascinating as this Island of ours flourished economically under the leadership of the late Cyril Le Marquand to become a leading international finance centre. Geoff was an outstanding games player and gymnast  in his days at VCJ, has always been a prominent OV and sporting enthusiast and I am not at all surprised to hear that he intends to spend an active retirement, continuing his travels abroad with his wife. Pat.