Friday, 30 March 2018

The Graveside

The Graveside

The wind blows across the land
A cold graveside, so empty, bare
So lost in time, no flowers fair
Death reaching out a bony hand

Waves breaking on the nearby sand
Bones on the shore in sunset glare
The wind blows across the land
A cold graveside, empty, bare

High on the hillsides, dolmens stand
A place to mourn, a place for prayer
Comes the rain, like weeping tear
My staff in hand, now here I stand
The wind blows across the land

Pilot Profile: John Sydney Norman

From 1965, a piece on John Sydney Norman.

Pilot Profile: John Sydney Norman
April 1965

Although St Saviour is now in the broader sense a more urban than country parish, it is appropriate that its Rector is the son of a farmer. John Sydney Norman, senior Vice-Dean of Jersey, was born at Crossbow, Trinity on the last day of January in 1885, a son of John Norman, Connétable de Trinite and a Major in the Royal Jersey Light Infantry, the mother being Elizabeth Jane Corbel.

After an early kindergarten spell, education was commenced at Ollivier's School in Charing Cross which many readers of The Pilot will remember, and then to Davey’s School at Oxenford House, St Lawrence. He then spent three years in France at the Wesleyan-Methodist School of Theology and for the next seventeen years he worked for the Wesleyan-Methodist Church in Guernsey and Jersey during that time becoming a good friend of Dean Falle.

Mr Norman recollects the day when he was walking along David Place and was hailed by the Reverend George Balleine, the then Rector of St Saviour, who was sitting in his Ford car.

"Norman”, he said, "we want you in the Anglican Church. Cousin Samuel has told me to ask you”. Following this, there was an interview with Bishop Theodore Woods in Guernsey, which led to seven months intensive study and then ordination as Deacon at Winchester in 1931, with the appointment as Curate as All Saints, Bournemouth.

Soon after the death of Bishop Woods, Dr Garbett, the new Bishop, asked Mr Norman to spend the day with him at Winchester. He told him that he had had a request from his great friend Samuel Falle; the latter was getting an old man but wanted to die in office and would be pleased to have someone whom he knew well to be his curate.

''How can one say 'No' to Samuel Falle. What will it be, Norman?"

The decision was made and Mr Norman commenced a three year period as curate at the Town Church in December 1932, his first duty being the funeral of' Mr Jack Vibert, a popular and respected member of the gents' department staff of A. de Gruchy and Co. In due course the living at Trinity became vacant, but actuated by the sentiment that it would not be wise to take over the cure of his native parish, this was refused. However, with the illness of the Rev John Pepin, St Ouen's became vacant and Mr Norman went there for ten years: although his appointment to St Saviours dated from 1940, at the start of the German Occupation it was not taken up until August 1945

There is an explanation for this. It was because St Saviour could be adequately served by several ministers, including Canon Cohu who was to die In a German concentration Camp, and in those difficult days St Ouen's was "a long way off"!' In addition, during the occupation the Rev. G. R. Balleine was taken ill and Mr Norman administered St Brelade's for three months.

With the resignation of Dean Le Marinel, Mr Norman was appointed Doyen Substitut and presided over Le College des Recteurs, being appointed Vice-Dean by Dean Giles in 1959. What he considers one of his greatest honours, however, was being made a Canon of Winchester in 1961 by Bishop Alwyn Williams.

Secular pursuits are mainly connected with Mr Norman's love of the Jersey-French language. He has been president of the French Elocution Section of the Eisteddfod and as adjudicator at a Jersey-French session in 1937.

One son – John - is serving with the R.A.F. in Singapore out his wife's long illness has clouded Mr Norman's latter years. His sense of humour, however, has always been a prevailing quality and as a raconteur of things present and time past, a serious demeanour is often countered by that little twinkle in the eye!


Alan Perchard, who remembers him well, sent me this picture. Reverend Norman in the background, and choirboys in the front: Alan Perchard, Chris Queree, Gwyn Maguire, Charles Bois, Thomas Maguire, John Barnes and Philip Lempriere.

And Sadie Rennard tells me "When I got married in 1965 he was our minister . A wonderful kind man"

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Culture JE Catastrophe

A new local website has launched, and Bailiwick Express had this to say:

"Finding out about Jersey’s arts and heritage will now be easier thanks to, a new website listing activities and organisations in the island, which launches today. Developing the website cost around £16,000 and was funded by EDTSC."

"The website was launched as part of a collaboration between Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and Jersey Library. Assistant Minister with responsibility for Culture, Deputy Murray Norton, commented: “The strength of our cultural life lies in its enormous variety but there is so much going on that it’s often difficult to know where to start looking for details.Oh dear! What a mess. Where do you want me start?"

I looked at the site after Mark Forskitt had complained there was no sign of Jerriais there, and found it. It is not easy, lurking in a labyrinthine structure which makes the Minotaur's playground on Crete look like child's play I used a google search on and found a page, hidden under the blog area. There are a few more, but you need a search button to find them, and there isn't one visible - until you click on the Menu option, as Nick Palmer found out. It's not on the front page, nor are the tabs one would expect from a £16,000 site.

Here's what you could expect from your money - the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley site. Never mind the content, although that is well laid out, look at the design, which is excellent.

There is also a very important "About this Website" area:

This includes a Cookie Policy, a Website Disclaimer (legal stuff about links), Privacy Policy (needed under the new GDPR). None of these vital legal safeguards are present on the Jersey site, or if they are, they are buried so deep they need the coin hoard discoverers with a metal detector to find them. And yet as the Dean and Wye site shows, there are standard templates, free and easily adaptable.

[Note: since writing this, a Privacy Policy which mentions cookies, has suddenly appeared on It lurks at the bottom of the page, out of plain sight! Glad to know someone is reading my blog!]

I thought the site should be called

So I thought I'd ask a professional website designer for their comments, which are printed below, after which I've added what the Wye and Dean site has on its About Page.

Website - Culture.Je.
An Analysis by Adam Gardiner

The ‘Menu’ (top left) takes you to a series of blank pages and ‘back’ button to get you back to home simply dumps you off the site* as do other blank links. Graphics are poor and and amateurish as is the layout - much as you have commented. 

As content is added it will become all the the more clunkier and unusable. 

No search facility, no genera tabs (in addition to ‘Menu’), no filtering functions, no video capability, no user interaction, no standard site map, no navigation. no privacy policy or standard warning that a link is going to take you to another site, i.e. a disclaimer; in fact this site is not only incomplete (so why launch it) but is virtually unusable. 

As to development, it also looks very much like a Wordpress based site which means it is not going to be easy to display some material or options that may occur, nor is Wordpress particularly adaptable to embedding video once you have set the parameters of the site. In looking at the underlying code that too is a mess. All content in the directory is prefixed which suggests that is all it is (a listing) and I do not see any reference to meta tags or meta data to facilitate SEO.

At £16k the public have again been ripped off. A brochure site with a few external links is something a 5th form IT student could do in a few hours and be happy with a £500 fee. The site is absolutely nothing to sing about at all. 

No Jerriais is least of Mark's worries! The site should be denounced as being nowhere fit for purpose. “The strength of our cultural life lies in its enormous variety but there is so much going on that it’s often difficult to know where to start looking for details.” Well it still is and this site will not help you one little bit. would be a bettter domain name. Total rubbish…its a joke!

* Go to home page (such as it is) scroll down to 'Get Involved’ and click on the link. The same happens with other links too.

From the Wye and Dean Site, and missing from Culture .Je

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

In a Minute.... or Month

"Any truth in the rumour that your minutes took four days to appear because Mr Hacker can only type with two fingers?" (Yes Prime Minister)

Just a short piece today as I am a bit under the weather.

An FOE Request


Please can I have sight of the minutes of the St Lawrence Parish Assembly of 26th February 2018 as they are not online, or the date when they will be online, as they are not yet on the Parish website.


The minutes of the St Lawrence Parish Assembly held on 26th February 2018 will be published no later than end of May 2018 on the Parish website ( when they have been prepared and are therefore exempt under Article 36 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.

Exemptions applied Article 36
Information intended for future publication

My comments:

How long does it take to prepare a set of Minutes? If I was cynical, I'd suggest another exemption -

Information intended for release AFTER election! Or at least after the April nomination day, if uncontested.

Now I wonder if the Constable is busy typing away with two fingers?

Monday, 26 March 2018

The Jersey Aircraft Registry: A Chronology

The Jersey Aircraft Registry: A Chronology

There is an interesting FOE request which gives “dates of meetings and approximate durations of meetings held by States officials either with or without the presence of the Assistant Minister Murray Norton with interested third parties to date since he took over looking at getting the Jersey Aircraft Registry working again."

I’ve linked these with other public domain information to create an interlinked chronology of events.

15 December 2016
2 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, all day Meetings

22-24 February 2017
Murray Norton present
2 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, all day Meetings

14 March 2017
Murray Norton press announcement: “I brought in a new team of officers to look at this come January of this year, and took responsibility for it in a political sense and said, ‘Let’s find new markets, let’s find a better way of marketing the JAR than we have done so far and a better way of operating it so that we can attract aircraft and play catch-up to the others.’ That’s exactly where we are now.”

Deputy Norton added that the team have been in discussions over the past 2.5 months with external stakeholders who he declined to name at present, which should allow for an updated business plan to be revealed by the end of May or June this year. (Source: Bailiwick Express)

22 March 2017, Scrutiny Panel
Murray Norton: “We are in very good discussions, very encouraging discussions, at the moment on various options. We are in the middle of those and I cannot, obviously, divulge those at the moment. They are business sensitive..... We are in discussions and I am very hopeful that I would be able to come back to another Quarterly Hearing here and be able to give you more positive news of the Aircraft Registry. I am not hopeful, I am more confident.”

“We are very encouraged by the information that we have been given and the directions that we are moving in at the moment and I am encouraged, hopeful, optimistic of where we may be in 2 or 3 months’ time when we will have more information”

“We have given ourselves a period until the 31st of July. It is on public record that I will give it until 31st July pursuing the opportunities that we have at the moment. After that period we will have to look and see, and review again.”

Simon Bree: “Why is your department continuing with the Aircraft Registry? Would you not hand it over to Ports of Jersey who I believe are looking after the Shipping Registry.”

7 July 2017
Murray Norton not present
1 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes not taken, 3 hour meeting

1 September 2017
Murray Norton not present
2 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, conference calls 45 minutes

21 September 2017
Murray Norton not present
2 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, conference calls 45 minutes

4 October 2017
Murray Norton not present
3 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, conference calls 45 minutes

11 October 2017
Murray Norton not present
2 States officers meeting with interested third parties
Notes Taken, conference calls 45 minutes

8th November 2017
Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel Minutes
The Panel welcomed the Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture (Deputy M.J. Norton) and department officers to the meeting to deliver a private briefing on the latest situation with the registry. No details of the briefing are given in the minutes.

December 2017
New figures analysed by Business Eye CI reveal Jersey’s much-maligned aircraft registry is expected to bring in revenue of just £10.48 a day this year....It has so-far recouped less than 2% of its costs.

States Assembly, March 19 2018

Deputy M.J. Norton:

The Minister has written to Ports of Jersey outlining our wish for them to assume oversight of the operations of the registry. Similar to that, that they successfully have, with the ship’s registry... I hope this can be concluded during the remainder of March and April. This will allow the programme of legislation development to be agreed over the summer and the Jersey Aircraft Registry relaunched, we estimate, in the middle of 2018.

Deputy S.Y. Mézec:

The reason I have asked this question was simply after reading the transcript from the recent quarterly public hearing with the Scrutiny Panel about this, and what I wanted to try to find out is: what really is the detail behind this new scheme and how can we be assured that it will be successful where the current one has not been successful? What is the offering that it will be making that will make it more likely to succeed? Do we have any detail about this at the moment?

Deputy M.J. Norton:

The detail that we have is that we are relying on the expertise and the knowledge and the natural home for an aircraft registry, in my opinion, which of course is Ports of Jersey, as I have already outlined. All I can say is that we need to widen the scope of our services that the Jersey Aircraft Registry can offer the market. This is why further developments to our suite of legislation will be necessary. The business model will be approved by the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and, of course, Ports of Jersey, who will be handling it.

Let us be very clear, civil servants are not particularly good at running an aircraft registry. We believe Ports of Jersey will be. They will be engaging the right experts to ensure that this Island benefits from an aircraft registry.

Press Release: 19 March 2018

Deputy Murray Norton, said “I firmly believe that the Registry can and should form part of the Ports’ business model and I’m confident that Ports of Jersey has the relevant and proven commercial expertise to make the Registry successful. We’ve reached this position following some determined work behind the scenes by myself and officers. They have worked incredibly hard to turn around what had become, undeniably, a failing project, into a solid plan for future success.” (States Website)

Group CEO for Ports of Jersey, Doug Bannister, commented “Ports of Jersey is willing to assist government in progressing this initiative and we look forward to working alongside the Minister and his department to ensure the future success of the Jersey Aircraft Registry.”

25 March 2018

"I have asked Ports of Jersey to take over the operation of the failing Jersey Aircraft Registry and would like to acknowledge the good work of Assistant Minister Deputy Murray Norton (who asked to be delegated this challenge)". (Lyndon Farnham)

Guest Post by Lyndon Farnham

Following my post on Lyndon Farnham's 2014 Manifesto, he has been good enough to respond to question I raised in my blog and privately, and I post his response below. 

My original post:
Manifesto 2014: A response to a critique 
By Lyndon Farnham

I was recently reviewing my 2014 manifesto, which I do on a regular basis, and was feeling reasonably pleased that I had, or so I thought, managed to achieve most of the goals that I set myself back in 2014. Not so, according to my Facebook friend Tony Bellows of ‘Tony’s Musings’ fame who has critiqued said manifesto in a rather critical but useful way.

After hearing my wails of anguish at his comments Tony, being the decent chap that he is, invited me to respond so here it is:

Tourism is performing well and that is thanks to the Visit Jersey board chaired by Kevin Keen and the team at Visit Jersey lead by Keith Beecham. The establishment of Visit Jersey had been dragging its heels for years – it was agreed in principle back in 2005 by the then Economic Development Committee Presided over by former Deputy Gerald Voisin. I was Vice-President at the time.

Imagine my frustration when I took over the Economic Development portfolio in November 2014 and it had still not been done. The issue was very quickly dealt with and Visit Jersey was up and running in early 2015. John Henwood was the first Chairman and appointed Keith (with my full backing) and the fortunes of Tourism industry started to improve once again. Kevin Keen took over from John in 2017. They are both excellent leaders and are responsible for, together with their board and Keith leading his team, the current renaissance we are seeing in the sector.

My role is to encourage them, support them, ensure they are adequately resourced and provide a strong legal framework to enable the sector to thrive. So, whilst the success cannot be accredited to me solely, I am sure that if the results were not so good it would be all my fault without question!

Economic diversity is very important for our small island which is why my department is working collaboratively with other states departments and stake holders to support business sectors outside of financial services. My department facilitates this in a similar way to Visit Jersey and Jersey Business leads on this

We have also established Events Jersey (Super League Triathlon) and Farm Jersey which leads us in to the Rural Economy Strategy (RES) and food security policy.

The (new) RES 2016 – 2020 was delayed by a year, in part by uncertainty and delays to the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and BREXIT, but also in part due to the lengthy negotiations around its structure; the strategy departed from area-based payments to payment based on performance and I did not want it adopted until I was sure it was ‘right’ for the industry and for the Island. It was published in 2017 and is due to run 2017 - 2021 with a mid-term review in 2019.

Actually, the delay in ministers, officers and the industry’s view was not wasted at all but was beneficial as it allowed government to build consensus with stakeholders and, very importantly, significant social capital accumulated as we all went through the process. This then enabled the Action for cleaner voluntary initiative and Rural Initiative Scheme (RIS) financial support for placement fertiliser equipment to ‘spin off’ and as a benefit many work streams linked up.

An update to the Draft Food Security Strategy (DFSS) was commissioned to be part of the RES 2017/21 and was published onto the States of Jersey (SoJ) website in 2018. This ‘‘Review of Jersey’s Food Security’ contains options to consider rather than actions to implement and will be considered by various government officers in the coming months.

The DFSS was originally produced in 2012 under the Rural Economy Strategy (RES) 2011-2015 entitled ‘Sustaining and Growing the Rural Economy’. 

The food security issue in general was discussed/addressed across various RES policies; PR 11 announced the production of a strategy to examine key challenges: climate change, energy and water security, competition for land and future demand for food. PR 12 aimed to conduct a processing infrastructure survey and PR 13 committed to retention of an abattoir service. PR 14 aimed to establish a secretariat service for a ‘Jersey Food and Farming Partnership’ which aimed to consolidate positive behavior in the food chain. 

This entity was precursor to the Jersey Export Group, later evolving into Farm Jersey which in the current RES aims to bring together business support services provided by EDTSC, JPPL and Jersey business, plus, where suitable any other SoJ support mechanisms that might assist the original food security goals set out in both reports.

Fort Regent! Given the size of the task and the amount of money likely to be required it is not surprising that politicians have been unable to agree on the way forward. Nevertheless, the Fort Future Group has been established under the Chairmanship of EDTSC Assistant Minister, Connétable Steve Pallett, and will be reporting to the new States Assembly. For the record I remain a strong supporter of Fort Regent and recognize the huge potential for islanders that the Fort represents. I remain committed to delivering a really good solution as soon as possible.

Condor has been a challenge but we have made some progress. My goal is to see a reconfiguration of the fleet and a restructuring of the current operating agreement. I am having positive discussions with Condor and their owners Macquarie Group with a view to achieving this. These discussions are ongoing and will remain a priority for me if I am reelected.

Manches Iles Express (MIE) have launched a greatly enhanced inter-island service which will provide an additional 20,000 plus seats between the islands at about £35 return. Officers of my department and their Guernsey counterparts are exploring opportunities (and costs) with MIE with a view to adding some more sailings to the service. Whilst the new timetables are not perfect, due to their existing commitments and tidal ranges, they do represent a good improvement and I do hope islanders and visitors support MIE so that we may increase the schedule further in 2019.

I am currently working on some ideas to improve inter island air travel reliability and costs but this is proving more challenging to the point that we may need legislative changes to achieve our goals.

I have asked Ports of Jersey to take over the operation of the failing Jersey Aircraft Registry and would like to acknowledge the work of Assistant Minister Deputy Murray Norton (who asked to be delegated this challenge).

Collective responsibility sits awkwardly in the current machinery of government. I thought collective responsibility would work but, in my view, it has proved not to be the case. Many ministers have felt uneasy at being coerced in to making decisions against their own judgments or their department’s interests. The changes agreed recently (P1/2018) may rectify this and although collective responsibility will no longer be enshrined in law I am sure it will be there in a code of conduct somewhere. Having said that it is fair to say the we have a healthy tension at times within Council of Ministers (CoM) and make some tough decisions democratically after strong (and sometimes lengthy) debate!

Whilst I can disagree with many of my states and ministerial colleagues I respect them all for doing what they do for our island and despite the detractors we are in reasonably good shape here. We have a strong economy, more people in employment than ever before and we live on a beautiful island.

The economy is important because we must create the wealth to help those in our community that need help. There is no point in having full employment and a billion pounds in reserve if hard working islanders require income support to maintain an acceptable standard of living. Finding a solution to this is just one of the challenges that is at the heart of my reasons for being in the states.

And now to start on my 2018 manifesto..

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Donkey

Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” takes paradox as its theme. The donkey is the lowly animal, the jack-ass, a beast of burden.  It is a term of abuse - stupid donkey. Benjamin Disraeli is believed to have sneered at Gladstone's cabinet saying, famously, that it was "half full of asses". Donkeys are seen as the epitome of stubbornness and stupidity.

And as a result, donkeys are visciously mistreated, even today. They are most mistreated of all Egypt's animals, their name is a byword for laziness and stupidity in the local slang. Some farmers call donkeys “mute birds” — beasts of burden that take the stiffest punishment without a whine of complaint.

Salwa Abdoh, a volunteer at the Egypt Horse Project,which fights against this abuse says: “We don't have the concept of compassion towards animals in Egypt I've seen many animals abused in Egypt — dogs, cats, horses, you name it. But nothing compares to the abuse that donkeys in Egypt go through.”

According to the Society for the Protection and Welfare of Donkeys, Egyptian donkeys tend to live for 15 years only, whereas the life expectancy of donkeys should be 25 years.

And it is not just in India, but elsewhere. In Pakistan, for example, 'Gadha', the urdu word for donkey, is considered a form of abuse, which is the reason why many protests feature donkeys as a reference to rival political figures or other targets. The creatures are often beaten, spray painted and led through crowds for long hours.

In the light of this cruelty, Chesterton’s poem is especially sharp – “Starve, scourge, deride me” – as much then as in his time. And yet, as he says, the donkey is blessed. He opens the eyes of perception that donkeys too, have their place in the divine plan.

And as you read the poem, and think of donkeys, and the harm and abuse they still suffer. Perhaps the sign of the donkey for Palm Sunday was meant to cause wider ripples than just a sign of kingship, or perhaps it was also a sign of a kingdom when the humble donkey, the last of the beasts of burden, would become the first. Perhaps it is no coincidence that we should reflect on this on Palm Sunday. 

G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


Saturday, 24 March 2018

Crowd Sense

I have been reading a number of accounts of Palm Sunday which try to suggest that the crowd which welcomed Jesus with a triumphant procession was not the same one which shouted crucify. They go to great lengths to make it clear that the crowd was not fickle, and could not turn so quickly. There is no evidence either way, but it strikes me as rather special pleading.

Perhaps the truth is we are far more like those crowds than we want to admit. That is why it is written the way it is written. The reader of the story becomes the crowd, fickle, changeable. The reader becomes the faithful disciples, who all flee in terror. The reader becomes Peter, the rock who betrays his master, who says "I would never say that"... and does.

If we think there are really two crowds, that one was forever steadfast (and how we see ourselves, of course!), we deceive ourselves and lose the whole point of that juxtaposition, and how the story is told, deliberately so we latch onto the word "crowd" in both contexts. We lose sight of the duality of human existence, of our own divided self.

Crowd Sense

The crowds are always there
Cheering, waving palms in joy
He knew it was a fatal snare
Now he was the golden boy

The crowds are always there
Their shouts of praise do ring
Here the answer to our prayer
On a donkey, comes our king

The crowds are always there
Calling for blood, that’s the sting
The hate filled eyes that stare
And crucify, crucify, they sing

The crowds are always there
Triumph now, but soon despair

Friday, 23 March 2018

Pilot Profile: Gerald Francis Voisin

From 1965, the Pilot, comes this interesting sketch. I'd love to know why he got the nickname "Tim", but unfortunately the article does not explain why.

Pilot Profile: Gerald Francis Voisin
February 1965

There have may be some residents in Jersey who have never made a purchase in Voisins but there can be few who have not even taken a cup of morning, coffee in Gaudins. And who hasn't munched a Gaudin cake? Be it cake, coffee or haberdashery all come under the management of G. F. Voisin a man of vision, drive, modern ideas and unlimited energy.

Gerald Francis Voisin was born in St. Helier in 1925. The son of the late Major CH and Mrs. Voisin - who were killed in 1938 in the only fatal air crash at St. Peter's Airport – he went to Prep and graduated to Victoria College in 1936, subsequently moving to Bedford School with the College during the Occupation.

After the war he married Christine Parker and they settled in his lovely boyhood home of Mont Cochon overlooking the woodland leading down towards St. Aubin’s Bay - a far cry from the roar of King, Street. To the silence of this retreat must he added the shrill joyous voices of Susanne Louise and Katherine Mary, aged 5 ½, Margaret Christine aged 3, and Francis Gerald who celebrated his first birthday on May 1st-- 127 years after his great, great, great grandfather founded the firm.

G. F. or 'Tim' as he is affectionately called, was a sidesman at St. Marks after the war, and in 1 959 he was elected Churchwarden just at the time when the redecoration of the Church and the building of the Church Ball were in the planning stage. Since then he has devoted himself wholeheartedly into all the affairs of the Church in fact lie has been seen shovelling snow off the roof of St. Mark's and mixing cement, laying bricks and building walls at the Vicarage.

Tim is a devoted worshipper and a regular Communicant. He often accompanies his grand- mother --a nonagenarian w hose husband was also Churchwarden of St. Mark. When Francis Gerald was baptised last year nearly a century spanned the font. It can be said that the Voisins are famous from generation to generation

Church and business apart, Tim is a Director and Chairman of West Park Pavillion, a Rotarian, a member of the Jersey Master Bakers and he serves on the Victoria Homes Committee. He has an eve and a flair for figures but he counts as his hobbies, photography, gardening,  badminton, sailing and woodwork.


Sandra commented on this piece: "In the mid seventies my late husband worked in Gaudins Restaurant and used to bring home some of their delicious cream cakes at the end of the day as they could not be kept for the next day. This photo was taken in 1974 or 75 when one of the ladies retired."

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Migration Policy from the IOD viewpoint

A Guest post today. Mike Dun attends Scrutiny hearings on a regular basis and gives a precis of them on the Politics Jersey site. They are a useful snapshot of the detail which is, as he says, available as a transcript later. He's given me permission to post his report up on my blog, so here it is!

Migration Policy from the IOD viewpoint
A Report by Mike Dun

The Jersey IOD represented by John Shenton and Becky Mills (Mill?) appeared before the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel on 19 March 2018.

The initial responses of the IOD to the proposed Jersey Migration Policy were being sought.

The response – largely delivered by John Shenton - was refreshingly challenging.

That overused word “robust” was wholly appropriate.

The IOD does not think much of the proposed policy at all.

Too generalist, lacking in detail or researched data. It was not addressing the crux of the “migration” problem at all - either from a business/employer or Jersey resident viewpoint. It was full of large holes and will almost certainly be kicked into the long grass by the new States Assembly.

In passing they compared it with the Guernsey policy. That Island they predict is headed for bankruptcy with its diminishing but aging population although they have managed to produce a comprehensive list of 20 pages of job categories which was lacking in Jersey’s vague system of categorization and the issuing of “licences.”

The Jersey Education system was singled out for special blame. Even the standards of Vic and Girls College were deemed inadequate and there is an immense “skills gap” which the education system is failing to address. Hence there is an endless need to bring in skills from outside and those local youngsters who go away for Uni or training are unlikely to return due to the cost of living and especially because of housing difficulties.

Yet at the same time, there were many skilled people in the Island restricted under the 5 years rule from being absorbed into businesses to do more productive work and there was a whole range of different rules about qualifying for health care, social security, housing and such like.

Anyway why should employers even try to train up locals when 20% leave school with no skills whereas it was easier to bring in somebody from outside….

How was value to the economy to be assessed – how can bureaucrats determine what employees a business needs etc or what value they bring to the business or the community? And where was the informed appeal process for those licences denied?

Now there are 2 workers for each pensioner but with an aging population and a policy of 1,000 “immigrants” each year where is it all leading? Where is the economic analysis especially since many of the increase number will be people of “low skills” and more demanding of financial support in retirement…wealthier retired persons can better provide for themselves and leave the Island if they choose.

They had a critical view of “Green Zone” land protection too. There was an inevitable demand for building land for housing and other social needs. But where was the plan based upon facts?

Taxation too was also a mess. 20% levels could not be sustained but why should the burden fall so heavily upon the local businesses or working residents who did not send their money out of Jersey as so many “large” entities did.

John Shenton explained that his business could manage added impositions and employment protection (50 employees in Jersey and other 50 in Guernsey) but there were so many very small businesses in Jersey that could not.

Businesses must make a profit he said – if not they failed.

Of course this was the IOD speaking and this is a “capitalist” economy which sets “profit” as the ultimate goal with social benefits being a by-product.

My own view is that “society benefits” based upon such as equality and fairness are the ultimate goals and that the “pursuit of profit” should be a much lower aspiration. But I was not giving evidence….

However, the speakers did agree that housing controls should be retained to control the population (although they did not explain quite how this could be achieved or what the economic result of such a policy might be). They observed that education was free for all on arrival - but not health care or other social benefits.

They touched upon AI and the robot age that is approaching and how it is necessary to have a skilled person to fix the plumbing but so many other jobs will disappear whether “skilled” or otherwise.

Even Finance they said will price itself out of the international market in the quest for the most highly skilled employees. But already Jersey schools were unable to recruit teachers with the ability to teach such as IT and they suggested that further initiatives were needed – e.g. cheap housing – to attract key workers.

The IOD they explained has produced a Report on the proposed Migration policies and this was a summary. Perhaps somebody could publish the complete document….

My account is a summary of their summary and a Podcast and Transcript will appear in due course on the Scrutiny Web Site.

Three members of the public attended and no declared candidates for the May elections.

The hearing lasted about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Freedom of Information Requests: States of Jersey Development Company

Recent Freedom of Information Requests: States of Jersey Development Company

“100% of profits generated by JDC from the direct development of property will be repatriated to the States Treasury via a dividend.” (Financial Statements, 2016)

Now not only does the States of Jersey Develop Company give no money back to the States at present, it also takes money away from the States! By the time it finally makes a return in millions, it will have already have received millions from the States. I think at the very least it should return to the States.

So far the record for previous years is as follows. No dividend paid in 2016, dividend of £1 million paid in 2015, and an unspecified dividend to come in respect of the College Gardens development in 2019. A dividend of £1 million sounds a lot, but add back around £900,000 received by the States and the net figure is only around £100,000.

These figures are hidden in the accounts, but an FOE request gave them. I'll let the reader draw their own conclusions, but one I would make is that the accounts should note explicitly and clearly the same breakdown of moneys received from the States.

It is not just "general income", it is income generated from assets gifted to the States of Jersey Development Company by the States, from which the States of Jersey Development Company levies rental. If this is not known, we have are not getting the full picture of the cash flow between the States and the SoJDC, and I think we should be able to see this, as a matter of course, without needing FOE requests to prise the figures out.


How much money has been paid back to the Treasury by the Jersey Development Company during 2017 after all the property it has sold off?


The Budget 2017, as approved by the States, did not include any requirement for the States of Jersey Development Company to make a dividend payment, therefore no payment was received.


Rental paid by the States to States of Jersey Development company on assets such as Liberation Bus Station in 2017, broken down by asset.


Payments made by the States of Jersey to States of Jersey Development Company (SoJDC) in 2017:

- Lease for Liberation Station Transportation Centre and Toilets annual charge £100,000 [Full Year]

- License for Durell House (First Floor) annual charge £29,331 [Part Year - 1 October to 31 December 2017].

- Agreement between Jersey Car Parking and SOJDC for Esplanade Car Parking / Les Jardins Car Parking annual charge £759,000 + GST = £796,950.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Erosion of Justice

Two propositions come before the States this week.

Removing Trial by Jury

“Jury trials could be scrapped for rape and child sexual abuse cases so that their outcomes aren’t threatened by islanders’ prejudices or misconceptions, if a proposed law change is agreed by politicians...Instead, such cases could be heard by the ‘Inferior Number’ – a judge and two Jurats.

In a hearing with the panel, he [the Attorney-General] suggested that a higher success rate could be achieved by educating police officers, lawyers and judges, as well as the “public at large” in a bid to stamp out misconceptions and prejudices about rape and consent. But he said that would be an “easier task” if trials were heard simply by a judge and Jurats, rather than a jury made up of members of the public. (Bailiwick Express)

What is alarming about this proposal is the proposition that it would be an “easier task” as if streamlining the system was an important factor in justice.

It may be asked: why should Jurats be any less susceptible to prejudices or misconceptions? In some ways, as Chesterton pointed out, their experience means they do not come to the case fresh as a jury might: "the horrible thing about all legal officials, even the best, about all judges, magistrates, barristers, detectives, and policemen, is not that they are wicked (some of them are good), not that they are stupid (several of them are quite intelligent), it is simply that they have got used to it."

A study of the Jury system by Michael Singer – “Jury Duty: Reclaiming Your Political Power and Taking Responsibility” (2012) looks at the claims for jury trials:

“Authority figures have made a variety of claims that juries do perform their regular trial task better than judges and so achieve better trial outcomes overall. A particular claim is that juries are overall more competent in assessing evidence, and another is that juries are overall fairer to the parties.”

He looks to an early set of USA studies in 1966 by law professors Harry Kalven and Hans Zeisel which published the results of a survey of trial judges conducting jury trials.

“After the jury retired to deliberate, but before it delivered its verdict, the participating judge specified how he would have decided the case. Over five hundred judges participated, covering more than thirty-five hundred criminal trials and four thousand civil trials. In almost four-fifths of both criminal and civil cases, judge and jury reached the same verdict.”

Now that was some time ago, but the survey has been repeated more recently:

“There were problems with the methodology of this survey. Also, trials have changed in the fifty years since the survey data were collected. There are now more scientific evidence and more complex expert testimony, and more women and persons of colour now serve on juries. For these reasons, several researchers carried out similar surveys with improved methodology in the 1990s and 2000s. All these surveys showed a level of agreement between judge and jury comparable to that found by Kalven and Zeisel.”

This came to the same conclusion, that in roughly one-fifth of jury trials, judge and jury would likely reach different verdicts.

Why is that important? To look at that, I will refer to “Punishment, Participatory Democracy, and the Jury” (2012) by Dzur. This looks at Chesterton’s point that the jury allows “fresh blood and fresh thoughts from the streets” to infuse courtrooms that otherwise become the mundane “workshops” of court professionals all too accustomed to the job, is well known.”

And Dzur, who is looking at UK cases, notes that:

“During a break in a recent criminal jury trial, a local prosecutor commented that even though court professionals were more knowledgeable about the criminal law, he believed the jury had the advantage of being less hardened. In his view, the advantage to having a jury was the fresh perspective jurors brought into the courtroom, in particular to hold open for perhaps longer than seasoned court professionals the possibilities of learning something about the offense, the offender, or the law that might transform a case type into something more human.”

This brings us back to Chesterton again:

“What the prosecutor had in mind was the moral calcification that can occur in complex organizations marked by formal rules, specialization, and social distance and pressured by resource and time constraints. G. K. Chesterton, as we have seen, was thinking of moral calcification when he wrote about courts as workshops that gradually and naturally calloused the judgment of professionals.”

As Chesterton put it: “Strictly they do not see the prisoner in the dock; all they see is the usual man in the usual place. They do not see the awful court of judgment; they only see their own workshop.”

And he concludes:

“Our civilization has decided, and very justly decided, that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men.”

Chief Executive Officer Neville Benbow of the Jersey Law Society commented on the proposals:

“The suggestion that Jurats are better placed to deal with rape trials is misconceived. Jurats are just as likely to acquit if the evidence is weak. The right to be tried by one’s peers is a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system. That right is retained for the equally serious offences of murder and manslaughter but, if this amendment is approved, not for rape. This is illogical. The right of a defendant to be able to choose between jury or Jurat trial for such offences is important and must, in the interests of justice, be maintained.””

Taking away the right to remain silent

“Under Article 84 of the proposed new law, a defendant who has pleaded not guilty will be under a duty to provide a Defence Case Statement to the Court and to the prosecution setting out the nature of their defence.” (Bailiwick Express)

Meanwhile, also streamlining, the common law right to silence, present in almost every jurisdiction around the world, is about to be scrapped. This provision is seen as being of significant benefit in streamlining the management of cases before the island’s courts.

The law provides that a defendant still has a right to silence, but against that are threatened consequences if they do not provide a Defense Case Statement

"Where a defendant has legal representation and enters a ‘not guilty’ plea, there may be consequences for the defendant if they fail to serve a defence case statement or depart from the contents of the statement at trial. In such circumstances, there is the provision for the court to draw inference in deciding whether a defendant is guilty of the offence concerned. "

This goes against a fundamental principle: to keep silent as a means of defense.

"That no person should be punished for his secret thoughts was a fundamental axiom of Western law, accepted both by the English common law and by the European ius commune. De occultis non judicat ecclesia. Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum. These were not just counsels of prudence. They stated a rule of law. Its purpose, broadly speaking, was to protect men and women from overzealous prosecution and punishment. “(R. H. Helmholz)

It was used as a defence by no less that Sir Thomas More to refuse to speak at his trial. Henry VIII would surely have loved the changes in Jersey which would have forced Sir Thomas to provide a Defence Case Statement! Instead he had to rely on the perjury of Richard Rich.

The right to silence is a legal principle which guarantees any individual the right to refuse to answer questions from law enforcement officers or court officials. It is a legal right recognized, explicitly or by convention, in many of the world's legal systems.

Barrister Fawad Chaudhry, speaking in 2014, said that ““The adage ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ conveniently ignores the fact that justice rushed is justice crushed.”

“We need to create a system where delays can be reduced without effecting due process. This cannot be done by legislation but by better case management,”

It looks as if Jersey is moving towards justice rushed, and justice crushed.

Monday, 19 March 2018

A Look at Manifestoes: Lyndon Farnham

This is a look at his  2014 Manifesto.

“Tourism - It’s time to LOVE Tourism again! I will ensure that the Visit Jersey board is fully established and properly resourced to ensure that this important pillar of our economy can once again prosper.”

One of the features in his manifesto was the formation of Visit Jersey, in which he was successful, or to be more exact, he made the right choice in appointing Kevin Keen to set it up and head-hunt Keith Beacham. That has been successful but whether that is more down to Kevin Keen or Lyndon Farnham, I’d leave to the reader. I know where I’d place my bet.

Kevin Keen, it may be remembered was also brought in by Durrell Wildlife Trust to help head hunt the right kind of CEO when it was facing an uncertain future, a task which he did very successfully.

“Economic Diversity - Helps to defeat economic decline and offer new opportunities in employment, skills and the availability of goods and services. I will ensure investment in emerging industries and small business start-ups by fully utilising innovation and development funding and support”

Unfortunately Kevin Keen was not at hand when it came to oversight of the Innovation Board, and the States Innovation Board was something of a disaster, not least because of the rogue Chief Officer of Economic Development, who also was notorious for apparently taking friends at taxpayers’ expense to freebie Rugby Matches in England, and playing golf in South Africa when down there on a trade mission, after taking possibly the most expensive flight possible to go out there.

Signing off States loans on the Innovation fund, and being unaware of the way in which Mike King appeared to be out of control does suggests that the success of Visit Jersey was more due to Kevin Keen, and the failure of the Innovation Fund was more due to Mike King.

This leads me to the view that when Lyndon Farnham picks the right person to delegate matters to, it will be a success, when he does not, it will turn into a disaster, but he does not always have the knack of judging whether he is picking the right person, or, if they turn out to be the wrong person, exercising any kind of control over them.

It may be remembered that an immediate suspension of the Innovation fund only came about when Philip Ozouf was brought in to troubleshoot the mess it had got itself into, and either Lyndon Farnham did not exercise enough oversight to know, or he knew but trusted that under Mike King, matters would somehow sort themselves out.

Lurking in among “putting tourism on the map” is the “rejuvenation of Fort Regent” which seems to have passed him by.

Interestingly low down on his agenda, and very delayed in emerging was the Rural Economy Strategy. Indeed that does not even feature in his 2014 manifesto, and yet forms part of the brief of the department he hope to attain, and did attain as Minister for Economic Development.

Much delayed, taking two years to emerge after promised, it was supposed to contain a policy on food security – something which might come to mind when strong winds curtail ships bringing food to the island – but that didn’t form part of it and was only after repeated FOE requests published, first an out of date policy document from around 8 years ago, and finally a more up to date one which is more of a sketch for a policy. Basically, if something doesn’t interest Lyndon, he doesn’t bother much to it.

Hence we have the Triathlon coming to Jersey, and lots of interest by him in that, but complete neglect of what to do with Fort Regent. Likewise, the inter-island ferry agreements were delayed and nearly scuppered, not because of Guernsey who had agreed terms, but because of Lyndon’s tardiness.

With regard to Condor, he has more or less been content to let things drift, and not pushed hard for a better service. In that of course, he was partly hamstrung by his predecessor Alan Maclean, who cheerfully signed a contract which made no demands or put no penalties on Condor for a poor service. The most we have is “Clearly the situation is unacceptable”. He called for a “comprehensive service review”, said it would be examined carefully, and then went quiet on the whole issue.

Now Condor is up for sale, and as a major transport of tourism and food to the Island, you’d expect him to comment but all we have are a set of blog postings on visitor numbers, important, but as he cites Condor as supplying some, you’d expect more comment that: “I am delighted with the news that we are finally beginning to grow our visor economy on a year round basis.” Perhaps if he took the visor off he’d see the misprint and the important issues in this vital supply line.

“Economic Growth if properly delivered does not lead to excessive population growth. We need to plan carefully for sustainable population growth which, if prudently and consistently managed, will assist us to develop as an economy and a community for the benefit of all we must pay particular attention to immigration which must be tightly controlled.”

Not much has happened on that score with the Senator’s input. No propositions when the interim policy came to an end, and yet the Senator was admirably placed to raise the subject as a member of the Council of Ministers. But then that might be more controversial, and Lyndon seems to prefer proposals which lead to feel-good stories in which he can feature as the architect.

“The size of our States Assembly should be reduced. We must keep the island wide mandate. I believe that Connétables should continue to sit in the States by virtue of their office. I also believe that the number of Deputies should be reduced.”

To be fair, Lyndon did bring an amendment to Andrew Lewis’ proposition to do exactly this. That is to his credit, but against that it should be noted that, firstly, he was making a reactive amendment to Andrew Lewis’ proposition, and had not taken the initiative himself, and secondly, he had done nothing until mid-2017, despite getting back into the States in November 2014.

“I do not favour party politics, I favour TEAM politics.”

This, of course, is the Minister who broke from Collective Responsibility when it came to a vote on the 20% retail tax, and yet was happy with Collective Responsibility when it enabled him and some fellow Ministers to force Ian Gorst’s hand on sacking Philip Ozouf. Quite what team politics means in that context, I’m not sure. But then Collective Responsibility has been proven to be disfunctional, and he agrees with Ian Gorst's decision to scrap it.

In conclusion

There have been some successes – Visit Jersey, Events Jersey, Sport Jersey – although control of the these Quangoes and their subjection to FOE requests is something which perhaps needs firmer resolution. But having hived them off, what is left for Economic Development? Charlie Parker is probably right to scrap it in his reorganisation, along with the rump of a Housing Ministry.

Lyndon Farnham’s record has been patchy, and where matters are successful – and generate a lot of good publicity – he can be seen at the forefront. When matters go awry, as with the Innovation Fund, Fort Regent, or Condor, or do not have the publicity of a splash – like the Rural Economy Strategy, he is not so visible. Occasionally, he has given Assistant Ministers the job of imparting bad news, or of taking on impossible tasks – such as the Jersey Aircraft Registry. .

He's a fluent talker, and that will probably stand him in good stead with some voters in the forthcoming election, but he also sees himself as Chief Minister, and no one I have canvassed on that has seen him in that role: the immediate response has been incredulity and laughter. However, I am sure he has canvassed on the subject and other people see the matter differently. I do think it might damage his vote for those who think he is a good Senator, but not perhaps Chief Minister material. Those I have spoken to, even those voting for him as Senator, see him as too lightweight for the demands of that office, and I'm inclined to agree with that.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

On Reconciliation

On Reconciliation

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!” 

Sometime this year, perhaps by the summer, or maybe by the end of the year, I think it is very likely that there will just be one lifeboat charity in Jersey. As pretty well all commentators on either side have noted, there really is no room for two operations.

And with that will come hurt, upset, wounded pride, and disappointment. With any charitable enterprise, there are ordinary people who support charity events, take out charity boxes, look for small ways in which they can “do their bit”.

These are the people of the starfish parable, those who are not the big names, not the crews who go out to save lives and risk their own. They cannot do that, but they do their own small bit, and make an emotional investment: they make a commitment.

The late Stephen Jay Gould said that we should not overlook the “10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the ’ordinary’' efforts of a vast majority.” These “uncountable deeds of kindness” make a difference.

But when an enterprise comes to an end, when it is acknowledged that for everything, there is a time and place, a time to live and a time to die, there will be very much a time of grief over what has been lost, over all those small efforts that seem to have been pointless.

They are not pointless, of course, because they point to the fundamental decency and compassion of ordinary human beings. It is the way we travel on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and how we respond to that calls help others, that call to the heart, that is just as important.

But what is not needed is gloating by those victorious, or for that matter, anger at the other parties by those who are not: the cause that survived, while yours did not. They acted in good faith just as you did. They wanted to help in a small way, to contribute to saving lives, to making the world a better place. They acted for the same motives, the same good motives, for the same good ends: to help other people.

What is needed, which is always hard, is reconciliation and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a hard thing. It is easy when there is no hurt, no pain, no grief, but where there is, anger can the response: to hit out at the others, to see the world in black and white, just us and them. Forgiveness is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do, because the things that truly need forgiving are usually those that hurt the deepest.

But until there is a breaking of the barriers, there cannot be reconciliation and peace, where there was enmity.

So whatever the outcome of the lifeboat saga, don’t forget the unseen people, the ordinary people, the people who put their heart and soul into this, only to have their hearts broken. And it may well feel like that to them.

Reconciliation is a very difficult and slow process, but it is our only hope for a better future. Mennonite peace builder John Paul Lederach describes it as "a meeting ground where trust and mercy have met, and where justice and peace have kissed."

For Christians, reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel message. The apostle Paul says in the letter to the Ephesians:

“‘For he [Jesus the Messiah] himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

Hostility and anger end in the cross, when we try to crucify others for the hurt they have caused us. We don't need to go down that path. Kazuo Ishiguro in his book, "When We Were Orphans", tells us that just like the starfish parable with which we started, it is small steps by ordinary people which take us on that path:

“Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won't be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It'll be because people have changed. They'll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It's healthy.”

Saturday, 17 March 2018

A Brief History of Hawking

My poem today is a brief tribute to Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018)

A Brief History of Hawking

Hawking radiation at the Black Hole
An event horizon, greatest mind
Stephen Hawking, so confined
As his illness took its toll

To understand all was his goal
On his speaking machine he signed
Hawking radiation at the Black Hole
An event horizon, greatest mind

Nevermore to walk again, to stroll
But never gave up, never resigned
A wonderful life, but poor aligned
The genius professor was his role
Hawking radiation at the Black Hole

Friday, 16 March 2018

1891: The Loss of the Regimental Colours

This is an interesting piece from an old book, “Historical Records of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment” By Raymond Henry Raymond Smythies.

1891: The Loss of the Regimental Colours

1st Battalion of the Prince of Wales Volunteers, South Lancashire Regiment

A most unfortunate occurrence took place at Fort Regent during the afternoon of 19th January 1891, through which the battalion suffered the irreparable loss of its "Old 40th” colours. The circumstances were as follows

At about 5.45 one of the officers, who was alone in the ante-room, accidentally upset a lamp which was filled with mineral oil. The glass receptacle broke, and immediately the oil, which ignited and flamed up, spread over the floor. Almost before it was possible to recognise the danger, the room was in a blaze. One thing after another caught tire, and all efforts to suppress the flames proved unavailing.

The fire alarm was sounded and the fire engine in charge of the battalion was quickly on the spot; buckets were also used, and everything that could be reached through the flames and smoke removed from the room.

The behaviour of the non-commissioned officers and men deserved all praise. There was no confusion or panic, and gallant efforts were made to rescue the regimental relics, especially the colours; but these latter, being at the farthest end of the room, were utterly unapproachable.

The drum captured at the battle of Maharajpore was also burned, only the shell remaining; whilst the pictures of the Queen and Prince and Princess of Wales were totally destroyed, together with two miniatures of former officers and several presents. The silver-mounted drum-major's stall, taken from the French just before the battle of Salamanca, was fortunately saved, as also was the valuable collection of old war medals.

A handsome album, presented by Captain J. S.  Walker, containing photographs of many officers of the regiment, past and present, was badly damaged, but happily, owing to the thickness of the cover, most of the photographs remained uninjured.

An interesting picture of the old uniforms of the regiment, presented by Captain L. C. Arbuthnot, was also rescued, although the frame was scorched all round and the glass cracked.

Adjoining the ante-room, and only separated from it by a wooden door, was the officers’ mess-room, which contained a quantity of plate and other articles of considerable value. This at one time seemed in imminent danger, and a tongue of flame did actually penetrate into it and set fire to the hangings; but, being luckily noticed by one of the men. It was instantly extinguished with a pail of water, and the room saved.

After the fire, every effort was made to replace and repair those things which had been lost or damaged, and this was in most cases successfully accomplished. The shell of the Maharajpore drum was refitted, the pictures replaced, the miniatures reproduced from photographs, and the album rebound; but the only things which could not be replaced or repaired were the old colours.

A few fragments which had dropped off before the fire were carefully preserved and framed; but new colours were a necessity, and were accordingly asked for.

H.R.H. the Prince of Wales was approached, in the hope that he might be able to present these new colours to the regiment, but-owing to his many engagements—His Royal Highness was prevented from doing so. His Excellency Lieutenant-General C. B. Ewart, C.B., R.E., lieutenant-governor of Jersey, was therefore invited, and consented to perform the ceremony.

This interesting event took place, in perfect summer weather, at the “People's Park," St. Helier, on 16th July 1891.

A liberal display of hunting in the streets of the town was the first outward sign that some unusual occurrence was about to take place. The occasion had clearly been regarded as a holiday by all classes in town and country, and a number of the leading business establishments in St. Helier remained closed during the morning; the country people, too, made the occasion an excuse for a. holiday, and came pouring into the island "metropolis" in hundreds.

From 9 am, the ground commenced filling, and every point of vantage was quickly taken possession of, whilst beneath the trees were long rows of carriages, and in the windows of neighbouring houses crowds of interested spectators.

The regiment, under command of Colonel J. B. McDougal left Fort Regent about 11 o'clock, and marching down through the crowded streets, reached the People's Park in time to be drawn up to receive the lieutenant-governor at 11.30.

His Excellency rode on to the ground accompanied by his staff shortly after that hour, and was received by the regiment with a royal salute. The line was then inspected, and the ceremony began.

Owing to there being no old colours to troop, the usual procedure on occasions of presentation could not be followed; the ceremony, therefore, opened by the line forming three sides of a square, after which the drums were piled in the centre and the new colours laid on them.

Major Moberly and Major Linton, the two senior majors of the battalion, then took post on either side, and behind them the two senior lieutenants, Lieutenant C. F. Menzies and Lieutenant W. L. Watson, with the four senior colour-sergeants.

Colonel McDougal informed the lieutenant-governor that all was ready, and then, still remaining mounted, took his place in rear of the colour then, still remaining mounted, took his place in rear of the colour party.

The lieutenant-governor now rode forward, followed by the Bishop of Guildford [The Right Reverend George Henry Sumner], the Dean of Jersey [George Orange Balleine] and the other officiating clergy, and the religious part of the ceremony commenced with the singing of the well-known hymn, "Brightly gleams our banner,” in which the whole regiment joined.

[The Bishop of Winchester (Doctor Thorold) had kindly consented to perform the ceremony, but at the last moment was prevented by severe indisposition from doing so. The Bishop of Guildford, therefore, most obligingly came over to Jersey, at very short notice, to take his place.]

After this the bishop read prayers, and then, addressing the regiment, said that he should be sorry for the service to close without his having the opportunity of saying a few words to them. Its significance could not escape the notice of those who had entered fully into the meaning of the prayers just offered up.

Some might wonder how a man of peace like himself, one set apart for the service of the Most High God—the God of Peace—could consent to consecrate Colours to lead a regiment on to war. But it was just because he was a man of peace—and not a man of war—that he did so. They were men of peace, as he was; they were not men of war, but if men wanted peace they must be prepared for war.

War was often necessary in order to secure the blessings of peace. He longed for the time when wars should cease, and when their swords might be turned into ploughshares; but because they had not yet reached that millennium, God forbid that they should therefore dissociate the profession of arms from all that was holy, sacred, and true.

He looked upon many in the military profession now living as the personification of all that was manly, high-minded, and faithful, and in times gone by he had only to recall the names of Havelock, Lawrence. Hedley-Vicars. Gordon, and others.

He trusted that the Colours now to be committed to their faithful keeping would ever lead on to victory.

Let all remember that it was in the hour of victory that the true manliness of the soldier was shown. To savage nations, victory often meant massacre, rapine, and loot, but the true soldier, in the hour of victory, showed moderation and true Christian character.

He felt sure they would ever show courage and bravery in the time of danger, and would urge them, if ever called to face the foe, in the hour of victory—for he threw no doubt on that~-to use it as Christian soldiers.

He hoped, however, it would please God to avert war, but if it ever did come in their day, might God defend the right, and might His blessing rest upon them both in times of difficulty and in eternity.

The Bishop then pronounced the benediction.

This concluded the consecration service. The lieutenant-governor then invited Lieutenant-General Sir A. A. Nelson. KCB., and Major-General Solly-Flood, CB.—the two senior officers connected with the regiment—who were present, to stand on either side of him, and, having received the new colours from Major: Moberly and Linton, he delivered them to Lieutenants Menzies and Watson, by whom they were received on bended knee.