St Helena is certainly getting busier… that is a phrase that I often hear these days and I have to agree with it. The past year has flashed by, with so much happening and so much still to do. At times, our sister islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha have also kept me busy during 2013. Through it all I have enjoyed working with my colleagues to achieve the best outcomes for all three islands.
For me a highlight of 2013 was my first visit to Tristan da Cunha, an extraordinary place and the most remote inhabited island in the world. Its community of less than 300 people extend such a warm welcome to visitors and I do hope that I may visit again one day.
I also greatly enjoyed a short working visit to Cape Town, en-route to Tristan. What made an intense and quite gruelling programme enjoyable was the strong sense of being part of a united team, working hard for St Helena. All concerned were pulling together, working well with good humour and commitment, to achieve our common objectives. It was quite a buzz.
As always it is attitude that counts. Sir Winston Churchill once said: “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference.” How true that is. With a positive attitude so much can be achieved.
I’m much looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2014 and to working with “Team St Helena” to meet those challenges.
As each year comes to a close, and especially at Christmas, we pause to think of family or friends who may be with us no longer. So while Christmas is for sharing and celebrating with our friends and families, let us also remember those that are mourning the recent loss of a loved one, as well as those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Let’s offer them a helping hand: even just a few kind words or a hug can make a big difference to someone.
This year my Christmas Day will be spent at sea. I will be on the good ship RMS St Helena, heading for Cape Town for a quick visit to London to see my family and then on to Ascension for my first visit following the recent general election there. I know that I and my fellow passengers will be very well looked after by the superb crew on the RMS – it should be an experience to remember.
At Plantation House, Wendy and Melissa have been busy making Christmas cakes and so a rich and warm aroma of baking cakes has filled the house. The cakes were for me to deliver to the Community Care Complex, Barn View, and those in sheltered homes. The Christmas tree lights have been on in the paddock at Plantation House and, no doubt after much hard work and many rehearsals, the primary schools have presented their Advent plays.
On that happy note, Tamara and I send our very best wishes to everyone on St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha for a blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Governor Mark Capes