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St Helena is ‘lucky’ to have Governor Capes, says top official

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Dr Martin Longden

St Helena’s governor, Mark Capes, has been given public praise by his boss at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Dr Martin Longden also described islanders as “industrious, intelligent and innovative people”, at the end of an eight-day visit.

He visited the island in his roles a Deputy Director at the FCO, and the senior figure with direct responsibility for the UK’s overseas territories in the South Atlantic.

A statement issued after his departure for Cape Town on the RMS St Helena said he met people from all walks of life to find out what made the island tick, and what mattered to Saints.

In the statement, he said:  “I am genuinely sorry to be leaving St Helena.  Though it has been a busy week of calls, I have had such a warm welcome from everyone I have met; it has been a pleasure from start to finish.

“I leave the island with the strong conviction that St Helena has a great future ahead of it.

“There will be big changes ahead, and with that will come big challenges.   No one should take success for granted:  it will at times be tough.

“But Saints are an industrious, intelligent and innovative people and they are well-placed to capitalise on the opportunities coming their way – if we pull together in the right direction and start preparing now.

“I am particularly glad that, as we face the most exciting period in St Helena’s long history, we have a governor on island of the calibre of Mark Capes.  He is an energetic advocate for the people of St Helena, and both we in London and you here are very lucky to have him.”

In public, the Foreign Office will always back their man.  They really have no alternative. London Reader

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