Andrew Gurr

Listen online: what slave graves mean for St Helena

If you missed Saint FM’s broacasts on the excavation of 300 human skeletons on St Helena, don’t worry: the programmes are still available as two podcasts on St Helena Online.  The discoveries in Rupert’s Valley in 2008 brought new insight into the horrors aboard slave-running “pirate” ships in the 19th Century. The skeletons were those of Africans who …

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Boris tries airport seduction, as BBC zips him off to St Helena

Andrew Gurr may have missed a trick when he was fighting to revive St Helena’s airport project, after it was stalled during his governorship of the island. Apparently, the thing to do is to hug the British prime minister, nuzzle up close, and whisper the word “airport”. A husky voice might help. This has emerged after London’s …

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In pictures: life at Plantation House, by Andrew Gurr

Andrew Gurr took thousands of pictures of St Helena during four years as governor. He showed some of them when he addressed the Friends of St Helena, and agreed to share them with readers of this website. This first selection gives a flavour of life at his official residence, Plantation House.  The governor’s office (actually in The Castle) is large: the …

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What the nurse said to the governor: Andrew Gurr looks back

When Andrew Gurr arrived on St Helena in 2007 as the first governor to be appointed through open competition, he found an island civil service that was financially adrift. It needed to undergo surgery – and so, later on, did Mr Gurr himself. In the fourth and final extract of an address to the Friends …

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Civil service versus the can-do culture: a governor’s view

In the third extract of an address to the Friends of St Helena, former governor Andrew Gurr reflects on the island’s emerging private sector, optimism and – just briefly – education. Read part one of his recollections here, and find part two here. On the private sector You have the private-versus-public tension, which is always …

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Experts, expats and what England expects: a governor’s view, part 2

Andrew Gurr, immediate past governor of St Helena, has been sharing his insights from his recent four-year stint behind the big desk in The Castle in Jamestown. See part one of his talk to the Friends of St Helena here. In part two, below, he talks about attitudes to expats, experts, the Foreign and Commonwealth …

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Communist Tristan da Cunha? That’s like waving a red flag…

The potato patches aren’t exactly a gulag, and the closest similarity to the Berlin Wall is that its buildings get blown down in storms… but Tristan da Cunha has been described, by its former governor, as a communist state. In the nicest possible way, of course. Andrew Gurr was paying a compliment to the 260-or-so …

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