St Helena Online

Tag: Colin Owen

Dax is praised for holding the fort at The Castle

Dax Richards has been thanked for stepping into the role of St Helena’s Financial Secretary after the sudden departure of Paul Blessington.

Paul had to leave the island aboard the airport supply ship, the NP Glory 4, after being advised to seek urgent medical advice in mid-July 2012. The RMS St Helena was in dry dock at the time.

Paul was only weeks from the end of his term of office. Colin Owen, who has been the island’s chief auditor for two years, has now taken over as Financial Secretary.

Governor Mark Capes said: “I am grateful to Dax Richards for so ably carrying the extra load since the departure of Paul Blessington who, with Dax and the finance team, delivered on many significant improvements to the management of our public finances.”

It is not the first time Dax has stepped up to the crease on St Helena’s behalf in 2012. He was also one of the stars of the island’s cricket team during its first-ever overseas tournament, in South Africa.

Finance chief leaves island urgently over health scare
Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win

Colin passes the potato test – but the ketchup tastes funny

So now we know the kind of deep psychological testing used to flush out wobbly candidates for top jobs in the St Helena Government. Call it the potato test.

In a profile on the Wales Online website, Colin Owen reveals how he was tossed the unexpected curve ball when he and his family decided to escape to a new life on the island three years ago.

“In my interview they asked me if I could live without potatoes for half a year,” says Colin, who’s just been promoted to become the island’s next financial secretary. He didn’t flinch. “I thought it was a completely bizarre question at the time and answered that I’d have rice or pasta instead, but living here now I can see why they asked it. We can go for months without certain foods.”

And that’s not the only strange thing about life on St Helena. “The Heinz tomato ketchup is from South Africa, not the UK, so it tastes different.”

The internet piece describes how Colin first decided to seek a new professional adventure when he realised his job in London meant he saw too little of his children.

“It’s been fantastic,” he says. “St Helena has given us so many opportunities as a family, whether it’s fishing, watching the dolphins and whales in the bay, scuba diving or walking.”

His description of the island? Like North Wales, but slightly warmer.

Read the full story in the 13 July 2012 issue of the St Helena Independent.