St Helena Online

Tag: Dax Richards

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

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 same size as the council chamber, just across the landing. A portrait of The Queen keeps watch on her official representative on the island.

“One of the great privileges of being governor is the entertaining,” says Andrew. At Christmas, the table is set to suit the grandeur of the 18th Century mansion. Plantation House was built in 1792.

“We had a dinner for Bobby Robertson and Dulcie on their 60th wedding anniversary,” says Andrew. “Bobby never said a word against me in council after that. It was one of the shrewdest dinners I ever gave.” Bobby was a popular and long-serving councillor who helped many families on St Helena. Shortly before he died, he was awarded the island’s Badge of Honour

“We had a smaller room at the back converted into a dining room  for us. We used to dine at that table, just Jean and myself, with this wonderful Napoleonic chandelier. Napoleon died under part of it. It’s two parts from Longwood House: one part was in his dining room, one in his bedroom.” After Napoleon died, the chandelier was put back together and moved to Plantation House. There had been talk of returning it to Longwood at one time.

Not every aspect of life at Plantation House was glamour and luxury. The kitchen was not impressive: “It was a disgrace, in my view – a health risk”

Andrew had the kitchen stripped out and fitted with modern equipment. “I apologise to one of the cooks bending over there,” he says. “It’s just how it was.”

Councillor Mervyn Yon at a function in the garden at Plantation House. Andrew chose pictures featuring well known personalities on St Helena, but says of the picture: “It’s unfair – he wasn’t always on the booze.”

Ethel Yon is a Saint who rose to become Deputy Chief Secretary of St Helena Government. “Ethel was a very hard worker – a very useful person to have around.”

“We did have a tennis tournament or two at Plantation. We put a few tents up, and people came and had a great time.”

When the St Helena cricket team took part in its first ever overseas tournament in 2012, Dax Richards scored more runs on his own in one match than the whole of the Mali national team. He also cut an impressive figure on the tennis court, for rather different reasons. “Some of the men dress up as females,” says Andrew. No further explanation required.

Sharon Wainwright, taking a break from her arduous role in pushing for St Helena to be given an airport. Her efforts were successful, but she did not live to see the day of the announcement, in November 2011. She died suddenly while in London. “She was a wonderful person. I used to have a weekly chat with her. A very good man manager. She got things done: a priceless individual, sadly missed.”

Visit St Helena Online again for Andrew Gurr’s pictures of the natural wonders of St Helena, due to be published on Wednesday, 8 August 2012.

The inside story on St Helena, by former governor Andrew Gurr
Experts, expats and what England expects: a governor’s view, part 2
Civil service versus the can-do culture: a governor’s view
What the nurse said to the governor: Andrew Gurr looks back

Dax outruns Mali’s entire team – but Seychelles sneak win

St Helena 170 runs – Mali 52
Seychelles 138 – St Helena 135

Dax Richards scored more runs than the entire Mali national cricket team in the third match for St Helena in their tournament in South Africa. His score of 57 helped the island eleven to beat the west African nation by 118 runs.

The afternoon clash with the Seychelles went against St Helena – but only after both sides drew at 128 runs each.

The station reports on Facebook that the match continued into a “super over”, with Seychelles scoring 10 to win the match, against seven runs from the Saints.

The result left St Helena two up, two down after the first four matches in the International Cricket Council’s division 3 tournament in Benoni.  They beat Cameroon convincingly but then lost to the Zambians.

The islanders finished this morning’s game against Mali on 170 for seven wickets – meaning Dax made a third of the side’s runs. Mali was bowled out for 52. Best Bowling – St. Helena: A. Yon 4 for 12.


Seychelles v St Helena
Venue: Willowmoore Park
Result: Seychelles 128 all out
Best Batting: Seychelles: A. Bhuva 45 off 38
Best Bowling: St. Helena: G. Johnson 3-15
St. Helena scored 7 in the Super Over
Seychelles won in the Super Over

Mali v St Helena
: Willowmoore Park
Result: St. Helena 170-7
Best Batting: St. Helena: Dax Richards 57 of 49
Mali bowled out for 52
Best Bowling: St. Helena: A. Yon 4 for 12
St. Helena won by 118 runs

Tournament website