St Helena Online

Tag: Matt Joshua

St Helena goes live at annual UK gathering

sports poster detail - title, dateA live video link is being set up between St Helena and the Reading Sports – the annual gathering of St Helenians in the UK.

Enterprise St Helena is inviting people on the island to book two-minute slots to send greetings to family and friends overseas via the video link on Sunday 26 August 2012.

For a second year, Saint FM will also be relayed to the sports and broadcasting interviews transmitted from the event – this time, it is hoped, with help from St Helena Online.

The link is being organised by IT expert Johnny Clingham, who will also be covering the event for the St Helena Community website.

Matt Joshua of Saint Connect has travelled from St Helena to attend the sports and meet people who are interested in returning home to the island. He will have information about investment, business and job opportunities.

He will also be showing films of the arrival on the island of the Basil Read ship, and construction of the workers’ camp at Bradleys, made by the St Helena Broadcasting Corporation.

Nigel Kirby of the Department for International Development will also be at the sports to talk about the airport.

The sports are organised by the St Helena Association and take place at Reading Rugby Club in Sonning.

Association president Owen George MBE says in his annual report: “As the older members will know we first started with the title Saints Mini Sport, and with a change of committee it became St Helena Sports Day.

“But in truth, beyond any doubt it has become The Saints Relatives and Friends Reunion Day, which to my mind is a very, very important event for people to renew old and make new acquaintancesat the same place, same day, same time each year.

“Saints in Ascension, the Falklands and wherever they may be, arrange their UK holidays to meet on this nostalgic occasion, and you cannot get any better than that.”

The event has been raising money for good causes on the island for more than 30 years.

Visit the association website for full details, including comments praising last year’s event.

See pictures of the 2011 sports, by Richard Bennett, here.


Island begins push for South African tourists and investors

Saints may be losing their head start as potential investors in St Helena’s hoped-for tourism boom.

Enterprise St Helena has been briefing journalists in South Africa on the potential of the island, with 43 months to go until the island’s first airport is due to open.

News reports on the island’s financial prospects coincide with the arrival in the UK of ESH staff Julian Morris and Matt Joshua.

Matt is holding a drop-in session for potential Saint investors in Swindon on Thursday, and will be running a video link back to the island on Sunday at the Reading Sports, the annual gathering of Saints in the UK.

Julian has given a number of high-profile media interviews.

South Africans made up 49% of the visitors to the island in the latest figures, and the country is seen as the prime market place for attracting tourists.

Tourism manager Merrill Joshua has been emphasising some of South Africa’s historic connections wwith St Helena, including as a place of exile for Prince Dinizulu during the Zulu War, and 6,000 Boer War prisoners during the Boer War.

According to the Times Live website, Merrill has stressed the need to cater for South Africans as the core market:

“Now, because it is vitally important that St Helena gets on the map as a tourism destination, a lot more money and resources will be ploughed into the historical ties with Cape Town and South Africa.”

Times Live also quotes Stuart Planner, property director at Enterprise St Helena.

He says: “With only 43 months to go before the first plane lands, this is a crucial time for investors and developers to make themselves known to us if they wish to participate in this project.

“We have assets and a business environment and legislative framework we believe to be attractive for investment.”

St Helena airport building is cleared for take-off
Matt heads to Reading Sports to lure Saints back home

Isolated island playing catch-up – Times Live
Tiny, isolated St Helena awaits tourism boom – The New Age


Matt heads to Reading Sports to lure Saints back home

Saints attending the annual Reading Sports day in the UK will be encouraged to consider moving back to St Helena to be part of its hoped-for economic transformation.

Matthew Joshua of the Saint Connect project is heading for UK to attend the Bank Holiday weekend event, run by the St Helena Association.

posterHe will also run a drop-in session at Swindon on Thursday, 23 August as part of a drive to encourage the island’s “brightest and best” to bring their talents home..

All are welcome at the session between noon and 6pm at Longs Bar in Victoria Road, Old Town. Appointments can be booked by emailing, or by leaving a message on the Saint Connect Facebook page.

Attracting St Helenians back to the island is seen as vital to its economic transformation: either to fill skilled jobs in the tourism industry once its airport opens in 2015, or to set up businesses to help establish a private sector economy.

The island’s Sustainable Development Plan says: “Retaining our smartest and brightest has been difficult in the face of better employment prospects overseas.

The island wants to create the environment for a large number of Saints, who have gone overseas to try and improve their quality of life, to come home. Improving the standards of living, through real wage growth and better public services, is vital.

St Helena can make itself a more attractive place to live by building an economy with real prospects for the people living here to make a better life for themselves.”

Enterprise St Helena has warned that Saints need to seize the opportunities presented by the airport before outsiders move in.


Another reason why Saints will not return is they have a better life in the UK and elsewhere. Employment protection; equal pay; Freedom of Information; health & safety. Why give up all of these to come back?
– John Turner, St Helena
Random Thoughts from Offshore – blog

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Saint Connect (Facebook)
St Helena Association (Facebook)

Marley stays cool in the shades

Brown dog wearing white sunglasses sticks nose in shiny bowl of waterMarley’s the name and cool is the game. That’s Marley as in Bob, the music legend. Waggae music, I think they called it. I’m working on the dreadlocks: just gimme time.

Now it’s all very well these Saints wearing their underwear on the outside and running around with their feet strapped to planks of wood, but I’m here to tell you St Helena Day ain’t the big day of the year as far as us dogs is concerned.

Not compared with the Doggy Day Out, which must be twice as important as St Helena Day, because it happens twice as often. We jus’ had another one a couple of months back.

We have our silly sports too, but we run around strapped to something far sillier than a plank of wood:

Dog wearing sunglasses, tongue hanging out after drinking, slobberingWe’re strapped to people instead, on leads. And most of them are as daft as two planks of wood. Sometimes they let go, and then we just hang loose.

Doggy Days Out are not cool. They’re run by the St Helena SPCA, and they’re hot. But a dog’s gotta chill, and a shiny bowl of water only goes so far. Hence the shades. And the slobber.

Okay, maybe not the slobber.

(Pictures of Marley taken at Kingshurst Community Centre, reproduced by courtesy of Matt Joshua)

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