If faint groans are heard emerging from the offices of Enterprise St Helena, it’ll probably be the sounds of the staff as they read Gavin Bell’s travel piece in The Australian newspaper.
Mr Bell says very nice things about the charms of St Helena, such as: “The treasure of this island is its people.”
Unfortunately, he goes off-message.
“In 1775,” he writes, “Captain James Cook observed that St Helenians seemed ‘the most hospitable ever met with of English extraction, having scarce any tincture of avarice and ambition’.”
In these days of economic awakening, when everyone’s meant to be setting up businesses, that’s only a half a compliment.
But the writer comes up with a neat comment on the hotchpotch of soldiers, sailors, slaves and Chinese that has gone into the island’s genetic meling pot.
“Each islander is a walking United Nations and each child is a lucky dip in the lottery of genes,” he says.
He also observes, though, the building an airport will take away one of the island’s greatest attractions – that it’s “so… far away.”
Read the full piece here (with thanks to Guy Gatien, who spotted it)
Enterprise St Helena