Tristan da Cunha Chief Islander
The Chief Islander is a Tristanian elected separately from the Island Council, and serves for three years.

Ian Lavarello

was elected Chief Islander
for a second consecutive term
when he was returned
unopposed in February 2013

Ian is the first
of the Lavarello family
to hold the post of Chief Islander

See also:
Chief Islander Ian Lavarello 2010-2013
Chief Islander Ian Lavarello 2013-2016
Chief Islander Ian Lavarello 2016-2019

Elected Chief Islanders :

Harold Green ~ 1970-1973; 1979-1982 and 1985-1988

Albert Glass
~ 1973-1979 and 1982-1985

Anne Green
~ 1988-1991 and 2003-2007

Lewis Glass
~ 1991-1994

James Glass
~ 1994-1997, 1997-2000 and 2000-2003

Conrad Glass ~ 2007-2010
See Also: Chief Islander Conrad Glass 2007 - 2010

Ian Lavarello ~ 2010 - 2013 and 2013 onwards

Profile of Tristan da Cunha's Chief Islander Ian Lavarello

Ian was born on 1st May 1970, the second son to Gilbert and Agnes Lavarello.

Ian studied at St Mary's school from 1975 until 1985, gaining UK examination qualifications in History, Geography, Science, English Language and Literature, Maths and the newly introduced Tristan Island Studies.

Ian then started working at the Post and Telecommunications Department mainly training as an electronics technician and radio operator.


From 1990 until 1992 Ian studied at Stevenage College, completing a City and Guilds Electronics course and gaining a HNC in Electronics, followed by a course at Hanslope Park studying installation and technical details for an Inmarsat A satellite telephone system.


After returning to the island Ian installed the first satellite telephone system in the Administrators' Office on behalf of the FCO.


Ian attended an electronics course in Cape Town in 1998 organised by Cape Maritime Electronics working on ships high frequency radios and radars.

Photograph of Chief Islander
Ian Lavarello
on MV Edinburgh
off Gough Island
on 28th April 2010
whilst working
as a Fisheries Observer

In 2006 Ian travelled to New Mexico to attend a seismological course at the Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory arranged by the USGS who have seismic equipment on the island which he monitored on a part time daily basis.

Ian switched from Post Office and Communications (where he had been Head of Department, overseeing the Tristan Post Office as well as Communications) in 2007 and started working for the Public Works Department, principally as a driver of JCBs, dumper trucks and any other vehicles owned by the dept, maintaining roads, building and other work as directed.


Ian also works part time when needed as a Fisheries Observer for the Fisheries Department mainly working on the Edinburgh during the fishing season taking samples of the crayfish caught on board the vessel at Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough Island.


No doubt we will publish news of Ian's work as Chief Islander in the next three years.

Reproduced from an article in the August 2007 Tristan da Cunha Newsletter

Profile of Conrad Glass Chief Islander 2007 - 2010

Conrad was born on Tristan da Cunha on 20th January 1961 to parents Edwin (Spike) and Monica Glass and a brother to his 5 year old sister Sheila. Of course 1961 was an epic year in Tristan’s history when, after a volcanic eruption on 10th October, the whole community of 275 people, including baby Conrad, was evacuated the UK . Conrad has some memories of his early childhood in Calshot especially a vivid recollection of a visit to a fair, riding on a roundabout, and being issued tickets by a man in a glass booth. Tristanians stayed in England for two years before returning home and on arrival faced an uphill struggle. The volcano had destroyed the fishing factory and the two natural beaches where for generations they had launched their home made boats; but with their usual tenacity the islanders built a new fishing factory and harbour within a few years.

Conrad started school at the age of five, first in the converted World War II navy huts, moving on in 1974 to the new school with better facilities. Conrad enjoyed his years at school, especially studying English, history, geography, science, R.E. art & craft, sports and drama.

Though he found it rather easy to remember events and dates, he dreaded maths lessons, which were not his forte. His teachers sometimes said he was a daydreamer, but it helped when writing essays although he thought his spelling was not very good! Conrad only realised how important education was at the age of 16, a year after leaving school, where he attended further education classes twice a week to study for UK examinations in English and science. After leaving school Conrad worked at the fishing factory for eight years but felt there were no career prospects with the previous fishing company, so he left the factory to work for the Tristan Government in 1985. First employed at the supermarket warehouse for a year, Conrad was then chosen to go to St Helena for police training in 1986 when he spent a year accompanied by his wife Sharon and son Leon working with their police force.

From that time there was no looking back for Conrad. Returning to Tristan he got a job as a storekeeper and tool clerk while still working part time for the police department. In 1989 he took over in charge of the police department when his predecessor (Sergeant Albert Glass, the former Chief Islander), retired after 30 years of service to the community. Conrad returned to England in 1992 for further training with the North Hertfordshire Police Force. This included valuable customs and immigration work based at Luton airport, as well as experiencing police work in both rural and urban settings.

On returning to Tristan in 1993, Conrad was promoted to Sergeant, and gained the title of Inspector in 1998. He then travelled back to the UK for a refresher course which included a mountain rescue management course in Snowdonia and a coxswains’ course in Devon , where he passed Royal Yacht Association examinations.
Conrad has been active supporting young people on Tristan, running a youth group and writing plays. He returned to England with his family in 2004/5 and his book Rockhopper Copper was published in Spring 2005. Conrad thinks that the best part about being a police officer is being able to help people with their problems. As Head of Tristan’s Police Department Conrad will probably be the first islander new visitors meet. We wish him well as he leads the community as Chief Islander for the next three years.
Conrad and his wife Sharon
at the Agulhas Reception
September 2007
Conrad with his Police Land-Rover
outside the
Administration Building

Conrad meeting Foreign Office Minister Gillian Merron in London, 30 October 2008. 

Conrad is the author of the book Rockhopper Copper which describes his life and times on the island as well as aspects of Tristan history- see Tristan Bookshop for details