Extracts from Administrator Alex Mitham's Old Year's Night Speech at the Residency Drinks Reception
Thank you for all coming tonight and for the Okalolies looking so attractive this evening!
While many people are able to be here tonight, unfortunately there are those who can’t be, and I know our thoughts and well wishes are with Ida and Frances, as well as everyone in Cape Town. Although I’m sure everyone in South Africa is having their own special Old Year's Night.
As ever with Old Years Night it is a time to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to next year. Every year seems to get busier, and I would be here talking for the full hour if I went through everything that happened - but I think a few areas stand out:
Firstly and most importantly - We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the return to the island after the volcanic eruption. Many things have changed since your return and there are challenges every day, but the island has continually shown it can adapt and overcome any obstacle and this 50th anniversary was a perfect time to recognise and celebrate the islands' success.
We had the visit of the Governor, his Excellency Mark Capes and the RMS returned (possibly for the last time). Sean and Marina unfortunately departed.
We were able to recognise the islanders who have shown incredible dedication and generosity - with MBEs for Lorraine and Joe, as well as a BEM to Gladys and an honorary MBE to Captain Clarence October.
We were also able to highlight the islands incredible kindness and empathy for others -from the fundraising for Clarence's son and family, as well as the Philippines disaster. Your kindness and generosity is rightly recognised around the world. I believe combined the island raised over £3500 – which is a staggering amount of money to raise in such a short period of time.
The electrical project is virtually finished now – the first update in over 40 years which is an incredible achievement. Ensuring we have a modern system to help with future initiatives. I’m still getting used to seeing the street lights on each night! The school has been refurbished, and all government buildings and churches repainted and improved.
Thanks to the finance department, the financial situation continues to improve, but it is still on a knife edge and we cannot be complacent. The importance of scrutinising the cash flows is vital for the survival of the community.
Finally we had a lovely wedding – and I need to thank Eugene for shaving off his beard as I thought we may have an international incident on our hands. I could see us being invaded by the military as they thought poor Kirsty had married a terrorist!
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Old Years Night reception including all those who had donated food. Without them this evening would not have happened.
And Last but not least Hasene and I would both like to wish everyone an enjoyable Old Years Night and have a very Happy New Year for 2014.