Tristan da Cunha Government News 2012
News for 2012 from the Tristan da Cunha Government, including the Governor, the Resident Administrator, Chief Islander and Tristan-related official events in the UK and abroad.

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Administrator Sean Burns
delivering his 2012 Old Year's Night Speech

Sean with Tristan Treasurer
Lorraine Repetto

Marina Burns and other ladies arrive in style at the 2012 Old Year's Night Reception

Administrator's 2012 Old Year's Night Speech
Administrator Sean Burns opened his speech with a message from the Governor:

‘As 2012 draws to an end we often pause to reflect on some of the key events of the year and it was of course a year in which we celebrated Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee anniversary of 60 years as Monarch.When Tamara and I had the great pleasure of an audience with Her Majesty earlier this month she asked about developments in Tristan da Cunha and wanted to know if we had made plans to visit the island. I was pleased to be able to confirm to Her Majesty that we will visit Tristan da Cunha in November next year, 2013.  Tamara and I very much look forward to meeting you next year and in the meantime, we wish you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year' 

He then passed on a message from Iris, Martin, Rachel, Duncan, Jackie, Janine, Adrian and Sammy, Karl, Julia and Caitlin who all sent their best wishes to the community from Cape Town.

Reflecting on the events of 2012, Sean said that a few major areas stood out. While the financial situation had improved it was still precarious. Complacency was not an option but on a positive note, pointed out that Council had been able to approve the first increase in salaries for government workers for a number of years. The settlement of the claim against the insurers of the Oliva had finally been agreed. This would provide some security for future losses and ongoing research and he was pleased to report that the signs at Nightingale continued to look more promising. The award of the RSPB medal was a huge honour for the island and the whole community and was well deserved recognition for the work done with the penguins in 2011 post Oliva. More recently the completion of the Thatched House project had been a major triumph and he congratulated Dawn and the team on the hard work and dedication they had put in to deliver this unique project. It had been a lesson to everyone in what hard work, skill and team work can achieve.

Looking forward to 2013 he stressed the need for continued caution with the finances, pointing out that that more effort was needed to combat waste and increase productivity across government. 2013 would be a busy year with projects including more work on the harbour, electrical and water reticulation, refurbishment work at the school and some improvements to the roads. Government would continue to press for decisions on the long term solution to the harbour and the new hospital.

Sean then paid tribute to the Chief Islander and Council who were coming to the end of their term. He stressed that the work they did was voluntary and their work incredibly important and often difficult when hard choices had to be taken. They had been an invaluable source of advice over his last two years as Administrator. He also thanked heads of department and their teams for their work over the year as well as the factory workers (full and part time) and fishermen, all of whom contributed to the well being of the island and community. Sean also thanked Tristan’s UK ‘contingent’ for all of their help and assistance. This included the great work done by UK Rep Chris Bates who had represented Tristan at numerous meetings and forums over the year including the recent Joint Ministerial Council. He went on to praise the work Richard Grundy had done with the website and the Tristan Newsletter as well as the Tristan Association. This was invaluable and was regularly praised by people who had been in contact with the Island. He then thanked the wider Tristan Association led by Michael Swales for all of their support and help. Their recent assistance with the children going to Cape Town was particularly appreciated.

Finally Sean thanked everyone who had contributed to the Old Years Night reception including all those who had donated food, Beverly and her team who had prepared everything and finally Marina who joined him in wishing everyone a thoroughly enjoyable Old Years Night and best wishes for 2013!

See Christmas and New Year Holiday 2012/13 News Page for more on Old Year's Night

2012 Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council
We publish an important report and photograph on 21st December of the December 2012 Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council held in London during which the Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Bates held talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. See - 2012 OTJMC Report

Further Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals Presented
Photo and Report from Administrator Sean Burns

Queens' Diamond Jubilee Medals were presented at the Residency on 25th October 2012 for those who were away or unable to attend the main presentation in September (see below). A reception was held and attended by recipients' family.

Photo shows left to right: Matthew Green, Warren Glass, Rodney Green, Ian Lavarello, Jeremy Green, Clive Glass
Greenland Visit Report
Tristan's UK Government Representative Chris Bates attended the11th Ministerial Conference and European Union Overseas Countries and Territories Forum held in Greenland during September 2012 - see report and pictures on the News Abroad page.

Diamond Jubilee Medals Presented
Pictures and Report from Dawn Repetto

The presentations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals were made by Administrator Sean Burns during a Reception in the Prince Philip Hall on Wednesday 26th September 2012. The medals were awarded to members of the British Armed Forces, Emergency Services and Prison Service who have completed five years of satisfactory service, and the award is given by Her Majesty the Queen as a mark of thanks to all those who give so much in the name of society and public service. The Tristan award ceremony was postponed owing to the tragic beach accident which claimed the life of Islander Barry Swain over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Front row left to right ~ Mark Swain, Martin Green, Nigel Lavarello, Darren Repetto, Shane Green,
Leon Glass, Wayne Swain, Duncan Lavarello

Middle row left to right ~ Joseph Green, Andy Repetto, Terry Green, Karl Hagan, Lorraine Repetto,
(Marina Burns also in right hand photo), Simon Glass, Allan Swain, Robin Repetto

Back row left to right ~ James Glass, Andrew Green, Norman Glass, Neil Swain, Jack Green,
(Sean Burns also in right hand picture), Stanley Swain, Lewis Glass, Grant Green, Connie Glass

Absent were Chief Islander Ian Lavarello who was carrying out the annual Gough Island inspection,
Sea Fishery Observers Rodney Green and Warren Glass aboard MV Edinburgh doing Lobster conservation work at Gough Island,
Matthew Green who was on Gough Island carrying out conservation work
and Clive Glass and Jerry Green who were ill.

Sean also presented The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (1952-2002) which have been awarded retrospectively to :
lnspector Conrad Jack Glass, Special Constable Edward Lewis Glass (retired), Special Constable Lorraine Jennifer Repetto in addition to their Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Full medal list: The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal (1952-2012) were awarded to:

Simon Lewis Glass (Fire Service & Mountain Rescue)
Conrad Jack Glass (Police & Sea Rescue)
Leon Noel Stephen Glass (Sea Rescue)
Clive Larry Glass (Mountain Rescue)
Edward Lewis Glass (Mountain Rescue)
James Patrick Glass (Mountain Rescue)
Malcolm Jack Green (Fire Service & Sea Rescue)
Jeremy John Green (Fire Service)
Joseph Gordon Green (Sea Rescue)
Martin John Green (Mountain Rescue)
Shane Percy Green (Mountain Rescue)
Karl Christopher Hendrik Hagan (Fire Service)
Duncan Percy Lavarello (Sea Rescue)
Robin Shaun Repetto (Fire Service & Mountain Rescue)
Darren Matthew Brian Repetto (Fire Service)
Andrea Grant Repetto (Coastguard / Communications)
Lorraine Jennifer Repetto (Special Constable)
Stanley David Swain (Fire Service)
Neil William Swain (Fire Service & Sea Rescue)
Mark Jonathan Swain (Sea Rescue)
Allan Brian Christopher Swain (Mountain Rescue)
Matthew Edward Green (Mountain Rescue)
Andrew John Green Cox (Wave Dancer)
Rodney Frederick Green (Assistant Cox -Wave Dancer)
Terence Adrian Green (Crew-Wave Dancer)
Norman William Glass (Crew - Wave Dancer)
Warren Edwin Jack Glass (Crew - Wave Dancer)
lan Joseph Lavarello (Crew - Wave Dancer)
Nigel Robert Lavarello (Crew - Wave Dancer)
Grant Gaetano Green (Sea Rescue)
Wayne Joseph Swain (Mountain Rescue)

Photos show:

Left ~
Sean Burns addressing those present with Marina alongside


Right ~
Views of those gathered
at the Reception

See also the
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tristan Page

Agreement reached with Owners and Insurers of the MS Oliva

Report from Administrator Sean Burns on 11th September 2012

I am pleased to report that we have finally reached an agreement with the owners/insurers of the MS Oliva, the bulk carrier that ran aground at Nightingale Island on 16 March 2011.

The details of the settlement are a commercial matter between the vessels owners/insurers and the Tristan Government but we are satisfied that the settlement represents a reasonable and fair deal for us to move forward with the management of the fishery and protection of the environment.

In the meantime the fishery at Nightingale remains closed and the quota at Inaccessible has been reduced to 44 tonnes. These are provisional quotas that will be reviewed at a meeting of fishery experts in Cape Town in November. James Glass, our Fisheries Director will be attending on Tristan’s behalf.

The Conservation Department will shortly begin the penguin counts around the islands and further details will be posted just as soon as they become available.

See also the separate MS Oliva Disaster Section

UK Government Publishes White Paper on the Overseas Territories

The long awaited White Paper on the UK Overseas Territories was published on 28th June. There follows a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Press Release and there is a link below to the UK Government's FCO website where the White Paper can be downloaded. It includes a photograph of Tristan da Cunha Chief Islander Ian Lavarello during the 2011 Overseas Territories Consultative Council in London.

The UK Government renews and strengthens Britain’s relationship with the Overseas Territories today with the publication of its White Paper, “The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability”.

Foreign Secretary, William Hague said:

 “Today’s White Paper is the first review of the Overseas Territories since 1999 and it demonstrates the importance the Coalition Government attaches to the Overseas Territories.

 “As well as having a responsibility to ensure the security and good governance of the Territories, we want the Territories to be vibrant, flourishing communities that proudly retain aspects of their British identity.

“ We appreciate the remarkable diversity of the Territories, each with their own specific attributes, opportunities and challenges.This White Paper is designed to meet these challenges, to set out ways we can support the Territories and strengthen our engagement with them. It is another major milestone in our long and shared history, and I hope it will mark a new era of engagement between Britain and the Overseas Territories.”

This White Paper focuses on three goals: strengthening engagement between the UK and the Territories; working with the Territories to strengthen good governance, public financial management and economic planning where this is necessary; and improving the quality and range of support available to the Territories.

The White Paper was developed across government departments and in consultation with the people and governments of the Territories. In the year in which Britain and the Territories celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, it sends an important signal of long-term engagement.

The Overseas Territories are incredibly diverse; they include thousands of small islands, vast areas of ocean, but also, in Antarctica, land six times the size of the United Kingdom. They include one of the world’s richest communities, in Bermuda; and the most remote community, in Tristan da Cunha. They are internationally recognised for their exceptionally rich and varied natural environments. They are home to an estimated 90% of the biodiversity found within the UK and the Territories combined and include two of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas.

Link to the UK Government's FCO Website to download the document: http://www.fco.gov.uk

MBE for Joe Green
We are delighted to announce that HM Queen Elizabeth II has awarded Joe Green an MBE in the Birthday Honours list announced on 16th June 2012.

The citation reads:
Joseph Gordon Green,
Mechanic and voluntary worker, Tristan da Cunha. For services to the community in Tristan da Cunha.

We recently published details of Joe's last job before retirement on our Inshore Shipping page.

Administrator Sean Burns sent a message to Joe, presently en route to Cape Town with his wife Anne aboard MV Edinburgh passing on warm congratulations for the work he has done (much of it unpaid) for over 40 years for the whole community.

On 18th June Governor Mark Capes wrote to Joe sending his warmest congratulations on being honoured with an MBE in recognition of his dedicated and valuable contribution to the community of Tristan da Cunha. The Governor also looks forward to meeting Joe when he is able to visit Tristan.

Sean Burns Returns
Administrator Sean Burns returned aboard MV Edinburgh on Friday 8th June. Also on board was new doctor Rajaram Patil taking over from Dr Tom Day.

Chief Executive Officer sworn in as Acting Administrator
during Sean Burns' absence from Tristan

Administrator Sean Burns departed Tristan on 19th March 2012 aboard the cruise ship National Geographic Explorer, first travelling to Cape Town, then for a holiday in Kenya before returning to UK in May. During Sean's absence Chief Executive Officer Kobus Potgieter was sworn in as Acting Administrator during a ceremony in the Council Chamber.
Photo from Cynthia Green taken in the Council Chamber on 19th March 2012 shows Chief Executive Officer Kobus Potgieter being sworn in as Acting Administrator flanked by Chief Islander Ian Lavarello and Administrator Sean Burns

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