Tristan : Tristanís Governor makes his first visit to the Island
Submitted by Tristan Times (Sarah Glass) 07.02.2011 (Article Archived on 21.02.2011)
Governor Andrew Gurr, who departed St Helena aboard the RMS on 18th January 2011 for his first visit to Tristan da Cunha, arrived at Tristan on on Sunday 30th January, after circumnavigating Gough Island 223nm to the SSE
Photos (c) James Glass (Tristan Times)
Tristanís Governor makes his first visit to Tristan
By Sarah Glass
H. E. the Governor Mr Andrew Gurr at the 1961 volcano
Governor Andrew Gurr, who departed St Helena aboard the RMS on 18th January 2011 for his first visit to Tristan da Cunha, arrived at Tristan on on Sunday 30th January, after circumnavigating Gough Island 223nm to the SSE and Nightingale 28nm SW of Tristan. The plans were for a three-night stopover at Tristan, departing for St Helena Island on the morning of Wednesday 2nd February. The last visit was by Governor Mike Clancy in February 2006.
Lucky for the passengers, weather conditions allowed everyone ashore on the first day, but deteriorated on the second, so no boats were able to land those wishing to spend the following two nights ashore.
On-board were many passengers, who had visited Tristan before and were returning to stay with friends, for the three days. One old friend of all the islanders was the Tristan Association President and Chairman Michael Swales, returning for another visit. Michael has been involved with Tristan da Cunha since his visit to Gough Island as a member of the Scientific Survey in September 1955. Michael will be presenting a new organ to St Mary's Church on behalf of the Tristan Association members. On the first day Governor Gurr attended a church service at the Anglican Church, visited the Catholic Church, graves, Agriculture gardens and Patches, and ended the evening by Supper at the Residency (hosted by the Administrator Mr and Mrs Sean Burn) to meet Heads of Departments and Councillors.
Michael Swales being given a model of a longboat
The second day the Governor spend the morning meeting Heads of Government, and placed a commemorative plaque at the volcano to mark the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 volcano when the entire community was evacuated to the UK. He spoke about how resilient the islanders must have been to return to Tristan given the damage the volcano caused. In the afternoon he met with the Island Council, visited the school, followed by a school show and tea with the pensioners. Later in the evening there was a reception in the Prince Philip Hall, for the community plus the RMS visitors.
The third day the weather and harbour conditions were again workable and the passengers staying on board managed to visit the island. The Governor went for a hike to the 1st base at Burnt Wood, visited the hospital with the visiting DFID Health Adviser, and in the evening presented the MBE and long service awards to Conrad Glass (MBE), Stanley Swain (Fire) Lindsay Repetto (police) Lewis Glass (police) followed by drinks at the Residency for their families, before attending a meal with the Chief Islander, Dilys and invited guest.
On the last day the 2nd February passengers staying ashore boarded
the vessel at 8am and the vessel departed for St Helena, arriving there on Sunday the 6th February.