Sunday, 25 September 2011

On the election trail...

The rosettes are finally being worn! Bought four years ago in anticipation of my first election campaign, Elaine and I are wearing our rosettes and taking every opportunity to remind parishioners that there is an election for Connétable.
St Saviour held the first Hustings for Connétable on Thursday, 22 October, and we were delighted to see a good turn out to listen to Sadie Rennard and I answer parishioners' questions. The Parish Hall was virtually full and there was an enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere... after all, we all want the same thing: the best for our Parish.
I am already out and about in the Parish, as I so often am, meeting people, listening to your views and sharing mine.
There are some notable events coming up ... deliveries have begun of La Cloche, our parish magazine, and that contains a feature on all the St Saviour candidates for election, as well as lots of parish news.
On Friday, 7 October, between 9 and 10 am, Sadie and I will be taking part in a radio phone-in programme on BBC Radio Jersey and you will be receiving a copy of my manifesto in the next week or so.
I am trying to visit as many people as I can but, with more than 8,000 on the Electoral Roll, I am not going to get to everybody so do try and come along to my candidate's surgery on Wednesday, 12 October between 6 and 8 pm at Le Quesne's Garden Centre. There is plenty of parking outside and I will be happy to discuss any issues you may have.

Monday, 8 December 2008

St Saviour on Parade

It was with great pride, and a good deal of hopping up and down and waving, that Elaine and I saw the two St Saviour's floats lead the Christmas Parade along the Esplanade with Roger Quenault making a particularly magnificent bearded gnome on his equally magnificent tractor...but whether our float was chosen because of the magnificence of Roger or his tractor, we'll never know! We were amazed by the transformation of the Battle of Flowers' Junior float Punch and Judy beach scene into Santa's Grotto, with Santa himself throwing sweets to the children and a host of attendant elves, including Ann Quenault.
It was then that, with some awe, we watched the Parish float, Curtain Call, worthy winner of the Prix d'Excellence, reach new heights in its presentation after many hours of hard work by the St Saviour's Battle of Flowers committee and members. We were so proud of our parish and the community spirit that went into this really amazing spectacle. The lights and the dark skies suited the theme and it really did seem to "float" as it passed by as if carried on a pool of green light. Our dancers and lady attendants gave a wonderful performance while handing out sweeties to the youngsters...and a few oldsters like us as well.

Miss St Saviour looked stunning in her place of honour on the float.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The autumn leaves of red and gold

About a dozen parishioners and friends joined St Saviour in Bloom floral co-ordinator Graham Langlois for our Winter Woodland Workout on Saturday 15th November. I have to say that I was not the most industrious of the keen eco-warriers, with their gloves, spades and forks, who set to work on clearing the brambles and getting the woodland at Jardin des Buttes, just opposite the Parish Hall, ready for the hundreds of snowdrops and bluebells etc. we have started to plant. Planned as an opportunity to work out before the Christmas season gets to work on waistlines... about nine of us did do some damage to those same waistlines by tucking into Elaine's hearty winter soup with French bread and scoffing a cake or two in the Parish Hall afterwards. We are planning to have some regular meetings of the Jardiniers in the Jardin des Buttes over the next few months, so do let me have your email address if you would like to join our brambling band.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Ninety years of remembrance

Remembrance Sunday dawned mercifully dry although cold and blustery. After a moving service and thoughtful sermon in the Parish Church, the Rector, Reverend Doctor Anthony Swindell, led the Service of Remembrance at the Memorial Cross outside the Parish Hall. I laid a wreath on behalf of the Parish and it was joined by one from the Women’s Institute and the 3rd Jersey (St Saviour) Scout Group, whose young Beavers came forward to plant their own carefully made red poppies in the Garden of Remembrance. In the quiet of a busy road with traffic brought to a standstill by our Honorary Police, we were able to observed the two minutes silence amid the rustle of autumn leaves. We had a good number of people attending the short service and the young Beavers behaved admirably. Afterwards, we went up to the Parish Hall for refreshments and a chance to get together and chat. My thanks go to everyone who helped to make this 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, a quiet but touching tribute to our countrymen and women who have fought and are still fighting to make the world a better and more peaceful place.
"We shall remember them".

A moment of peaceful reflection

The annual Poppy Appeal was launched on Sunday, 26th October at the Cenotaph in the Parade and we, in St Saviour, played our part. After a quiet and thoughtful service in the Parish Church, the congregation were invited to proceed to the graves of the four parishioners known to have died in action. Two solemn youngsters from the 3rd Jersey (St Saviour) Scout Group placed one of the distinctive small wooden crosses with a poppy firmly fastened to the front at each grave as we joined in a short prayer and spent a few moments noting each individual, where, and at what a young age, he died.
A mother who lost a soldier son in the Second World War said: "To the world he was a soldier, but to me he was the world." My generation has been very lucky in not being called to serve our country in this way and, even more importantly, we have not had to watch our sons go off to war, although it is a sad fact that British service personnel have died in action in every year from 1900, except in Aden in 1968, and each one had someone at home to receive the sad news.

Since our little ceremony in the churchyard, Elaine has discovered a grave which commemorates the loss of a young soldier posted as "missing" at Oppy, in Northern France, in 1917, whose body was never found. We will include his memorial next year.

The best time to plant a tree is now

There is an old proverb, supposedly Chinese, that says: "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago". It was, and I have this on good authority from James Godfrey, CEO of the RJA&HS, actually in 1924 that the 12 Parish Connétables planted 12 poplar saplings at Springfield, the year in which Springfield Hall was opened... and four or five of the trees are still there. On Sunday, 12th October this year, the 12 Connétables were invited to record the 175th anniversary of the society by each planting a tree at the RJA&HS headquarters and showground. This time native species were chosen: mine was a sturdy young chestnut and I shall watch its development with interest. It is a great privilege to plant a tree, whether in our own garden or for an official occasion to mark a special moment for, as the old saying makes it clear, we may not be around when it reaches the beauty of its maturity. However, I willingly planted my tree and take heart from the end of the proverb which continues: “...and the second best time is now”.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

An eco-friendly day in St Saviour

Building on the success of the last two years’ CRS Awards Ceremonies and Farm Walks, an event dedicated to the Countryside Renewal Scheme and Jersey ’s Countryside took place at Grainville School and St Saviour’s Parish Hall on Saturday 27 September between noon and 4 pm. It was very enlightening to attend the awards ceremony in the morning and see just how much progress has been made over the last year. It was the first time that CRS have held their annual event in a school rather than on a farm and there were eco-friendly stalls, Genuine Jersey, environmental displays, refreshments and events in the grounds of Grainville School and St Saviour’s Parish Hall.
After the events at Granville School, around 40 people met Blue Badge guides Sue Hardy and Peter Double for an educational, historical and wildlife stroll through the school grounds, via the wildlife pond project, Swan Farm, Rectory Lane, St Saviour’s churchyard and not forgetting our own St Saviour in Bloom wildlife project in Jardin des Buttes.
We were so lucky with the weather, which was like a summer’s day, and also with the willing helpers from several parish associations and societies, who threw open the Parish Hall and gave everyone a chance to find out what was happening in St Saviour while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious WI homemade cake. My thanks go to everyone who made this such a successful occasion.

Pictures by Chris Carter

Constabulary duty continues to be done

As I entered the Parish Hall on the evening of Wednesday, 17th September, it seemed quite astonishing that a year had passed since I stood first successfully for election as Constable of St Saviour and a lot has happened during the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year in office and was delighted to be asked to stand again. We started planning the campaign, making posters and designing leaflets and so there was a slight tinge of disappointment when no one stood against me, although I have to say that I am quietly pleased that the parishioners of St Saviour seem to be happy with what I am doing. It is a great honour to lead our parish, and I am always willing to listen to your point of view.

A time for song and reflection at Eden

Eden Methodist Church celebrated its 175th anniversary on the weekend of the 13th and 14th September on the theme of ‘All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above’ and the many gifts found in the skills and talents of the congregation. The foundation stone for the church was laid in May 1833 and the inaugural service held on 15 September in the same year. The church was filled with light and colour and displays of art, photography, handiwork, poetry, harvest gifts and a even a dolls’ house collection. Some of the young people had taken on the study of the role of Christianity in a modern world and how science and faith work together. Elaine and I joined a happy throng of people for tea on the Saturday afternoon and and opportunity to browse among the displays and then returned on Sunday for the Harvest Festival, a time of quieter reflection and a chance to enjoy the ladies' choir in full song.We do thank everyone for the warmth of their welcome.

Let's keep that bell ringing

I am delighted that our newsletter, La Cloche: Esprit de St Sauveur, has been published and very warmly received. It was posted out to 5,000 parish homes, including mine, during the week beginning Tuesday, 9th September, and I know that a lot of hard work has gone into its production and I thank everyone who took part. If anyone didn’t get a copy and would like to go on our mailing list, please contact me and let me know. The La Cloche editorial team are planning to publish three times a year, in March, June and September, and I am hoping that many parishioners will send in their news and pictures for consideration. The newsletter committee are planning to build up a good sales team to get out and find the essential advertising that all publications need if they are to be self-sufficient, so do let me know your thoughts on this.

In memory of the Battle of Britain

It was a privilege for us to be invited to attend the Battle of Britain Memorial Service at St Luke’s Church on Sunday 7th September. On a fine bright day, we gathered to pay our respects at a service in the church and afterward at the memorial in the Military Cemetery in Howard Davis Park and it was, as ever, moving to see the admiration and respect held by the young cadets for the veterans: the young people only a few years younger than the older men and women were when they went to war all those years ago, and still go, to defend our freedom.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

A night to remember

Here they come...leading the parade!

No one could have been more proud than the St Saviour team, cheering and applauding in the exhibitors' stand as the mighty St Saviour float, "Curtain Call", led the parade of floats on to the arena for the Moonlight Parade.

It was a great thrill and one that we felt privileged to be part of. The evening parade is a time for everyone to enjoy and celebrate their achievements as part of this tremendous community event...and we certainly did!
Photos: Peter Hanning

Friday, 15 August 2008

Congratulations, St Saviour!

First view of our prizewinners:
It was so exciting trying to read the prize cards as the floats came into view...

Parish of St Saviour, "Curtain Call": Prix d'Excellence! Best Costumes! First in Class! Parish of St Saviour Juniors: Prix Decor! First in Class!

What a day! From the early hours of the morning when the final flowers were glued in place, to the tension of manoeuvring the float out of the Depot and on to the road and then the sheer excitement that built up as we awaited the arrival of "Curtain Call" on the arena, the Battle of Flowers was a nail-biting event. It was as we applauded Trinity's fine entry and their award that we realised that they were pointing over their shoulders towards where our float was waiting back along the road...'You've done well,' they seemed to be saying. And we had. But to be the best in our class, to receive the award for the Best Costumes and the Prix d'Excellence, and for our juniors to be awarded First in Class and the Prix Decor is not done without hard work, particularly from designers Jean Roche and Samantha Dean, Terry Gorvel and the St Saviour's Battle of Flowers Committee and also from the many parishioners who joined in and took part. The Battle of Flowers is our biggest community event in the parish and all ages gave countless hours to achieve such a fantastic result.

Photos: Peter Hanning