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

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Curtain up on Curtain Call

I can't believe that it is already a year since Elaine and I went down with all the other volunteers to help get the St Saviour's Battle of Flowers float 'Curtain Call' ready for the arena, but there we were again on Wednesday night, marvelling at the magnificent float that was already appearing from the bare bones. I have been trying to get down most evenings to help where I green thumb nails show that I am learning my trade as a flower decapitator...and watch the float develop day by day. designers Jean Roche and Samantha Dean, Terry Gorvel, every member of the committee, their families and, it seems, half the parish are down at the Parish Depot at all hours. The number of volunteers and their willingness to put in long hours of work is remarkable and, whatever the results on the day, I shall be so proud to be there in the stands cheering on our entry.

Photo: Elaine Hanning

Two days of fun and foam

From the moment the French teams and their supporters began arriving on the Friday evening, laughing, chatting and waving water pistols, it was obvious that the weekend of the Jeux Intervilles on 19th and 20th July was going to be a great success. We were delighted to welcome nine other parishes and their Norman twin towns, but particularly, we welcomed our own twin, Villedieu-Les-Poeles, and the enthusiastic group, including the town's mayor, who were such wonderful supporters of our joint team. A huge amount of work had gone into the organisation of the weekend and, as we are not likely to be hosting it again for another 40-odd years, I wanted it to be done well. It was. And I thank everyone who was involved in this mammoth event, especially the St Saviour's Twinning Association and our sponsor, BNP Paribas for making it possible.
Grainville field was a magnificent setting and much admired, the St Saviour Battle of Flowers Association gave us their support by running their annual fete at the same time, our teams were in the thick of the water and foam and then, just a few hours later, the RJ&HS hall became a spectacular venue for the Saturday night dinner dance before, a few more short hours later, the teams were back on the field to compete with great good humour.
Photos courtesy of Jersey Evening Post

St Saviour keeps up to date

It was with some surprise that I noticed that some 30 cardboard boxes had mysteriously appeared in our garage. As chairman of St Saviour in Bloom, I am sorry to say that I don’t always make it to the meetings, but I do keep in close contact with the committee and like to know about what they are doing in their efforts to enhance our parish. In fact, I see one of the most important results every day when I arrive at the Parish Hall. Every year I think the parish hall looks stunning and I wonder how will they top it, but this year the committee and our staff from the Parish Depot have done it again and I know from the comments I have heard that their hard work is very much appreciated. So, back to the anonymous boxes...they were the result of another St Saviour in Bloom effort, our own calendar of views of St Saviour through the seasons, which is now on sale to help raise funds for the committee’s community work. I was delighted to receive the first calendar out of the box from St Saviour in Bloom co-ordinator Graham Langlois.
Photo: Denise Ferri

Monday, 11 August 2008

Celebrating Le Quatorze

It was a great privilege to be invited to join the Island’s French community in celebrating Bastille Day at the Town Hall where we were able to thank the retiring Honorary French Consul, Robin Pallot, for the willingness with which he has always helped us in the parish, when occasion demanded. We were also able to congratulate the new consul, David Myatt, who has already proved invaluable in his role as managing director of BNP Paribas, sponsors of the forthcoming Jeux Intervilles which St Saviour hosted on the following weekend.

Recognition for woodland scheme

After the excitement of the Parish in Bloom competition, there was another surprise in store just a couple of days later when, on 11th July, the St Saviour in Bloom team were presented with a cheque for £3,500 to go towards improvements in the Jardin des Buttes, the woodland area opposite the parish hall. This is a generous amount of money and I was even more pleased to hear from Mark Cox, operations director at Checkers, that the money had been raised by one of their environmentally-friendly community projects. Checkers and the Jersey Evening Post’s ecycle service set up a scheme to encourage Islanders to reduce their use of plastic carrier bags and to improve the environment at the same time. The scheme followed a special offer for Islanders to obtain jute shopping bags for £1.50 each, or £2.50 for two. For each bag sold, Checkers offered to donate 50p to environmental projects nominated and voted for by the community. The sum of £5,500 was generated by the scheme and four projects were out forward for consideration as possible winners. St Saviour won the main award and St Helier in Bloom took the second award of £2,000.
The money is very welcome and will be used wisely, but even more encouraging was the reasons Mr Cox gave for their choice, he saw them both as involving large numbers in the community, they were sustainable and would have major benefits for the environment – and that’s exactly what we are setting out to achieve with our woodland area.
Photo: Elaine Hanning

Paying the rate for the job

It was a solemn moment to step up as Connétable on to the stage in our magnificent Salle Paroissiale on 10th July for our annual parish assembly to fix the rate. It’s good to see so many of our most community-minded parishioners at this important meeting, but I am always a little surprised that more people don’t attend. For a community to be able to decide how they want to spend their money and vote on the level of tax they should charge themselves has always seemed to me to be the ultimate in democracy. We have the opportunity to make our individual voices heard in the decisions made about parish finances and that has to be a responsibility we take seriously for ourselves, our families and our community.
The Parish Rate has been fixed at 0.85p per quarter, the Island Wide Rate at 0.64p for domestic and 1.16p for non-domestic ratepayers and so the total rate will be 1.49p per quarter for domestic and 2.01p for non-domestic ratepayers.

A blooming good result

There was a real sense of the right decision being made – I was delighted but not surprised – when I heard on 10th July that a gold medal and the award for Best Florally-Decorated Parish Hall had gone to St Saviour, and we had also achieved a silver-gilt medal in the Parish in Bloom competition. Every year I wonder how our dedicated parish team can do better and each year they have surpassed themselves. The award and the many visitors I see stopping to take photographs are a real testament to the effort and hours of work that have gone into making our parish hall look wonderful. Many comments have been made and I have been very pleased to receive many compliments on behalf of our St Saviour in Bloom team, led by co-ordinator Graham Langlois, our own parish workforce down at the Parish Depot and the many parishioners in the community who have taken on projects that have all helped to enhance our parish and involved friends and neighbours working together to make St Saviour a better place.
Photo: Elaine Hanning