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Commemoration of the Battle of Jersey 2017. - 08/01/2017

Walking through town on a damp dreech January, I bumped into head librarian Ed Jewel and as he had never seen it before I suggested we watch the Jersey Militia re-enact the death of Major Pierson at the Battle of Jersey.

Against the muted tones of the Royal Square and below a slate sky of thin mizzle, a big punch of colour, the Jersey Militia shouldered their arms.

A new face was in their ranks. A little drummer girl.

Frank Falle described the battle. A prayer was said. A tableau of John Singleton Copley's painting "The Death of Major Pierson" was reconstructed by willing volunteers and Mrs Crowcroft's artistic eye. Due to the need for flowing locks a woman took the role of the Major.

But it was the little drummer girl who caught the eye and stole the day. 

After a couple of rounds of flintlock volley fire, the troop marched out below the baleful stare of Major Pierson to the sound of the Island's Pipe band.















































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Paper Dialogues - "Hic Sunt Dracones" - Here be Dragons - 15/10/2016

Last night the Town Hall hosted a very special event. The opening of "Paper Dialogues".






Two critically acclaimed artists Professor Xiaoguang Quio and Karen Bit Kejle have created large beautiful works of art cut with small scissors from paper.


The exhibition itself has transformed the Town Hall into a unique experience where the viewer is moved from each exhibit with a sequence of lighting and a special composed soundscape.


Paper Dialogues heralds a new era of cultural events that combine artistry and diplomacy in way unseen in Jersey before.



Many thanks should go to Jacquie Rutter, Art teacher at Hautlieu, who first discovered the art work and became passionate about bringing it to Jersey and Tom Dingle who heads up the Jersey Arts Trust. Between them they made it happen.

Senator Ozouf who attended the opening was moved to send the following email.
 
Dear Murray and Simon

Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world. In many Asian cultures, dragons are revered as representative of the primal forces of nature, religion and the universe. Associated with wisdom it is often said Dragons are wiser than human and see significantly greater longevity. Dragons around the world are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power.

Last night's transformation of the Town Hall was everything a Dragon is meant to represent. The fusing of Chinese and Norwegian Paper Cutting was itself a fantastic achievement and the result breathtaking. Never before has Jersey let alone the Town Hall seen such an exhibition. More than that the outreach to Schools and the 'Legacy' projects are inspired. But more the fact that this exhibition is securing international acclaim this represents a further welcome boost to Jersey's status as a place of artistic, innovative and economic success.

No-one who visits the Town Hall over the next few weeks will fail to be moved by such brilliant artistic endeavour that those us presence were  delighted to see.

This work helps secure Jersey as a jurisdiction wiling and capable of launching globally significant Art.  It is no exaggeration that this jettisons Jersey as an artistic place in the world, which rivals the best. That can only be good for our image and especially Tourism and visiting Business economy.

Murray (Deputy Norton) you explained how this was made possible by a triumvirate of Government, Finance Sector and Philanthropic funding matched by Simon's enthusiasm from the Parish of St Helier Town Hall.

Tom Dingle and the Arts Trust will I'm sure get recognised by Murray.

However, you both deserve enormous credit for your respective roles and for your remarks made.

They were brilliant.

Equally poignant was the message from the Chinese Cultural Attaché which was personally read by a senior Chinese Embassy official and which  underlines the work that External Relations and Sir Philip has been  quietly getting on with the Chinese Embassy.

A huge dragon bouquet to you both and the partners, which include External Relations.

I hope colleagues won't mind me saying that every minister and member should be encouraged to visit the Town Hall as soon as they can: they will not be disappointed.

Philip Ozouf

 
















My photographs won't do it justice you really need to take a little time out and see for yourself.

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Liberation Day 2016 - 09/05/2016

Liberation Day started damply, with limp flags and little wind. But as a breeze picked up spirits lifted and so did the flags. With so much effort on display people were quietly optimistic.













































Then the rain came and with it a power cut. But people resisted with the usual stoicism displayed in these circumstances and the event continued.












































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Prince's Trust meets St Ewolds. - 21/07/2015

Most people are aware of the good work the Prince's Trust does in helping people focus their lives and find the confidence they need to make their mark.

St Ewold's welcomed the Trust and under the watchful eye of Simon , Nathan and Suzanne they helped residents enjoy Bingo and a skillful game of skittles.



No sooner had they marked their cards and shouted "House!" then the Governor Sir John and his wife Lady McColl arrived to share a natter and a cup of tea.








So much effort and so many ways to throw that ball.












Nail biting stuff!







The winning shot.






To the winner the spoils.


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Liberation 2015 - 10/05/2015


Liberation day in Jersey recounted in a few pictures.










































































































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Youth Assembly 2014 - 26/03/2014

Yesterday saw the annual Youth Assembly in action. 

Students from around the island's schools met in the States Chamber to question States members about issues that affect them and to debate between themselves subjects such as the legalisation of marijuana for medical purposes, bullying and the provision of a sixth form college.

It proved a lively session with direct questions and tough supplementaries.

Although trapped in the assembly's pews I managed to snap a few images to record the event. 
























































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The Criterium - Jersey Town Bike Race. - 27/05/2013

Thanks to the Constable Simon Crowcroft the 2013 Town Criterium was successfully run through the streets of St Helier once again.

All ages of cyclists were found pedaling a circuit of town. Guernsey, Jersey, the UK and France sported 14 teams to making this a truly international event.

On the back of Team Britain's claiming a hoard of gold medals in the 2012 Olympics cycling has really been adopted as the peoples sport. This was really evident by the large number of people who gave up a beautiful Sunday to watch lycra clad, well toned athletes hurtle past in a blur of colour.

Once again this just gives a flavour.

















































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The Spirit of the Kites - Waterfront Marina Jersey - 22/05/2013

On a wet and windy Sunday the first Spirit of the Kites was created.

400 kite kits were created by Jason Maindonald and his crew.  
All recycled materials donated by Normans.

Over 200 people children and parents got to share in the joy of making something and seeing it fly. 

People of all ages got creative, shared time and smiles and got connected.

The Waterfront Marina came alive.

It was so much fun that we have decided to do it all over again. Keep watching...






 





















































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Jersey's Liberation Day 2013 - 18/05/2013

On Liberation Day, May the 9th, the great and the good dusted themselves off and poured into Liberation Square to celebrate, remember and re-enact the day British troops, after years of occupation by German forces, set foot back on Jersey soil.

Some quietly shed a tear others shared a wry smile whilst the Baliff reminded everyone of the history of the event and what it meant to be liberated from the dark days of occupation. 

A day of mixed emotions but the good weather and sense of freedom and enjoyment flooded the crowd ensuring that at some point everyone smiled.

Below are some photos that give a small flavour of what happened. (Sitting amongst the Deputies my viewpoint was somewhat hindered. That accounts for some odd shots from behind.)

 




























































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Snow Story II - 13/03/2013


Just when you thought it was all over...
























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St Helier in the snow. - 19/01/2013

Two weeks into January 2013 and snow, bound for the Baltic states, found its way here.

A dry night and a cold morning, with islanders waking to warnings of school closures, delayed flights, abandoned cars and a child's sense of delight.

Snow and loads of it. But a day most kids and some parents won't forget.

Here's a reminder.

















































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Commemoration for the Battle of Jersey and the Re-enactment of the Death of Major Pierson. - 09/01/2013

A dull day. Overcast with a soft mizzle that creates a chill. But in the Royal Square people gather to commemorate the Battle of Jersey and recreate the scene envisaged by the artist Copley's painting. The original is still on show at the Jersey Museum. The colour and noise attract a large crowd away from sale shopping.



The Jersey Pipe Band along with the Badlabecques provide a soundtrack. 












































































 
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Christmas Dinner 2012 - 14/12/2012

Last Sunday we held the second of three Christmas dinners at the St Helier town hall.

Everyone had a great time. A big team of willing volunteers, chef's from the hospital and four town deputies Judy Martin, Richard Rondel, Mike Higgins and Rod Bryans were all there to serve.

The Connetable, the Dean, a visiting Bishop were ably supported by their wives. 

A visiting choir and a much lauded pianist provided some lyrical entertainment.

A big thank you goes to those who sweated in the kitchen, to Father Christmas with his two helpers Miss St Helier and a speedy litle elf.

Thank you also to Waitrose who supplied the raffle prizes.

























































 








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- 10/10/2012

At the point of occupation the German forces evacuated over 650 British citizens, stranded on Jersey, to a rural town in south Germany called Bad Wurzach.

70 years later some of those internees returned to the the Schloss where they were imprisoned. The Baliff Sir Michael Birt and his wife Joan along with Chief Minister Ian Gorst accompanied the group. I was lucky to step in for Constable Simon Crowcroft who was unable to attend.

St Helier twinned with Bad Wurzach ten years ago. this simple act of reconciliation has had a profound effect on both towns.

Anyone that now finds themselves in the town will be royally treated.

Whilst interned many of the internees were befriended by locals and countless acts of kindness were bestowed upon them. Each is eternally grateful for the bonds that were created under such difficult times.

The following photos reflect different aspects of the visit.


Images, found in the newly published book "Reaching Across the Barbed Wire", recounting the story of the internment, the internees, and their subsequent repatriation, were projected on the wall of the Schloss.



















The author recounts the story to the Baliff.











The Chief Minister talks to internees who have returned to give thanks.




The school band plays.





A visit to a rural farm exhibition.
































Ravensburg with it's street market.












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The Town Church is officially opened. - 09/09/2012

There was a gathering of the great and the good at the town Church to celebrate its official opening.

The Bishop of Winchester blessed the church and the congregation. I managed to capture a few snaps as they tumbled out in to the sunlight.

















At the same time we had a Genuine Jersey market in the Royal Square and Rod McLoughlin was showing people around the States buildings as part of "Hidden Treasures" a Heritage event running all week.

 











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St Helier's Best Competition at the Town Hall - 13/07/2012

At the beginning of the Fete De St Helier we had an art competition open to local primary schools. Below are some of the exhibits, the winners and runners up.






































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St John Ambulance Awards 2012 - 08/07/2012

The St John Ambulance of Jersey celebrated today with an awards ceremony. The island's Governor duly presented the awards in Victoria College's Great Hall watched by countless proud parents, Nigel Truscott MBE and Mrs Rumboll.


Here is just a flavour of the ceremony.




















 






























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- 09/06/2012

After the elegant service in the Town church there was a small covey of politicians, constables and dignitaries gathered to watch the Dean bless benches that had been donated as a gesture in this Jubliee year by the Parish of St Helier to the other parishes.

I wandered back and just recorded some of the decorations scattered around. Even the humblest bunting just seemed to lift the spirits.






































 




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- 14/04/2012

The Mayor of Funchal, Dr Miguel Albuquerque arrives in Jersey to sign the twinning agreement with the St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft.


The first Madeiran man arrived in Jersey in 1937 or 1938 and since then Jersey has had very strong connections with the Portuguese community who come here to work.


There is a walkabout with a meet and greet.



























Back to the town hall for speeches, a signing then a welcome lunch.




















The Twinning agreement is finally signed.














Fado.



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Election Night for St Helier Procurers - 16/02/2012

Wednesday 15th February 2012 saw Clive Barton re-elected for his fifth term as Procureur for the Parish, with Peter Pearce, whose long association with the Parish started in 1973, defeating Geraint Jennings and also being elected.


The results were as follows:-


Clive Barton : 342 votes
Peter Pearce : 261 votes
Geraint Jennings : 171 votes


Altogether,  774 votes were received, with only two spoilt papers.


Thanks as usual go to the volunteers and Parish staff who helped with organisation of the election, in particular Daryn Cleworth, Electoral Officer, and Martin Roberts, HR Director.


Clive Barton
Peter Pearce
Geraint Jennings











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Valentines Night Maison De Ville - 16/02/2012


If anything these photo's prove that Valentines night is not just for the young. Here the residents of Maison De Ville have a great time superbly looked after by Sandy and all the staff.





































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The Battle of Jersey Commemoration 2012 - 08/01/2012


Every year a commemoration of the Battle of Jersey takes place in the Royal Square preceded by a guided tour from the point the French invaded, in St Martin, to town.

With the Jersey Militia in attendance there is an a brave attempt to replicate the famous painting by John Singleton Copely "The Death of Major Pierson" with devotees and passersby.

The following snaps capture some of the flavour of that event.






















































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Christmas Dinner - St Helier - 2011 - 26/12/2011



























































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