News about and from the Tristan da Cunha community both on the island and overseas.

Marion Green's Retirement

Report and Photos from Kelly Green.

Marion Green started working at the Island Store (also known as the canteen) when she was only 16 years old. "It was my one and only job" she told me with a tear rolling down her cheek. She had been working there almost 50 years! Marion celebrated her 65th birthday on the 4th June 2024 but the party was held on the 14th June.

Marion Green

Marion Green

On Friday afternoon, the island store staff put on a wonderful spread of food and refreshments. There was also a beautifully decorated cake to celebrate Marion's retirement. All the staff awaited for Marion to arrive.

It was very emotional. Marion told me that she first started working on the shop floor and then worked her way up to assistant head! She said, "I am really sad to leave, I got along with all my colleagues and we had a great laugh." Marion spent most of her days working on the till, tapping up customers' purchases.

Amanda Swain, the now head of the island store said, "When I first started, I too was only 16. I worked alongside Marion and she was the one that taught me ordering, stock control and invoicing. I am very grateful that I had her as a mentor! We will all be very sad to see her leave but wish her the very best in her retirement."

The afternoon celebrations where thoroughly enjoyed. There was a toast made to Marion, after which she said a few words. Everyone then got stuck into the delicious food prepared by Danny Swain and Glenda Rogers.

Colleagues toasting Marion

Colleagues toasting Marion (L-R) - Front: Marion Green, Anushka Hahn, Rhoda Rogers, Brenda Swain, Margaret Rogers, Francesca Green, Jackie Lavarello, Glenda Rogers; Back: Danny Swain, Debbie Swain & Island store manger Amanda Swain.

Former Island Store manager, Lorraine Repetto, who is currently in Cape Town said, "Over the years Marion has seen the department evolve from tallying customers' shopping on paper, to a calculator, manual till system and then onto an electronic system. I've had the pleasure of working with Marion since 1985 when I was first employed in the Finance Department and then more closely from 2007 when I became the Head of the Island Store. I would like to wish Marion all the best on her retirement and hope she can now spend time fulfilling her hobbies."

Judy Green who ran the island store in the 1980's fondly remembers working with Marion. She too also learned the same skills Amanda did from Marion. Judy, who is already retired, wishes Marion all the best.

The afternoon ending with a slice of cake and goodbye hugs.

Marion's retirement cake Marion cutting the cake
Cake presented by Glenda Rogers & decorated by Amanda Swain

Marion with her colleagues at the island store

Marion with her colleagues at the island store (L-R) - Back: Amanda Swain, Jackie Lavarello, Debbie Swain, Brenda Swain, Anushka Hahn, Francesca Green, Danny Swain
Front: Marion Green, Glenda Rogers, Margaret Rogers, Rhoda Rogers

There's a whole lots of roofing going on

Report from Kelly Green. Photos by Leanne Swain

With the fishing and cruise season all finished islanders have been very busy doing their own essential work. There have been four different homes re-roofed or newly roofed in the past two weeks, even though there were at times strong winds and light showers.

This is hard work and always requires a large group of men and women to help. The men fit the timbers and roof. Meanwhile, the women are busy cooking and preparing tea and coffee for the hungry crowd. Recently, five days have been spent working on top roofs and it's great to see some new houses closer to completion.

Fitting roofing sheets

Fitting roofing sheets on a new home

One islander started work on roofing their newly built home, but unfortunately, as work began it started to rain heavily. However, the men carried on. Each helper went and collected waterproofs and continued until all the beams, rafters and principles were in place. Much to their amusement one guy showed up fully suited, complete with a life jacket! This was a joke played on the young man who's home it was, as he had chosen the day for them to all work.

Fitting windows on a new Tristan home

Roof on; now for the windows

The next day brought forth a beautiful weather. The young islander, who worked the day before, took the opportunity of completing his roof by putting all the zinc on. They didn't take long and by 2:30pm everything was finished. All the helpers were rewarded with a meal cooked by the ladies who were also helping the young family. Afterwards everyone relaxed and enjoyed lots of refreshments.

Roofing with underwear on display

The young family's new home newly roofed (with underwear nailed up above the gable ends!)

As you can see in the above picture, it is an old island tradition to get the undergarments of the women of the house of newly roofed homes and nail them up for all to see. They are mainly brand new pairs that will be never worn due to the stretching and holes from the nails, but its always a good laugh.

All Hands Day to Extend the Graveyard

Report and photos from Kelly Green

Tuesday 7th May 2024 was an all hands day on Tristan da Cunha. Staff in all departments left their day-to-day jobs to come together and work as a community to extended the graveyard.

Extending Tristan's graveyard

Men extending the dry stone boundary wall of Tristan's graveyard

All men and vehicles worked steadily, collecting stone from the 1961 Volcano stone, and extending the cemetery's boundary walls.

A JCB digger transporting lava stones from the 1961 volcano

JCB diggers transporting stones for the wall from the 1961 volcano

Days like these really show Tristan's community spirit and the importance of working together as a team.

Page Updated: Tristan da Cunha Association

The Tristan da Cunha Association is a UK registered charity which exists to support the Tristan community.
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Next Annual Gathering

The date and venue of the 2025 Tristan da Cunha Annual Gathering have not yet been set.
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Tristan da Cunha Annual Gathering 2024

Report on the 2024 Annual Gathering in Southampton, where members socialised, watched a film, and visited stalls. Joe Hollins gave a talk on his vet work in the South Atlantic.
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Christening of Emily Tahlia Swain

Christening of Tristan da Cunha baby Emily Tahlia Swain to Riaan Repetto and Kelly Swain on 11th February 2024.
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Vet Joe Hollins to speak at Annual Gathering

Author of new book 'Vet at the End of the Earth'
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Birth of Jayden Christopher Patrick Swain

Birth of Tristan da Cunha baby Jayden Christopher Patrick Swain to Philip Rogers and Rhyanna Swain on 27 January 2024.
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