Reports of community activities during Christmas and New Year 2012/2013, when everything closed on Tristan for four weeks for the summer holidays.

Event News

2012/13 Summer Holiday News

Tristan Summer Holiday - Christmas and New Year Celebrations 2012/13

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Tristan Christmas Images

Left: From Alison Roux from Italy
Above : Christmas through the eyes of a child
1984 stamps designed by pupils of St Mary's School

St Mary's School Christmas Show
Pirates of the Curry Bean
held in the school hall on 29th November 2012
Photos from Tina Glass

More pictures on the
School News page


Christmas Mail Arrives Early
Christmas starts early on Tristan da Cunha as the last incoming mail arrived aboard MV Baltic Trader on Friday 30th November. However sea conditions only allowed passengers ashore that day and anxious islanders had to wait until Sunday 2nd December until post was unloaded and delivered to the island Post Office.

Images above and alongside from Dawn Repetto show the Post Office team of Iris Green, Natasha Glass and Lillie Swain sorting the incoming letters and parcels

Once the mail is sorted it is taken to the Prince Philip Hall
to be handed over to islanders.
First the mail gong is sounded to signal the mail is ready for collection.

Right: Natasha Glass sounds the Christmas Mail gong on 2nd December to announce Tristan's unique mail distribution system.

The Post Office Team hand over sorted mail to islanders in the Prince Philip Hall
Islanders leaving with their mail.

Most collectors are ladies as
MV Baltic Trader is being unloaded by the mainly male workforce, even on a Sunday!


Christmas Post leaves


Tristan's last post before Christmas left aboard MV Edinburgh on Saturday 8th December, which hopefully will reach friends and relations across the globe before Christmas Day.

Photos from Dawn Repetto show the post bags ready for transfer to Calshot Harbour on 7th December.

Christmas Break Arrangements
The Tristan community were informed of the following on Friday 14th December

The three week 'holiday' enables Tristan families to pursue their farming activities and entertain in their own homes
and at their Potato Patches 'camping huts' Often excursions are made to The Caves and Stony Beach.

Offices and Departments will close for the Christmas Holiday at 12.00am on Friday 21st December 2012 (Break Up Day) and re-open on Monday 14 th January 2013.

The Island Store will be open until 14 th December, and thereafter closed until 14 th January.

Church Services

St. Mary’s will hold a Carol Service on Sunday 16 th December at 5.00pm, a Midnight Mass and Blessing of the Crib at 11.30pm on Monday 24 th December, and a Morning Service at 8.00am on Tuesday 25 th December.

St Joseph’s will hold a Midnight Mass at 11.30pm on Monday 24 th December and a Morning Service at 9.00am on Tuesday 1 st January.

The Internet Cafe will be open up to 24 th December at 4.00pm, and thereafter closed until 14 th January 2012.

Medical Surgeries will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, (except on Wednesday 26 th December) from 8.00am to 10.00am.

 The Cafe and Pub will be open up to 20th December, and thereafter closed until 14th January 2013.

Old Year’s Night

The Administrator has invited all men and women of 18 years of age or more to the Residency for drinks between 6.00pm and 7.00pm. Thereafter all men of 18 years or more are invited to the residence of the Chief Islander.

Back to Work on Monday 14 th January 2013.

Photographs from Dawn Repetto
and James Glass of the
Annual Sheep Shearing Day
on 15th December

Break-Up Day on Friday 21st December as the Tristan Christmas Party begins
Photos from Dawn Repetto tell the story
A beautiful day dawns...
and the party starts with pensioners
who built the thatched house
gathered in the Post Office
and Tourism Centre
where they are joined by guests...

..and then the party gets in full swing as Simon and Larry lead the singing
Old Year's Night Celebrations

Okalolies like you've never seen before
as Tristan's Old Year's Night Revellers
further develop the unique New Year Tradition

Photos from Sean Burns

Not known for their courtesy to women and children on Old Year's Night, the 2012 Okalolies took a group of women on a trailer ride of the village to the Reception held at The Residency (including Marina Burns).
The Reception used to be all-male, but has included women for several years.
Afterwards a second Reception was held at the home of Chief Islander Ian Lavarello as tradition dictates.

Left: Sean Burns addresses
the largest crowd of Islanders seen at an Old Year's Night Reception

Three wise men:
Ian Lavarello, Trevor Glass and Robin Repetto in normal 'guise'
and enjoying the Reception

Chief Islander Ian Lavarello delivered a new year message at the Old Year's Night Residency Reception which is published in full on the News of Chief Islander's Page which is well worth reading at it highlights many 2012 achievements and sets the tone for 2013.

Administrator Sean Burns opened his speech with a message from the Governor:

‘As 2012 draws to an end we often pause to reflect on some of the key events of the year and it was of course a year in which we celebrated Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee anniversary of 60 years as Monarch.When Tamara and I had the great pleasure of an audience with Her Majesty earlier this month she asked about developments in Tristan da Cunha and wanted to know if we had made plans to visit the island. I was pleased to be able to confirm to Her Majesty that we will visit Tristan da Cunha in November next year, 2013. 
Tamara and I very much look forward to meeting you next year and in the meantime, we wish you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year' 

He then passed on a message from Iris, Martin, Rachel, Duncan, Jackie, Janine, Adrian and Sammy, Karl, Julia and Caitlin who all sent their best wishes to the community from Cape Town.

Sean paid tribute to the Chief Islander and Council who were coming to the end of their term. He stressed that the work they did was voluntary and their work incredibly important and often difficult when hard choices had to be taken. They had been an invaluable source of advice over his last two years as Administrator. He also thanked heads of department and their teams for their work over the year as well as the factory workers (full and part time) and fishermen, all of whom contributed to the well being of the island and community. Sean also thanked Tristan’s UK ‘contingent’ for all of their help and assistance. This included the great work done by UK Rep Chris Bates who had represented Tristan at numerous meetings and forums over the year including the recent Joint Ministerial Council. He went on to praise the work Richard Grundy had done with the website and the Tristan Newsletter as well as the Tristan Association. This was invaluable and was regularly praised by people who had been in contact with the Island. He then thanked the wider Tristan Association led by Michael Swales for all of their support and help. Their recent assistance with the children going to Cape Town was particularly appreciated.

Finally Sean thanked everyone who had contributed to the Old Years Night reception including all those who had donated food, Beverly and her team who had prepared everything and finally Marina who joined him in wishing everyone a thoroughly enjoyable Old Years Night and best wishes for 2013!

Sean's speech is in full on the 2012 Government News Page.

Dawn Repetto's New Year's Day Message helps set the occasion's atmosphere :

Had a great Old Years Night, some rain was predicted but it was just a light shower around midnight
but nothing which spoilt the braaing.

The guys in fancy dress went around quite early I think they started at about 2pm.
Didn't see much has I was hiding in the house like most of the ladies.

The guys had a tractor decorated - they picked up Marina and Dilys and gave them a ride around the village.

Dawn's pictures
of the main group of Okalolies
with their masks
and unmasked
whilst enjoying refreshments
Reception was held at the Admins at 6pm and there was a great turnout, the Chief Islanders reception followed at 7pm and
then the private braais followed afterwards. Dong ringing began at midnight as well as the Church bell, everyone enjoyed themselves and the village is very quiet this morning.
I believe everyone is off camping tomorrow so it will be a quiet village for a while. (Editor's Note: we shall see!)