News of annual events and holidays on Tristan da Cunha.

Tristan to Participate in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons

The Tristan da Cunha community will proudly participate in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons and Associated Activities on 2nd June 2022.
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Queen's Day 2022

Report from Randal Repetto and photos from Fiona Kilpatrick, Kelly Green and Rachel Green

Queen's Day was held on Friday the 11th March 2022. This is a public holiday where we celebrate the Queen's Birthday. Tristan's Queen's Day is held in February or March to enable a produce show to be held in the late Summer/Early Autumn.

The gong sounded early morning to ensure that everyone knew it was Queen's Day. Although the weather was dull in the morning, everyone was very happy that the weather improved as the day went on. St Mary's School is normally where Queen's Day is held. Morning competitions are held in the school hall and sport events, which are held in the afternoon, take place on the 'American Fence' situated just below the school. At 11am all entries to the competitions had to be submitted and at 12 noon the judging took place.

At about 2pm everyone gathered at St Marys School to take part in or watch the sport activities in the American Fence. After a game of football rounders to end the day off, everyone was invited to Residency by Co-Administrators Fiona Kilpatrick and Steve Townsend. Prizes were given for the competitions as well as raffle prizes for Adults and Children.

Produce Show

Tomatoes and Pot Plants

Tomatoes and Pot Plants

Cakes Dressed Crawfish
Cakes Dressed Crawfish

Fishing Competition

Measuring a Bluefish from the fishing competition

Measuring a Bluefish from the fishing competition


Spectators by the school Spectators
Spectators at the school and American Fence

Children at the sports

Children gathered for the sports

Start of the girls' race End of the girls' race
Start and finish of the girls' race

Potato and spoon race

Above & below: Potato and spoon race

Potato and spoon race Winner of the potato and spoon race

Hoop race

Hoop race

Tug of war

Men's tug of war

Tug of war

Women's tug of war

Prize-giving at the Residency

Reception at the Residency

Co-Administrators Fiona Kilpatrick and Steve Townsend host a reception and prize-giving at the Residency

Toasting the HM The Queen at the Residency Co-Administrator Fiona Kilpatrick giving her speech at the prize-giving
Toasting Her Majesty The Queen Co-Administrator Fiona Kilpatrick
giving her speech at the prize-giving

Old Year's Night 2021

Reports and photos from Fiona Kilpatrick, James Glass, Kelly Green, Randal Repetto and Steve Townsend

For "Old Years Night" (New Year's Eve), it is the tradition on Tristan for the "Okalolies" to dress up and visit the community during the day ... well the ones who will let them in.

At 6:00pm in the evening, everyone was invited to a reception held by the co-Administrators Fiona Kilpatrick and Steve Townsend at the "Residency", followed at 7:30pm by the Chief Islander's reception held at his home. Both gave lovely speeches. Admin, Steve Townsend, talked about Coronavirus situations and the Marine Protection Zone (MPZ), and thanked the island for their help and solidarity for this year. James Glass's speech covered similar ground as well as future challenges, but highlighted the fantastic Marine Protection Zone. The new RSPB biologist, Siobhan Vye, ended with a small speech about the MPZ, which is proving to be an example to the world.

Okalolies out in the Settlement

Savanah Green posing bravely with an Okalalie Seren Green being recruited by Okalolie Cedric Swain
Savanah Green (left) posing bravely with an Okalalie, while her brother Seren (right) is recruited by Cedric Swain

This year, the Okalolies decorated a tractor and trailer, complete with seats, for their tour round the settlement. Below right: they even picked up Felicity Glass, the Chief Islander's wife, for a ride in a comfortable armchair.

Tractor and trailer on the road in the settlement Tractor and trailer with Okalolies being driven up the road past the longboats with Felicity Glass

The Admins' Reception

After their activities around the settlement the Okalolies joined the rest of the community, gathered in the Residency garden. Their "Boss Baby" theme was a nod to the boom in births to islanders in the past year.

Okalolie bride and groom

Above & below: The Okalolies' bride and groom, followed by 'Boss Baby' in shopping trolley (registration TDC 007), arrive at the reception up the garden path, bringing flowers for co-Adminstrator Fiona Kilpatrick.

Okalolies arriving with 'Boss Baby' in shopping trolley

Fiona Kilpatrick loaded with flowers Okalolies queue up for drinks
Fiona Kilpatrick loaded with the flowers given to her by the Okalolies, who then queued up for drinks
Island men gathering in the garden Island women gathering in the garden
Island men and women gathered in the Residency garden

Co-Administrator Steve Townsend's Speech

"Thank you all for coming tonight, and I am pleased to see that the Okalolies have made an appearance again this evening. I would like to thank Bev, Leanne, Kelly, Janine and Anita for their work in preparing the food for this evening.
2021 has been a difficult year. On this island, we have been isolated from the worst of the impacts of COVID, but our families and friends who have been to South Africa and the UK have plenty of stories to tell of face-masks and social distancing. I remember when the Urchin came here earlier in the year to pick up James, Simon and Matthew, and the people on board came ashore. They came to the Residency, and I offered my hand in greeting. The passenger, who had come from the UK, looked at me as if I had grown an extra head – he said that he had not shaken anyone's hand for months, and it had become strange to him.
It looked for a while as if the worst of COVID was over, but then along came Omicron. It seems to be more contagious, but less deadly. But we still do not want it on the island, and will continue to guard against it. Getting the vaccines in June was a major logistical challenge, but also a great success. We are working closely with Public Health England and the FCDO to get booster shots here, hopefully in January or February. Being double vaccinated and boosted seems to be a pretty good defence against even Omicron. The difficulties of keeping it at a steady temperature, and problems in clearing South Africa, continue to make this a difficult task. So we might yet get another fleeting visit from Her Majesty's navy!
On other topics, we now have legislation in place to formally designate and protect our Marine Protected Zone, which once again put Tristan on the map. The Marine Management Plan has been published, and we will be working with the UK's Blue Belt and donors to make the Tristan MPZ an example to the world of what can be done by a small community pulling together.
The Atlantic Guardians project has been started. This is backed by money from Blue Nature Alliance, and we are working with the RSPB. Jess Escobar will be coming back in February to run it from here, but we now have Siobhan Vye, who most of you have met, here for a couple of months.
We now have a hydroponics greenhouse, thanks to Neil's hard work and enthusiasm. This is a pilot project at the moment, but if it is successful he is looking to expand it. That would mean more fresh fruit and vegetables grown on the island. And the new Biosecurity building is also taking shape – in case anyone was wondering, that slab of concrete is not Trevor's new tennis court!
James attended virtually this year's Joint Ministerial Council, and had a separate meeting with the new Minister for the Overseas Territories, Mrs Milling. Many thanks to Chris Carney for representing us in the room when James was not able to do so. Tristan was also represented at the COP26 talks in Glasgow, by Steph Martin our Environmental Policy Officer based in the UK. She ensured that Tristan's voice was kept in the forefront of the Overseas Territories, to the extent of giving a knitted Tristan penguin to Lord Goldsmith! And, of course, Jade Repetto met Prince William and spoke to him about Tristan, so we are very much on the map back in London.
The mice eradication project on Gough took place this year. The whole island was baited with poison, to save the seabirds by killing the rodents which were eating them. The project looked as if it had been a success, but unfortunately a couple of mice have been sighted. The RSPB and its partners are working out what their next steps will be.
The next elections for the Island Council will be in March. The work of the Island Council is essential for the future of Tristan, and I encourage you to consider putting your names forward as Councillors. Fiona and I would like to thank all those who have served on the Council since we have been here, especially James whose advice has, as always, been invaluable. Our thanks also go to Rodney, Ian, Carlene, Kelly, Paul, Warren, to Terrence and Vera, and to Clive, Jason, Dawn and Robin. We would also like to thank Geraldine and Cynthia, who have kept us on the straight and narrow.
As always, this year has seen departures and arrivals. We have lost three dear members of the community, Granny Ellen, Aunt Renee and Uncle Lars, and our thoughts go to their families. We have also welcomed Seren, Summer, Jake and Riley to the island, and we wish them every blessing for their futures.
Finally, you will be pleased to hear, we would like to thank you all for all your friendship and your hard work this year. Please raise your drinks to Tristan, and may 2022 be a peaceful, prosperous and blessed year."
Steve Townsend delivering his speech Chief island James Glass delivers his speech during the reception at his home
Co-Adminstrator Steve Townsend (left) and Chief Islander James Glass (right) delivering their speeches at their Old Year's Night receptions.

Chief Islander James Glass's Speech

"I would like to welcome everyone on this New Year's Eve. This past year as the one before it, have been full of challenges. COVID has restrict us all, from doing what we would have liked too, especially travel. Although, I know you will agree we are all thankful for those new contractors (Christine, Craig, Dr Grunter & Lucy and Siobhan) that we have manage to get to Tristan.
Other projects have also been impacted. I would still like to see the swimming pool covered, a roads project, bringing in contractors to do all the roads and drainage within the village properly. Renewable energy for every household to reduce everyone's electricity bill. Waste management etc. Prices continue to rise and before the new financial year Council have agreed there should be a cost of living increase. How much will depend on what savings are made within Government, because although Council make the decisions, it's the HOD's who can really make a difference, and if they don't perform and reduce wastage, then there's less funds to be shared with the community.
This is the last year of the Old Council, and I would urge younger people especially families with young children to step up and become councilors, as during the next three years there will be some serious decisions to be made. The most important one will be the renewal of the concession agreement, which will go out for open tender during the term of the next council. Whatever the outcome, it will have an impact on all of us, being the Islands biggest revenue earner.
Felicity and myself thank you all for coming, all the helpers and those who contributed and would like to wish you all a very Happy and blessed New Year. And as we head into the New Year, let's all try and be more tolerant towards one another, as I feel Tristan is losing its respectfulness of one another. Enjoy the rest of the evening.
Thank you."

A stunning sunset graces the Chief Islanders's reception

Chief Islander's Reception

After the Admins' reception, the community moved to the garden on the Chief Islander's home for his reception and speech. They were treated to a stunning sunset.

People dispersed afterwards to their own parties until midnight, when they visited the fishing dong behind Prince Philip Hall to ring in the New Year.

Fiona Kilpatrick ringing the New Year In
Above: Red skies over the Chief Islanders's reception
Right: Fiona Kilpatrick ringing the New Year In

2021 Pensioners' Christmas Party

The annual pensioners' Christmas party was hosted in Prince Philip Hall by the co-Administrators on the 8th December 2021.
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School's Christmas Show 2021

St Mary's School presented their Christmas Show to family and friends on Monday 13th December 2021.
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Sheep Shearing Day 2021

The annual Sheep Shearing Day was held on the 3rd December 2021.
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Message for Tristan da Cunha's Anniversary Day

The Administrator reflects on recent developments, on the 205th Anniversary of the British settlement of Tristan da Cunha.
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Ratting Day 2021

Ratting Day is the annual tradition when teams of Tristan da Cunha men compete to rid the Potato Patches of rats.
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Queen's Day 2021

Queen's Day was held this year on 26th February 2021, when various activities celebrated the Queen's birthday.
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