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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 09.03.2013 (Article Archived on 06.04.2013)

Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support the Motion for Adjournment, I would like to touch on a few issues.



Mr Speaker, Honourable members, in rising to support the Motion for Adjournment, I would like to touch on a few issues.


As has already been mentioned by many, last week we held the 43rd British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference here in Stanley, the organisation of which is no mean fete.  I think we owe a huge thank-you to Claudette and Cherie for dealing with the main brunt of this work.  I would also like to associate myself with all the thanks the Honourable Dick Sawle gave in his Motion.  The conference itself could not have had a better moment than when the children performed the song, “Drop in the Ocean,” As this really put everything into prospective and struck a chord with all of those present.  Well done to you all.


Hopefully the theme of the conference gave both visitors and residents alike a better understanding of some of the issues we have to deal with.  At the end of the week the Falklands had many more new friends, all of whom left with a much better appreciation of the Islands having made the visit to see for themselves.


As was mentioned earlier this week during our public meeting, I will not be here for the referendum but never fear, I will still be casting my vote, YES, in the day as I have arranged for my proxy to do this on my behalf.  I could not emphasise enough on the importance of getting your vote cast as the higher the turn-out the better credibility the end result will have.  This is a good opportunity for everyone on the electoral role to have their say.  RAF willing, our daughter is due to travel down for a short break and should be here to cast her vote also. 


It may be worth bearing in mind for those of you who think it is a waste of time and considering not bothering to vote, then bear in mind that this will be seen as a NO vote by our neighbours and will be supporting their aspirations.  Therefore I hope that whilst I am away I will be able to relay a positive message to some of the doubters I have visited in the past and better inform others of the true situation in and surrounding the Falklands.


Recently the Mini Sports were held in Stanley and from what I understand it was a good part-day’s entertainment.  But despite being in the programme there were no gymkhana events, which to me begs the question, why?  There are well over 50 horses on Stanley Common year-round and I would be shocked if none of them or their owners were not up to taking part in these events.  Whilst gymkhana events, in my view, are really entertaining to watch they also require a level of skill and horsemanship which many of you must have.  Let us hope than next time around some horse owners will make the effort and get their horses to the course for the gymkhana events; or are we to see another form of traditional form of entertainment cease?


Yesterday I took the time to visit the demining activities currently being undertaken on Stanley Common.  And it was a pleasure to see the expressions of delight on the faces of those involved when they were telling me how many mines were found that day.  Some of what is being lifted at present is being found under water and that is on land and not in a pond.  There is no doubt in my mind that they are doing an absolutely superb job whilst working in some pretty awful conditions.  And they are having to contend with our unpredictable weather as well.  These men really do deserve our respect and admiration. 


I would also like to add to what has been said about Brigadier Bill Aldridge and if you would please, pass on my personal thanks to him for all he has contributed to the Falklands during his time here.  He has got out and about around the Islands and this has been much appreciated. He has put down a very good benchmark for the successor to follow.  I would therefore like to wish him, Jill and Phoebe all the best for the future and will look forward to when they may visit in the future on holiday. 


I would also like to mention the Director of health, David Jenkins, who has recently resigned.  David started in the Falklands as director for both Health and Education, a post, which in my opinion, was always more than any one person could do properly.  But with the end result of an FIG re-shuffle, this post has now been split into two posts as it was prior to the re-shuffle.  I believe David has made a difference and was working towards better overall conditions in management for the future of the Health Service as a whole.   We like other small overseas territories and states often struggle to provide what larger countries and cities are able to achieve.  Hence, having to send many people overseas but nevertheless still strive to provide a good level of care in-house.  I wish David well for the future hope that his successor will continue to achieve what he has set in motion.


And finally I would like to mention what is considered to be the biggest headache for the department at present – that’s the medical Department – which is the delivery of medical supplies.  I mention this because we have had a letter of complaint abut I actually get a large number of phone calls on the subject.  This is often disrupted without any explanation and is very frustrating and at times worrying to the end user.  It must also make the lives of those working in the dispensary pretty awful.  I suppose I must declare my interest here as being an insulin dependent diabetic I have had first-hand experience of this when the insulin I take has run out.  But I am not alone in this and the saying has been coming from other areas where people have not been able to get what they need.  In my view this is not acceptable in this day and age and should not be happening.  Please be assured that the medical Department are continuing to do everything in their power to iron this wrinkle out but some things are out-with their control.


I support the Motion.



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