Alors que je me trouvais en mer pour mon retour à Sainte-Hélène, je n’ai malheureusement pas pu être présent à la cérémonie au monument aux morts qu’organise chaque année le Gouvernement de Sainte-Hélène à l’occasion du 11 Novembre.
En accord avec la Gouverneure de Sainte-Hélène, Miss Marcella MITTENS, une élève qui étudie le français au lycée Prince Andrew m’a remplacé pour déposer une gerbe au pied du cénotaphe au nom de la République française. Ce fut l’occasion de souligner l’importance que nous accordons à la jeunesse, à l’enseignement de notre langue, de notre culture et surtout de notre histoire commune.
La France est décidément bien présente dans la société hélénienne… Mieux encore, elle est parfaitement intégrée à la communauté.
Pour ceux qui, a contrario, apprennent l'anglais, voici le résumé de la cérémonie.
REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE 2016
A Divine Service, in honour of those who had lost their lives or had been injured during active duty, was held at the Cenotaph in Jamestown on Sunday 13 November 2016. Her Excellency Governor Lisa Phillips arrived at 10.55am, and the Right Reverend Lord Bishop, Dr Richard Fenwick, invited those in attendance to pray, before observing a two-minute silence, signalled by the Last Post.
Wreaths were laid by HE the Governor, representatives of the President of the French Republic (Miss Marcella Mittens), the Army (Mr Mark Dalton), the Royal Navy (DC Louise Scott), the Royal Air Force (Mr Robert Allen), the Merchant Navy (Miss Maureen Jonas), St Helena Police Service (Special Police Constable, Mr Gary Henry) and St Helena Fire & Sea Rescue Service (Mr Christopher Wade). Members of the public, including several schoolchildren, also laid wreaths.
Prayers were led by Father Fred, Pastor Paul and Lieutenant Coral Yon. During the Service, hymns were sung, including ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’, ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ and ‘Praise My Soul the King of Heaven’. The Act of Commitment was made and acts of peace were then offered. The Service concluded with the National Anthem and Blessing, followed by the traditional March-Past outside the Court House, with music from the Get-togethers Orchestra and the Salvation Army Band.
This year, St Helenians who served on the old RMS St Helena during the 1982 Falklands War were honoured with pride of place at the Remembrance Service, followed by a reception at Plantation House.
Governor Lisa Phillips said:
“Honouring the men and women who volunteered to travel on the RMS to the Falklands War, was one of the things I really wanted to do when I got here. I was sad to hear that when their medal finally arrived 33 years after the war, they had to go and collect it themselves from the Post Office.
“‘Lest We Forget’ is a term that we often use in relation to Remembrance Sunday and I hope I have in some small way made sure this group of people are not forgotten in St Helena’s history.”
As usual, Remembrance Sunday on St Helena was very well observed and attended.
Seven photos are attached to this release, courtesy of Barry Hubbard.
14 November 2016