Over £40,000 raised for Professor Saint Medical Trust supports community
Saturday 24th November 2012, 10:00AM GMT.
SARK’S principal domestic charity, the Professor Saint Medical Trust, is more than £40,000 better off after this year’s fundraising efforts.
The total amount raised was £40,652.79 and, as has become the tradition, the cheque was presented to Sark’s medical officer Dr John Stevenson by this year’s Miss Sark Carnival Princess, Yasmin Williams.
That was done a week ago at the cheque presentation evening, an event at which the ever-innovative Carnival Committee dream up a host of new ideas to prise even more money out of those attending so that there are always sufficient funds to kick-start next year’s activities.
The medical trust was established by Sark benefactor Professor Charles Saint, who died in 1973 after living in the island since 1960, and subsidises the cost of prescribed medication to island residents. In addition to fundraising events throughout the year – notably the mid-summer Sheep Race meeting – the fund is bolstered by individual donations.
This year’s presentation event was just a little different because it coincided with the first episode of the BBC2 series, Island Parish, which was viewed on a couple of large screens at the Island Hall.
The reaction I’ve heard – from home and abroad, so to speak – has been entirely favourable, if the chats in The Avenue and the phone calls and emails I’ve received are anything to go by. While I very much take the point made by the Rev. Gill Nicholls that the programme makers seemed to make a bit of a meal of the reciprocal feet washing with Methodist lay pastor Karen Le Mouton, I feel bound to say that if that’s the major complaint, then Sark can cope with it quite easily.
This evening’s episode is again at 8.30 and chronicles the quite remarkable story of Sarkee Phyllis Baker and German soldier Werner Rang, which began during the Occupation and continues to this day with the couple due to celebrate their blue sapphire wedding (65 years) in 2013.
Chief Pleas sat last week and decided that whoever is appointed as Seneschal to preside over the Seneschal’s Court shall be paid £15,000 a year. I presume that there will soon be a similar debate to decide how much to pay whoever presides over the legislature once the present functions of the Seneschal are split next February.
The General Purposes and Advisory Committee made another statement about electricity prices, a statement which was prompted by a letter to customers from Sark Electricity’s David Gordon-Brown.
The committee has already secured the agreement of Chief Pleas to legislate for a regulator so I can’t see the need for them to respond every single time Sark Electricity says something.
Oh, that they were as swift in responding whenever Sark is subjected to unfair criticism but, sad as it is to report, that doesn’t happen. All we hear then, in the words of Simon and Garfunkel, is ‘The Sound of Silence’ from our elected representatives. It is a very strange order of priorities.
Last week also saw a public meeting to discuss traffic – perhaps a seemingly odd thing to talk about in a place with no cars. I hear that as a result the debate on new legislation, which lumps together the various bits and pieces enacted over very many years, has been delayed until the Easter sitting. Additionally, the Road Traffic Committee appear to have also delayed the implementation of their tractor licence categories for a year. Given the depth of feeling among tractor owners on this particular issue, that’s not a bad move.
There is a lot of sympathy for what the committee is seeking to achieve but enacting legislation to ‘make it easier to complain to the police’ is perhaps not the best way to go about it.
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