Cash for a cause – islanders dig into their pockets
Saturday 9th February 2013, 10:00AM GMT.
CONTRARY to what’s frequently said in certain quarters, I don’t usually refer to jumble sales in this column – but rules are there to be broken.
Sark School’s staff, pupils, parents and assorted helpers recently raised £640 in just a few hours by selling stuff others deemed surplus to requirements – a considerable amount of money in a community that is not as affluent as it was.
To put that into context, a similarly supported event in Guernsey where contributions matched Sark’s on a per capita basis would raise tens of thousands of pounds.
I have decided to report this because the money raised is going towards an adventure week in the Isle of Wight at the end of April for which parents of the 16 pupils signed up for the trip have already shelled out £400 per child.
Head teacher Sarah Cottle told me that although the amount raised was a tremendous effort, they still need to find more than £1,500 for the trip and they intend to have a sponsored fundraiser between now and the start of the Easter holidays.
Although times are hard for many in Sark, there’s still a fair amount of cash washing around the place, so if anyone – either from here or indeed elsewhere – does have a bit spare then there are few more worthy causes. I say that because while Sark is an idyllic place for children, it is perhaps more important for them than others raised elsewhere to get away and see how others live.
With a bit of luck this plea on the school’s behalf may raise a nice few quid, and if there’s any left over I’m sure it will be put to good use – next year’s plan to take the whole school to Herm, for example.
I hear that temporary chief secretary Colin Kniveton will be returning to his regular job in the Isle of Man at the end of February – his four-month stint in Sark having come to an end without this place exercising the option to extend it by a couple of months.
No doubt we’ll learn in due course what measures he recommends to make Sark’s government more efficient than it is, although given Chief Pleas’ dismal record for communicating with those who elect its members, I say that more in hope than in confidence.
Other news is that our elected representatives, or some of them, also missed an opportunity to make a stand about outside interference a month or so back.
Apparently it came when some conseillers were unhappy at the Ministry of Justice idea that Sir Norman Browse should be appointed as election observer.
When questioned as to why Sark had effectively rolled over and agreed, one General Purposes and Advisory member said that had they not, Lord McNally would have overridden them and appointed Sir Norman anyway.
Most people in Sark would have loved that to happen because at least Chief Pleas would have made its first stand against interference and bullying and, given the sort of publicity which would have ensued, I doubt the ministry would have pursued its threat.
It would have laid down a welcome marker, for all manner of reasons.
Meanwhile, the appalling state of some island roads continues to worsen by the day. Room for a bit of joined up thinking, I’d have thought.
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