To re-purpose a frequently used phrase: two months is a long time in a pandemic. When I started preparing the previous edition of CONNECT, social distancing was still in place, people were still being urged to stay at home, and the corona virus was still present in Guernsey. It was only as that issue neared publication that the picture started to change, restrictions relaxed and the sun started to set on Guernsey’s ‘first wave.’
We are in a peculiar position; for over two months now we have been a safe haven, entirely free of a virus that is still rife in larger countries around the world. The health and economic reverberations of the virus cast a shadow over our island, restricting our national and international travel, and shutting down sectors of our economy which rely on free travel.
In global terms, our economy is, at the time of writing, stuck to some extent between a covid-free rock and an international hard place. That is still a better place to be than some, and it has come down to strong, decisive leadership from the Civil Contingencies Authority, which has made a persuasive case for exploring a more executive style of government in the future.
In this edition of CONNECT, we have spoken to similar characters; strong-willed, decisive leaders in their chosen field, people who have made sacrifices to pursue their dreams, or for the benefit of others, ranging from the legal system to athletics.
In the special report, we spoke to Jurat Joanne Wyatt, who broke the mould when she was elected to serve the island back in 2017. The Jurats role is an unpaid, but time-heavy position, potentially until the age of 72. For someone in their mid-40s with a mortgage and children, it is a significant and life-changing commitment. We found out why she was willing to do that and got some real insight into what the job entails.
Changing track, we went down to Footes Lane to speak to Guernsey’s own Cameron Chalmers, a 400m runner who is among the very best on the national stage, and was hoping to make the start-line at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. We found out more about the life of a professional athlete, the way Cameron trains, the places he’s been – and his ultimate aims at a major international level.
Cameron’s progress is something for islanders to watch with interest – something else that ought to have piqued public interest was the recent acquisition of an original Renoir that was painted at Moulin Huet. Art For Guernsey syndicated a group of local collectors to make the purchase – around which an exhibition will be curated at Beau Sejour at the back-end of September. We spoke to AFG Founder David Ummels about making more of Guernsey’s Renoir heritage and some of his exciting ideas for transforming the island’s tourism offer post-covid.
Besides those three interviews, there is something for everyone; this edition features content from professional novelists and artists, the organisers of the Skipton Swimarathon, to market insight from tech firms, law firms and banks to name a few.
Enjoy Guernsey CONNECT!