Jax Robin is celebrating 60 years in this wonderful world today, all of them spent living on our beautiful island of Guernsey, so she's given us a somewhat light-hearted look at what changes she would make to Guernsey.
Now retired from working within the Adult Disability Service and for Education, Jax said she loves spending time "swimming, walking, reading, crafting, cooking, gardening and encouraging everyone to keep our town, beautiful, vibrant and prosperous along with making it more accessible."
As a Douzenier for St Peter Port, she does that through her work for the parish including as Chair of Floral Committee and on the town Profile committee.
Previously Jax worked on the Townie magazine and the Amenities Committee, but she is now mainly known for her work as ‘Mrs Christmas’ through her role as Charity chair and trustee of the St Peter Port Christmas Lights. She also finds time to volunteer in the Red Cross Shop one morning a week.
Jax has been married to Keith for 34 years, and is the proud mother of two very grown up sons, and a very proud grandmother (known as ‘Gaga’- you've got to bless those dear boys!) of two grandsons - one is a teenager and the other is 10.
As she celebrates her special birthday today, we asked Jax what five things she would change about Guernsey, and she said some are more light hearted ideas than others!
1. Create A Law Giving Everyone A Day Off On Their Birthday.
Not having to go to school on any of my birthday’s as they always were on the weekend or during school half term holidays (although this year, I would have had to, as they’ve moved the usual half term dates). Before I retired I used to always try and not work on my birthday. I managed this more often than not, so as it is my 60thbirthday today and luckily for me I’m retired, so not working, I would get a law passed making everyone’s birthday each year a ‘Day Off’.
Why? Because I hear so many people say, “why celebrate another year older?”, “it’s just another day” or “I don’t celebrate birthdays anymore”. I think we should all celebrate being here, even if another year older and should have the day off to do so.
Pictured: Birthdays could come with a day off work under Jax's wishlist.
2. Ban People Saying ‘It’s Too Early To Start Thinking About Christmas – Until December!’
It’s just as well I like Christmas, because as Chair and Trustee of The St Peter Port Christmas Lights Charity, myself and the team (mainly family) have to think about Christmas all year round so as to ensure that the Charity has enough funds before the annual festive display can even be erected each year, do routine maintenance and replace broken lights. With insurance and storage costs, we need in the region of £35,000 each year. Therefore we have to plan the fundraising throughout the whole year and this means we never stop thinking about Christmas!
We are not the only people who have to think about Christmas earlier or more than others,. Manufacturers (especially of festive lighting), retailers, hospitality providers, schools for Nativity practice to name a few, have to too
I think it would be fun to have a multimedia Christmas Day here in Guernsey in the middle of summer. Use the day to raise enough money for the lights and then some of us could forget about it the rest of the year or at least until December.
Pictured: Even Father Christmas starts thinking about the festive season while enjoying the summer sun!
3. Set Up Teams Of Non-Political Islanders To Carry Out Appraisals Of Our Deputies
When would be Deputies canvass the Parish they are standing in (I know the next election is supposed to be IWV, however it’s 18 months away and who knows!) looking for votes, they give you their manifesto and tell you want they want to do for our Island, which is usually what you want to hear, BUT when they get elected, they seem to side tracked or forget all this and a good few do not do or fight for the things they’d said.
I would set up teams of non-political people from all walks of life and from all over the Island to carry out at a minimum, annual appraisals but preferably twice yearly of our deputies to make them more answerable for their actions and to those who have elected them.
Pictured: Deputies would face appraisals under Jax's plans.
4. Get Everyone To Decorate Their Kitchen Caddies or Ask Me To Do It For Them.
This might sound a very ‘silly ‘ idea, but those black kitchen food caddies that were supplied to sit on our worktops are not the most aesthetic looking objects, now be honest, are they?
Whilst I am in full favour of all recycling and have been doing as much as has been possible for years, taking my grandsons weekly (which I might add, they loved and thought was good fun) to do the recycling in order for them to grow up understanding the importance of taking care not only of the planet but of Guernsey in particular with its wonderful wildlife and beautiful scenery. I am not a fan of my kitchen caddie!
I decided that if it is to have pride of place in my kitchen for the rest of its and my natural, it needed to look worthy of its status. Although I admit given time I could and will make it look even better, as a temporary fix, it looks more attractive with its butterfly stickers.
If anyone else fancies giving theirs a facelift, please let me know and for a £5 donation to the St Peter Port Christmas Lights Charity, I’ll happily decorate it for you (never miss an opportunity).
Pictured: Jax decorated her own food caddy and will do others too!
5. Make Town More User Friendly
I am very passionate about keeping our town, vibrant, attractive and a good place to visit hence my wish to be a Douzenier and the committees I have requested to be on as well as taking on the Christmas Lights fundraising and co-ordination.
With my background of Adult Disability, making the centre of St Peter Port, ‘our town’ as user friendly as possible is one of my top priorities.
There are many issues with our town, too many to mention now that need addressing and many types of disabilities that need support when people are shopping all over the island not just in town. Businesses such as the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society have introduced the ‘quiet hour’ which is one initiative. Working with groups like ‘Autism Guernsey’, ‘We All Matter Eh’ and ‘Access For All’ to name a few.
There is a new initiative called Accessible Town that can be viewed @ www.accessibletown.ggwhich are raising awareness and running training workshops for businesses to get their staff up to speed with all that can be done to support numerous types of disability.
With the current Seafront Planning Consultation going on, issues such as parking will hopefully be addressed as well as enhancing town with more seating areas, sculptures and floral displays. I am pleased that the Douzaine are being involved in this and look forward to the future look of our town area.
Pictured: Leaflets are available offering advice on how to make St Peter Port more accessible.
To get involved or to support the fundraising campaign for the St Peter Port Christmas lights you can follow the charity on Twitter @STPPXmasLights or on Facebook at St Peter Port Christmas Lights.
You can also follow Jax personally on Twitter @jacquierobin1 or on Facebook.
Pictured: One view of St Peter Port, during the festive season with the lights paid for through fundraising co-ordinated by Jax Robin.
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