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An "interesting" year for Guernsey

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Wednesday 25 December 2019

An "interesting" year for Guernsey

Wednesday 25 December 2019


Guernsey's Lieutenant-Governor, who plans to enjoy a "quiet family Christmas" today, has spent the busy festive season looking back at some of his 2019 highlights.

Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder and his wife, Lady Corder, have been in post for three-and-a-half years now and have truly settled into island life.

"I think 2019 has been quite a difficult year for a lot of people," His Excellency began. "There's been quite a lot of uncertainty and a fractious context in a bigger sense, so it has been a challenging year for people but there have been some nice elements."

The pair have spent the last year welcoming a number of visitors from across the world, hosting events and meeting different people from the island community.

"One of the things I particularly remember was Liberation Day," Sir Ian continued. "It seemed to be even bigger an even more vibrant than the ones I have experienced so far. There were some organisational shifts and they seem to be quite successful.

Liberation_Day_fireworks.JPG

Pictured: Sir Ian particularly enjoyed 2019's Liberation Day.

"We also went over to Sark for 10 June which is the first time we've been over for their Liberation Day, which was great. It was ice to see a different perspective on liberation."

His Excellency and Lady Corder opened their house up to the public on numerous occasions throughout the year, with plans to continue doing so throughout 2020.

"One of the things Kathryn and I have tried to do since we've been here is expand the use of the house and the gardens, and get more people through for more events," he explained. "I think 2019 was the first time we really managed it, with a 100% success rate in the garden.

"The problem with doing events in the garden is they're susceptible to bad weather, but this year we had a number of picnics for various organisations, we had some big anniversaries and we had the second of our combined charities fetes, where nearly 40 charities were represented."

Sir Ian congratulated the Guernsey athletes who competed in this year's Island Games, saying their achievements "bode well" for 2021, when the Games will return to the island.

Island Games Utmost sponsorship

Pictured: Sir Ian congratulated those who took part in this year's Island Games.

He looked back on a number of "interesting" visitors to the Bailiwick, including the Costa Rican Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Rafael Ortiz Fábrega, who came over in October.

"That [visit] revitalised interest in quite an interesting character from Guernsey's history, William Le Laucher, who I think demonstrated what an international presence Guernsey can be, and he managed that in the middle of the 1800s. Also, some new opportunities came out of that visit in a part of the world that probably isn't that familiar with a lot of us. It was fascinating."

As we move towards the end of the year, the Lieutenant-Governor has been kept on his toes with lots of carol services and other festive events to go to.

"The run up to Christmas is quite busy because the tradition is that, between myself and the Bailiff, we try to visit a lot of the establishments that have to carry on working over Christmas, either because they're providing public services or because they are looking after people.

"We host a carol event which is great fun and we, again, do that for people that perhaps are stuck in institutions over Christmas. The Elizabeth College Choir together with the Le Rondin Singers come and do a selection of songs and carols for us, which is absolutely fantastic. What's really interesting and lovely is the way in which the two groups get together. The boys from Elizabeth College get really stuck into signing with the youngsters and learn all the signing for the songs."

Christmas Day itself is a much quieter affair in the Corder household though.

"This year we have both of our children here, our daughter-in-law and our granddaughter, so Christmas Day is a relatively quiet with family like everyone else's. Doubtless there will be some saga cooking the Christmas lunch, with is generally my responsibility. Then there'll be a lot of dog walking afterwards to work some of it off!"

Pictured top: Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder.

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