Her Majesty The Queen has formally agreed to the extension of the appointment of Guernsey's Bailiff, which has been recognised by the island's Royal Court today.
The Royal Court sat from 10:15 on Tuesday 29 May to register the Letters Patent of Her Majesty to grant the two year extension.
Sir Richard Collas was first appointed Bailiff of Guernsey in March 2012, succeeding Sir Geoffrey Rowland in the role.
Sir Richard had previously served the island as Deputy Bailiff for five years.
The two year extension means Sir Richard will now remain in post as "Guernsey's leading citizen and representative in non-political matters" until 27 May 2020.
On entering the island's Royal Court the Bailiff was surprised by the number of people present for what he considered to be an informal occasion, commenting "Blimey, an audience of thousands!", while an advocate asked if he was nervous.
During the formal registration the Bailiff addressed his Deputy Bailiff and Jurats in Guernsey French before presenting them with documentation to confirm the extension.
Addressing the court in response, the Deputy Bailiff; Richard McMahon said: “I have examined the declaration and I am satisfied by its validity.”
The Letters Patent from Her Majesty the Queen was then read out in full meaning Sir Richard has formally had his role as Bailiff extended for two years by warrant of the Queen.
In closing the Deputy Bailiff said: “Although there is not the pageantry, television cameras and interest today it is arguably no less significant and I would like to say a few words.”
Continuing, Mr McMahon said: “Firstly happy birthday for last Sunday, when your role was due to end, I note now you have a registered contract in office with no break and behalf of everyone here in the Royal Court I am delighted on this extension and even more delighted that Her Majesty the Queen agreed.
“We are fortunate to have someone like you in this position with the energy and enthusiasm to do the job which you deem an honour. Over the last six years you have demonstrated all the skills to be a public servant of the highest calibre. Thank you on behalf of all the judges and jurats and indeed the entire community for being our Bailiff.”
The Bailiff acts as the judicial and civic lead in island life.
The Royal Court website states that the post holder is "a Judge of the Court of Appeal and that Court's President, he also sits in the Royal Court, either as a single Judge or presiding over such sittings with the Jurats. The Bailiff's parliamentary role involves acting as Presiding Officer of the States of Deliberation, serving as a moderator of debate in the assembly, ruling on questions of procedure and maintaining order. As civic head of the community, the Bailiff represents Guernsey in and outside the Island on occasions of a non-political nature and will, on behalf of the people of Guernsey, greet and welcome members of the Royal Family and dignitaries visiting the Island. He has numerous and varied other civic duties."
Those duties include acting as patron for a number of charities and organisations.
Sir Richard has proven to be a popular Bailiff over the previous six years.
He was born and educated in Guernsey before studying at Oxford. He went on to study law and was called to the English Bar in 1982 before being admitted as an Advocate of the Royal Court and the Guernsey Bar in 1983.
Sir Richard joined Collas Day & Rowland, Advocates, until in June 2005 he was appointed Deputy Bailiff of Guernsey, and in March 2012, Bailiff of Guernsey.
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