How much do Islanders know about Falklands
PAY a visit to the Falkland Islands and you will invariably be told that Falkland Islanders are a well informed lot when it comes to local knowledge and current affairs.
But can we believe our own publicity?
Penguin News put it to the test this week and asked forty residents, including a few visitors, six questions about the Islands.
The results were revealing, occasionally hilarious and best of all proved you're actually quite a bright bunch. Our first question attempted to discover whether residents have been following the changes to the Islands' status over recent years.
Once known as a Colony, the Islands were renamed Dependent Territory and then Overseas Territory in March 1999 as a result of the 'Partnership for Progress and Prosperity - Britain and the Overseas Territories' White Paper.
But did you notice?
Well 57.5% of you did. On the other hand 27.5% thought we were still a Colony, 10% believed us to be a Dependent Territory and 5% thought we were a County. Not a bad result.
Council confusionThe second question generated some interesting answers. We asked you to name four of the eight Falkland Islands Legislative councillors.
You might have named Jan Cheek, Richard Cockwell, Mike Summers, John Birmingham, Stephen Luxton, Roger Edwards, Norma Edwards or Philip Miller.
Fifty percent of you managed four or even more, while 27.5% came up with three correct answers.
The rest of you either didn't have a clue or confidently named the following - The Carpet Man, The Woman From Camp, Roger Spink, Mike Luxton, June Clark ("The woman that develops the photos") Tony Chater ("If he isn't then he should be") Joe King, Arthur Turner, Fred Simpson, Cyril Ellis, Burned Peck and Roger Spink.
Question 3 really tested your grey matter. We asked, "Where is the largest mature forest in the Falkland Islands?" The answer was Hill Cove on West Falklands. Fifty five percent of answers were 'dead on' but a small group of you replied angrily "There's no forest in the Falklands - that's a trick question." Other suggestions included Stanley House, Roy Cove, Fox Bay, The School Forest and Arch Green.
Your best result was in question 4 - Approximately how far is it from Stanley to Mount Pleasant? Seventy two and a half percent of residents got within five miles either side. The answer (according the Royal Falkland Islands Police) is 35 miles. The rest of you suggested anything from four miles to 152 miles.
But who earns the most money in the Falklands - we asked you next - a councillor a fisheries observer or a teacher? Forty five percent of you thought a fisheries observer, 35% a teacher and 20% thought a councillor. Officially the answer is a teacher. With three years experience a teacher would earn £24,845 per annum (according to an advert placed in Penguin News in June of this year). A fisheries observer would earn between £17,462 and £20,136 (plus a sea going allowance of £31 a day). Observers are not at sea all year, so if they worked for six months then their salary would be just below that of a teacher.
According to Councillors' assistant Maria Strange, a councillor would be the poorest (if they were depending only on their Council income). She explained that how much a councillor would earn in a year depends on time spent on council business and travel. Councillors receive a fixed monthly allowance of £270.83/ month.
In addition they are entitled to an allowance of £98/day when on council business (including when overseas and travelling). They are also entitled to claim for 36 portfolio days a year at that rate. Other claims are mileage at 33p per mile and FIGAS flights at £121.30 return. Phone/fax/internet charges may also be claimed for council business.
She said, "Not all councillors claim everything so their annual income varies with a maximum of approximately £15 - £17,000..."
Exploding OfficersAnd finally, bearing in mind the shared love of acronyms by the military and Falkland Islanders, we asked you 'What does EOD stand for?' For the uninitiated the answer is Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and most Islanders are familiar with the excellent work undertaken around the Islands by the Bomb Disposal unit.
But did you know what it meant? Shame on you - only 25% got it right - but the rest of you had a jolly good try. According to one lady EOD stood for 'Exploding Officer Disposal', others suggested 'Environment Obstruction Detector', 'Explosive of Defence', 'Engineer Disposal' and 'Easy Officer Disposal'.
The most common answer was Exploding Ordnance Detachment or Department, and one lady's face lit up with recognition as she recalled, "They're those lawyers, aren't they?" (Courtesy Penguin News).