Headlines: Port Troop veterans return; Flight delay leaves less time for lobbying; Berkeley Sound update; Public holiday; Inside PN this week.
Port Troop veterans returnMANY British military units have served in the Falklands since 1982, but none have had such a continuous presence as the 17th Port and Maritime Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps, known universally as the Port Troop. As part of their commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Conflict, the past year has seen the regiment involved in a number of fund-raising activities, resulting in a cheque for £1,000 to be presented to the Falkland Islands Branch of the South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA). These Falklands-focused activities culminated on Thursday, June 5 with the arrival at Mount Pleasant of a party of nine officers from the regiment, including four veterans of 1982: Lt Col Paul Ash, Major Steve Shea, Major Wayne Morris and Major Gary Stocks. On what they described as a battlefield tour, the group were commanded, by Major Rob Askew and accompanied by Captain Owen McCormack, currently OC 460 Port Troop at Mare Harbour. Having visited San Carlos, Ajax Bay, Goose Green, Mount Longdon and Fitzroy on Monday the group came to Stanley to present a cheque to Gary Clement, Chairman of the local branch of SAMA and to take tea with Mrs Helen Huckle at Government House. The group also gathered at 'B'Slip' on Ross Road East to pay their respects again to the late Harold Rowlands, described by Major Wayne Morris as, "A fantastic friend to the regiment". Major Morris, on his sixth visit to the Falklands since 1982, when he was a corporal, said he did not know why 'B' Slip, the principal landing point for military supplies, had been located just in front of Harold Rowlands' house, but he noticed early on that, "...people would just keep disappearing, to later be found in Harold's kitchen receiving a warming drink and more." The then Government Financial Secretary's attention to their welfare was particularly appreciated by those members of the Port Troop who were living in tents. "They got everything they needed off Harry," said Major Morris. Cont. on page 3Flight delay leaves less time for lobbying SCHEDULED to depart the Falklands on Saturday last, but delayed due to bad weather in Chile, the flight bearing the Falkland Islands delegation on the first stage of their journey to the United Nations General Assembly's Special Committee on Decolonisation on June 12, finally left the Islands on Monday. While this delay did not prevent Councillors Janet Robertson and Richard Stevens from getting to New York on time, it did bite into their time for the lobbying of delegates from other countries, which veteran delegate Richard Stevens told Penguin News, was probably the most important part of the Falklands delegation's attendance. Leading off for the Falklands, Cllr Stevens' speech dwelled mainly on the advances made in every aspect of Falkland Islands life over recent years. He painted a picture of a vibrant and rapidly developing country, which was in partnership with the United Kingdom, rather than in servitude to it. He said: "We have a strong identity which runs through all that live in the Falklands. We want better relations with Argentina, however we are not prepared to stagnate and wait for others to decide our fate." It fell to Councillor Robertson to challenge both the historical basis for the Argentine sovereignty claim and the UN's Resolution 3160, much quoted by Argentina, which states that the resolution of sovereignty disputes takes precedence over colonial disputes. Arguing that colonial status no longer applied to the Falklands because, "The administering power does take due account of the political aspirations of the people and assists towards progressive development," Cllr Robertson asked the assembly: "Which approach, in the honest view of the world, is more colonial: the granting of self-determination to the peoples of a territory, or the removal of it through annexation and alien domination?" Speaking briefly to Penguin NewsCllr Robertson said the meeting had gone as well as could have been expected, with particular support for Falklands self determination from Sierra Leone and Grenada. Berkeley Sound updateTHE Fisheries Department reports that oil is still leaking at a slow rate from the sunken trawler, Ocean 8. Director of Fisheries, John Barton, said that the oil is breaking up and dispersing over a distance of 500m or so, in moderate wind conditions. South Atlantic Marine Services (SAMS) have been working to plug the leaks, with the majority now being sealed, he added. Roger Spink, General Manager of the Falkland Islands Company Ltd (FIC), as agents for the Ocean8, confirmed that Mr Park, representing the vessel's insurers, is in Stanley this week. Mr Park has visited the site and is engaged in on-going discussions with the government and others, said Mr Spink. The Korean jigger, Dong Bang, reported to be on fire last week some 200 miles north of the Falklands is now said by the Fisheries Department to have sunk in the north of the FOCZ. Public holidayMONDAY June 16, is a Public Holiday, in lieu of June 14, (Liberation Day). Government Departments, other than those providing essential services, will be closed. Inside PN this week Page 2 -Councillor Mike Summers addresses the Government's annual reception in London. Page7 - Your letters Page 8- Falklands Conservation care for oiled birds.