Tourism appointment upheld: director resigns; Reading with a difference; Licence implications for Jih Da Gan; Cruise News
Tourism appointment upheld: director resignsA DIRECTOR of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board (FITB) has resigned over the decision announced last week to appoint an overseas candidate as General Manager. However, at a Board meeting held on Tuesday, the decision taken by the interview panel - FITB directors Mike Rendell, Jennie Forrest and Mark Brunet - to appoint Canadian Terry Gainer was upheld. John Fowler - himself a former General Manager of FITB - tendered his resignation from the Board as he disagreed with the decision to appoint Mr Gainer. Falkland Islander Debbie Summers, Sulivan Shipping Ltd's Development Manager, also applied for the job. In a letter to the Board, Mr Fowler commented, "Given that there was a well qualified local candidate, who has made an outstanding contribution to Falklands tourism and fitted exactly all the requirements of the post, as advertised, I believe and hope that there will be huge difficulties in the way of getting a work permit for the chosen candidate." Mr Fowler said that, in these circumstances, to appoint, "an unknown quantity" from the outside, "with all the risks and expense involved," sends a clear message to young Falkland Islanders that, "...there is little point in aspiring to senior positions within this community." He stated his intention to resign immediately after the decision to appoint Mr Gainer was announced, but was persuaded not to until after the directors' meeting held on Tuesday which, he said, "only served to confirm" this intention. Mr Fowler said that despite urging from the Chair and other directors, the members present of the group charged with the recruitment process refused to explain their reasons behind the appointment in any "meaningful" detail. "Such a refusal strikes me as a clear case of 'the tail wagging the dog' and without adequate explanation I cannot in all conscience be associated with the Board's decision to continue with the appointment of Mr Gainer," Mr Fowler said. Chairman of the Board, Councillor Ian Hansen confirmed that the decision to appoint Mr Gainer (subject to immigration procedure) was upheld but that the vote on the matter was, "not unanimous". He did not wish to make any further comment, "...because I feel it would be unfair on the applicants involved, for me to speculate on their abilities in the media." However, he did add, "as a director of a company that is responsible to its members, I expect to hear much more from members on this issue." Ten company members of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board have written to the directors to request they convene an Extraordinary General Meeting. In the notice to the directors, they outline resolutions they intend to submit for consideration, including a vote of no confidence in the Board. Reading with a differenceBOOKS and reading have been the focus at the Infant and Junior School this week as the school celebrated World Book Day. An Extreme Reading Challenge was set for the children to find strange and unusual places to be photographed reading. Headteacher Nick Barret said there had been a "fabulous" response from the children and their parents and the job of the judges to select the winners was a difficult one. "Children were photographed in washing machines, on roofs, riding cows, in all manner of vehicles and aircraft, astride ironing boards and washers. Some children are on water, others reading underwater, whilst others are in airing cupboards and inside a chest of drawers." On Thursday there was a Literary Fancy Dress day, where most of the school, including teachers, dressed up as characters from a book. Donations for the chance to wear fancy dress were collected in aid of SAMA82. Everyone had the opportunity to show off at a special assembly in the afternoon and Year Six children visited classes to read stories, again highlighting the focus on reading and books. Licence implications for Jih Da GanTHE government is taking steps towards revoking the licence of the Jih Da Gan, the Taiwanese-flagged jigger from which twelve men jumped when it was in Stanley Harbour last month. Two of the men remain missing and are feared dead. As reported in Penguin Newslast week, the police investigation into the incident, including interviews with the ten surviving crew members, was completed on Thursday, March 1. As a result, another crew member was arrested. The police reported the following day that, after careful consideration, the prosecuting authorities had decided not to charge the arrested crew member with any criminal offences as, "...there was insufficient evidence of any offences having occurred within Falkland Islands jurisdiction." The man was released from police bail and no further action was taken. The government licence and logbooks were retrieved from the ship prior to its departure for the high seas. Councillor Richard Cockwell confirmed that notice of revocation had been issued upon the company, "...which means their licence is being revoked but they have a chance to respond before it is officially revoked." He hoped this would help others to realize, "...we do not condone human rights abuses on fishing vessels in our waters." Inspector Len McGill of the Royal Falkland Islands Police said the searches of the harbor continue to be carried out in an attempt to recover the two missing bodies. He added, "Now that the decision has been made not to bring any prosecutions, the file will be completed and prepared so that it can be sent through Interpol to the country where the vessel is registered for the authorities there to do as they see fit." More on page 3.Cruise News GOLDEN Princess and Rotterdamwill visit Stanley on Monday, respectively bringing approximately 3,100 and 1,316 passengers. Hanseatic (200 passengers) will call at New Island and Carcass Island on Monday then on Tuesday she will be joined by Polar Star (100) in Stanley. Carcass Island and West Point will be visited by Polar Staron Wednesday.