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Falkland Islands: Weekly Penguin News Update

Friday, January 9th 2009 - 20:00 UTC
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Shirley Adams-Leach having a musical moment on Saunders Is. West Falkland Shirley Adams-Leach having a musical moment on Saunders Is. West Falkland

Headlines: MBE for dedicated music teacher; Kayakers set out to circumnavigate the Islands

MBE for dedicated music teacher"YOU don't ever expect it to happen to you; it's something that happens to other people," was Shirley Adams-Leach's response when asked how it felt to be named as a recipient of the MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the New Year's Honours List. Mrs Adams-Leach's award was for her service to musical education which spans more than a decade. The talented music teacher first came to the Islands for two years in 1988 when the education system was devoid of a music department and although she was working part-time, undoubtedly played a part in instilling some enthusiasm for the subject. She returned full time in 1999. That there is a definite interest and lots of musical ability in the Falkland Islands is borne out by the GCSE class size in comparison with previous schools she has worked in, said Mrs Adams-Leach. Seeing the children who have learned an instrument, or have a talent for singing, performing in front of an audience at the events organised throughout the year, is a particularly satisfying aspect ofher work, she said. "Seeing the children up on stage, just having the confidence to stand up and have a go is great," she added. The dedicated teacher's work has extended beyond the normal remit with lunchtime and afternoon classes as well as a Theory Clubfor all ages, not to mention private lessons on Saturdays. Two of her students, Samuel Elliott and Marcus Porter are both studying music overseas as a career option and are believed to be the first Islanders to have made such a gutsy move. The last flight bringing post to the Islands before Christmas carried the good news that all 13 members of the school's Theory Club had passed with flying colours the exams they had taken in November. The graded examinations are set by the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music and are internationally recognised qualifications. One student gained a pass with 75%, four achieved Merit and eight earned Distinction. (Full details of students results on the back page). Mrs Adams-Leach said she was thrilled with their achievments and pleased that everyone's hard work and attendance at extra revision sessions had paid off. Headteacher Mr Alastair Baldwin said he was very proud of the students: "Their results are yet further proof of the amazing talent at the school." He said their success is also due to hard work and excellent teaching: "I know that these students in particular and all the school community will join me in congratulating Mrs Adams-Leach on her award of an MBE. Kayakers set out to circumnavigate the Islands SHORTLY after midday on Wednesday, three kayaks could be seen heading out through the Narrows in Stanley Harbour, at the start of what paddlers, Richy Simpson, Tim Carter and Chris Millington hope will be a first successful kayak circumnavigation of the Falkland Islands. The team, collectively known as the Cable and Wireless Falklands Kayak Expedition 2009, were seen off by Alison Thorogood, representing their principal sponsors, who besides offering £1,000 towards their costs, have also equipped them with a satellite phone, so that Penguin News, among others will be able to keep track of their whereabouts. Desire Petroleum have also provided sponsorship. The inspiration for the expedition, which is hoping to raise money for the Help the Heroes Charity and the Stephen Jaffray Memorial fund, came from Chris Millington, a serving member of the British Army, who has previously served in the Falklands. Clearly 2009 is the year for kayak circumnavigations of the Falklands. While the Cable and Wireless Kayak Expedition was setting off to go around the Falklands in an anti-clockwise di rection, two other expeditions were already on the water, but heading in the opposite direction. First off, it is thought in the early hours of Monday morning, was lone kayaker, Marcus Delmuth. German-born, Marcus now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where, after a spell owning a shop selling drums of his own manufacture, he now works as a canoeing instructor. Married, just days before leaving the United States for the Falkland Islands, Marcus has already completed a successful kayak circumnavigation of Ireland and hopes to spend his delayed honeymoon, making his second attempt to paddle around Iceland. The third team, reported on Wednesday evening to be at or around Pleasant Point, are Tom Parrick, 31, and fellow Outward Bound instructor Fiona Whitehead, 32. While in the Falklands, they plan to work with Community School pupils, delivering personal development courses. They also hope to raise money to help some of the youngsters travel to the UK and enrol on a three-week Outward Bound course in the northern summer.

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