Swearing in of new Administrator of Ascension

Ascension Administrator sworn in 2014On Tuesday 26 August, Mr Marc Holland was sworn in as Administrator of Ascension Island, having succeeded the outgoing Administrator, Mr Colin Wells, whose term in office had come to an end.

large gathering of invited guests assembled at the Court House in Georgetown for the ceremony which was led by Mr Alan Nicholls, AIG Director of Human Resources. After addressing guests, Mr Nicholls invited the outgoing Administrator to give a speech.

Mr Wells reflected on his term in office during the last three years having arrived in October 2011. When he arrived AIG was going through a period of transition, however, the last few years have seen the organisation’s standing and reputation improve and the island was now enjoying financial stability. Mr Wells paid tribute to the people he had had the pleasure of working with – Island Councillors, Heads of Organisations, AIG staff and in particular he thanked his team at the Administrator’s Office. He also highlighted the events and occasions that he had enjoyed, especially the New Year’s Day Pier Head jump, which saw him pictured on the front page of the Islander in mid-jump!

Mr Wells’ speech was followed by the formal part of the ceremony and Mr Nicholls read out a directive from HE the Governor, Mark Capes, as follows: “I hereby direct you to arrange for Mr Marc Holland, whom I have appointed to succeed Mr Wells, to take the necessary oaths on that day to enable him to assume the role, duties and responsibilities of the position of Administrator of Ascension Island”.

The Oath of Office was administered to Mr Holland by Mrs Jacqui Ellick, JP.

After assuming the office of Administrator, Mr Holland gave a speech. He began by thanking everyone for the warm welcome that he and his family had received since their arrival just over a week ago – a particularly challenging move which came shortly after the birth of their fifth child. Mr Holland paid tribute to the outgoing Administrator and highlighted some of the contributions that Mr Wells had made to Ascension Island, among them the promotion of conservation, the stability of the island’s finances and the work towards safeguarding children.

Mr Holland went on to talk about his family and his background, having worked in the Foreign Office for 12 years with postings to Brussels and Berlin. Before this he worked in education planning in local government and in business as a management consultant. Mr Holland said, “I am also a strong believer in lifelong learning and there will be many new skills for me to pick up in this role”. In his vision for Ascension, Mr Holland spoke about St Helena Airport being on the departure board at Wideawake Airfield, the bicentenary celebration of the garrisoning of Ascension Island and sustainable fishing. “But,” he said “I’m clear about the result I want to achieve – to be a model, well run, small Overseas Territory.”Administrator 3

Mr Holland ended by saying, “I’d like to leave you with three things you could do for me and Ascension. Challenge – if something is not right, speak up. Do come and talk to me and tell me what’s on your mind. I’ll be out and about around the island or come by my office. We should challenge ourselves to deliver our best and become a model Overseas Territory. Community – I’m impressed by the sense of community on Ascension. Let’s all get involved to make the island a better place to live for everyone. Next year’s bicentenary provides a focus. And if you want to make a personal difference to how things are run, we have a vacancy for Councillor. Cherish – we live in a special place. Let’s look after it, together.

Following speeches, guests reconvened at the Saints Club to say farewell to Mr Wells and to congratulate Mr Holland on his appointment.

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