Today St Helena added another historical moment to Island’s History and welcomed its 68th and first ever female Governor who stepped ashore on St Helena just after 8 am this morning where she was greeted by the Acting Governor and Councillors at the landing steps.
Ms Phillips along with Alex Cameron from the FCO, who also arrived today, made a slow walk from the landing steps to the customs hall, where she greeted members of the public on her way to the Castle
This afternoon at approximately 2 pm the Inauguration Ceremony took place on the terrace in front of the Supreme Court in Jamestown in the presence of many dignitaries and government officials, uniformed contingents and approximately 800 members of the public.
There were several speeches made during the ceremony along with prayers. In her opening speech Governor Philips thanked everyone for their warm welcome and said she was looking forward to her role as the first female governor of the island, she thanked everyone including the crew of the RMS St Helena and the remarkable people of Tristan da Cunha for their fantastic welcome. Governor Phillips said she intends to commit her time as governor by supporting not only St Helena but also Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
Governor Philips said she was tremendously excited about the airport and that she was fully aware of the history of the airport from working within DIFD and that she never thought that she would be the first governor to fly in and out of St Helena. Prior to coming to St Helena she said that she was curious about the island and had carried out a lot of research on what marks on the island previous Governors had left. She said she wanted to think about her legacy and how she would like to be remembered; mentioning she was not in a hurry to leave but her aspirations fell into four areas which are to continue the good standard of governance that all three islands currently enjoy; to deliver a well functioning and efficient civil service with firm legal practices, transparency and accountability; to enable an environment for investment in the island and to deliver safety and security for everyone. Her personal effort would be to bring government closer to the people and wants the relationship between these to be a modern one where there are shared joint responsibilities.
She also emphasised that she wanted Saints to take up jobs that were now held by expatriates and to focus on the elderly and the youth of St Helena, she also mentioned that she would be visiting New Horizon’s and SHAPE along with a visit that has been planned for next Wednesday at the Princess Royal Community Care Complex. The Ceremony concluded with a March pass by the various contingents; Governor Philips was then escorted into the Castle to meet officials and members of the public who wanted to greet her.