Date: Monday 15th June 2020

 

Marking 80 years since Evacuation

 

The 80th anniversary of the Evacuation of Guernsey is going to be remembered in a number of ways by the island this month, all centring around Saturday 20th June.

It will be marked with written and spoken word, photography, song, art and poetry across a number of platforms.

Gillian Mawson, the author of the book “Guernsey Evacuees”, will be writing a special feature on what life was like during the period, including memories of those who lived through it. Three videos of music and spoken word from the musical A la Perchoine will also be released. These videos are set to period photos and have been made especially to commemorate the 80th anniversary. 

The winning entries from the Guernsey Post Letters Home Campaign will also be published. This involved children writing letters imagining what it would have been like to be evacuated. There will also be interviews from islanders who were children at the time of the occupation.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:  

   

“The 80th anniversary of the Evacuation is an important date. For some it may seem like such a long time ago, but those who lived through the events of the Evacuation and Occupation remember they had a profound and lasting effect on our society. One of my grandfathers was evacuated as a 12 year old schoolboy and returned to Guernsey years later as a man and when he was alive I always enjoyed talking to him about this part of his life. It is important that the strength and courage shown by our island community and the suffering endured are never forgotten and always commemorated. The 80th anniversary is also a special chance to teach today’s children about what their grandparents or great grandparents experienced and our schools will be taking advantage of this opportunity to teach local history.”

Other commemorative activities will include poems reflecting the Evacuation from the “In Living Memory” book, some of which are read by the authors, a video performance of the song “Softly as I Leave you” by the Year 13 students of the Guernsey Music Service, and a range of different special lessons and events taking place at primary schools across the island between 19th and 22nd June. 

 

All of this content will be published on the Liberation Day website and social media channels with the Evacuation article published in the Guernsey Press on June 20th.

Date: Wednesday 20th May 2020


Thousands involved in lockdown Liberation Day

 

Thousands of islanders got involved with the virtual celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of Liberation Day earlier this month, despite plans being quite different from what was originally expected.

The online nature of the events on May 9th even came with the additional benefit of allowing people from all over the world to get involved, and it didn’t stop the island celebrating either, as people watched online and listened on the radio.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said: 

 

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the day’s events and who commemorated and celebrated together in the most unusual circumstances. When we looked to reshape the events only six weeks ago, we could not have imagined how far we would come with the programme and how many people would take part, so I would like to thank all those involved in making the day so special.”

Event Organiser, Nikki Symons, said:

“The feedback we had was overwhelming. The streaming of the events online meant that people who would not normally be in Guernsey for the celebrations were also able to join in and we received messages of support from all over the UK, Russia, Australia, Canada and China. Local people also shared their personal stories of Liberation and shared photos of how they remembered the day for which we are very grateful.”

In November 2019, the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture announced plans to give all primary school children a special edition 75th Anniversary Liberation 50p coin to mark the occasion. The coins, presented in a limited edition pack, were due to be delivered to all primary schools in the lead-up to Liberation Day, but these plans changed due to the closure of the schools as a result of the impact of Covid-19.  

Deputy Fallaize added:

 

“We are pleased to be able to announce that the coins have arrived on island and we are still planning to give out the packs as soon as we are able to do so.”

The coins have been produced in partnership with the States Treasury and Westminster Collection.  1000 of the coins, in their special packs, will be available for purchase at the Guernsey Museum at Candie shop and from the Guernsey Information Centre once both sites are able to reopen to the public.

 

The States Treasury will also be issuing a small quantity of these coins into circulation over the coming weeks. 

Date: Thursday 8th May 2020


Castel Parish Produces Liberation 75 Special Edition

 

Due to the current lockdown, Castle Parish have been unable to print and deliver the latest Castel Matters before Liberation day. However all is not lost as they have produced a special digital online edition for everyone to enjoy. You can view it on it on their website here.

Date: Thursday 30th April 2020


Liberation 75 Together schedule of events confirmed 
 

A schedule of creative and commemorative events, which will all be shown online, has been finalised for Liberation 75 Together.

 

Daily creative activities including cookery and dance tutorials, art projects and historical documentaries will be promoted from 3rd May leading up to 9th May on the Liberation Day Facebook page and website and the States of Guernsey Facebook page.

 

Events in the morning of 9th May will focus on commemoration with the sirens sounding from Victoria Tower at 9am, a Liberation Day message from the Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas, at 9.30am and footage of the traditional wreath laying will be screened at 10.50am. The Liberation Day Church Service, led by the Very Reverend Tim Barker, Dean of Guernsey, will be shown at 11am. All events are being held ‘virtually’ due to current restrictions.

 

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said: 

 

“We have worked together with many amazing people including the Guernsey Music Service who are providing the virtual choir recordings of the hymns and the National Anthem for the Church Service. Local professional violinist, Max Wong, has also contributed to the music with a beautiful violin solo recorded especially to begin the service. It is collaborations of this nature that have made the events we have planned so special under such difficult circumstances.”

 

In honour of Second World War veterans, the special memories of one of the first liberating soldiers to land on Guernsey’s shores have been captured on film. In a very special interview made to mark the 75th Anniversary, Stuart Snow, 96, recalls the joy on islanders’ faces as the troops came ashore. This will be screened at 12.20pm on Liberation Day.

 

His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, will read a special message on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen at 2pm.

 

The afternoon sees a collaboration of events between Liberation Day organisers and Visit Guernsey. TV Historian and Visit Guernsey Ambassador, Dan Snow, will interview His Excellency about Liberation Day and also Major Marco Ciotti, who will look at life in Government House during the German occupation and the challenges that faced the Bailiwick after liberation. There will be a wartime sofa sing-a-long, and a reading from the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book by co-author Annie Barrows to enjoy plus an invitation to islanders to create their own stay at home tea party at 2.30pm with 1940s music from BBC Radio Guernsey.

 

Islanders are encouraged to share their Liberation Day experiences at home by posting their photos on social media using the hashtag #Liberate75Together.

 

All events on 9th May will be shown on the Liberation Day, States of Guernsey and Visit Guernsey Facebook pages and the Liberation Day and Visit Guernsey website. Anyone unable to watch the programme digitally can tune into listen to the broadcast of the morning events on BBC Radio Guernsey.

The Liberation Day organisers would like to thank the following for their help and support:

The Bailiff’s Office, Government House, The Dean of Guernsey, Guernsey Post, Collenette Jones, On Screen Creations, The Guernsey Music Service, Max Wong, The Arts Commission, B Creative, Octopus Restaurant, filmmakers Martin Morgan, Chris Denton and Jane Holmes, Visit Guernsey, The Royal British Legion, BBC Radio Guernsey and The States of Guernsey Communications Team.