Jersey Reform Day.
This site is dedicated to the day, now officially recognised annually by the States of Jersey, to mark the anniversary of the events of 28 September 1769.
Jersey's own Independence or Bastille Day.
I am not sure that government has much relevance to Jersey farming.
It's a diminishing economic activity which occupies a very large part of Jersey land and of course government and admin is being reformed under the CEO Charlie Parker's grand plan.
But here are two Ministers in the current Jersey "government" speaking at the farming conference.
Senator Farnham "Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture" appears first;
Next its Deputy John Young - billed on the programme as "Minister for the Environment" but that changes daily it seems in accordance with Charlie's plan so he is more certainly "Minister for Planning" I think;
The video starts a bit confused because John Young spoke from the floor and not the rostrum provided....
See you all again next year - perhaps Charlie will talk then....
This interview and discussion continues with the theme of previous postings and considers, among many things, whether Cyril Le Marquand deserves to be remembered with a public monument...
whether the Report of the Independent Care Inquiry is being adequately implemented...
why it is proving so difficult to reform the "Jersey Way"...
and whether Jersey can afford to preserve a "green countryside" or if the land is too valuable to use for farming...and more.
This is the time of year when Jersey's memorials - mostly to those who died in war - receive a deal of public attention.
But how is it decided which events or individuals should be "remembered" at all in public places?
As I keep posting here, the events of 28 September 1769 - Jersey Reform Day and all that - have no plaque, statue or street name although it is supposedly an "official" date in the Jersey calendar.
The Piratical Bailiff George de Carteret has a statue and pub in St Peter whilst war-time Bailiff Lord Coutanche warrants a small bronze bust that serves as a resting place for pigeons in the Royal Square and he can oversee the Peirson pub, the statue of King George II and the "V" sign in the square..
But what of more recent heroes or people of "significance"?
Cyril Le Marquand "the founder of the Jersey finance sector" is currently remembered with a Soviet style inscription on the States office building opposite the Cenotaph. But this building is planned to be demolished soon. Shall Cyril have a replacement statue erected in his honour? Would he want one?
He was a "political leader" of course and founder of the Progressive Party after the Occupation and was elected with 10 others of that party to the States in 1948.
On the other hand Norman Le Brocq, was also elected to the States and founded a political party of the left in opposition to Cyril's after the Occupation.
Norman has no memorial on land that I know of and once described the "finance sector as a "parasitic activity."
But does he deserve a memorial now?
Jersey cows have their own bronze memorial in St Helier and various other sculptures are scattered about the Island and Geraint Jennings has described the history of some of these in the past.
Most places have their military heroes mounted on horses cast in bronze and Jersey has produced plenty of warriors - but is the whole memorial thing just an historic dinosaur now in the 21st century?
I am not proposing to answer my own questions but attach this interview link with Cyril Le Marquand which is interesting in the context of Jersey politics and government today. Whether it or he or his views are relevant today are matters to be considered elsewhere.
BUSKERS are usually
anonymous but there have in the past been several well known street performers
They have often had
a difficult relationship with the authorities and sometimes the public.
“Tommy” Bagwell the
blind barrel organ player was granted a licence in 1907 by the Constable to
play in the streets of St Helier.
Jersey born “Tommy”
had been blinded whilst working on the quay so his work-mates had subscribed to
provide the instrument and he became a popular sight and sound around the Town.
In fact he became
something of an entertainer and raised funds for charitable events such as the “picnic
for the blind” in 1909.
In 1917 he suffered
serious injuries when a horse bolted in Mulcaster Street and collided with him
and the organ and he spent some time in hospital. He died in 1936 aged 81.
He was not Jersey’s
only blind organ player. There were complaints in 1888 of such a player who “perambulated”
the streets of St. Helier accompanied by a little girl “eliciting alms from
passers-by” and he had no permit.
This was probably
Anthanese Marcourf (?) who was already “an old familiar face” in the “Court of
Corrective Police” in 1884 and was well known in Guernsey too. He was usually
charged with vagrancy and begging in the streets “without visible means of
Typically he was
fined 10 shillings or 2 days in prison.
organ-grinders had been “found begging” in 1879 and had insulted people who
refused to contribute. They duly appeared before the court to be fined the usual
amount but presumably they would have been deported too.
In April 1857 it
was reported that 3 barrel organs were playing such tunes as “Home Sweet Home”
and “Cherry Ripe” to an appreciative crowd outside 21 Hue Street but the nature
of the occasion was not clear.
otherwise 3 barrel organs were offered for sale at auction the same year but
there was a wedding reception in Hilgrove Street in 1862 and a barrel organ was
stationed at the doorway “to crown the day at the home of the happy pair.”
However, it was not
a Jersey person turning the handle but “a grinning Italian who owned the
instrument of torture…”
Cesidio Volante was
another Italian musician who arrived in the 1880s and was not deported although
his career started with the usual difficulties. Thus he appeared before the
Magistrate for playing “in the streets of St. Helier without the necessary
permission” in February 1888.
It must have been a
very fragile way to make a living because the Viscount had been ordered in 1883
to dispose of the property of Antonioni Qazy the “peripatetic organ grinder”
who had died without next of kin and he was also instructed to pay for the
burial. But Cesidio, more
usually known as Joseph, somehow survived and founded a Volante dynasty which thrives
in Jersey. When he died aged 61 at his Castle Street home in 1923 after a long
illness the JEP obituary described him as “the Italian organ grinder, a popular
and well known figure in this town.”
It continued “there
is an old saying that it’s the poor that help the poor” and how he lent the
organ during the Great War “to swell various charities.”
His Italian born widow
Ann re-married and died in 1968.
There were visits
from German bands and other musicians and entertainers trying to make a living throughout
the century so it was inevitable that the authorities would try to exercise
more control. They also saw it as a tax raising opportunity.
By 1899 it was
being proposed that every show man, acrobat, player, accordionist or street
musician or other performer should pay 1 shilling per week for a licence. Thus
a German band consisting of 9 musicians would have to pay 9 shillings. But the
proposal, designed to contribute to the £800 p.a. granted by the States was
viewed as “humiliating, mean and unworthy of a legislative assembly” by
The Constable of St
Helier was reported ;
“It is absurd that
the owner of a performing bear or an organ-grinder must pay to the Bailiff and
every member of a German Band who would play the National anthem in the streets…”
And so the
discussion continues into the 21st century and there is not a
barrel-organ to be seen or heard on the streets of Jersey today….
Following on from yesterday's Scrutiny hearings today it was the turn of
John Young the recycled Environment Minister and
Dominic Jones of JP (Jersey Potteries) Restaurants
to appear before the public Scrutiny Panel hearings.
I have recorded the first 5 minutes only of each hearing as posted below.
John Young says he will be more interesting in 6 months time and hopes to be invited back then.
The Infrastructure Minister Deputy Lewis and his Team appeared before a scrutiny panel today 1 October 2018.
Deputy Raymond was part of the team but did not speak
The hearing was in two parts - firstly to discuss Reducing the use of Plastics in Jersey and in part two a more general discussion of Infrastructure's work in hand and in the near future.
This is just a taste of the proceedings since my recording is limited to a max 5 minutes at the start of the hearings.
Scrutiny are still experimenting with "live streaming" of hearings but this should be available soon.
Podcasts and Transcripts of the full hearings should be available soon too....refer to the Scrutiny Website for information.
The Scrutiny Panel - Infrastructure, Housing and Environment - consists of Constables Mike Jackson, John Le Maistre, Sadie Rennard ( who was absent) and Deputy Morel.
There were just a few members of the public present. Presumably the reduction of the use of plastics and the many other issues raised are of little general interest .
As always, the sound on my recording is not very good and some speakers simply refuse to talk into the mics provided.