Tristan In London

At the start of term, Peter Symonds College welcomed three new boarding students from Tristan da Cunha; the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world. Their epic journey began with them being lifted off the island by crane in a large crate onto a fishing vessel, sailing for six days to Cape Town in South Africa, where after spending a few days in Cape Town, they flew to London and then travelled down to Winchester.

Peter Symonds College will be home for the three students for the next two years and Janice Green, Jade Repetto and Rhyanna Swain, have settled in well. They are each studying three A levels, as well as taking part in a variety of extra-curricular activities.

Earlier in November, the three students, along with College Principal, Stephen Carville, were invited to the British Library in London, to witness the unveiling of Tristan da Cunha’s original settlement agreement drawn up by the girls’ great, great, great grandfather, William Glass. He set up the rules for the people living on Tristan da Cunha, which are still the basis of the Tristan da Cunha society of today.

The council decides how to spend the communal money earned from the crayfish exports and ensures that a member of the family with the lowest income gets the next job to come up. Everybody works for the common good. Everybody helps each other. Everything is shared; there is no private property. The visit celebrated 200 years since the agreement was made and the girls thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


They commented, “Felt very privileged to see the agreement that was made by William Glass with the British Government. Found it all very interesting and an excellent learning experience and would love to visit London and the British Library again. Thought London was very big and very busy!”

While the students were in London, they were filmed by BBC News on the London Eye and at the British Library regarding the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Tristan da Cunha’s settlement agreement. They said of the interview, “Felt nervous about being interviewed for BBC News, but soon relaxed when riding the London Eye. It was a great experience.”

Principal, Stephen Carville said, “I am incredibly proud of Jade, Janice and Rhyanna. They were truly wonderful ambassadors for the College and for Tristan da Cunha. I think they were probably a bit nervous at the thought of being interviewed by the BBC, but didn't show it one bit. It is amazing to think that they have now seen the founding document signed in 1817 by their great, great, great grandfather, William Glass. The values enshrined in this historic document of communal living including: equal shares of stock and stores; equally divided profit; equal shares in paying for purchases; no one superior over another, - these values remain at the heart of the Tristan community to this day.”

Posted on 01/12/17 at 15:17

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