Pocklington Mayor’s Falkland Islands trip

editorial image

POCKLINGTON’s town mayor may be more accustomed to rubbing shoulders with other dignitaries in the East Riding, but the latest councillor to hold the chains recently went that extra mile, or 8,000 of them, to meet the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

Councillor Graham Perry, who began his year in office last month, met with Nigel Haywood at his official residence on the islands’ capital, Stanley, where he presented him with a shield bearing the town’s official crest and a letter of support on behalf of the people of Pocklington.

In return, Coun Perry was given a shield with the Falklands’ crest.

It was while Coun Perry had been enjoying a three-month round-the-world cruise with his wife that they were able to visit the cluster of tiny islands off the coast of Argentina. Although in the South Atlantic and east of the southern tip of South America, the Falkland Islands are regarded as self-governing British overseas territory.

It was invaded by Argentina in 1982 who dispute the islands’ sovereignty. However, the invaders surrendered three months later having been driven back by the British forces. The confilct saw over 900 deaths, 255 British.

Coun Perry said of the trip: “I had pre-contacted the Governor to see if it would be possible to call in, and it was all very positive.

“When we landed on the island we were taken to his house where we were shown around and exchanged plaques.

“He made the point that he hopes people visiting the island show that all the sacrifices made during the war were not in vain. The people are highly appreciative of what was done for them.

“It was a wonderful experience to visit the islands, most people in Britain can relate to the Falklands and it seemed a perfect opportunity.

“I don’t think they get that many visitors but they were very receptive to my suggestion to visit.”

Governor Haywood even signed a book that Coun Perry had taken with him, that he had been reading during his cruise, entitled ‘Four weeks in May’, which focuses on the sinking of HMS Coventry, a British warship sunk by the Argentine Airforce during the conflict and with the loss of 19 lives.

Governor Haywood wrote in the inside cover of the book: “I hope you have now seen that the sacrifices recorded in this book were not in vain, and that from its difficulties of 1982 have sprung independent, strong-minded people with a bright future.”