Sunday, 3 June 2012

JubiLiberations! Combined celebrations!

The Liberation Monument

One of the few TV programmes I manage to catch here in Stanley is that lovely dry spoof of the preparations for the London Olympics, "2012", and one episode centred round the realisation by senior planning staff that there was something else happening in London this summer - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee!

So the creative types came up with a name for the combined celebrations - "The Jubilympics!"

No shortage of bunting in Stanley, although too chilly for street parties.
 Well, here in the Falklands, we have a similar dilemma.  Not only is the Queen's Jubilee celebrated by the many loyal subjects, but it is, on June 14th, also the 30th anniversary of the Liberation of the Falklands Islands.

As this might be the last "big" anniversary to be celebrated (at least for some time), there is a lot going on, and many war veterans are re-visiting the islands this year.
 So, this weekend, we had a "Queen Night" , and, in two weeks, a Liberation Ball.
"Red, white and blue...What does it mean to you?"
 I thought the theme of the Queen Night charity ball was "Red, White and Blue" and a celebration of the Monarchy.   However, there was a lot of artistic licence allowed in the costume department, and I soon realised that I may have been one of the few men not wearing fish-net tights, a mini-skirt or a vest and dark moustache!
Patriotic thumbnails
There were prizes for the best-dressed Queen (of either sex); the overall best fancy-dress costume; and the best Freddie Mercury (of Queen fame), which many women competed in with convincing moustaches and biceps!
Boudicea and a Freddie Mercury 
Queen Bee - Best Costume award
Mystery Woman
 The Ball was held in the drill hall of the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF), and a large white camouflage net was hung from the ceiling to create a cosy atmosphere.

Superman, WonderWoman and a more traditional dancer.....
 Once the delicious 3-course meal (courtesy of the Malvina House Hotel) was cleared away, people took to the dance floor to the loud music of a local band...
Some of these costumes will be back on the flagpole tomorrow!

On Monday, as HM Queen is lighting a beacon in London, the most southerly beacon in the world will be lit in the Falklands.  A barbecue is planned for the beach setting of the beacon.   Although there is meant to be a marquee for shelter, I feel it may still be a bit cold.  I introduced some people to Nordic Walking on the beach on Saturday and much of the sand was frozen solid!  The dunes were like ski slopes.
Two Sisters, with snow covering
 So, midwinter approaches here, and the temperatures have plummeted at night.  Many of the town's streets which go up and down the steep hill, are closed off due to ice.  I heard that the gritting lorry had three minor crashes yesterday!
It must be cold if  these guys have coats on!
I shall report back next week on the Beacon and BBQ.  If you are celebrating the Queen's Jubilee, enjoy your street party or whatever. I'm sure our old street in Teddington will be having a huge spread.

If you don't support the UK Monarchy, you could always  find a copy of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and enjoy that  Queen, instead.



  1. God Save the Queen. I am glad to see Falkland Islanders are zainy British is character. Here in Canada we are a little more reserved on our celebrations, except in the case of winning the Stanley Cup.

    I guess I am a bit of a Monarchist. My mother was I guess because her parents came from Stoke on Trent, Stafforshire. I admire the Queen and I am glad she is Canada's Queen if for no other reason than it makes us different from the US. This year we celebrate the War of 1812, when the British burned down the US White House. We in Canada believe Canada/Britian defeated the US in this war. The US claim they won. We turned back an American invasion with a common effort by Candian settlers, French Canadian, natives and British soldiers. The American turned back a British takeover of New Orleans, (unfortunately after the war was over) This explains the different view.

    I am old enough to remember switching from God Save to King to God Save the Queen. I trust we will not have to change back again any time soon.

    I am glad the royal family has gotten over it family problems. The Duke and Dutchess of Cornwall were here and they were very approachable with Camilla seeming to have won a place in the family. Time seems to have healed all wounds.

  2. Hi, Thanks for your comments. Sorry for the delay in replying. Winter has arrived this week, so roads (those around town) are snow-covered and everything taking longer.... The road to the airport has been intermittently shut. Must be upsettng if you've been waiting months for a flight!

    If you can hear BBC Radio5 on the internet, it is doing a special programme from Stanley next Thursday, 14th, about 10.30GMT. As it is Liberation Day here, I'm not sure they will find many people in a fit state to chat at that time!

    It would be good to see Time healing some wounds around here, but someone in Buenos Aires keeps re-opening the old wounds....