AGM of Tristan da Cunha Association 2003

Cambridge April 26th


Just 2 minutes walk from the river Cam lies Magdalene College where the 2003 AGM of TdCA was held on April 26th. Away from this busy “touristspot” some 65 attendants were counted in this sunny afternoon.

For me, coming from Sweden the journey started already on Friday evening flying to Stansted (just south of Cambridge). I was picked up by my friend, Ian Mathieson (Miles Apart), and thru rain and dusk we arrived to his nice home in Newmarket and Karen. Being in UK for me is equal to a Gin and Tonic as a starter. Though it has been a busy day for Ian we had a long talk this Friday evening over a steak and a good wine.

Of course we chatted about our “dear islands” in the South Atlantic in every aspect and time just went awfully fast.

One specific thing about TdCA and their AGM’s – it sure is popular especially far away members attend this meeting year after year – so this is not an ordinary Association – the members has a true interest in Tristan da Cunha. For us two Swedes (Goran Eriksson and me) its special as we are friends of Roland Svensson – the Artist and also the founder of the Svensson Fund (which helps the elderly people on Tristan). Having this special relation it sure means we in some way can keep Roland’s thoughts and understanding of the Tristan people. This is just one of the reasons why we formed “Friends of Roland Svensson”.The day before the meeting, Goran paid a visit to Roland (now 93 years of age) and could therefore bring a message to the audience from him.

The President (now for lifetime) Mr Allan Crawford MBE (now 90) opened the meeting and welcomed those from abroad and especially Mr and Mrs Bill Dickinson – The Administrator of Tristan da Cunha. It was followed by apologies for absence and some minutes of the 15th AGM. The presentation of the Annual Accounts then took place (Mr Michael Swayles) with a short note of postage for the last year – there was no bill received for the actual period!

Then the Chairman Lorna Lavarello-Smith took over starting with the election of Hon. Officers, Committee Members & Auditor. After some short minutes of discussion – there was a election in bulk plus a new election – that of Ian Mathieson as a Committee member (complete list here).

Lorna sad that she persuaded BBC to produce a 5-day forecast for Tristan da Cunha.

The high cost for email (now 10£/min) was discussed. Bill Dickinson said that he will try to implement a faster connection to the satellite for uploading messages from Tristan.

A serie of proposals were put forward – money for a motorised winch – fund for those members who promote the Ass onboard the RMS – support to Islanders writing /publishing books about TdC – to set up the Associations webpage – discussion followed on the celebration of Q5 in 2006 (bulk-reservation for TdCA-members) – claim of reasonable travel expenses to attend Committee meetings.

Any other business

– a new rescueboat – Joseph Green told more about it

– a scientific laboratory – Anne Green gave some facts

– Swedish Exp to Tristan – John Ekwall made a short description and presented a portfolio of pictures and a presentation of the “succesful” expedition.

– next AGM April 17th 2004 in Cambridge

Ater the formal business there was an auction of paintings and sketches of Tristan by Bryan Cooke, in aid of the pensioners of Tristan da Cunha (The Svensson Fund). To the right one of the items won by the Dutch.

More than 300£ were raised!


Coming all the way from South Africa – Chris Hanel made a final stop of her European tour at the AGM and got the jackpot!

She is working for The University of Stellenbosch (Dept of Zoology) and make reasearch for a book on Gough and thru this meeting all the bits and pieces came on place. A lot of useful contacts during the day made her confident – a good book on Gough maybe printed within a year with all the necessary background as well as sketches and drawings needed.

Here she is asking Ian Mathieson for help and later that day she visited Ian and saw his impressive collection of books and collected items to be used in the book, so hopefully Ian and can present this new book as soon as it will be released!

To end this short report – a picture from the afternoon – tea -mingle.


John Ekwall, April 27th 2003