Second Island Games - Guernsey 1987
10th-17th September 1987
Guernsey having been awarded the task of staging the Second Island Games, set about the job immediately following the end of the First Games in 1985 by forming an organising committee under the Chairmanship of Deputy Owen Le Vallee, an elected member of the States of Deliberation, the island’s parliament and a member of the States Recreation Committee. Deputy Le Vallee’s vast experience in sports administration gained over many years, particularly in connection with the Common wealth Games, was to be invaluable in the forthcoming months.
It soon became evident that the underwriting of the Second Games would be a big hurdle. The Isle of Man had received a substantial budget from their government to stage the First Games and from that budget their committee had been in a position to fund the accommodation of the visiting teams.
It had been made clear to each member of the I.G.A. that the Guernsey committee would not be in a position to pay for accommodation and it was on this basis that their application had been made. The various sporting facilities were already well established and each sport had successfully staged their individual events up to National standards and had amongst their membership the necessary qualified officials, judges and umpires.
An application was made for government funding and a grant of £25,000 was made to the committee with certain guidelines laid down as to how the money should be spent. In addition, free use of public sports facilities was granted, this, coupled with the free use of the facilities owned by the individual sports, ensured that a great saving would be made in monetary terms. The committee however deemed it necessary to seek sponsorship to assist with the funding of the Games and the committee appointed Roy Bisson & Company Limited to act as Public Relations Advisors. The professional services given by this company under the direction of its Managing Director Mr Roy Bisson proved to be invaluable and contributed towards the successful staging of the Games.
Aland, Faroes, Frøya, Gotland, Guernsey, Hitra, Iceland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Jersey, Malta, Orkney, Shetland, St. Helena, Ynys Mon. Participating for the first time, Alderney, Gibraltar and Sark. (18 islands).
Core sports: Athletics, badminton, cycling, shooting, swimming, volleyball and the new sports, archery, indoor bowls and table tennis (9 sports).
OPENING CEREMONY - FRIDAY 10th SEPTEMBER
‘SEE YOU IN GUERNSEY IN ‘87’ was the final message flashed across the screen at the Closing Ceremony of the Inaugural Island Games held in the Isle of Man in Juty 1985. And at 2.30 p.m. prompt on Friday 10th September, 1987, the Regimental Band of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Grenadier Guards marched into the arena at the Second Island Games. The playing fields, surrounded by thousands of spectators witnessed the pageantry against a backdrop provided by the eighteen flags of the competing islands. The Band gave an impressive display of marching and counter marching for which they are well known and the display was received with great acclamation.
Prior to the start of the Opening Ceremony the spectators were treated to a most unusual, but very colourful musical performance as Max Cherrie and the Cherry Pickers filled the arena with the sounds of a steel band playing the music and rhythms more usually associated with the West Indies. A gymnastic display followed and this was given by the combined gymnastic teams from the Faroes and Guernsey.
The first public performance by the newly formed Band of the Guernsey Scout movement was warmly received by the spectators as they displayed many of the skills previously demonstrated by the Band of the Guards.
The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the moment that the teams marched into the arena in alphabetical order behind their national flags proudly carried by a leading member of the team and headed by a placard bearer carried by a member of the island’s Scout movement. One-thousand and forty-nine competitors and officials from the 18 islands taking part experienced a moment of a lifetime as they received the acclamation of the thousands present as they passed the official stand where the Bailiff of Guernsey, Sir Charles Frossard, took the salute. As they continued around the arena to form up in front of the stands, the grass was trans formed into a sea of colour by the various teams tracksuits. The Guernsey team, headed by the island Scout Band, was last to enter into the arena and as they did the sun broke through an overcast sky to add sparkle to this historic sporting event.
The trumpeters of the Grenadier Guards sounded a fanfare and Mr Noel Cringle, Chairman of the Island Games Association, invited the Bailiff to declare open the 1987 Island Games. Sir Charles warmly welcomed the visiting competitors and officials and thanked them for coming to Guernsey. He wished them all a very successful Games and hoped that at the conclusion of the Games, they would leave the island with many happy memories and having made new friendships. Sir Charles concluded by formally declaring open the 1987 Games. A second fanfare heralded the entrance of the Games Flag carried into the arena by two male and two female members of the Guernsey team. John Stuart, the Guernsey Team Captain pronounced the oath of the Games on behalf of the competitors:
“We declare that we will take part in the Inter Island Games of 1987 in the spirit of true sportsmanship, recognising the rules that govern them and desirous of participating in them for the honour of our island and the glory of sport.”
The Games Flag was then raised on the main flagpole by Deputy Owen Le Vallee, Chairman of the Organising Committee, whilst the Band of the Grenadier Guards played a Victory Anthem composed especially for the Guernsey Team by Derek Broadbent, conductor of the famous Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.
The Opening Ceremony came to a conclusion with the teams once more marching past the official stand before leaving the arena.
GUERNSEY ISLAND GAMES ASSOCIATION - ORGANISING COMMITTEE
- Chairman, Deputy Owen Le Vallee;
- Treasurer, Eifion Thomas;
- Secretary, Lynn Brookfield;
- Publicity, Roy Bisson;
- Transport, Tony Norman;
- Victory Ceremonies, Roy Glass;
- Archery, Dave Mauger;
- Athletics, Charlie Cottam;
- Badminton, John Hunt;
- Cycling, Dave Richards;
- Indoor Bowls, Henry Le Tissier;
- Shooting, Don Ashplant, Steve Brehaut, Graham De Jersey;
- Swimming, Di Smith;
- Table Tennis, Horace Mallett;
- Volleyball, David Dorey.
The administration of the Games was undertaken by volunteers under the direction of the Chairman. The Games Office was situated at the Beau Sejour Leisure H Centre and was manned continuously from 7.00 a.m. till 12.00 p.m. each day. Under the direction of Tony Norman, a transport section operated with a fleet of six radio controlled mini buses driven by over thirty volunteer drivers over the period of seven days. Together with the use of some of the public transport buses on specific occasions, it was possible to meet all of the requirements made upon the section. Many of the drivers and the office staff had taken part of their holidays to undertake their duties. The office staff was co-ordinated by Lynn Brookfield, Honorary Secretary to the Organising Committee. The finance of the Games was placed in the capable hands of the Honorary Treasurer, Eifion Thomas. In addition to the fleet of mini buses, provided by courtesy of British Leyland through their Guernsey agents, Ruette Braye Motors Limited, each Team Manager was provided with a self drive car which enabled them to visit the various venues to see their competitors in action. Once again, the savings in monetary terms was incalculable and the Organising Committee were extremely fortunate in obtaining such sponsorship.
In order to ensure that the media received up to the minute details of the various events, a Press Centre, complete with a computerised results service, was set up at the Beau Sejour Centre with free facilities provided for the journalists and newsmen. Thee television crews covered the Games in addition to three radio broadcasting companies. There were also several other pressmen in attendance.
The actual costs of staging the 1987 Games amounted to £32,000 sterling. However, if one adds to this figure the estimated value of the provision of free venue facilities, transport and the other essential items for administration, such as the Press Centre, free printing, photocopying, paper, the computer results service and the services given by the volunteers, a further sum of approximately £15,000 could be added to the total overall costs.
FIRST ISLAND GAMES ASSOCIATION - GENERAL MEETING
TUESDAY 15th SEPTEMBER 1987
DUKE OF NORFOLK HOTEL ST. PETER PORT
The following I.G.A. Officers were elected (1987-89):
- Chairman, Owen Le Vallee, Guernsey;
- Vice-Chairman, John Kjaer, Faroes ;
- Hon. Secretary I Hon.Treasurer, Geoffrey Corlett, Isle of Man;
- Committee Members, Alan Cross, Jersey; Dick Ekstrom, Aland; Bo Frykenstam, Gotland (new member).
Retiring Chairman, Mr. Noel Cringle, Isle of Man, was unanimously elected the first Hon. Life Member of the Island Games Association, and this was warmly applauded by all present. The Meeting awarded the 1989 Games to the Faroe Islands and the 1991 Games to Aland.
The Closing Ceremony of the 1987 Games was held in the Sir John Loveridge Sports Hall at the Beau Sejour Leisure Centre which had, during the past seven days, witnessed some very exciting and emotional competitions. Following an unfortunately long medal presentation ceremony for the shooting events, a fanfare of trumpets given by the Guernsey Scout Band heralded the Official Closing Ceremony. Deputy Owen Le Vallee, Chairman of the Organising Committee welcomed the official guests, the Lieutenant Governor of the Island, Sir Alexander Boswell and Lady Boswell and Mr Noel Cringle, retiring Chairman of the Island Games Association.
On behalf of the Organising Committee, Deputy Le Vallee thanked all the visiting competitors and officials for the very sporting manner in which they had conducted themselves during the past week. The Games had proved to be most successful and had fulfilled a long held ambition of many of the organisers. However, without the dedication of the individual members of the Organising Committee, it would not have been possible to have undertaken such an event and he asked Sir Alexander if he would present a Gold Medal to each member as a token for services rendered. Each presentation was greeted with warm and sincere applause from those present. Deputy Le Vallee then asked Lady Boswell if she would present the Year of Sport Trophy, for the overall winning Island, based on the Medals Table, to the Team Manager of the Isle of Man.
Sir Alexander Boswell then addressed those present and said how impressed both he and Lady Boswell had been by the tremendous enthusiasm and high standards exhibited by the competitors during the Games. The friendliness of these Games was in evidence at every venue and he hoped that everyone who had taken part would return home to their native isle with a feeling of goodwill and with happy memories of their visit to Guernsey. Sir Alexander congratulated Deputy Le Vallee on the successful staging of the Games which had brought credit to the Island. He then formally declared the 1987 Island Games closed.
Whilst the Trumpeters of the Scout Band played the anthem ‘Sunset’ the Island Games Flag was lowered and then handed by Deputy Le Vallee to Niels Natterstad, representative of the Faroes Sports Association, for safekeeping until July 1989 when the flag would be raised at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Island Games to be staged in Torshavn, capital town of the Faroe Islands. Finally, a surprise appearance by the mascot of the Faroe Games, a large and lovable puffin, was greeted with sustained tremendous applause by all present and was a fitting start to the farewell party which was to go on well into the night.
Courtesy of Geoff Corlett
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