Montserrat hosts the Red Ensign Group Conference


by Bennette Roach

The event was little publicised (in Montserrat), but it was a big conference with an international flavour as the Red Ensign Group Conference was held this year for the first time in Montserrat.

The conference which is an annual gathering of the British ship registers opened at the Montserrat Cultural Center and ran from April 2 – 4, 2019, with representatives from UK Government who meet in a different territory each year on a rolling basis. Members representing the British ship registers and coastal state coordinators from across the Red Ensign Group were in attendance.

Joseph O’Garro

The opening session was brief and to the point, opening in the usual fashion with National Anthem, (it being a UK organisation/conference; a  Welcome by Mr. Joseph O’Garro, Manager, Montserrat Port Authority, main organiser on the ground, and who chaired the session; and prayer Opening Remarks Honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier, Special Remarks His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Andrew Pearce; Special Remarks Miss Katy Ware, Chair of The REG Conference; all followed by Closing Remarks Honourable Paul Lewis, Minister for Communications, Works & Labour (including Maritime Affairs); ending with a Vote of Thanks Mr. Ashley Lindsey, Access Coordinator, out of the Office of the Premier; and the singing of the Territorial Song, and the dismissal.

The conference then got on the way to conclude on April 4.

Katy Ware, director of maritime safety and standards at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency chaired the conference (at least at the opening). She said: ‘The Red Ensign Group conference matters because it brings us all together to work through those matters of regulation related to flag, port and coastal state responsibility that give us our status as a leading maritime player across the world. Everyone has an equal voice and there is a relationship between us that makes things happen.’

 

Katy Ware

She added in her opening remarks a message to delegates from @Nus_Ghani: ‘You share common goals and common objectives … and you’ve done outstanding work in maintaining the reputation of the Red Ensign Group.’

The bell opens and ends the sessions – https://twitter.com/i/status/1113117714070102017

Information from the conference said “it is a great opportunity for detailed face-to-face discussion of a wide variety of matters of shared interest and to share best practice and discuss ways to optimise performance of the British register in the international arena, both in terms of commercial success and in setting exemplary standards in meeting our international maritime obligations. It is also an opportunity to look at the challenges of meeting Coastal State obligations and share ideas of how to improve those. 

“But more than that is a way to get to know each other which helps the registers work together to drive the success of the total British registered tonnage, which at over 50 million gross registered tons is one of the world’s larger registers with a real part to play at the International Maritime Organization and in influencing international maritime matters.” 

 

Governor Pierce

Governor Pierce tried to be brief, in his remarks shared with the delegates his own love and impressions of Montserrat having just completed just over a year on the job, inviting them to enjoy and appreciate the island. In the end he wished them: “Have a good fulfilling conference.”

 

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier Romeo in his remarks to the conference began quoting TV personality and entrepreneur Jimmy Dean who said that “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

“This’” he said as he was quick to speak of Montserrat’s upcoming newest project, “is the secret of Montserrat’s resilience in the face of the volcano crisis, and as we begin to create the first ever protected harbour in Montserrat, we are confident that the maritime sector will make a huge contribution to our redevelopment. That is why we are committed to the maritime industry.”

The Premier said that our tourism sector is largely dependant on sea access and on our marine infrastructure, and, making the announcement, “That is why, as Minister of Tourism, I am happy to announce Cabinet’s approval last Thursday of the Tourism Strategy 2019-2022.”

“So, in this spirit of optimism,” he said, “I welcome the Red Ensign Group (REG) Conference to Montserrat; with over 70 delegates, including representation from the United Kingdom, nine British Overseas Territories and three Crown Dependencies…” noting that the combined British Red Ensign fleet is the 9th largest in the world and that the Conference is a means to help oversee and uphold maritime safety standards across the thirteen British Shipping Registers.

In his brief remarks, the Premier noted also, “This conference is also being held at a strategic time, as the global maritime industry is facing major changes in safety and security.”

 

Minister Paul Lewis

The Honourable Paul Lewis, Minister for Communications, Works & Labour (including Maritime Affairs) for which he is the Minister responsible gave Closing Remarks which he began by welcoming the delegates, from as he said, as far as St. Helena with their travel challenges, “notwithstanding their new airport.”

The Minister referred to several good news items and projects which deserve mention and will be revealed and reported on later. He brought his remarks to a close by recognising the international quality of the flag states while also acknowledging the tremendous efforts of the Montserrat Maritime administration and the Montserrat Port Authority, as well as the various multisector resources drawn from Government departments including the office of the Premier – all of whom were engaged in preparing for the successful hosting and delivery of the REG conference 2019.

Finally, a vote of thanks was delivered by Ashley Lindsey, Access Coordinator and the singing of the Territorial song very ably and beautifully rendered by Mrs. Mildred Chalmers.

 

Vote of Thanks delivered by Mr. Ashley Lindsey

 

A photo from the Conference 2019 Day 2, showing all the delegates from across the 13 members!
 

In the following days, a few reports were available as to the progress of the conference. Day two of #REG2019 was reported as, “another day of collaborative working and productive discussions all around regulation, coastal state preparedness and registration. Everyone has something to give.”

Anguilla delegates in a mention, said the coastal state session at #REG2019 Conference will help them in their ongoing work to meet their maritime obligations. It’s part of #CSSF work funded by the UK Government.

The information came out that Sarah Morgan, head of Registry of Shipping & Seamen who was selected to chair the Red Ensign Group #REG2019 Registrars session in Montserrat. Listen to a comment from her. https://twitter.com/i/status/1113897794161512451

Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker and other delegates from the @RedEnsignGroup have been touring the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat as part of the #REG2019 conference taking place. It was affected by a volcano eruption in the 1990’s. @MCA_media@gsyharbours

Conference began with prayer – head table stands: Joseph O’Garro, Katy Ware, Governor Pierce, Premier Romeo and Minister Lewis

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by Bennette Roach

The event was little publicised (in Montserrat), but it was a big conference with an international flavour as the Red Ensign Group Conference was held this year for the first time in Montserrat.

The conference which is an annual gathering of the British ship registers opened at the Montserrat Cultural Center and ran from April 2 – 4, 2019, with representatives from UK Government who meet in a different territory each year on a rolling basis. Members representing the British ship registers and coastal state coordinators from across the Red Ensign Group were in attendance.

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Joseph O’Garro

The opening session was brief and to the point, opening in the usual fashion with National Anthem, (it being a UK organisation/conference; a  Welcome by Mr. Joseph O’Garro, Manager, Montserrat Port Authority, main organiser on the ground, and who chaired the session; and prayer Opening Remarks Honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier, Special Remarks His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Andrew Pearce; Special Remarks Miss Katy Ware, Chair of The REG Conference; all followed by Closing Remarks Honourable Paul Lewis, Minister for Communications, Works & Labour (including Maritime Affairs); ending with a Vote of Thanks Mr. Ashley Lindsey, Access Coordinator, out of the Office of the Premier; and the singing of the Territorial Song, and the dismissal.

The conference then got on the way to conclude on April 4.

Katy Ware, director of maritime safety and standards at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency chaired the conference (at least at the opening). She said: ‘The Red Ensign Group conference matters because it brings us all together to work through those matters of regulation related to flag, port and coastal state responsibility that give us our status as a leading maritime player across the world. Everyone has an equal voice and there is a relationship between us that makes things happen.’

 

Katy Ware

She added in her opening remarks a message to delegates from @Nus_Ghani: ‘You share common goals and common objectives … and you’ve done outstanding work in maintaining the reputation of the Red Ensign Group.’

The bell opens and ends the sessions – https://twitter.com/i/status/1113117714070102017

Information from the conference said “it is a great opportunity for detailed face-to-face discussion of a wide variety of matters of shared interest and to share best practice and discuss ways to optimise performance of the British register in the international arena, both in terms of commercial success and in setting exemplary standards in meeting our international maritime obligations. It is also an opportunity to look at the challenges of meeting Coastal State obligations and share ideas of how to improve those. 

“But more than that is a way to get to know each other which helps the registers work together to drive the success of the total British registered tonnage, which at over 50 million gross registered tons is one of the world’s larger registers with a real part to play at the International Maritime Organization and in influencing international maritime matters.” 

 

Governor Pierce

Governor Pierce tried to be brief, in his remarks shared with the delegates his own love and impressions of Montserrat having just completed just over a year on the job, inviting them to enjoy and appreciate the island. In the end he wished them: “Have a good fulfilling conference.”

 

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier Romeo in his remarks to the conference began quoting TV personality and entrepreneur Jimmy Dean who said that “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

“This’” he said as he was quick to speak of Montserrat’s upcoming newest project, “is the secret of Montserrat’s resilience in the face of the volcano crisis, and as we begin to create the first ever protected harbour in Montserrat, we are confident that the maritime sector will make a huge contribution to our redevelopment. That is why we are committed to the maritime industry.”

The Premier said that our tourism sector is largely dependant on sea access and on our marine infrastructure, and, making the announcement, “That is why, as Minister of Tourism, I am happy to announce Cabinet’s approval last Thursday of the Tourism Strategy 2019-2022.”

“So, in this spirit of optimism,” he said, “I welcome the Red Ensign Group (REG) Conference to Montserrat; with over 70 delegates, including representation from the United Kingdom, nine British Overseas Territories and three Crown Dependencies…” noting that the combined British Red Ensign fleet is the 9th largest in the world and that the Conference is a means to help oversee and uphold maritime safety standards across the thirteen British Shipping Registers.

In his brief remarks, the Premier noted also, “This conference is also being held at a strategic time, as the global maritime industry is facing major changes in safety and security.”

 

Minister Paul Lewis

The Honourable Paul Lewis, Minister for Communications, Works & Labour (including Maritime Affairs) for which he is the Minister responsible gave Closing Remarks which he began by welcoming the delegates, from as he said, as far as St. Helena with their travel challenges, “notwithstanding their new airport.”

The Minister referred to several good news items and projects which deserve mention and will be revealed and reported on later. He brought his remarks to a close by recognising the international quality of the flag states while also acknowledging the tremendous efforts of the Montserrat Maritime administration and the Montserrat Port Authority, as well as the various multisector resources drawn from Government departments including the office of the Premier – all of whom were engaged in preparing for the successful hosting and delivery of the REG conference 2019.

Finally, a vote of thanks was delivered by Ashley Lindsey, Access Coordinator and the singing of the Territorial song very ably and beautifully rendered by Mrs. Mildred Chalmers.

 

Vote of Thanks delivered by Mr. Ashley Lindsey

 

A photo from the Conference 2019 Day 2, showing all the delegates from across the 13 members!
 

In the following days, a few reports were available as to the progress of the conference. Day two of #REG2019 was reported as, “another day of collaborative working and productive discussions all around regulation, coastal state preparedness and registration. Everyone has something to give.”

Anguilla delegates in a mention, said the coastal state session at #REG2019 Conference will help them in their ongoing work to meet their maritime obligations. It’s part of #CSSF work funded by the UK Government.

The information came out that Sarah Morgan, head of Registry of Shipping & Seamen who was selected to chair the Red Ensign Group #REG2019 Registrars session in Montserrat. Listen to a comment from her. https://twitter.com/i/status/1113897794161512451

Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker and other delegates from the @RedEnsignGroup have been touring the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat as part of the #REG2019 conference taking place. It was affected by a volcano eruption in the 1990’s. @MCA_media@gsyharbours

Conference began with prayer – head table stands: Joseph O’Garro, Katy Ware, Governor Pierce, Premier Romeo and Minister Lewis