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Press Statement - Lord Pickles Visit 18.07.2019

Visit of Lord Pickles and the Channel Islands International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Channel Islands representative

States of Alderney President, William Tate, welcomed Lord Eric Pickles and Sally Sealey to Alderney on Friday 12th July. They were accompanied by Dr Gilly Carr who is the Channel Islands Representative in the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The visit was shorter than planned due to weather delays in the morning but the party were able to visit the Hammond Memorial and meet Sally and Billy Bohan and Pat Short. Speaking after the visit, William Tate said "I was delighted that the party could meet Sally, Billy and Pat because it's important for everyone to understand how the lives of those who suffered and died on this island are commemorated and how the island community has never forgotten their plight."

The party went on to visit the site of burials on Longis Common and the former Norderney, Borkum, Sylt and Helgoland labour camp sites. The States of Alderney recently agreed to be represented as part of the Channel Islands delegation in the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in recognition of the slave labourers of many different nationalities and faiths who died here during the war.

William Tate said: "We were able to ensure that the visitors were able to understand what happened in Alderney from the perspective of its population who were evacuated only to return to an island which had to be rebuilt. The recollections of those returning and what they could deduce from the occupation are part of our story as an island."

The visitors met with States Members to outline proposals for a possible visit to Alderney in September. This visit would be part of a project to develop European guidelines about best practice in the way in which former slave labour and burial sites are preserved, interpreted and memorialised. Alderney would be one of five communities across Europe contributing to this work. The Policy & Finance Committee will be giving further consideration to these proposals at its next meeting.