‘THE END OF AN ERA’ – RMS ST HELENA BIDS FAREWELL AFTER 27 YEARS
The RMS St Helena, affectionately known as the RMS, made an emotional departure from St Helena Island on Saturday 10 February 2018, following 27 years of dedicated service to the Islanders.
The RMS’ departure followed a true St Helenian style programme of farewell events. Island residents came out in the hundreds to say their goodbyes to the crew and the ship. The programme started on Tuesday evening with a special Thanksgiving Service at St James’ Church.
Governor Lisa Phillips had declared a public holiday on Friday 9 February and many people used the occasion to gather at the Seafront for the main farewell celebrations, while those who were lucky enough to secure a space attended the RMS Open Day and were able to view the workings of the ship for one last time. Amongst the many celebratory events was a performance by the RMS Amateur Dramatics Society, a firework display and release of lanterns.
Celebrations continued on the Saturday morning with a poignant parade of the RMS Crew accompanied by the Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from the Canister to the Seafront in Jamestown. A large crowd of people turned out to say a last goodbye to the current crew of the Ship.
Before the Ship’s departure, spectators were able to access the Landing Steps at the Lower Wharf to witness the carrying of the 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant (marking the 27 years’ service of the RMS) by competition winners and its presentation by Director of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, to Captain Adam Williams.
A spectacular flotilla of 15+ boats including jet skis and yachts circled the RMS while the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service saluted her with a water arch before she pulled up anchor. The RMS then made her way to Buttermilk Point, turned around and steamed past the harbour in full dress.
Farewell RMS and thank you for your 27 years of dedicated service to the people of St Helena.