Fran introduced our Honorary member Barry House who has been retired from Parliament now for 11.5 months
Barry spoke of his luck in having the experiences he has had in life which meant he traveled overseas from a young age, starting with schoolboy cricket in South Africa, a Young Political Leaders trip to the USA in 1992 and then a Group Study Exchange trip in 1994 to Japan
During his time as State President, Barry became a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) which is designed to strengthen Commonwealth  territorial assemblies and legislatures.  The Association has its base in London and recently Barry was asked by the CPA to run a post election seminar for the new legislature on the island of St Helena
There were 4 presenters at the seminar in total, the Clerk of the Isle of Man Parliament, and representatives from Kashmiri and from the Cook Islands
St Helena is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and has a population of 4,500.  It is a British Overseas Territory administered and mainly funded by Britain, but its has its own legislature which is a mixture of a local government and a parliament.  It has its own Governor appointed by the British
The island shares its constitution with Ascension Island (700 miles away), Tristan de Cunha and the Falkland Islands
Since the completion of the island's air port, only 6 months ago, it is now serviced by one flight a week which arrives from Johannesburg, but not without first refueling in Namibia
The island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1500 and the British East India Company was eventually stationed there.  James Cook planted Norfolk Pines there in the hope they would make good sailing masts (not the case).  Charles Darwin visited following his visit to the Galapagos Islands.  He brought with him a tortoise which still lives on the island to this day and is 200 years old, its name is Jonathan
The island was in a strategic position until 1869 when the Suez Canal opened and then it was bypassed
The island has no indigenous population is mainly made up of people who didn't fit in elsewhere in the World. Barry found them quite worldly however and well traveled as most had spent time in South Africa, the US or the UK
Best known for its fame as being the place of exile for Napoleon until his death, this is the main tourist attraction.  Napoleon's house can be viewed and Napoleon's tomb, although his remains were later relocated to Parish.  His house provided him with good accommodation suiting his idea of himself as Emperor of the World.  Napoleon wrote his memoirs there
1,000 troops were stationed on the island to prevent Napoleon escaping and the island is fairly heavily fortified with canons, although they have never been used
The island is run by its 12 strong legislature and the focus is on increasing its wealth with tourism now it has an airport, it is otherwise completely dependent on Britain.  Whale watching trips may be a source of income for it
The island has a small port and cannot take large ships or cruise lines.  Until the airport was built, it was only accessed from the sea
Barry is photographed standing in front of Napoleon's tomb (above) and with the Speaker of the St Helena Legislature (below)