Thirty Lightmongers and their partners made their way to the beautiful Island of Jersey on 3rd  May to join Master Peter McVeigh and Consort Tess Nuttall for an unforgettable weekend of history, culture, lavish entertainment and fellowship.  The Master even managed to organise blue skies and sunshine as well as the staging of the Annual Jersey Boat Show while we were there!

Lightmongers mixed and mingled at supper in the Historic Pomme d’Or hotel on Friday evening where the Master welcomed everybody and outlined the plans for the weekend.

It was unfortunate that two couples, Roger and Karen Rawson and Norman and Amanda Emery, were stranded in England due to a last minute flight cancellation.  Thankfully they managed to join us later in the weekend.

Saturday morning was one of the many highlights with a visit to the Jersey War Tunnels, an immersive experience that gave great insight into the difficult living conditions on Jersey during the occupation by the Germans in World War II.

Then it was off for an unforgettable lunch overlooking the sun-soaked St Brelade’s Bay where we were joined by late arrivals, Roger and Karen.

In the Afternoon we had a fascinating visit to Jersey’s Masonic Temple and then a short rest before the evening’s festivities.

We travelled to Highlands College in in St. Helier where their Great Hall was the setting for the Master’s Gala Dinner.

Special guests were Philip Le Sueur, Constable of Jersey’s Trinity Parish, and his wife Angela and Bailiff of Jersey, Sir Timothy Le Cocq KC and his wife.  Before dinner we were treated to an outstanding musical performance by A Capella choir, Music in Action.

After an excellent dinner Sir Timothy made the response to the Master’s address in which he explained the nature of his role and the ‘peculiarity’ of Jersey.

On Sunday we enjoyed a tour of the island and saw at first hand some of the wonderful produce and livestock for which Jersey is famous.

Curious, friendly Jersey cows (all called Lily apparently!) grazed in the fields and Jersey Royal potatoes were in season and on sale everywhere.

A visit to La Mare vineyard gave us a taste of the excellent wines and brandies made on the island.

A special stop on our tour was at the memorial to a brave young Frenchman, Sous Lt Bernard  Scheidhauer from the Free French Airforce who served with 131 County of Kent Squadron and was captured on Jersey during the war.  He was held in the prisoner of war camp on which the Great Escape film was based and took part in the largest and most audacious escape ever made from a POW camp but was captured and shot by the Gestapo at the age of 22.  He is remembered every year in the Parish of Trinity and the Constable, Philip le Sueur explained the story and the very high regard in which this brave young man is held.  By coincidence his portrait was unveiled in 2023 by Honorary Lightmonger, Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Kyd, CBE, the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey.

Our last special treat of the day was a visit to St Matthew’s Glass Church, so called because it has the largest display of Rene Lalique glass in the world.  Rather unbelievably, the Warden is none other than Lightmonger Simon Burrows who moved to Jersey 9 years ago and became an active member of  St Matthew’s church community (Lightmongers do get around!).  This special visit was priceless in the truest sense of the world.

Jersey is a very special place for Master Peter, but it was a new discovery for all the Lightmongers on the trip and everyone, without exception, has vowed to return.

Master thank you for opening our eyes to the wonder of this place and for organising such a special weekend.

The Master, Peter McVeigh.