States of Alderney saddened by Alderney Week cancellation and thanks Ronnie Cairnduff and his team

Press Release issued by the States of Alderney following the announcement of the Alderney Week 2021 cancellation

Date: 23rd July 2021

The States of Alderney wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to Ronnie Cairnduff and the Alderney Week team which has made the difficult and painful decision to cancel the 2021 festival.

The States recognises the enormous amount of hard work, energy and considerable financial commitment that has gone into producing a programme of over 70 events that were due to take place across the island between August 2nd and 7th.

Bill Abel, Chairman of the Policy & Finance Committee, said: “I am extremely saddened by this very difficult decision that the AW team had to make and they are to be thanked for the wide consultation that was done and acted on. Ronnie and his team have been working so hard and always keeping front and centre what the Island stands for. It is also sad that he is standing down after such a fantastic contribution over the years and I hope we can twist his arm to be involved whenever he is needed.”

Boyd Kelly, Chairman of the General Services Committee, said: “The decision made by the Alderney Week team is perfectly understandable. They would be damned if they carried on and no doubt will be criticised for not doing so. I would like to express my support and thanks for all the work and painful decisions made.”

Alderney’s President, William Tate, said: “Knowing Ronnie as I do, I understand how intensely painful the decision must have been to cancel this year’s Alderney Week, bearing in mind the massive amount of preparation that has already been done. Alderney Week flows through his veins and has been such an integral part of his life for so long. He will have carefully considered, with his team, the expert advice from the relevant quarters and made an informed decision. He said this was to be his last Alderney Week. He will, I suspect, step out of the limelight but continue to advise and assist from the wings. You can’t keep an ‘old pro’ down. His recent honour (British Empire Medal) recognises the contribution that he and Leslie have made to our remarkable community over many years.”

Annie Burgess, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, said:“I would like to sincerely thank Ronnie and the AW team for all the hard work that has already gone into organising the event and I fully support the hard decision that has been made.”

Chris Harris, Chair of the Finance Committee, said: “I commend the Alderney Week team for making what is quite obviously a heart-breaking decision and thank them enormously for all their efforts over the years. I know from personal involvement how much work and time goes into preparing the biggest event in Alderney’s calendar and like many I’m sorry to see it cancelled due to our current situation. I hope the community and our visitors who were looking forward to Alderney Week understand the decision and through their support ensure that next year’s Alderney Week is a triumphant success.”

Ian Carter, Deputy Chair of the Policy & Finance Committee, said: “Difficult decisions are taken by courageous leaders who weigh up the facts and display good judgement. The AW team, led by Ronnie, are just such a group of people and we should all recognise their efforts and their agonising in what is a really challenging time.”

States Member Steve Roberts said: “I am very glad the Alderney Committee displayed sense and a commitment to the protection of the local community and I commend them for a decision that screams common sense. I applaud the Alderney Week committee in their very responsible action.”

States Member Alex Snowdon said: “This special and unique event has brought joy and fun to the island every year, continuously since 1948. I would like to express thanks and gratitude to all the Alderney Week team for the endless work they have dedicated to planning and resourcing this much-enjoyed event. Our thoughts are with the team who had to make this very difficult decision regarding our special, well-established island event.”

The decision was reached after discussions with the appropriate authorities and took into account the fact that a number of events organisers and volunteers had already pulled out of the programme. The organisers also said the current ‘isolation’ situation was likely to have caused shortages of the volunteers that are crucial to AW.

Some of the events planned by different event organisers and listed in the programme will still go ahead. These events and updates will be publicised at the Alderney Visitor Centre and across the island.

The Alderney Week programme is now on sale across different outlets on the island and all AW friends and supporters are encouraged to buy a copy to help ensure that Alderney Week returns in 2022. Ends