1st January 1949

Alderney elects its first president

Guernsey and Alderney were once entirely separate islands, just as Guernsey and Jersey are today. That changed at the end of the occupation, throughout which Alderney had been run as a prison camp. It was in such a poor condition that there was little prospect of it ever regaining its former status.

Alderney’s locals started to return in December 1945 – more than six months after liberation – to find their homes ransacked and the land around them desecrated. For a while, the island was run as a collective farm, but even this wasn’t going to be enough.

Legislation from the mainland

The British Home Secretary, Chuter Ede, proposed the “Guernseyfication” of Alderney and thus, in summer 1948, the Alderney (Application of Legislation) Law was passed, giving Guernsey broad jurisdiction over its neighbour. At the same time, two representatives from Alderney were given places in Guernsey’s States of Deliberation and, the following year, Alderney elected its first president. Sydney Peck Herivel served for over 21 years until 26 August 1970.

Alderney’s presidential term of office is four years, although the candidate can stand for re-election as many times as they choose. They are responsible for calling meetings of the island’s legislature, liaising with the public and other government offices, and organising civic and social events. As the Chair of the legislature, they only ever cast a vote if the other representatives are evenly split on an issue, thus settling the matter.


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Other events that occured in January

Alderney elects its first president 1st
Guille and Alles open their library 2nd
Guernsey bans smoking in public places 3rd
Guernsey Press registers its domain 4th
Guernsey Zoo is sold as a going concern 5th
Guernsey opens its wartime files
Guernsey Police moves to its new headquarters 6th
Guernsey Fisher makes its maiden voyage 7th
Work begins on the Val des Terres 8th
A hotel porter goes on trial for murder 9th
Guernsey Police Service appoints its first inspector 10th
Royal theft inquiry heads to Guernsey 11th
Channel Express Airways plane crashes in Guernsey 12th
Sibyl Hathaway, Dame of Sark, is born 13th
Channel Television disappears 14th
Benefactor Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx dies 15th
MV Prosperity is wrecked at Perelle 16th
Guernsey’s Royal Court sits for the first time 17th
Doctor Who travels to Guernsey 18th
Channel 4 gameshow Treasure Hunt comes to Guernsey 19th
Hanois Lighthouse is cut off by the weather 20th
Guernsey-built prototype plane crashes 21st
Guernsey Steam Tramway stops running 22nd
Radiant Med sinks with loss of life 23rd
Guernsey wins gold at the Commonwealth Games 24th
Sark is awarded Dark-Sky status 25th
Guernsey passengers are battered by storms 26th
Sir Isaac Newton has his say on a mysterious Guernsey invention 27th
Guernsey’s last witch trial takes place 28th
Guernsey poet George Métivier is born 29th
The States of Guernsey proposes a new airport 30th
Guernsey lifeboat performs a chemical tanker rescue 31st