9th February 2013

Guernsey Society celebrates its 70th anniversary

The Guernsey Society was founded in London in 1943. Its aim was to support anyone – either on Guernsey or evacuated to the mainland – during the Occupation. As it became clearer that Germany would lose the war, it started planning for the island’s future. The liberating forces, and the authorities responsible for rebuilding after May 1945, were heavily influenced by its work.

Liberation didn’t mark the end of its existence, though. After the war, the Guernsey Society continued to flourish, with a remit to promote interest in the Bailiwick as a whole. It launched a magazine, The Bulletin, which later became the Quarterly Review. In turn, this became The Review, as its frequency was reduced to three times a year.

The Society’s 70th anniversary

It celebrated its 70th anniversary with a commemorative lunch on 9 February 2013 at The Charing Cross Hotel, London.

With butternut squash soup to start, chicken breast as the main and a Swiss chocolate truffle mousse for dessert, the three-course meal cost £30 per head. A vegetarian option was available on request, and sparkling wine was served upon arrival.

The Guernsey Society wasn’t the first mainland organisation set up during the war to maintain awareness of island matters. The Channel Islands Society was established in Kent in early 1943, and by its second meeting, in Maidstone, had already attracted 30 members.

One of many

The Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald reported on the 13 February meeting. It said “news of the Islands and Islanders was discussed; books, pictures and newspaper cuttings were passed around, and it was stated that the names of over 100 persons connected with the islands, and now residing in Kent, had already been listed”.

The following November it met again. By then, according to the same paper, it had 82 paying members. It was just one of more than 70 different Island Societies in England, one of which was the Guernsey Society.


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Other events that occured in February

Mail ship wrecked on Black Rock 1st
Oil rig stranded at Grandes Rocques
Birth of Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann 2nd
Death of Sir Charles Hayward 3rd
St Martin’s parish church consecrated 4th
Guernsey suffers its worst storm in 35 years 5th
Guernsey watchmaker helps Stone of Scone manhunt 6th
Guernsey Language Commission formed 7th
Queen Mary executed while wearing Guernsey stockings 8th
Guernsey gets its first postbox
Guernsey Society celebrates its 70th anniversary 9th
Guernsey’s last execution didn’t go according to plan 10th
The last issue of GUNS was distributed 11th
Alderney gets its first full-time radio station 12th
Guernsey’s last duel 13th
Specsavers’ Mary Perkins was born 14th
Blue Islands takes to the skies
Guernsey gets its own flag 15th
Birth of concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houedard 16th
HMS Guernsey launched in Aberdeen 17th
Guernsey’s first Methodist minister arrives 18th
Aurigny Air Services founded 19th
Guernsey Railway Company runs its first services 20th
The Channel Islands were cut off from the outside world 21st
St Sampson was ordained a bishop 22nd
Death of Thomas Fiott de Havilland 23rd
Murder inquiry ends with suicide 24th
Death of occupation resister Marie Ozanne 25th
Guernsey’s first banker dies 26th
Release of Reverend Harry Samuel 27th
Plans for St Sampson power station approved 28th
Second World War bomb detonated 29th