Flying the flag for us all
THE search to find the Guernsey Press Ambassador of the Year 2013 has moved a step closer with the shortlist now decided.
Three names have emerged as the top contenders for the prestigious accolade that recognises outstanding islanders or groups who have raised the Bailiwick's profile in a positive way beyond our shores.
Re-branded this year under the Guernsey Press banner, a wide range of nominations presented a difficult choice for the panel chaired by the newspaper's MD Mark Lewis and including Jurat Connie Helyar, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission's vice chairman Susie Farnon, the IoD's Mark Palfrey, assistant editor Suzanne Heneghan and Island FM's James Bentley.
Their three finalists are Sarah Griffith MBE for her work to help the people of Sri Lanka, Haiti and the Philippines; Wayne Bulpitt, the Scout Association's first UK Chief Commissioner who this year received its highest honour, the Silver Wolf award; and the organisers of the Sark Folk Festival, which marked its fourth anniversary by selling out within minutes of tickets going on sale and being named 'best festival' by a national music website.
The shortlist beat off competition from an impressive list of other candidates including Guernsey FC coach Tony Vance; Sky Pro Cycling Team physio Dan Guillemette; ThisIsJinsy creators Chris Bran and Justin Chubb; international windsurfer James Briggs; record-breaking South Pole racer Jason de Carteret; bowls legend Alison Merrien; cancer research expert David Noakes; Goal50 football charity founder Nigel Pascoe; and former commanding officer Colin Vaudin, who has led regiments in conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The winner will be announced by Guernsey Press chairman, Terry Holder, at the Awards for Achievement gala ceremony evening at Beau Sejour next month.
Guernsey Press MD Mark Lewis said: 'Choosing a shortlist and eventual winner when faced with so many strong and diverse nominees was a challenging task for the panel. This year yet again showed the extent and range of work and effort by islanders being achieved in Guernsey's name around the world.
'It is something we can all be very proud of.'
Hard-earned and always well deserved, the Ambassador of the Year award has been presented to past winners from fields as varied as sport, the arts, community work, growing, health, charity, business, catering and religion.
Its first winner, 27 years ago, was Rodney Collenette, one of the group behind the setting up of St James. Other winners have included Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins, race ace Andy Priaulx, cross-Channel swimmer Roger Allsopp, and last year's title holder Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester.
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