Have your say on Liberation Day celebrations, urges Constable

Fri 11 Nov 2022

Vale parishioners and others are being urged by Senior Constable Richard Leale to complete an online survey that could determine whether Liberation Day celebrations remain an island-wide commemoration or are scaled back to a series of parish events.

This follows the launch of the questionnaire, which some have seen as an attempt by Education, Sport and Culture (ESC), which has responsibility for Liberation Day, to step away from that task and leave it to others to organise.

"It's not for me to comment on that suggestion or tell people how to fill in the survey," Mr Leale said, "but it seems obvious that by asking the question, ESC is considering the future format of Guernsey's 'National Day'.

"For that reason, I think it's important that as many people as possible express their views – whatever they are – so that the committee has some solid feedback on which to base any changes it might wish to make."

The survey, by Island Global Research, can be accessed here: https://survey.islandglobalresearch.com/s3/LiberationDay

In it, ESC says, "We would like to hear from everyone, as this well help ensure future events appeal to a wide range of people in our community. Your feedback will help inform preparations that are already underway for 2023, and for future years."

One douzenier from another parish has contacted all the Constables asking for douzaine views because "I fear that [ESC's] proposals (annual parish celebrations and a big celebration in Town every five years) will dilute the collective memory and meaning of the Day."

Strong views
Vale Douzeniers have been asked for their thoughts and one who has so far replied said: "If government can’t be bothered to lead the Liberation events we may as well call it a day. It is that fundamental for me."   

Mr Leale said, "It's clear that there are some strong views about how important Liberation Day is nearly 80 years after Occupation ended, how Liberation should be remembered and how it should be celebrated in years to come.

"What's important now is that islanders and Vale parishioners ensure that their views are made known to the States so that there is no doubt about how Liberation Day is seen by the majority and Education, Sport and Culture can act on that feedback."



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