Curtly Richards

Curtly Richards has 376 articles published.

Adopt don’t Shop

in Animals & Pets

Please consider adopting one of these babies. They have been waiting a long time for a forever home.

`The Ladies that rock The Rock award 2023

in Book Review/Features

As part of the plans for International Women’s Day 2023 events, and following the success of the book “The Ladies That Rock The Rock”, by the author Ayelet Mamo Shay, a new Award program has been launched, called: The Ladies That Rock The Rock Award.

This Award program will give the opportunity for the people of Gibraltar to nominate ladies who have contributed to Gibraltar, from all walks of life, to be recognised and rewarded for their achievements and efforts. A committee comprising of both men and women, from different walks of life, including a representative from the Ministry of Equality, will select the winning nominations. 

The program will culminate with a Gala Dinner to be held on 8th March 2023 (International Women’s Day) at the Sunborn Hotel, where the Award Ceremony will take place, with one of the awards to be presented by the Minister of Equality, Samantha Sacramento.

There are seven Awards to be won as part of this program, for the following categories:

• Business Leader Award

• Diversity & Inclusion Award

• Influencer Award

• Health & Wellness Award

• Women in Media Award 

• Social Impact Award

• Lifetime Achievement Award 

Commenting on the Award program, Ayelet Mamo Shay said: ” The book The Ladies That Rock The Rock has triumphed the success of 22 inspirational ladies in Gibraltar, and last year we celebrated that with a gala dinner, an exhibition and a ladies delegation to Morocco. However I feel that there are many incredible ladies out there that have done so much for Gibraltar and deserve the recognition. We are inviting individuals and companies across Gibraltar to participate in the Award program, submit their nominations, champion Equality and celebrate International Women’s Day with us”. 

Mamo Shay added: “Last year 10% of the proceeds of the Gala Dinner and the book launch were donated to Jane Wink foundation(families in need). This year our focus is on the youth and we will be donating hundreds of copies of the book to local schools to inspire the young generations”.

The Nomination form can be obtained by email by sending a request to: 

Deadline to submit nominations is 7pm on 31 December 2022.

Keeping well this Christmas

in Health & Beauty

Christmas is a hectic time of year for most. The stress of Christmas preparations coupled with the cold winter weather leaves many feeling tired and sluggish; lack of sunlight (which disrupts our sleep / waking cycles) often adds to it all.  This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a number of additional challenges weigh on our minds: how to protect our most vulnerable, how to ensure we stay in touch despite restrictions in social “bubble” numbers, whether or not to take vaccines we may not have had before… 

Recommended tips to promote physical health, mental health and overall well-being include: 

  • Keeping a regular routine by starting your day at roughly the same time. Although it is tempting to stay in pyjamas all day, a regular routine is essential for motivation, self-confidence and sense of purpose.
  • Spending time outdoors in natural daylight on a regular basis. Make sure to wear a mask if you cannot maintain a reasonable physical distance from those outside your network.
  • Switching off in your free time – avoid engagement in any work or information that is not conducive to your mental health; ensure you have screen-free time at least an hour before bedtime.
  • De-stressing with exercise or meditation or other activities that can be carried out as a family. Regular exercise helps to control weight and boost your immune system along with, improving posture, sleep quality, bone health and concentration. Family activities are also a great way to break the tension that can build if the family is constantly cooped up inside the house.
  • Staying in touch with those you love is vital. Social connections are invaluable for providing support and easing anxiety; call by telephone, face time, fill out a festive card or write a letter.
  • Eating healthy and avoiding the temptation to reach for unhealthy comfort food is especially important. Try to meet your your 5 A Day target of fruit and veg a day, opting for multiple colours to get the best intake of vitamins and minerals. Should you find yourself craving sugary treats, try a juicy piece of fruit instead!

A warm bowlful of breakfast on a cold morning is a delicious way to start the day.

Try some porridge or Weetabix with a sliced banana, some berries or other fruit to add flavour.

  • Keeping hydrated – opt for water as opposed to several juice drinks that inevitably increase your sugar intake. Avoiding excess consumption of alcohol; if you do decide to drink keep to recommended units spaced out over several days. 
  • Refraining from smoking and ensuring that you, your children or pets stay away from exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Asking your local pharmacist for advice on how to treat symptoms for coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pain; remembering that if you have any Covid symptoms it is important to stay home, isolate and call 111 for guidance.
  • Making sure your medicine cabinet is adequately stocked and all supplies are not past their ‘sell by’ dates. 
  • Strongly considering vaccination if you have been advised to do so; ensure you get your information from the right sources before making your decision. Your GP/ Nurse Practitioner will likely provide the relevant reasoning at the time. The flu vaccine prevents several strains of the influenza virus, it also reduces the risk of flu related illnesses and decreases primary care visits by more than 40% [CDC,2020].


in Features

Community Insight

in Community Insight

Gibraltar remembers the fallen

Clock Rock 22

His Worship the Mayor, Mr Christian Santos GMD, hosted a reception at City Hall to celebrate the success of the Clock2Rock Challenge.

The challenge was completed by Mark Cooper and Ben McNulty in October. They rode their bicycles from Westminster UK to Gibraltar in seven days and twelve hours, averaging a distance of 300kms every day through all weathers.

His Worship congratulated Mr Cooper and Mr McNulty on their achievement, which resulted in them raising over £27,000 which they have donated to Cancer Relief Gibraltar and Calpe House GA.

Present at the reception were their support team Neil Crawford and Mike Milward, sponsors, friends and family, as well as representatives of both charities.

His Worship is always keen to highlight and celebrate achievements by people in our community, especially, as in this case, when their actions are solely for the benefit of others. He thanked all the challenge’s supporters at City Hall and spoke of the generosity of the people of Gibraltar, saying he was humbled by the overwhelming support of the general public both with their donations and their well wishes.

Flue Season is here

Flu season has arrived, as such the gibraltar health authority is seeing an increase in the number of flu and covid-19 related cases, with a number of people having been hospitalised as a result. Globally there is also a rise in the number of covid-19 cases and influenza a in children.

The gibraltar health authority is offering a walk-in vaccination clinic at the primary health centre this week between 1pm and 8pm and saturday and sunday between 8am-2pm. This is for people who suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, morbid obesity and other health problems that can get worse if they contract the flu.

The gha is inviting gibraltarians to attend the walk-in clinic or book an appointment by calling 20052441.

They are also inviting 12-17-year-old children to walk in with their parents and receive the covid-19 or influenza vaccine (parental consent is required). The walk-in clinic operates between 1pm-4:30pm.

If you have any concerns, please seek advice from your gp.

Armed Forces

in Armed Forces

Sir Joe Bossano laid a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and the People of Gibraltar.


A local man is celebrating after becoming the first member of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to be nominated for the Sportsman of the Year Award, held in Sandhurst.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2), Ethaniel Jeffries-Mor, travelled to the UK for the two day ceremony, where he was presented with his Runner Up Sportsman of the Year Award by Major General Zac Stenning OBE, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

WO2 Jeffries-Mor, 44, became aware that he had been nominated for the award when he began receiving numerous messages from the Regiment’s Chain of Command, and members of the British Army Judo and Infantry Judo congratulating him on his nomination.

He said, “It took a few minutes before I realised what had happened. My family were over the moon when I told them, as they are the ones who support me day in day out especially my partner and kids, Noah and Chloe.”

Having competed since he was 16 years old, WO2 Jeffries-Mor said, “After so many years of hard work and dedication, selfless commitment, even leaving my family behind in order to pursue what I love and represent not only my Regiment but also Gibraltar, it couldn’t have felt better to have been nominated.

“I really couldn’t have done this without the continuous support of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.”

WO2 Jeffries-Mor picked up an injury on his last training camp at the Judo School of Excellence in Walsall, resulting in a fracture to his right foot. Despite this, he remains active in order to prepare for his next competition, the Army Championships in January 23.

On Monday 14 November 2022, The Headquarters Company, Thomson’s Battery, fired a 21-Royal Gun Salute to celebrate the 74th Birthday of His Majesty King Charles III.

The ceremony was attended by the Inspecting Officer, His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir David Steel KBE DL who was formally received and hosted by the Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Moore.

To mark the special occasion, the first round of the Royal Gun Salute was fired at 1200 under the watchful eye of the Battery Commander (BC) Major Garcia-White.

Members of the public gathered to watch the salute, which lasted just over three minutes as officers and veterans from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment stood to attention.

Major Garcia-White marched towards His Excellency, saluted, and reported that the Gun Salute was complete and that all guns were empty. The gun crews were then given a short address by His Excellency before he was invited to sign the Inspecting Officers’ book.

Business Insight

in Business Insight

Brexit Update

Negotiations over the Gibraltar portion of Brexit continue very positively according to the Government of Gibraltar. HMGoG has stressed that it remains committed to work seamlessly alongside the Government of the United Kingdom, towards being able to agree texts with the European Union as soon as possible but only if the principles, substance and texts are safe and secure for Gibraltar.

HMGoG has also reiterated that the negotiations are both technically and politically complicated. Despite that, Gibraltar continues to work intensively with the United Kingdom to make as much progress as possible.

At the same time, contingencies have been made to continue to plan for a No Negotiated Outcome in the event that it were not possible to reach agreement.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC MP, said, “It’s clear to me that all parties are putting a lot of hard work and good faith into trying to finalise this important UK/EU Treaty as soon as possible in a manner that is agreeable by all relevant parties.

Great resources are being deployed to try to reach an agreement. We are all optimistic and positive in our outlook. That there are elements in respect of which we may be largely in agreement at this stage of these long and arduous negotiations is certainly true. We look forward to crossing t’s and dotting i’s on the text relating to all aspects of Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU at the right moment and, for the sake and interests of citizens on both sides of the border, we look forward to this process happening sooner rather than later. But we are not there yet.”

Local Content  as Trusted NOVUS BANK Launches Community Business Series online

Trusted Novus Bank has launched a Community Business Series on YouTube. They will be creating original local content, focusing on financial matters which are important within the Gibraltar community. The first topic, deals with Fixed Rate Mortgages, given the fast moving interest rate environment where many people are considering moving on to a fixed rate mortgage.

Just search on YouTube to find out more.

Gomez Does The Double

Nicholas Gomez of Charles Gomez & Co has secured a second term as Round Table International’s Regional Chairman of the Southern Europe and Mediterranean Region.

Mr Gomez was the first Gibraltarian in history to secure this position. 

The region includes over 5,000 members in thirteen territories: France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Israel, Monaco, San Marino and, naturally, Gibraltar.

In addition, Mr Gomez finds the time to draft anti money laundering procedures for the whole of the Round Table International organisation.

Well done Nicholas!

Community Insight

in Community Insight

Gibraltar Cultural Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture has announced the results of this year’s Cultural Awards. The winners were presented with their awards at a prestigious event at The John Mackintosh Hall, also broadcast by GBC.

The Awards aim to celebrate Gibraltar’s arts and culture, looking at the achievements and successes of individuals and groups between July 2021 and June 2022. These awards recognise and highlight potential, ability, talent, and achievement, whilst at the same time supporting the community’s artistic and cultural development.

The Minister for Culture, The Hon. Professor John Cortes MP said, “The Cultural Awards are a recognition, not just of the achievements of those who receive them, but of the richness and standard of Culture in our community, and the calibre of all its players. I want to thank all who have taken the trouble to nominate, all who have voted, and the panel itself for supporting the Awards and in this way supporting Culture.”

His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau have issued the first set of stamps featuring His Majesty’s Royal Cypher.

The set of stamps titled ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ covers the postage values used in Gibraltar for postal operations throughout the Christmas period. They depict all the gifts that form part of the world-renowned Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

The stamps have been designed by local graphics artist Mr Stephen Perera, and have been printed on high quality gummed paper.

The Minister for Portal Services, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP, said, “We are honoured and proud to become the first country to issue a set of stamps with His Majesty’s Royal Cypher. We all know what the Royal family means to Gibraltar. Although we will never forget Her Majesty we will now show the same affection to King Charles, King of Gibraltar”.

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC, said, “Gibraltar will be the first of His Majesty’s Realms to send His image around the world on our mail. I am delighted at this demonstration of our loyalty to His Majesty and the Crown.”

Collectors can purchase these stamps from the Philatelic Shop in 104 Main Street or

49th Gibraltar International Art Exhibition

The Gibraltar International Art Exhibition organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture is being held at the Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery. Both local and international artists submitted a total of 128 works.

Police Insight

in Features

“At any one time, we could be listening to a victim of domestic abuse or taking details over the radio of a suspected drunk driver and, at the same time, we know that there’s a lady downstairs who wants to report that she has lost her mobile phone,” says PC Kasmira Kingsley who is one of the RGP’s Command and Dispatch officers.

This week is International Control Room Week which celebrates and raises awareness of the vital role played by control room teams who deal with traumatic and distressing situations every day of the year.

Last year’s International Control Room Week saw over 200 control rooms and more than 10,000 personnel from police, ambulance, fire and coastguard services across the UK get involved, as well as control rooms from as far afield as the United States, Australia and India.

PC Kingsley, who has been in the RGP for six years, says, “It is impossible to describe a ‘typical’ shift in the Control Room. We deal with everything – from life-or-death emergencies to stupid, time-wasting phone calls. We also get a lot of foul-mouthed abuse. But, at all times, we need to stay calm, attentive, and polite when dealing with every caller.’

Another of the RGP’s Controllers is PC Jayron Walker who has been a police officer for just over three years. ‘Despite being quite junior, I think of Controllers as ‘the brains’ of the RGP. We receive lots of information over the police radios and from telephone calls and then we quickly assess that information before deciding which of our ‘limbs’ to use. Do we send a firearms unit? A van with extra officers? Could it be just a hoax?  

“We allocate a Grade to every incident: a Grade 1 is an emergency which must have an immediate response but it could last for some time. I was on duty when we had a man threatened to end his life and that took several hours and a lot of police manpower to resolve. At the other end of the scale we might allocate a routine event as Grade 4 which will be followed up when time permits.”  These decisions are quickly made by the Controller without any reference to a more senior officer.

The Control Room is manned by two Constables, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the Controllers working on a three shift pattern, ‘Mornings’ (7am – 3pm), ‘Lates’ (2pm – 11pm) and ‘Nights’ (10pm – 8am). 

Mornings shifts are characterised by lots of administrative matters. Members of the public tend to make enquiries about lost property or they call to ask for details of ongoing investigations. Meanwhile officers being allocated to attend court, transport needs to be arranged for prisoners and Roads Policing officers are calling in with details of driving offences during the morning rush hour. 

In the afternoons, as children leave school and workers go home, the nature of the calls changes – there are more reports of anti-social behaviour, bad driving and domestic abuse. Later in the evening, the number of alcohol-related crimes starts to increase – reports come in of drunk drivers, fights and assaults, more domestic abuse, Road Traffic Collisions, border queues and so on. It is not unusual, especially during ‘Lates’ on a Friday, for there to be several major issues all running at once. “You get so busy that you can’t even speak to the other Controller – and anyway, he or she is just as busy as you are.”

The Night shift tends to have fewer incidents but often they can be the more serious ones – burglaries, break-ins, and very drunk drivers. 

But, throughout all the shifts there are always the irritating calls, “I’m calling the police emergency number 119 because I haven’t got any credit on my phone. What time does the ice cream van come to my estate?”

And, at least twice every shift, the Controllers will respond to an elderly person’s Panic Button going off. This usually means that officers must immediately be dispatched to the person’s home, often to find that an ambulance is required. 

Officers chosen for Controller training tend to have certain skills. They have the ability to stay calm in an emergency, they are good listeners and they must have endless supplies of patience. It also helps to be fluent in Spanish.

Kasmira says that being a Controller brings lots of job satisfaction.

“One night I took a poor-quality call in which a man was screaming in a mixture of French and Spanish so I deployed our Marine Section and, as a result, they were able to save the lives of several Moroccan men whose boat was sinking off Europa Point. There have been many other occasions when I have sent officers to intervene in cases of some nasty domestic abuse. When this happens, I get a real feeling of satisfaction from having played my part in helping someone who was in trouble.”

Jayron added, “I remember a night when I took a report about a missing child. The mother was understandably distraught but, by getting her to calm down and talk to me, I was able to work out where the child might be hiding. Officers went to investigate and found the child where I’d thought he might be. I got a good feeling from having done my bit to find him.”

Most people will never need to call the RGP Control Room, but if they do, we hope that, they understand that the officer on the other end of the line may also be dealing with several other important issues and with various people all wanting their problem to be dealt with, immediately. That public awareness is one of the main aims of International Control Room Week.

Who knows, it might be Kasmira or Jayron who you are speaking to …

Tony’s Retirement

The Royal Gibraltar Police has said goodbye to PC 118 Tony de Soto, who is retiring from the force, after nearly 14 years of service. 

Tony joined the RGP in 2009 at the age of 41 and worked for several years in the Response and Community Policing Team.

For the last eight years, he has mostly worked in the Armed Response Vehicle team and in his spare time he is a keen member of the Gibraltar Pistol Association.

He came third in the Open Senior event at an international shooting competition at O Pinhal in Portugal earlier this month.

Tony, 54, said, “I’m very proud and honoured to have served Gibraltar and if I could do it all again, I would.”

An RGP spokesperson, said, “PC De Soto, thanks for your years of service to Gibraltar and its people.

“We hope you enjoy your well-earned retirement and we wish you all the best.”

Happy retirement Tony, from all you friends at Insight and thought Gibraltar.

OFT shopping tips for the upcoming Christmas and Seasonal sale

in Features

With the run-up to Christmas, and the January sales thereafter, we find ourselves approaching the most intense annual period of consumer spending. For many this is the best time of the year, but also the most expensive. With the rapidly rising cost of living it is more important than ever for consumers to look for the best deals and to get value for money. 

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is therefore offering shopping tips to help consumers become acquainted with their rights and to minimise disappointments over the festive period.  These are based on common complaints received by the OFT.

the ofts shopping tips

Shop around for best prices & get acquainted with refund and return policies 

Look around for the best price before you buy. This may sound obvious, however consumers too often assume that prices for the same item will be the same everywhere. In fact, they may vary significantly from shop to shop, even if they are part of the same group.  

If you find something you have bought for a better price elsewhere you do not automatically have the right in law to return it. This depends on the business’s return and refund policy, if any. Retailers refund and return policies can differ significantly from store to store so make sure you check whether refunds, exchanges or credit notes are available before you buy.

Refunds are obligatory however where goods sold do not honour your consumer rights (see below). 

Know your rights 

Any goods that you buy, whether in store or online, must:

• match the description given, 

• be of satisfactory quality; and 

• be fit for purpose. 

If they do not meet any of the above criteria you may be entitled to refunds, repairs or replacements. Generally, if goods are faulty within 30 days from purchase, consumers can reject the goods and claim for a full refund.  There is a useful flowchart in the schedule of the Code of conduct for Retailers of Goods (see below) that can assist you in determining the type of redress you may be entitled to.

Keep your receipts 

You will need proof of purchase if you wish to return your goods or make a claim against a retailer. It is strongly recommend therefore that you keep your receipts. If receipts are not available you may be able to use a relevant bank and credit card statements, however this is not guaranteed.

Gift receipts & Gift vouchers 

Ask for a gift receipt when buying goods for your loved ones. This will enable the recipient to exercise their rights to return the goods or make a claim against the retailer if something is wrong without revealing the price of the item. 

Gift vouchers are a popular present, however you need to be aware of the terms and conditions of each voucher, often found in small print. If a voucher has an expiry date this information should be communicated to you in advance. Make sure you tell your loved one once they receive it too.

Do your online shopping with plenty of time

By law retailers have up to 30 days to deliver goods unless otherwise agreed, so it’s worth doing your online shopping early to ensure your goods arrive in time for Christmas. 

If receiving the goods before Christmas is essential, make sure this is guaranteed by the retailer.   

Consumers have additional protection when shopping online. In most cases consumers will have a 14 day cancellation period, from delivery, to change their mind and get a full refund, including the basic delivery charges.

Act promptly if something is wrong 

Check your purchases at the store before buying or as soon as you receive them if they have been delivered. If something is wrong, you will need to act promptly if you wish to exercise your statutory right to reject the goods and claim a full refund. 

Refer to the flowchart in the schedule of the Code of conduct for Retailers of Goods (see below) that can assist you in determining the redress you may be entitled to depending on when issues are raised after purchase.

Seasonal Sales 

Remember you have exactly the same rights on sale items as you do on full price goods. If a reduction is offered as a result of a fault that is pointed out to you however you will not be able to make a claim for this fault later. 

New Code of conduct for Retailers of Goods

A new code was issued by the OFT for the retail sector in March 2022.  Although the document is primarily designed to educate retailers, consumers can also rely on it to understand the standards expected from local traders. The Code can be found in the ‘Documents’ section of the OFT’s website:

We are here to help

The OFT’s Consumer Protection Team hope that you will find this article useful and that it will help you avoid any unfortunate surprises during this period. You can find more information and guidance in the ‘Consumer Protection’ section of the OFT’s website and by following the OFT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Should you nevertheless encounter any problems or have doubts about your consumer rights please contact reach out to the OFT’s Consumer Protection Team: 


Tel: 20071700  / WhatsApp: 56002998

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