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Curtly Richards has 289 articles published.

Oxford UOTC Training In Gibraltar

in Culture Insight/Features

Members of Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC) recently visited Gibraltar to take part in Exercise Barbary Warrior 2.

It is an Army Reserve unit that recruits exclusively from Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Reading, Cirencester and Gloucestershire Universities.  

One hundred and thirty members of the Unit participated in the exercise at Buffadero Training Camp and in the MOD tunnels within The Rock.  They also undertook a range of challenging pursuits around the peninsular.

At the start of the exercise, Oxford UOTC’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Walters said, “We are delighted to be in Gibraltar and are very grateful for our warm reception.  My team and I are looking forward to the opportunity to develop some of the British Army’s future leaders in this unique training location.” 

Gibraltar Squadron Families Day

in Features/History Insight
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The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) recently lifted the lid on its day-to-day operations for close friends and family of those serving.

The Squadron Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Kyle Walkley said: “We ask a lot of our people here, often working long hours in demanding conditions, but it can be easy to forget the partners and loved ones at home, so it is nice to be able to host them and talk to them about what we do”.

It has been a particularly busy patch for RNGS, which included an annual maintenance period for HMS Scimitar, the NatWest Island Games and a week of Operational Sea Training.

The afternoon included a gourmet BBQ and drinks alongside, children’s entertainment, a bouncy castle and rides in the adventurous training RHIBS.  The day was funded in part from the annual grant the Squadron receives from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and a one off grant from SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity.  

The event itself had been organised by Sgt John “Ronnie” Corbett and Leading Seaman (Supply Chain) James “DJ” Anderson.  The Commanding Officer paid credit to them: “I would like to extend a huge thanks to Sgt Corbett and LSC Anderson for the work they have put in to today and over the past few weeks.  Without them this event simply would not have taken place”.

It wasn’t all fun and games for some, however. The RNGS capability remained intact during the event with some squadron members maintaining operations on the water.

Droning on Positively

in Technology Insight

Using a combination of cutting-edge technology, LG recently lent a hand to a reforestation programme across the Frontier.

The Alto Tajo Natural Park had been devastated by fire across a wide area, but this tragedy provided an opportunity to rethink traditional reforestation methods.

Using a combination of drones, LG smartphones and laptops, the affected area was mapped and the subsequent data was analysed in order to identify the optimum areas to disperse seeds. Complicated modelling of weather patterns including wind direction and precipitation formed an integral part of this process.

The result was approximately 2 million seeds being deployed by drone throughout the park. It is anticipated that
1.5 million seeds will ‘take’ successfully.

It is hoped the LG Smart Green project can be used more frequently elsewhere in the world, especially as critical areas of the Amazon have fallen victim to forest fires.

Galaxy Note 10

in Technology Insight

The latest salvo in the smart device wars is from Samsung, who’ve just released the latest Galaxy “phablet” – the Note10. Available in two sizes, it once again ups the ante in terms of performance from a handheld device.

“From the very beginning, the Galaxy Note has stood for the best-of-the-best technologies and features. The Galaxy Note10 re-imagines this promise for the modern Note fan who uses their smartphone to take their productivity and creativity to the next level, and who effortlessly flows between ideas and endeavors at a moment’s notice,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “Every element of the Galaxy Note10 was designed to help users achieve more. Whether they’re finishing a big project for work, capturing and editing a video, or playing their favorite mobile game, the Galaxy Note10 will help them do it faster and better.”

Gibraltar Tourist Board

in Business Insight

The Gibraltar Tourist Board has been busy strengthening ties with their counterparts in the UK. Part of this strategy involves hosting familiarisation trips for UK travel agents so that they can best match Gibraltar as a tourist destination with potential clients.

The first such group has already been to the Rock, and enjoyed some of Gibraltar’s highlights with a packed itinerary of activities, including getting up close with the Barbary apes, dolphin watching plus visits to many further attractions.

Minister for Tourism, Gilbert Licudi QC said, “The travel trade is a vital route to market for us, which is why we have formulated this strategy to further develop our bonds with UK agents. We have recently experienced extensive investments in our accommodation sector and it is increasingly becoming appealing to a broader demographic. The uniqueness of the warm British Gibraltarian welcome in the heart of the Mediterranean and a good value pound Sterling destination continues to be an important message in times of currency volatility”.

The plan includes trade advertising and an incentivised e-learning course where agents can win familiarisation trip places. Those interested should head to to find out more.

Natwest Reorganisation

in Business Insight

NatWest International has reorganised its leadership team in Gibraltar as well as simplifying its structure.

Personal, Premier Banking, Business Banking, Corporate & Commercial and Local Real Estate Finance, have been combined under a new division called ‘Local Banking’. Funds Banking, services for Financial & Corporate Service providers, and Institutional Real Estate Finance, now form a new ‘Institutional Banking’ division. 

Gordon Paterson has been appointed to the new role of Head of Local Banking, NatWest International, Gibraltar.  Gordon, who has moved to Gibraltar to take on the post, has held various roles within the RBS Group. His most recent roles since joining RBS International in 2007 have been as Head of Corporate Credit and latterly leading the Real Estate Finance business for RBS International based in Jersey.

Ian Harcourt – who has been appointed Head of Institutional Banking in Luxembourg – will continue to have responsibility for Financial & Corporate Service providers in Gibraltar, and the customer team that is already in place will remain and report to Ian. 

Commenting on the re-structure and the new roles that have been created, Andrew McLaughlin, CEO, said, “To truly become a bank that’s easy to deal with, both for our customers and our colleagues, we know we have to make changes to how our business is organised to support this. Congratulations to our new leaders, and those taking on new roles within our business.” 

No Brexit Advice Highlighted

in Business Insight

Despite a change in leadership in 10 Downing Street, the position of the UK, along with Gibraltar, in leaving the European Union remains unclarified, although at the time of going to press diplomatic manoeuvres were under way between the UK and primary EU players, Germany and France.

HMGoG’s message to citizens and businesses is that they should inform themselves and make the necessary preparations for a “no deal” Brexit. Businesses should contact suppliers and establish that there are no issues with the supply chain that could affect getting anticipated goods to Gibraltar. The Brexit section of the Gibraltar Government website ( contains copies of the Technical Notices which have already been published across a number of different areas.

Businesses who have a query should contact the relevant department for advice.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who is responsible for work related to Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union said, “The Government, over the next few weeks, will be reminding the public to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. We intend to issue once again the advice we have given covering issues like passports, identity cards, driving licences and health cards. This is important to both the general public and to the business community.

An advertising campaign in the local press and on the Government’s social media platforms will be part of the strategy as we prepare to leave the European Union on 31 October.”

Commonwealth Plaque in London

in Community Insight

A new prestigious metallic plaque has been fixed at the entrance to Gibraltar House on the Strand in London, to celebrate the Rock’s place as part of the Commonwealth community of nations. The plaque is part of the London Commonwealth Walkway, launched by Her Majesty The Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, last year.

The walkway consists of a 1.25 mile route that links Gibraltar House with the High Commissions of Canada, Cyprus, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Australia as well as the government offices of The Falklands. It begins at Australia House, followed by India House, both close to Gibraltar House, and ends at Marlborough Palace, the seat of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia commented, “Gibraltar’s relationship with the Commonwealth has always been important to us and becomes all the more so as Brexit unfolds. Recognition of our place in the Commonwealth of Nations with our inclusion in the London Commonwealth Walkway is a welcomed cultural gesture as we continue to work to find and build on the opportunities that the relationships with people and members of the Commonwealth can bring. It also reinforces our strong ties with the United Kingdom and London and with the wider British family.”

New Members for Public Service Commission

L-R: Mr Mario Maurice Hook, Ms Nadine Marie Collado, Mrs Nyreen Marie Bossano-Llamas, with His Excellency the Governor

Annual Charity Cardboard Race

in Community Insight

In its 11th year, the Annual Charity Cardboard Boat Race didn’t disappoint, both in the ingenuity of the vessels entered, and the amount raised for local charities.

The event was held in Ocean Village, in partnership with The William Tilley Lodge of the RAOB.

A total of £5208.06 was raised for Clubhouse Gibraltar & the GBC Open Day Fund.

The results were:

Senior Category

Monster Energy Shield Adults Race:

  • 1st: Morrissippi – Morrisons Supermarket
  • 2nd: Batmobile – JP Haulage
  • 3rd: Gracie-Lou – Humphries

SCSI Shield for Best Fancy Dress: 

  • Batman – JP Haulage

The Bridge Bar & Grill Shield for Best Boat Design: 

  • Land Rover Defender – AM Capurro

Junior Category

Ibex Insurance Shield Junior Race;

  • 1st: Jami – Monica’s Vikings
  • 2nd: Tornado – No2 Overseas Sqn
    Air Cadets
  • 3rd: Little Rockers – Little Rock Cafe

JP Haulage Shield for best fancy dress: 

  • Jami – Monica’s Vikings
  • Bruno’s Shield for Best Boat Design: 
  • Tornado – No2 Overseas Sqn Air Cadets


Anglo Hispano “Titanic” Shield for Most Dramatic Sinking: 2B 

Bruno’s Buffalo’s Special Prize “Tug of War”: Morrissippi – Morrison Supermarket

Those wishing to take part next year should contact

National Banner Day

in Community Insight
National Banner Day
National Banner Day

The Self Determination for Gibraltar Group (SDGG) has announced that the National Day banner will be available to be signed by the general public, as in previous years.

The SDGG calls on all Gibraltarians to come down to Main Street and sign the banner that as customary will then be placed at the stage in Casemates for the National Day Festivities. The stand will be set up every day from Monday 2nd to Saturday 7th September at the Piazza.

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