Inspiring and Humbling Interview with Geoffrey Benjamin BEM & Patrick Henry BEM

June 17, 2021

On 17th June 2021 Tammy Williams on Saint FM conducted in her own words an inspiring and humbling interview from two Saint men, working behind the scenes and really making a huge contribution to our community – Geoffrey Benjamin BEM & Patrick Henry BEM
In the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours Awards Overseas and International Honours list on 12 June 2021 Geoff & Pat received the following:
  • British Empire Medal (BEM) to Geoffrey Eric Benjamin, Senior Biomedical Scientist for Services to the COVID-19 response on St Helena.
  • British Empire Medal (BEM) to Patrick George Henry, Chairman and Coach of the Jamestown Rifle Club for services to sports on St Helena.
Geoffrey Benjamin
Geoffrey Benjamin is being recognised for the significant role he played within the Health Services Directorate for the implementation of COVID-19 testing on the Island in May/June last year.  Geoffrey was the laboratory specialist lead person and through his knowledge and innovation modified the existing laboratory at short notice and with limited resources to allow for testing in line with Public Health England (PHE) standards.  He was also the dedicated lead on the procurement of specialist laboratory equipment and with there being no other specialists on-Island at the time, Geoffrey worked remotely with manufacturers in the UK volunteering many of his evenings and weekends to ensure that equipment underwent strict validation to certify the safety and accuracy of testing.  In demonstrating further diligence, Geoffrey made himself available at all hours of the day when requests for testing of new arrivals from maritime vessels, charter flights and quarantine facilities were made and he worked tirelessly to ensure that all testing was carried out on time.
Geoffrey has played a major role in St Helena’s COVID-19 response plan.  His expertise, professionalism and devotion to implementing effectively this new and important testing regime, meant that the Island went from no capability to full capability in just six weeks and gives the assurance of further protection to the community of St Helena.
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry is being recognised for his commitment and dedication to motivate and train individuals to their highest ability in the sport of shooting on St Helena. He is also recognised as the driving force for the upgrade and renovation of the Jamestown Rifle Club to a safe training environment with modern equipment and has invested a lot of his personal time into the upkeep of the Club.
Patrick is not only a shooting coach, but also the only archery coach on St Helena.  He actively encourages the youth to take part in this renowned sport and has volunteered a huge amount of his time in training individuals for international shooting games such as the Commonwealth Games and NatWest Island Games that took place in 2014, 2015 and 2017.  As a testament to his dedication and skill, under his management of the 2015 Island Games, the shooting team attained two medals in Jersey, and under his management in Gotland, 2017 participants attained seven medals including two gold medals.
Patrick continues to dedicate much of his time in training of individuals in this sport and promoting it amongst the youth, and is always looking for ways to improve the Jamestown Rifle Club and bring it up to international standards as far as resources will allow, making it a place to be enjoyed by all.
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