THE ST LAWRENCE LIBERATION 75 PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION-
By KAREN BLAMPIED
UNDER the Covid-19 restrictions we were not able to open the Exhibition on 1 May as planned so it will now commence on 28 June. I have chosen this date because:
‘The German Occupation of Jersey began one week after the British government had demilitarized the island. On 28 June , the German Air Force, not knowing of the demilitarization, bombed and machine gunned multiple sites in the Island. The attacks killed ten people and wounded many more. A few days later on 1 July 1940 General Richthofen, The Commander of the German Air Forces in Normandy, dropped an ultimatum from the air demanding the immediate surrender of the Island. White flags and crosses were placed in prominent positions, as stipulated by the Germans, and later that day Jersey was occupied by air-borne troops under the command of Hauptmann Gussek.’
This date seemed appropriate, although 80 years ago not 75. This is not an event to ‘celebrate’ exactly, but none the less a significant date in our Island Occupation history.
The St Lawrence Liberation 75 Photographic Exhibition focus on individual stories that reflect aspects of Occupation and Liberation common to many. The 70 photomontages that make up A Parish Story will be on display in the Moignard Liberation Garden, La Grande Route de St Laurent. St Lawrence.
There have been several things that have struck me as poignant in the stories told through the photomontages:
* the items that people have kept from the Occupation;
* the photos that shout how unfair war is;
* the relationships that were built as a result of the Occupation and
* the stories of compassion expressed therein.
To realise this idea a ‘photographic team’ was established to provide the expertise to achieve such an undertaking: Alfie Pipon, local Parish historian and an Occupation VIP; Noel Le Fondré, a member of the Channel Island Occupation Society; Sue Hardy, a Blue Badge Guide and local historian; Deputy Gregory Guida, photographer; Deputy Kirsten Morel, writer; Mary Moody Occupation VIP & St Lawrence Church representative; Pat Sabey, St Lawrence Liberation 75 Celebrations Co-ordinator; Marion Hibbeard; Advertising Co-ordinator; Anne Pilley, of the St Lawrence Ladies Action Group; David Vibert, Parish Gardener; Georgia Le Maistre, member of the Channel Island Family History Society and Matt Evans, Digital Technician for the audio-visual presentation. Credit must also be given to the people in the following Organisations, who have made this exhibition possible: Emily Le Feuvre at Jersey Archive; Karen Biddlecombe at the Société Jersiaise Photographic Department; The JEP photo archive. The fabric of the Exhibition by Max Guegan at Signtech; Tony Moon at The Jersey Fencing Centre. Finally, the Constable of St Lawrence Deidre Mezbourian for agreeing to the whole idea two years ago and giving it her full support.