Visit to Guernsey

21st August 2018

While on holiday in Guernsey the current Master had the great good fortune to meet Past Master Mike Tanguy, a Guernsey resident, born and bred.

Mike is a Jurat and it was a real privilege for the Master to hear exactly the meaning of this title. Guernsey’s legal system is totally different from the UK’s where juries are selected from the general populace, however well or badly fitted to the task they may be.

In Guernsey this “pot luck” approach is replaced by a permanent group of 16 Jurats who not only act as a jury but, similar to Magistrates in the UK’s system, also pass sentence.

The title is permanent so, despite the fact that Mike retired at the age of 72, he still retains the title and the huge privilege of a parking space in the Royal Courts!

Mike very kindly showed the Master and Mistress around the Courts, introduced them to the Bailiff (Sir Richard Collas) and showed them the documents in the Griffe – the main archive on the Island.

These treasures included the original Charter, even older, by hundreds of years, than the Fruiterers’ Charter of 1606.

The Master and Mistress were also shown the conveyance of Victor Hugo’s house after he (Victor Hugo) was exiled to Guernsey from Jersey. This had especial interest to the Mistress who studied the works of Victor Hugo as part of her degree, all those many, many years ago!

Also on the Island was Liveryman Ian Adams. He was in transit to the nearby island of Herm to celebrate - together with members of his family - his and his wife’s birthdays, apparently revisiting romantic haunts of their past.

The Master would like to thank PM Tanguy for his and his wife’s (Elizabeth’s) hospitality and the explanations of the history and judicial system which were given with such good grace.

Fellowship and Fun in practice!