I had been going through a number of my files when I came across one about
. The contents reminded me of how the States was duped into making a
decision which it later had to overturn. The contents also revealed the part
played in the shenanigans by the now Senator Philip Bailhache who at the time
was Attorney General and soon to be Bailiff. Also and very interestingly he
became Chairman of its Independent Governing Board during the period when Mr
Jervis-Dykes was teaching there and was later sentenced to a lengthy prison
sentence for sexual assaults on a number of pupils. Victoria College
One will have to go back to 1991 when Jack Hydes had been appointed Head Master at the College but was denied membership to the Head Masters Conference (
HMC) which is a bit like an old boys club where one of the perceived benefits
is that their pupils are able to shoot at Bisley.
A way had to be found to allow for Mr Hydes’ acceptance and it was perceived that if the College’s Governing Board was independent it would pave the way for Mr Hydes. This perception was inaccurate because membership is determined by the Head Master’s credentials and not the School’s nor the Governing Board, but this fact was not made known to States Members.
At that time the Education Committee of the day was also embroiled in a debate about the introduction of a 6th
for the Form College Island’s non- fee paying students. It was
also intending to lodge a proposition to establish Governing Bodies for all the
but it required Law drafting time which would be some way off.
I had been elected at the end of 1993 and on
12th April 1994 the States debated the Education Committee’s proposition to amend the
“Loi 1960 au sujet du College to establish a new
Governing Body. This in affect was jumping the queue ahead of all the other
I still have a vivid memory of the debate and felt like Oliver Twist asking Mr Bumble for more porridge when I rose to speak. The late Sir Peter Crill was in the chair and apart from being an Old Victorian (OV) was known to have little patience for new members particularly if he considered them to be wasting time. The Education President Connétable Iris Le Feuvre had outlined the proposition which was expected to be approved on the nod because she asked whether it was necessary to go through the Articles. Sir Peter said the simplest way was for them to be taken as read and just answer any questions should any arise. His tone was such that none or speeches were expected.
I was first to speak and said the proposition was more to do with the Head Master’s acceptance to the
HMC than providing for a democratically elected governing body in line with
Education’s own guidelines. It was establishing quango which was independent of
the States who was still expected to pay the College’s maintenance and
educational costs. I remember Sir Peter being very agitated by my speech and
moved from one cheek of his backside to another. In conclusion I suggested that
the proposition be taken back to the drawing board.
Sir Peter was clearly upset with my suggestion and instead of calling for the vote had to ask whether it was necessary for anyone else to speak. There were but it was a short debate with questions mainly answered by Sir Peter who at one time said “I shouldn't be doing this, the President should being doing this.” There were a couple short speeches from former students (OV’s) reminiscing on their school days and the pleasure of shooting at Bisley which would be denied to current students if the head master was excluded from the
HMC. Although this was untrue it would not have made any difference as the
Articles were accepted en bloc on a standing vote.
Law drafting time is important and the order of precedence in those days was approved by States Members. In normal circumstances the Draft Loi would have been put to the end of the queue unless the President sought States approval to move it up the list. However this was not necessary because unknown to States Members the necessary drafting had already been done thanks to the intervention of the Attorney General who was Philip Bailhache and soon to be appointed Bailiff and Chairman of the Victoria College Governing Board.
January 1994 some 3 months before the debate a
memo was sent by the Law Draftsman to the Assistant Director of the Education
Department stating that by way of a “farewell gift” and because of Attorney
General’s personal interest in the matter the 1860 Loi had been drafted.
The memo was subsequently leaked to the JEP whose reporter Phil Falle later published a report in which the explanation for the “farewell gift” was described as a characteristic joke by the Law Draftsman and the likelihood of such a thing happening again had been reduced.
It is evident that Senator Bailhache was able to use his influence to arrange for the law drafting for which he had a personal interest to the detriment of other laws which were higher up the queue. It is sometimes said that “rank has its privileges” but should it extend to using one’s position to further one’s means?
The Governing Board was later established with the newly appointed Bailiff Sir Philip appointed its first Chairman. This was subsequently to lead to further complications, conflicts of interest and abuse of position.
This will be explained in a further Blog which I shall publish shortly.