Page 10 - Lifestyles in Palm Beach Gardens - January '23
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Page 10, Lifestyles in Palm Beach Gardens
      The Channel Islands: Location, Location, Location

      Previously submitted by the                                                                          mainland. Many of the older population who still reside there
      late Don Kiselewski, MCC,                                                                            today vividly recall the hardships they once endured.
      D.S., Palm Beach Gardens                                                                               A major portion of the islands are barren, due to the strong
      Travel Leaders                                                                                       winds. However, the earth is harvested for an abundance of
        How many times have                                                                                table vegetables, particularly tomatoes. They even produce
      we heard those three words?                                                                          a tomato wine that they boast is not made anywhere else.
      In the case of the group of                                                                          And, for those who enjoy milk products, it is hard to beat
      islands off the coast of France,                                                                     the products produced from the cow’s milk from Guernsey
      it couldn’t be truer. Because                      closest, just eight miles offshore. Likewise, it is the largest of the   and Jersey. Although similar, these are two distinct breeds
      of their location, the Channel                     islands followed by Guernsey and then Alderney. The coast of   and both produce exceptionally rich milk. I can assure you
      Islands have played a major                        England from Guernsey is 90 miles to the north, whereas Jersey   that freshly baked scones with strawberry jam and Guernsey
      part in many endeavors. They                       is some 200 miles from the mother country. Ferries run between   cream can’t be beaten!
      form a stepping stone between England and France, and,   the islands and off the adjacent shores of England and France.    For total relaxation, again it’s the Channel Islands for
      needless to say, we all know of the frictions that have existed     Politically, the Channel Islands have a unique position in   location, with few people, no apparent poverty because
      between those two nations. The islands are a secluded location   the world makeup. They realize a great degree of autonomy,   the hardworking islanders are surprisingly affluent, and a
      to enjoy a quiet life. And, probably the most interesting aspect   although they pledged their allegiance to the English Crown   relatively mild climate surrounded by the English Channel.
      of their location is their emergence in international offshore   over 800 years ago. However, this has not kept them from   For those who really want to escape the outside world, a
      banking. They are, you could say, the “Cayman Islands” of the   “doing their own thing.” As mentioned, there is a formal   visit to the three smaller islands in the Guernsey Bailiwick
      English Channel.                                   allegiance to the Crown but they are not subject to the   will send you back in time. No automobiles or television are
        The location gave Channel Island “privateers” first pickings   laws passed by the British Parliament, except when acting   allowed on the islands. Those are the rules for total relaxation,
      of the ships (which may or may not have been in trouble) that   upon their own consent. This relationship has far reaching   the old-fashioned way. Horse-drawn vehicles and tractors
      sailed through the English Channel. Today, the islands are   consequences in a unified Europe. The islands are an “associate   make up the means of getting around.
      dotted with large nine-window, multistory homes. This was   member” of the European Union (EU), but not a full member     The Channel Islands are a haven for the fast contemporary
      the standard of the opulent bounty hunter of the sea. As with   and do not abide by many of the EU’s laws promulgated   world in a relaxing atmosphere of yesteryear. Visit them and be
      most government corruption, the privateer was allowed to   in Brussels. Nevertheless, the EU’s free-trade advantage is   pleasingly surprised at the “location.”
      plunder because he had a license to do so. That is, as long as   recognized. Currently, two lieutenant governors, one per     The late Don Kiselewski wrote from his personal experiences,
      the government officials got their share.          bailiwick, represent the ties to the British Crown.  having traveled in 122 countries and cruised the oceans, seas
        The islands have also been safe haven for those escaping     The Channel Islands print their own sterling currency and   and rivers of the world. Palm Beach Gardens Travel Leaders,
      European strife over the centuries. Because William the   also trade with the euro, as well as the U.S. dollar and British   his family owned and operated agency, is located at Mirasol
      Conqueror first captured the islands in 1066, before going on to   pound sterling. Interestingly, the Channel islanders will accept   Town Square, 11360 North Jog Road, Building A, Suite 102-6,
      conquer England in the Battle of Hastings, the islanders boast   the British pound, but the British islanders will not accept the   Palm Beach Gardens. The agency has been serving the travel
      that, “This means that England was annexed to the Channel   Channel islanders’ pound. The Channel islanders pay no taxes   needs of the South Florida area for over a quarter of a century.
      Islands, rather than the other way around.”        to Britain, and as a result, many goods and services are less   Contact them at (561) 694-9696 or
        I’m not going to get in the middle of that one.  expensive in the islands. The main islands are contemporary                  Photos by Don Kiselewski
        The Channel Islands are a group of five major islands that   financial hubs. Some 60 banks have offices in St. Peter Port
      have been divided into two “bailiwicks.” The name bailiwick   alone. In addition to the British banking facilities, American,
      was established to define portions of the islands for governing   Australian, Canadian and most European nations are
      jurisdictions back in the days when barons ruled the archipelago.   represented. Their popularity stems from the attractive “offshore
      The island of Jersey stands alone in the Bailiwick of Jersey, while   banking” tax-haven status.
      the islands of Alderney, Sark, Herm and Guernsey form the     Because the French Cotentin Peninsula is so close, the
      Bailiwick of Guernsey. St. Hellier serves as the capital of Jersey   language has flown into the islands. The official language is
      Bailiwick, while St. Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey. At   English, although it is not unusual to hear Norman-French
      one time before the bailiwicks were established in the Channel   (patois) spoken in the streets of St. Peter Port. Some of the
      Islands, all of the islands were privately owned. There are still   government agencies, assemblies, law courts and churches use
      privately owned islands within the group (e.g., the tiny “rock”   modern French, but English is still taught in school. Interestingly,
      of Jethou), and they are not open to the public.   Jersey’s patois is different than Guernsey’s; however, but nearly
        Geographically, the islands spread over some 75 square miles   everyone speaks English.
      just off the Brittany and Normandy coast of France. Jersey is the     The location placed the islands in jeopardy during WWII. In
                                                         1940, the Germans heavily bombed St. Peter Port, later invading
                                                         and capturing the island. During the period of their occupation,
                                                         they built a series of emplacements around the island for defense
                                                         and observation. Today, a number of these structures remain as
                                                         a reminder of their occupation. The Germans forced the local
                                                         islanders to dig an underground facility, which served as a
                                                         hospital for wounded German soldiers relocated from Europe’s   Seymour Tower

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