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Hanson Boxes hold learning treasures for schools

The Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, presented a ‘Hanson Box’ of learning materials to the various schools in Gibraltar at an event in The Convent yesterday.

The Hanson Boxes were donated by the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation and Friends of the British Overseas Territories. The books are by the author and TV presenter Stewart McPherson.

Welcoming the children and the school representatives to the Convent the Governor said: “It is always a delight to have the Convent full. It is particularly a delight that I hold very dear to bring as many new people as we can.”

“Although the Governor lives here, this is The Convent for the people of Gibraltar and you are the people of Gibraltar so it is great to have you here.”

The boxes contain books and the Governor explained that the philanthropist behind the foundation, Don Hanson, dedicated one book called Britain’s Treasured Islands, a book about Britain’s overseas territories.

“The box of books develops the theme of understanding Britain’s 14 Overseas Territories. There is nothing more important than understanding who you are, because that helps you work out who you want to be,” said the Governor.

“The fact that the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation has chosen the Overseas Territories as one of their themes that they want to promote in terms of awareness and appreciation for what the Overseas Territories are and what they contribute to the great British family is really important,” he added.

He also said he felt that by learning more about Gibraltar and Gibraltarians is would help the children work out the Gibraltar of the future and who they wanted to be.

“You young guys here are the future and there is nothing more important than education and empowering you to be the best that you can be. When you are old people like us who will eventually have all the responsibility of taking Gibraltar forward just in as a remarkable way in the future as it has been in the past,” he said.

The schools present were Governor’s Meadows, Notre Dame, St Bernard’s First, St Joseph’s First, St Mary’s, St Paul’s, Bishop Fitzgerald, St Anne’s, St Bernard’s Middle School, Hebrew School, Prior Park, Loreto Convent, Westside and Gibraltar College.

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Once each school were presented with their Hanson Box the Governor said: “Regarding the books and the other learning materials there is a promise if you give some feedback on how good, how they could be improved and how grateful you are you get another box of books next year.”

“So we do a bit of reading, a bit of writing and then we do a bit of posting and we get another box of books next year,” he added.

The Governor also took the opportunity to tell the children what he thinks makes a great summer, including reading the books they were given within the Hanson Boxes.

He also said: “What else have you got to do over the summer?”

“You have to have fun, lots of fun,” he said.

“Lots of ice-creams, sandcastles and lots of sun screen,” he added, much to the children’s amusement.

One told him how she preferred to go the pool than the beach, he told her that he was the opposite and preferred the seaside.

The Minister for Education, Dr John Cortes, was also present at the event.

“This is wonderful. To have books encouraging young people and children who nowadays are more likely to be on a tablet or on a phone than a book and at a time when we have lost book shops in Gibraltar. So anything we can do to get books into the schools and into children’s lives is great,” he said.

Each box contained a cover letter from the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation and Friends of the British Overseas Territories; a Britain’s Distant Lands book -a coffee table picture book with concise text exploring the wildlife, cultures, history and landscapes of all of the UK Overseas Territories; a Britain’s Distant Lands DVD that contains 16 short films (one concerning each UK Overseas Territory), a 35 minute film concerning all of the territories together and a film from the Friends of the British Overseas Territories.

In addition, a map of the UK Overseas Territories, a book on Amazing Pets and How to Keep Them -exploring easy to keep creatures to inspire children’s interests, such as stick insects, butterflies, moths etc. – a book on Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them and films flyers -offering 14 online pet films and 14 online plant films to watch for free.

Pics by Johnny Bugeja