Island Life Meet the Locals
Sark is a very unique place to live and work, as these locals who all wear many hats will confirm!
Here's the low down on island life and all its quirks from those who know it best.
Speaker of Chief Pleas Paul
I moved to Sark with my family in 1979 when we purchased Stocks Hotel. My wife Jane and I married here at St Peter’s Church and with our 3 children spent many happy years in Sark running the hotel.
As well as working at Stocks, I served as Sark Vingtenier and then Constable before standing for election as a Deputy of Chief Pleas in 1999. I remained a Deputy in the old, semi-feudal assembly of Chief Pleas for 9 years. In 2008, I stood in Sark’s first ever democratic elections and served as a Conseiller in the new assembly for 4 years.
In 2017 I was elected to the role of Deputy Speaker of Chief Pleas before being elected to the senior position of Speaker from February 2023. All of these jobs and roles have allowed me to be an active member of the community that I care about.
Head Teacher Michelle
I was lucky enough to take the post of Head of Sark School in September 2022. Being from Guernsey, I have been visiting Sark since childhood and always loved the beauty and community of the island. When the post of Head came up I couldn’t resist applying.
Working on the island is an opportunity not to be missed! The seasons and nature play such a massive role in life here, from the dark skies to the animals and flowers on your doorstep. Our small school is like a family. Our pupils are kind, caring and above all happy. The environment is our learning space and what a beautiful one it is!
However, working in a small school means you play many roles. Nowhere else would I sit on the local parliament and have a say on policy. The school staff take on all the roles of an academic team, from leading subjects to locking up at the end of the day. It is always a varied day and never a dull moment.
Being the only school on Sark means that we also play a very integral and active role in the wider community and local events. This year we have hosted jumble sales, danced around the maypole and helped run a Liberation Day Street party, to name but a few!
It is a pleasure to be part of this community and to be trusted with the education of the next generation of Sarkees.
My husband and I came to Sark in 1989 and instantly fell in love with Island life. Being near the sea and part of a community is such a privilege. I was always impressed with the quality of the dairy products so, although trained and working as a nurse, I decided to try making delicious chocolates with Sark cream. It took three years of trial and error but that was 30 years ago and we are still going from strength to strength!
Along the way, we had five children. I was a founding member and active participant of Sark Playschool for almost 20 years.
Later I trained as a yoga teacher and have taught yoga for the last eight years including enrichment classes at Sark School.
When we lost our Dairy in 2019, I joined the Dairy Trust to help fund and build our new dairy. I have also served on Children's Panel, as Constable, First Responder and managed care teams.
Not all the hats are work! I swim with the Sark Sea Sirens all winter, run with the Running Club and have a great book club group. Life is never dull here and raising a family was a joy.
Originally from Ireland, I lived and worked in England and Guernsey before moving to Sark with my wife in 2001 to take on the Bel Air Pub. In the early years I joined the volunteer Ambulance crew as I felt this was an essential service and something I could do for “my” island.
I later joined the island's government, Chief Pleas, for a couple of years and left the pub life behind to start up an activities company called Adventure Sark, which I am still involved with today.
Now I am in the role of Constable and as well as my Sark Police work I also look after an estate which involves building and garden maintenance. This makes life a real balancing act, especially in the Summer but during the winter it is easier and that’s when we do all our police training.
Sark is a great place to live and work and explore. People always say "good morning", "hello" and "how are you". It has a real community feeling which I’m sure you won’t find in many places these days.
Now which ‘hat’ shall I wear today? There goes the pager, so that’s decided it for me!
Variety is supposedly the ‘spice of life’. I love all my different jobs. Fire Chief, Prevot (Court Officer), church organist and choir master are the part time jobs, then my day jobs of agriculture, landscape work with diggers, road repairs, crushing stone, machinery repairs, fibreglass repairs of literally anything from tractor mudguards to boats to flat roofs.
Even each individual job has variety, take the Fire Service, all the emergencies are different. One thing's for sure, I’ve never been bored!
First Responder Sam
I grew up on Sark and despite studying and working elsewhere it has always been home. Now I live here with my wife and children.
My day job is running a building company but like many Sark residents I wear several hats, including Lead Member of the Island's Emergency Response Team. Myself and the other trained volunteers attend call-outs day and night, using an electric bike to transport the medical kit and be first on the scene for patients in emergency anywhere on the island.
I've held many volunteer community positions over the years, including Constable, Conseiller and Sea Fisheries Officer, but being a First Responder and being able to help people when they need it the most feels like the best way for me to give back to my community.