Gibraltar honours list

Gibraltar honours list

Nominations for Her Majesty the Queen’s New Years Honours list for 2015 closed yesterday Friday 16th May 2014.

Gibraltar, being UK jurisdiction, holds her own successful nominees but how many will make it onto next years list?

How does the selection process work?

Anyone can nominate a candidate and submit :

a persuasive account of the outstanding or innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services.

People are awarded honours for:

People get honours for achievements like:

  • making a difference to their community or field of work
  • enhancing Britain’s reputation
  • long-term voluntary service
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • changing things, with an emphasis on achievement
  • improving life for people less able to help themselves
  • displaying moral courage and doing difficult things

Honours are given to people involved in different activities, including:

  • community, voluntary and local services
  • arts and media
  • health
  • sport
  • education
  • science and technology
  • business and the economy
  • civil or political service

Once nominations are closed they are scrutinized for suitability.  All nominees will be checked by various government departments to make sure they’re suitable for receiving an honour. This may include checks by HM Revenue and Customs.  So squeaky clean and no black marks, poor decisions or dubious behaviour allowed.

It’s not just toffs that get to nominate, you can too, so have your say and nominate someone you feel is really deserving.

For an online nomination form to nominate someone in Gibraltar use this link. Nominate

or simply email 

Even though the closing date for 2015 has passed there will be another opportunity to nominate for 2016.  Who would you nominate?  Perhaps Gibraltar herself deserves to be on the honours list for services to the United Kingdom.

The Gibraltar Flag

The Gibraltar Flag

gib flag  union flag  eu flagspanish flag

The flag of Gibraltar is a wonderful representation of all that the United Kingdom holds dear.  The simple values of equality, freedom, freedom of speech, tolerance, to set an example of dignity when all around are losing theirs.  That is the strength of the UK, and Gibraltar IS UK make no mistake about that.  And is as British as the UK itself.

But a recent event has left a nasty smear on this good name.  The arrest of two Spanish journalists Wed 14th May 2014, in Gibraltar for simply flying a spanish flag!

What, we hear the subjects back home say?  Yes it is true, apparently.  Has anyone ever heard of someone being arrested on Bognor beach, or Camber Sands for flying a French, Spanish, other EU state flag, or even a flag of any country?  Not that we know of.  This is a first and a dark moment for the good name of the UK.

Have Gibraltar and the Royal Gibraltar Police taken leave of their senses?

Despite the bickering and rows between Gibraltar and Spain, Gibraltar has always held her head high and lead the way in setting a good example.  She has sat patiently in long hot queues for hour upon hour without lowering herself.  So why this incredible over-reaction.

Allegedly members of the public were stone throwing, it is not clear if any arrests were made over these alleged assaults, but statements are that the two spanish journalists were arrested for allegedly ‘causing a breach of the peace’.

It is as unclear that if any tourist were to mistakenly wear a spanish T-shirt, or perhaps commit the heinous crime of supporting Real Madrid in Gibraltar, would they too spend a few hours in the grisly cells at the hands of the RGP?  We certainly hope not.

Bad management can lead to the most catastrophic damage to the good name and reputation of Gib.  Poor judgement indeed.  We have certainly heard of weirder arrests in Gibraltar, but they are other stories.  Perhaps the motto of the Metropolitan Police could help as some guidance Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.

In contrast to the over-reaction of the RGP, Facebook groups are hardly alive with talk of this incident, with only one mild mention found.  As Wednesday was a school and work day the beach at Catalan could hardly have been brimming with bathers!

The more pressing and urgent question is will this incident have ramifications for the good people of Gibraltar when in Spain?  Will there be retaliation to this childish incident?  We certainly hope not.  And what does the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo think about all this?  Does he support the RGP on this one, or will quiet whispers of advice filter back down the ranks to prevent this type of behaviour in the future?  Only Mr Picardo can answer that one.

Fabian Picardo in Casemates 29th June 2013, exclusive photo property of Gibraltar Tourism.

Fabian Picardo in Casemates 29th June 2013, exclusive photo property of Gibraltar Tourism.

No matter what childish provocation there is from self styled troublemaking journalists, grown ups are taught not to rise to it.  Spain is an EU cousin, like it or lump it, and remember worse things happen in Syria!  Where have all the grown ups gone?

This is NOT one of Gibraltars finest hours.

Barack Obama to visit the Rock of Gibraltar

Barack Obama to visit the Rock of Gibraltar

Fabian Picardo in Casemates 29th June 2013, exclusive photo property of Gibraltar Tourism.

The Charismatic Fabian Picardo. (exclusive photo property of rumour control has received reliable information that the 44th President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama may have Gibraltar on his list of official visits during 2014.

It would seem that Gibraltar’s charismatic Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, has worked his charm and won the hearts of the USA, on a recent international visit.

So hold onto your hats, if this is true then it would well and truly put Gibraltar on the international stage.  Most likely cause a few ruffled feathers in some quarters, but undeniably fill every Gibraltarian heart with pride and joy.

G-T have inside contacts that have provided us with reliable information that Gibraltar is seriously being considered as a potential for the 2014 schedule.  Fingers crossed.  We can hear the scrabble for invites to state dinners, but careful everybody, all attendees undergo security scrutiny, with special attention to past records of behaviour and whether you know which knife and fork to hold.

No doubt opposition will be second in line after government ministers, an assortment of the local dignitaries and perhaps the odd cleaning lady who has dedicated her life to cleaning some public toilets somewhere.  You know, the usual honours list kind of thing.

We will update on any developments, all very exciting, and remember you heard it here first.

Gibraltar UEFA

Gibraltar UEFA

EUFA here we come.  Meet Gibraltar.  She is a one off and we’ll see how she fairs in their competition.

Gareth Ginge

Beautifully drawn by Gareth Gingell a portrait of the future

For the first time Gibraltar has been listed among the 53 members.  A truly momentous occasion for Gib.

Gibraltar has been planning to build a stadium to more than match any other in the world at Europa Point, however this has hit controversy as can be seen by the great discussion amongst Gibraltarians here on the open discussion  Facebook group ‘Speak Freely’ where people can get a real perspective of the truth.

The main objection against the new stadium seems to be that some Gibraltarians object to the building of the football stadium at Europa Point not because they live near it but because they use the current vacant Europa Point as a place of space and tranquility to escape from the pressures of Gibraltarian life.

However opposition claims that the sacrifice of the area is needed to compete on the world stage of sport. There’s no doubt about it Gib is a real small place with limited options for a worldwide sized football stadium.  Even masters of sea reclamation have got their work cut out for them trying to find a better spot.

Europa Point has been a wasteland, generally unused and unappreciated by generation after generation.  Finally someone has had an idea of what to do with this huge expanse of Gib real estate that no-one has ever wanted, not even the Spanish or Moores, it just happens to be attached to the rest of the rock, and now an answer.  Football.  It all makes so much sense.

But not everyone is happy.  Some residents of Gibraltar say that they need Europa Point to be kept as an unused point so that they can find solitude. So who has the right and what is the answer?

Not clear if everyone’s opinions will be taken into account before the new build starts but Fabian Picardo’s government does have a history of sensitivity and consideration, so the jury is out on this one!

This is Gibraltar

This is Gibraltar by John Middleton


Welcome to the Gibraltar Tourism website where, hopefully, you will find the answers to your questions about Gib.  For example: where do I find the job centre, how easy is it to get a job in Gib, how can I open a bank account, what are the schools like, is there a hospital, what is there to see and do …

We are sure you get the idea or you probably wouldn’t be on this site.  What is all about is offering a fresh look at the rock.  The best parts, the hidden parts and sometimes the not so best bits.  An honest appraisal and something to think about if you are coming to visit, coming to work or coming to invest.

If you take a look at the black bar above you will see a selection of pages dedicated to the various aspects of Gibraltar, at the bottom of this article are some more links and below this pinned post you will see some news blogs that may be of interest to passing visitors.

We prefer not to go into the usual bumf, dadada, like other websites about, Gib is British, phone boxes, British bobbies, bla bla bla, because all the other sites on Gib are so identical you could hold them up to the light and they’d all match.

We are not hear to sing the praises of the unworthy, or ignore the efforts of the worthy.  All places have their ups and downs and Gib is no different in that respect, except we have to say that she is a real one off and shouldn’t be missed, overlooked or underestimated.

This site is a truthful perspective from inside the rock.  So explore and enjoy!

Many useful links below and great Gibraltar information centre.

Gibraltar, Gibraltar, Gibraltar all the information or at least a great site to point you in the right direction and help you find the answers to your questions, such as where is the Job Center Gibraltar.

What are the local periodicals, newspapers and magazines, is it worth looking to invest in Gibraltar?  Which banks in Gibraltar.  What are the schools in Gibraltar like?  lifestyle in Gibraltar including what is it like to live in Gibraltar?  What is there to do and see with tours, activities, excursions and things to do.

Where is the cable car?  Gibraltar gossip?  Are there any local celebrities?  What property development is going on? Keep your finger on the pulse of Gibraltar politics.  Is there an ombudsman?  How do the Gibraltar courts and legal system, lawyers, solicitors and barristers in Gibraltar work?

Where to rent a flat, how to find somewhere to live in Gibraltar or invest in property in Gibraltar?  All about tourism in Gibraltar, where to rent or buy a car or bike in Gibraltar.  What is the Gibraltar port authority?  What local tv is there?  Find out about the Government of Gibraltar?

Take a look at The official website of Gibraltar Tourist Board?  For statistics and other information see Wikipedia page?  Do you have a dog, cat or pet and want to know all about vet services and animal health, look up the Gibraltar Kennel Club?  Maybe you are thinking of Getting married in Gibraltar?.

Perhaps you are interested in the annual chess tournament?  Other useful resources such as Gibraltar yellow pages?  Gibraltar has her own GFS Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.  It’s not just all about red post boxes there is a full PO counter service at Gibraltar post office and Royal Mail.

Small but probably one of the most engaging of museums.  Perhaps you are thinking about setting up your own website, find out how to get a .gi website domain.  Take a look at the structure of the Gibraltar Parliament.  Football fans look no further than the Gibraltar football association.

Cricket fans look here Gibraltar cricket.  For all shipping issues there is the Gibraltar ship registry.  Gib even has it’s own darts association.  For networking and getting to know local business contacts there is the Chamber of Commerce.  Something out of the ordinary which proves Gib a constantly developing society is the  amateur radio.  Or the Miss Gibraltar selections.

Are you into yoga?  Forming a company or setting up in business here in Gibraltar this is essential Companies House.  Find out about the local College.

Meet the Royal Gibraltar Police and learn more about the work they do.  A frequently asked question is regarding the health authority, so find out more about the hospitals and health service in Gibraltar.

Which hotels in Gibraltar to stay in and which hotels come out on top from Tripadvisor, plus some local insight.  What are the beaches like?  We even have a cool Reuters news ticker board, world time clock, currency converter and local Gibraltar weather on the right hand side of every page as well as a direct link to the Spain / Gibraltar frontier border queue live webcam.

We aim to offer as much information as possible about Gibraltar.  Basically if you cannot find the answer to your question you can use the search box at the top and if you still don’t find the answer you can email us at for help.

Live arrivals, departures and runway closures for Gibraltar Airport. Please use scroll bars to navigate.
[pageview “Gibraltar arrivals” arrivals]

[pageview “Gibraltar departures” departures]

Nothing worse than needing the answer to a question and finding a lot of unrelated, unhelpful, spin websites that just won’t help.  We are here to help and inform.  Happy surfing :)

By John Middleton  jm  contact

Coral Island Superyacht Gibraltar

Coral Island Superyacht Gibraltar

coral island

One of the regular visiting Superyachts to Gibraltar waters was in distress Thursday 13th June 2013 just off the coast of Sussex, UK, and called for assistance from the coastguard.

coral island off Eastbourne

The £75 million yacht, Coral Island, believed to be owned by Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, rumoured previous owner of Pelorus, the superyacht currently belonging to billioinaire Roman Abramovich, called for assistance due to a crew member having suffered unexplained facial injuries in stormy waters.

Coxswain Mark Sawyer and his volunteer crew launched shortly on Thursday with the intention of taking the battered and bruised man to the town’s hospital.

But with choppy seas and gale force winds making a seaborne rescue near impossible, the coastguard helicopter was called for.

Bob Jeffery, from the Eastbourne station, said: “It was going to be treacherous trying to safely get the man to hospital in those conditions so he was winched up by the helicopter.

“It was some vessel. The photograph of our lifeboat alongside the yacht really puts it into perspective. It dwarfed our little lifeboat.”

Mr Jeffery added that the yacht anchored half a mile from Eastbourne Pier on Thursday night as they were waiting for the crew member to be treated.

They set off early on Friday to Gibraltar, their original destination.

Coral Island, which is registered in Bermuda, has something of a colourful history.


young Picasso

She was built in 1994 and is owned by one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men, billionaire Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh.

The luxury hotel owner’s love of yachts is only matched by his passion for breeding Arabian horses.

He is rumoured to have sold his previous vessel to Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

In 1999, the Coral Island was at the centre of a huge international criminal investigation.

While docked in Antibes in southern France, the Sheikh’s prized Picasso painting, his 1938 Buste de Femme, went missing.

An investigation, spanning numerous countries was launched and a £500,000 reward was offered. However the painting was never recovered.

The vessel, which costs a cool £6 million a year to run, is home to 25 permanent staff members.

Along with a Jacuzzi, four VIP suites, three speedboats and scuba diving gear, the yacht features one of the most valuable floating galleries in the world.

The art-loving Sheik has packed the yacht with a reported £151 million of paintings including works from French artist Matisse and others from Picasso.

written by John Middleton –

Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun – review

Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun – review

An eight part fly-on-the-wall, lighthearted documentary on life in Gibraltar.  Visiting varying walks of life, from Dr Eric Shaw, who affectionately looks after the apes, to the friendly Gibraltarian policemen, lifeguards and a particularly cuddly couple of jolly boys.

For those who already know or live on the rock it’s a fascinating watch, but not so sure for those who’ve never been before.  Even with the colourful editing it’s a little slow moving in pace, editorially speaking, with long shots and unnecessarily drawn out story lines, or lack of them.

eric shaw

Eric Shaw is definately the star of the show, an absolute natural in front of the camera, at ease with his animal friends, a man who comes across as relaxed and friendly, no airs and graces, just a plain old down to earth guy.  What’s not to love there?

Then there’s the ‘Jolly Boys’ Shane Athey and Tony Watkins of Dive Charters.  Just a couple of lads messing around on boats.  Running the local dive centre in Gibraltar, these two come across as playful, harmless jokers just soaking up the sun and having a bit of a laugh.  But unlike Eric Shaw, who’s daily routine, out of the oridinary, has a certain interest, there is a lack of understanding of exactly what the point is in hearing about a couple of lads having a good time in the sun.

tony watkins2

Aside from frollicking around on expensive boats and playing with torpedocams, Tony and Shane of Dive Charters are also contracted by local Marina Bay and Ocean Village Gibraltar (soon to house the new Sunborn superyacht floatel), to conduct underwater maintenance on the moorings and keep all the sailors sleeping safe in their bunks.  But does that run anymore smoothly than their boyish Laurel and Hardy antics?  Or is it just another Jolly Boy cock up?  In the words of Tony Watkins, when reviewing his video footage, ‘To be honest I don’t think it could get an awful lot worse.’

Well that’s another story coming soon …

Written by John Middleton –

Sunborn floatel arrives in Gibraltar

Sunborn floatel arrives in Gibraltar

Photographers for have the first exclusive pictures of the new Sunborn Yacht Hotel as she arrives on Gib shores upon a boat transporter.  All photos are exclusive and copyright property of Gibraltar Tourism, photos only to be used by other parties with express consent from Gibraltar Tourism

Photos taken by Adrian Warburton

More photos of the latest work and developments of Sunborn in the dry dock Gibraltar.  Coming on nicely.

sunborn latest2sunborn latestsunborn latest3


Below Sunborn arriving in Gibraltar on a ship transporter.



Sunborn Gibraltar photos and specifications

Sunborn Gibraltar photos and specifications

All images below of the Sunborn are available on the Gibraltar Government Website information services and are in the public domain, please refer to the link below.

Direct from the Gibraltar development projects planning department – wonder what she looks like inside?  Some answers below:

Red indicates official and exclusive press release from Sunborn:

Is it really the only one in the world?

Sunborn has had yacht hotels in London and Finland, but this is the first self-propelled one of five star status.  Sunborn Gibraltar will, for some time, be the only five star yacht hotel in the world.  However, Sunborn has expansion plans for other iconic cities in the world and more will follow in due course, but not immediately!

This is huge for Gibraltar as this will, for the time being, be the only destination in the world where clients can experience a five star floatel.

Is it accurate that the Sunborn will arrive in Gibraltar in 14 days?

There or thereabouts, maybe slightly earlier, but straight into Gibdock for the commissioning process.

sunborn construction 1

Pictures of the Gibraltar Sunborn super yacht hotel destined for Ocean Village Marina Bay, in the boatyard Malaysia.  Photos presented by Sunborn company for planning application.

Where is it sailing from?

The shipyard that Sunborn owns in Malaysia.

sunborn construction 2

 Is it self propelled?

She can be, she does have engines, but is not designed for cruising as the fuel tanks are small etc

sunborn 3

 And can it’s progress be tracked on the shipping satellites?

No, her radar is not on as she is on a yacht transportation vessel to protect Sunborn Gibraltar throughout the long crossing – and to get her here faster.

sunborn 4

 How soon do you think any tantalising interior photos will be ready? are keeping this one under wraps at the moment so you’ll just have to wait and see …..

sunborn 5

 Is any of the interior decor inspired by any famous designers?

Again, for now are keeping the secrets of Sunborn safe, but we’ve been given some big hotel design names, all to be revealed in due course.  One clue we can give is that some top designers of luxury hotels and royal palaces have been commissioned.

sunborn 6

 Do you have a celebrity lined up for the christening and if so any clues as to who?

Nothing to reveal at this stage.

Guess’s, suggestions, ideas anyone!  Will Sunborn bring an international celeb to Gibraltar for the opening?  Who would you like to see?

sunborn 7


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John Middleton –

Sunborn Gibraltar

Sunborn Gibraltar

7th June 2013 – update official photos and specifications of the new Sunborn headed for Gibraltar – Ocean Village / Marina Bay here directly from Gibraltar planning department.

nerves are fraught over the anticipated arrival of the new Sunborn to Gibraltar, not only from the directors and CEO’s of the company

Gibraltar is expectantly waiting for the arrival of the new Sunborn Floatel, a classy five star floater, real James Bond style material, promising a bright new future for young aspiring Gibraltarians.

But where is she in transit?  Where is she coming from?  Where are the photos?

Boasted as a mass employer and boost to Gibraltar’s economy, we all await the arrival of the Sunborn Yacht Fixed Floating Hotel at Ocean Village/ Marina Bay with bated breath.

Sunborn is due to make her debut in Gibraltar in less than 13 days according to official reports, which by our estimates would make her first appearance on Gib shores on or around 19th June 2013, but we are awaiting confimation from CEO’s of the Sunborn project whether she is on schedule or not.

There have been a few contraditions in the media as to whether or not this Sunborn is the only Sunborn in the world.  Some publications have suggested that there are other Sunborns, however have not been able to find satisfactory or substantial, google, yahoo, Bing or Tripadvisor reviews for the Sunborns, as one would expect, even with a modest B&B in Torquay one would expect more than a few reviews from a concept existing since 1998, neither is there an innundation of youtube films, in fact there is little or no mention of the Sunborn except on Gibraltar official PR machine.

Gibraltar Tourism look forward to seeing a new and innovative idea such as the Sunborn, not only to create jobs but also to promote Gibraltar, but there are many, many questions left unanswered, and a great deal of mystery, all very exciting and intriguing:

Where is she coming from?

Which boatyard has been revamping her?

If the ship is brand new then why does she need to dock at Gib naval docks for a lick of paint and some televisions fitting, that sort of thing (quote from Brian Stevendale CEO Sunborn on YGTV interview) who also adds that there is stakeholder from the government of Gibraltar!  Interesting!  The charasmatic Mr Stevendale also goes on to say that Gibraltar is losing out to neighbouring Spain because there are no hotels nearby to offer the same high standards.


Most perplexing is that Gibraltar Toursim can’t seem to find any evidence that any other Sunborn exists anywhere else in the world, so will Gibraltar really have something that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world?  If so then that in itself is a selling point.

Whatever the case, the workers at Marina Bay need to get a wriggle on if they are to finish their work in the next 14 days, photos of development coming soon on the new dock for Sunborn.

Can’t wait to see it when it arrives…


By John Middleton –