A short film set to a poem written by Alan Solway titled “Our Rainbow Island” and read by Steve Molnar, which tells the story of how the Coronavirus Pandemic affected people living in Guernsey when the lockdown was introduced. Their stoicism and willingness to help one another is perfectly summed up by the expression #GuernseyTogether !
OUR RAINBOW ISLAND
by Alan Solway
This virus won’t defeat us,
Our defiance is very clear,
We’ve become the Rainbow Island,
And we’ll protect those, we hold dear.
This Island of ours has always been strong,
And we can conquer all our fears,
Let’s remember the Occupation,
And those that suffered, for five long years.
The strength they showed, all those years ago,
Is shining through today,
As we battle through the lockdown,
In our own indomitable way.
Two hours of daily exercise,
Is all that we’re allowed,
And so many people are taking it,
But in pairs, not in a crowd.
We see the Island differently now,
As indoors, we are forced to stay,
Our home is now our castle,
Keeping the virus well away.
These homes are now resplendent,
Flags and bunting everywhere,
The Island has never looked so good,
As owners display their skill and flair.
With gardens looking pristine,
As people have more time to spare,
The Island is looking colourful,
A Rainbow on the land, not in the air.
The roads are now much quieter,
With many people on their bike,
Fewer cars are being driven around,
But lots of walkers, take a hike.
There’s so much more that you can see,
When you’re not stuck inside a car,
You can see the messages the children have left,
Each child, a little star.
They’ve built their cairns of pebbles,
And many have been painted too,
Rainbow colours everywhere,
A message of hope, for me and you.
And there’s the pictures in the windows,
More Rainbows to be seen,
As children display their talents,
A better exhibition, there’s never been.
These children must be missing their friends,
Often playing on their own,
Schooled at home by parents,
Who are grappling with the unknown.
There are pensioners, also on their own,
Missing their families, but not making a fuss,
How lucky we are to have Zoom and Skype,
We can see them, and they can see us.
The power of the internet,
Lots of videos being sent around,
Showing the beauty of the Island,
And the Rainbows that abound.
The harbours are strangely silent,
With boats moored, and going nowhere,
The gulls, provide the only movement,
In the sea, and in the air.
Everything is different now,
Even shopping, is a different chore,
No more ‘popping’ to the shop,
You can queue, for ten minutes or more.
But we’ve all become more tolerant,
And if we have to queue,
We’ll stand and smile, at the people around,
Until our shopping we can do.
For those that can’t get to the shops,
So many have offered aid,
Helping hands are everywhere,
Not expecting to get paid.
So many shops have had to close,
With customers allowed no more,
That delivery firms have been rushed off their feet,
Bringing the goods right to our door.
So, unlike the Occupation,
We still have food to eat,
And before too long, the lockdown will ease,
And friends and families we can meet.
We have to be grateful to Gavin, and his Gang,
Who have informed us, all along,
They have endorsed the Island spirit,
And helped keep the Island strong.
Dr Nicola Brink has been wonderful,
A voice of calm amidst the storm,
She has helped to re-assure us,
Gold star, she’s top of the form.
So, this is our Rainbow Island,
Let everyone shout out loud,
This Island won’t be beaten,
This Island won’t be cowed.
The spirit of old, lives on through us,
And will help us, to ease the pain,
And just like the rainbow, after the storm,
The Island will shine brightly, once again.
I am very grateful to all the friends and local talent who helped make this film possible.
Keith Langlois kindly composed the original music to accompany the film and the fantastic rainbow photograph used in the opening titles and credits was taken by Jamie Le Tissier. The aerial footage of the historical reenactment at Saints Loop Tower 14 was filmed by Tim Davey – DroneGSY.
If you would like to make a donation to help support the Guernsey frontline workers then please go to Guernsey Revival donations on giving.gg . You can also give your house a virtual Rainbow makeover by heading over to the Guernsey Retro Festival facebook page for more details.
To view more of Jamie’s excellent photography then I recommend visiting the Jamie Le Tissier website.