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Date: 20 March 1991 - 1 April 1992
Personal View of Vi Lort-Phillips, Jersey's lady of the camellias, interviewed by Beth Lloyd. Talks about her love of flowers-it came late in life. Lived in London as a child and was not born in Jersey but her maiden name, St Alban, has an Island connection. Born in London. Was in London in 1915-her uncle was the first officer VC. Met Rudolph Valentino as a teenager who kissed her hand. First Record-Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Noel Coward, who she met after going to the dentist and couldn't laugh at any of his jokes. Got married young after both her parent had died at 15 and 15-married a soldier from the Scots Guards. After they married he left the regiment and worked in London and she went travelling-was unusual. Decided to visit Russia with Primrose Harley a friend of hers-learnt russian. Used to be interested in sport-she was very interested in horses. Her husband got polio and was on sticks for a long time-had to give up shooting. She had a motor accident and her foot was crushed so she couldn't continue participating in sport. Second World War-During the Battle of Britain was playing croquet with polish pilots after they returned after their sweeps. Was an air raid warden-she resigned because she was afraid of the dark. Her husband worked in the War Office. Second Record-The Regimental March of the Scots Guards. Came to Jersey in the early 1950s-she didn't know she was going to come-her husband decided to buy a cottage in Jersey when a friend decided not to move there. Her husband had always wanted to live on an island. She sat for Augustus John who drew charcoal drawings of her-drew 12 drawings of her in 9 years-met many interesting people. Was fascinated by his fascination whenever he drew her. Bought La Colline in 1957 and the garden developed gradually. Her interest was triggered off by coming into a bit of money-decided to build a garden in memory of her brother Teddy St Alban who died whilst flying at the end of the war. Has some rare plants in the garden-when she went to Australia, Japan and America-joined the International Camellia Society-got a wonderful reception in Japan. Collected plants from around the world on her travels. Bred a flower called Magnolia Jersey Belle-was adjudged a hybrid. Third Record-Pastoral by Beethoven. President of the International Camellia Society-started in 1961/2 and has just over 1000 members from nearly all temperate zones. There are many kinds of different camellia-in China they use them for medicinal purposes in Japan they are grown as a crop for charcoal and in the west the main use is decoration. They can be flowering for six months of the year. You need to have acid soil for the flowers to grow. Has travelled with the International Camellia Society-had a conference in Jersey, visited Spain and Portugal. This year went with 40 to China for a conference-took 128 camellias to China and planted a Garden of Friendship. Fourth Record-Hole in the Road by Bernard Cribbens. Personal View of Phyllis Haines, headmistress of Helvetia House School. The school has always been run by her family-it was founded by her aunt, 16 years later her mother took it on and after the second world war she took it on. Her origins were mixed-her great great grandfather Etienne Joste on her mother's side came to Jersey in 1793 from Switzerland-set up a bakery and confectionary shop in Halkett Place and became naturalised-it cost 120 livres. He got married to a Jersey girl, Jeanne Le Bas, in 1795. Their grandson Captain Elias Joste bought the house for his elderly parents and educated his nieces, one of the nieces Eva Joste, started the school and her mother continued. Went to school at Helvetia but wasn't taught by her mother, later on went to courses in London and France. Later on specialised in maths with Mr Kellett from Victoria College. Always wanted to be a teacher-both sides of her family were teachers. Her mother and aunt were not trained as teachers. She didn't go to university-no grants. Went to England via the mailboat and went to London and later visited her father's family. First Record-'Love Is Meant to Make us Glad' from Merry England. Was brought in to teach at Helvetia when she was 21/22. The school has always done well. When her aunt started the school she had 5 pupils, before the war 80, after the war 40 and now 95-100. Used to be a secondary school but is now just a primary school. Social life-she loved dancing-used to enjoy dancing at the West Park Pavilion. Was involved in St Helier's Literary Society-flourished before the war-had Amy Johnson coming to speak to them. Before the war they were talking about getting Winston Churchill over to talk to them-would have cost £50. Involved in acting-inherited from her family-helped start a group called the Unnamed Players with Arthur Dethan and Keith Bell and others so that they could put on plays-the first one was 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at Victoria College and Pride and Prejudice for the Literary Society-both produced by Grace Pepin. It wasn't a very big club-about 10 people and stopped when the war started. Enjoyed travelling abroad-one to the Mediterranean and one to the north. Second Record-The Isle of Capri. Decided to stay in Jersey during the occupation-went out to the Jersey Airport and couldn't get an aeroplane and her mother was too old to go on the boat so stayed. Decided to keep the school open-got orders from the Germans that they had to teach German and joined together with St George's School to do so. Because of a lack of food sport was not allowed to be played in schools. She enjoyed the dances during the occupation. Drama flourished during the occupation-helped the population. She joined the Green Room Club during the war and joined the Jersey Amateur Dramatics Club after the war. Every fortnight a performance was taking place and so she appeared a great many shows. She was involved in the Children's Benefit Fund-it came about because some money was made at school and she wanted it to help children and she got in touch with the hospital and they set up a fund under Arthur Halliwell to enable parents to buy rations for their children. Red cross parcels came in at an important time. Just before the war she'd taken part in a play at West Park Pavilion to raise money for the Red Cross International Society and she was glad that they had because later they saved people's lives. During the occupation the most dramatic change was the lack of radios and letters-despite the red cross messages. A lot of her friends were deported. Were aware when D-Day took place-entertainments were stopped but started again later but often the electricity used to fail and people ended up using lighters to light up the stage. Third Record-Rachmaninov's 'Prelude in C Sharp Minor'. End of Side One. Personal View of Diane Postlethwaite, clairvoyant, astrologer and fortune teller. Was taught from an early age to read tarot cards, hands and crystals. Learnt astrology later and she combines all of the disciplines. She was born with the gift and was not well at the age of 3½-became sensitive to people. Astrology is a science and an art and you need to be slightly clairvoyant to do it. Crystal ball-people hold the crystal and then you take them from them and pick up images from it. Tarot cards-you are given formulas for their use. First Record-All Things Bright and Beautiful. Was 3½ when she was told she had the gift-her mother found her in a church sitting up by the altar being very aware. Told her mother she would have a sister and she did. During the war years was separated from her mother and was taught to read tarot cards by a gypsy. Used to read her friend's fortunes. Went to a convent and the reverend mother caught her playing cards and called her 'a child of the devil'. Became a hairdresser but still told people's fortunes. Took it up as a career in her mid 30s-lived in India with her husband and learnt astrology, she met Mother Theresa in India and some Tibetan people who encouraged her to take it up as a career. She had had her eyes opened in India seeing the poverty and suffering that people suffered. Enjoyed her life in India. Second Record-Ravi Shankar. Went to England and Bermuda after leaving India-encountered voodoo which was frightening. Was going to move to South Africa but ended up coming to Jersey. Have been in Jersey for almost 10 years. Did some fortune telling at a Jersey Choir bazaar and her career took off from there. People are interested in fortune telling now-start of the 'Age of Enlightenment'. People looking for an answer-she is used as a crutch by some people. Learnt meditation to remove herself from other people's problems. Is a practicing Christian. When people come to have their fortunes read she starts with their astrology, then reads their hands. Uses tarot cards for general reading. Tries to help people who come to her with illness-their are many psychic healers in the island. Medicine and healing should be used together. People write to her for advice including people with business contracts. Replies to people by using clairvoyance. Third Record-Bob Newhart with 'The Driving Instructor'. Has been called in to use her clairvoyance to help solve crimes. In the 1600s she could have been burnt for being a witch-has experienced witchcraft in the island-goes to the church for help. Is against the use of ouija boards and witchcraft. Can see beyond what other people sees but can switch it off when she is with her family. Has seen things about her family and herself but does not look into them. Her family are tolerant and help her with her work. They can get annoyed with people who impose on them. Fourth Record-Cosmos. Gets involved in spirits in the house-believes a poltergeist is a magnetic force or the spirit of somebody who hasn't moved on-gets a priest out to help get rid of them. Has been to an exorcism. Spiritualism-can fell when people have died. Feels she is here to help people. The church doesn't agree with astrology but she believes in it. Fifth Record-Joyce Grenfell. During the summer visits a lot of Women's Institutes and take part in bazaars. One fete she was put down by a band. Has just bought a computer to help with her job-will programme people onto her computer. Astrology in the newspaper are very general and difficult to do because of different factors. Some people use their gifts to charge a lot of money but she doesn't believe in it. Her grandmother was psychic and so is her sister. Used to play golf and paint but doesn't get time to do them now. Would like to take up art again. She gets involved in her gift when she goes on holiday. Sixth Record-Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. Tells the future of Jersey for the year including predicting vandalism on the ferries to increase, the States of Jersey defence and fisheries will be discussed and we may have a tremor, oil off the coast will be found within two years, peace and environment groups activities will increase and drugs come under jurisdiction-bright year for the Island. Runs through the horoscopes for the year and the predictions for BBC Radio Jersey.