19th March 1869

The rector of St Helier is humiliated in the States Assembly

You could almost believe the States members had themselves been under the influence of drink when they met to decide whether the island’s pubs should be allowed to open on Sundays. As things stood, the pubs always been able to do so, but the rectors of the 12 parishes, each of whom had a seat in the States, were arguing for their closure on the day of rest.

The States had already voted on the matter once, but that vote was declared null, so the matter returned to the chamber to be considered a second time, during which the rector of St Helier tried to read the previous week’s sermon to the members.

The members argue

Seemingly none of them wanted to hear it, and a boisterous argument broke out, over which the rector had no chance of making himself heard. When the matter was put to a vote, the case for allowing the pubs to open for an hour and a half, between 5.30 and 7pm, won by the slimmest of margins, but the rector of St Helier wasn’t happy. He moved to have it immediately overturned, and was roundly defeated, with only two other members supporting him and 29 voting against.

He may have taken some comfort in the fact that a proposition that all pubs should be closed at 10pm on weekdays was, at least, successful.


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