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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 December 2005, 10:45 GMT
Expat joins Falklands council
Dr Richard Davies his wife Sarah and sons John and Jim
Dr Davies is one of eight elected to the islands' legislative council
A former Pembrokeshire doctor who has made a new life for himself in the Falkland Islands has been elected to the territory's legislative council.

Richard Davies has lived on the islands since setting out to sail the world with his wife Sarah in 1996.

Both their sons were born there and, although he often returns to see family in Dale, it is where they call home.

He combines his medical duties with working to boost tourism as he has the heritage portfolio on the council.

Unlike in Wales, it is the height of summer in the south-west Atlantic Ocean.

But Dr Davies said there were many similarities between Pembrokeshire and the Falklands - both geographically and politically.

"The landscape is very similar to the Pembrokeshire coast - the moorland around the Preselis and St David's," he told the BBC Wales news website.

Gypsy Cove on the Falkland Islands
It's a good place for the boys to grow up - excellent schools, safe, lots of outdoor things like camping and sailing
Dr Richard Davies

"There is also a strong sense of community (although) the population is very scattered - 4,000 people in an area half the size of Wales.

"Christmas is very different of course, long days, sunshine, barbeques, beach trips and penguins."

Dr Davies, whose father Peter was vicar of Dale, trained as a junior doctor at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest and returned there for a sabbatical three years ago.

He arrived at the Falklands in 1997 after setting out in a 36ft steel yacht he had been fitting out with his wife Sarah.

Farming and housing

She was seven months pregnant with their first son, John, when they landed and second son Jim was born two years later.

"It's a good place for the boys to grow up - excellent schools, safe, lots of outdoor things like camping and sailing and on the political front we have a new enthusiastic council," he added.

Many of the main political issues are also similar to Pembrokeshire, he said.

"It's a challenging time here, with reduced revenue from fishing and difficult budget decisions to make.

"Important issues at present include the support of the farming community which is struggling in the face of low wool prices, and the need for more housing in Stanley (the capital).

"Tourism is on the increase and I have the heritage portfolio - we are developing Stanley's historic dockyard as a heritage site and this is a very exciting development."

In 1982, Britain and Argentina waged a brief war over the Falklands and although diplomatic relations have been restored, the status of the British overseas territory is still disputed by Argentina.



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