23 October 2015
Mitch Couriard MBE, a long-serving member of Jersey Youth Service and Jersey’s Honorary Police, died this morning aged 61. Mr Couriard, who was born in Jersey, had been ill for some time.
His career with the Youth Service started in 1976 but he first became involved ten years earlier as a senior member at the Hermitage Youth Project, which was part of St Helier Boys’ School. Since then he has run a number of youth organisations and, among a huge range of roles, was instrumental in running the Crabbe Silver Jubilee Activity Centre. He has been a dedicated advocate of youth organisations and was well known to generations of young people in Jersey.
Principal Youth Officer Mark Capern paid tribute to his colleague “This is a very sad day for the Youth Service. Mitch gave over 40 years’ service and had an impact on so many young people. He was passionate about the youth service and the positive impact it could have. One of the projects he was most proud of was the recent redevelopment of Crabbe because of the unique opportunities it offered young people. So many islanders will have fond memories of Mitch as they were growing up. We will miss him very much.”
Mr Couriard was also a stalwart of the Honorary Police, which he joined in 1983 as a St Helier Constable’s Officer. He became a Vingtenier in 1987 and was commended on numerous occasions for the part he played at a wide range of major Island events and Royal visits. In 2002 he was awarded an MBE and his contribution to the community was recognised again more recently when he became an Olympic torchbearer. Earlier this month he was sworn in for his tenth term as a Vingtenier and was still a serving Officer until his death.
ESC Minister Deputy Rod Bryans “I arrived in Jersey in 1976 and if I were asked to recall three most distinctive characters that sum up Jersey, Mitch Couriard would be one I would immediately call to mind. He was always there. All of us have experienced turning up at a junction on a dark wet night to be pointed in the right direction by Mitch. I think the whole island owes him a debt of gratitude.”
Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst said “It is difficult to think of an aspect of Island life in which Mitch Couriard has not been involved over the years. He committed a huge amount of his time to this community, as a stalwart of the Honorary Police and as a reassuring presence at events across the Island throughout the year. His dedication was second-to-none and he will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
The Ministerial team and staff at the Education, Sport and Culture Department extend their sincerest sympathy to Mr Couriard’s sons, Christopher and Robert, and to his wife Kaye.