I THINK that it is a great idea to acknowledge St Helier twinning with Funchal and also to recognise the Portuguese community at large. So, in the interests of keeping everybody happy, may I propose a solution?
Firstly, leave James Street alone to be James Street. This will keep all the resident businesses from having to reprint all of their stationery, business cards, and marketing materials, not to mention changing their websites, etc.
Secondly, when the Esplanade Quarter near the Waterfront is finally built (in whatever form, by whatever contractor, to a design by whichever architect), there are bound to be at least half a dozen brand new streets, all of which will be looking for new names.
Problem solved and, of course, all the businesses which will no doubt be flocking to occupy the new Rue de Funchal addresses will not have printed any of their stationery yet.
Granted our Portuguese and Madeiran communities will have to wait a bit longer, but they will get a brand new, shiny and no doubt prestigious street (I prefer the use of the name Madeira, but let’s not dwell on that).
Come to think of it, our political representatives might do well to plan ahead in order to avoid similar altercations in future and could, perhaps, forecast other potential twinnings and future community acknowledgements, which might result in other street names in the new Esplanade Quarter.
These might be, for example: Parq de Pologne, Avenue de la France, Scandinavia Street, London Lane, Dublin Drive, Caernarfon Court, Boulevard de Belfast, La Route d’Edinburgh, Le Clos de Canberra, Avenue d’Auckland, Clos de Cape Town and so on.
All suggestions would be welcome and would receive due consideration, and the various international communities within the Island would be able to count themselves as duly recognised.
Such place names would surely accentuate the international flavour of an area that will almost inevitably become the hub of the Island’s finance district.