St Martin’s Gymkhana was started in 1948 to help raise money for St Martin’s Parish Church and particularly to pay for interior repairs.
The first president was the Rev E C Lempriere, the chair was taken by Mrs Rozel Balitho, the secretary was Mr J N Richard and the treasurer was Mr Stanley De La Haye who later became the Constable.
Mr De La Haye held the post of treasurer until 1988 when he became chairman until his death in 2001. The post of treasurer is now held by Mr De La Haye’s son Stephen.
The first gymkhana was held in the grounds of Rosel Manor and being a gymkhana, equestrian events featured very highly in the programme.
The success of the gymkhana continued annually for some five years but mounting costs made it impossible to carry on and, in 1953, it was closed down.
In 1954, the Constable of St Martin, Mr H Ahier, held a meeting with some of the parishioners and they decided to restart the gymkhana, but to turn it into a parish fete and to hold it around Gorey Harbour, where it was thought it would attract more people.
This proved to be very successful, because since then the Gorey Fete, as it has now become called, has continued annually with increasing success and popularity. Since 1993 Gorey Fete has established itself as the largest parish fete in the Island attracting over 8000 visitors each year.
The fete is run entirely by honorary committee members presided over by the Constable, and receives no government funding. All profits raised from the fete are distributed among local charities.
In 2010 £15,000 was raised for Jersey charities