Friday, December 13 2013
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David wrote, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.” - 2 Samuel 22:7 (NIV)
Better ferry plans Vol. XXVIII No. 41
Week Ending Friday, December 13, 2013
turn into woes - discounted airport rescues File photo: Carib Surf at Little Bay jetty
by Bennette Roach “The airport fits in right where it is now, at Geralds,” replied his H E Governor Davis at his postponed from November press conference, when the question, “Where does the airport fit in,”with all the explanations about the new ferry service and a new ferry regarding Montserrat’s access problems. One doubts the sarcastic response would have come if the Governor recalled last years need for the airport and the expense and inconvenience the visitors to the island experienced when air charters had to be engaged to get passengers in and out of Montserrat in December and early January. Nor would he have probably said that, if at that moment he was making the unconcerned remark, he
Gov. Adrian Davis
Dr. Cato Kimbugwe
DFID Dr. Cato Kimbugknew there were already people in Antigua from the we who sits in at the Govnight before trying to get to ernor’s press conference, ing detailed information that that to be a better ferry that Montserrat on the ferry. That supported the Governor on the Carib Surf ferry replaced was unavailable earlier bewas 10:00 a.m. Thursday, the new ferry plans, provid- the Carib Queen, touting cause of “commitments they December 5, 2013. Those passengers with many more after that were due to arrive in Montserrat today, Friday, Dec. 13, on charter flights. (We promise more on that remark, with revisits to some earlier excoriations on the airport from the Governor by Bennette Roach “This is discouraging and the Premier.) and frustrating,” said one resident upon hearing about the signing of the “Gen-set” contract, and how long it would take for the completion of its installation. There is little doubt that this was on the mind of Montserrat Utilities Ltd. manager, Peter White when he opened
Montserrat ferry dock in Antigua
couldn’t drop”. He said they were also acquiring another
cont’d. on back page
New Power Plant 2015 will present set last?
cont’d.on page 2
Peter White (r) and Yogesh Gupta signing contract (Angelique Ltd. local team and Deon Weekes look on
Power Outages and MDC Informs...pg 2
Mandela Tributes...pg 5
Geothermal Progress...pg 3
National Trust Flower Show...pgs 6-7
Is Britain failing Montserrat...pg 4
Cocaine-laced pear juice kills man...pg 10
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Friday, December 13, 2013
Outages dampen beginning of Power Plant Expansion
cont’d.from front page
the signing ceremony with an apology. “…the long a-waited signing of the contract for the new power station project. It’s been very long in coming and I think we have reached this point after many struggles. Hopefully this is the beginning of a smooth ride from here on in,” he said. Following reports since July, 2011, Premier Meade’s position was that the project was a done deal and not worth discussing any further, when he was questioned whether it was necessary to expend over $30 million for the plant. The $36 million power project received its funds as follows: DFID is providing $22.4 million for the project, $6.7 million EC dollars from the CDB through a soft loan, and an additional one million dollars in grant from the CDB. MUL and the Government of Montserrat are providing in kind contributions of six million dollars in land and local resources to the project. The project began on September 30, 2011. Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL) Chairman, Mr. Philip Chambers said during the project launch, that DFID contribution to the power plant project is condition upon the new power station designed so that future potential of green energy can be easily integrated into the generated plant. (This was to prepare for geothermal power) Chambers, presently no longer in that position, noted, “Montserrat Utilities Limited is currently operating on five unreliable high speed generating sets, which have a very high fuel consumption and a very high maintenance cost,” observing, “the high operating cost is reflected in the cost of electricity to the consumers.” Mr. Kato Kimbugwe, DFID Programme Representative explained that the containerised diesel sets were not built for permanent operation. They were designed for emergency situations and they have a normal service expectancy of approximately 10 years. He added that some of the ‘gensets’ (generator sets) were in operations for over 15 years and in need of
Peter White and Deon Weekes open tenders in May, 2013 replacement. Mr. Kimbugwe within the last ten years and noted that the consumers in particular over the last have been affected by fre- few years. The opening of (the first) quent power outages that sealed bids for the construction have increased in recent of the Brades Power Station Extimes. Note that was in Se
Power Outages continue and getting worse The situation of power outages over the past two weeks has been dire and has exacerbated the news at the contract signing, that the new powerplant will not be in place before June of 2015. The outages, guaranteed by MUL to be mere coincidence began almost immediately following a ZJB news report,with news out of London, UK where a report from the joint OCT Ministerial Council meetings, boasted on the energy efficiency in the Territories. In Sept 2011, we quoted Kimbugwe at the launch, speaking about the increased power outages, which he said, can hinder Montserrat’s economic growth. “….frequent power outages mean increased cost to households and businesses, in terms of equipment failure, but more importantly for businesses, a decline in productivity and significantly Montserrat become less attractive for investment at a critical time of its investment,” cautioned, Dr. Kimbugwe.
The Power Station Expansion (New 1.5mw diesel Alternator - project The elongated project,( one of several with drawnout processes, the access problem, purpose built ferry, for example), which is now scheduled to reach fruition sometime after June 2015, is being seen by present legislators as one of the weaknesses of the governments
Sujue Davis Coffee Morning – produces information on MDC activities by B. Roach It was the first time that the June 2013 appointed new CEO of the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC), Ivan B. Browne was making a public appearance in Montserrat. It was at the invitation of Mrs. Sujue Davis, wife of H E Governor Davis to her Tuesday Coffee Morning get together sessions, which she was hosting for the third time in four weeks. At her previous gathering, it was Christmas carols morning, but on Tuesday, Dec 10, the MDC CEO and his management team, along with, H E Governor who introduced the program, and DFID’s Dr. Cato Kimbugwe, were in attendance. Also present was MDC chairman, John E. Ryan. Ivan Brown, MDC CEO Being the ardent fund-raiser Mrs. Davis is, she herself. The CDs were produced had on sale items including including CDs produced by Sunny Lea. The cost for each by Pat Ryan, our renowned composer and singer, with CD is $35 with proceeds from the songs about the environment composed and sung by
cont’d on page 3
pansion project concluded at the Montserrat Utilities Ltd. (MUL) office on February 3, 2012, from two tenders, Williams Industries Incorporated and Little Bay Limited, LLC, through its joint venture partners Philadelphia Electrical Equipment Company (PEECO), Z&F Consulting and Annbar SA De CV ( Annbar Mexico). (see Issue Feb. 3,
2012 - Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.
themontserratreporter. com) At that time the MUL manager, had cautioned, “The
evaluation process takes quite a while, the engineers would have to go through it with a fine tooth comb, ensure that they meet all the specifications etc.” That process fell through the government requested new tenders when information provided, said that there were problems with the bids and the tender would have to be redone. It was one year later when request for tenders were advertised in February 3, 2013, following the opening of the first two tenders a year earlier.
The new bids this time from six businesses, ranging from approximately US$5,500.00O0.00 to US$16,936,102.00 were
opened on May 12, 2013. The promise then there would be information of the winning bidder would be completed in six weeks. (see Issue June 21, 2013 - Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.themontserratreporter.com) That came finally on December 5, 2013 at signing
cont’d on back page
RBC appoints Mr. Isaac Solomon as Managing Director for the Eastern Caribbean Mr. Isaac Solomon has been appointed as the Managing Director for the Eastern Caribbean, effective November 15, 2013. In his new role, Mr. Solomon will serve as the steward of RBC’s and RBTT’s clients, employees and the communities of the Eastern Caribbean while managing the Personal Banking business directly. As the senior representative in the Eastern Caribbean, Mr. Solomon will work closely with the management team in the market to achieve the bank’s business goals. “Mr. Solomon brings a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to the position with a strong background in the ﬁnancial sector and has worked at the senior management level with regional and international ﬁnancial agencies,” said Suresh Sookoo, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited. This appointment is part of RBC’s overall restructuring of the company’s operations across the Caribbean region, as it seeks to focus more deeply on the market opportunities and client needs in the markets where the Bank operates. For an organisation to remain effective and successful, it must be agile and continuously adapt to its changing environment. Moving forward, RBC intends to leverage both the commonalities of the Caribbean markets as well as the unique cultures and different stages of economic opportunity to create a robust and competitive business in the future. RBC congratulates Mr. Solomon on his new appointment. ® Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.
Friday, December 13 2013
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Slow geothermal progess leave doubt and speculation by B Roach After refusing or dodging questions last week Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 as to news on the now completed drilling exercise on geothermal development, Dr. Cato Kimbugwe revealed to a capacity gathering at Government House on Tuesday this week, interim information on the geothermal findings at Well #1 with work tests still continuing on Well #2. It took the Governor’s wife, Mrs. SuJue Davis to get the MDC management finally to go on the road other than posting to what most describe to be a useless website, and speak to the public. Even so the Montserrat public is still waiting to learn about their future as the gathering was mostly, minimum 95% visitors and part-time residents from the unused and the now still to be tapped economic basket on the island. “The estimates so far suggest that at least Well #1 is producing 2 megawatts…” Kimbugwe said to the attentive audience. He was responding to a question about the capacity
results of the drilling. He revealed that the island is currently using 1.7 megawatts, and said, “One point seven (1.7) is what you’re currently using on the island. The estimate so far—and I cannot pre-judge the final report—but the estimates so far suggest that at least well number 1 is producing two megawatts.” But, he cautioned, “those are just the estimates, the initial figures, we’ve been given.” He advised as he did earlier, “We’ve got to wait until the 15th of January when the final report comes in from the experts which will conclusively tell you what you’ve got in both well number one (1) and well number two (2).” On Thursday prior, speaking to ZJB Radio and TMR (The Montserrat Reporter) at the Governor’s press conference, when asked for geothermal update, he said: “The latest position on geothermal is that both wells are being tested and that the final results of that testing program are expected in the middle of January,” followed by a long explanation of little.
He talked about the ‘rumour mill or Chinese whisper’; being responsible; the report, “will clearly be communicated by the relevant ministry,”; It’s a critical moment. Governor Davis buts in: “There’s a lot of steam coming out of the wells.” He admitted when tested, “yes…testing on well number one has been completed,” but when asked for progress information, because people are starving for information, he responded. “No. You have to wait until…” explaining there are two wells. “There are two commercial wells - To take a decision on which well is most productive…you have to complete both tests. That is the advice we are getting from Mike Allen, who is the geothermal expert, you have to listen to that advice - Nobody can take their own decision to give you the results of the outcome of well number one when they don’t know clearly the outcome of the results on well number two. I think, let’s just be patient, you know, ‘til the early part of January when the experts
will be on island.” he enlightened. At Government House, where he was speaking on Tuesday, he discoursed further. “At the moment, we are waiting for those final results that would tell us the nature of the resource, whether you’ve got two megawatts on each of the wells or you’ve got more. Once that has been determined and the final report has been produced, we’ll undertake an economic appraisal.” He also explained that the economic appraisal would look at the options for investments, whether you’re doing it via the public means in terms of public funding or, “you’re doing it by the private sector, or a public/ private partnership.” He said further, “Whichever of those options within the economic appraisal turns out to provide the best return on investment—and in particular, that economic appraisal will look wider than just the returns to government but, in terms of the relief to individuals in terms
of a catalyst to the wider development of the island…” Then he further revealed: “it will be on that basis that a decision will be taken as to whether to provide public funding or not or to then go out to tender for a public/private or use a private-sector driven approach to the installation of the generators.” It was after all that, and a promise that going forward all will be transparent, he disclosed the (estimated) return on Well #1.
Hope beyond Doubts of successful progress Knowing that information previously, TMR had also learnt from sources (not the rumour mill) that signs are that Well #2 might produce slightly better results. However, the observation raises doubts as to the success moving forward. As the DFID private sector expert noted, Montserrat currently uses 1.7 mw which suggests that hopes using anything slightly over 2 mw of geothermal power would not
do much for Montserrat’s industrial hopes. Dr. Kimbugwe told the press conference: “Actually, the way the technology works is that…because you’ve only got two wells here, you’ll have to be producing from one and reinjecting the fluids in the other one in order to keep that cycle going. That’s why you can’t take a decision on one before you see the results from the other one,” he informed. Sources inform that there has been disgust and argument that the drilling process deployed was wrong and not to specification. It is according to one knowledgeable source, more than speculation that any poor result from the completed drilling phase, may and is more likely to require further drilling, this time following specifics. It is more than rumour that this is only part of the reason for the silence that Montserrat people have been enduring over what has been described as a game changer for Montserrat.
Coffee Morning – information cont’d from page 2 sale going to the National Trust. She only last weekend, beginning on Friday, played patron at the National Trust’s first ‘flower show’, dampened only by the intermittent but fair showers of rain both Saturday and Sunday. She had said that the MDC would update and answer question on the de-
velopments that are taking place at Little Bay and Carrs Bay, and in particular on the official opening of the marine village complex at Little Bay. Mr. Browne delivered what he promised would be similar to the presentation a team led by the Hon Premier made in London gave about the present and future devel-
opment plans of Montserrat. Among the several interesting questions posted following the presentation to the MDC CEO and team, was a question on the financing of the MDC. At first the answers came with single word answers, then following this: “Who finances MBC? Is it the British taxpayer” Following a
cont’d on page 8
ISLAND OF MONTSERRAT A.D.2013 [PROBATE DIVISION] LEGAL NOTICE
OVERSEAS TERRITORY OF MONTSERRAT IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE A.D. 2013
In the Estate of WINIFRED WEEKES, deceased
In the Estate of WILLIAM SILCOTT, deceased
NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of 14 days from the date of this notice, an application will be filed at the Registry, High Court of Justice for a Grant of Letters of Administration of the Estate of WINIFRED WEEKES late of 1012 Poquonock Ave.; Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, 06095 formerly of St John’s, Montserrat who died on the 18th day of December 2007 be issued to John R. Skerritt lawful attorney of VALENTINE BENJAMIN WEEKES of 25 Broadlane, South Tottenham, London, N15 4DE, United Kingdom, the son and personal representative of the deceased.
NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen (14) days from the date hereof, application will be made in the Registry of the High Court of Justice for an Order that Letters of Administration to the estate of WILLIAM SILCOTT late of Dick Hill St. Johns Montserrat who died on the 17th of November 2013 at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn United States of America be granted to KHARL MARKHAM of Allen Markham & Associates Banks Montserrat the Lawful Attorney of BERNICE SILCOTT of 9024 Av B Brooklyn, New York 11236 United States of America the wife and Personal Representative of the deceased.
ALL persons claiming to be beneficially interested in the Estate are requested to send written particulars thereof to the undersigned within 14 days from the date of this notice. FURTHER any person objecting to the issuance of a Grant of Letters of Administration to the said applicant should notify the Registrar of the High Court of Justice whose address is: Office of the Registrar General, Brades, Montserrat not later than fourteen (14) days from the publication of this notice.
ALL persons claiming to be beneficially interested therein are requested forthwith to send particulars to me the undersigned. FURTHER, any person objecting to the issuance of a Grant to the Applicant should notify the Registrar of the High Court of Justice no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of this notice.
Dated the 09th day of December 2013
DATED this 10th day of December 2013
Marcelle E.M. Watts Attorney at law for the Applicant
Kharl Markham Allen Markham & Associates
Friday, December 13, 2013
EDITORIAL How has confidence, in and loving the Premier helped his people? In Montserrat there are those who repeatedly hear that the British Government (or some of them who matter most at least) like Montserrat’s Premier. One of their top officials has been heard to say, in camera: “I like him, I like what he says.” This was some time ago, following the Premier’s remarks regarding the collection of income tax. Who wouldn’t like someone who choose their criticisms carefully, who readily finds excuses that cover the lack of real and honest progress for his government and those who love them? Montserrat can hardly be interested, in whether the UK likes our officials or not. Who should care when nothing beneficial is derived from promises and plans? It is becoming difficult to disagree with those who say that this is exactly how the HMG wants it to be. Their love as described makes it easier for us to accept anything they agree or disagree with. It is the island and the people that suffer when ‘sucking-up’ aids ‘corrupt’ behaviour. Then those who try to suggest it, or expose it, are not only ignored but singled out, then the island suffers even further. Everyone else now ignores the denseness. This provides for a different system of governance. There are those who are cognizant and intelligent enough to make the contrast. It all makes for great anticipation of the book that has a title of something like, “Seven Chief Ministers.” We have said it before! It would be difficult to tell the world that HMG has ignored Montserrat, even when they admitted they did not know how to address the problems that developed during the early part of the crisis. HMG told the Bertrand Osborne government that included our Premier, that they will not entertain any CARICOM’s experts on Montserrat’s team to discuss going forward in the crisis. They had also loved the Chief Minister then. To exasperate that situation, government further refused to accept CARICOM’s other offer of assistance to come up with projects and proposals. Ask anyone in Montserrat, ‘what is the state of the economy?’ If the answer is anything more than remarks such as this, ‘it is the worst it has been’, it will come from the quarters that are benefiting like the cronies, well known. In this newspaper issue, please find the article, which is part of a report on Montserrat titled: ‘Progress made on the commitments in the 2012 Joint Ministerial Council communiqué’. This comes out of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council meeting just concluded in the UK, which Premier Meade attended. The report speaks to Jobs and Growth; The Environment and Green Growth; Support from International Organisations. It is not clear that all of these up to now that these may never become realities or will not see any deliverables before 2016, the date touted recently by the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) to a gathering of at least 95% expats from, the majority of whom are either visiting or part time residents. The question is, what about 2012-13-14-15. These are hopes and the people know or understand little of it all. Of course, for HMG’s interest, Montserrat is working “closely with Her Majesty’s Government and in particular, the Department of International Development,” who love our leader, while life, progress goes nowhere, and democracy loses life, with the sustenance they provide. A new power plant with a date set for completion four (4) years since the money is approved; geothermal bungled drilling phase that has people wringing their hands for a successful outcome? Rolling back fairness with standard procurement rules; seeking to prevent victims of unfair practices from fair recourse? It is sad to note that this was the first time that the new CEO has made the effort to speak to a group of people in Montserrat to talk about the Corporation’s hopes and plans for the realization of growth in Montserrat. This only came about because of the invitation of Mrs. Sujue Davis to a private and informative usual Coffee Morning, which she hosts often, at least once a month, the third in four weeks. The MDC, and in turn the government is doing a woeful job at selling or energizing residents and the people of Montserrat. The CEO, Ivan Browne told the audience that his presentation with his top aides, Governor and DFID’s Dr. Kimbugwe, was similar to that which he just recently presented in London. (See - Montserrat team promotes development plans at UK Investment Summit – TMR Nov 29, 2013. One comment so far on thzt report says: “It is a reflection of the last budget statement and the unorthodox, uncertain, ineffective and non-visionary development plans and actions of the current administration.” We sincerely hope that when the result of geothermal exploration is officially revealed, it will not be a disappointment, with just a late plan of how to undo or fix the wrongs and mistakes of a year and a half. What with the delays in the result of testing that were guaranteed for end of October, mid-December and now mid-January?
The Montserrat Reporter Published by: Montserrat Printing & Publishing, Inc. - Editor: Bennette Roach Office: Davy Hill, Mailing Address: P.O. Box 306, Davy Hill, Montserrat, W.I. Typeset and Printed by Montserrat Printing & Publishing, Inc. - email@example.com. Tel. (664) 491-4715 Fax: (664) 491-2430 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com - Web Site: http://www.themontserratreporter.com
Has Britain failed Montserrat? By Vernon ‘Auk’ Jeffers In the aftermath of one of the worst human disasters in recent history, was Montserrat and Montserratians treated fairly by its Colonial master, Britain. On the other hand, are Montserrat and Montserratians victims of clueless corrupt politicians masquerading as saviors to a bewildered people or is it a one eye-man in a blind-man country situation? In most severe disasters, the administering power usually suspend their Constitution in order to properly deal with the processes of rebuilding, orderly transition, futuristic planning and economic coordination. What can we say happened on Montserrat? `Looking back over the past 23 years, what achievement can we truly say have been accomplished? Sometime ago, the MNIAlive reported that the Government of Montserrat has received from the British Government and other grant-aid agencies approximately 20 billion dollars (i.e., 1 billion dollars per year). The question is, what has happened to the money; For those of you who live there or those who have retuned, is there a bridge connecting Cudjoehead and the top of Fogarty-Hill; On what projects was the money spent; What real changes have been made or brought to the villages of Baker Hill, Banks, Brades, Cavalla Hill, Cheap End, Cudjoe Head, Davy Hill, Friths, Flemmings, Fogarty, Happy Hill, Geralds, Hope, Judy Piece, Little Bay, Sweeney’s, St. Peter’s, Olveston, Old Towne, Salem & St. John’s; and, did it all that money properly serve the wellbeing of the people it intended. Rather than forcing the sick and old to migrate to cold England (where
they are dying by the twos and threes), the British Government should have been encouraged to extend both its welfare benefit schemes and NHS programs into Montserrat. Apart from wellness, such expansion would have stirred some economic activity (Public housing development, Commercial trade and money circulation, just to name a few). In this election cycle voters on Montserrat need to challenge the candidates and force them to promise better accountability. Leadership does not mean academic attributes or how many degrees one can obtain or been the odd-man-out in ones attire, leadership has to do with vision, unswerving commitment to achieve a particular goal, the ability to listen and the discipline to create solutions. Prior to 1997, 80% of Montserratians lived debt free and without Government subsistence. Most had their own homes and very few paid rent. Most Montserratians today are now tenants not only in their own homeland, but in place where they fled. I am told that even the dead returning to Montserrat are required to pay excise taxes on their coffins and tombstones. If we are to take the MNI figures to be true, then the Premier and his Cabinet would have spent approximately 20 billion dollars in 20 years in an area of about 15 square miles with no tangible infrastructure to show. I would like to call on my dear Face-Book friends and those who may find the time to read these words, to please help me out here because this type of expenditure requires serious investigation.. Just my opinion what do you think.
Our Scripture Verse Today Through The Best And Worst David wrote, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.” - 2 Samuel 22:7 (NIV) Are they blessings or a series of miracles? My wife, Pat, and I feel certain about one thing: the events of the past two years of our lives were not coincidences. We were engaged to be married in December of 2009. Two months after our engagement, I decided to move to be closer to her in southeast Missouri · three months earlier than IÊd originally planned. This move was our first blessing. Two days after my move, Pat was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and given a one-in-
four chance of surviving. She underwent two major surgeries, two minor ones, 24 chemo treatments and 29 radiation treatments. Through it all we prayed that God would allow us to enjoy the blessings of life for as long as possible. We are convinced that because of love · the love of God, our pastor, friends, and family · and the amazing work of numerous doctors, PatÊs cancerous growths were removed, the cancer killed. God continues to support us with never-failing love. Even when things donÊt go as we desire, we know that God loves us still, supporting us through the best and the worst of times. Kenneth C. Birt (Florida, USA)
Friday, December 13 2013
Seeking Mandela by Edgar Nkosi White
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Mandela: Manner of Man
and children, to cite just one By Howard A. Fergus Each country chooses and celebrates the Mandela it needs The global outpouring incident from the demonic to satisfy and maintain its own self-interest. Fortunately, Man- of homage mixed with sad- culture of apartheid. Nor dela is a figure and personality huge enough to accommodate ness on an unprecedented should we forget the long, all. The man himself had an incredible memory which could scale, must not obscure the lonely 27years on Robben quickly summon up information from a vast reservoir of data. events that birthed Man- Island which were part of the And yet in his wisdom, he could edit out, at will, remembrances dela. It was the savagery of long walk to freedom. of treachery and deceit, especially at the hands of the super discrimination in its worse It is important also to powers who very often said one thing and did quite another. Be form (Former UK Prime recall and celebrate comassured however that despite the many photographs of Mandela Minister Tony Blair rightly rades in the struggle such seated and smiling with these same world leaders, he knew calls it madness). We must as Winnie Mandela, Thabo exactly who everyone was and the role which each played in not forget Sharpeville where Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Anthe true history of apartheid South Africa. in 1964, 69 black protesters drew Mlangeni and even Chief among these gifted actors was the United States were massacred, shot in Steve Biko who was murand Britain. Much hypocrisy was in evidence. While making the back with another 400 dered in police custody in grand speeches about the need to support human rights they wounded, including women 1977. These are also part were extremely reluctant to impose any sanctions. This is not to say that they alone should be condemned. There’s of course the role which Israel played as South Africa’s staunchest ally. While other nations at least went through the motions of pretending sanctions, Israel was the conduit by which South Africa could purchase arms and the latest in surveillance equipment. Britain and America could just sell to Israel which could, in turn, sell to South Africa. This way at least the simulacrum of taking a moral stand could be maintained. No one could accuse them of being on the wrong side of history. It was very lucrative all the way around. Only the blacks suffered. South Africa has always been a fiercely religious country. The Dutch Reform Church was always highly evident in matters of policy. Whereas the church had little trouble coming to terms with the shooting down of unarmed black children who dared to protest lack of equality in education, they draw the line at the sale of Playboy Magazine at a newsstand or mixed marriage. They can quote chapter and verse as to the biblical foundation of apartheid. There are still some card-carrying crazies running around who are Boers and want their own fatherland or “Volkstaat” with no blacks at all. Trust me. There will be a week of ceremony and grief in South Africa to honour Mandela. The grief will be more genuine than not because the man was truly loved. That his name and image will of course be exploited by those who hope to Nelson Mandela. Photo courtesy nelsonmandelaonline.net prop up themselves and their unequal and corrupt government the case of the warder—did develop a genuine respect for the is a given. Everyone expects and accepts this as inevitable. It man. In any case, if any man has to enter a prison daily for will be an occasion for many photo-ops and much posturing that length of time to me, they are both prisoners. One merely for the hope is that Mandela magic is obtainable simply by as- has the illusion of freedom. Winnie Mandela made the same sociation. Certainly the president of the ANC and South Africa, observation about all white people in South Africa, that they Jacob Zuma hopes so. He certainly needs all the help he can get. are just in a larger prison of their own making. But to return to the matter of forgiveness, the Truth and But he is not alone. Many are travelling halfway across the world in equal desperate search of Mandela magic. The question Reconciliation Commission was a huge act. Time will tell just is who was Nelson Mandela really? There is no simple answer how it will play itself out. For the time being, millions of lives because the man was truly complex and difficult to fathom. have been saved. The decision not to convict or prosecute even Bishop Desmond Tutu who knew him well states that he had a those who openly confess to the most heinous acts of torture deep feeling for others, especially their pain. This ability or gift and murder is huge. How about the officers who beat Steve is called empathy. It’s a very simple word and easy enough to Biko to death unarmed as he was and held in police custody? say quickly but what the hell does it mean? Does it mean that Steve Biko was an immense figure in the South African struggle you have the ability to forgive people of the most bloody and and yet his death goes unremarked and unpunished. It makes horrific acts even when it’s you or your family who have suf- you wonder about that thin and delicate balance between awe fered? I think not because words are meaningless then. How and intimidation. Cleary, the authorities feared and respected about being denied the touch of your woman for twenty seven Mandela. Although they were very worried about his existence, years? How do you forgive? Find me a word that covers that they were content to keep him in exile and seclusion. They didn’t go that extra inch to torture and murder. Why not? Were they because I can’t. What I do know is this: Mandela invited the warder who more fearful of Mandela as a martyr? Were there those who watched him day and night for the whole period of his captiv- found him more useful in captivity than dead? But let’s return to forgiveness. I remember meeting a priest ity; he invited the man to his inauguration. He also invited the prosecutor who had argued zealously for his execution (as from South Africa who was very involved in the anti-apartheid opposed to life imprisonment). Was this more to do with ar- movement. He too was a very revered figure. I went to shake rogance on his part than forgiveness? I do know that he—in his hand and saw that he had no hands to shake because they
of the triumph. Thus it was and Blair when he thought man’s inhumanity to man they got it wrong over Iraq. that produced and sum- He was a realist also. Recmoned onto the world’s onciliation was morally and stage via South Africa one of philosophically sound, but it the most human of men. I in- also underpinned a sensible sist that he was unparalleled strategy for the social and in the twentieth century and economic development of unreachable in ages to come. the country. A flight of capiWorld leaders whose tal and skills would not help; countries have been indif- he understood realpolitik. ferent to apartheid cannot We should not be surnow ignore the whirlwind prised at voices that will of applause that is blowing arise to demonise Mandela about South Africa. It is both with tired epithets like ‘sopolitic and reasonable to rec- cialist’ and ‘communist’. ognise this hero of forgive- “Some men are never at ness and reconciliation who heart’s ease when they beis nothing short of a colossus hold a greater than thembeside whom many lead- selves”. And he admitted ers look petty and pigmy. he was no saint either. He He is simply a great spirit was but man and yet the transcending Shakespeare’s measure of them all and a Julius Caesar of whom it is moral compass for leader written: “His life was gentle and for us ordinary humans. and the element/ So mixed in Reconciliation and libhim in him that Nature might eration are still a relevant stand up/ And say to all the legacy in a divided world world: ‘Here was a man’. where oppression is still Mandela, a far greater rife. The work is not over than Julius Caesar, is here. not even in South Africa. I He is great, even godly in end with a quotation from his forgiveness and libera- one of my poetic pieces tion. In liberating his race on Mandela: “I will light he liberated racists and as he a bonfire/with my pen. A rightly said, he gave dignity barrel of pride/ for you Manto the white man. And let us dela/ Paint your knowing be clear: he was tough and smile/like a fragrant fire/for courageous. He was a paci- greener trees in new mornfist but he was not passive; ing /lighting blacks in all he could be calm but he also the world.” What manner condemned when necessary, of man is this, that east and as he did the action of Bush west revere him? had been blown off by a letter bomb which arrived at his home by post. I looked in his eyes and searched for an answer to my question? How could he forgive? Did he really or was he pretending? He was for real. I could tell because he was totally at peace. There was no emptiness in the face. The eyes weren’t hollow. He was easy to speak to and people sought him out because they felt he was really listening to them when they spoke. His calmness calmed. Now as to Mandela and the little matter of his twenty seven years of captivity, something similar seems to have happened because apparently he knew he was needed. The others depended on him. It was the realization of where he stood in that circle of prisoners on Robben Island which made him able to maintain a role. He refused all attempts to avoid work. The authorities tried to bribe him with little comforts like freedom from work details. He never accepted. This despite the fact that he knew that work breaking rocks in a limestone quarry was destroying his lungs. It none the less kept him sane. There was therefore a trade-off because Mandela always believed the mind to be the most vital organ. He had no doubt as to the rightness of his cause. This unwavering certainty was his greatest asset. How else can you explain his ability to emerge from that cell after twenty seven years unbroken in spirit? I’ve seen what even ten years’ incarceration can do to a man. It usually takes at least a year before you can even trust yourself enough to walk beyond a room. Mandela responded as if he had spent time not in prison but in a monastery. He seemed to have been perfecting himself. He did not merely use forgiveness as a political weapon or strategy, as say for example, Ghandi‘s nonviolence. He went beyond this to a more transcendent level: actual release of anger. Perhaps this cont’d. on page 8
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Montserrat National Trust Flower Show The Montserrat National Trust (MNT) opened its first Flower Show a n d G a r d e n Te a Party beginning on Friday morning, December 6, 2013, with the support of the Trinidad & Tobago Orchid Society, following a lecture delivered on Tuesday, primarily on the growth and care of orchids, and tips on preparing for and conducting a flower show. The MNT organised the show, dampened by the almost continuous but brief showers particularly on Sunday, was held under the kind patronage of Mrs Sujue Davis, the Governor’s wife. It took place at the Botanical Gardens in Salem/Olveston, under the theme “Still Blooming.” cont’d. on page 7
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success with help of Trinidad Orchid Society cont’d. from page 6 The Honourable Minister of Agriculture Easton TaylorFarrell said the flower show was sending the message “to those who still believe that this lovely island... is still buried in ash that [Montserrat] is once more decked with rich Flora and Fauna, which signals the process of rebirth and regeneration.” Director of the trust Mrs Sarita Francis chaired the opening ceremony on Friday. She said the work that the Trinidad delegation has given over the past week to prepare for the show has been invaluable. She commended Anthony Tang Kai, president of the Trinidad Orchid Society for his energy and help in putting their first flower show and competition together. Tang Kai said when the request to
send a display first came in, they knew immediately they wanted to do more than just send an arrangement but to lend their support to the trust. He added that he appreciated the efforts of the exhibitors who were at first tentative of bringing in entries but they were Opening prayers for the opening ceremony was led by Rev. Dr. Ruth Allen, with Trust president Dulcie James, Minister of Agriculture Farrell giving brief remarks. Patron Sujue Davis and chair of the Flower Show Committee, Mrs. Lauretta Daley, as well as Mr. Tang Kai, also made brief remarks. Entries for the competition were in several sections including cut flowers, potted plants, floral art, fruits vegetables and herbs. Students from local schools under the age of 14 entered the creative art with flowers and/or fruits and vegetables category. Outstanding entries included sheep made from cauliflower and a cucumber shark. A fundraising garden
Photos: Top left: Patron Sujue Davis cuts ribbon to declare show open. left: Rev. Allen prays for success of the show Below: Dulcie James, S. Davis, Sarita Francis, Minister Farrell, Anthony Tang Kai Above Lauretta Daley tea party was held on Saturday, December 7 from 2pm. The show which closed on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. did not only exhibit flowers and plans, but included locally grown fruits, herbs and vegetables; theme interpretations, by individuals and community groups. There was also a section of creative art with flowers and/or fruits and vegetables.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Seeking Mandela...cont’d. from page 5 is why Mandela is so revered in India today. Interestingly, even Gandhi did not involve himself in the black struggle for liberation while he was in South Africa. It’s fascinating to me the way Mandela was able to subdue even the most racist and pompous of opponents. Take the South African president De Klerk who eventually released him from prison. Or even the British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher who swore she would never sit down with that terrorist, Mandela. When Mandela was eventually released he went on tour to America and was interviewed by Ted Koppel, a British-born American journalist who was one of the highest paid television celebrities at that time. Koppel was famous for getting his interviewees off balance by suddenly asking them totally unexpected questions and then proceeding to dominate the interview. He tried it with Mandela and failed. Indeed Koppel was so shocked by Mandela’s serene bearing and composure that he just stared in awe and it was Mandela
who had to awaken him from his trance, which had the studio audience laughing. It was an experience Koppel never forgot. The one characteristic which everyone remarks who have come into contact with him is the ability of Mandela to concentrate and focus light. Yet the man was no saint as he readily admits. He has made errors. He has tended to value loyalty and has rewarded those he felt a moral debt to with his support. This has sometimes resulted in mediocre people being placed or kept into positions they cannot handle. Also there were issues which he remained silent about when he would have done better to speak out loudly. One such example was the trial of Ken Saro Wiwa, the Nigerian writer and activist who was hung for daring to speak out against the big oil exploiters, BP and Shell, in Nigeria. Because oil is more important than government in Nigeria he was found guilty of sedition. Mandela was asked to intervene publicly. He declined believing that quiet diplomacy would be more
effective than embarrassing the Nigerian government and the military. He never thought they would actually execute such a prominent figure. In this instance, he was terribly wrong and has carried that guilt with him to the grave. Yet more times than not his choices were correct. There is of course the growing dissatisfaction with the economic situation of South Africa. The changes which were promised have not materialized for the vast majority of blacks. As for the whites who have been living in luxury even they are not satisfied because they don’t feel safe. Even in their gated communities with security cameras everywhere because they fear the inevitable explosion to come. It is, as Winnie Mandela said, that even the whites are merely living in a larger prison, as comfortable as it appears. The question is do they fear the explosion enough to share the wealth more evenly? That remains to be seen. I believe that South Africa will remain quiet long enough to honour the death of
Mandela and then things will start to move very quickly. The fact is that the death of Mandela will only serve to cause comparisons to made between himself and current leaders. This will inevitably result in current leaders found to be wanting and, not merely
in South Africa. One last amazing fact about Mandela: He is the only contemporary African leader I know who has done exactly what he promised to do: run for one term and leave. This alone should make him a candidate for sainthood. Given his life, which reads more like a novel by Alexander Dumas (minus the sword fights) complete with wrongful imprison-
ment on an island surrounded by sharks only to be emerge as a worldwide hero. Dumas too was black. In any case, Mandela certainly had the pedigree to stay in power forever had he chose to. He refused. Now he’s gone and left the rest to straddle that delicate balance between awe and intimidation in search of his shadow. Edgar Nkosi White
MDC information answer, but also providing resources as well as from the (cont’dfrom page 3)
yes answer: “So when you are talking about funding, you’re talking about from the private sector!” Browne answered: : ‘’It’s a combination of public and private sector. In other words, in terms of certain elements of the Little Bay development, we are looking for private-sector money. Other elements of the MDC development, we are looking for public-sector money; for example, for the infrastructure in Little Bay. But the operational expenses of the MDC are paid by DFID.” The next question, “So the financing of the buildings and everything else comes from where?” Here Dr. Kimbugwe joined in seemingly contradicting part of Browne’s
some information not otherwise yet disclosed to the public. He said, “…The support we provide to government of Montserrat, which by extension, is provided to the MDC is in developing the private sector and providing that catalyst that’s required… at the moment, we (DFID) finance the activities of the MDC but not the infrastructure activities of the MDC. “That is currently financed by the European Union who are financing various aspects of the infrastructure. We have not agreed any level of support at all for the public infrastructure and what we’re considering is the port development. So the rest has been financed from government of Montserrat’s
European Union.” At this point the questions switched to geothermal. (see geothermal story on page 3) There were several other interesting questions regarding the MDC activities, information which should be made far more available, and more localised to the people as we have been soliciting. Questions and answers about who are investing and expected to invest, even on the suggestion that the people of Montserrat are left out of what is happening. One answer that stuck home was that all the activities and plans including port development would not be realised until 2016. (See today’s Editorial)
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NOTICE OF INTENTION OF SAGICOR LIFE INC AND SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED TO MAKE APPLICATION FOR AMALGAMATION OF THE INSURANCE BUSINESS OF SAGICOR LIFE INC AND SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED SAGICOR LIFE INC, a company incorporated under the Companies Act Cap 308 of the Laws of Barbados whose registered ofﬁce is at Cecil F de Caires Building, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, AND SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, a company continued under the Companies Act Cap 308 of the Laws of Barbados, whose registered ofﬁce is at Cecil F de Caires Building, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados, HEREBY GIVE NOTICE: That they have made an application to obtain the sanction of the Supervisor of Insurance to amalgamate the insurance business of SAGICOR LIFE INC and SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED pursuant to the provisions of the Insurance Act, CAP 11.20 of Montserrat. AND That the agreement under which the Scheme is proposed to be effected shall be open to the inspection of the shareholders and policyholders of SAGICOR LIFE INC and SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED from December 9, 2013 to December 23, 2013 on all business days at the ofﬁces of: SAGICOR LIFE INC c/o Ryan’s Business Complex Brades, Montserrat AND Every shareholder and policyholder of SAGICOR LIFE INC or SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED is entitled to a copy of the agreement under which the Scheme is proposed to be effected and may request the same in writing to the above named company at the address shown above. Shareholders and policyholders will also receive individual notice of the proposed amalgamation and a copy of the agreement and the actuarial reports upon which the agreement is founded, by mail. Dated this 6th day of December, 2013. SAGICOR LIFE INC
By: Dr M Patricia Downes-Grant President and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer SAGICOR CAPITAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED
By: Stephen D R McNamara Chairman
Friday, December 13, 2013
Barbados ranked least Cocaine-laced pear corrupt Caribbean country juice drink kills man Adapted: Although the following report is about countries and territories, Montserrat, like other OTs would likely be grouped with the United Kingdom who ranks rather low on the ‘corrupt scale’, at 14 with 76 points just above Barbados, who is lowest in the Caribbean. Antigua and St. Kitts not listed. Does that mean they are outside of the 175 countries listed? BERLIN, Germany (CMC) – Barbados is among the least corrupt countries in the world according to the latest figures released by the German-based Transparency International (TI) on Tuesday. According to TI, Barbados heads the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries on the Corruption Perception Index that ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. Transparency International has ranked Barbados 15th out of
175 countries with a score of 75, down one place from the 2012 figure of 76. The Bahamas and St Lucia are ranked 22nd, the second best for regional countries with a score of 71, the same as in 2012. While Transparency International did not provide figures for St Kitts-Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Belize, it said that St Vincent and the Grenadines had a score of 62, the same as in 2012 with a ranking of 33. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both had a ranking of 38, but while Kingston score remained at 38 as it had been in 2012, Port of Spain slipped one point down. Dominica placed 41st on the rankings with a score of 58, the same as in 2012, followed by Suriname (94) with a score of 36, one less than the previous year, , Guyana (136) with a drop of one from the 2012 figure of 28, while Haiti rounded up the CARICOM countries with the same score of
2012 to place 163rd. Transparency International said that a country’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. A country’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year’s index includes 177 countries and territories. Denmark, as it did last year, topped the ranking with a score of 91, up from the score of 90, while North Korea, Somalia and Afghanistan were in the cellar position with a score of eight, the same as they had in 2012. Transparency said that the world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.
US Coast Guard warns Haitians against sea voyages BY JENNIFER KAY, ASSOCIATED PRESS : DECEMBER 12, 2013 : Updated: December 12, 2013 7:04pm OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is releasing an ad in English and Creole begging Haitians not to attempt to illegally immigrate by boat after dozens of recent deaths and a spike in voyages across the rough waters between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. “Some will tell you that being smuggled is safe. ... They are wrong,” say Haitians in the ad. “Do not take to the sea.” Haitians, along with other Caribbean migrants, routinely try to reach Florida in unseaworthy or overloaded vessels through the Bahamian archipelago. This year, there’s been an unusually large number of Haitians crossing their border with the Dominican Republic to board boats bound for Puerto Rico, said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of Coast Guard law enforcement throughout the Caribbean. From February through November, more than 2,260 Haitians have tried to reach Puerto Rico, Fedor said Thursday. Over the previous eight years, only 188 Haitians attempted the same journey. “This route is fraught with danger and it’s organized by criminal networks,” Fedor said. Haiti continues to struggle in its recovery from a catastrophic earthquake in 2010 and decades of other natural disasters, extreme poverty and political insecurity, but its government is targeting the country’s most impoverished areas with new social programs and there’s nothing to explain the increasing numbers of migrants on the seas, said Francois Guillaume, Haiti’s consul general in Miami. “Conditions are not worse off — they are bad, but they are not worse than they were last year,” he said. The capsizing of overloaded vessels is not uncommon. Four Haitian women died off Miami in October, dozens of Haitians were lost last month when a sailboat carrying 250 people ran aground in the Bahamas, and there also have been fatal incidents near the Turks and Caicos Islands and in the Mona Passage off Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard estimates that several hundred Haitians die each year attempting the crossings, “but we just don’t know, and that may be the saddest part of this,” Fedor said. The ad will air in South Florida, where a large Haitian-American community regularly sends money to relatives at home, sometimes funding the ill-advised voyages. The U.S. State Department also will distribute the ad for radio and television in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries, Coast Guard officials said.
A 33-year-old man has died after drinking a pear drink manufactured in the Caribbean which contained a lethal amount of cocaine. Joromie Lewis, of Gosport, Hampshire, became ill immediately after drinking the pear fruit drink in Southampton. He died within hours at Southampton General Hospital on December 5. A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: “It appears from police inquiries that Mr Lewis ingested a small amount of liquid in the belief he was drinking a genuine pear drink.” A post-mortem was carried out on Saturday, December 7. The results are inconclusive and toxicology tests are being carried out. The spokeswoman continued: “On Wednesday (December 11) police received laboratory test results which showed that the liquid in the juice bottle contained a lethal amount of cocaine. “Police now have established that the bottle of Cole Cold Pear D fruit drink was manufactured in the Caribbean and the company did not export this drink to the UK.” The Food Standards Agency
“Inquiries to date have not identified any further incidents or similar bottles. “The investigation
Jorome Lewis has issued an alert to all local authorities to contact retailers to withdraw Pear D if it is found. Detective Superintendent Richard Pearson, who is leading the police investigation called Operation Crab, said: “We are working closely with partner agencies, including Southampton’s Regulatory Services, Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Crime Agency, to minimise any risk to the public and to investigate the circumstances leading to the tragic death of Mr Lewis. “We are supporting his family and linking closely with public health departments. “We have taken clear advice from partner agencies and, in light of the analysis of the contents of the bottle, a decision was made to issue the public alert by the Food Standards Agency.
suggests that this was likely to be a rogue bottle from a consignment of drugs stored in plastic juice bottles. “If anyone finds a bottle of Pear D juice, do not open the bottle. “If sealed, the bottle is perfectly safe. Take the bottle to the nearest police station, and we will examine the contents if appropriate.” Mr. Lewis’s widow, Jayrusha Lewis, said her husband was a “selfless and devoted family man”. She said: “Joromie Lewis was a Royal Navy veteran, originally from St Vincent and the Grenadines. “He was a devoted familyoriented man with a selfless attitude to help others, and always knew the right words and advice to give.” Anyone who finds they have a bottle of Pear-D should take it to their local police station and are advised to contact the Food Standards Agency on 020 7276 8448.
CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK JOB OPPORTUNITIES The Caribbean Development Bank is seeking to recruit experienced professionals to fill the following positions at its headquarters located in Barbados: OFFICE OF INDEPENDENT EVALUATION Head of Evaluation CORPORATE PLANNING DIVISION Results Management Analyst Candidates must be nationals of one of CDB’s Member Countries. The Bank’s Member Countries are the Commonwealth Caribbean countries together with Canada, Colombia, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Suriname, the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. CDB is a multilateral development bank that collaborates with its clients to promote sustainable social and economic development, economic cooperation and regional integration. APPLICATIONS Full details of the job opportunities, guidelines for the submission of applications and general information about the Caribbean Development Bank may be obtained from the Bank’s website at http://www.caribank.org. The closing date for applications is December 20, 2013.
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Ferry woes, passengers suffer cont’d. from front page ferry, mentioning also that this is to fit in while all the planning and approval was made for a ‘purpose built ferry for Montserrat’, which everyone thought had already been a done deal. This he said would take another 18 months with a gentleman, Bob Nox, already on island to gather information towards the design of the ferry. Following his happy news on improved transportation especially to facilitate the festival season, he confirmed this to the audience at Sujue’s Coffee morning gathering. There, Kimbugwe said to applause, that DFID had agreed to, “increase the funding so that Montserrat can
was announced, but then passengers from lease a much better ferry Thursday plus Friday, with the same probwhich is twin-hulled and can lem would probably face similar Saturday provide a better service and had to be airlifted out instead. can do the journey between Following announcements which Antigua and Montserrat in changed back and forth the announcement just under an hour. In addithen came, that there would be no service tion, we are also submitting until Monday. a proposal in the New Year Some of the UK Montto build a purpose built ferry serrat bound passengers because it is very costly to from who arrived earlier lease a ferry,” noting, “if one this week, all said, for once looks at the cost of leasing a they were glad their flight ferry for the past three years was long-delayed in the UK one would be in a better sparing them some of the position to purchase a ferry.” Antigua holdup expenses. That was Tuesday this Informed sources proweek, following his Dec 5 vided information as to the boastful explanation about problem. There were the the new ferry schedule, the new arrangements, some of new/different and faster ferry which we heard from Dr. to come on stream. He conKimbugwe and the Govtinued the boast to the Coffee Montserrat bound passengers checked on board taxi from ferry port to V C Bird airport morning guests at Government House, when the similar He must or should have known about the frantic negotiations ernor. Sources said the ferry airport question was again put to him and the MDC team. that were going on to get the people from Wednesday, the week suddenly lost its propeller, before, stranded in Antigua. which is to be replaced by a One woman lamented the cost of lodging for one night in source in St. Martin. The ferAntigua at US$100.00 ($271.69). She spent several more than ry is expected to be back in one night. A major complaint was the lack of good information service this coming Monday. to plan their wait while in Antigua, but ferry management in It appears from the informaAntigua said, they passed on whatever information they had to tion that a disgruntled Carib the people who kept getting broken promises which they felt Queen management after was just misinformation. the Carib Surf was engaged, On Friday morning this week the situation, transferred would not help the situation to Montserrat’s outgoing passengers which included, young because they said they could people on weekend tours, and sports teams, among other regular not break their scheduled passengers. The ferry which had not been in service all week commitments in Nevis.
New Power Plant
...And if I come
By Warren Cassell For the past several months we have been hearing what appears to be an invitation by the Montserrat Festival Committee to be a part of festival 2013. That invitation came in two simple words - “Jus Come”. I’m still not quite sure whether such invitation is for residents and citizens of Montserrat or whether in fact it is for those in the diaspora or tourists who are yearning for some island festivities. Nonetheless, given that I do reside on Montserrat, I am contemplating R.S.V.P, but a few questions began lurking in my mind. Why are we not feeling the vibe? Even the members of the Festival Committee (made up of volunteers) admit forcibly, that this time of year is normally buzzing with excitement, as several Calypsonians would have normally released their songs for the season. Nonetheless, the first week of December
met only one calypsonian’s song on the radio. In that same week, listeners to ZJB heard callers on Basil Chamber’s breakfast show discussing how Festival should be run and debating whether the culture of Volunteerism could continue to work. “Well I use to move speaker boxes myself and I had no problem,” one caller stated, while trying to canvass support for more volunteers. But wait…., this is Festival right? And,��� Festival falls under show business. Do we understand that show business is 10% show and 90% business? Are we neglecting the business aspect of the festival? The Festival is perhaps one of, if not the only marketable intangible products of Montserrat, yet it is treated like a family backyard barbeque where persons are invited to bring along a dish and expect nothing in return but a fraction of what they brought. The heavy reliance on volun-
teers demonstrates the level of belief in the potential of the Festival – Oh yes! The Festival does have potential. In fact it has the potential to generate revenue beyond the allocated budget. It must first be recognized, that the Festival is a product with potential. There must be vision to see that the Festival does not have to cease generating revenue after January 2, 2014 but rather it is the beginning of revenue through what those entertainment industry refer to as “residuals” - CD compilations, DVDs and downloads are just a few examples. If I come, will these be available so I can share my festival moments with friends and family members, who were not able to make it? If I come, would I want to return again the following year? Many are counting on having such a good time that they would endeavor to return the following year. Ev-
504 days to June 1, 2015, integrated power station. but later information said The same disconnection it would start in earnest in and reconnection is required January 2014. The site is of one existing trailer mountadjacent to the current power ed diesel alternator etc. along plant. with the design and construcThe scope of works is tion of the new power station expansive to include design, building and site access road. manufacture, supply, perAll that news comes formance testing in works, with the damper of the power insurance and much more; outages for which official to further include the discon- sources there is no immedinection, relocation within ate solution, as the engines the power station site, and in service are either almost reconnection of three exist- beyond repair and just caning trailer mounted diesel not standup under the strain, alternator units, 3, 4 and 5 in- especially for the Christmas cluding auxiliary systems, to season. become part of a completely erything need not be perfect Visit online: www.themontserratreporter.com and follow up but the experience should be to date, by the hour, near accurately what weather to expect one which encourages me to all over Montserrat. Choose your location. want to return knowing that improvements will be made. Sure, most don’t mind waiting 20 minutes for the power to come back on but they will be reluctant to be present at a show that was billed for a 8:00 p.m. start, if it starts at 9:15 p.m. or for a show that is primarily for Calypso and showcases Reggae. You tell me “Jus Come”, and so here is my “R.S.V.P” – “I’m coming!”. My ultimate question is, “If I come, will I be happy?”.
cont’d from front page of the contract with one of the new bidders, successful. Angelique International Ltd. won the contract at a total of US$6,787,718.89 ($EC$18,326,841.00). They won against another finalist after four others were rejected. Williams Industries Inc. from Barbados, came in at $12,259,353.00. They were one of the previous bidders. Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. with Peter White for MUL signed the contract which is to begin from December 5 is to last