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The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines


MARCH 02, 2018

ustice Esco Henry ruled, in effect, that to grant the request by the petitioner would amount to an abuse of the court’s power.

VOLUME 112, No.09

Dr. Godwin Friday, Leader of the NDP, continues to label the matter of the petitions as being important to and for all Vincentians.


Ben Exeter, the petitioner, will now prepare for a ‘new’ day in court.


the inspection of ballot boxes used in the December 2015 General Elections, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION Dr Godwin in the Central Leeward constituency, Friday has admitted that, in as much as citing that it was an abuse of the he and the rest of the New Democratic court’s power to order same. Party (NDP) team are disappointed with “We have had setbacks in the past. the ruling of Justice Esco Henry, they But we will proceed with the petitions, have to accept the decision. and we will make the case out, based “What it means for us now is that on evidence that is not from the we have to proceed with the petitions,” inspection of the ballot boxes,” the Friday said on the ‘New Times’ radio Leader of the Opposition said. programme on Tuesday, shortly after According to Friday, the people of St Justice Henry denied permission for Vincent and the Grenadines were by DAYLE DASILVA

General Elections, filed an application on December 17, 2015 for an order to inspect all ballot papers and Arguments re abuse of the court’s counterfoils for the said constituency, power and this was done prior to the filing of the petitions. Justice Henry cited in her ruling She explained her ruling was based the question of if the new application on the grounds that he (Exeter) was was an abuse of the court’s power, and previously denied inspection of the stated that Douglas Mendes S.C, on counterfoils after the final count, after behalf of the respondents, stated that he had already determined following Benjamin Exeter, the NDP’s Central Leeward candidate in the 2015 Continued on Page 3. curious to know what was in those ballot boxes.




News 3 No opening of ballot boxes

was satisfied that there was nothing preventing Exeter from including the final count that it was discovered those assertions in the 2015 that over 300 ballots were found to be application. defective, in that they lacked the It was pointed out that, based on official markings of the presiding arguments presented by Maia Eustace, officer. ballot papers were inspected and That application was dismissed by photographs taken by Exeter during Justice Brian Cottle. the final count. Mendes argued that there was no “Surely, it would have come to their new evidence, nor did the more recent attention at the very latest, during the application point to any new matter to final count, that the ballot papers or justify a fresh look. some of them had the official mark He contended that there was no pre-printed and the presiding officer’s appeal following the initial dismissal initials stamped on them,” Justice by Justice , and accordingly, that Henry said in her ruling. decision was final. She added further that it had to be These sentiments were echoed by presumed that the agent(s) assigned Senior Counsel, Anthony Astaphan. by Exeter to monitor the proceedings Stanley John Q.C for the petitioner, during the course of election day would argued, however, that the abuse of the have noted that the presiding officer court argument ought to be rejected, was not affixing a stamp and initials because it was not supported by the pursuant to the statutory provisions, circumstances and the applicable and would have brought this to his principles. attention before he filed the He submitted that the respondents application in 2015. are essentially asking the court to “This may or may not have taken invoke its discretion under the court’s place. To permit Mr. Exeter to ‘amend’ inherent jurisdiction to dismiss the his case in this manner after having motion. had an opportunity to lodge those He further argued that they would complaints as a basis for inspection, have the court conclude that it is does not in my opinion accord with unfair to them and would bring the what is contemplated by the elections administration of justice into rules and procedures and practice in disrepute, if Exeter’s request for the court.” delivery and inspection of the ballots Justice Henry said that she was was not heard on its merits. reasonably satisfied that Exeter had the opportunity to discover with Exeter and agents failed to act diligence, all necessary information to satisfy himself about the sustainability However, in delivering her decision, of the allegation when he filed the Justice Henry said that, in the absence 2015 application. of any substantive reason as to why He however did not provide any Exeter was now raising the issue of explanation as to when he obtained the official mark being pre-printed on that information and why he did not the ballot papers and the presiding include it in the earlier application. officer’s initials being stamped on the ballots as the basis to grant the order Upholding the court’s integrity for an inspection, she said that she Continued from Front Page.

And while the public has an ongoing interest in discovering whether or not there were irregularities in the Central Leeward constituency, Justice Henry stated that the court had a similar interest “to enable it to discharge its adjudicating function in an efficient and effective manner without unnecessary delays amidst reemerging and repetitive contentions.” She added that she was satisfied that when Exeter filed the 2015 application, he had access to the material on which he was now relying to launch the allegation that the ballot papers were pre-printed or stamped with the official mark. But he did not allege that he only suspected or discovered this when the Supervisor of Elections transmitted her letter in 2016. According to Henry, there was nothing preventing the court from determining at that point, and at the same time it entertained the previous application for inspection which led her to conclude that there was no factual, or other basis to justify a consideration of that assertion at this time. And so, she ruled that the motion filed by Exeter for inspection of the ballot papers is dismissed “as an abuse of the court’s process.” She further ruled that Exeter pay costs to the respondents Winston Gaymes, Kathleen Jeffers, Sir Louis Straker and Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb an amount to be assessed, if not agreed upon. And for both parties to fix dates for case management and trial of the petition. This was just another hurdle for the NDP to overcome, Friday continued. But, he said , he wished to re-assure the public that they know what the ballot boxes contained. “We know that there were ballots

Douglas Mendes S.C. replaced Anthony Astaphan S.C. as lead counsel for the respondents.

Stanley John Q.C. argued that the ‘abuse of court’ argument should be rejected as a basis on which to make a decision. that were mutilated, there were ballots that did not have the official mark. We know the evidence is there,” he said. According to Friday, they will find other ways to present the matter to the court, saying that they ought to remain resolute and creative. “But the petitions will go forward,” the opposition leader said, adding that they were anticipating that the matter (of the petitions) be heard in the not too distant future.




Beaten for ganja? by HAYDN HUGGINS A 49-YEAR-OLD BIABOU MAN has accused the police of beating him while taking him to his home last Friday, February 23, to conduct a search in respect of controlled drugs. Nigel ‘Third World’ Regisford made the claim while speaking to THE VINCENTIAN shortly after making a brief appearance at the Serious Offences Court on Monday. He Nigel ‘Third World’ has been Regisford’s claim charged with of being beaten by possession of the police was 19, 976 grams refuted by Acting of marijuana Commissioner of with intent to Police Colin John. supply. He is also accused of having 948 grams of the herb for the same purpose. Regisford pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was granted $30,000 bail with one surety. He told THE VINCENTIAN that the police picked him up in the public road, telling him that they had a warrant to search his home in Biabou. The officers, according to Regisford, then proceeded with him to his house, but gun butted and beat him as he attempted to pull away. He indicated that he had a small bruise on his left foot which was seriously aggravated as a result of the beating. However, when contacted on Wednesday, Acting Commissioner of Police Colin John told THE VINCENTIAN that, according to the report he received, Regisford fell over an embankment and was injured when he pulled away from the police who were arresting him for marijuana possession. When Regisford made his appearance before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, his lawyer Grant Connell told the Court that he was not pointing fingers at anyone, but expressed concern that his client ended up with injuries during the police visit to his home. Connell said Regisford is the father of 16 children from pre-school to the Community College ages, and supports all of them. He described his client as a small farmer, and “a nation builder in a sense.” The matter has been adjourned to April 30.

Six shootings in a week: One death THE INDISCRIMINATE use of firearms continued unabated through the month of February. Between February 18 and 24, there were some six reported incidents of shooting, one being fatal. On February 18, about 10:30pm, according to a police report, Richard Providence, 22 years of Edinboro, was shot on the left side of his buttocks by unknown persons, in Edinboro. He was rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital where he is receiving medical attention. Diamond was the scene of a February 20 shooting. The police confirmed that Keyson Pompey, a 28-year-old chauffeur of Calder, was shot around 11:10 that evening. Pompey was shot in his right arm while driving in the vicinity of Diamond Woods. The victim was reported as saying that the assailants hid in nearby bushes, from where they opened fire. Pompey was treated and warded at the MCMH. And police here said late last week that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding a shooting incident which occurred in Redemption Sharpes about 7:05am on the February 22. According to reports, Rayshawn Gibson, 23-year-old labourer of Redemption Sharpes, was shot in his left wrist while walking along the Redemption Sharpes public road, by an unknown assailant who was wearing a hoodie. According to information received, the victim was chased by the assailant who pointed a gun at him and opened fire. Gibson was taken to the MCMH where he was treated and discharged. Not long after on the said night, February 22, police responded to another shooting incident which occurred in Ottley Hall, about 9:37pm. According to reports, three unknown assailants came out of bushes and opened fire on three Ottley Hall men. Carlos John,

a 48-year-old businessman, received gunshot injuries to his right shoulder, right leg and his mouth. Ishan Adams, 23 years, Some citizens have a labourer, described the use of received gunshot guns here as injuries to his left becoming a pastime. leg, abdomen and left hand. Jahmia DeRoache, a 17-year-old labourer, is said to have received a gunshot injury to his right foot. The three men were rushed to the MCMH for emergency medical attention and warded. While James and DeRoache were reported to be in stable condition, Adams was said to be in a serious condition, and up to last weekend was still a patient at the MCMH. A fifth, though not confirmed by the police, was non-fatal and is said to have involved the police who, last weekend, shot Rayshorn Gellimore in Park Hill. The man was reportedly wanted by the police for questioning about a series of burglaries in the Colonarie district. He was shot in the leg. The sixth reported shooting incident proved fatal. A police report disclosed that 38-year-old Leslie Ashton, of Diamond Estate, formerly of South Rivers, was fatally shot on Saturday 24th February at around 7:55pm, in the area of the gap to the Diamond landfill. Police said that Ashton was in his car with two other occupants when two masked assailants opened fire on him. He received multiple wounds to his body and is said to have died on the spot. Ashton’s death is the fifth reported homicide for the year.

Fisherman charged with attempted murder A 32-YEAR-OLD FISHERMAN of Calliaqua, charged with attempted murder, returns to the Serious Offences Court today (Friday) to have the issue of bail reviewed. Kevin Ashton has been charged with the attempted murder of Tarik Pemberton, 22, also of Calliaqua, who was stabbed at the left side of his face, close to the temple, during an incident in that community around 8:50pm last Friday, April 23. Ashton was not required to plea when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne at the Serious Offences Court on Monday. He was remanded following objections to bail from police court clerk Constable 172 Atnel Ash who told the court that though Pemberton was removed from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), he was still warded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital under observation. (H.H)

Accused fraudsters granted bail charges, the men are alleged to have used the names of DERVILLE THOMAS, 42, several deceased persons to and Learie Johnson, 62 of defraud the Fund. Biabou and Lowmans The offences were Windward respectively, who reportedly committed at were remanded since Owia where Public February 12 on multiple Assistance payments, charges, were granted bail commonly called ‘poor relief’, when they returned to the were being paid. Serious Offences Court on When the men initially Monday. appeared in Court on The former employees in February 12 and 19, they the Ministry of National were remanded following Mobilization, have been strong objections to bail from charged with forgery, theft, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus conspiracy and deception, in Delpleche. He told the Court connection with a number of then, that the probe was fraudulent transactions ongoing, and expressed the allegedly carried out on view that if the men were February 7, relieving the released on bail, the Nation’s Public Assistance investigations could be Fund of thousands of dollars. hindered, and potential Attorney Grant Connell witnesses interfered with. represented Johnson, while However, when the men Israel Bruce appeared on returned to court on behalf of both men. Monday, Delpleche indicated In relation to the forgery that the investigator by HAYDN HUGGINS

Sergeant Malcolm Alexander had informed him that he had covered his bases, and had no further objections to bail. Delpleche, however, told the court that investigations were ongoing in relation to other matters concerning the alleged Public Assistance Fund Derville Learie fraud. He expressed Thomas Johnson confidence in Sergeant Alexander, describing him as, “no fly by night documents, and report to the investigator.” Biabou Police Station three The Prosecutor asked the times per week. Stop notices court to grant bail with will be placed at all ports of sufficient and suitably entry and exit, and they are sureties, as well as stringent not to leave the country conditions. without permission from the The men were each Serious Offences Court or a granted $30,000 bail with higher court. The matters one surety, on condition that have been adjourned to May they surrender their travel 23.





„Williams revolutionized Prosecution Service,‰ says Prosecutor

that over the years, the Police Force has produced several outstanding SENIOR PROSECUTOR ADOLPHUS prosecutors, but what Williams did as DELPLECHE, Head of the Summary DPP was to have them specialize and Division in the Office of the Director of become professionals. Public Prosecutions (DPP), says outgoing “Police officers prosecuting in the DPP Colin Williams has revolutionized Magistrates Courts are now attached the Prosecution Service in St. Vincent to the DPP’s Office under one roof, and the Grenadines, and has left a have access to more training legacy as DPP. internally and externally, which would Williams, who was appointed Acting enable them to hone, develop and DPP in 2003 and later elevated to sharpen their prosecutorial skills; and DPP, left these shores on Tuesday to all this has come about through the take up duties as High Court Judge in struggles of Colin Williams, during his Belize. tenure as DPP.” Speaking with THE VINCENTIAN The Senior Prosecutor described on Wednesday, Delpleche, a former Williams as a tremendous human experienced police officer, pointed out being and a man of impeccable by Haydn Huggins

character and integrity. “His work, in my view, has modernized and raised the standard of the Prosecution Service here. He has always been fair but fearless in his work, and meticulous in his approach.” Delpleche added that the former DPP gave his prosecutors space to develop. “He held discussions with us before we went to Court, and after, and listened to everyone’s opinion.” Delpleche also noted that under Williams’ leadership, the DPP’s Office was able to produce a number of Prosecutorial booklets, including the Code for Prosecutors. Delpleche concluded by wishing his former boss all the best in his new role as High Court Judge in Belize.

Former DPP Colin Williams Crown Counsel in the DPP’s Office Sejilla McDowall, is in administrative control of the DPP’s Office, pending the appointment of a new DPP.

Former DPP now High Court Judge Judge. “He is extremely ACTING impartial and very COMMISSIONER OF knowledgeable in his POLICE Colin John has actions as a legal expressed gratitude and practitioner and as a best wishes to outgoing person generally.” Director of Public John said that in Prosecutions (DPP) Colin 2006, when he was a Williams, as he takes up police corporal and the position of High decided to study law, Court Judge in Belize. Williams supported his John, who served at application to Holborn in the DPP’s Office from England, by giving him a 2010 to 2016, rising to testimonial, facilitated the rank of Assistant his internship at the DPP before returning to DPP’s Office, and the Police Force, told provided him with THE VINCENTIAN on significant guidance and Tuesday that he had leadership. absolutely no doubt that Williams was also one Williams will dispense of the persons who justice fairly and moved the call for John competently, during his to be admitted to the tenure as High Court local bar in 2010.. by HAYDN HUGGINS

Best Wishes

The Management and Staff of THE VINCENTIAN extend best wishes to Colin Williams as he assumes the esteemed position of High Court Judge in Belize. The relationship between Mr. Williams and THE VINCENTIAN was at all times characterized by openness, frankness and amicability. We thank him for same, and look forward to continuing this relationship with his successor.

For the Acting COP, one of the most memorable cases Williams prosecuted, as DPP, was that of former long-distance runner Patrick Lovelace who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 12-yearold female pannist Lokeisha Nanton of Sion Hill, who was strangled in 2002. John said the case was not straightforward, and Williams dealt with it in a meticulous manner. Williams is the second Vincentian lawyer in recent years, to take up the position of High Court Judge in Belize. The other is former Chief Magistrate here, Sonya Young.

V Females dominate UWI graduating class



by CARLYLE DOUGLAS WITH A GLARING HIGH PROPORTION of females, thirty-seven successful Vincentian students were the focus of attention, as they were awarded with Certificates at a Graduation Ceremony of the University of the West indies, held at the Methodist Church Hall last Friday, February 23rd. There was a slight delay in the commencement of the official Hannah Hamilton, Valedictorian, programme, recognised the role modern caused by technology plays in making inclement weather, higher learning accessible. but that quickly dissipated as the to with some trepidation — students processed referring to Skype meetings and on Halifax Street, WhatsApp chats that replaced the appropriately conventional classroom sessions attired in cap and in her journey to this moment. gown, and led by But her experience, she went Andrea Bowman, Mrs Debra on, was one of “striving for Educator and retired Dalrymple, Head of excellence,” an attribute she has The Open Campus, Headmistress of the GHS, challenged with held dear since her early on their way to education. some insightful being recognised Hers was an address in which thoughts on how we and rewarded for a clear description was given of still need to embrace how modern technology can their hard work our culture. and dedication. contribute to higher learning and The thirty-seven encourage collaboration. graduates represented a range of Featured Speaker — retired Girls’ disciplines, including Medical Sciences, High School Headmistress Mrs. Management Studies, Education, Andrea Bowman, whose presentation Accounting and Natural Sciences. was pre-empted by her nephew Said Dr. Veronica Simon, Head of the Bowman’s rendition of Gerrard Open Campus St. Lucia, in her ‘Razum’ Shallow’s ‘Perseverance’, performance of official duties on behalf captured the Hall’s attention to the of the Chancellor of UWI, was the first extent that one could hear if a pin fell. speaker to the podium. In her address, She espoused, as an underlying Dr. Simon spoke of moments she spent message, the need for appreciation on Mount le Blanc Hill, St. Lucia, and adaptation of Caribbean culture looking over the North of St. Vincent, and its interweaving into academic and being struck by the similarity of learning. topography of the two islands. Mrs Bowman, with a glance in the Those similarities, she said, direction of Mrs. Dalrymple, deemed reflected a “Caribbean Oneness,” the attire of the traditional Cap and which we ought to treasure, and which Gown as a practice reeking of the UWI not only symbolises but colonialism and not being practical in engenders. the reality of Caribbean culture and Valedictorian Ms Hannah Hamilton, climate. a contestant in the 2013 Miss SVG She also noted that hair-braiding Pageant, and now boasting a Bachelor was still frowned upon in our culture of Education Degree (First Class as is even discouraged by the rules and regulations of the Public Service Honours) in Educational Leadership here, and used that reference as the and Management, prefaced her springboard for calling for our address with, “All of our dreams can Education system/principles to come true if we believe them,” a facilitate critical thinking and not to quotation from Walt Disney. perpetuate a copycat society. She stressed that “education is the Judging by the reaction, Mrs. key to empowerment,” and spoke of Bowman’s address won the approval of the virtual classroom experience which, at the beginning, she responded the majority of her audience.

Thirty-seven more Vincentians comprised the latest group to graduate with certification from the UWI.



Views The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Managing Editor: Desiree Richards Editor: Cyprian Neehall Telephone: 784-456-1123 Fax: 784-451-2129 Website: Email: Mailing Address: The Vincentian Publishing Co. Ltd., P.O. Box 592, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Editorial Election Petitions: Preparing for the final judgement THIS COLUMN has deliberately refrained from writing on the ongoing election petitions before the Court. However, given how that matter has developed to date, this is as good a time as any for this column to pinch itself and encourage some degree of caution of the implications of this matter still before the court. It goes without saying that when two or more people are involved in a case, there will be only one winner. What this means is that, it is either the ULP or the NDP that will be the ultimate winner of the case in court, certainly not both! And for all intents and purposes, the case before the Court is a very sensitive one; one that we have to manage well from the onset, otherwise we will wake up one morning to bite our fingernails in regret. Representatives of the two major political parties have expressed overwhelming confidence that there is no way the verdict will go the way of their opponents. People in the communication war room of the ruling ULP have said emphatically that there is no way any court will rule that a duly elected member of the House, - one of theirs of course should step down for another to take over. Members of the propaganda machinery of the opposition NDP have told their party faithful that gold awaits them at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Functionaries of both parties have donned the cloth of the prophets, and speak sweet prophecies to the ears of their respective supporters. Questions abound, though: How will the supporters of the party who will lose the case take the final ruling? Will the supporters of the NDP just accept that they have lost, and that the make-up of the House of Representatives will remain as per the results of the last general elections? Will the supporters of the ULP accept defeat and vacate the seat of government and return to the polls or simply settle for a byelection, time permitting? These are issues, the likelihood that both parties — the country — have to begin to manage before it gets out of hand. This begins with the communication team members, i.e. the propagandists of both parties; those who sit on radio and TV, being

cautious of the things they say as far as this case is concerned. Against one’s understanding of what contempt of court really means, they have to refrain from passing judgments and encouraging something over which they have no control. The parties must tell their supporters that the verdict could go either way, even as they are hopeful that it will go their way. They must also prepare their minds so as to accept the outcome of the case without any difficulty. Civil Society, national interest groups, religious leaders, independent commentators, have to start speaking to the conscience of the supporters of the two parties. They must assume the task, the responsibility of preparing the minds of their followers while we all wait to see how this historic case will end. The end, they say, justifies the means. Or is it the means justifying the end? ‘An impure means results in an impure end,’ Mohandas Gandhi reminds us, so maybe it should always be that for the purpose of maintaining sanity and regard for our maturing democracy, we accept that the end justifies the means. And maybe, this move by those non-political entities and individuals could kick-start a much needed public debate on the changes necessary to ensure, without doubt, that the next elections will be accepted as having been truly free, fair, transparent, accountable and verifiable in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution. This forum could provide policy leaders and the public a much needed opportunity to discuss critical questions relating to this country’s current situation; the impact of the Court’s judgment and other judicial decisions on election petitions, and the need for accountability, transparency and inclusiveness in the management of our future elections. This policy dialogue could well be one of the more significant contributions towards the national dialogue that will be essential to maintaining not just peace, but the integrity and cohesion of this country. Are we up to it?

Beware “The Laws Delay” SOMETIMES the length of time it takes to arrive at a final settlement, especially in legal constitutional matters, seems extensively drawn out, but must be borne for the sake of democracy. The alternative is stark, either you take time over infuriating delays or you “appeal to heaven” which is a euphemism for revolution which we discount altogether. To advise further caution and patience to those bearing the hurt of the latest implication of the 2015 Petition case, we go back to the vernacular, “time longer than twine”, or you have to “crush ants to find its guts”. Even as far back as Shakespeare’s day, we were counselled about the Law delays. Further back, we were comforted that the mill of the Almighty crushes slowly, but exceedingly fine. In my own mind, I seriously believe that essential good will flow to those who exercise the necessary patience in this heart-rending trial. In this glorious battle for democracy, and that is what it really is. There are many heroes, some of whom bear mention, but many would be innocently omitted for obvious reasons. In our hearts, all will be respected. From the start of the crisis which heated up at the turnover of the 21st Century, Arnhim Eustace has been a tower of strength, never mind his stature and black complexion which somehow or the other has been squeezed-in as a contemporary issue. He is the Black Moses who has led his people to the gates of the New Jerusalem. Another name is Godwin Friday, the new Joshua who is not only animated by the inspiration of the dead Moses, but enjoys the zest and commitment of the “Living” Arnhim Eustace who stands squarely behind, and at times even before, his every move underwritten by the people. In fact, Friday is a modern version of Arnhim, with all his adopted father’s qualities of methodology, accountancy, and fairness, though naturally weighted differently. The other members of the 2015 “Dream Team” all have the same vision of national progress — the two VP’s St Clair Leacock and Patel Matthews and Chairman Daniel Cummings. The party is so enmeshed in democratic principles that they can speak anywhere in SVG, any time, on matters of principle, socio-economic and political, for other members of the NDP. The outer ring of ‘heroes’ especially include the spokes persons- Margaret

London, Luzette King, Bert François, Collin Graham, Nick Francis, Pastor Abraham, Keith Joseph and Patches Knights who has been battling without cease for a bright SVG from morning, since the Black Power days of OBCA in the 1960s! Patches is now 70 years young, as fit as a fiddle, an uncompromising patriot, awaiting the call to storm the citadel of Jericho! Some columnists- Adrian Fraser, Keith Joseph, Kenneth John, Leroy Providence, Rollin Stapleton and Jules Ferdinand. Nor must we forget our lawyers, toiling for fruit in the unyielding vineyard, especially Stalky John, Kay Bacchus Baptiste, Zita Barnwell and Maia Eustace: they are the frontline heroes of our gallant fight to defend democracy. As far as the other side is concerned, let them enjoy their brief and hollow victory while they consider a dim and haunting future. To begin with, they paraded power, forgetting that they have run a one seat majority government, of doubtful legality for the past 7 years! When Compton’s party had a one seat majority, he went back in a matter of a month to seek a new, comfortable margin. But never Gonsalves! At one stage he preached that no one should exceed two terms as Prime Minister. At present, he has chalked four wins in a row, and is on his fifth shift. There is abundant evidence to suggest that his present aim is to create a dynasty which will demolish all pretense to founding a Democracy. We must stop it - beginning with a public display that at present his regime is illegal and, secondly that no way would Vincentians tolerate, much less welcome and salute, the destruction of their democracy.




Our Christian Nepotism: Does obligation anyone care? IF, AS YOU LIKE to say, Mr. Editor, the truth be told, this country of ours is truly divided. Even after a general election (2015), instead of uniting to build the nation, our two major political parties have ensured that we are even more divided. So divided, that we have to resort to the court to seek redress for what we perceive as wrongdoings. It seems to me, Mr. Editor, that we have forgotten who we profess to be… who we are. We are a Christian nation, but we fall short of fulfilling our faith. As Christians, we are beckoned to stand for that which is true, and to seek unity among ourselves. We have to stand firm in the faith we accept, and that means showing grace to those who do not. It means holding our leaders accountable, while praying that they might be filled with wisdom and a true sense of caring for all. As Christians, we must learn from the words of Ezekiel 22:30, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” We are called by Ezekiel to stand in the gap, to lift up our nation with all its favors and faults before the throne of God, and pray that He continues to work in our midst. As Christians, we must not only believe that there is hope, but work for the fulfilment of that hope. Jason, R.

POW! POW! POW! JUST AFTER 8 pm on Saturday in the vicinity of Diamond: Pow! Pow! Pow! This was mere seconds after the Prime Minister and his escort passed by with their regular flashing blue lights. The result of the pow, pow, pow? A dead man, a father. I observed the actions of the police as they arrived at the murder scene. Their actions were very unprofessional; they arrived on the scene, collected the dead man, but lacked basic equipment to execute investigation. I couldn’t help but notice that the police seemed to merely cruise the scene. I want to say to the Prime Minister, that he and his wife could well have been caught up in this crossfire. Given the dead economy of SVG, there is every guarantee that more pow, pow, pows will be heard. Something needs to be done to turn around the economy and create opportunities for young people. If the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves can’t do it, he should pack his bags and vacate government. Kadmiel McFee

I HAVE ALWAYS considered myself to be an “Independent voter”. In the past, I have backed such unsuccessful American presidential candidates as Eugene McCarthy, John Anderson, Ross Perot, Al Gore and Bernie Sanders. When they lost, I was always able to reconcile myself to the elevation of the subsequently successful candidate to be president of the U.S. But Donald Trump was “a bridge too far”. My wife and I left the U.S. for a small, independent Caribbean island, a former British colony which I now

discover is ruled by a two-bit tin-horn demagogue, dead set on finagling dynastic succession by catering to a sycophantic band of “red ant” idolatrous supporters, and who could probably “walk down Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters”. He now parallels his son’s silence in the face of allegations of adultery or worse, with that of Jesus before Pilate. His son is Minister of Finance, Minister of Sustainable Development, and Minister of Information Technology; the son’s wife is the

I canÊt get peace HERE’S MY CASE: Anytime anybody talking, they always behind the house listening to go back and talk, and they always on us, but “Way horse reach, donkey go reach”. He always ‘macho me’ (abusing me) when I’m going and coming from work, and even when I don’t go to work. They always talking

my ‘pickney ah them’, and we didn’t do them anything. One time he slapped me and he took up a block and threw it at me. They don’t care what they do to us… they never wrong… , they just babble off their mouths, even when nobody interferes with them. They talked about how they go ‘burn out and kill

out’. They even went to a funeral and talk to my cousin about me, saying how I ‘trace’ them. But they are the ones who always accusing me, and I never interfere with them. They come from Fairbaine, but married and live at Richland Park. Janella John

Underwear on show!!! CALL ME ‘old timish’, but I am proud of my age and my values. For all the tea in China, I will not ever get accustomed to, far less accept, the style of young men exposing their behinds. As recent as last weekend, while shopping at a store in Kingstown, I saw two young men there. One of them had his underwear fully exposed. His pants hung

loosely around his hips, and if I might say, he didn’t seem to have much hips. My question: Is it now the norm for young men to expose their underwear in public? Is this now a fashion? If that is the case, then it would appear to me that we have thrown any sense of decency out the door. Gone are the days when the decent

I believe that such a system would derive a number of benefits; it would very much reduce the congestion now being experienced on the road(s) into and within Kingstown; allow more parking places for those who cannot take advantage of this facility, and prevent those who now use that route driving around in everdecreasing circles, trying to claim a parking space for their working day or shopping expedition.

Possible Parking Solution TODAY (27/02), I heard, in part, a radio discussion regarding the amount of traffic congestion in Kingstown and the associated problems this is causing. The following suggestion may have been discussed before I was able to connect with the programme. However, if this was not the case, I would make the following (layman’s) suggestion that may go some way to lessen this problem. At the moment, there is a

appointed (acting) Executive Director the Financial Services Authority for the country. His cousin is Secretary General of his political party and Minister of Transport, Works, Urban Development and Local Government, and the brother of this cousin owns the road repair business that is contracted to do road work as well as engineering and construction of projects for the Government, and the Director of Public Prosecutions is a former law colleague from the Prime Minister’s law

virtually unused car park being under-utilised at the site of what was the ET Joshua Airport. For the benefit of traffic, motorists using this routing into Kingstown, why cannot this, mostly unused, car park be turned into a Park and Ride Facility? In that, those coming into Kingstown from that area park there and a shuttle service of dedicated vans then transports them to and from Kingstown.

A. W. Indupp

thing was that we covered our underwear. And for those who would want to advance the view that decency is relative, I want to respond by saying it is because we have attached this thing about certain behaviour/attitudes being relative, why we have to endure certain unbecoming behavior and aggression today. What if there was a code of dress for people entering a store? Maybe that is what we want, since we seem to conform only when we are forced to by some law or regulation. And, before I am castigated, let me say that our females too, must take a good long look at how they appear in public. They too think less is best, whatever that best means. Retiree

firm. Does anyone here care about any of this? Birds in Antigua, Duvalier in Haiti? I am out of the frying pan and into the fire! Nepotism reigns, Trump in the White House and cookie cutter clones in the West Indies. What’s left– Argentina or New Zealand–where can we go that has any democracy left? Joseph Herzen

* Is there a problem with workers getting paid at a certain ‘lofty’ restaurant? * Did a university student on summer break who took a job at that ‘lofty’ restaurant so she could earn some cash, return to her university without getting paid? * Why do certain residents in the South Leeward constituency who religiously pay their garbage collection fee to CWSA, still have to tote their garbage some distance from their residences for the truck to pick it up, even though there are roads to each and every house in the area concerned? * Are security personnel at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) making life difficult for Custom Officers assigned to that port of entry? * Was anybody who doesn’t support the red party, at that recent anniversary rally for the AIA?




Excerpt from the 2018 Budget Address on Tourism Development

Introduction WE CAN ALL accept that there is ample room to grow and improve tourism in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Many of our neighbours have a more mature tourism product and exponentially larger tourist arrival numbers. The reasons for this difference are as obvious as they are diverse – from geography, to topography, to history, to infrastructure, to the traditional underpinnings. The 2018 fiscal year marks the beginning of a new thrust in the expansion of our hotel room stock, to capitalize on the opportunities created by the opening of the Argyle International Airport. Already, hotel expansion and new construction are underway nationwide, and the Minister of Tourism will elaborate on these. In Canouan, the Glossy Bay Marina project continues apace, with shops, restaurants, apartments and ancillary facilities, being added to the existing property. The expectation is for these additional works to be completed by the second quarter of 2018. The Pink Sands Hotel, now under the management of the prestigious Mandarin Oriental brand, will also enjoy its first full year in business. On the mainland, the Blacksands Resort, a multi-million dollar development in Peters’ Hope, has obtained the necessary first-phase, planning permissions and will commence construction this year. The project consists of 40 villas, totaling 160 rooms, and a 200-room hotel. Post-construction, the Resort is anticipated to employ 300 Vincentians when it is fully operational.

State owned hotel The Government has made no secret of its intention to construct a state-owned, private-sector managed hotel or hotels to add 200 — 350 rooms to the current stock of high-quality tourist accommodation. This model is common throughout the region, with the Barbados Hilton, the Trinidad and Tobago Marriott and the Saint Kitts and Nevis Marriott being just a few of the many state-owned facilities that are managed by major international brands. Thanks to a recent fruitful conversation with bilateral partners, I predict that the Government will be breaking ground on a new hotel, hopefully, in the fourth quarter of 2018, that will employ over 200 Vincentians.

Buccament Bay Resort The closure of the Buccament Bay Resort has had an undeniably negative impact on tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom, which were flat regionally on Brexit-related concerns. This year, our stay-over arrivals from the United Kingdom fell by 29 per cent, due in no small part to the absence of the Resort. Further, over 200 talented and hard-working Vincentians were forced to find other jobs and endured great difficulty when the Resort was abruptly shuttered. Many of them are still owed wages from their work at the Resort. Initially, the Government was given unduly optimistic estimates about when the Resort would re-open. Those estimates were based entirely on our conversations with the principals involved in the legal proceedings to navigate the hotel through the bankruptcy and insolvency process.

The Education Revolution has failed (Pt.2) (Excerpts from the Hon. Terrance Ollivierre’s Budget presentation)

However, today, I can report that the investors and creditors of the Resort, in communication with the Bankruptcy Trustee, have approved a plan for the management of the Resort and are currently fine-tuning the details of management proposals from credible and competent entities with excellent track records in hotel management. The Bankruptcy Trustee has indicated that the final management agreement is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, and that the Resort will definitely reopen in advance of the 2018 tourist season, after a three-month process of rehabilitation to the existing facility.

IT IS EVIDENT that the high investment in education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the highest in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) grouping, that the dropout rate for both primary and secondary schools is the highest within the sub-regional grouping.

The School Environment

Cruise Ship Arrivals Mr. Speaker, the opportunities presented by the surge in cruise arrivals, and the projections for further growth in this subsector, provide fertile ground for creative entrepreneurship and steady employment. In 2017, cruise arrivals to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines skyrocketed. Preliminary tourism figures suggest that cruise arrivals are up by a whopping 75% over last year, while the early returns from our primary cruise agent indicate that actual arrivals are in fact up close to 100%, with a 150% increase in capacity over last year. The total capacity of all ships arriving in Saint Vincent from October 2016 to January 2017 was 52,000. The comparable justconcluded period was 130,000 — a 150 per cent increase. Contrary to what some believe, very little of this increase was due to the hurricanerelated difficulties in Dominica, likely less than 10% of arrivals. This spike in cruise ships was anticipated long before the hurricanes that affected Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, and all indications are that this season’s record arrivals rate will be surpassed in the upcoming season. We have all heard the stories of the taxi and tour operators who have done extraordinarily well this cruise season. The truth is that there are many more diverse opportunities a-begging for Vincentians to monetize this upsurge. We can and must do more to entice the visitors from their ships and across the length and breadth of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. We can and must do more to encourage them to spend their money when they are ashore. In my consultations with the tourism sector in advance of this Budget presentation, I was heartened to hear how many businesses were enjoying significant direct benefits from the upsurge in cruise arrivals. Let us do more to capitalize on this growth. This year, in addition to expanding air access and expected growth in visitors by sea, the Ministry of Tourism is enhancing the viability of existing local destinations through investments in new facilities at Villa Beach and Brighton Salt Pond; continuation of the Cayo Heritage Village at Argyle; and enhancements to existing amenities at Cumberland, the Botanical Gardens, Walliabou, Black Point, Dark View Falls, Belmont Lookout and the nature trails at Vermont, Trinity, Cumberland and La Soufriere.

This phenomenon requires a qualitative and quantitative investigation to gain the national perspective to ascertain the reasons for such high dropouts from the system. The collected data and up to date intelligence will assist to better inform the decision-making process, towards finding solutions necessary to get rid of this scourge. This, we hope, will have a positive impact of encouraging young people to stay in school, and progress to completion. As a small developing country, helping young people to stay in school and complete formal schooling or education is a worthwhile objective. Therefore, education and training and lifelong skills become paramount. The Focus should be: diagnostic process for identifying students level and school dropout problems; targeted interventions for students who are indentified as risks for dropout; school wide reforms that are designed to enhance engagements for all students and prevent dropouts more generally; establish a mechanism to coordinate and provide financial and other support to students at all levels; and the need for special consideration to be given to disadvantage areas such as boat fees for students from Mayreau, Bequia, Canouan to access quality secondary education.

CSEC Results St. Vincent and the Grenadines is also lagging behind the other OECS territories in educational success, especially in the areas of English Language and Mathematics. The latest results from the OECS Statistical Digest for 2013/2014 revealed that 19 of the 26 secondary schools received a pass rate of 20% and below in Mathematics. We must congratulate the students and schools that have done well, but we must do better. Of the eight (8) OECS countries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines ranked 6th in English with a 62% pass rate in in 2014.

The challenges facing our education system, teachers and students continue to escalate. Indeed, the quality of the physical environment significantly affects the students’ achievements and teachers’ performance. Undeniably, it is a daunting task and downright depressing to be teaching and learning in drab classrooms, where the physical conditions are poor and lack the stimulating educational materials that are required. Too many of our schools, physical environment has been plagued with poor condition resulting from inadequate inspection and maintenance. Moreover, the teaching and learning process have been interrupted too often by these deficiencies. Dilapidated school buildings contribute to teachers and students despair and frustration. Thus, the physical condition of schools must address the provision of safe, clean and comfortable surroundings that can contribute to the creation of a positive school climate in which teachers can teach efficaciously and students learn confidently. I have made visits to some schools throughout the state to get firsthand look at the situation. Mary Hutchinson, Kingstown Anglican, Kingstown Government, New Adelphi Secondary, Lodge Village Government, Girls’ High School, Clare Valley Government, Sandy Bay Secondary, St. Vincent Grammar School, Dr. J.P Eustace Memorial, St. Clair Dacon Secondary, Intermediate Secondary and Bethel High School. We must implement a comprehensive, efficient, targeted, timely, and sustainable school maintenance programme to cope with our aging school infrastructure.

Teacher Education Teacher education is critical in preparing young people and societies for the future. Investing in the education of and building a strong teaching profession makes good sense. Denying teachers the essential means to foster learning is a crime against our children’s future and it violates international law. Furthermore, I witness News in an Article dated November, 10th 2017, stated that the Teachers Union reported that teachers are dying of stress and other work-related conditions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Poor working conditions, overwork, unfair treatment, illness, which may have correlation to the poor conditions, are some of the factors attributed to the teachers’ plight. This may very well be the opportune time to separate teaching from the public service commission to regulate matters concerning the teaching fraternity and bring about a more effective system.

V Raindrops and tears



“What if your blessings come through raindrops and your healing through tears?” - From the song “Blessings” by Laura Story (born 1978). WE VERY OFTEN MISS THE MESSAGES that are generated through many of the songs that we sing. Sometimes we can become so caught up with the music, the rhythm, that we lose the value of the lyrics. Songs like Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldiers” can fly by our consciousness and result in our not benefiting from the rich history of our “ancient North American cousins”. They were fearless soldiers in the Union Army as they fought for freedom in the American Civil War (1861-1865). After the civil war, these “distant relatives” were responsible for planting telegraph poles in “hostile Indian territory”. They also drew maps that the settlers heading across the plains and deserts of North America were able to use to create and sustain their fortunes. We can also be blessed and encouraged by songs like Laura Story’s song entitled “Blessings”. The words remind us that we can often extract so many blessings from the physical and emotional pains that we must all go through from time to time. The thoughts that prompted me to share the insights in this week’s essay emerged while listening intently to the words of that song “Blessings”. It is so very true that many of our blessings come disguised as pain and disappointment. So very often our blessings come through raindrops and our healings come through tears. As children, we never really liked it much when it rained. We often wished that we could bask in the sunshine for days on end. This was especially so when we were on school vacation. However, the wisdom that comes from aging and the accumulation of experiences reveal that life is not all sunshine — and that we do need the rain. Those raindrops are so very precious. These raindrops provide us with water to drink, wash our clothes, bathe, and so on. These tiny particles of water are valuable. The plants need the water to survive and we, along with all other animals, need the plants to live. There are so many blessings that come through raindrops. Sometimes, life’s challenges seem to “rain on our parade”. Those well thought out plans that were designed to chart a future of happiness and prosperity can sometimes seem to vaporise when a loved one dies or a happy marriage ends up in divorce. A scholarship that appeared to have been a “sure thing” can vanish into nothingness, and we feel so abandoned and alone having concluded that this was the only means of pursuing a tertiary level education. An accident or an illness can usher in dark and lonely nights of despair. There are so many situations that can lead us through those dark, lonely places of anguish. These can readily become the times when we see and feel the raindrops and the tears. Tears have their value. They help us physically and emotionally. Dr. Judith Orloff, in her blog of 27th July 2010, noted that as a physician for over two decades, she has witnessed the healing power of tears. She sees it as the body’s release valve for

stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, frustration, and joy (as in the expression of gratitude). She notes that, in addition to lubricating the eyes and removing irritants, they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes. She refers to the research done at the Ramsey Medical Centre in Minneapolis, USA, that confirm that “crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and ‘feel-good’ hormones.” Crying has a way of making us feel better. In their own special way, tears help us to heal. This is especially useful information for those among us (especially men) who incorrectly assume that shedding a tear is a sign of weakness. But it is not. The shedding of a tear can create great release when we are feeling a tremendous amount of physical and/or emotional pain. Tears are valuable. They allow us to ventilate — to give off some of that deep, inner pressure that could otherwise break and debilitate us. Yes, healing can come through tears. Even as we age, we sometimes retain those childlike thoughts of wanting to have sunshine in our lives always … not fully appreciating the raindrops and the tears. But this is not being realistic. Tragedies will visit. Disappointments will occur. As sure as there is life, there will be moments of despair. However, it is often during those times when we realise that we do have so much strength — so much ability to cope. It is during those times (of the raindrops and the tears) that we discover our true friends. It is often during those times that we seek, and find, God. It is during those moments (when the dark clouds of life gather) that we discover that He is there beyond the clouds … and that He cares and provides. Thank God for the raindrops and the tears that encourage us to find new and deeper meanings of life. There is another song that is now beckoning to be mentioned … “Remind Me Dear Lord” is its name. The lyrics take the form of a conversation with our God and Maker. The writer invites God to roll back the curtains of memory now and then; to show us where He brought us from and where we could have been. We are reminded that everything that we love and hold dear to our hearts are just borrowed for a time. These, too, will pass away. They are just on loan to us to brighten our lives. Our gratitude should hold firm and be prominent whether the sun shines or the rain falls. Our sense of appreciation should be constant with or without the rain and the tears. We reflect and we are encouraged by the realisation that our blessings may come through raindrops and our healing may come through tears. Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to

Black Panther: Spoiler alert by Chris Lebron BLACK PANTHER has been greeted with the breathless anticipation that its arrival will change things. The movie features the leader of Wakanda, fictional African country, who has enough wealth to make Bill Gates and Warren Buffet feel like financial pikers, and enough technological capacity to rival advanced alien races. The change that the movie supposedly heralds is black empowerment to effectively challenge racist narratives. This is a tall order, especially in the time of Trump, who insists that blacks live in hell, and wishes that (black) sons of bitches would get fired for protesting police violence. Which makes it a real shame that Black Panther, a movie unique for its black star power and its many thoughtful portrayals of strong black women, depends on a shocking devaluation of black American men. The source of Wakanda’s wealth and wonder is vibranium, a miraculous substance that doubles as a potent energy source as well as an unmatched raw material. A meteor rich in vibranium, which crashed ages ago into the land that would become Wakanda, made Wakanda so powerful that the terrors of colonialism and imperialism passed it by. A movie unique for its black star power depends on a shocking devaluation of black American men. In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has risen to the throne of Wakanda. We know that his father, T’Chaka, the previous king, died in a bomb attack. T’Challa worships his father for being wise and good, and wants to walk in his footsteps. But a heartbreaking revelation will sorely challenge T’Challa’s idealized image of his father. The movie’s initial action sequences focus on a criminal partnership between arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). They both seek vibranium but for different reasons: Klaue is trying to profit from Wakanda’s wonder-material; Killmonger is trying to make his way to Wakanda to make a bid for the throne. He believes he is the rightful king. Killmonger, it turns out, is T’Challa’s cousin, orphaned by T’Chaka’s murder of Killmonger’s father and T’Chaka’s younger brother, N’Jobu (Sterling Brown). Why did T’Chaka kill his brother? N’Jobu was found with stolen vibranium. The motive for the theft is where the tale begins–and where the story of black wonderment starts to degrade. We learn that N’Jobu was sent to the United States as a Wakandan spy. This is precisely N’Jobu’s problem. In the United States, he learns of the racism black Americans face, including mass incarceration and police brutality. He soon understands that his people have the power to help all black people, and he plots to develop weapons using vibranium to even the odds for black Americans. This is radical stuff; the Black Panthers (the political party, that is) taken to a level of potentially revolutionary efficacy. T’Chaka, however, insists N’Jobu has betrayed the people of Wakanda. He has no intention of helping any black people anywhere; for him and most Wakandans, it is Wakanda First. N’Jobu threatens an aide to T’Chaka, who then kills N’Jobu. The murder leaves Killmonger orphaned. However, Killmonger has learned of Wakanda from his father, N’Jobu. Living in poverty in Oakland, he grows to become

a deadly soldier to make good on his father’s radical aim to use Wakanda’s power to liberate black people everywhere, by force if necessary. By , viewers have two radical imaginings in front of them: an immensely rich and flourishing advanced African nation that is sealed off from white colonialism and supremacy; and a few black Wakandans with a vision of global black solidarity who are determined to use Wakanda’s privilege to emancipate all black people. Killmonger makes his way to Wakanda and challenges T’Challa’s claim to the throne through traditional rites of combat. Killmonger decisively defeats T’Challa and moves to ship weapons globally to start the revolution. In the course of Killmonger’s swift rise to power, he is portrayed not as an enlightened radical with a coherent political philosophy, but as the black thug from Oakland hell bent on killing for killing’s sake–indeed, his body is marked with a scar for every kill he has made. In the end, all comes down to a contest between T’Challa and Killmonger that can only be read one way: in a world marked by racism, a man of African nobility must fight his own blood relative whose goal is the global liberation of blacks. In a fight that takes a shocking turn, T’Challa lands a fatal blow to Killmonger, lodging a spear in his chest. As the movie uplifts the African noble at the expense of the black American man, every crass principle of modern black respectability politics is upheld. In 2018, a world home to both the Movement for Black Lives and a president who identifies white supremacists as fine people, we are given a movie about black empowerment where the only redeemed blacks are African nobles. They safeguard virtue and goodness against the threat not of white Americans or Europeans, but a black American man, the most dangerous person in the world. Even in a comic-book movie, black American men are relegated to the lowest rung of political regard. So low that the sole white leading character in the movie, the CIA operative Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), gets to be a hero who helps save Wakanda. A white man who trades in secrets and deception is given a better turn than a black man whose father was murdered by his own family and who is left by family and nation to languish in poverty. Killmonger’s main dream to free black people everywhere decisively earns him the fate of death. That’s racist and disappointing. Black Panther is not the movie we deserve. My president already despises me. Why should I accept the idea of black American disposability from a man in a suit, whose name is synonymous with radical uplift but whose actions question the very notion that black lives matter? You will have noticed I have not said much about the movie’s women. They are the film’s brightest spot: the black women of Wakandan descent are uniformly independent, strong, courageous, brilliant, inventive, resourceful, and ethically determined.

Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to




Billion-dollar grant aid benefits others, not Vincentians

the $1.037 billion in grants is being used to fill the massive financial void created by Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan not paying tax. Grants given to SVG are being lost in an abyss of corporate tax exemptions and or evasion. This is highly immoral and totally unacceptable. It perpetuates the largescale poverty and destitution seen all around the country. Corporate tax exemptions/evasion granted to foreigners is killing SVG and reducing the life-opportunities of our people. The Tax Justice Network (TJN) says the overriding imperative is to end the secrecy of financial operations of the corporations, and proposes three essential planks of policy. The first plank is to mandate the automatic exchange of tax information between all national jurisdictions. Without this reciprocal information exchange, national authorities simply cannot know whether corporations are paying the correct amount of tax. The second plank is to mandate The table shows that the total in complete transparency of beneficial grants received by SVG from 2001 to ownership of all offshore companies, 2018 was $1.037 billion. trusts and foundations. Tax-exempt However, given that the tax charitable trusts and corporations use exemptions given to Taiwan and the structures for tax evasion on colossal super-rich of Mustique and Canouan levels. amount to about EC$3 billion a year, The third plank from the TJN’s the total in tax exemptions given to programme is to require country-byTaiwan and the super-rich of Mustique country reporting of revenues by and Canouan from 2001 to 2018, was multinational corporations. This kind about EC$ 54 billion. of knowledge is a precondition for an Our people are not getting the full equitable international division of benefit of the grants given to SVG, as corporate profit taxes by governments. SINCE 2001, just over a billion dollars in grant aid has been given to SVG by the international community. This has benefitted Taiwan and super-rich in Mustique and Canouan, as it slightly reduces the moral pressure on them to pay tax. The billion dollars in grant aid have acted as a sticking plaster, just barely holding the economy and society from collapse.

The United Nations is urging the Caribbean and other states to take action against corporate tax evasion and also urge rating agencies to downgrade businesses responsible for unethical practices, such as tax evasion and tax abuse. According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA, we must break this stupid tax regime which grants blanket tax and customs duty exemptions of about EC$3 billion annually to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan.

The people of SVG should get the full benefit of the grants given to SVG, and grants should not be used to fill the massive financial void created by Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan not paying tax. SVG Green Party

Committee for the Development of Women

Message on the occasion of International WomenÊs Day, 2018 Celebration and advocacy

teachers who provide essential services for the economic development of the nation. (g) Support the traffickers who were the fore-runners of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, by providing storage for produce, facilitating the process of registration of an Association of Traffickers, facilitating customs and immigration procedures, and enabling a process for the transfer to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines of cash for sales of produce. (h) Develop Disaster Risk Management Plans to protect agricultural development and food sovereignty, and address the immediate needs of populations after a disaster. Will our highly qualified members of the legal, medical and other relevant fraternities face the challenges affecting women, and take the opportunity to press for progress by lending their skills to drawing up the legislative agenda that will bring positive change? Will the Media play its part in both exposing atrocities committed against women, and desisting from promoting harmful stereotypes of women? Will the media also highlight the ‘shepherd’ attributes of personalities like my friend the late Glenford “Pressie” Prescod, so that women will be reminded that not all men are perpetrators of violence against women? The Congress acknowledged the role of older women as leaders, nurturers, educators, care-givers, and historians and wise women, from all walks of life. One such woman was Mrs. Noreen Richardson (deceased). I listened to her Eulogy with great respect and amazement, because the praise-singer informed us that ... “She sent each of her ten (10) children to acquire skills such as Basketry, Sewing, furnishing (making of drapes and cushions), refrigeration, making confectionery, joinery and hospitality services, in addition to regular school tuition”. Here, she faced the challenges, took responsibility and devised solutions for self-employment, in a time when there were limited educational and employment opportunities. This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the many “Noreens”, on whose shoulders we stand. Let us Press for Progress — with thanksgiving and celebration of our achievements, and a relentless going forward to our goal of meaningful development and Peace.

THE THEME of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”, while the International Women’s Day Campaign Theme is “Press for Progress”. These two themes bring to mind the First National Congress of Women of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, held six (6) years ago, as its content addressed these very Themes. In an eight-page document, fortyeight articles addressed critical development issues, under the subheadings of Gender Equity, Economic Development, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Health, Indigenous Peoples, Vulnerable and Marginalised Communities, Education and General Provisions. Several Recommendations of the Congress, quoted below, remain as relevant today: (a) Provide educational opportunities and finance for training of rural people, farmers, artisans, artists and women who support the economy. (b) Promote a concept of health that embodies total wellness, including health of the body and the mind, and that provides for the use of traditional methods of prevention and care. (c) Promote the teaching of an ageappropriate sexual and reproductive health curriculum in schools, so that children and young people are aware of themselves as sexual beings; and will develop respect for each other and avoid being victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape and child abuse. (d) Implement the agreements made in the Beijing Platform for Action and the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality, that 30-50% of candidates on the slate of political parties for elections are women. The low level of women’s participation at the political and policy-making level hinders their concerns from being fully addressed; (e) Conduct leadership training and civic education among women in all sectors and at all levels, to stimulate their greater interest in moving beyond the realm of political organization and campaigning, into political representation and leadership. (f) Respect the role of fisher-folk, farmers, vendors, domestic workers, child-minders, reproductive workers Nelcia Robinson - Coordinator/CDW within the home and pre-school




The „We can/I can‰ campaign: Can you? Miguel believes that, “The government Marlon Joseph, can also enact risk-reducing strategies Hospitality Officer IF ONE WERE to ask such as revising taxation on alcohol; at the SVG the average man on and continue to educate the public on Tourism Authority. the street about his benefits of HPV vaccination and its prayer, a hug; opinion on the “We role in cancer prevention”. sitting at a can. I can” patient’s bedside campaign, that Groups can when he/she is individual may find going through himself in a In conducting a poll, THE chemotherapy. quandary. The VINCENTIAN found that many were Any of these from reason is obvious! the strategies suggested to be a relative, friend The campaign, undertaken to help in the fight. Many or church member, which is a global felt that community groups, faithcan lift a patient one, is not too often based organizations and other such and his/her heard about in St. entities should promote awareness and relatives tremendously.” Vincent and the support. Allan Leach, of the Bequia Grenadines. Beach Hotel felt there was a definite Dr. Mellisa In conclusion The “We can. I role for group involvement. “The Miguel, Registrar at the Departcan” campaign, community should assist persons by Even as cancer continues to plague ment of Internal utilizes the said sharing information and experiences our community, a most important fact Medicine/ tagline to with the fight against the disease,” he must be noted; and that is, with Oncology at the commemorate affirmed. He felt that groups should cancer, early detection is a potent MCMH. World Cancer Day assist individuals in understanding weapon in the fight against it. which is celebrated how to use technology to research Whether predisposed to it or not, one annually on February, 4th. It is issues in the fight. must adopt a lifestyle that promotes intended to bring awareness on the good health, both in diet and other issue of cancer which, if meaningfully Individuals can human activities; constant checks taken on board, should save millions of preventable deaths annually. In the majority of cases, cancer is Additionally, it posits that everyone to about the individual, and we could borrow words from our elders to do his/her part to reduce the global understand the way to go when they burden of cancer: whether as say, “If you don’t look out for you, who government or groups — “We can”; or will do it for you?” The individual as individuals — “You can”. must be most proactive in the fight. The next question would then be, Oncology Nurse at the MCMH, “What can government, groups and individuals do to fight against cancer?” Melanie Layne was adamant that, “Individuals can start by eating a In answering this, the local problem must be looked at squarely in the face. balanced diet, which means more vegetables, boiled or steamed foods. In attempting to do so, THE VINCENTIAN spoke with Dr. Mellisa They should cut back on fries, oils and Miguel, Registrar at the Department of processed meats; and indulge in exercise.” She believes that winning Internal Medicine/Oncology at the necessitates regular health checks, Milton Cato Memorial Hospital especially for persons with a family (MCMH). She revealed that, even as history of cancer. “Men, check your cancer is the leading cause of global prostate and colon; women, do your morbidity, “it is also one of the top breast examinations, mammograms three causes of both morbidity and and ultrasounds,” she stated. Marlon mortality here”. Joseph, Hospitality Officer at the SVG Tourism Authority agreed. “Our risk could be lowered or increased by our The government can lifestyle: through what we eat, and vices such as smoking,” he opined, What can be done by the “The consumption of processed foods, authorities? The thing is, health care salt-preserved foods or red meats can is being pursued by the authorities. increase our risk of developing cancer; There is the to be commissioned whereas eating more fruits, vegetables diagnostic hospital/health care facility and foods high in fiber have the in Georgetown; and there has been the adverse effect of lowering our risk!” set-up of the Oncology Unit at the Treasurer at the SVG Cancer MCMH. These are definitely designed Society, Sylvia Mapp, hinges on to tackle the problem. What is still another viewpoint. “I realize there is left to come on stream are the services an urgent need for a support system. like chemotherapy that should be Persons are already confused, hearing accessed through this unit. This is the word ‘Cancer’ and now they are on fundamental, as cancer treatment their own trying to find out how to go attracts huge amounts of money which through the process from financial most patients at are their wits end to distress to recovery,” she find. Additionally, if one looks at acknowledged. “I do hope persons with inherent but avoidable factors that aid first-hand experiences find ways to cancer development, it is clear that share their stories.” Dr. Miguel measures could be put in place to expanded on this by saying, “A call, guard against some of these. Dr. text message, home visit; a meal, a by GLORIAH…

Sylvia Mapp, Treasurer at the SVG Cancer Society. must be done to ascertain one’s status with the disease; access to affordable, up-todate care must be made available; and victims must be supported — financially, emotionally, and spiritually. When we have achieved this, not only will be able to say, “We can. I can”, but we will say, “We are. I am”!

Melanie Layne, Staff Nurse, Oncology Department MCMH.

Allan Leach, of the Bequia Beach Hotel.




PSU radio programme scratched Right: Elroy Boucher, President of the Public Service Union of SVG, admitted that the programme has, at times, been critical of the government.

concern. That concern related to the THE PUBLIC SERVICE UNION of St discontinuation of the Programme Vincent and the Grenadines (PSUSVG) ‘PSU Speaks’, heard twice monthly on celebrated its 75th Anniversary on the state-owned Radio Station, The Saturday, February 24th, under the National Broadcasting Corporation theme ‘SEVENTY-FIVE Years of Resilience (NBC). - Moving Forward Towards a Stronger According to Union President Elroy Public Service Union’. Boucher, after last week Thursday’s However, even as the Union Broadcast, during which, he admitted, reflected on its impact through those he was critical of the Unity Labour many years, a press conference Party Administration, he received a convened last Wednesday by the letter from acting Station Manager Union, addressed a more immediate Raphael King, which advised about by CARLYLE DOUGLAS

Bequia fishers get HACCP training and/or proper HACCP systems are put in place. Although there had Regulation Act of 2006, it been training workshops was explained that held in the past to equip licenses to operate a fish applicant with the knowprocessing establishment how and to ensure that for export will not be they were in standing granted unless the order to become certified, prerequisite programmes Continued from Page 15.

only a few were granted licenses because the majority thought the process to be too overwhelming. The Bequia workshop was a step in the direction aimed at changing that attitude.

the immediate discontinuation of the Programme. In a no holds barred comment on the matter, Boucher stated that he believed the discontinuation was ordered by Press Secretary to The Prime Minister and Chairman of The Board of Directors of the NBC, Hans King. He also reflected on the Union’s choice of utilizing the NBC for its PSU Speaks programme, stating that he nor any member of the Union wanted to be “politically jaundiced” by broadcasting from WE FM or Nice Radio. But even then, he said, there were some who considered the choice as being politically bias. The President explained further that the Progamme of last week Thursday focused mainly on the 2018 Budget Address made by new Minister of Finance the Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, and highlighted what the Union saw as hardships to be imposed on members of the union and the general public at large

Some of these concerns were the lowering of the threshold on electricity consumption that attracts VAT, and the new tariffs on imported automobiles. Boucher also expressed concern about the manner in which the PSU was being treated under “a Labour Government.” THE VINCENTIAN attempted to clarify the matter of discontinuation of the PSU radio programme with Chairman of the NBC Board, Hans King, but all attempts to contact him up to press time were futile.




Invest SVGÊs HIEXPO launched INVEST SVG LIMITED officially launched its High Export Potential Programme, (HIEXPO) on Friday, February 23. The HIEXPO is a collaborative undertaking involving Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and Invest SVG, and is designed for implementation over a two-year period. Its aim is to strengthening the capacity of selected small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s), so as to position them to export to new markets and increase their global competitiveness. Deputy Executive Director of Invest SVG, Nadine AgardJuillerat explained that they are committed to raising the quality of exporters and their exports. “We want all SME’s and larger businesses to achieve their full potential,” AgardJuillerat said. She further explained that it was Invest SVG’s mandate to deal with issues relating to export development, but there was going to be a special focus this year, particularly since exporting leads to the creation of wealth.

One or two can make a difference Anthony Regisford,

Chairman of the Board of Invest SVG, said that he was pleased to see that CEDA was also on board. “I like the idea that CEDA is involved, because it gives the programme some outside objectivity. When you are close to the ground, sometimes you miss things under your nose,” he said. Not just that, but, according to Regisford, there have been some success stories from around the region, in which CEDA has been involved. He singled out Kiran Akal, CEO of SMAKS Luxury Company out of Trinidad and Tobago, the makers of Chai Rum, which is now being exported to European markets, and Baron Foods out of St Lucia. St Vincent and the Grenadines only needs one, two or three success stories such as the ones mentioned, he said, in order to set the trend for other local businesses to set about getting oneself ready for the export market.

HIEXPO – tried and tested Chris McNair, Competitiveness and Innovation Manager CEDA, explained that he was already anticipating success here in

SVG. He explained that a similar programme to the one being undertaken by Invest SVG was done in Jamaica some 15 years ago, where companies that demonstrated potential for export development worked on getting their products marketable for export. “It’s a tested and tried model. It demonstrates what is possible and creates a pathway for companies looking to develop and export,” he said. What the programms does, is that it allows for Invest SVG and CEDA to develop a long-term relationship with the company, in order to identify what is required to facilitate development, and then further for the product to be made available for export, McNair said. He however, cautioned that the programme was not to provide such assistance to a large number of companies, but they were looking for those companies that can create wealth with the type of support services that will be provided.

A second Expo scheduled Invest SVG also, last Friday, launched the ‘Everything Vincy’ Plus Expo

Nadine Agard-Juillerat, Deputy Executive Director of Invest SVG, underscored Invest SVG’s commitment to deal with export issues.

Anthony Regisford, Chairman of the Invest SVG Board, spoke to the success of similar programmes across the region. 2018 website. The first Vincy Expo took place in October last year, and as a result of its the success, a second is scheduled for October 23 — 29, this year. The Expo is an initiative that fits with Invest SVG’s mandate of expanding the export development and overall economic growth within the country. The ‘Buy Local’ campaign was also launched. This aims to promote value of Vincentian products and services. It is expected that this campaign will continue in the months leading up to the

Chris McNair of CEDA said that the High Export Potential Programme was geared towards the creation of wealth. Vincy Expo and beyond, using various activities and platforms to disseminate information. (DD)

Bequia fishers get HACCP training February 21 and 22 in Paget Farm, Bequia. “Today SusGren wants to get you thinking more seriously about your livelihood. About what you do and how you do it,” Herman Belmar, SusGren Board Member and Director of Grenadines Affairs said at the opening ceremony. He explained that HACCP focused on food Herman Belmar, Member distribution and storage, of the SusGren Board, and that is recognized spoke of the importance worldwide. of HACCP training. It came out of a need for standards to be set THE SAFETY and was implemented STANDARDS for fisherfolk begin and end following an agreement reached for those with them. requirements, resulting It was with this in in the formation of the mind that the fisherfolk on Bequia were involved Food and Drug Administration in the in a two-day Hazard United States. Analysis and Critical This body is who Control Points (HACCP) determines whether and on-board handling foods can be marketed or workshop, between sold in the US.

“HACCP standards were drawn up, not to protect you the producers alone, but the consumers,” Belmar said. In other words, HACCP standards started with the fisherfolk and ended with them, he continued.

New opportunity demands compliance

Facilitator and Fisheries Officer, Alisa Martin explained the need for those involved in the fishing industry to become certified in safety and health standards.

And with the news that the fisherfolk involved in the conch industry will soon be able to sell their produce for export, as do lobster fishers, it was crucial that those in the industry receive the training in order to ensure that their produce meets the required

standards. Facilitator and Fisheries Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Alisa Martin said that it had now become mandatory for producers of fish and fish products to adhere to

A section of the participants. HACCP standards, in order to avoid harmful micro-organisms or chemical and or physical contaminants in food. “It is not a stand-alone system and built upon prerequisite programmes such as good manufacturing practices that address cleaning, sanitation, pest control and personal hygiene.” HACCP, she said, has

also become internationally accepted as one of the main methods of ensuring sea food safety from sea to fork.

Efforts in the past Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines under the Fish Continued on Page 14.




Vinsave conducts Parent Training Workshop APPROXIMATELY twentyfive (25) parents and

teachers from Pre-Schools in the Byera and

Georgetown areas benefited from a Parent Training Workshop under the Theme ‘Parenting Children for Dynamic Communities and a Productive Nation’, on Tuesday 20.2.18 at the Byera Community Centre. According to Director of Vinsave Mrs. Janice Fraser, the workshop was organized and conducted by Vinsave as part of the parenting component of its Early

Childhood Training Course for Child Development Workers. The current enrollment of students in the training course were involved in the planning process leading up to the workshop, and made dramatic presentations on the different styles of parenting as part of the workshop content. These presentations, from all appearances, were well received. Parents were also engaged in workshop sessions where the students and teachers of the Vinsave and Byesave Centres demonstrated the use of materials which can be used for stimulating their children at home. A thought-provoking presentation on the Role of Parents by Mr. Clair Yearwood, Community

Students in training at Vinsave making a presentation at the workshop. Development Field Officer, generated a lively discussion among participants. Health and Nutrition aspects were covered by Nurse Prescott of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. She also

conducted Hypertension and Diabetic testing. Ms. Inca Scott, student in training, presented on the “sugar content in juices”. Evaluation revealed participants benefited from the workshop.






Special Olympics SVG to hold TAG DAY ON FRIDAY, March 2, 2018, Special Olympics St. Vincent and the Grenadines will host a Tag Day as the Organisation launches its ‘Take us to the World – Journey to Abu Dhabi , with a series of fundraising activities. The activities are geared specifically at raising funds to send a team of Vincentian Special Olympians to the Special Olympics World Summer Games, scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi from March 14 — 21, 2019. Those games will create history when, for the first time, they will take place in the Middle East Region, and is expected to be the largest sports

and humanitarian event in the world in 2019. The Opening ceremony for the TAG DAY is set to take place under the Gallery of the General Post Office, Kingstown at 10:00 am. Following this ceremony, athletes will be at major supermarkets and stores later to collect donations. Special Olympics St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been granted a quota of 38 — 25 athletes and 13 officials — for the 2019 Games. Offcials here say that they are bent on giving the athletes another opportunity to compete at the World Games level. In 2015, Special

Olympics St. Vincent and the Grenadines sent a team to World Summer Games in California, USA in July. The Team’s performance was excellent; they returned home victorious with 19 medals to their credit — 4 Gold, 9 Silver, 5 Bronze and 1 fourth place ribbon. Special Olympics St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been dedicated to providing opportunities to persons with intellectual disabilities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 1983. During this time, athletes have been exposed to competitions locally, regionally and

The SVG Special Olympics Track Team display their medals won at the 2015 World Games. internationally. All competitions are welcome and enjoyed by the athletes but by far the most anticipated is showcasing their

sporting ability on the world stage. Special Olympics World Summer Games is that stage. The generous support from the business

community and individuals is anticipated to ensure that this country’s Special Athletes are not left behind.




I could not lie Dear George,

MY BEST FRIEND wanted me to cover for her after she cheated on her boyfriend, who is my brother, with a complete stranger. She told my brother that both of us were going shopping all day when, in fact, she had planned to meet this guy. She called me at the end of the day to remind me to cover for her and even offered me $1500.00 to lie for her. The guy she was with apparently gave her an undisclosed sum of money for that day. I refused the money and also refused to lie for her. My conscience did not allow me to follow through with it. I could not do that to my brother. She has not spoken to me since and it is bothering me that such a good friendship is in jeopardy because of this. Why am I feeling guilty although I have done nothing wrong?

Worried Dear worried, You need not carry any guilt on this one. It is important to always have a clear conscience, and it is commendable that you chose to do the right thing and stand for truth. A real friend would not encourage you to do the wrong thing. At the end of the day, she might respect you for standing up for truth over deception. If she chooses to cut the friendship because of this, then consider it a good thing that your friendship list is now smaller but possibly more qualitative.


Straining the marriage chain ,that both of you see a you both, unless you agree to get a marriage counsellor. If it takes the counsellor involved to get loss of a gold chain to get ONE OF MY friends to the underlying issues at the root issues in your bought me a gold chain marriage, then it may last Christmas but it was that could be driving only two weeks ago that your husband’s reaction. very well be worth it. The deeper issue here I wore it for the first is lack of trust, which is George time. My husband why I strongly suggest questioned me about it. I told him my girlfriend gave it to me last Christmas, but he refused to believe me. To be honest, George, I forgot to tell him about it Dear George, because when she gave it to me, I immediately put MY BOSS MADE it clear to me that in order for it in my work bag and it him to keep me on the payroll, I would have to went out of my mind. sleep with him. He is insisting that it I have been working for him well over ten years was one of male and he knows I am married, yet he presents me admirers who gave it to with this kind of proposition. If my husband finds me. I told him to go and out about what he proposes, my boss would be in ask my friend about it, deep trouble because my husband can be very and he dismissed my suggestion, saying that ignorant when he is ready. she would agree to say it I have not told my husband about it, and I am was she who gave it to wondering what to do. I need this job, but at the me. same time, I cannot do this to my husband. It so To cut a long story confusing to me right now that it is keeping me short, my husband from sleeping properly. yanked the chain from

Dear George,

Sex for a job

my neck and flushed it down the toilet. We have not been on speaking terms since. Should I tell my friend about this incident? How am I going to convince my husband that I am not the kind of woman he thinks I am?

Disappointed Dear Disappointed, There is no need to get your friend involved, as it will not result in anything positive. This is a matter between you and your husband, and it should remain between

Heavy heart Dear Heavy heart, This is a good time to reflect on the vows you made to your husband, e.g. “forsaking all others”. In so doing, you will find the strength to let your employer know that you are not going to put your job before the man you love, married and to whom you promised to be faithful. Your employer may, after he realizes you have no intention of accepting his proposal, allow you to continue to work unmolested. If after you have taken this stance your employer resorts to letting you go, then you will need to tell your husband the truth of the matter and seek legal redress for your dismissal.



ARIES (Mar. 21‐ April 20) Trips will be more than adventurous. Be cau‐ tious not to get involved in office chatter that will cause problems for others. Your childlike quality may get you into big trouble this week if you neglect your responsibilities. Over spending or unexpected bills could set you back. TAURUS (Apr. 21‐ May 21) Be prepared to take care of the issues at hand. Opportunities for new partnerships will develop through the organizations you encounter. Invite people home to discuss your plans for group fundraising events and out‐ ings. Abrupt changes concerning your profes‐ sional position are evident. GEMINI (May 22‐June 21) Ask family members for help and you will be able to complete the projects more quickly. Favors will be offered readily. You can get ahead if you work diligently behind the scenes. You are best to stick to yourself this week.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 ‐Oct. 23) Try not to lend or borrow money this week. You need to make changes that will raise your self‐esteem, such as a new hairstyle or a new image. Opportunities will unfold; however, you must be willing to pay the price. Deception may cause disputes you can do without. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 ‐ Nov. 22) Your need to put great detail into everything you do may cause you to miss the overall pic‐ ture. Pleasure trips or friendly get‐togethers will be satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Call someone you haven't seen in a long time. Attempt to face key issues with lovers or prob‐ lems could escalate. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 ‐Dec. 21) You can expect opposition from family as well as colleagues. If you are not already, think about going into business for yourself. It's time to reconnect with some of the people you used to know. You can purchase items that will enhance your appearance.

CANCER (June 22‐July 22) Don't believe everything you hear. Don't let your mate stop you from attending an event that could be most important. You will be a real chatterbox this week. You may want to stay in the background this week.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.‐ Jan. 20) Put your efforts into your work or money‐mak‐ ing ventures rather than your emotional life. Avoid arguments with relatives who might be conservative and outdated. You may have dif‐ ficulty trying to get your mate to understand your position. You can meet new and exciting friends who will provide mental stimulation.

LEO (July 23‐Aug 22) Visitors may relieve the tension. Don't hesi‐ tate to voice your opinions when it comes to matters pertaining to work. You can make gains if you look at long‐term investments. Be careful when dealing with investments.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21.‐ Feb. 19) Plan your day thoughtfully, but try not to rely on others. You should get involved with activi‐ ties that can be enjoyed by both young and old alike. This may not be the time to lend or borrow. Help others solve their dilemmas.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 ‐Sept. 23) Try to spend time with those having similar interests. Don't let the cat out of the bag. If you have to deal with large institutions, be careful not to make waves. Try to be there for someone if they need assistance.

PISCES (Feb. 20‐Mar. 20) You need to spend less time daydreaming and more time accomplishing. Concentrate on spending quality time with children and friends. Do something that will be stimulating and creative. Be prepared to make compensa‐ tions and adjustments.

ACROSS 1. Triumphs 5. Storage shelter 9. Used to be 12. First man 13. Robust 14. Period of history 15. Matron 16. Finishes 17. To be unwell 18. Old 20. City in central Belgium 22. Subordinate ruler 25. Cutting edges 26. Follows orders 27. Profane expression 28. Coloring material 29. Room within a harem 30. Understanding 33. Female servant 35. Japanese poem 37. Republic in SW Asia 40. Become sad 41. Stenographer 42. Smallest component 43. Part of verb to be 44. Ornamental fabric 46. Large wading bird 50. Help 51. Bone of the forearm 52. Speed contest 53. Small low island 54. Propagative part of a plant 55. Paradise DOWN 1.Roll of bank notes 2. Highest mountain in Crete 3. Vietnam 4. Smeared 5. Ovis aries 6. Clock pointer 7. Antiquity

8. Remove the salt from 9. Uncultivated country 10. Spring up 11. Old sailors 19. Sparse fluid 21. Exclamation of surprise 22. Turf 23. To endure 24. Golfers mound 25. Bleat of a sheep 27. Eccentric 29. Petroleum 30. Young goat 31. Supplement 32. Convent dweller 33. Adult male 34. Greek god of

the Winds 35. Monetary unit of Vietnam 36. Regard with approval 37. Son of Abraham 38. Ridge




39. Full of reeds 40. Lieu 42. Skin eruption 45. Malt beverage 47. Not good 48. Frozen water 49. Monetary unit of Japan




How I remember John G. Thompson own corner in this national newspaper — JOHN THOMPSON, former ‘THE VINCENTIAN. His member of parliament for deliberations on North Leeward, and an controversial political accountant by profession, issues often sparked died on Tuesday 20th public debates, winning February at the ripe age of him both friends and foes 87. in the process. My association with But, given who he was the deceased gives me by nature, he responded valid reasons to share to the bashing from his my memory of him. political opponents with John Thompson was a an occasional agreeable prolific writer — smile, frowning upon the columnist, holding his thought of becoming by PATMOS RICHARDS

unfriendly with those who were adverse to his political perspectives. John Thompson’s political career began in earnest in 1972, uopon his return from England after a period of work and study. He was soundly beaten in that year’s general elections by Alphonso Dennie, in the race for the North Leeward seat. However, he would rebound in 1974, handsomely

defeating the said Mr. Dennie of the People’s Political Party, to chalk up a victory for the St. Vincent Labour Party. There are still mixed feelings with respect to whether or not Mr. Thompson was a genuine and caring parliamentary representative for North Leeward. For some, the mauling he received (in 1998) from former

John G. parliamentary Thompson representative for North Leeward, (1931 – 2018): Alpian Allen, was Teacher, overwhelming Accountant, evidence of his Politician, neglect for the Real Estate North Leeward Agent. constituency. He was also beaten in a previous election (1979) Together they sold lands by the youthful Calder in the Prospect and Williams. Arnos Vale areas to But amidst this Vincentians living viewpoint, many are of abroad who were the view that the introduction of industries planning on returning home. in St. Vincent must be As a human being, credited to John John Thompson was a Thompson. Thompson, it people-oriented man, would be recalled, they with no air of say, was instrumental in superiority, no attitude a single-handed fashion of snobbishness, and no for the establishment of sense of discrimination the Development against his fellowmen. Corporation (DEVCO) — He had a very strong the institution which sense of humour, and provided student loans for tertiary level studies, would captivate his and loans for agricultural audience with his infectious laugh. and industrial He was a very undertakings/ generous man to many investment. ordinary folks, and could Prior to his departure boast of a ‘favourable’ for England, John interaction and Thompson, like his association with the political contemporary Alphonso Dennie, was a common man. Mr. John G. headteacher for a while. Thompson served his On his return to St. Vincent he became a real generation and by extension, St. Vincent estate agent, collaborating with his St. and the Grenadines, in a very uplifting way. His Vincent Labour Party innings of 87 was indeed Hudson ‘Pet’ Soso. a productive one.

V Scott House: CLSS Track and Field Champs


Scott House was also dominant in the individual awards. Ashanti Richards of Scott House was the junior female champion, scoring 34 points, while Lewis House’s Jovie Charles was the male junior champion and Victor Ludorum for his 44 individual points. In the intermediate category, there was a tie between Scott House’s Ulanda Lewis and Chaunte Williams for the female title, as they both finished on 32 points. The male intermediate Action in the senior males 100m, with Trivis Fraser crossing the line ahead of champion was Jamal senior champion- Shemar Welcome of Scott House. Young, also of Scott ATHLETES FROM SCOTT House. Young compiled 33 HOUSE (Red) powered their points. way to retention of the Scott House’s Aaliyah Central Leeward Secondary Anderson was the senior School (CLSS) Athletics female champion, and her meet’s title, when the 2018 47 points, also gave her edition was staged last the Victrix Ludorum title. Thursday at the Victoria And, taking the senior Park. male crown was Shemar Scott House amassed Welcome of Scott House, 1060 points, ahead of with 32 points. Lewis House (Orange) Last Thursday’s meet with 836 points, who had was the second straight squeezed past Bailey year that the Central House (Blue) with 831 Leeward Secondary School points. Ending at the was hosting its athletics back of the pack was meet at the Victoria Park. James House (Green)-780 The meet ran from the points.

Wollis Christopher (right) accepts his plague from Minister Education, National Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Information- Hon. St. Clair Prince.

Christopher receives recognition WOLLIS CHRISTOPHER, who served the Barrouallie Secondary School as Head of its Sports Programme from 1981 to 2000, was last Thursday recognised for his contribution. Christopher was presented with a plaque — a token of the school’s appreciation. Christopher is accredited for being at the forefront of establishing sports as a major activity on the school’s curriculum. In addition, an all-round ability came to the fore as the school was a regular participant at the Junior Calypso Competition, as he penned several songs for the students. In accepting last Thursday’s recognition, Christopher said that it was a “big surprise,” adding, “I was just told to come to the Park and I did… I am grateful for the honour… I made my contribution and I am happy that I was able to make a contribution to the upliftment of the school.” He assured that, “I will forever cherish this recognition, and I thank all who thought about giving me this honour.” The Barrouallie Secondary School was founded on 11th January, 1971. The school’s first principal was George Bailey, who served from 1971 to 1978. The school has since been named the Central Leeward Secondary School and is now located in Peter’s Hope.

Right: Ulanda Lewis, who shared the Intermediate female champion with Chaunte Williams, also of Scott House.

afternoon into the evening. It was also the second year that the school had received sponsorship for the meet from Rubis. The Central Leeward Secondary athletes will turn their attention to the annual Inter- Secondary

Schools’ Championships later this month. They are the defending champions in the female division.

Senior female champion and Victrix LudorumAaliyah Anderson gets her 100m gold medal from Elroy Edwards of Rubis. Also pictured are Shahalia Lynch (right) and Azubah Delpesche.

Saunders retains TSSS Athletics Meet title SAUNDERS HOUSE (RED) continued their dominance of track and field at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS), when they retained that school’s Athletics Championship title, in a meet held last week over two days -Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February, 2018 - at Victoria Park. This year’s title gave Saunders House, who amassed 1214 points, their fourth consecutive title. St Hill House (Green) was second with 1191 points. Third was Webb House (Yellow) with 1044 points, and Jones House (Blue) fourth on 904 points. Joe Jack and Zamesha Myle , both of St. Hill House were the Senior Boys and Girls champions. They were also named the Meet’s Victor Ludorum and Victrix Ludorum. Intermediate Boys champ was Uroy Ryan of Webb House, with Twanny John of St. Hill House doing likewise among the Intermediate Girls.

Action in the Thomas Saunders Secondary School’s 2018 Track and Field Meet. Javan Hooper of Saunders House ran away with top honours among the Junior Boys with 34 points. The Junior girls Champ was Almarie Providence of Webb House. Four track and five field records were broken on the day. Zamesha Myle now holds the records for the 60m, 100m and 200m for Senior Girls, and was also a member of the St. Hill Senior Girls team that broke the 4 x100m

relay record. Ashley Mars broke the Shott Putt Junior Girls’ record, Toshina John the Shot Putt Senior Girls’ record, and Discus Ssenior Girls was broken by Kristee Morris. Uray Byan set a new mark in the high jump for Intermediate Boys, and Calson McKie did likewise in the shot putt for same category. I.B.A.ALLEN




Junior Graded Squash champions decided

THE GRADE A, B and C champions of the St Vincent and the

Grenadines Squash Association Junior Graded Tournament were decided last Saturday at the National Squash Centre, Paul’s Avenue. Kai Bentick emerged the Grade A winner, when he beat Mikal Quashie 11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7. Bentick had earlier won by default over Geronimo Ross, while Quashie had the better of Ross, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, in the round robin format. Kai Bentick (right) accepts Meanwhile, Jaydon his trophy from President Williams copped the of the SVG Squash Grade B category, by Association- James beating Mikhail Bentick.

Quashie in the deciding showdown. In a fitting final, Williams subdued Quashie 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12. Williams’ journey to the title began with an 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 win over Josiah De Freitas in round two and his overpowering of Jayden George, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4, in the third round. In the semi-finals, he got past Zolandi Williams 11-2, 11-3, 11-4, in commanding fashion, thus set thing up a meeting with Mikhail Quashie in the final. And, topping Grade C was Dru Samuel, who

played unbeaten. Samuel stopped La Rika Jones 11-6, 11-4 and Tahilya Cockburn 11-5, 11-8, which earned him a bye to the semifinals. Facing Damarlia Cockburn, Samuel won 11-7, 11-6, thus gaining a place in the final versus Laron Jones. Grade B winner- Jaydon Winner of Grade C- Dru Samuel crowned off his run with an 11-5, 11- Williams gets his trophy Samuel (right) receives from James Bentick. his trophy from James 5 dismissal of Jones in Bentick. the final. The two-day tournament, which served off last Friday, formed part of the SVG Squash Association’s Junior Development ATTICUS BROWNE and Alston Programme. Bobb emerged top of the batting and bowling aggregates respectively, in the recently concluded NLA Premier Division Two-day National Cricket Competition. Browne, the Victors One leftDEFENDING champions of hand opening batsman, totaled 355 the National Lotteries Authority SVG runs with an average of 55.83. His Over 35 Masters Organisation’s Atticus tally included four half centuries Football Tournament — Computec Browne with a high of 91. Second in the Vincy Master,s , made a winning scored batting was middle order batsman start in defence of their title, when the the most Cosmond Walters of Team Rivals with 2018 edition kicked off last Sunday at runs, 335. 321 runs with an average of 64.20. He the Victoria Park. made one century, 119, and two Rohan Keizer’s lone goal ensured fifties. Third was Donwell Hector victory for the defending champions Captain of Victors One with 281 over Murray’s Village. Murray’s Village’s Deptor Culzac keeps possession of the ball in runs at an average of 40.14. He But it was last year’s runners uphis team’s match versus Computec Vincy Masters last Sunday recorded two centuries. Calliaqua who got the ball rolling with at the Victoria Park. But it was Victors One’s alla 4-1 detainment of RSVG Police. rounder Alston Bobb who showed Calliaqua’s goals came from Lezlo brightest. In addition to being the Mc Kenzie with two, and one each Competition’s leading wicket-taker from Lawrence Franklyn and Richard with 24 scalps at an average of Hayde. Verrol Thomas scored the lone 12.82 and an economy rate of 3.52, item for RSVG Police. he was also fourth in the batting And, in the second match of the table, having scored 227 runs at an evening, SESCO and Vintage Gold average of 45.5. His tally of runs played to a 1-1 draw. included one century — 101 not out. Donwell Michael Edwards netted for Sharpes Hector hit Dyke Cato of Flow Radcliffe and Fitzroy Shallow scored for Vintage two followed Bobb in the bowling Gold. centuries statistics. He claimed 23 wickets Twelve teams, divided into two the most in with an average of 13.26 and an groups, are listed to compete for the Premier economy rate of 2.93. He had one honours in the tournament. Division. five-wicket haul and one sevenIn Group A are Computec Vincy wicket haul. Third was off spinner Masters, SESCO, Vintage Gold, Casmond Walters of Team Rivals with 22 wickets Defending championsMurray’s Village, Guardian General Barrouallie and Bequia. with an average of 16.50 with one five- wicket and Computec Vincy Making up Group B one 10-wicket haul. Kenneth Dember, captian of Masters. are Calliaqua, RSVG Police Two, had 18 scalps, averaging 12.78. His Police, Layou, Sion Hill, tally included one five-wicket and one seven-wicket Royal Roots and South Leeward. haul. At stake for the winning team is $ 3000; second The NLA Premier Division now sees place gets $2000 and third place -$1000. competition for the National 50 Overs Apart from the team awards, prizes would be Championship. I.B.A.ALLEN presented to the individuals who excel in various areas of adjudication. Computec Vincy Masters beat Calliaqua on kicks from the penalty spot to take the 2016/2017 title.

Browne, Bobb top Premier Division Averages

Masters Football tournament 2018 kicks off

Alston Bobb took the most wickets, 24, and scored 227 runs.




Shallow’s century gives Rivals first win

HYRON SHALLOW was in top form against Providence Electronic Solution North Leeward, when he smashed an entertaining century to help Team Rivals to a commanding win over North Leeward as the 50 Overs League in the Premier Division bowled off last weekend. Shallow stroke 14 fours and four sixes in a knock of 146, as Team Rivals posted 321 for 8 from 45 overs at the Cumberland playing field. He was ably supported by Casmond Walters with 73. , Dillon Douglas 24 and Asif Hooper 23. Donald Delpesche, Shamon Hooper and Kevin Small had two wickets each. North Leeward, on their home turf, so to speak, could only muster 75

from 23 overs. Shamon Hooper topscored with 28. Veteran leg spinner Orlanzo Jackson snared 3 wickets for a miserly 3 runs. Victors One, recently crowned champions of the Premier Dibison Two-day Competition, lost to Flow Radcliffe by 3 wickets at Sion Hill. Victors One were held to 132 from 42 overs. Norlan Williams led with 34 and Alston Bobb, showing consistent form, contributed 30. Othneil Lewis took 3 for 19. Flow Radcliffe raced to 138 for 7 from 27 overs, Lindon James hitting a useful 30 not out and Deron Greaves 29. Bobb was the best bowler for Victors One with 4 for 32. Guardian General Saints’ poor form

continued when they suffered a 7-wicket defeat to Police Two at Arnos Vale One. Saints, batting first, were dismissed for 133 from 38 overs. Jeremy Layne top scored with 39. Casnel Morris took 5 for 16. Police Two then made light work of the chase reaching 137 for 3 from 20 overs. Andrew Thomas led the runs chase with a stroked filled 71. This weekend, Guardian General Saints will face Providence Electronic North Leeward at Cumberland, Flow Radcliffe opposes Team Rivals at Arnos Vale one and Police two oppose Victors one at Sion Hill. I.B.A.ALLEN






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The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines



MARCH 02, 2018

VOLUME 112, No.09

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WOMEN IN KEY TEACHERS UNION POSITIONS Wendy Bynoe follows in the illustrious footsteps of former female SVGTU presidents Yvonne Francis-Gibson, Joy Browne, Joy Matthews.

all members to be a President for all! The issue of divisiveness has been around too long, and we haven’t benefitted from it. So that’s one area in which my team would put a great deal of energy!” She also pointed to other areas for focused attention, including: negotiating for appropriate terms and conditions for members; encouraging greater involvement of the younger members of the Union; strengthening of the school stewards and branches through education, training and constant contact. On Thursday, Bynoe followed with an official statement in which, inter alia, Sheri Edwards, incoming The New President she thanked her supporters, General Secretary, did not and congratulated the newly hide the challenge of having Wendy Bynoe is a graduate elected team; issued a call to to deal with the political perceptions of the Union. continue the fight for justice, teacher of twenty-four years’ experience, and is assigned to and better terms and the C. W. Prescod Primary conditions of service for all by GLORIAH…. School. members by defending members’ rights to gratuities When THE VINCENTIAN THE ST. VINCENT AND THE visited with Ms. Bynoe on and pensions; promised GRENADINES Teachers’ Union Wednesday night following the renewed emphasis on teacher now has two women in top ballot count, she admitted to welfare, safety, security and positions of its Executive. The results of elections held having run a fairly aggressive material benefits; proposed a National Parent-Teachers’ campaign, and was not on Tuesday 27th and surprised by her victory. body affiliated to the SVGTU; Wednesday 28th February When asked about the kind committed to negotiating and across all branches of the of President she intends to be, defending the Teachers’ SVGTU, showed that Ms. she proffered, “I can promise Collective Agreement, and Wendy Bynoe and Ms. Sheri Edwards were elected President and General Secretary respectively, for the 2018-2020 term. Other elected were: Kent Cain - 1st Vice President; Andrew John - 2nd Vice President; James Wilson — Treasurer; , General Secretary, Sheri Edwards; Sharon Doyle - Assistant General Secretary; Johnathan Roberts - Public Relations Officer; and Ketty KyddRhynd and Edmira Walker Committee Members. Notably absent from the new Executive was Oswald Robinson, the outgoing President who contested but lost the race for the General Secretary position.

Published by The VINCENTIAN Publishing Co. Ltd, St. Vincent and the Grenadines;

working with colleagues to strengthen all organs of the SVGTU.

The political reality She also committed to ensuring accountability and greater accessibility to all members. Incoming General Secretary Sheri Edwards, a graduate teacher of the Belair Government School with nine years’ experience, was eager to get going on: actively promoting cooperation and participation among members; seeking to help in implementing educational drives that are aimed at making the Union more visible in the public; and ensuring that the Union has a presence. Her challenge, she said, was “working in such a politically charged society,” and emphasized that, “We cannot deny, ignore or try to hide and avoid the fact that politics has and will continue to impact on every sector in our society, and this is very daunting.” On this same issue, the

incoming President voiced her opinion. She stated, “It is important that we respond to the call from our members to change the politically, partydriven image, because it has not served us well. Too many initiatives seemed to have fallen by the wayside because of that perception.” The new Executive Committee will be officially installed on April 5th as part of the Union’s Biennial Convention to be held at Frenches House.

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Vin pages 02 03 18 e reader for web  
Vin pages 02 03 18 e reader for web