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The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines


JANUARY 13, 2017

VOLUME 111, No.02


Michael ‘Shaft’ Commissiong’s business at Lowmans Leeward is considered a one-stop shop. Left: Michael ‘Shaft’ Commissiong was robbed for the second time in 30 years, and confessed that this time around was much more frightening.


Right: Not even evidence of an award for his outstanding service to the community could ward off the robbers.


ROBBERY OF SMALL BUSINESSES in the South Leeward/ West Kingstown area

continues into the New Year, and many resident members of the community are now wondering how much more the businesses can take, and how many of them will close. The most recent robbery occurred on Wednesday 4th January, around 8:30 pm when four masked gunmen entered the shop of Michael ‘Shaft’

Commissiong and relieved him and his customers of their money and other items. Commissiong’s shop is located just below the junction leading to the Great House area in Lowmans Leeward. Continued on Page 3.




News 3

Inmates from the Belle Isle Correctional Facility (left) and Her Majesty’s Prisons Kingstown will be involved in a new rehabilitation initiative.

Prison inmates to be prepared for their release AN EFFORT AIMED AT PREPARING inmates of correctional facilities (prisons) here is expected to get underway soon. Anton Caesar, an official of the Ministry of Social Development said last week that a pilot project will be launched by the Gender Affairs Division, for some

twenty-five inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison Kingstown and the Belle Isle Correctional Facility. The project/programme is dubbed the Positive Reinforcement Programme for the Rehabitable (PRPR), and will focus on post-release preparation for the

inmates identified for participation, with the aim of better equipping them for reintegration into mainstream society. The programmes will include sessions in job placement (training), counselling and parenting skills. The PRPR is planned for implementation over

Officials have confirmed that a SunWing aircraft will make an inaugural landing at the Argyle International Airport on Feb. 14, 2017.

February 14 to be declared a holiday IF CABINET approves a proposal expected to be tabled by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, then February 14, 2017, Valentine’s Day, would be declared a public holiday. This proposal is to cater to what is expected to be a massive movement of citizens to Argyle, to witness firsthand the opening of the Argyle International Airport. All of this was alluded to by Senator Julian

Francis last Tuesday evening, during his weekly Radio programme on the Unity Labour Party’s Star radio. The Prime Minister had announced on December 29, 2016 that the official opening date of the Argyle International Airport was set to take place on February 14, 2017. He gave the assurance that all systems and services would be in place to cater for an inaugural landing by SunWing Airlines, out of

Toronto, Canada, and the possibility of a landing by a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) aircraft, on that day. Indications coming from tourism officials here are that the flights on February14, will mark the beginning of the “operations’ of the airport. Announcement of the opening comes after a number of previously announced opening dates for the airport, construction of which was launched in 2008.

three years, with the first year concentrated on training and counselling, and the

remaining two on monitoring/evaluating the attitudes and behaviour of the

participants. The PRPR is scheduled to commence on January 16, 2017.

Lowmans businessman robbed at gunpoint Continued from Page 1. Commissiong told THE VINCENTIAN, he was sitting in his shop and speaking with six customers when a masked man entered the shop and pointed a gun at him. “He say, “Boy get up, get up’,” the businessman recalled. He complied and was then forced face down to the floor. By this time, three other masked men, all carrying guns, had also entered the shop and ordered the six customers to do likewise. Commissiong was relieved of an undisclosed sum of money and his cell phone, while his customers also had their monies taken away, along with their cell phones. The gunmen also helped themselves to a cartoon of cigarette and a box of Bamboo (cigarette wrapping) paper. Commissiong said, during the ordeal, they were advised by the gunmen to remain on the ground, which they did, so much so that it took them a few minutes before they realized that the armed robbers had gone. “The men an them could have kill all of we and nobody know who kill us,” said the distressed businessman. Once they assured themselves that the robbers had gone, they had someone call the police who arrived at the scene within ten minutes. The businessman has been operating his business for almost 30 years, and was robbed on one previous occasion. But this second robbery, he admits, was a more frightening experience. He questioned what would happen to the community if he and others

closed their business. “If I have to close down this shop, what do you think will happen? And a lot of business place closing down because of these kinds of incidents. The government will lose a lot of revenue because of this, because if ten shops paying liquor licence every quarter and five close down, what do you think will happen there ?” Commissiong asked rhetorically. Commissiong’s contribution to the community has been tremendous; he is known to open to business early in the morning and close late into the night to accommodate his customers. His contribution was recognized in 2008 by the nearby Lowmans Leeward Anglican School, which honoured him with a plaque for his entrepreneurship and service to the community. And as far as a reason or reasons for this spike in robberies, Commissiong opined that it was because of “a mixture of unemployment and laziness. It’s unemployment and the young people and them don’t want to work,” said Commissiong , adding that there is a need for regular police patrol. He confessed that his recent ordeal will remain with him, but he is heartened by the support he gets from his customers, for whom he said, his shop will remain open. And in an appeal to young persons in the area, he urged, “Go to school, get an education and work hard.” A number of young men from the community are currently on bail, awaiting their day in court to answer charges of robbery.




Significant reduction in road fatalities Stories by HAYDN HUGGINS SERGEANT Henry Providence of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) Traffic Department, has described 2016 as a very challenging yet successful year for the Traffic Department. And while the 2015 road fatality rate, the highest ever, is still vivid in the minds of many, there is much to be pleased about. Despite the challenges of 2016, there was a significant reduction in fatal motor vehicle accidents and road deaths. Seven fatal accidents were recorded in 2016, during which seven

persons died, compared to 15 fatal accidents in 2015 during which 25 persons were killed. “We had set out at the beginning of 2016 to ensure that the number of fatalities were brought down to some level of satisfaction”, Providence told THE VINCENTIAN on Tuesday. He added that through a well thought out plan, the Department was also able to keep the level of recklessness on the road to a minimal. A clamp down on people driving recklessly in 2016 resulted in several persons having their driver’s licences suspended by the Commissioner of Police. The traffic officer is, however, concerned that,

while there is significant reduction in fatal accidents and road deaths, the overall number of vehicular accidents have increased. He is of the view that this could be the result of the increase in the number of vehicles; young and inexperienced drivers, and carelessness on the part of road users. In fact, Providence revealed that one of their major challenges was the tremendous increase in the number of registered vehicles in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He noted that according to a Licensing Department figure, at the end of 2016, there were over 29,000 registered vehicles here. He highlighted the fact

High profile P.I resumes on Tuesday THE KEENLY FOLLOWED Preliminary Inquiry (P.I) involving the death of 36-year-old real estate agent Sharlene Greaves, will resume at the Serious Offences Court next Tuesday, January 17. Veron Primus, 39, of Vermont, is charged with the murder of the Dorsetshire Hill woman, who was found dead at her office, at Bijou Real Estate, Arnos Vale, on November 13, 2016. She had sustained multiple stab wounds. Greaves was residing at Calliaqua at the time of her death. So far, seven witnesses have testified for the prosecution, which started on Wednesday, January 4 at the Serious Offences Court, and continued over a period of three days. It was adjourned on Friday, January 6 to accommodate several other prosecution witnesses. The witnesses to Left: Veron have testified so far Primus is include Greaves’ conducting former husband Grant his own Greaves, her mother defence at Inetha Holder, her the P.I. former secretary stage. Ronella Bailey, surgical pathologist Dr. Ronald Child, and head of the Major Crime Unit (MCU) Inspector Atland Browne. Primus is conducting his own defence, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delpleche leads the case for the prosecution, while Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne presides.

that while this is so, “We have the same road network and the same number of traffic officers, about 25 to 30, to man the road on a day to day basis”. He added that there were also challenges in the area of illegal parking, and is reminding persons that road signs are placed in the interest of public safety, and must be complied with. “A number of persons are not using the car parks and legal parking areas, but instead, choose to park in the no parking areas. “We have also noticed that most of our sidewalks are occupied by vendors, which poses a danger to pedestrians, because they have to use the roads, as a result”. The officer said that the Traffic Department is anticipating the coming on stream of the New Traffic Act in 2017, and is looking forward to the use of breathalyzers to determine whether persons are driving under the influence of drugs or/and alcohol, as

Crime Watch

Sergeant Henry Providence well as the use of speed guns to assist in ensuring that persons drive within the speed limit. The Department is also hoping that there would be legislation to address the issue of loud music in vehicles. Providence is again urging the public to adhere to the traffic rules and regulations, and to report any infringement of the law. “It has to be a collaborated effort of all to ensure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is safe for Vincentians and visitors”.

Early prison sentence for gun/ammo KEON SCOTT, a 32-year-old Diamond resident, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Tuesday for possession of a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver without licence. Scott also received a one-year jail term for having six rounds of ammunition without licence. Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne handed down the penalties at the Serious Offences Court after Scott pleaded guilty to the charges. The sentences will run concurrently, but consecutively to a 12-month jail term Scott is currently serving for escaping lawful custody. The facts showed that on October 9, 2016, police who were on duty at the Diamond Land Fill, saw Scott among a group of persons. He was acting suspiciously. The police approached him and conducted a search of his person. A handkerchief was found in a plastic bag, revealing the loaded gun. When cautioned, Scott told the police he found the gun and was going to sell it to “mek a money”. On November 16, 2016, Magistrate Bertie Pompey sentenced Scott to 12 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody. He had been taken into custody on

SHEMLON MALONEY, a 19-yearold labourer of Richland Park, was arrested and charged, January 9, 2017, for giving PC 400 Cozier, a person employed by the public service, information that led the officer to mount an investigation that led nowhere. Maloney is reported to have provided the misleading information on August 22, 2106, in Mesopotamia. In other police news, Lemesha Parris, 21 years, hairdresser of Campden Park, was arrested and charged without lawful authority, supplied to Lara Carter, a prisoner, prohibited items to wit 10 cigarettes, one bomb of cannabis and one cigarette lighter. The offence is reported to have been committed on January 7, 2017at the Central Police Station, where Carter was being held, having herself been arrested and charged with assaulting Bennisha Bapriste, a 22-year-old security guard of Ottley Hall. Carter is said to have pointed a gun at Baptiste at Ottley Hall on January 6, 2017.

November 10 after being remanded on the same gun and ammunition charges, to which he had pleaded not guilty. He he made the dash through an open window at the back of a prison vehicle in the Upper Bay Street area, sometime after 10 a.m, that day. Keon Scott had Scott, who was at the time another two prison being escorted sentences added to one he is already by police serving. officers from the Serious Offences Court to Her Majesty’s Prison, Kingstown, was said to have escaped unnoticed by the officers. On November 15, Scott, accompanied by attorney Dr. Linton Lewis, turned himself in at the Central Police Station, Kingstown.




US to import Cuban charcoal

AS THE US PREPARES to install a new president who from all indications is not a supporter of improved relations with Cuba, at leaat one US Scott Gilbert (L) signs a business company is moving ahead deal with Cuban representatives to with firm trade buy 80 tons of artisanal marabu relations with charcoal. The signing marks that an historic occasion - the first legal Marabu charcoal is produced by mainly ruralCaribbean export of Cuban goods to the U.S. based cooperatives in Cuba. Credit: country. in five decades. (Credit: Reneo the cold war should be consigned Consulting to the trash heap of history, where LLC it belongs.” announced on last week Thursday chairman of Reneo, said, “This is truly a momentous occasion.. . The US imposed a trade that its subsidiary company This marks the beginning of a embargo on Cuba in 1960. In Coabana Trading LLC had effect, it remains in place and can finalized an agreement with Cuba new era of trade between the Export, to import into the United United States and Cuba. This is a be removed only if/when both perfect example of a win-win for House of Congress agree so to do. States marabu (sickle bush) both our countries.” (Source: CaribbeanNewsNow/ charcoal. Renoe admitted, however, that, Marabu charcoal is made from “We still are severely limited in the marabu plant, an invasive what we can do by the so-called weed that clogs otherwise fertile organic fields in Cuba, but which embargo, the most severe trade Cuban farmers have learned how and travel restrictions we to put to good use. The maruba The charcoal is considered to be have imposed plant the best artisanal charcoal in the on any country (sicklebush), in the world,” world, something to which from which the and posited, Europeans can attest, they having charcoal is “This made use of it for many years. made, grows demonstrably Commenting on the new trade wild in Cuba. failed relic of agreement, Scott Gilbert,

Colonel Fearon Williams has vowed to lead the charge to protect and preserve of the Cockpit Country, the ancestral home to the Accompong Maroons’. (Credit: Jamaicaobserver-internet photo)

Maroon chief vows to protect ancestral lands

ACCORDING TO ENVIRONMENTALISTS and other stakeholders, the biodiversity of and the fresh water supply provided by the Cockpit Country, Jamaica, is under serious threat by bauxite mining. As a result, the Maroons, who have laid claim to the occupied area, are ready to do something about the threat. The Accompong According to the Jamaica Culture Group Observer newspaper, Colonel performs during Fearon Williams of the the 274th Accompong Maroons ‘has vowed to anniversary protect and preserve the lands of celebrations of the Cockpit Country’. the signing of Colonel Fearon, a retired the peace treaty policeman who was returned as between Captain Colonel of the Accompong Cudjoe of the Maroons for a second five-year Maroons and term last week Thursday, the British. promised action in this regard (Internet Photo) during an address last week Friday at celebrations in Accompong Town, to mark the 279th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between the Maroons and colonial Britain. “For the past few years, the government has set its VINCENTIAN BORN, Vice president of ICAP speech that was later Barbadian national, social Fernando González sight on mining in the Cockpit, and I want persons published in his book, The and human rights activist, emphasized Wide Streets of Tomorrow: here to listen keenly to me. As the colonel, I vow to lawyer and Pan-Africanist Commissiong’s solidarity Essays & Speeches on protect and preserve these lands. A lot of these lands - David Commissiong has with the Cuban people as Barbados, the Caribbean, that our fore parents sacrificed their lives for, are been awarded a Medal of they waged several and the African Diaspora. being taken away,” the Observer reported Williams as Friendship by Cuba, for battles, including the fight González stressed that saying. his work in support of the against terrorism and the Commissiong’s family also He is also reported to have said that ‘he intends to Cuban Revolution and its half-century-old United shared his love for Cuba. have the Cockpit Country, which he said was given to principles. States embargo of Cuba; His wife Sally, also a the Maroons by the British in the peace treaty, He received the award, the effort to return Cuban lawyer, is a member of the returned to the Maroons and preserve what’s left of it’. granted by Cuba’s Council boy Elián González to his solidarity movement with “These lands cannot and will not be sold or given of State, from President of father in Cuba during the Cuba, as well as his away to outsiders, but remain as it is stipulated that the Cuban Institute of much publicized daughters and son, one of all Maroon lands are for the born and the unborn, and Friendship with the immigration battle with whom graduated from this I will ensure remains that way,” he said. “I will Peoples (ICAP) Kenya the child’s relatives in university in Cuba. lead the charge. I only want my fellow Maroons to Serrano in Havana. Miami in 2000; and the In accepting the award, follow and I know that Jamaicans outside will follow Commissiong is a freedom of the Cuban Five Commissiong told of us, especially when water is life and 40 per cent of the David Commissiong – founding member of the — Cuban intelligence meeting Castro in the water in Jamaica comes from this very place that we recognised for his Cuba-Barbados Friendship officers who were arrested early 1990s and telling are on now.” unwavering support for Association, and is the in September 1998 and him: “I do not speak to you The Colonel also appealed to the younger Cuba. current Coordinator of the later convicted in Miami of just as a Barbadian, but generation of Maroons to be proud of their heritage, Caribbean Chapter of the conspiracy to commit as a black person, as an States,” the Barbadian and maintain, protect and preserve it, and reminded International Network of espionage, conspiracy to African man, and the first recalled. the older generation of Maroons of their responsibility Intellectuals, Artists and commit murder, acting as thing I want to say is that Commissiong noted the to ensure that the culture and tradition was passed Activists in Defence of an agent of a foreign I want to thank Cuba for deep connection between down to the younger generation. Humanity. He met on government, and other what it did in Africa.” Barbados and Cuba, The Maroon gathering, or Kwanzaa – similar to several occasions with the illegal activities in the US. “Then he thanked me saying that many the week-long celebration of African-Amerian heritage now late Cuban leader He also recalled the and he referred to what important things that in the US – is held annually on January 6 at Fidel Castro, and has been visit of Castro to Barbados the governments of have been done in his Accompong Town in the southern section of the a tireless promoter of in 1998 for the Jamaica, Barbados, country in its 50 years of unity between Barbados Emancipation March, Guyana and Trinidad and independence were due to Cockpit County, in northern St Elizabeth. The ceremony marks the signing of a treaty in the and Cuba, as well as where Commissiong Tobago did when they its relationship with Cuba. late 1730s between the British and the Leeward integration among shared the podium with jointly decided in 1972 to (Source: Caribbean 360 Maroons including ancestors of Accompong Town’s Caribbean nations, ICAP the Cuban revolutionary tighten ties with Havana News) residents. (Source: Jamaica Observer) said. leader and delivered a in defiance of the United

Commissiong gets Cuban award

V New US Consul General: A Âbreath of fresh airÊ 6. FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017. THE VINCENTIAN


Prince addresses SVG Independence Luncheon at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, New York in October. Story and photos by NELSON A. KING; US CORRESPONDENT PRIME MINISTER DR. RALPH E. GONSALVES and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker had predicted that Howie Prince would be a tremendous asset to the nation, with his appointment as the new St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Consul General to the United States. And barely four months into his New York-based position, Prince, the former head of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), is demonstrating just that — bringing what observers say is a breath of fresh air to the former beleaguered Consulate General. “I accepted the position

Prince addresses the launching of the 40th Anniversary of Vincy Mas in early November at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.

because it represented a challenge to function at a different level, yet providing services to the people of SVG [St. Vincent and the Grenadines],” said the multiskilled Prince in an exclusive VINCENTIAN interview Monday night. “There was also a personal family crisis for which being in New York was a definite advantage to my family.” The former school teacher said his goals and objectives are to carry out the foreign policy imperatives of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; to be “friends of all and enemies of none”; to build new relations that can rebound to the benefit of the nation; to consolidate relations among countries and the Vincentian communities in the Diaspora; and to facilitate trade and investment opportunities for Vincentian business interests. In addition, Prince, a Lowmans Windward native, said he is driven by a desire and commitment to provide the “most effective Consulate services” for Vincentians in the US.

relations with Diaspora groups in the US. The charismatic Prince said he’s currently assisting with the organization of Charter flights for the opening of the Argyle International Airport on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, as recently announced on local radio by Gonsalves.

Weathering the storm

In what is considered to be a Prince with SVG UN Ambassador I. Rhonda King (far left), Grenada's “very tough town” New York Consul General Rose Marie Welsh (2nd from left) and among Vincentians in New York, Prince said patrons at the St. Matthias Charities, Inc.'s fundraising breakfast, in early December, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center Diaspora groups and in Brooklyn. individuals have received him Prince, however, said hope to be involved in this “cordially,” and that he has, to scandals “can only be overcome scripting process.” date, attended more than 90 He also said he looks forward by transparency, sincerity and percent of the myriad groups’ to a meeting of Vincentian accountability. annual galas and awards Honorary Consuls throughout “People look for ceremonies in the “Big Apple;” the US in order to “create a professionalism and Boston, Massachusetts; and availability,” he said. “My doors strategic plan for their Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. involvement in Consulate and are open to all. I listen to “I was received with open investment matters.” arms,” he said. “There is an air everyone’s story. I answer Prince said he will remain queries with truthful disclosure of expectation for a higher level Consul General “as long as the and seek answer to the Off the mark and running of representation and daunting questions that citizens Ministry [of Foreign Affairs] engagement, which I am considers my work useful, and have. In the short time since endeavoring to provide.” as long as the Diaspora “And I always call people assuming the position on Sept. Since the departure of community continue to back to provide up-dates, even 1, Prince — who holds a erstwhile Consul General cooperate and business when no new information has Bachelor’s degree in mass Cosmus Cozier, over five years opportunities abound.” surfaced,” he added. communications and public ago, the Consulate General has Pundits say Prince brings relations and a Master’s degree been plagued by several much-needed change — No Deputy but a new office in tourism and hospitality scandals. ostensibly a breath of fresh air — management, among diplomas Under the leadership of that nationals had yearned for. With no deputy, as was the in human resource development Prince’s immediate predecessor, case for his predecessors, and teacher education — said he Selmon Walters, the Auditor Prince pleads for the “extra has facilitated a trade and General, in a comprehensive hand.” investment meeting with audit report, found serious “The Office needs a investors in the US, Agriculture deficiencies in management and deputy,” he asserted. “It is Minister Saboto Caesar and accountability at the Office. newly-appointed SVG extremely difficult to manage Walters’ first deputy, Edson Ambassador to the US and the Augustus, a former Seventh-day without another professional Organization of American on staff.” Adventist pastor, was recalled States (OAS) Lou Ann Prince said he had home amid allegations of Gilchrist, a former Chief requested one and “was mishandling of Vincentian Education Officer. assured by the Ministry of passports, prompting then The Consul General said he Opposition Leader Arnhim Foreign Affairs that the has also organized and request is being processed.” Eustace to call for a complete facilitated the launching of With Prince’s overhaul of the Consulate Vincy Mas 40th Anniversary appointment, Gonsalves and General, including the firing of Celebration in New York; Sir Louis, who is also Foreign Walters, a former minister in organized and facilitated the Affairs and Trade Minister, Gonsalves’ administration. launching of the SVG Diaspora Among other things, Walters, said a trade attaché, whose Unit Mapping Project in New primary role is to bring more Prince’s fellow villager, was York; and facilitated the investment to St. Vincent and accused by many in the US of mobilization process for relief mismanagement, arrogance and the Grenadines, would to SVG consequent on the replace the Deputy Consul distrust, prompting inordinate November Floods. General. complaints to Kingstown. Additionally, Prince said he In addition, the Consul But, in recalling Walters has streamlined the Consulate home, after five years in New General looks forward to General “for more effective effecting “more strategic York, Gonsalves told THE provision of services, ease of utilization of our Sports and VINCENTIAN, in an exclusive doing business, a more interview, that Walters was not Cultural Ambassadors. Prince with Marsena Ballantyne, available Consul General to “They represent a large being singled out — that president of the Brooklynthe public, and a more reservoir of resources that diplomats generally, including based SVG Indigenous People's transparent and accountable our communities can those in Cuba and Venezuela, Association, at a Floods' Relief internal business monitoring harness,” he said. “A can expect to return home after Drive, at the Friends of Crown system.” strategic approach needs to serving about five years Heights Educational Center, in The new Consul General be scripted for more overseas. said he has also strengthened early December. meaningful engagement. I




UNÊs Millennium goals project launched in SCW ACTIVITIES CENTRED on sensitizing the residents of South Central Windward on the 17 sustainable development goals as set out by the United Nations are ongoing. This as that constituency has been earmarked for a pilot project for the implementation of the sustainable development goals. The project was launched on January 3 and, according to Parliamentary Representative for the area, Saboto Caesar, it was anticipated that other constituencies would be identified by the end of the year. Speaking at the launch, Caesar explained that the project follows discussions held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August last year, which examined the ability of Small Island Developing States (SIDs), like

Right: The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs over the next 15 years. – 2015 – 2030. St Vincent and the Grenadines, to achieve the sustainable development goals as outlined by the UN. The UN outlined several goals, aims and objectives to be achieved by 2015; however, several of these goals were not achieved, and a new developmental agenda was established to advance the effort towards achievement of these

sustainable development goals. “At that meeting, it was outlined that for us to be successful as Small Island Developing States, in our quest to achieve these goals, we must develop geographic spaces within our country where we focus on achieving specific goals,” Caesar explained.

Caesar happy to launch project

Anthony Boyea (foreground), former national player and a certified coach, will spearhead the tennis programme in the South Central Windward constituency.

Rural youths to learn tennis YOUTHS IN THE RURAL communities, specifically those living in and in close proximity to the constituency of South Central Windward, will have the opportunity to learn the sport of tennis. Minister of Agriculture and Parliamentary Representative for South Central Windward Saboto Caesar announced last week that former national coach Anthony Boyea will play a pivotal role in this effort. Caesar said that he was able to speak to persons in the Middle East, who indicated that they were willing to work with Boyea and the organizing committee, to revive the sport of tennis in the area as part of initiative to implement the millennium sustainable development project in the South Central constituency. He added that as far as the tennis

effort was concerned, they had already started looking at doing some resurfacing work at a court in Sans Souci, and that there were plans to also utilize the recently refurbished hard court at Lauders. According to the MP, a similar project was conceptualized some 15 years ago and some individuals were trained in tennis. Back then, courts at North Union, Sans Souci, New Grounds and Lauders were utilized. The overall project is part of the millennium development goal project that was launched in South Central Windward last week and, according to Caesar, the idea is to give youths in that and neighboring constituencies an equal opportunity to access such activities, in order to enhance talents for the creation of livelihoods in the future. (DD)

“And I am happy, as the Representative of South Central Windward, to launch this project in this constituency, to work towards achieving the seventeen sustainable development goals.” It was expected that the long term objective was to make South Central Windward a permanent footprint in the world and a geographic space whereby anyone can come and see the results of the 17 goals. And although 17 goals were identified, Caesar said that following

Saboto Caesar stated that the South central Windward constituency, of which he is the Member of Parliament, has identified the pilot project target for the new effort aimed at achieving the UN Millennium development Goals.

the first 90-day period, an assessment will take place to determine the status of progress in each area (goal). Four goals are expected to receive priority focus, namely, climate change, good health and well-being, zero hunger and industry, and innovation and infrastructure. This country was recognized in 2015 by the Food and Agricultural Association, for its work in reducing poverty, and was one of six Caribbean countries to have attained the millennium development goals on hunger. But, Caesar said, that as a constituency, they had to ensure that the residents played their part in ensuring that the fight for achieving the millennium development goals, especially with issues such as climate change, goes forward. (DD)



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 Rehabilitate or punish WE WELCOME THE NEWS of the introduction of a Positive Reinforcement Programme for the Rehabitable (PRPR) at our correctional facilities. (See page ….. ) If the truth be told, the use of the reference ‘correctional facilities’ has not sunk to any appreciable degree into our psyche, since the majority of us still consider these facilities as prisons, where punishment must be inflicted on those who have been incarcerated, having been judged to have committed offences against society. But this is the 21st century, and any effort aimed at causing radical change in our culture as it relates to ‘prisons and punishment’, must be welcomed and supported. Yes, there have been efforts made in the past to introduce ongoing rehabilitative programmes at our correctional facilities. And while some of these remain in place, the ones that target the real mindset of the offenders, so as to occasion real attitudinal change, might not have been sustained. And there is the long considered attitude (among our society) that taxes are ‘badly spent’, when they are apportioned for rehabilitation work at these facilities. Incarceration is not meant to be fun, of course. But a combination of strict sentencing guidelines, budget shortfalls and a punitive philosophy of corrections, has made today’s prisons much more unpleasant–and much less likely to rehabilitate their inhabitants. That is the reality into which we will introduce the PRPR. That is why, and we are in no way intending to cast aspersions on the proposed PRPR, for any programme aimed at working with not only the rehabitable but even those who appear to be ‘hardened criminals, there should be a good dose of a psychology component. Any programme aimed at effecting attitudinal change among those we have had need to incarcerate must, out of necessity, include a good dose of mental health services to the prison population. This is not to say that there is an alarming rate of mental illness among our prison population, but there is enough to conclude that those who find it fitting to commit offences (against society) may just have weak mental capacities, and are unable to resist the temptation to inflict harm, whether direct or indirect. “Psychology as a discipline now has a tremendous amount of information about the origins of criminal behaviour,” one psychologist has said. If that is accepted, then it is important that this information be allowed to inform the debate on what kind of crime control policies and rehabilitative measures we, as a society, should adopt. Additionally, we will fail to encourage real and significant attitudinal change, regardless of how many PRPR we introduce, if we continue to be biased towards a “get tough on crime” approach that in effect, perpetuates the attitude (culture) that sees punishment as prison’s main function. This approach, if it runs parallel to a genuine PRPR, will continue to breed explosive growth in the prison population, while having at most a modest effect on crime rates. But back to the case of mental illness among prison inmates: Have we ever assessed the mental health state of our prison population? Many of our inmates could well have serious mental illnesses. Have our correctional facilities become ‘de facto mental health hospitals? So, as an addition to or as a suggestion for informing the soon to be introduced PRPR here, would it not be useful that the correctional services provide screening of new and ‘old’ inmates so as to establish some level of consciousness of the state of the individuals whom we would want to rehabilitate? And therein lies the challenge for the PRPR. Who will decide the twenty-five inmates for the pilot programme? On what basis would these twenty-five be decided? No one wishes this programme anything but success but those tasked with the responsibility of introducing any genuine rehabilitation programme at our correctional facilities, must not think that success can be achieved by simply working with those who, in the first place, should never have been incarcerated in an adult correctional facility.

Cecil “Blazer” Williams: A national enigma I LOST ALL MY RESPECT and admiration for Blazer by the end of the ULP first Administration in 2005. Of his chairmanship of the PSC, I then said, that where Ralph said “kill” Blazer, replied “bury”. The relationship has worsened (or strengthened?) over time with some sophistication, with Blazer often acting as the sugar-laced pill to sweeten the bitter taste of the administration’s potion forced down the throat of a largely unsuspecting nation. For example, it is a misdeed of the PSC that gave the Government road to walk in the current nasty episode with Otto Sam. What follows is a series of excerpts taken from the progressive writings of Blazer, in his weekly column in the “News” newspaper, that have misled us all, now that Blazer has for all practical purposes made an about-turn. NEMESIS: RETRIBUTION WITH VENGEANCE - 1/12/1995 “In the Caribbean, the experience has shown that many politicians aspire to leadership with revenge in their twisted and warped minds. As soon as they get into power their first act is to get rid of those whom they feel supported the opposition parties”... So did the ULP, with Blazer as Chairman of the PSC called upon to do the dirty job. Of Beaches and Access - 23/6/1995 “...the Powers that be neither see nor hear anybody on matters of free public access to our beaches. They have become dead to such appeals. Even Jesus would have problems...” Canouan I hear you!

the International Airport as well as Ottley Hall? Forever to be dispossessed -16/2/1996 “The current courtship of deals with privatisation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not only dangerous to the future of our economy; it is also dangerous, to our freedom as a people. We don’t have anything to privatise”...Can there be more potent examples of the moral and material bankruptcy of this “model” than plans to alienate Buccament, Mount Wynne and Peter’s Hope ? Social volcano in a country for sale -4/10/1996 “When there is social discontent brought on by Maladministration and dictatorship, the police and military are often used to brutalise the people. In a small country such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines where family ties run far and wide, we do not need the kind of training which our police are getting from the USA”... So indications are that we seem headed for police statism. Why not try and nip it in the bud! Blazer be true to your former self!! It is never too late to quit the job if things are not going right. You are not at all advised to attach yourself to any rival party. I believe that Jomo, too, is being confronted by a myriad problem which he will no doubt settle in his own way, bearing in mind the national interest. Regardless of my line, you too, must give nationalist interest foremost attention in your endeavours.

Give Thanks - 11//10/2015 I cannot find a Blazer Column of the 21st century which deals directly with the issues Democracy of the Streets - 29/11/1996 “Cable and Wireless should be cognisant of the handled here. Only the scarifying that there are people in the East far worse off than we. fact that the population of this country is Therefore we must “Give Thanks”. predominantly Black. To simply appoint whites from England or elsewhere as managers above Hate Thoroughfares - 9/10/2015 more deserving Black Vincentians, gives the We must seek to escape the “Hate impression that race plays a key role in its hiring Thoroughfares” where the propaganda of the and firing of personnel...” leaders’ ... “words are simply meant to destroy “Like the “democracy” of the House, the minds, to turn them into virtual zombies for their democracy of the streets has its weaknesses. own selfish ends and those of their political party. Given the social volcano which has been created almost single-handedly by the NDP, anything can Who knows what Zombies can do?” happen if trade union leaders, political leaders and leaders of civic and community organisations On Being Relevant - 30/10/2015 In spite of himself, Blazer’s silver lining do not keep abreast of their membership concerns emerges in “On Being Relevant” that “those set at and demands and guide them along. If the the helm being made redundant or irrelevant by government continues to bury its head in the the very change that they have engendered. This glory of concrete, it can find social lava. The is a process which leadership in all societies face.” tragedy is that it seems determined to bury itIn other words, time for Blazer and company to permanently”. (ULP Beware) go. Is this hidden advice for Luzette to press on? I will certainly review your latest book. I remain troubled by a problem of physical vision Return of the Plantation- 3/5/1996 and will do so only after I republish an article of “Today, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we my own “Where are the Radicals”, whose title have a House of Assembly not very far removed runs close to your latest publication. from the Plantation House of the master. The Unfortunately, I do recall your extremely House has given the Prime Minister, who conasty response to my earlier criticism of your incidentally, happens to be White, the authority conduct, but treat it as terrible over-reaction to to do as he virtually pleases. So for example, the your exposure in print which I maintain had been House gave the Prime Minister full authority to uncharacteristically true. Long may the deal with matters pertaining to the Canouan exchanges continue. Agreement”... Does not the same thing apply to




Article for policy makers in SVG goals for economic guidance and to set the aims and goals for economic achievements throughout the West Indies. The word Singapore should be on the lips of every West Indian. Singapore, sometimes called a city state, is about the same size as St. Lucia; smaller than SVG and Grenada combined; has a population of five million, which is roughly the same size the post Federation of the West Indies would have been. It has a GDP per head which is higher than every island in the West Indies, including the non-English speaking nations. It’s

AN EXCELLENT article, (The Article) by Mr. C.I. Martin appeared in February last year (2016) in an issue of the “Searchlight”, comparing St. Vincent and the Grenadine with the success of Singapore. This article showed the SVG’s Gross National Income per head to be US$6,700 and Singapore’s to be US$78,760. These numbers are correct, but latest figures for Singapore show a GNP of US$81,731 per head. This article should be adopted as a blue print by policy makers in SVG, and indeed by the Eastern Caribbean and the wider West Indies for general economic guidance,to set the aims and

A CONFESSED SUPPORTER of the ULP who sports himself as a radio talk show host and wouldbe opinion-maker, recently referred to you as Fu Manchu. Seems you touched his corns with your editorial on FDIs in last week’s VINCENTIAN. Now, he encouraged his listeners, of which I must admit I am an occasional one, to check out who this Fu Manchu was. So, I did just that, and I found two listings on the internet. These were: 1. Dr. Fu Manchu is a fictional character introduced in a series of novels by British author Sax Rohmer during the first half of the twentieth century. The character was also featured extensively in cinema, television, radio, comic strips, and comic books for over 90 years, and has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius while lending the name to the Fu Manchu moustache. (Source: Wikipedia) 2. Fu Manchu is an American, Southern California-based PUNK ROCK BAND that formed in 1985. (Source: Wikipedia) For all the stars in the heavens, I just couldn’t make the connection between Fu Manchu and yourself. If that self-confessed, wannabe radio talk show host and opinion-maker knows something I don’t know about you, he should let us know, or simply stop making a fool of himself. By the way, Mr. Editor, that editorial to which I referred, was a point of discussion in many circles over the weekend. Keep up the good work.

Where is the Minister of National Security? I READ WITH KEEN interest two pieces you carried in your issue of Friday 6th January, 2017, in which you highlighted Acting Commissioner of Police Renold Hadaway, and the challenges he and his officers face in combating crime here. It was also good to hear of some of the plans he and his officers have for tackling crime here, though, to tell the truth, he hardly had anything new to say in this regard. I must, to give credit where credit is due, commend Mr. Hadaway for reaching out so forthrightly to the media and by extension, to the citizens of this country, whose safety has been put in his hands. But while it is good to hear from Mr. Hadaway as the man in charge of local law enforcement, I am left to wonder where is the Minister of National Security in all

Resolve to be better road users I COULDN’T AGREE more with the letter writer in last week’s edition of THE VINCENTIAN, who suggested that we should come together as a people and make a collective New Year resolution. I also agree that one of those things we should resolve to do is drive better on our roads, i.e. to be more careful about how we use the roads and to be respectful of other road users. The tragic accident with which we ended 2016, should be enough for us to see that this is a serious issue - one that needs our attention as a nation. I know there are some who would say that we have bigger problems that we should resolve to tackle — like the spiraling murder rate. But, I am certain that there are enough of us out there who believe that if we do not attend to the so called ‘little things’, then the big problems might never go

solely because they were poorer. Singapore did not sit back and sulk; instead, under its late great leader Mr Lee Kuan Yew, they proceeded to build a disciplined, progressive and prosperous country, well respected in international affairs, with a GNP per head, one of the highest in the world. It is an icon for all the small island nations on the earth. Not only should Mr. Martin be congratulated, but so should all those who adopt and apply the principles of his article. Clinton McCree - UK

Fu Manchu? Who is he?

Chris, Kingstown

GDP per head is also higher than the mother country — the United Kingdom. What a marvelous achievement for a small island people! Vincentians take heed. The article could have been said to cover the West Indian dimension in its comparisons. For example, when one considers that Singapore was kicked out of the Federation of Malaysia, the same can be said of SVG, and the other islands, scornfully referred to as “small islands”, who were abandoned by the larger islands

away. And one of those ‘little things’ is the way we use our roads. So let us as drivers resolve to be more careful on our roads. The number of vehicles on our roads has increased more than a hundredfold, but our road system has not expanded. It’s a case of more road users on the same amount of road. And the police too must resolve to be vigilant, not only seeking out those who park incorrectly, but also to man the roads to ensure that the roads are not used as race tracks, like that stretch of road that runs from the Level Garden gap to the Banfield Gas Station. Let us become the most caring road users in the world. We can, only if we have the resolve to try. Concerned Vincy

of this. I take it that it is the Minister of National Security, who has direct responsibility for the police, who should devise a crime-reduction, crimecombating plan, which the Commissioner of Police is then obligated to implement. From all accounts, I do not see this plan or anything near to it coming from our Minister of National Security, who just happens to be our Prime Minister and minister with a ton-load of other ministerial portfolios. Is it that National Security takes low priority in the mind of our National

Security minister? I shudder to think this is the case. We need to hear from the National Security, the plan he and his government have to turn back the crime wave that has engulfed this country. Mr. Minister of National Security, it is high time that you get off your laurels and come up with a plan to fight crime — a real plan, not the same hot air (old talk) about being tough on crime and the cases of crime, but a plan that put those words into action. Getting at people like Que Pasa is definitely

not the way to fight this crime wave, as you can see for yourself. Time to earn your pay, Mr. Minister of National Security. Frank G

We cyar learn or wha? IT SEEM WE Vincies jus’ cyar learn from we mistakes. Fuss it was de fella and the money from the NCB. He walk in the bank with nothing in he pocket, and come out with not just one full pocket full, but he ful up de pockets he had in he pants. Den dere was de fella call Wise. If I remember good he uses to own a bank here — not ah bank like dem others we have in tong. The man ups and get heself in a ‘hole set a fraud and had was to run from Vincy and end up in jail in Canada. Wise tun out to be too ‘wise’ for heself, but was a lot ‘wiser’ dan we Vincies, it seem. He had ah lot ah friends in high society here. Ah fren tell me he was pro-tected, wha-ever dat mean. Now is David Ames. With a name like dat we shoulda know that he aiming to do someting

else. Big, big, developer — hugging up the PM and all dat. All kinda big meeting down by Buccament. Government money spending down dey like rain. And wha happen? Tun out de man owing a ‘hole’ set a tax but we ‘low him to run way — ah mean to sail way. It was ah case of ‘ship sail, sail fast, geh me outta here as quick as yo can’. And is now we hearing ah whole set ah ting we neva did know before. How Ames neva did have right to use the land… how he trick so many people in Inglan outta dey money, and how he owing every man jack money here… owing the workers dey wages, Vinlec for electri-city and if yo check, he might still be owing for wata. Ames use this land and all ah we — from captain to cook - to get rich. Tink he go end up like Wise?

And here nay, ah want to know if we doin anyting to bring he back to face Magistrate Browne? And want to believe dat it got some fellas here who mek out good ‘cause of Ames, but I air pointing any fingers. Lord, I pray for de day wen we go learn from we mistakes. Washiecong




First Anniversary of the Fourth term

Friday ready to lead NDP


DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY was elected President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Leader of the Opposition in November, 2016. Since his election, Dr. Friday has been doing an exceptional job in and out of parliament as he prepares himself to lead the NDP to victory, when the next general elections are held. We are confident that with Dr. Friday’s qualification, training and experience, he will do an outstanding job as Prime Minister of this country. Dr. Friday has an impressive education background and impeccable professional achievements. His professional life has seen him nurturing younger minds in his position of teacher at the Bequia Anglican High School and as a lecturer in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Canada. He worked in the capacity of Project Coordinator / Researcher in the District Immigrant Services. He also acted as legal Counsel to the Canada Department of Justice and the Ontario Regional Office. In 2002, he was called to the bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, Masters in History, Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Doctorate in Political Studies. Out of a long standing desire to serve the people of his community and his country, Godwin Friday entered politics in 2001. In that year’s general election, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines, a seat left vacant on the retirement of the then incumbent our beloved Sir James Mitchell admirably. Dr. Friday appreciates the need to keep faith with our past and understands our present challenges. His achievements are a reflection of his hard work and dedication to the people of the Northern Grenadines and the nation as a whole. In his acceptance speech as President of the NDP, Dr. Friday said that he was interested in hearing the concerns of the people, and that he would meet them wherever they were. And he has been doing that. Following the heavy rains in November, he visited North Windward and North Leeward to assess the damage and to offer moral support to the residents. From those visits, an appeal was launched by the party, and Vincentians at home and the Diaspora donated generously, enabling the party to donate foodstuff, clothing and water to those who were affected by the disaster. In addition, Dr. Friday met with the investors in Canouan and held a town Hall meeting with the residents of Canouan; addressing critical issues that are affecting the people of the island. Recently, he visited Owia, and was seen at the Kingstown Bus Terminal meeting and greeting the people; ‘touching the flesh’ of Vincentians, listening to their concerns, and offering them hope as to how he as leader of the NDP will improve their standard of living when he is elected as Prime Minister. He also has been promoting meritocracy to end the vicious cycle of victimization.

IT’S JANUARY 2017, and the public servants, particularly those in the office of the Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, are busy putting together the budget for the year. This follows a series of consultations with all the ministries and heads of department to determine the resources required to operate professionally. Here and there, there will be some changes and minor adjustments, to meet the changing demands of the government, and the development agenda of the ULP administration. Over the last three weeks or so, the public servants have been presenting their programmes for 2017 to the Cabinet. Sometimes the discussions can be robust, as the government tries to get the best out of the allocated financial resources. This year the government will present the estimates of expenditure and revenue on January 25th, 2017. The House of Assembly will spend the next two days debating the estimates. Then on January 30th 2017, the Appropriation Bill 2017, or the Budget, will go before the House. Before this, there will be the Throne Speech from the Governor General, Sir Frederick Ballantyne, to be followed by the Budget Address to be delivered by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. These are challenging times for small island developing states, given the current global economic conditions, and the climate change issues that have been affecting the country. In fact, Prime Minister Gonsalves, in presenting his budget address for 2016, sketched out the situation in this way. “Financing Budget 2016 will be challenging within the context of the limitations of the small, open economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the persistent structural weaknesses of an uncompetitive economy with colonial and plantation legacies; the economic slow-down in our regional and international partners; the uncertainties in the global political economy; and the on-going fallout from repeated recent natural disasters. Still, our country possesses a bundle of strengths and possibilities which ensure that we continue to meet the multiple challenges in our national condition with a solid measure of success. “In successive Budget speeches, particularly since the massive global recession of 2008 to 2011, and its continuing adverse consequences, I have, over and over again, highlighted the structural limitations of the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the harsh effect of the removal of the preferential market treatment for our bananas in the United Kingdom, the debilitating impact of the continuing turmoil in global monopoly capitalism and its material discontents, the devastating blows inflicted on our small-island state through the terrible manifestations of a deleterious climate change, and home-grown restraints occasioned by the antisocial or violent conduct, and unproductive work habits, of a small minority of our people. I again reaffirm all of this as the composite core of the contextual weaknesses and limitations of our social economy. Unless we grasp properly the full

meaning of this contextual frame for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it would be hardly possible for us to fashion an appropriate strategic path forward, having taken account, too, of our strengths and possibilities. “And St. Vincent and the Grenadines possesses strengths and possibilities, not only limitations and weaknesses. It is central to the development of our economy, and nation overall, that, as far as is humanly practicable, we reduce our weaknesses and limitations, and enhance our strengths and possibilities. The core of our strengths and possibilities resides in ourselves, the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at home and in the diaspora. We are, increasingly, and largely, a skilled, industrious, and sophisticated people who are capable of running modern, competitive economic enterprises. To be sure, there are gaps in the adequacy or sufficiency of our trained personnel, but such gaps can be, and are being, filled through prudent acquisition of the skills from abroad and by enhanced training of our nationals, concurrently. “Further, we are blessed with the bounty and beauty of our landscape of 150 square miles and our seascape of 10,400 square nautical miles. Our land acreage though small, is fertile with an abundance of quality fresh water. In our land, too, is the presence of substantial energy resources of hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar. Our seas are full of a diversity of productive marine resources. Our country’s geographic location and its tropical climate are bonuses, overall”.

Budget Direction The election manifestos of the ULP, from 2001 to 2015, all contain the detailed policies and programmes of the government. The 2017 budget is grounded in the 2015 manifesto of the ULP, and shaped within the framework of the National Economic and Social Development Plan of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, 2013 to 2025. There are many regional and international initiatives which will also be included in the 2017 budget. Overall, the budget will address the people-centered approach of the ULP in terms of the socio economic development of the country. So on January 25th, 2017, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will outline the fiscal situation of the country, and the plans for the development of the country going forward. We will also hear the plans of the individual ministries as these pertain to the sectors of health, education, agriculture, social development, forestry and energy. 2017 looks like a good year for the people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, given the new projects to come on stream, or to get their official opening and ground breaking ceremonies. Vincentians can hardly wait to see the good things in the 2017 budget.

requisite standard will attract the reward and opportunities associated with his or her position at the work place and in that person’s field of endeavour. Merit can also be associated with praise and adulation for the propriety or good consequences of one’s actions. Hence a meritocracy motivates persons not only to excel at the work place, but generally to engage in conduct that can be considered praiseworthy. Accordingly, public servants can rest assured and feel comforted in the knowledge that upward mobility and career growth will be based primarily on performance. In such a healthy environment trust and confidence will be restored and productivity will increase. The application of meritocratic principles in the public service will have the effect of influencing the private sector along similar lines. Essentially, persons will work harder to achieve greater rewards, and the country will benefit from the increased goods and services that will be the products of improved skill and greater effort. Over the past sixteen years, Vincentians have experienced rampant victimization in the public service and to a lesser extent in the private sector as well. Many have not been granted promotion, some have been put into early retirement, others have been transferred to jobs that do not require their expertise, and in some instances, those persons were relegated to sitting at desks with no function to perform, and there are those who were deliberately humiliated and harassed into resigning from their jobs or were unceremoniously fired. The public sector is plagued with many disgruntled and dissatisfied workers who lack the motivation and the willpower to perform to the best of their abilities due to the unequal and iniquitous treatment that they are experiencing. The NDP recognizes that this form of polarization along party political lines, retards growth. In recognition of the virtues of a meritocracy, the NDP pledges to all public servants and Vincentians as a whole that we will provide equal opportunities at the outset to all Vincentians in education, sports, culture, health, national security and justice, agriculture, tourism, financial services, manufacturing and services generally. We will not engage in political victimization, but we are strongly of the view that we should ensure that square pegs are not placed in round holes. Politics is about people, economics is for the people. No matter what is done or not done or how it is done or not done, it is done for the people with the assistance of the people. We are cognizant of the fact that our country cannot effectively, efficiently and economically function only with Meritocracy supporters of the New Democratic Party. Opportunities will be created A meritocracy is a socio-political for all, without regard to their system that rewards persons on the basis of their skills, effort and political affiliation, and rewards will performances and not by virtue of be commensurate with effort and their affiliation to a political party, performance — those are the hall religious grouping, race or social class. marks of a meritocracy. St. Vincent Essentially, a meritocracy is based on and the Grenadines will be a haven merit. The concept of merit is for those who wish to excel in their synonymous with ability. Therefore, a respective fields of endeavour. person’s ability to perform at the





‘So let it be written; so let it be done’.

“STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.” Elaine J. Hom, LiveScience Contributor

‘My entire life has prepared me cheerfully to accept defeat. I have been made suspicious of victory… I see every insight degenerating into dogma, and fresh thoughts freezing into lifeless party lines. Those who set out nobly to be their brother’s keeper sometimes end up becoming his jailer. Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie.’ I. F Stone, iconic American writer and journalist.

THE STEM INITIATIVE has been talked about rather frequently throughout CARICOM during the latter part of 2016. This has been especially so at tertiary level institutions and among education administrations. However, the idea was especially popular in the United States of America since 2009 when the Department of Education in President Obama’s administration championed the “Educate to Innovate” initiative. The acronym STEM represents the four critical subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Many education administrators and business leaders agree that greater emphasis should be placed on these foundational subject areas. This is especially so if we wish to encourage innovation. However, this writer believes that it is imperative to have this acronym evolve to include an “A” — Agriculture. This is especially so for the territories of the Caribbean that need to focus on food security while simultaneously improving employment opportunities for its citizens. The Caribbean has produced a number of outstanding scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Within recent years, many Caribbean citizens have also made their mark in the field of technology. This is most commendable. However, an examination of our intake and graduates at our tertiary level institutions will reveal that greater interest is now being paid to subject areas such as law and the arts. While it is admirable that many of our youths have opted to pursue studies in these areas, every effort must be made to stimulate and sustain interest in the sciences. Governments must be prepared to invest greater sums of money in training teachers to better facilitate courses in these subject areas. In addition, a more concerted effort must be made to ensure that the primary and secondary schools are adequately provided with laboratories, equipment, and supplies that will encourage students to excel in these subject areas. All of this will also require an evolution of the school curriculum. Education, in its truest sense, prepares participants for life and living. The administrators and curriculum designers therefore have to be visionary. They must be able to anticipate the kinds of jobs that will be required in the near and distant future. Having done so, it is imperative to make sure that a proper education road map is prepared and followed. It is anticipated that tomorrow’s world, fuelled by technological advancements, will demand that workers are well grounded in these subject areas. We should imbibe the wisdom of Malcolm X (19251965), born Malcolm Little and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, when he asserted that, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Agriculture must be seen as a “front burner issue”, and given just as much attention as these other subject areas. It is important that we encourage our brightest and best students to pursue studies in this field with similar passion and gusto. It has been voiced that many of the older generation made a concerted effort to encourage their children away from pursuing careers in the field of agricultural sciences. Some may have argued that occupations in agriculture were demeaning (linked to slavery and indentured labour), and that the preferred occupations were those that avoided exposure to direct sunlight and sweating. Others may have argued that careers in agriculture did not generate sufficient income. However, many modern day examples have proven these “excuses” to be unfounded. A tremendous amount of money can be made from agriculture, once proper processes are followed and markets obtained and secured. Many of the old “back-breaking” farming methods can be replaced with less labour intensive systems and structures. In addition, we have to change our mind-set as it related to hard word, sweating, and being exposed to the sun. These are all healthy work options. Honest, decent, work is desirable regardless of whether they require us to be indoors or out doors. Our approach to agriculture must evolve to increasingly use advancing technology and the sciences. Agricultural advancement will occur as we attract skilled engineers and mathematicians to enable us to produce more with less and with improved quality. Based on the foregoing, it is easy to observe how agriculture is linked to other critical STEM subject areas. Our administrators in business, government, and the society must therefore accept the challenge to provide incentives that will encourage our brightest and best students to pursue studies in the field as agriculture with as must passion as they would the other “traditionally prestigious” subject areas. This essay cannot end without providing a social justification for the inclusion of the “A” in the STEM Initiative. Agriculture plays a major role in creating and sustaining a sense of security for rural women. Over the years, agriculture has played a major role in providing Caribbean women with a sense of security and independence. In addition, it is logical to assume that the funds generated by women in agriculture go a long way to sustaining homes and communities. Farm records will confirm that Caribbean women have played, and continue to play, a significant role in agricultural development. The STEAM initiative is therefore likely to further strengthen the social fabric of society, while simultaneously unleashing the productivity potential of our fertile lands and minds. With this in mind, it is imperative that we allow the STEM Initiative to evolve to become the STEAM Initiative. Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to

‘A TRUE PATRIOT must be wary of every dream and every nation, even his own. Perhaps his own nation more than any other, precisely because it was his own.’ Ta-Nehisi Coates, ‘Between the World and Me’ When did we lose our ability to question? How did this selfassassination occur? Why do we train our children or indeed ourselves to lie? We are socialized to act in particular ways, most times against our interest, once such actions puts up a good face for the society in which we live. But how do we get back to the ancient teaching ‘to thyself first be true?’ How do we stop committing suicide by refusing to choke on our thoughts? How do we take the wise words of former Jamaican PM Michael Manley who instructed us ‘to stand on our feet and not on our knees’? We can redeem ourselves, once we embrace the wise words of Ta-Nehisi Coates that we be wary of every dream. To become wary of our very dreams, we must do what is destabilizing, interrogate everything we hold dear — our nation, family, party, church and leaders. What a revolutionary and soulsearching command? We are socialized to say my nation or party right or wrong. Flawless! Perfect! There is no room for the other. But are we without fault and blemish? The answer is clearly no. So why then do we do we lift up our leaders and our institutions and place them beyond reproach? Why do we confuse and conflate the views of our leaders with the national interest? Is it so difficult for us to conclude that our leaders are often wrong? Can constructive criticism ever become useful and beneficial to our nation? Our leaders should push us away from second hand answers, even answers they themselves believe. They must encourage the entire society to go off in search of answers of its own. Sometimes we may not find answers, but in asking the question, we are essentially going into our own mind in search of self. We must develop the habit where the desire to question becomes a ritual; a refining of an earlier thought/question. The art of learning to question must be conceived and perceived as exploration rather than a search for certainty. Our commitment to questioning everything is destabilizing but can be deeply rewarding. The brilliant South African revolutionary Chris Hani was on point when he said: ‘True revolutionaries are never satisfied with the progress and advances that are taking place in the lives of the people. True revolutionaries only have to look at the conditions under which so many people live to be knocked into a reality of dissatisfaction. To be satisfied, therefore, is conservative, reactionary even, because satisfaction is a call for

the maintenance of the status quo. And status quo is the least revolutionary position a fighter for the people can adopt or approve.’ Only the privileged elite’ who never understood or have forgotten what it means to be needy, deprived and vulnerable, or the politically jaundiced, who holds true to an outdated notion that every government policy or initiative must be opposed, will deny the many people centred policies of the ULP government over the last fifteen years. But it is equally true that too many government officials and supporters speak as though SVG is moving along swimmingly without a bother in the world. Yes our country has reduced indigence from 1 in every 4 Vincentians to 3 in every 100, but the harsh truth is that 30 percent of our people still live in poverty and with little chance of getting out. We celebrate the fact that SVG is very attractive to foreign direct investments and may become even more attractive following the completion of the Argyle International Airport, but are we at the same time willing to listen to workers who complain that at Buccament Resort they work long hours and frequently fail to collect their entire pay packet when it becomes due? Are we prepared to check the records of the Labour Department or the Court docket to witness the grievances of our brothers and sisters, or to listen to their charges of racism meted out to them as they honestly work for their living? Are we prepared to ask for verifiable proof when opposition leaders tell us the elections were fraudulent? How could it be anti-government to critique the weaknesses or shortcomings that we see in the education, housing or health revolutions amidst the progress? This is why patriots must look beyond the status quo. The status quo can never be a comfortable place at which the change agent sits. Karen Armstrong in her classic the Case for God said ‘We may have to forget religion in order to find God.’ Similarly as Vaclav Havel said: ‘One does not become a dissident just because you decide to take up the most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility…You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with you being branded an enemy of society… The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power. He does not attempt to charm the public. He offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer if anything only his own skin, and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.’ The New Year is upon us. Let it be a period of clearing and renewing. These times demand nothing less. This column first appeared on March 9, 2016. It was reworked for this week. Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to




Parasite - An organism that lives off or in another organism… ACCORDING to the newspapers of 6 January 2017, Taiwan handed over a cheque for US$200,000 (EC$537,640) to Gonsalves on 28 December 2016, to assist with the rehabilitation projects concerning the Majorca feed road, Marriaqua, the Java road and the river defence in South Rivers. Taiwan is a big insult to our people. Taiwan creams-off about EC$2 billion annually from SVG’s High Seas Fish Licence and the use of SVG’s national flag on its fishing vessels in international waters. This is about 10,000 times more than what was given in the cheque. Taiwan is feeding off our country and holding back our economy. We do not need Taiwan’s charitable handouts, because we could make much more money ourselves by taking back our fish licence (from Taiwan), and setting up our own billion dollar tuna fishing and canning industry. We need to cut ties withTaiwan. The writing is on the wall for Taiwan, as two political parties in SVG have said that under their governments, we would say goodbye to Taiwan and welcome China. This would be better for us: to stimulate economic growth; bring sustainable development; and create a high quality of life for our people. Taiwan came to SVG about 36 years

ago to ‘help’ with agriculture. When Taiwan came to SVG, agriculture was booming. Now, the banana industry is dead, and our agricultural sector has almost died too. Taiwan has been of little use to our agricultural industry. Most countries do not recognise Taiwan as an independent country, and more and more are breaking ties with that country. Gambia broke ties with Taiwan in 2013 and established formal ties with China. In December 2016, the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe abruptly broke their ties with Taiwan. They’d had had enough of Taiwan! Only 21 countries have official ties with Taiwan. With many of these countries, Taiwan has a similar multimillion dollar, tuna fishing rip-off scheme. Taiwan shamefully preys on poor fishing nations, like SVG, and exploits them. The European Union warned Taiwan that it would face economic sanctions if it did not tackle illegal fishing. Taiwan is a major obstacle to the development of the SVG economy. Taiwan’s presence in SVG perpetuates poverty and high unemployment. We must end this abuse of the Vincentian people by cutting ties with Taiwan, and make ties with China. We should then set up a jointventure tuna fishing and canning

mains water and electricity. Taiwan is sucking the blood out of our country. They have ruined the future of a generation of Vincentian children. Taiwan, go home.

industry with China, to bring in billions of dollars of revenue to the SVG Treasury, so that we can create thousands of new jobs, build our own SVG university, improve hospitals and other health facilities in SVG, provide SVG Green Party free education from preschool to university and connect every house to Find us of Facebook and Twitter

Towards a future without violence THE BEIJING Platform for Action outlines twelve (12) areas of critical concern for the advancement of women, as follows: o The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women o Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to education and training o Inequalities and inadequacies in and unequal access to health care and related services o Violence against women o The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation o Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources o Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels o Insufficient mechanisms at all levels to promote the advancement of women o Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women o Stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to and participation in all communication systems, especially in the media o Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment o Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child The fourth critical area of Concern is “Violence Against Women”. This vexed area has received much attention in terms of training and passage of legislation. These efforts have served to increase reporting, incidents of violence, but not as a deterrent. I hold the view, however, that the other eleven areas of concern need urgent attention, as fulfilment of one is dependent on the others. In the meantime, the women’s work has been submerged under gender issues, and attention has shifted to boys, men’s and same-sex issues. While these sectors are very important, and deserve meaningful attention, the human rights issues will not be solved by leaving some behind. A holistic approach is needed. As a reminder that the women’s work is not done either through the Beiing Platform for Action, the Millennium development Goals or UN Women, the Caribbean Women’s Association (CARIWA) has joined forces with a European Organisation INTER ARTS to deliver a training programme to address Violence Against Women in a holistic manner. The proposed Action, with the title “Cultural Rights to foster behavioural changes and women’s empowerment against Domestic Violence in Barbados

and the Eastern Caribbean”, is designed to address the issue of Domestic Violence (DV) in different Caribbean countries (Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines). The Objectives of the Project are to:(a) Contribute to reduce Domestic Violence in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Region by promoting societal cultural changes and enhancing the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to counter it. (b) Foster safe environments by improving CSOs’ competencies in policy advocacy, researching, data collection, and networking. (c) Contribute to the prevention of Domestic Violence through a community-driven approach aimed at raising awareness and changing cultural behaviours. The Project will refer in particular to the cultural dimension of the issue, at different levels, by: 1. Improving civil society organizations’ competence to develop actions and activities that challenge a general problem and attitude towards it. 2. Increasing society’s awareness on Domestic Violence, its nature and consequences, through cultural events and products, besides training and capacity building activities. In order to face these challenges, a consortium of four (4) partners has been set up: - Interarts will be the general coordinator of the Action; with over ten years’ experience in projects dealing with human rights; Women Against Rape (WAR) of Antigua/ Barbuda; The Caribbean Women’s Association (CARIWA), and Advocates for Safe Parenthood (Saint Lucia)ASPIRE, an NGO based in Saint Lucia with close ties to another important network of the Caribbean Region, the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA). The Project was launched in Barbados in November, 2016, and local workshops will be held in the partner countries during January, 2017. The Workshops will target a wide range of women’s organisations, other NGO’s, Teachers, Nurses, Schools and Colleges, Social Workers, Crisis Centre and Shelters, Media Workers, Legal Aid Clinics, Police Officers, interested members of the general public, and Survivors of Violence. Nelcia Robinson Public Relations Officer CARIWA




NIS marks 30 years of service: Defaulters under the radar

Reginald Thomas, Executive Director NIS, described the NIS as having achieved a hundredfold and more in its service to Vincentians. MANY EMPLOYERS fulfil their obligations and pass over deductions from their workers to the National Insurance Services. However, some persons steal money from their employees and despite government’s efforts to put a charge on their property, the NIS payments seem to be falling short. Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves spoke on NIS’ progress last week Thursday, January 5 at its Headquarters. The event was Customers Appreciation Day. This year’s commemoration marked thirty years since the National Provident Fund, established 1970, was upgraded to a full National Insurance Service. The Vincentian leader described persons who withhold workers’ deductions as “wutlis” a colloquial equivalent of the word: “worthless.” Information relating to those delinquent

A special occasion warranted a special cake.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, pictured here handing over a token of appreciation to pensioner Odway Thomas, had a firm word of warning for those employers who continue to default on paying in contributions to the NIS. contributors may have to be turned over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, according to Dr. Gonsalves. He lamented the failure of receipt of the contributions because “the government has to fund that gap….. If the NIS does not collect it, the government has to put it in.” He hinted that there were some attempts carried out last year, but that “We have to be even stronger…. We have to get very, very serious on it,” he added, and indicated that while the charge on the property was an option, “for some, you have to do something else.” In that regard, the Vincentian leader pointed to legislation as a way of addressing the defaulting on NIS contributions. He urged self-employed persons to pay into the NIS. The advice was extended to lawyers and doctors whom he counselled: … “Don’t believe because you riding high and yo’ young and yo strong, …put something in the NIS. ” Retirements benefits reached $16m last year, and according to the

Finance Minister, under whose portfolio the NIS rests, the amount will grow. NIS Executive Director Reginald Thomas highlighted the growth of the institution over the 30 years. He put the expansion at 671 times where it was in 1987. Thomas encouraged citizens to “partner with us.” Two Golden Years Activity Centres are placed at Buccament and Black Point. They cater to the social, recreational and skill set needs of senior citizens, and Thomas wants pensioners to use those facilities. Chairman of the NIS Board Lennox Bowman vowed to ensure that the NIS improves its performance levels. “The image we portray is important,” Bowman outlined, and pledged that “our brand is our promise to meet your needs.” For Bowman, the NIS is “positioned to become a more viable entity in 2017.” Bowman also projected on the purchase of an NIS Bus which will heighten the outreach programme of the NIS. (WKA)

A section of the many pensioners who turned up to receive appreciation from the NIS. Left: Members of the NIS Board of Directors and staff were in full attendance at the Appreciation Day.



Community Left to right: Director Irvine Robertson and Accountant Patrice Jobe representing AIW, handing over cheque to representives from NEMO.

Agricultural Input Warehouse gives back The Agricultural Input Warehouse has donated $10,000.00 to NEMO to assist families whose homes were damaged by the trough system that affected the country in November 2016. The National Emergency Management Office has stated that these funds will be used to purchase 10 four burner stoves for 10 families who lost all their belongings due to the flood. These 10 families have to be reloctated and basic belongings replaced.

Team X Kayaking Squad - (L-R): Shem Da Dilva, Nigel Da Silva, Mark Sardine, Christell Allicott and Michael Da Silva – are on a mission to influence positive change in SVG.

Team X committed to encouraging change MARK SARDINE and the rest of the ‘Team X’ Kayaking Squad say that they intend to be relentless in their pursuit of changing society for the better, in 2017. Speaking to the THE VINCENTIAN on Tuesday, Sardine said that he was pleased with the favourable response he received from the Ministry of Health as it related to plans for the installation of solar panels at the Lewis Punnett Home. The intention was to kayak to Mustique in order to raise awareness for this venture and to be able to get donors to the cause, but due to adverse weather conditions, they journeyed along the North Leeward coastline instead. But although Sardine said that he was pleased with the response received, he assured that the team was not sitting back, and would be pressing to ensure that the ministry fulfils the promise made. In the meantime, they are proceeding with plans for another kayaking trip, this time aimed at raising awareness about the ongoing need to bring some relief to those persons living in the North Windward area, whose livelihoods were affected following the passage of a trough system late last year. According to Sardine, he would be taking a letter of the group’s intention to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) next Monday. Regardless of how that effort pans out, Team X will be wasting no time, and will be moving on to their next project — that of creating an awareness for the rehabilitation of the road network across the country. “The roads we drive on need fixing, and we don’t have a problem standing up. We have to make a difference,” Sardine explained. As always, Sardine and his team’s hope is that the youth of the nation would be motivated to join the effort that they were making, to try to bring about change. To date, Sardine and the Team X’ Kayaking Squad have enjoyed some success: the first being a solo effort by Sardine for an EKG machine for the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital; the second was the school feeding effort — which he says is still an ongoing campaign; and moving donors to contribute towards the purchasing and installation of a solar water heater at the Lewis Punnett Home. (DD)

Article 2: Geothermal in the Lesser Antilles Emera Caribbean Emera Caribbean Inc. Inc. and Reykjavik Reykjavik Geothermal, Geothermal, in association association with the Government Government of St. St. Vincent Vincent Grenadines, and the G renadines, are are planning a 10 MW geothermal power power plant plant at at the foot foot of La La Soufriere Soufriere on northern St. Vincent. the nor thern part part of S t. V incent. geochemist at Reykjavik Reykjavik Geothermal Geothermal & By Gestur Gislason, senior geochemist Snorri Gudbrandsson, Gudbr udbrrandsson, PhD PhD geochemist geochemist at Reykjavik Reykjavik Geothermal Geothermal Annually, GWh electricity produced Vincent Electricity A nnuallyy, about 140 GW h of elec tricity is pr oduced tto o meet the needs of SSt. t. V incent Elec tricity SServices’ ervices’ customers. serve ((VINLEC’s) VINLEC’s) s cust omers. The The planned 10 MW geothermal geothermal power power plant plant has the potential potential tto o ser ve about 60% of the elec tricity needs of St. St. V incent’s rresidents esidents and businesses electricity Vincent’s businesses.. About geothermal around the w orld and in the Caribbean Caribbean world Geothermal G eothermal power power plants plants have have been built in 25 countries countries around around the globe, globe, with a total total 12,635 MW capacityy and an annual production home,, the east eastern boundaryy of the installed capacit production of 73,549 GWh. GWh. Closer tto o home ern boundar Caribbean Volcanic Arc, numerous C aribbean geological geological structure structure is the Lesser Lesser Antilles Antilles V olcanic A rc, with its numer ous vvolcanoes olcanoes and rrelated elated geothermal subduction were Atlantic plate moves geother mal activities. activities. The The Volcanic Volcanic Arc Arc is located located in the subduc tion zzone one w ere the A tlantic pla te mo ves beneath Caribbean Antilles Volcanic Arc. benea th the C aribbean Plate, Plate, fforming o orming the LLesser esser A ntilles V olcanic A rc. heatt sour source geothermal TThe he hea ce which keeps the geother mal systems systems active active in geological geological settings in the Lesser Lesser Antilles Antilles is magma, mag ma, which is fformed o ormed more more than 100 km km deep under the Volcanic Volcanic Arc. Arc. Only a small portion portion reaches reaches the surface magma intrusions magma above sur face in an eruption, but the bulk of the mag ma settles as in trusions or in mag ma chambers abo ve the location Most intrusions aree ffound great magma loca tion of fformation o ormation (melting). M ost of the in trusions ar o ound aatt g reat depth, but mag ma chambers can rreach each up to to 7 km km in depth. Drilling for geothermal geothermal steam steam Geothermal Geothermal is used either directly, directlyy, providproviding energy energy for fo or an a array array of uses such as space aquaculturee space heating heating or ccooling, ooling, in aquacultur and drying, drying, or ffor o electricity or electricity production. production. In In St. Vincent, we are possibilityy St. V incent, w e ar e eexploring xploring the possibilit of using geothermal geothermal steam steam for fo or electricity electricity production. production. For For this purpose, purpose, temperatures temperatures above 200°C ar necessary, which requires requires above aree necessary, drilling drilling through through the cap rock. rock. The The depth of a geothermal geothermal well well is most commonly commonly 2-2.5 km km deep. deep. Eruption hazard Geothermal G eothermal activity activity is a product product of magmatic magmatic activity. activity. As As a consequence, consequence, most geothermal geothermal power power stations stations aree loca ar located ted in vvolcanic olcanic ar areas eas near la lava va and eruptiv eruptivee sit sites. es. Eruptions oc occur cur when la lava, va, gases or ash escapes from fr om a magma magma chamber below. below. Because Because geothermal geothermal wells wells are are rarely rarely deeper than 3.5 km km and the magmatic magmatic heatt sour source generally below direct therefore unlikely.. hea ce is gener ally belo w 7 kkm m depth, dir ect ccontact, ontact, and ther effo ore eruption, is unlikely TThousands housands of geother mal wells wells have have been drilled drilled into into active active geothermal geothermal reservoirs, reservoirs, and there there has been no geothermal triggering aree similar tto tr iggering of volcanic volcanic activity. activity. Indonesia Indonesia and the Philippines Philippines have have subduction subduction zones zones that that ar o SSt. t. Vincent. produces geothermal energy annually, Philippines, V incent. IIn n IIndonesia, ndonesia, which pr oduces 1,340 MW of geother mal ener gy annually y, and in the P hilippines, aatt annually, 1,870 MW annually y, more more than 600 5-MW geothermal geothermal boreholes boreholes have have been drilled drilled without triggering triggering eruption. molten magma TThere here have have been a small number of cases where where a borehole borehole has been drilled drilled into into a body of molt en mag ma anyy major problems, was safely magma was without causing an problems, where where the equipment equipment w as saf fely e rretrieved etrieved and no mag ma w as ejected ejec ted to to the surface. surface. Wee will continue sharee inf information Vincent Grenadines progress W continue tto o shar fo ormation with the SSt. t. V incent and the Gr enadines public as pr ogress on geothermal have geothermal energy, geother mal exploration exploration aatt La SSoufriere oufriere ccontinues. ontinues. IIff yyou ou ha ve questions about geother mal ener gyy, please geo-scientists: ccontact ontact the tteam’s eam’s lead geo g -scientists: gestur@r or snor




Ole George to hang up boots after final walk VINCENTIAN WORLD RECORD holder Earl ‘Ole George’ Daniel will be returning home next month for a final long distance walk. Daniel, currently residing in Montreal, Canada, said the walk is a three-day undertaking , February 3 to 5, 2017 from the windward and leeward ends of mainland St Vincent, with ventures into the Marriaqua and Vermont Valleys — will be his way of saying goodbye to an exciting career of distance walking. He will be joined by his walking partner - Joel Butcher, who walked with him from 2005-2008, and a group of overseas based Vincentians, and the walk is intended to help bring much needed attention to the rising cases of HIVAIDS and diabetes and also mental health. “What better way to do it than for a worthy cause and in the presence of the very people who were there to witness the first historic event,” said Ole George in a statement released here last Tuesday. The walk will culminate with a rally at Victoria Park.

Walking to raise awareness As far as the focus on HIV/AIDS and healthy Lifestyles Promotion are concerned, George said, in the release, “After several conversations with HIV/AID activist Sydney ‘Pumpkin’ Joseph some time last year, I decided to bring the group together.” That group includes, among others, Steve ‘Daddy Ghost’ Victory, Monica Homer, Stephany Etienne, Hilton Smith and Garvey Thomas. “We decided to mobilize

Some members of the group that will spearhead the HIV/AIDS, Healthy Lifestyle Promotion.

Right: Earl ‘Ole George’ Daniel being interviewed after the walk around Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Joel Butcher is pictured at extreme right. and get some items together to send to persons affected by HIV/AIDS. “These items will be delivered when I come home for the second part of the exercise,” Daniel added. “We hope that our efforts will serve to improve the standard of living to these people and bring some hope to their world. “The rally will be about bringing awareness to the HIVAIDS situation in St. Vincent and also to encourage a healthier lifestyle so as to prevent more cases of diabetes. There will also be a focus on mental health. The overall message here would be we need to be our brother’s keeper,” Geroge said. He appealed to walking groups/clubs, sporting organizations, health enthusiasts and “anyone who is concerned about the present health situation in the country to come out and join us as we walk. Let’s do this together.”

Accomplishments George accomplished walking in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 here at home, and has walked in several Caribbean Islands (Jamaica, Grenada, St. Lucia Barbados). Perhaps his most notable walk was in 2008 in Brooklyn, New York, when he and Butcher walked around Prospect Park for 8 straight days, challenging the Guinness World Record for the longest walk without sleep. In 2012, George completed a five and a half day dance marathon in Nunavik, Northern Canada, to bring awareness to suicide. “It’s my hope that what we are about to embark on would bring the much needed attention to these very important health issues in my homeland, and that people will see that these issues affect us all,” George said, as he prepared to wave goodbye to his long distance walking days.

Earl ‘Ole George’ Daniel (centre) and Joel Butcher (right) are joined by a supporter during one of the marathon walks here.




Freddie McGregor Headlines

14th Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest! IT’S JUST 1 WEEK to go before the much-anticipated Bequia Tourism Association’s Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest, which kicks off its 14th anniversary four-day event in Bequia, January 19th to 22nd. Headliner out of Jamaica, Reggae Legend Freddie McGregor will perform at De Reef on Saturday night, joined by 2 Mile Hill from Barbados, and the Signal Band from Dominica. Sunday will feature Sweet Soca Man Baron out of Trinidad, with SVG’s own Abuza, Dynamite, Yahpatto as well as K-Nectic, with Toby Armstrong of Barbados. Other visiting musicians will be the Xavier Strings from Trinidad performing on Saturday afternoon. Opening honours for the Music Fest go to the Frangipani Hotel, where the fabulous 14-piece Elite Steel Orchestra from St. Vincent will perform on Thursday 19 January from 9pm. Then on Friday 20 January, thanks to Basil Charles, the Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest once

again welcomes The Mustique Blues Festival to Bequia for one night only at the Bequia Plantation Hotel featuring Joe Louis Walker, Ian Siegal, Zac Harmon, Dino Baptiste, Gregg Jackson and others. On Saturday 21st, there are two events: from 12.30pm, the Bequia Plantation Hotel in Belmont will be the venue for the “Afternoon Jam by the Beach”, featuring visiting and locally-based musicians from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with Canadian country songbird Leisa Way, and the spectacular Xavier Strings out of Trinidad. The Bequia Blues Band, the Honky Tonics, Andy Cruickshank and the Impac Band, among the many performing groups and artistes, will join them. It’s a chilled afternoon of music in the hotel’s beautiful gardens by the beach with lots of delicious food and drinks. Saturday night is Music Fest “fete” night at De Reef. The Signal Band opens the show with their unique Dominican sound. Saturday

night’s headliner will follow them, Freddie McGregor rocking Bequia to his well known legendary reggae songs. 2 Mile Hill will finish off the evening on a high, and for those who still want to party on, DJ Shatta will continue until… The ever-popular Music Fest “Sunday by the Beach” at De Reef in Lower Bay is guaranteed to see huge crowds flocking to see a wide variety of acts, including the Bequia “Kids on Pan” Steel Orchestra, Barbados guitarist Toby Armstrong with SVG reggae artistes Abuza, Dynamite and Yaphatto. Feature performer Baron out or TNT will give us a flavour of his classic socas, with the evening concluding to a high voltage finish with KNectic out of St. Vincent. Tickets for all shows are on sale at Quik Print in St. Vincent, and in Bequia at the Bequia Tourism Office, Lina’s Delicatessen, De Reef, Bequia Technology Center, and the Frangipani Hotel. Tickets prices are EC$70 for

advance single night tickets (EC$80 on the door). Tickets for Sunday afternoon are EC$35(EC$40 on the door). An advance “weekender ticket” for all three evening ticketed events is available for a bargain EC$165. Admission to the Frangipani on Thursday is free, and the Saturday afternoon Jam at $10, with children under 12 years old free. The Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest is only possible because of the enthusiastic support it receives from local businesses, as well as the important Title Sponsorship from Mount Gay Rum. Gold Sponsorship is received from FLOW, Hairoun the Bequia Beach Hotel, the SVG Ministry of Tourism/SVG Tourism Authority, and Bequia Plantation. Contributing sponsors are Action Bequia, The St. Vincent Cocoa Company, Sotheby’s, Air Adelphi, Frangipani Hotel, De Reef, and Quik-Print (St. Vincent). The Bequia Mount Gay

Music Fest is also generously supported by Basil’s Bar Mustique, Nice Radio, Mountain Top Springs Water, Julie’s Guest House, Mac’s Pizzeria, Vintages Bequia (Agents for Mount Gay Rum), Bequia Technology Center, WAG Service Station, Nichols Garage St. Vincent, Compass Publishing, Outhouse Graphics. For more information visit amusicfest and cfest (Also, see advertisement below)




STEM Founder receives award FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR of the STEM SVG Summer Programme - Petrus Gumbs has received a prestigious award from the university at which he pursued his undergraduate studies. Gumbs, a teacher at the St. Martin’s Secondary School, is this year’s (2016) recipient of the prestigious Young Alumni Award from The College of Scholastica

(CIS). He has been so recognized for work in the field of technology, here in St. Vincent. The university, located in Minnesota, USA, has in its short existence (opened in 1982) established a reputation for producing outstanding graduates in the fields of Nursing and Computer Information System (CIS). Gumbs’ award comes after what is described as discreet evaluation of Petrus Gumbs Founder and Director of the STEM SVG Summer Programme – displays the award he received from The College of Scholastica (CIS).

Flow Signs Iconic Caribbean Comedian – Majah Hype THE Caribbean’s iconic comedy star, Majah Hype, is now a Flow Brand Ambassador. This internationallyrecognized comedian is known for his infectious online videos, many depicting hilarious Caribbean characters, including favourites “Di Rass,” “Grandpa James” and “Sister Sandrine.”, and which have become viral sensations Majah is more than just ‘hype.’ A Caribbean artist at heart, he identifies with the islands, and has taken on the task of “unifying the people of the region as one” with his own unique brand of comedy. His act, he says, serves as a means of breaking down national barriers and bringing people together with relatable content. Passionate about connecting Caribbean and diaspora audiences, Majah epitomizes the spirit, energy and dynamism of the Flow brand and its mission of connecting communities…transforming lives. Majah Hype joins Flow’s impressive cadre of internationally recognized sports, music and entertainment Brand Ambassadors. Check out Majah Hype online and be among the first to like and share his upcoming Flow sketches. You deserve a rip-roaring laugh and he is very much worth the hype! (Submitted by FLOW)

his work as an Educator and the STEM Program Director, by CIS professors, who, in their assessment, said that Gumbs ‘has extended his knowledge beyond the confines of his job, and through the STEM programme, he has

touched the lives of many persons here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’. On hearing of his award, Gumbs, even as he expressed aopppreication, admitted, “This programme, however, could not have

achieved the success and popularity it has gained without the support of the facilitators, sponsors and businesses which have been magnanimous in their contributions to the programme.” The STEM Programme is into its

fifth year and, according to Gumbs, plans are already being devised to offer more options to participants. Petra- Ann Gumbs, sister of the awardee, was on hand to accept the award on his behalf. (KH)

Winnipeg Association makes healthy donations OVER THE NEXT two weeks, Health Institutions/ Clinics throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be fitted with fans. The fans were donated by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Winnipeg, and the first handing over took place at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), last Tuesday, January 10. Outreach Co-ordinator of the Association — John Jack, and his wife Verona handed over the fans to Staff Nurse Suann Moore, for use in the Emergency and Paediatrics clinics. Moore was understandably grateful for the donations, and expressed the hope that the Association’s assistance would be ongoing. Both John and Verona considered it a pleasure to have made the donation. They recognised the management of SINGER and SPORTS LOCKA PLUS for their generous discounts on the purchase of the fans, and the plates and engraving on the fans respectively. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Winnipeg, currently headed by Arleen Green, celebrated it 40th Anniversary in 2016. The Association recognised Lynette Glasgow, former Sports and Physical Education Director here, for having taken the initiative with respect to the fans, and admitted that they more than pleased to advance this very worthwhile cause. Other donations (fans) are slated to be made to clinics in Belair, Biabou, Calliaqua, Enhams, Georgetown, Mesopotamia, Richland Par, Sion Hill, Stubbs, Campden Park, Clare Valley, Chateaubelair, Layou, Barrouallie, Vermont, Bequia and Union island.

John Jack, with Verona Jack (centre) hands over fans to Staff Nurse Suann Moore.




Argyle by-pass road sound MINISTER OF TRANSPORT and Works, Senator Julian

Francis is cautioning road users that the work done

on a section of the Argyle bypass road is only a

temporary fix. “What we have done is not the permanent fix for the problem at Argyle,” Francis said on Tuesday night on the ‘ULP Speaks’ radio programme he hosts. A geotechnical analysis was conducted on the area, the minister of transport and works explained, and it was discovered that the area was water-logged due to some springs which run down off the nearby hills, and which moisten the upper layers of soil, especially following heavy rainfall. He admitted that the initial road was not built properly. This became

evident when a portion of the original road collapsed back in November 2014. “Sufficient exploration was not done in the beginning,” he admitted. Francis assured, however, that the most recent repairs were expected to last through the period that it will take for the engineers to come up with a solution to the problem. Addressing concerns about the house located in the area where the road collapsed, Francis said the house was structurally sound, with the exception of some cracks in the plastering in the drains around the

premises, which was an indication that the area is sturdy enough to support a section of the country’s road network. The portion of road that has thrown up these recent challenges was in fact, laid in an area away from the original route, which after it collapsed was abandoned as unusable. The ‘new’ portion was strengthened after it too collapsed. Persons can expect to see the construction of four ‘French’ drains to cater to the removal of water that springs from the soil, and passes through a layer of stones. (DD)

A portion of the Argyle by-pass road continues to throw up challenges for road engineers here.

Digicel’s New Year’s resolution WITH JANUARY usually being deemed the ‘toughest and longest’ month of the year, Digicel SVG is seeking to ease the financial crunch anticipated, by putting up for grabs a cash prize of EC$2,000.00. On Sunday, January 1st, 2017, Digicel SVG launched its New Year’s Resolution Text competition, allowing both its prepaid and postpaid customers the opportunity to text and win EC$2,000.00 cash. For a chance to be entered into Digicel’s New Year’s Resolution, customers are required to text the word “NEW” to the short code 7171. To be named winner and give claim to the grand prize of EC$2,000.00, persons must text to be ranked number one, and maintain that top position when the promotion comes to an end on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017. Meanwhile, Digicel’s Marketing Manager- Danielle Cupid used the opportunity of the recent launch, to

wish all Digicel customers and by extension all the nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines a happy New Year; explaining that the New Year’s Resolution text competition is another demonstration of the telecommunications company’s commitment to assisting, giving back and being there in times of need. The winner of the Digicel’s New Year’s Resolution text competition will be identified and rewarded on February 1st, 2017.




Wrong bus fares causing confusion THE ISSUE OF COMMUTERS being charged wrong fares along some routes is cause for concern for the head of the National Omni-bus Association (NOBA). According to the organization’s President, Anthony ‘Code Red’ Bacchus, there were some (omni-bus) conductors who in his opinion did not know the fares. “They do not know the rules and regulations, they do not know their responsibilities — they just jump on a van. and this is creating a problem with other commuters and mini-bus operators,” Bacchus told THE VINCENTIAN.

He added that there was a problem with individuals who were not regular operators, who would bring a mini-bus on the road and charge commuters prices, usually under the approved prices, and this too was causing issues for regular operators. The problem was confined to the routes between Kingstown and Arnos Vale, and Kingstown to Calliaqua, Bacchus said. “Some drivers have come and complained to me,” he told THE VINCENTIAN. The fare between Kingstown to Calliaqua is EC$2, but some conductors and or mini-

bus operators were accepting EC $1.50. “The majority of drivers take their business seriously,” NOBA’s president explained. But some passengers were growing accustomed to paying $1.50, and would often react negatively when conductors collect the correct fare. The problem was extending to foreigners and some medical students who were being charged fares below those approved. In the face of all this, Bacchus appealed to all operators/owners of minibuses and conductors to first learn what the

Cut out the alcohol consumption

Anthony Bacchus, President of NOBA, is focusing on practices by omni-bus operators and conductors that do more harm than good to the service they offer. correct fare is, as it related to their particular route. Bacchus further said that mini-bus operators ought to obtain a copy of the list of approved fares and have it posted in their vehicles. (DD

THE NATIONAL OMNI-BUS ASSOCIATION (NOBA) will be adopting a zero tolerance stance as far as drivers’ and conductors’ use of alcohol and other substances while on duty, is concerned. So says President of the National Omni-bus Association -, Anthony ‘Code Red’ Bacchus who explained that the organization he heads was having an issue, particularly with conductors, with respect to alcohol consumption while on duty and also about their attire. “We have some mini-bus operators who fail to realise that when they get in a vehicle, they have 18 passengers’ lives in their hands,” Bacchus said. He cautioned that driving while impaired following the use of alcohol or other substances, can reduce reaction time, and he appealed to drivers and conductors to refrain from the practice. Bacchus also addressed the issue of reckless driving, saying that too many mini-bus operators were taking “too many chances” on the roads. “We don’t want to hear about accidents… we have had too many of those in the past,” the NOBA president said. But he re-focused his attention on conductors, saying that too many of them were working without any knowledge of the rules — “all they know is that they have to pack their bus.” (DD)




Something to hide?

A smelly affair

Dear George,

I MET MY GIRLFRIEND a few months ago at a workshop in Barbados. She is from Barbados.  It was love at first sight, believe me.  It is now three months since we are together, but it was only recently I had my first opportunity to spend some real time with her.   We slept together for one week and made love once, but oh, what an experience that was for me! George, she has a very terrible smell — not only from her private parts, but her mouth and her armpits. It was terrible, and I asked her about it. She just said that she has been trying to get rid of it for some time now, but was not successful. I encouraged her to visit a doctor, but she said she had enough of doctors, and went on to tell me if I really loved her I should would tolerate her smell. She wants me to put up with that? Hell no! I have not contacted her since her return to Barbados although she kept texting and calling me. I want her to know I am out!

MY BOYFRIEND and I have finally decided to get married, but we have an impasse. He does not want to disclose his finances to me, saying that is not my business right now, and that he will do so if or when he feels so to do. But I believe I have a right to know his financial status. I need to know if I am marrying a pauper or a man who is financially capable to carry a family. Another thing is, he does not want to go and get tested for STDs. We have not yet had sex since I told him that sex outside of marriage is a ‘no no’ for me, and that the man I’m going to marry has to come to the table with clean ‘hands.’ To this day, he has refused to be tested. I did my test and gave him a copy of my results. I feel very uneasy going forward. What should I do now?

Questions Dear Questions, It is always best to declare your ‘hand’ before taking such an important step as marriage. There is no better time to declare all than NOW. You have a right to know his financial status, and it is in the interest of your health to know the health status of the man you are marrying. His refusal to get tested can be left to your own interpretation. It is a risk you do not want to take. The conversation on marriage should come to an end if he holds out on you. This critical time in both your lives should be an open book session, so stick to your guns on this one. It is important to keep in mind that an honest person should not have anything to hide.


Dear George,

problem, and is in fact, asking you to ignore it and go on being with her. You have the right to decide who you want as a partner, and once you have concluded that the person you are presently with is not, then you are obligated to let them know. Do not leave her hanging. Be a man and tell her where you stand; that there is no future with you. Maybe that will be a wake-up call for her to resume her efforts to resolve her problem.


Disappointed Vincy Boy Dear Disappointed, You did the right thing in encouraging her to get herself checked out medically. The fact is, she is not willing to exhaust all attempts to find suggested that I give her a solution to her Dear George, a chance to be with him to teach him a lesson. MY HUSBAND is a She said if he meets his criminal in the match, he would cool bedroom. I am very down. I am wondering scared of him; he does if to believe her. not know how to ease up. Every night and day, I beg him to go easy Worn and weary, on me, but he would Dear Worn and weary, not. He would tell me that I am not going to be It is unfortunate that left to tell others that he your husband is one of is a “soft man” in those men who believe bed. He is not gentle, that rough sex is what and believes that his rough way of having sex women want. You need to sit him down and tell is the way to go. He him that you are not wants to have sex being satisfied with his numerous times in any performance, and if he one week. He is remains unwilling to be stressing me out and I gentle and can’t take it. understanding, he is I told my girlfriend going to have to sing the about him, and she

He is a sex criminal bedroom blues. Maybe he will be open to the views of a marriage therapist/ counsellor. Make an appointment to see a therapist, and take it from there. All of this can be coming from his insecurity, and that too can be addressed with that therapist. As far as your friend is concerned, do not entertain her suggestion. No good lesson can be learned from another person getting into your bed and eating the fruit of your dreams. Work this out with your husband.



ARIES (Mar. 21‐ April 20) Talk to your emotional partner about your intentions. Don’t use the inter‐ state as a racetrack. You should not be concerned with co‐workers who insist on spreading rumours. TAURUS (Apr. 21‐ May 21) You need to spend some time with individuals who have more experience than you. Don’t avoid situations that may deteriorate; try to mend them. Avoid lovers who already have a rela‐ tionship, even if it is a bad one. GEMINI (May 22‐June 21) Your need to put great detail into everything you do may cause you to miss the overall picture. Travel will ini‐ tiate new friendships or love connec‐ tions. Valuable information can be yours if you listen to those with expe‐ rience. Spend some time with the one you love.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 ‐Oct. 23) Don’t hesitate to talk to your partner about rekindling your relationship. This will be a good day for research and for sitting down with some good, informa‐ tive reading material. Get out and experience the spice of life. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 ‐ Nov. 22) Your personal life will still be experi‐ encing difficulties and you are best to avoid the issues for the time being. If they want help that’s great, but if they try to take credit for your work, you will have to set them straight. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 ‐Dec. 21) You will do well if you mingle with the brass this week. Attend trade shows that will allow you to look at new prod‐ ucts. You must be extremely careful not to let relatives or friends interfere in your personal life.

CANCER (June 22‐July 22) You have to let go of your past if you wish to get out of any sentimental mood that might be hanging over your head. Don’t forget that you’ve only heard one side of the story. Your emo‐ tional state will vacillate Compromise if you have to, to avoid verbal battles.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22.‐ Jan. 20) You always seem to spend more than you make. You can make life easier for an older member of your family. Deal with the needs of children. You would be wise to consider attending lectures that will broaden your awareness con‐ cerning your professional direction.

LEO (July 23‐Aug 22) Enjoy the company of relatives this week. Problems with your boss could lead to unemployment. You are best to look into investments that will grow in value over an extended period of time.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21.‐ Feb. 19) Try to be there for someone if they need assistance. Don’t involve yourself in the emotional problems of those you work with. Property investments will pay off. Try to calm down and listen to your partner’s complaints.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 ‐Sept. 23) Your partner could also use some time alone with you. Try to avoid functions that will bring you in contact with those you find difficult to get along with. Don’t be too quick to judge. Speak of your future goals, intentions, and commitments.

PISCES (Feb. 20‐Mar. 20) Social events will lead to a strong and stable relationship. Get domestic chores out of the way early. Do things that involve children. Your emotions have been pulled out of shape and you need to do a little backtracking.


(abbr.) 47. Tame 1.Ground cereal animal 5. Hartnett or 49. Slugger Groban Boggs 9. Life story, for 52. Lazily short 56. Daisy Mae’s 12. Confederate son 13. Biblical 57. Work for preposition 58. Garden 14. Doctors’ gp. need 15. Parer’s 59. Pounds discard (abbr.) 60. __ but not 16. Lend least 17. Tit for __ 18. Uninteresting 61. Actor Conried 20. Teen’s eye‐ rolling DOWN retort 22. Baby food 1.Barker and 25. Quarry Bell noises 2. Moose’s 28. Singleton relative 29. North or 3. Frazier’s rival South __ 31. “__ creature 4. Comedian Paul was stirring 5. “Born on the …” (2 wds.) Fourth 33. Tunnels of __” 35. Teachers’ gp. 6. Artist Yoko 36. On the lam, 7. Depot (abbr.) military 8. Car company style 9. Terry sheet 37. Astound (2 wds.) 38. Give over 10. “__ 40. Abel’s mom Believer’s 41. Evaded (2 wds.) 43. Actress Vera 11. Cereal tidbit 45. Part of 19. GOP mem. history 21. Middies’ 46. Middle school

(abbr.) 22. Pea shells 23. Combine 24. Sets the rules 25. Exude sap 26. Take charge 27. Heating device 30. Less than twice 32. Pub beverages 34. Tight 39. Ambulance worker (abbr.) 42. Round wooden stick 44. Like Pierce

Brosnan 46. Lincoln’s coin 47. Close friend 48. Recede 50. Highest minor‐ league level




51. “Scrubs” figures (abbr.) 53. Narc’s org. 54. Actor Cariou 55. Football measures (abbr.)




Trinity School of Medicine donates to Sandy Bay residents

BETWEEN THE DAYS of 28th and 29th November, 2016, incessant rains coming from an Eastward moving Trough System impacted communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, causing serious flooding, and landslides and land slippages in several areas, mainly to the North East and North West of the

mainland. One community which experienced severe devastation was Sandy Bay. With some houses and other property lost or irreparably damaged, roads destroyed, and entire fields of crops washed away, and food and clothing in very short supply, the residents of this community were in dire need of supplies to carry on

with their everyday lives. Displaced families, having been housed in the Emergency Shelter at the Sandy Bay Primary School for a period of time, were later relocated with other family members, putting further strain on the already limited resources available. In an effort to assist, members of staff of Trinity

School of Medicine journeyed to Sandy Bay on Thursday, 29th December, 2016, to distribute items of clothing, bed linens, footwear, toiletries, and stationery for students. Daintily wrapped Christmas gifts for the children also formed part of the package earmarked for that community. According to Mrs. Kaushalya Need, Head of the Deanery at Trinity, “Every end of term,

departing students donate clothes, bed linens and other items to a worthy cause. This year, because of the devastation here, we decided to do the donation in Sandy Bay.” Additional items were sourced from Trinity Faculty, members of staff and their families; with wrapped gifts donated by the Canadian Medical Students Association. Shelter Coordinator, Mr. Owen Baptiste took the visitors throughout the community through villages of Old Sandy Bay, Sion Hill, Trechtown, and Karoy. Individuals were able to receive up to five changes of clothes in many instances. Sneakers, sandals and other footwear were also given out to the adults, some of whom also received gift bags of toiletries. The sick and elderly were given sheets, pillow shams, towels and toiletries. Children received clothes, toothbrushes, pens and pencils, and notebooks. As a special treat, the children were given gifts covered in traditional Christmas wrapping. This produced many squeals of delight and many smiling, happy faces. By the same token, Mr. Baptiste was effusive in his praise for Trinity’s efforts. “This is indeed bringing cheer to these persons because, to be honest, food and clothing are very vital now.

Persons are living under severe conditions at this time, trying to get their bits and pieces back together to clean up and so on, and I think they are very appreciative of the help Trinity has brought them today,” he assured. He went on to explain that as farmers with most of their crops, the eagerness with which the residents flocked to the area to receive the donations of necessary items was indicative of their dire need. As a matter of fact, a mother of three children between the ages of four and nine years old, called her experience ‘luck’. “I feel very lucky today,” she explained, “because when most of the other donors come out here to give, we do not get anything, because the time it takes us to get from the rocky area close to the bay where we live to the presentation site, everything is finished when we arrive. So it’s a good thing and we are very thankful!” Trinity’s act of benevolence will not stop there. There are plans to visit the North Western side of the island where residents have been affected by the trough system, though not so severely. The Faculty, staff and students will now pool their thoughts and actions together to source further items to do a similar donation there.

Children from Old Sandy Bay hold tight the gifts they received.

V BSA president quits... Enough, no more


PRESIDENT OF THE BARROUALLIE Sports Association (BSA), Lorson Lewis has said that he has had enough. Lewis, who has been the face of the organisation for the past five years, thinks it is time for him to “step back and seek rejuvenation.” Lewis cited several factors for his decision, but highlighted the standoff with the National Sports Council (NSC), last August at the start of the Barrouallie Football League, as the final push towards his decision. “The last few years

had become difficult, not particularly by the task at hand, but by the authorities who ought to be giving the support...The most recent publicised debacle involving the NSC, had revealed a lot in this regard, with aauthorities being at loggerheads on issues I consider to be normal,” Lewis confirmed. The BSA and the NSC were locked in a battle over the payment of user- fees for the Keartons Playing Field, for the duration of the Barrouallie Football League. The matter, which at

Venold Coombs gets CFU appointment PRESIDENT OF THE ST. VINCENT and the Grenadines Football Federation-SVGFF-Venold Coombs has been appointed to serve on the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Legal Committee, until the election of a new CFU Executive Committee in 2020. The Legal Committee, a Standing Committee of the CFU, is chaired by Bruce Blake of the Cayman Islands, and in addition to Coombs, President of the includes Marcel Bafu - French SVGFF – Venold Guyana, Oliver Smith - Turks Coombs and Caicos Islands, Ms. Danae Daal - St. Maarten, Anthony Johnson - St. Kitts and Nevis, and Jose Brenes - Puerto Rico. The Committee, according to the information, will be guided by its Terms of Reference, the CFU Executive Committee Policies and the 2012 edition of the CFU Statutes . The General Secretariat will provide the requisite assistance for the Committee to effectively achieve the deliverables as set out in the Terms of Reference. Meanwhile, Coombs joined his counterpart presidents from Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia in Grenada last weekend, at a Windward Islands Football Association (WIFA ) meeting which looked at matters relating to Windward Islands football. Reports say that the administrators looked at upcoming tournaments as well as areas of cooperation for the development of the game in the sub-region. The senior Windward Islands men’s tournament will take place in Grenada in May while the female edition will take place in St. Lucia in June. The men’s tournament was last staged in 2015 St Vincent and the Grenadines reigns in both tournaments.

one point threatened the certainty of the League, went as far as the involvement of the local constabulary and the temporary detainment of Lewis. But that was not the only grouse which irked Lewis and his contribution to the BSA. “... But when the area representative snubs the headline competition, or made no effort to even get the community group’s view on the matter, then you know the time has come for you to evaluate your services,” Lewis analysed. Barrouallie is located in the Central Leeward constituency, which has as its parliamentary representative- Deputy

Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker. Lewis is also peeved over the lack of attention being paid by the authorities to the Keartons hard court which, he said, has been left unfinished. “Another sore point is the lack of information regarding the refurbishment of the Keartons hard court, which has severely impacted the programmes of the Barrouallie Sports Association,” Lewis outlined. The unavailability of the hard court has prevented the BSA from hosting its annual netball competition, which last took place in 2014.

The Keartons hard court was part of the refurbishment exercise undertaken by the National Lotteries Authority in 2015, which saw nineteen facilities either being constructed or upgraded. These works were carried out by private individual contractors and contracting firms, on behalf of the National Lotteries Authority. But despite his misgivings and disappointments, Lewis said he is not ruling out a return to service to the BSA, but this, he said, would be hinged on a change in attitude from national policy makers. “The possibility of taking up the challenge in the future is very

Lorson Lewis possible, but it’s totally dependent on changes in the approach of those who ought to be helping to uplift community development… The task is totally voluntary and involves sacrifices that can never be measured,” Lewis said. “I am indebted to all executive members that have served during my tenure, as they made the task very manageable...The same can be echoed for all sponsors, officials, participants and patrons who supported all events,” Lewis concluded.

System 3 to host CFU club championships group SYSTEM THREE ACADEMY, the 2016 Premier Division winners of the National Football Club Championships staged by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, will host Group One of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championships. The Vincentian champions will be grouped with Slingerz FC of Guyana, San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad and Tobago, and Transvaal of Suriname. According to Ian Sardine, head of the System 3 Academy, the group matches will most likely be hosted at the Victoria Park, with the preferred playing days being 8th, 10th and 12th March. Sardine revealed that his organising committee will, in due

course, give more details about the hosting of the group. It will be System 3’s second venture in the CFU Championships, having debuted in 2010, along with Avenues United. Then, Avenues United hosted their group at the Victoria Park, while System Three had travelled to Puerto Rico for the outing. But while System 3 will have the chance to host group one, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ other representative — Bequia United will have to travel. Bequia United, which placed second to System 3 Academy in last year’s National Club Championships’ premiership, is lodged in Group Two, alongside Central FC of Trinidad and

Ian Sardine – founder and head of System 3 Academy.

Tobago, Alpha United of Guyana and Inter Moengo Tapoe of Suriname. Information on the host venue is still unknown. Three other groups make up the preliminary round of the competition. Group Three comprises Racing FC of Haiti, Scholars International of the Cayman Islands, Cibao of the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe’s CS Moulien, while Group Four has Hoppers of Antigua and Barbuda, Portmore United of Jamaica, Unite Sainte Rosierre of Guadeloupe and Police of Montserrat. Montego Bay of Jamaica, Flames United of St Maarten, Barcelona Atletico of the Dominican Republic and Elite of the Cayman Islands, comprise Group Five. Following the preliminary round and other phases, four teams will go forth to the System 3 took the SVGFF National Club Championships Premier Division title CONCACAF last April. Champions League.




Radcliffe begins T20 title defence in style FLOW RADCLIFFE began the defense of their Neil Williams T20 title with an emphatic 7wicket victory over a seemingly hapless Triumph United. Triumph United took first knock last Sunday at the main Arnos Vale Playing Field and were simply void Lindon James hit of any fight, save a 25-ball 44 for and except for Flow Radcliffe. Kenroy Roberts who contributed 38 of their total of 80 all out, in the allotted 20 overs. Othneil Lewis, left- handed leg spinner, mesmerized the Triumph batsmen to claim 4 wickets for 12 runs. Flow Radcliffe raced to their target

of 81, closing on 84 for 3 in 12.2 overs, with experienced wicket-keeper batsman Lindon James hitting 44 off 22 deliveries. Gidron Pope, back from a hand injury, stroke 31 in his usual busy style. In the other weekend opening encounter, Team Rivals recorded a convincing 118-run win over Victors Two. Team Rivals posted 192 for 7 from 20 overs, with Cosmond Walters recording the season’s first half century, when he hit a scintillating 67 that was laced with 5 sixes and 5 fours. Other good scores came from Hyron Shallow 34, Ronel Jeffery 41 and Adinol Roberts 47. Rasheed Fredricks took 2 for 10 and Deighton Butler 2 for 14. Victors Two made hard work of their quest for victory, using up their allotted 20 overs, but managing only 74 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Tomorrow Saturday, Victors 1 face

Cosmond Walters hit a match-winning 67 for Rivals. Combine Youths at Arnos Vale 2 from 2 p.m; Police play RW Sporting World SVGCC at Sion Hill from 2 p.m, and ASCO face North Leeward at Buccament from 2 p.m On Sunday, Smashers play Victors 2 at Sion Hill at 10 a.m; Combine Youths play Strikers Eagles at Sion Hill at 2 p.m; ASCO play Bequia

Cricket Association at Arnos Vale 1 from 2 p.m; Victors 1 play Triumph United at Arnos Vale 1 from 10 a.m; Flow Radcliffe play Owia Stars at Arnos Vale 2 at 2 p.m; and Team Rivals play Radcliffe Two at Arnos Vale 2 from 10 a.m. I.B.A.ALLEN

Cottoy back on the cricket field

Donwell Hector, captain of the National Select Eleven, accepts the Lennox John Challenge trophy from Lennox John himself.

National X1 wins Exhibition Match THE NATIONAL SELECT ELEVEN beat the President Eleven by 29 runs in the annual Exhibition Match that opened the local cricket season, played last Saturday at the Arnos Vale One Playing Field. In the process, they took the Lennox John Challenge trophy. The National Eleven, led by national player Donwell Hector, batted first and made 164 for 9 from 20 overs. Cosmond Walters topscored with 61, Gidron Pope hit 36 and Jerron John contributed 24. Ray Jordon took 2 for 6 and , Miles Bascombe 2 for 14. The President X, with President of the SVG Cricket Association - Kishore Shallow at the helm, looked threatening at times, but closed on 135 for 7, Miles Bascombe 40, Lindon James 35, and Shallow 26 being their top run-getters. Cosmond Walters 2 for 12, Kenneth Dember 2 for 9, and Jeremy Layne 3 for 6, ensured that the President’s men failed in their run chase. I.B.A.ALLEN

WINDWARD ISLANDS leg spinner Keron Cottoy is happy to be back on the cricket field, following knee surgery that kept him out of cricket for approximately ten months. Cottoy sustained the injury while representing the Windward Volcanoes against Trinidad and Tobago in Trinidad in the 2016 PCL four-day regional competition in 2016. Even though still in rehab, Cottoy had his first opportunity to experience what it feels like to bowl again, when he took part in the exhibition match organized by the SVGCA, to mark the opening of the 2017 local cricket season, last Saturday, at the Arnos Vale playing field. “It was an amazing feeling to be back on the playing field playing among some of the most talented players in the region after a long layoff,” Cottoy said, adding, “I am happy to be bowling again in a competitive game to assess where I am in the recovery process, and so far, I am happy about the progress of my rehab where I am still doing strengthening work.. .” He admitted, “It (the

layoff) was the most horrifying experience being out of cricket for that length of time. The mental part of it was the most challenging for me although the physical demands was a bit difficult because of the pain, but not knowing if I was going to play again was basically playing on my mind. “(But) I have already put 2016 behind me, which was the toughest of my cricketing career due to the injury, and I am now looking forward to continue my cricket career,” Cottoy said with a sense of joy. Before sustaining the injury, Cottoy had enjoyed a successful stint with the the Zoucks in 2015, and was retained for the 2016 CPL but missed out on that tournament due to the injury. He also missed out on representing the Windward Islands for the 2016/17 first class season. Cottoy is currently a third year student at the UWI, Cave Hill, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science. He hopes to use his training and knowledge in this field to highlight the impact noncommunicable disease are having of Caribbean

populations, and to create awareness about how getting involved in physical activities can help their overall health and well-being. He is extremely grateful to the UWI for their support throughout his rehabilitation, and Floyd Reifer, the UWI coach, and the Black Board Sports Programme in Barbados. He also extended gratitude to Denis Byam, his physio while he is in SVG; his coaches, managers, friends, fans and family for the Keron Cottoy, Windward support through the Islands leg spinner, is challenging times. simply over-joyed to be back in action on the I.B.A.ALLEN cricket field.




It’s yesterday once more IT IS IRONIC that last year around this time, Vineyard had some encouragement for the Vincentian duo Gidron Pope and Obed McCoy before their departure to the Under 19 World Cup. West Indies lifted the trophy in typically ebullient Caribbean style after near extermination in the preliminary round. Pope emerged as a spark in a West Indies outfit which galvanised into a formidable and combative outfit. Their triumph came with sound and mature performances unaccustomed to by regional units. The Under 19 team’s success, spurred their senior counterparts. The women took their first global title, then the males had no option but to complete the triangle for their second T/20 World championship. It was unfortunate that McCoy had to return home prematurely owing to an injury. Pope kept his end of the pledge and acted with purpose in an energised regional squad. Fate had it that Pope was unable to take advantage of the platform he afforded himself. He will need to endure an extensive recovery programme to bring back to full throttle. T/20 has endorsed its brand on the global market as the drawing card as far as cricket is concerned. The new authorities in West Indies Cricket will have to speed up measures to find quality batsmen in a short space of time. The rate and age at which players are opting out of the extended version, is evidence of a crisis facing the five-day Test. Good players are hesitant to exert themselves for this long period, when they could complete several games at the T/20 version, time and time again. Everything has its price. Top flight players may eventually find out that the physical demands of the invigorated shortened format, can take its toll on the advancing cricketer. It takes time before some logical approach dawns on some West Indian heroes. It is alarming the level of batting technique in the Caribbean. Once we produced stroke makers of calibre, and that was when coaches were few and far between. Players honed their skills in natural fashion. Currently with the wealth of resource material available, and opportunities to progress visibly exposed, it is pathetic that players are not emerging at the arte to establish themselves at a global scale. We have the ability to handle our affairs in a systematic and cohesive manner, and reclaim our position as world champions. We have to overcome those attempts to divide us. Cricket like the University of the West Indies have to maintain their integrity and regional symbols. Caribbean people have shown that they have mastered the knack of survival. They have overcome their barriers, before and after other spheres of reining them in have become pronounced. It is easy to fan flames of disunity in the Caribbean. There is always a receptive audience keen to add gas to the kerosene, especially if it suits their agenda.

International Track and Field meet for Grenada GRENADA IS POISED to become the latest Caribbean country to add an international track and field meet to its calendar of sports events. The Grenada Informer reported January 6, on the official launch of the event which, it said, is scheduled for April 8, 2017, at the Grenada Athletic Stadium, in capital St. George’s. According to the Informer, five time Olympian Chris Brown from the Bahamas, a member of the Local Organizing Committee for the Grenada Invitational Meet, made the announcement as he addressed government officials, sponsors, athletes and members of the media at the launch, held at the Grenada National Stadium, last week Thursday. According to Brown, the Meet is expected to attract the likes of American sprinter Justin Gatlin, together with quarter milers La Shawn Merritt and Grenadian Kirani James. Confirmation of participation has also come from Kim Collins, of St. Kitts, and David Oliver from the

PM Dr. Keith Mitchell (centre) joins Chris Brown (right) and other members of the Organizing Committee at the launch of the Grenada Invitational Track and Field Meet.

US. Jamaica’s queen of the track Veronica Campbell-Browne is also listed among the big names down to compete at the Meet. Grenadian Michael Boscombe, considered the brain behind the initiative, also addressed the launch and disclosed that the idea for the meet was first broached in October 2015. Since that time, Boscombe said, the Local Organizing Committee has put in extensive work to get to the present point. Boscombe commended Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for “his astuteness,” in helping move the process forward, and a commitment to work with the The Grenada Athletic Stadium will host its committee to ensure

first Invitational Meet in April, 2017.

the realization of the event. Public Relations Officer of the Grenada Athletic Association Kwami Hypolite also endorsed the event and explained that his organization’s role at the invitational entailed providing technical support and the necessary guideline as it relates to the rules and regulations governing events of such a nature. Hypolite expressed the hope that the Meet would serve as a motivating factor for young and aspiring athletes. Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who was also present at the launch, commended Boscombe and his team for their initiative, and pledged his government’s full support in ensuring the success of the event. For the Prime Minister, the meet is as much about showcasing athletes as it is about economic spin-off for the country as a whole.

New CEO for the WIBC THE WEST INDIES CRICKET BOARD (WICB) has appointed Johnny Grave, an Englishman, as its new chief executive officer, following a rigorous recruitment process led by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barbados. Grave joins the organisation with a wealth of experience from both the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) in the UK, where he has been the commercial director for the past nine years and Surrey County Cricket Club, where he held several senior leadership roles. During his time at the PCA, Grave has significantly grown commercial revenue streams, as well as building excellent relationships and partnerships between the players, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and a wide range of commercial organisations. Among the new CEO’s tasks will be developing and delivering the WICB’s strategic plans, and building on the existing

framework started by former CEO, Michael Muirhead. The top priorities for the new CEO will be the management and oversight of the WICB’s US$40 million budget, the creation of new commercial opportunities, helping to drive revenue into the whole game, along with an increased focus on player relations and improved performances on and off the field. President of the WICB, Dave Cameron welcomes the new CEO to the team commenting, “Johnny has a proven track record of success in his career to date and a huge amount of relevant experience and will add exceptional value to the organisation. Johnny was the unanimous choice of the interview panel and clearly shares our vision for the future of West Indies Cricket.” Grave commented, “I am delighted to have been given the honour of becoming the new CEO of the WICB. I am genuinely excited by the opportunity of improving cricket at all levels

within the region and am looking forward to working with the many stakeholders who are committed to the long-term development of West Johnny Grave – Indies New CEO of the cricket.” WIBC. Grave holds an Executive MBA from the Cass Business School in London and is a graduate from the University of Leeds. He is expected to assume his position in February and will be based in Antigua. The position of the WICB CEO was left vacant once Michael Muirhead stepped down on October 14 last year, although he continued in the role until December at the request of the board.





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ELEENA BROWN International Worship Centre Monday 9th January, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Stubbs Gospel Hall According to Diamond Deliverance Assembly Rites Sunday 8th January, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Barrouallie Evangelical Church Saturday 7th January, 2017 3:00 p.m.

ARTIS MAYERS Faith and Life Pentecostal Chateaubelair

Sunday 8th January, 2017 2:00 p.m.

VABCETO BALCOMBE aka Ceto Berean Baptist Church Georgetown Saturday 7th January, 2017 2:30 p.m.

VINCENT DURHAM Apostolic Faith Mission Campden Park Saturday 7th January, 2017 2:00 p.m.

The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines



JANUARY 13, 2017

VOLUME 111, No.02

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LAWYER SEEKS CLARITY IN TERRY’S MATTER Terrance ‘Terry’ Bynoe (pictured) and his lead lawyer, Kay BacchusBaptiste are at a loss with respect to the witnesses he is expected to avoid.

by HAYDN HUGGINS MAGISTRATE BERTIE POMPEY has responded verbally to a letter from attorney Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, seeking clarification on the terms of conditions of bail for her client Terrance ‘Terry’ Bynoe. Bynoe had appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court last Friday, January 6, on charges of trespassing with intent to annoy, and disobeying a court order. Bacchus-Baptiste, who was not present when Bynoe was granted bail, wrote to Pompey on January 6, stating, “I am instructed that at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court today January 6, 2017, upon granting bail to my client, you made certain pronouncements that my client must have absolutely no contact with the witnesses and social media.” The letter continued, “I am concerned about these comments by you, a sitting Magistrate, and wish you please to place, in writing, whether these are mere comments or court directions and/or orders. “I wish you to indicate just

who are the witnesses and also what do you mean by social media. If this is an order of your court, please state the precise terms of your order, since this smacks of an abuse of my client’s constitutional right of freedom of conscience, assembly and association. “I wish your urgent response.”

Magistrate responds Pompey responded to Bacchus-Baptiste’s letter during a sitting of the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, January 10. Neither Bacchus-Baptiste nor any other lawyer involved in the matter was present. However, in the presence of Court Prosecutor, Station Sergeant Elgin Richards, other police officers and this reporter, Pompey acknowledged that he had received Bacchus-Baptiste’s letter (referred) on Monday, January 9. He said that, “In the letter, she (Bacchus-Baptiste) sought to question the court’s authority for imposing

conditions in relation to bail.” The Magistrate pointed out that the conditions he imposed, among other things, were that Bynoe must not contact the virtual complainant or any other witnesses in the matter, whether (1) directly or (2) indirectly by a third party, or by telephone or social media. He stated that, “If counsel is dissatisfied by the conditions I imposed, she has recourse to the Court of Appeal. In the interim, I stand by my decision.”

Pompey’ response unsatisfactory When THE VINCENTIAN contacted Bacchus-Baptiste later that day, she indicated that she would not doubt what he said, since she was not in court when Bynoe was granted bail, but she repeated that she had written to Pompey seeking clarification, based on instructions she had received. She did say, however, that Pompey’s response to her letter still does not say who the witnesses in the matter are.

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

“I still want to know who are these witnesses he (Bynoe) must stay away from. “The Magistrate should supply us with a copy of the witnesses he should stay away from, because if my client does not know who they are, he could be charged with contempt of Court”. Bacchus-Baptiste told this publication the following day that she had called the court office requesting the names of the witnesses and the terms of the bail conditions, and was told to put it in writing, addressed to the Magistrate. Up to press time Wednesday, she was in the process of preparing that letter.

The Charges Bynoe is charged with that on January 5, 2017, did enter upon the property of the Canouan Resort Development Ltd as a trespasser, with intent to annoy, contrary to Section 80 of the Criminal Code, chapter 171 of the revised edition of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2009.

He is also charged with that on January 5, 2017, did unlawfully disobey the Court Order of Suit no 507 of 2000 of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, contrary to section 115 of the Criminal Code, Chapter 171 of the revised edition of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2009. On the charge of trespassing with intent to annoy, Bynoe is charged along with Andrew Foyle, 73, of Canouan. They had pleaded not guilty when they appeared before Magistrate Pompey on January 6, and were each granted $2,000 bail with one surety. Attorney Bayliss Frederick is also representing Bynoe, while Jomo Thomas is representing Foyle. The matter has been adjourned to January 20, and transferred to the Union Island Magistrate’s Court. Bynoe has been in the forefront of an ongoing protest in Canouan, demanding public access to a particular beach.

Printed by the SVG Publishers Inc., Campden Park.

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