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JULY 20, 2012


Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves (center), Venezuelan Ambassador Yoel PĂŠrez Marcano (left) and Mrs. Eloise Gonsalves at the blast off. Right: The first building to make way for the airport.

2. FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012, 2012. THE VINCENTIAN

V The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Managing Editor: Desiree Richards Editor: Cyprian Neehall Consultant: Ben Harrison 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.

From the Editor’s Desk

The Vincentian Diaspora There are far more Vincentians or persons with Vincentian roots living in all corners of the world, than live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They are the Vincentian Diaspora. A simple definition of Diaspora refers to a group of people that for whatever reason are separated from their national territory, away from their ancestral homelands. As a group, they maintain a myth or collective memory of their homeland; regarding it as their true home, to which they will eventually return. It is a place that shapes their identity. Most Vincentians who have left St. Vincent and the Grenadines for other parts of the world, have settled in England, the USA and Canada. When immigrants move to other countries, especially America which is a melting pot of ethnicity and cultures, they are encouraged to blend into a singular national identity. It can become difficult to maintain knowledge of one’s heritage while adopting another country’s culture, traditions, language, and politics, and it risks the loss of homeland identity. THE VINCENTIAN newspaper is the oldest newspaper in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, publishing its first edition in 1899. Its archives, while incomplete, do chronicle over a century of development. Its pages are filled with articles of the good, the bad and the ugly. Our mandate, founded on the principles of freedom of the press and freedom of expression and speech, is to be ‘apolitical’, presenting all points of view. On July 20, 2012, THE VINCENTIAN is launching a new website. It is state-of-the-art, and will reach out globally to the entire Vincentian Diaspora. Our goal, to quote the motto of the New York Times, is to publish “All the news that’s fit to print”. In addition, we will do everything possible to disseminate that news as far and wide as there are people with Vincentian roots interested in their homeland, and to extend a warm welcome to the many people who have neither visited nor yet heard about our little piece of paradise, in the Eastern Caribbean. We do not want to limit our news and information to events and happenings just within St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We feel it is important to share “All the news that’s fit to print” about our families and friends around the world. We urge our global population to communicate with us. Tell us about what is happening and important in your communities, you associations and your personal lives. We will do our best to share your submissions throughout the Vincentian Diaspora. We refer you to the two other articles on this page, to learn more about what our new website will offer and how you can become an integral part of its growth and development. Our goal is to continue to be the historical and cultural archives of our country. Join us in making that happen.


The New Vincentian Website ON JULY 20TH, 2012, we launched THE NEW VINCENTIAN WEBSITE Nine years ago, THE VINCENTIAN launched a stateof-the-art website. Its mandate: To provide an interactive communications link between citizens and residents of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the world-wide Vincentian Diaspora. While our first website was very successful and has attracted readers in over 160 countries and territories, plus thousands of visitors each week, this past decade has seen numerous changes in technology, many of which we have incorporated into our new website. They include, but are not limited to, a number of expanded categories such as: * Current news articles, including Breaking News sent to your email or mobile device as it happens, in text, photos and video— (If you see or read it online, as it happens, it is News; if you read about it in a weekly paper, it is History); Editorial/Columnists/Business/Pol itics/Sports and more.

allowing you to submit Obituaries, In Memoriam Tributes; Births; Weddings; Congratulations and Special Events, all designed to keep your family and friends up to date on important events in your life.

Grenadines, items for sale and wanted; real estate rentals or sales or wanted; and sales and rentals of marine and motor vehicles, just to name a few.

Our goal for the weekly on line edition of The Vincentian, The * For our readers whose primary National Newspaper of St. language is not English, we have Vincent and the Grenadines, provided a feature to translate along with the weekly print editthe English text of the entire ion, that published its first paper into over 50 world paper in 1899, is to be the languages including French, cultural and historical archives Spanish and Chinese. centre for the country, and to interactively exchange current * You can now follow us on Face news and information throughout Book and communicate with us the Vincentian Diaspora. via Twitter. We will do our best to provide you with timely, meaningful news * We have added a YELLOW from and about St. Vincent and PAGES feature to display your the Grenadines; but we need you Business or Professional Services to provide us with timely, information including location, meaningful news and opinions telephone numbers and a link to from and about The Diaspora. * Advice including Dear George your website. Good news or bad news, it affects and a Health Column us all. * A new ‘Reader’ will allow you to WE ARE ALSO COUNTING * Religion convert the entire weekly paper ON THE DIRECT to a PDF file to either read online INVOLVEMENT AND * Entertainment or download and print to a hard PARTICIPATION OF SVG copy. ASSOCIATIONS WORLD WIDE, * Special Features, including AS WELL AS EVERYONE news items from and about the * In our new classified CONNECTED IN ANY WAY TO Diaspora and the Garifuna, as advertising section, you can now ST. VINCENT AND THE well as more photo galleries. submit and/or view, either in your GRENADINES TO HELP US * A special announcement feature local area or in St. Vincent & the ACHIEVE THESE GOALS.

Membership has its privileges WE INVITE YOU to become a Digital Member of “The Vincentian Online.” To keep you totally up-to-date on Vincentian matters, we need to know how to communicate with you. The internet has created a global village. 150 years ago, news could take months and sometimes years to reach friends and relatives. During the last century, that same news could be communicated with an expensive overseas telephone call, and today, with Skype, G-Phone, Face book, Twitter and email, the time line is reduced to seconds. BECOME A MEMBER: Please submit, at no cost to you, your Digital Membership application to “ We guarantee you that your email address will be kept confidential and not be available to anyone other than THE VINCENTIAN newspaper for official

communication. In return, we will send you a monthly newsletter of the previous month’s highlights, as well as information on moneysaving opportunities and events available to members in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the Diaspora. FREE PRIZE DRAW: We will also include your name in a draw for a number of valuable prizes and gift certificates, including the free shipment of a Christmas barrel from Ontario to St. Vincent; gift certificates for dinners for two in some of St. Vincent’s finer dining establishments, and merchandise gift certificates. The draw will take place at the Toronto SVG Association Independence Day Dinner on October 29th, 2012. If you are a winner and are unable to use the prize personally, it would make a wonderful Christmas gift to your family or friends.

EVERYONE WINS: At the end of the day, every participant will be a winner by being a knowledgeable connective link to the global family of Vincentians throughout

the Diaspora. Email address: Your name: Country:


4. FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012, 2012. THE VINCENTIAN


Breaking ground for the Int’l Airport From Page 1. by DAYLE DA SILVA (July 18, 2008) THOUSANDS OF PERSONS descended on the Argyle area last Sunday, July 13, 2008, to witness what will go down as one of the more profound achievements in the history of this country’s development. The historic occasion was the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the official commencement of construction of the much anticipated international airport. CEO of the International Airport Development Company (IADC) Dr. Rudi Matthias’s announcement of the beginning of earth works, scheduled to commence in just over one week, evoked a loud cheer from the appreciative crowd, indicating, in a way, a sigh of relief that marks the end of years of hard work and painstaking negotiation processes. Those present got only but a brief glimpse of the work that will be ongoing over the next few weeks; they watched as the first set of explosives was set off and the demolition of some homes began. Concerning the venture, dubbed ‘A Coalition of the Willing’, Dr. Matthias detailed once more the extensive work done in making the project a reality. In fact, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in his August 8, 2005 speech, noted that financing the construction of an international airport in this country, estimated to cost over EC$500M (USD 185M), was never going to be an easy task, given the economic circumstances. “We worked tirelessly bringing diverse countries to ensure St Vincent and the Grenadines gets an international airport,” Matthias said. Cuba, Venezuela, and Trinidad and Tobago have already come forward for the first phase of the project,

while Taiwan, Austria, Turkey, Malaysia and Canada’s contributions are expected to materialize in the latter stages. Add this to the promise of US 16.5M from the Caribbean Development Fund and the government’s own contribution to finance the purchasing of properties, and all looks set. The project is being viewed as one of great importance in the continued development of the country. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, in his read statement, alluded to this, noting that, with the negative attributes associated with globalization, specifically the removal of preferential treatment for Caribbean primary agricultural products, it has become essential for this country to focus its economy on the tourism sector. In that statement, the twin island Republic’s leader reiterated his country’s support to assisting neighbouring territories, particularly in infrastructure development projects such as this. This was the general sentiment expressed by the countries represented. “This international airport represents fundamental development to commerce, tourism and foreign exchange,” H.E Yoel Perez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic to St Vincent and the Grenadines said in his address. “When Dr. Gonsalves proposed to the Commandant of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, his desire to accomplish this wonderful dream, he didn’t bother to hesitate to give full and complete support of the undertaking,” H.E Marcano explained. All attention now shifts to Argyle, as the next major step begins in fulfilling the vision of the present administration, that of the physical construction.




Celebration time for the ULP.

ULP Three-peats Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and family after casting their vote.

~ on a knife’s edge Almighty God.” According to Dr. (December 17, 2010) Gonsalves, democracy is alive and well in St. THE UNITY LABOUR PARTY Vincent and the (ULP) was returned to Grenadines. “It’s thriving government by the and we’ve all contributed slimmest of margins – immensely to this. So, eight seats to seven – why not celebrate when preliminary counting together?” of votes cast at Monday’s polls was concluded Swing shortly after 11.00PM, on December 13, 2010. Early in the counting “The people have of votes, one of the spoken,” the ULP leader radio/TV commentators, leader Dr. Ralph Corey Sandiford of Gonsalves said in a Barbados, said that from subdued tone less than his analysis of voting an hour after the results patterns in SVG, there were announced. “They needed to be a 5.4% have returned the national swing for the Labour Party for an NDP to win the general historic third term. This elections. is the first time that the The opposition NDP Labour Party is having acquired a 3% increase three successive terms with 47.78% of the votes unbroken. I’m very cast on Monday, pleased to be the one in compared to the 44.45% the position to lead this it acquired with three very great party to this seats in 2005. As important achievement.” predicted by Sandiford, Dr. Gonsalves the increase was not acknowledged on a radio enough to give the NDP and television simultcast victory. from the Electoral Office The ULP obtained that, “This win from a 51.62% of the votes at statistical standpoint is a Monday’s general slim one, but it must be election, a 4% drop from remembered that we the 55.479% it obtained have secured 52% of the at the December 7, 2005 vote. President Obama, it general elections when it was acclaimed that he obtained 12 seats. had a landslide in the The SVG Green Party Presidential elections also obtained a slight with 52%.” increase over its 2005 He also said: “On this showing, moving from occasion, there was a 0.064% to 0.21%. All small swing against us. thirteen of its candidates, We lost the four including leader Ivan ‘marginals’ …. A win is a O’Neal, lost their win, and we will proceed EC$500 dollar deposit. to do our work with the people and the grace of The winners by JEFF TROTMAN

As has become the custom since the 1984 general elections, supporters of the victorious party converged on the main streets throughout mainland St. Vincent, with persons eventually amassing in capital Kingstown where Dr. Gonsalves was met with cavalcades of his supporters clad in anything red. The indications were that the celebrations were subdued in comparison to previous years. Those recording victory for the ULP in the December 13 poll were: Dr. Gonsalves, who retained the North Central Windward Constituency for the fifth consecutive time by a usually large margin; three time winners, Girlyn Miguel (Marriaqua); Montgomery Daniel (North Windward); Clayton Burgin (East St. George); and first time candidates, Frederick Stephenson (South Windward), Maxwell Charles (Central Leeward), Saboto Caesar (South Central Windward) and Senator Cecil McKie (West St. George). The NDP retained the three seats it held in Parliament over the previous two terms: Arnhim Eustace in East Kingstown, Dr. Lorraine Friday (Northern Grenadines) and Terrance Ollivierre (Southern Grenadines). Its four new Parliamentarians are St. Claire Leacock and

Daniel Cummings for Central and West Kingstown, respectively, Nigel Stephenson (South Leeward) and Patel Matthews (North Leeward).

Election observers on the job.




Preliminary Inquiries to be no more

disclosed before a judge, to determine whether (April 08, 2011) there is a case to answer. Williams made it clear “PRELIMINARY INQUIRIES that the new Criminal (PI) would be a thing of the Procedure Code rules, past.” expected to be This is the word from implemented here by Director of Public October 2011, will place Prosecutions (DPP) Colin a significant Williams. He was responsibility on the speaking at the police. conclusion of the His comments were Criminal Assizes on made in the presence of Wednesday, April 06. members of the Police The DPP explained high command, including that the procedure, i.e. Assistant Commissioner the PI before a in charge of crime, magistrate, is expected to Lenroy Brewster, and be replaced by what is Head of the Criminal known legally as ‘a Investigation sufficiency hearing’, in Department (CID), which evidence is Assistant Superintendent by HAYDN HUGGINS

into the DPP’s office, and that the police force as an entity, would have to Police must be ready develop a training division in terms of their The DPP explained record keeping as well as that the new rules would note and statement place more and more taking. challenges as to the way The DPP noted that things operate. He noted 69 inmates at Her that, “From the time a Majesty’s Prisons are person is arrested, the currently awaiting clock starts to tick. You Preliminary Inquiries, (police) must assure that while 41 are awaiting by the time you arrest a trial. The prison person, you are ready to population now stands at commence a trial. All 417. offences are placed on the same level and there Reaction to the new procedure is a time line.” He explained that policemen who prosecute President of the local would be incorporated of Police Wilisford Caesar.

Colin Williams, Director of Public Prosecutions has warned the police that they will need to step up their efficiency to ensure that the new procedures work.

Attorney Kay BacchusBrowne, President of the SVG Bar Association, says the new procedure is coming whether we like it or not.

Bar Association, Kay Bacchus-Browne, thinks that the new system should be more efficient. “A lot of time and resources are wasted in doing a Preliminary Inquiry, so it should be more efficient; but it is definitely coming on stream so we have to get accustomed to it,” Bacchus-Browne said. She noted that St. Lucia was the pilot project. “They did it there first to see how it would operate,” she

explained. The lawyer said she learnt that it works well in terms of money laundering and family matters. She believes, however, that it would take some time to get accustomed to the new procedure. “Whether we like it or not, it is coming; it has been circulated to the various Bars in the OECS, and circulated to all the lawyers,” the Bar president said.

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance outlined the challenges that lie ahead for the National Insurance Services.

PM warns of future NIS concerns by WILLIAM ‘KOJAH’ ANTHONY (January 13, 2012) PERSONS WHO MAKE PAYMENTS to the National Insurance Services will have to ‘fork-out’ a bigger slice of their pay packets, and if Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ words are anything to go by, the increase will be “as soon as possible.” Dr. Gonsalves, in his 2011 Budget Address last Monday, pointed to “generous pension of up to 60 percent of average wages during a worker’s three best years out of the last fifteen years.” He added that the “full impact of the system’s generosity has not been

felt because the NIS is fairly young and current beneficiaries retired well below the sixty percent maximum. “Over the next twenty years however, replacement rates will approach their maximum levels and cash flow will turn negative this year,” Dr. Gonsalves added. He warned that NIS Reserves “could be depleted by 2039 and benefits and administrative expenses will exceed income as early as 2025.’ “Thus to avoid the need for abrupt and disruptive adjustments in the

future, it is of critical importance that we introduce the much needed parametric reforms and contribution rate increase, as soon as possible.” The Prime Minister added that public service pensions were more generous than that of the NIS. And with Civil Servants contributing to the NIS, the Prime Minister alluded to a troubling scenario occasioned by the combination. “This is clearly not a sustainable proposition, and it is paramount that we attempt to integrate the two pension schemes before these

theoretical replacement rates are reached,” Dr. Gonsalves pointed out. “A lasting and sustainable solution requires immediate, bold and decisive action. Procrastination will only compound the problem,” the Prime Minister asserted. He plans action on the situation his year. Some of that work ought to have been done already. But a fire at the Ministry which destroyed data collected by the Population and Housing Census has forced a deferring of the scheduled actuarial review of the operations of the NIS.





The Canouan Jet Port takes on an international air with traffic like these corporate jets.

When Europe and the Caribbean meet, great works of beauty result, eg. the Canouan Jet Port terminal.

Canouan Jet Port in full use Story and photos by DWIGHT PARSONS (September 05, 2008) SUNDAY 11TH JULY, ‘Whitsuntide weekend’, an event took place in the

Grenadines, which changed this country’s aviation landscape. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and the Canouan people opened SVG’s first ever Jet Port, boasting modern travel

conveniences and a 5872 ft runway. Since that eventfulday in July, the Canouan Jet Port has been in ‘full use’. But its very style and design are as impacting

as its use. Two large hangars house the Raffles Resort’s jets; a blue painted modern control tower looms high above otherwise lowlying ground, and a yellow European stucco

styled building with a thatched roof and mahogany shutters serves as the terminal building. Add to this a ramp that can hold up to 12 corporate jets, and a

parking area that accommodates up to twenty such jets, and the Canouan Jet Port is set to go.

Continued on Page 12.





Findlay: First female Supervisor of Elections experience and knowledge, having been a public servant (January 30, 2009) for the past 37 years, during which she served as a SYLVIA FINDLAY spent her first graduate teacher. official day on the job as the And she is no stranger to newly appointed Supervisor of administrative positions and Elections, on Wednesday last. controversy either, and she Her first day followed a referred to the comments week or so of detailing herself made after her appointment as with the basic requirements the principal of the Bethel and conditionalities associated High School, in 2001. with her new post. She has experience in the The former educator is the trade union movement, having first female to be appointed to been a member of the that position; but she says Teachers’ Union when the that she is anything but daunted by the prospects of criticism and controversy that may accompany her new role. “I have no illusions of the seriousness and responsibility by HAYDN HUGGINS placed on me,” Findlay said as she took the oath of office on (December 18, 2009) Monday, January 26. She told THE MOTIONS FILED IN THE HIGH VINCENTIAN that she is COURT challenging the ready and willing to ensure constitutional validity of the that the responsibilities that Proceeds of Crime and Money have been bestowed upon her Laundering (Prevention) Act are carried out in a manner, in 2001 have been defeated. which the democracy of the The claimants, Winston country is to be preserved. Robinson of Bermuda, Kent “I have a very awesome Andrews of Trinidad and responsibility; that of a very Tobago and Vincentian treasured valueAntonio ‘Que Pasa’ Gellizeau, such is the democracy of the lost the legal battle against country,” she stated. the Attorney General (AG) last “I wish to assure the people week Thursday when High that, as I take up office, I will Court Judge Frederick Brucecontinue to uphold the high Lyle dismissed the claims. standards. I will not lower In handing down the my standards,” Findlay said. judgement, Justice Bruce-Lyle “I seek to be transparent to declared, “The Court must ensure that the electoral satisfy itself that the process takes its course,” defendant has benefited from Findlay promised, adding, “I the offences of drug know what the job requires, trafficking, or from any and intend to work with staff relevant offence as the case to carry out the job.” may be. Should society be left She told THE to the vagaries of those who VINCENTIAN that she want to involve in these intended to lead by example. dangerous illegal activities? Findlay said that she is not Should they be allowed to taking anything for granted, operate freely and with and is not bringing any impunity and be cloaked with presumptions; instead, she constitutional protection over remains humble, saying that and above that of society at she intends to earn the respect large? I say a resounding No!” of the people. The judge ruled, “The motions before us are flawed A track record of service and with their attack on the commitment Proceeds of Crime Act. There is no breach of the protection She brings a wealth of by DAYLE DA SILVA

battle was on for teachers’ rights, including maternity benefits and a collective bargaining agreement. In fact, Findlay served in the capacity of General Secretary and First Vice President of the Union, and also worked with the Caribbean Union of Teachers (C.U.T). Her professional experience extends into her work with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) where she did a 14-year stint from 1981-1995.

In between her professional life, Findlay says that she finds time to be committed to her church and to her beloved community of Barrouallie, where she has been a resident since the age of 6, when her parents moved back to St Vincent after a brief time Left: Sylvia Findlay taking the oath of office of the Supervisor of in Curacao. Driven by her sense of Elections. professionalism, honesty, “If there are slip ups, I have to transparency and objectivity, take responsibility.” she was not afraid to admit:

Constitutional motions defeated of the law.” The judge stated that, “In light of the prevailing submissions and flaws which to my mind are fatal to the three claims as they stand, I dismiss the claims without further ado. Each party to bear its own cost.”

Background Trinidadian Senior Counsel Theodore Guerra along with local attorneys Kay BacchusBrowne and Stephen Williams, representing the claimants, had brought the motions against the AG in January this year challenging the Act. The AG was represented by Trinidadian Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson and local crown counsel Michelle Fife. The actions stemmed from charges laid against Robinson, Andrews and Gellizeau in connection with the April 5, 2008 seizure of US$1.7 million on the yacht ‘Jo-Tobin’ at Calliaqua. The men have been charged under the Act with bringing the money into the country, deemed the criminal proceeds of another. They are also accused of concealing the cash. The matter was scheduled to commence before Chief Magistrate Sonya Young at the Serious Offences Court on October 6 but was adjourned

indefinitely pending the outcome of the constitutional matter. Gellizeau was charged several months after charges were laid against Robinson and Andrews. But before he was charged, as a result of the charges laid against the others, he was restrained from transferring, selling, parting with or changing all realizable property or assets owned or controlled by him whether in his name or not, whether solely or jointly owned or held and whether located in or out of this country.

The motion The three claimants had each brought a constitutional motion alleging that provisions of section 1(C) and section 6 (2) (B) of the constitution were being contravened in relation to their fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution and sought redress in accordance with section 16. Gellizeau had filed an additional motion alleging that the provisions of section 37 and 38 of the constitution giving the powers to make laws amongst other things are being and are likely to be contravened in relation to him. The AG’s lawyers argued that the claimants could only

Justice Bruce-Lyle ruled with a resounding NO! proceed under section 16 or by extension, section 16 (3) of the constitution pursuant to section 6 (2) (B) without more. The lawyers also submitted that the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 2001 as well as the respective Bills of 2002 and 2005 were all passed in compliance with the standing orders of the House of Assembly, so that section 38 of the constitution does not apply to those Acts but to the process of changing the constitution. When Bacchus-Browne was contacted on Wednesday, she told THE VINCENTIAN she had just received a copy of the judgement and is yet to examine it.




SVG flag flies high in Philly

by NELSON A. KING In NEW YORK (November 26, 2010) LAST FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2010, was clearly a special day in the lives of all Vincentians, at home and in the Diaspora, particularly for nationals residing in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a seven-year struggle, the blue, green and gold colors of the national flag are now officially on display in Philadelphia, the ‘City of Brotherly Love’. The City finally acquiesced to the wishes of some very adamant Vincentians by allowing the national flag to be hoisted officially on the popular Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Vincentian flag was raised, along with 19 other national flags from around the world, including two other Caribbean countries — Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Kitts and Nevis — at an official ceremony, downtown Philadelphia. Twelve executive members of the Philadelphia-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP), as well as Deputy New York Consul General, Cyril ‘Scorcher’ Thomas, and hundreds of Vincentians, were on hand to witness the historic event. Other dignitaries included Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter,

Dopwell, said though it was a cold day, her heart was “hot.” “I will never forget that proud day, especially watching and listening to 11Elation all round year-old Cristina Artis of SVGOP Youth Group perform her “On August 23, 2009, part of ‘This Land is we had a Vincy Day in My Land’,’” she added. Philly, at which 50,000 Patsie Philip, who people were present, while they honoured us. hails from Park Hill, said it was the greatest day in On November 7, 2009 SVGOP honored me. On her life, adding that she was filled with “goose October 31, 2010 COSAGO (the Brooklyn- bumps.” “Cordice, you did it!” based Council of St. said Philip, who had Vincent and the taken her PhiladelphiaGrenadines’ born daughter, Dr. Loni Organizations, U.S.A., Philip, a HarvardInc.) honored me. But nothing I have ever done, educated college nothing I have ever seen, professor and research scientist, to the event. was as beautiful and “It’s a done deal,” said wonderful [as the Vincy Rohan Pierre, who had flag-raising],” said an accompanied Cordice to elated James Cordice, the ceremony. “Now, we the Clare Valley-born are officially home.” SVGOP president, who was in the vanguard in the unrelenting push for The Struggle the official raising of the Vincy flag. The drive for the “It was the most historic Vincy flagmystical, hair-raising, raising started in 2003, humbling experience when Cordice, who was that I have ever then SVGOP’s Education experienced,” he added. Committee chair, made “That Friday was the the request in a letter to Best Friday of my life!” the Philadelphia City he continued. “As a Council. matter of fact, it was the Cordice said the best thing that I have petition was rejected in done, the best charge I each successive year, have ever led, the very including the years after best result I have ever he became president in garnered from any 2005. project.” Perhaps, tired of Arlette DopwellCordice’s insistence, the James, SVGOP vice City Council finally president and sister of capitulated this year, popular radio personality resulting in the historic Ferrand ‘Randy D’ feat.

Philadelphia council woman Jannie Blackwell, and Vincentian-born Yeadon Borough council woman Deborah Robinson Howell.

Members of SVGOP and other Vincentians strike a happy pose after the flaghoisting ceremony.

James Cordice, President of SVGOP, spearheaded the drive to have the SVG flag flown on the Benjamin Franklyn Parkway. Right: The St. Vincent and the Grenadines flag flies proudly on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.




‘Not wasting time on a spliff’ Bold move in ganja case have the drug tested than what the Court may have (April 21, 2011) imposed as a fine. He pointed out that the PROSECUTOR INSPECTOR public interest test is a ADOLPHUS DELPLECHE requirement under the (LLB) may have sent a clear prosecutor’s code. message to his colleagues “There are two tests: on Monday, April 17, when the evidential test and the he opted not to proceed public interest test. Even against a man charged with if it passes the evidential possession of one marijuana test, it still has to pass the cigarette, commonly called public interest test,” ‘a bomb’ or ‘spliff’. Inspector Delpleche Rohan Edwards of Rose explained. Bank pleaded not guilty to Attorney Grant the charge when he Connell, who represented appeared before Chief the accused, told THE Magistrate Sonya Young VINCENTIAN, “I got to at the Serious Offences salute Inspector Delpleche Court. for withdrawing the However, when the charge. It is time we stop issue of bail arose, wasting judicial time and prosecutor Delpleche told police time by arresting the Court, “We are someone with one ‘spliff’. withdrawing, I am not Once there are no fighting up with no one aggravating factors, the bomb of cannabis insignificant amount of (marijuana).” marijuana could be just destroyed.” Public interest test Connell said that it made no sense arresting Speaking with THE that person, keeping and VINCENTIAN later, feeding him/her for what Inspector Adolphus he says is a piece of herb Delpleche said the matter that has no weight or had not passed the public value. He added that if a interest test. He noted person pleads not guilty, that it would have cost that insignificant amount tax-payers more money to of drug has to be tested, by HAYDN HUGGINS

which carries the cost factor even further. No station bail for a ‘spliff’ Delpleche’s decision to withdraw the charge came about a week after the Chief Magistrate bonded a 17-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to possession of one marijuana cigarette. Connell, who had represented the young lady, said that before his client was taken to court on Monday, April 11, she was held for the entire weekend at the Central Police Station, stripsearched and kept in a holding area with seven men. He disclosed that he has written to the Commissioner of Police concerning the treatment of his client, and the issue of persons charged with possession of one marijuana cigarette being denied station bail. “Police have more serious issues to address than to waste time arresting a man for a ‘spliff’. We cannot allow the first world (developed

Canouan Jet port in full use Continued from Page 8. History Canouan Jet Port find its genesis in a 1974 dirt strip, opened by Sir James Mitchell, then Premier of St. Vincent. A decade or so This departure lounge with its informal but secure later, the airstrip atmosphere, could well be unmatched in the Caribbean. was paved with the help of the In between the number of passengers Canadians, but another readying themselves to scheduled flights from decade would elapse outside of SVG and fly to Puerto Rico. before the construction those from mainland St. The American Eagle of a terminal and the staff is busy checking in Vincent, charters slip in laying of a 3600 ft the passengers for flight and out. runway. And as though 5059, and in the area of Interestingly, local to remain in sync, it was the duty free shop, there people — Grenadines another decade before it is a lady, Nelicia people — are among the was developed again Haddaway Herbert, crowd traveling on any (2008), this time to given day. introducing herself as accommodate In all, on that the airport manager. intercontinental She bids “Good particular Saturday, private/business/corpora morning” to the some 245 persons te jets. headed out of the travelers, visitors and Canouan Jet Port. locals alike. She Operations A brief chat with the inquires of the visitors flight crew of American whether they had a Saturdays are usually “nice holiday” and urges Eagle 5059 has the busy at the airport. them to pass on the captain admitting that On one particular this is one of his message about their Saturday there were visit to SVG. The report favourite airports. Need three American Eagle is that this is part of the we say more? flights and quite a manager’s daily routine.

Attorney Grant Connell says police have more serious things to do than to ‘lock up’ a man for a ‘spliff’.

Prosecutor Inspector Adolphus Delpleche did not waste the court’s time or the state’s money.

countries) to be moving on, producing marijuana for medicinal purposes, while we are manufacturing young criminals from

marijuana, because of the law,” the lawyer continued. Call for decriminalization

Connell has been consistent in his position on the marijuana issue. Other lawyers have also voiced their opinions in the past on the issue of charging persons with possessing small portions of marijuana, arguing that it was a waste of judicial time and resources. During his tenure as Magistrate, former Attorney General (AG) Carlyle Dougan Q.C told a packed court room on April 11, 2005, “Nobody is going to get me sending people around there (jail) for smoking a little ‘spliff’. Dougan had also expressed the view that it was time for the Ralph Gonsalves government to decriminalize marijuana.

Relocation of the Argyle Petroglyphs possible by SHIMRON DANIEL (January 21, 2011) IT IS POSSIBLE TO RELOCATE the petroglyphs located at Yambou/Argyle. This is the assurance from Abu El Dardaa Abuzaid, Head of Mission of the Egyptian Petroglyphs at Yambou/Argyle. Archaeological, invited to advise on the Inset: Abu El Dardaa Abuzaid, Head of matter by National Trust Authority the Egyptian Mission. of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “It is possible to relocate, but with the images appeared clearer.” time to study and (to) come up with a The Trust also confirmed the plan as to how to execute,” Abuzaid told findings of these new petroglyphs and THE VINCENTIAN during a break at a spoke of their relocation. They are lecture session, Tuesday 18th January, expected to be “relocated to the Escape 2011, held at the National Insurance site.” Services Conference Room, Kingstown. However, the Trust cautioned that, Evidence to support the relocation of unlike the undertaking involving the the petroglyphs was given with Abu Simbul temple which was reference to the moving of the Abu constructed with limestone and Simbul temple in Egypt, a US$40m therefore was relatively easy to cut, undertaking completed in 1968. In that “our rock is of basalt from the volcanic undertaking, the stones were cut in lava flow which makes it harder and order to be transported to an possibly more difficult to work with.” alternative site, before becoming one The Egyptian team was scheduled to again. leave the state yesterday, Thursday, The Mission has also made January 20, but they anticipate a interesting and new findings at the return in two months, when they will Yambou/Argyle site. According to two begin the task of relocating the other members of the visiting Egyptian petroglyphs. team, Khaled Saad and Mustafa Rezk Ibraheem, “We also found a small petroglyph with a complete face but which is faded. One has to be close to see, but when wet it can be seen more clearly seen.” Information from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust, states “The visiting team did an inventory at the site where the stones were cleared to get a better view, after which Archaeologists at Yambou/Argyle site .



Youth Fishing boats in action.

Bequia Regatta:

Truly Bigger and Better (April 17, 2009)

closely observed. Bequia Pride, built and EASTER WEEKEND saw a skippered by Arnold Hazell, remarkable achievement for the was amongst the favourites Grenadine island of Bequia and after her strong showing in its all-volunteer Sailing Club. Tobago’s regatta earlier in A record-smashing 50 February; but breakdowns and yachts, together with 30 local light winds on Monday double-enders, turned out to challenged not only Bequia take part in the weekend’s Pride, but many of the other racing. The yacht attendance boats in the double-ender fleet. marked an increase of over Overall winner in the 28 ft 10% from last year’s record, class was Lightning. which not only makes Bequia’s Irie, the new boat in the Regatta the biggest meet for 18ft Class, built by Orbin yachts in the entire southern Ollivierre and owned and Caribbean, but also the only skippered by David Taylor, regatta in the region to have took Overall First in that seen an increase in their class, but the result might attendance over 2008 figures. have been even closer if Bequia Regatta clearly has a Tornado had been able to winning formula with wide complete the race on appeal! Saturday! All who started completed Double-enders brave the safely, just in time for the winds Grand Prize Giving at Gingerbread Hotel where Sir The local double-enders that James Mitchell and Dr. raced for three days in the Godwin Friday gave opening Easter weekend came from addresses and were on hand to Bequia, Canouan and award the prizes. Carriacou, and the 30- boat fleet, ranging from 12ft to 28ft Yachts galore!! in size, enjoyed a huge following as the fortunes of not On the yacht side of the one but three new boats were Regatta, the fifty entries were

Sandcastle Competition in Friendship Bay.

Crazy Craft race in Friendship Bay

this year divided into five Classes. Nothing could stop the super-fast Melges 24 Caraibes Greement in Racing Class running away with three wins to take Overall First. In Cruising I Class, Bequia Regatta newcomer Acadia, a Freres 48 from the USA, beat out longstanding Bequia champion Petit Careme into overall Second. Cruising II overall honours went to another USA boat, Appleseeds, returning for a second year, determined to improve on his overall Second placing in Bequia in 2008. In the weekend’s three-race series for the Surprises, Padig, skippered by Vianney Saintenoy, was the Class Overall winner in the Regatta, with only one point separating him from second-placed ONLY and third placed Clipper’s Ship.

Clean Fun Yachts came from near and far in the Caribbean, and from the USA, Canada, Germany and the UK to be in Bequia for the Regatta. And it wasn’t only competing boats that thronged the harbour in Admiralty Bay. An estimated one hundred additional yachts came to Bequia to see the legendary local boat races, follow the yachts races or simply enjoy being in Bequia at Easter. The Regatta also attracted a record number of visitors to the island, with virtually all of the accommodation fully booked. Everyone declared it was the best Regatta ever, with eager spectators lining the race starts and finishes, and fun for all the family at the everpopular Sandcastle Competition and Crazy Craft Race on Easter Sunday in Friendship Bay. The all—volunteer Bequia Sailing Club came in for universally high praise for its organization and smooth running of the Regatta, and received many promises to

Lightning Fleet

return in 2010 in even greater numbers. Main sponsors for the 2009 Regatta were Heineken (St. Vincent Brewery), Mount Gay and Pepsi (Bottlers Ltd.), The SVG Ministry of Tourism, Mountain Top Water,

Tradewinds Cruise Club, the Frangipani Hotel, Windward Island Plantation and C. K. Greaves.

(Contributed by Nicola Redway, Secretary Bequia Sailing Club)




Carice is Miss SVG 2012 the crowd were hyped, anxiously awaiting to June 8, 2012 hear Terranza announced Queen. THE MISS SVG 2012 Others stood undecided PAGEANT, June 02, and unmoved. attracted the usual large Ms. Jovonne John was numbers of expectant announced 2nd runnerpatrons. up. And when Terranza The show promised was announced 1st the delivery of passion runner-up, her and brilliance, and may supporters reacted with have delivered on same; disbelief. Carice but it was the announced Glasgow was announced results, the likes of Miss SVG 2012. which have not been seen or heard here recently, Carice’s performance which evoked the most reaction. Carice had won the Contestant Terranza Interview segment. But Franklyn was announced moreso, her performance winner of the Swimwear, throughout the show was Talent and Evening a lesson in consistency. Wear segments. She was From her also adjudged Ms. Introduction, she Photogenic and the Most presented herself with Community-Spirited confidence. She looked contestant. Many among by GLORIAH…

great in her green swimsuit that did well to accentuate her curves and her poise and carriage. The ‘Note’ she sang ‘to God’ for her talent, an impassioned plea for understanding and faith to hold up after tragedy, enhanced by her stage props and video clip, showed her true talent. The ‘Red Explosion’ which she wore as her Evening Wear, justly complemented both her figure and her personality. Her poise and elegance were clearly indicative of queenly composure. Carice literally aced the Interview segment. Her response was the embodiment of excellent content, diction, and

fluency; fuelled by an ever-staying confidence.

a high standard. It was clear from the ‘get go’ that the ladies were Terranza’s performance ready to give the audience a show of Terranza’s entire worth. performance was a study The introductions out in self-confidence. Her of the way, contestants Swimwear boasted a made their first judged perfect fit which her appearance in figure made easy. Her Swimwear. This is one Talent performance was of the segments that a funny and effective really gives the audience enactment of a woman’s a true picture of the reflections as she waited contestants. The ladies for a bus. Her Evening showed suits that were Wear was different; it well fitted and colourwas exotic, with a flair. appropriate. Tarranza interviewed This year’s Talent reasonably well, holding performances have seen on to that defining a climb in the standard confidence, and standing from some previous tall with it. years. At least, it was not saturated with Performance overview monologues. Contestants like The entire show was of Jolene Bentick, Shanique

Browne, Carice Glasgow and Kendra Homer chose to do complete renditions in song. Aziza Williams accompanied some of her singing with music from a grand piano. That was excellent. The two monologues done by Terranza Franklyn and Jovonne John had good content and were well done. Dieta Tucker stood alone in the playing of pan, a performance that could have been better executed. The Evening Wear segment saw a number of gowns with more or less the same designing ideas, with figurehugging tops and fish tail bottoms. There was also a high concentration

Continued on Page 22.





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V Patriarch Cosmore Mathias Pompey passes



skill as a tailor, and excelled in this field. He tailored all of his clothes and his spiritual garments among them, his Archbishop’s cope and mitre. He was a hardworking farmer, baker and also operated a retail business in Overland from the mid 60s, a business now trading as ‘Cosmel Groceries’, and managed by his son.

From Minister to Patriarch

Patriarch Cosmore Mathias Pompey. the most northerly village of St. Vincent, Fancy, but moved to Overland around the age (February 19, 2010) of 10. Having completed his HIS EMINENCE MOST REV. education at the Fancy, COSMORE MATHIAS Sandy Bay and Byrea POMPEY OM MO, Supreme primary schools, he then Head of the Spiritual went on to acquire the Baptist Archdiocese, and the Lord’s Anointed Holy Patriarch of the Faith, died at his home in Overland on Thursday 11th February 2010, at the age of 76. Patriarch Pompey Cosmore Pompey with wife Mona was born in Pompey. by The RT. REV. BISHOP MELFORD M. POMPEY (Son)

Patriarch Pompey married Mona Pompey, nee Franklyn, on the 27th December 1962. His wife gave birth to all of his five children, in the order: Rt. Rev. Bishop Melford Pompey, Manager of Garifuna Radio; Prudence in Canada; Esther, Managing Director of Sunshine Pre School; Cornelius, a police officer in the Cayman Islands; and Jestina in Tortola. Patriarch Pompey became an active member of the Spiritual Baptists in 1955. He was made a Minister in 1967 and a Marriage Officer in 1973. Upon the death of Archbishop, His Beatitude Percival Dick in 1984, he was elected Archbishop, Primate and Supreme Head of the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese on the 20th January 1985. He served in these capacities until the 22nd March 2009 when he was elevated to the position of the Lord’s Anointed Holy Patriarch of the Faith. His elevation came on the day when the St. Mary’s Spiritual Baptist Cathedral, which he founded, celebrated its 50th Anniversary. He remained Supreme head of the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese until the time of his death. Patriarch Pompey also carried the spiritual titles of Shepherd, Leader, Teacher and Pointer. As a gifted Pointer of souls, he had many spiritual children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and abroad. He traveled

Patriarch Cosmore Pompey (2nd fom left) participating in an ecumenical service. throughout the Caribbean and internationally, representing the Spiritual Baptists, and from all reports, gave a good account of himself, and was well loved by everyone. Through it all, he remained humble.

Special occasions and the man Special mention Ministers from the Caribbean in celebration with must be made of Patriarch Pompey. two significant actions in Patriarch husband and wife. and loving grand-father, Pompey’s ministry. In 2006, the State a wonderful and When Patriarch Pompey recognized his trustworthy brother, a commenced his calling as contribution to the sincere and cherished a Minister of the Gospel, people of St. Vincant the father-in-law, a loving the first baby he Grenadines, and issued and well-rounded family dedicated was his fourth him a diplomatic man, a giant and devoted child, Cornelius Pompey; spiritual leader, a nation passport. when he closed his book Patriarch Pompey was builder, a community as a marriage Officer, he indeed a faithful and icon, a role model, a joined his first child stalwart, a pioneer, an committed husband, a Melford to Chermar, responsible and caring unsung hero. pronouncing them father, a kindhearted His Eminence, His Excellency Most Rev. Cosmore Mathias Pompey OM MO — A TRUE PATRIARCH will be laid to rest on Monday 22nd February 2010. The funeral service will take place at the St. Mary’s Spiritual Baptist Cathedral at Overland from 1:00pm. The body will lie at the church from 9:00am for viewing; interment will be at the Overland Cemetery. Pompey presiding over the marriage of his son Rest in Peace. Melford and daughter-in-law Chemar.

V Metrocint turns 40 and shows appreciation 22. FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012. THE VINCENTIAN


(January 09, 2008)

WHEN THE ONCE-IN-ALIFETIME occasion presents itself to celebrate forty years of accomplishment and service, it is only right that the thrill be shared with those who have made the occasion possible. So, on Wednesday 31st 2009, on the exact day it turned forty, Metrocint General Insurance Company Ltd. threw a galore ‘Appreciation Day’ for its loyal clients. In the words of one client, “It was a time to be happy.” From the time the doors opened at the regular opening hour of 8:00 am, persons, some surprised some with formed anticipation, streamed into the Metrocint’s Paul’s Avenue Headquarters, where they were greeted by a more-than-usual welcoming Managing Director, Desiree Richards, and her staff. And so the stream continued well into the working day with nothing but expressions of gratefulness saturating the atmosphere — created by both Metrocint persons and moreso among the hundreds who have found it advantageous to be served by the first indigenous Insurance Company in SVG.

The day’s talk, and there was lots of it, was punctuated with frequent mention of its founder, Egerton ‘Uncle Metro’ Richards, as would have been expected, given the reverence with which he and his memory are still held. “The legacy continues. Ms Richards will see to it,” expressed one overtly merry customer as he proudly displayed the polo shirt he had received in appreciation of his business. “This one is for ‘Metro’,” shouted another as he hastily put a glass of wine to his anxious lips. All in all, it was a day of good cheer, merriment and camaraderie: acquaintances were renewed, new ones made; and staff let their hair down and learned to appreciate their customers in a new light. At the end of the day, there was nothing left to say but to wish Metrocint another forty years of success, a sentiment which one customer summed up

Egerton ‘Uncle Metro’ Richards Founder of Metrocint General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Desiree Richards (2nd from left), Managing Director with satisfied Metro customers. with: ‘I will be there with Metrocint to make sure we there again in

2048.” Need we say more? (SR)

Carice is Miss SVG 2012 Continued from Page 14. on the use of sheer material and the subtle showing of ‘skin’. The contest had actually come down to attributes like fit, style and elegance to decide on a winner. Terranza’s ‘blue sea’ creation naturally stood out, as it represented a difference. The Interview also showed improvement. No one could say that a number of contestants made ridiculous blunders, leaving Vincentians with funny clichés that would be remembered for years to come. While some persons strayed a bit from their focus, none was way-out.

A touching moment

The young and not so young find Metrocint services affordable and reliable.

A moment of ‘terror’ offered up the opportunity for the contestants to demonstrate the camaraderie that had been built among them. When contestant Ms. Shanique Browne missed a step while descending a stairway at the back of the stage, and fell unceremoniously, all the other contestants, already front stage, ran to her and gave her a hand to get back on her feet. Shannique was able to smile, even chuckle, at what had happened. The ladies had put on a very good show.




Culture The New Kingstown Chorale and Starlift Steel Orchestra in sync..

Vernon Coombs: Conductor and arranger.

Oh what a night – a pan-tastic night! (December 23, 2009)

pellucid demonstration of dexterity by the pannists, OH WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS, both senior and junior, the mid December, 2009, at the blending of the melodious Arnos Vale Playing Field. voices coupled with a The occasion was setting that befitted an Starlift Steel amphitheatre, where the Orchestra’s Show dubbed, acoustics were near to ‘Celebrate with Starlift heavenly, it wasn’t long and Friends’. into the show that the With almost capacity crowd impeccable organisation, would realize that this near perfect execution, was going to be an

occasion of high quality music and entertainment. The appreciative crowd, seated in the Michael Findlay Pavilion, was wrapped in attention as pan, brass, voices, and piano, blended into angelic harmony. Starlift Juniors and Seniors, the New Kingstown Chorale, Cantemus, a Police Band

Brass Ensemble, Saxophonist extraordinaire Syl McIntosh, Japanese pianist Sachi Yamada, vocalists Ricky Bowman and Gideon James, separate acts, in combinations of one sort or the other, made for a new page in the history of music in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

aficionado, Earl Paynter, joined in the chorus of commendations. “The Such was the nature of show was just fantastic,” the night that superlatives he said. were exhausted - patrons Pan arranger and were simply lost in finding calypsonian Sonny Banks words to verbalize the thought that he had never magic of the moment. experienced a show of that One patron, Desmond nature, ever in St. Vincent Telesford’s assessment of and the Grenadines. the show was, “It was a “What I like too about great show; everything the show was the was perfect.” performance of the Former St. Vincent and juniors. I feel it for the the Grenadines, parents who will see that Windwards and Combined the children are really Islands off spinner, involved in something that Stanley ‘Gunny’ Hinds is great, and that will just remarked, maybe mindful be encouragement to keep of the much touted them involved in the art financial squeeze, “I got form,” Sonny Banks said. every cent of my $50 and “It was just a great show”, more. The show was just he summarized. fantastic.” The first of its kind Vincent ‘Killa’ musical extravaganza in Hadaway, in his usual St. Vincent and the jovial style, while exiting Grenadines came to an the venue, remarked that end at 10:58 pm with a he was looking for the musical send-off in true door-keepers to give them Caribbean style, against a some additional monies, background of a colourful having been thoroughly fireworks display. bloated with what Starlift And as organizers had and Friends had to offer promised, there was a on their musical menu. prompt 8:00 pm start - not Canadian based typically Vincentian some Vincentian, Ian Hypolite, may say, but this was said: “It was the best Satrlift, a forty-two year organised show I have old ‘institution’ not just been to in St. Vincent and changing the bar, but the Grenadines, and I raising it to heights for come back home twice others to aspire. every year, everything just It was, for the hundreds flowed smoothly. I of patrons, an opportunity applaud the organizers for not just to share in history a quality show.” but more importantly, to Long serving Calypso be an integral part of judge and music making history. Let the people speak





Talking tax with the Comptroller

by KENVILLE HORNE (May 25, 2012) KELVIN POMPEY has been employed at the Inland Revenue Department for over 16 years now. Seven years ago he was given the power to administer the income tax and licensing laws in SVG, when he was appointed to the position of Comptroller of Inland Revenue. Pompey recently sat down with THE VINCENTIAN for an exclusive interview to discuss, among other things, the amnesty on interest for unpaid taxes, and the Department’s effort in collecting other taxes.

Kelvin Pompey, Comptroller of Inland Revenue, says his Department has a heart ,but it must enforce the law.

be an increase in numbers.” And to encourage use The amnesty of the amnesty, Pompey disclosed that his Pompey explained department was “beefing that the objective of the amnesty is to get persons up our public relation in to become compliant with terms of advertising the whole amnesty and their tax requirement and to offer some relief to getting the message out.” those in debts. He revealed that there VAT were arrears of $221 In addressing the million, computed as situation as it relates to $154 million in taxes, the VAT, Pompey said $77 million in interest that there are and$10 million in compliance problems in penalties. The amnesty or waiver this area. He highlighted what on income tax reads as follows: 100% interest on seems to be an ongoing penalties for years before problem, where 1998; 80% for 1998-2000; businesses are not giving their customers receipts 70% for 2001- 2003; and invoices. This, he 60%for 2004-2007; 50% explained, “is creating a for 2008-2010. problem for the auditors As far as arrears on when they visit the property tax is businesses to verify what concerned, a waiver of the true payments were 80% is being offered for and what the VAT the period 1994 to current assessment year. should have been.” Towards addressing Additionally, all accounts with balances of this breach in procedure, Pompey said, “We less than $ 100 will be (Inland Revenue written off. Department) will be Persons had until 22nd May, 2012 to get up running a lottery over the next couple of to date months, to encourage persons to ask for and to Response to the keep their receipts.” amnesty Persons will be encouraged to place their When asked about VAT receipts in specially defaulters’ response to marked barrels, to be the amnesty, Pompey admitted, “The response located at the Hational Lotteries Authority is not what I anticipated,” adding, “We headquarters and the have had a meeting with Inland Revenue Office. A draw will be made, tax practitioners, and and winners will be they have stated that a lot of their clients wish to awarded prizes, to include cash prizes. go to the bank to This ‘giveaway’, organize loans, and that Pompey hopes, will takes time. So, we anticipate that there will encourage “customers to

demand their receipts since, under the law, once a person purchases an item, they should be given a receipt.”

Challenges – Warning to defaulters While describing his Department as one that administers the tax laws “with a heart,” the Comptroller warned that those who decide they are not going to pay their taxes, “will feel the consequences.”

Continued on Page 29.

V KINGSTOWN CHORALE raises the bar




The New Kingstown Chorale in action.

(December 22, 2011) MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS across SVG were nothing short of elated, as the New Kingstown Chorale presented their Christmas Concert under the theme ‘Let Heaven and Nature Sing’. On two nights this week, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st December, at the Peace Memorial Hall, the Chorale, world renowned for their sterling musical performances, celebrated not only the ‘birth of Jesus’, but the spirit of music, the universal language. As expected, the concert was well patronised and the stage was set for a beautiful evening of music, Tuesday 20. For the next two and one half hours or thereabout, the audience was transported down memory lane, as the songs echoed many of the favourite and traditional things about Christmas. Under the capable hands of Director Mrs. Jeanne Horne, the evening featured some of Hairouna’s best artistes. Taking center stage were not only the New Kingstown Chorale, but members of the La Gracia Dance Troupe, Young Dynamic Chorale Voices, Sean Sutherland and a band comprised of some of St. Vincent’s best musicians. A

and this idea was captured in one of the renditions by the Male Voices in the song ‘Mary Did You Know’. The transition into the Celebration The journey of Jesus the King was ushered in with a song by the Dynamic ‘Let Heaven and Nature Chorale Voices and concluded sing’ opened with a fanfare with a rousing performance by composed by the founder of the the New Kingstown Chorale of Chorale, Mr. Patrick Prescod. the song ‘Let Heaven and This set the bar. Subthemes Nature Sing’. of the programme highlighted After the Intermission, the “The Angels sang,’ and each theme focused on a time of song in this section told the celebration, and featured more story of the Angels foretelling contemporary genres of music. the Joy to come into the world. Selections from a Steel Pan The following themes, Ensemble helped to change ‘Mother and Child’ and the focus, and a crowd ‘Rejoice and Sing’ focused on favourite was a vocal duet, Mary and the birth of Jesus, Andrea Gaymes and Addison Sutherland, who rendered ‘I Believe’. The final theme, ‘A time to Care — A time to Share’, was dedicated to those who have no Christmas, especially the children. The number ‘Christmas Shoes’, a favourite on the airways of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was part of the repertoire in this section and featured young vocalist Dominic Adams. Other soloists of the evening were Shurneil Cruickshank, John Horne and Crystal Allen. The Ladies Voices certainly shone through in the song ‘Can you hear my voice’. With the upbeat African inspired melody, the The men singing “Mary did you know?” audience tapped their feet and beautiful backdrop painted by our very own Julian ‘Pilling’ Pollard, depicted a Caribbean Christmas atmosphere.

that this year, the group tried something new with their repertoire, including more contemporary music, which made practices more intense but worthwhile, as the choir responded favorably to the selections. “Music keeps me young,” she gushed, and there is no doubt that it is Mrs. Horne who keeps the Chorale alive. Judging from the audience’s response and the continuing patronage that the Chorale enjoys, she should be proud of this year’s production of ‘Let Heaven and Nature Sing’. The Concert was an opportunity for talented young people, as the future of music, to shine. The Young Dynamic Chorale Voices, directed by Calma Balcombe and Donna Clarke, are nothing short of sang along. their name. Performing two And to demonstrate their pieces in the Concert, the repertoire, the Chorale gave young ‘Choralites’ displayed the audience a classical treat pleasing tonal quality, and with the inclusion of familiar would no doubt become themes from Beethoven and members of a more senior other famous composers in a choir as they grow. medley entitled, ‘Themes on Sean Sutherland, an Fa-la-la’. The Concert came to immeasurable musical talent a close with crowd pleasers like ‘Laughing Children’, songs in the Caribbean and internationally, did not from Carlton CP Hall and a disappoint with his renditions favourite throughout the from The Nutcracker Suite. years, ‘Christmas and Love’. Another New Kingstown Chorale evening at the Peace Keeping it young Memorial Hall brought into focus the need for a proper Speaking with THE Performing Arts Hall here in VINCENTIAN after Tuesday St. Vincent and the night’s performance, Jeanne Grenadines. Horne, Director of the New Kingstown Chorale, expressed

Members of the Dynamic Chorale Voices belting out a Parang Medley.




This ship did not take to sea in time and was wasted on the rocks. Left: Many a roof was made to look like cardboard.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (left) in discussion with Montgomery Daniel (back turned), MP for North Windward and citizens who joined the brigades of volunteer cleaners. Right: The bananas were made to look like penitent souls.

Tomas leaves trail of disaster houses were damaged within category one to category four, ranging from (November 05, 2010) Agriculture devastated minor damage to serious damage. He said seven government buildings have THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. VINCENT and Preliminary assessment of damage been damaged. the Grenadines is mobilizing immediate done to the agricultural sector is Meanwhile, home owners have support from Cuba, Taiwan, Venezuela, EC$67M. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph reported damaged roofs, some blown Trinidad and Tobago and other agencies Gonsalves, in a broadcast to the nation completely off, in areas in the in the wake of the destruction wrought on Sunday evening said: “It’s awful outskirts of capital Kingstown such as by Hurricane Tomas. ….. assessment is that the agricultural Edinboro, Ottley Hall and Cane Tomas completely devastated the damage is in excess of EC$67M.” Garden, which are outside of the country’s agricultural industry late He said there was 100% devastation declared disaster areas. Saturday evening/early Sunday in Agricultural Region Three, which A preliminary assessment meeting morning (October 30, 31 respectively) stretches from Peruvian Vale to at NEMO on Sunday, involving all the and left over a thousand people in Orange Hill. “Over one hundred various departments and state entities hurricane shelters, primarily in the banana packing sheds lost their roofs. relevant to the reconstruction of the north eastern and north western We had tremendous damage to country, indicated severe damage was portions of mainland St. Vincent. breadfruit trees, citrus, coconuts, done to roads, particularly Disaster areas have been declared golden apples, avocado pears, nutmeg, infrastructure of feeder roads, which from Park Hill to Sandy Bay and Owia cinnamon, pigeon peas ... small would encounter expense on major on the Windward side, and from Belle ruminants, some cattle, and of course, reconstruction of back walls, culverts, Isle to Fitz Hughes on the Leeward poultry.” bridges, etc.; telephone and internet side. Consequently, USAID has “The estimate done of the damage services were not severely affected, immediately provided US$50,000 to to the agricultural industry includes: except for problems north of the the National Emergency Management bananas — 2,180 acres — EC$26.2M; Rabacca Dry River. Organization (NEMO), to deal with plantains — 1,242 acres — EC $14.2M; Dr. Gonsalves said the main roads immediate local purchases for disaster fruit tree crops — an estimated are passable, but a lot of clean up still management. EC$18.1M; condiments and spices has to be done, which would cost an At a press conference on Monday, EC$1.2M; vegetables and legumes an estimated EC$750,000 to EC$1M. the Prime Minister said he is soliciting estimated 23 acres — EC$3.7M; and Water and electricity were severely the support from the head of the US infrastructure — EC$3.6M, giving a affected in most parts of mainland St. Mission to Barbados and the Eastern total of EC$67.2M,” Dr. Gonsalves Vincent, but at press time, both Caribbean to back an application by said. services were well with the 60% range SVG for an emergency loan from the of normalcy. World Bank. Housing and infrastructure He said the Taiwanese have No deaths immediately offered emergency aid of In his initial address after the US$200,000, which is separate from a hurricane, the Prime Minister said Prime Minister Gonsalves said that request for assistance in terms of preliminary reports indicated 600 there were no deaths as a result of by JEFF TROTMAN


Hurricane Tomas, but there were a few injuries. He said that generally the community has responded well. In this regard, he thanked the SVG Circuit of the Seventh Day Adventists for providing 200 blankets, and C. K Greaves and Co. for providing 500 loaves of bread. Pointing out that there were 1,194 persons in shelters across the country, the Prime Minister stated that several shelters are overcrowded. He also disclosed that the shelters need about 2,000 comfort kits and plastic sheeting, a lot of plywood and galvanize, about 1,000 blankets, some kerosene lanterns, roofing materials and water jugs. Prime Minister Gonsalves took to the roads on Sunday last, less than a day after the passage of hurricane Tomas. He made regular calls and reports via the National Broadcasting Corporation/Radio St. Vincent, which stayed on air round the clock during and immediately after the passage of the hurricane. Residents were able to call-in with reports of damage, and non-resident nationals were able to contact their families here. Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, in a broadcast carried on NICE Radio, called on citizens to keep calm, listen keenly for any new developments and to follow the directives of the national authorities, including NEMO.




Talking tax with the Comptroller

outstanding taxes. Also of concern was an increase in PAYE According to Pompey, arrears, resulting from the practice of employers the sector with the deducting taxes (PAYE) highest rate of nonbut not remitting compliance is the selfpayment to the employed. “Notwithstanding the Department. Pompey advances the fact that we would not be view that these able to find evidence of how much they make, we defaulters are “persons who find themselves in can estimate what their cash flow problems but income or their profit is based on the regulation, (choose to) use the and levy on them for the State’s revenue to subsidize their business.” outstanding tax,” Business owners and Pompey advised. persons making a total of He noted that most $18,000 yearly should file tax payers who are in a tax return with the arrears are those who have not been filing their Inland Revenue Department. Persons tax returns, and those who refuse can be who filed their returns prosecuted by the state. but did not pay their

Continued from Page 26.

The ‘Yes Vote’ headquarters in the old Ju-C building.

No...No...No!! Continued from Backpage. Supervisor of Elections Supervisor of Elections, Mrs. Sylvia FindlayScrubb told THE VINCENTIAN in a telephone conversation around 4.00 PM on referendum day, that in her view the turnout was good despite the rain. She said, apart from a few incidents over the afternoon, polling went well, particularly during the morning. The Supervisor of Elections said, considering that it was not a regular general election and the Electoral Office had a little more than four months to prepare for the referendum, she was satisfied that there were not many hiccups.

Pompey appealed to defaulters to pay their outstanding balances, and cautioned that refusal will result in aggressive enforcement, which could include the seizure of assets and/or prosecution. In the same breath, Pompey advised employees who suspect their tax deductions are not being remitted, to report the matter to the tax department.

that a new tax structure was coming. The enforcement will The Comptroller also took the time to appeal to commence, once the required legislation is in persons to pay their place. driver’s licence during A 15% increase in the course of the relevant month, instead of at the collections is anticipated under the new Property end of month. Tax. The practice to wait And while Pompey until the “last minute” recognizes that his causes strain on the Department, and makes Department is in need of more field workers, that it difficult to extend there should be an proper service. Intelligence Unit to effect As for the Property more investigative work, Tax, Pompey reiterated

Other taxes

and more branches of the Department in the Grenadines, he gave clear indication of his department’s intent: “For the last five years, we have been threatening to take action but not enforcing, and that is because we did not have the capacity. Now we have the capacity, we will be enforcing the laws as early as next week.” All tax defaulters are encouraged to take heed.




TSSS athletes make SVG very proud


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — In the first ever participation of a Vincentian athletic team in the prestigious Penn Relays here, athletes from the 2011 inter-secondary schools track and field champions, the Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS), have made St. Vincent and the Grenadines very proud, officials say. The school, Vincentian organizations in the United States and government officials said, in exclusive interviews with THE VINCENTIAN and at a rousing reception here Saturday night, that they were ecstatic that one of the nation’s rising secondary schools has begun the journey along international athletic fame. “I’m overjoyed. They (the two relay teams) have really achieved and surpassed expectations,” said TSSS’ principal John Renton after Saturday’s final events at the huge Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania here.

participated in the three-day athletic ‘carnival’. The teams — comprising Renaldo Charles, Ronique Dowers, Michael Hazell and Najee Israel (4x100 m), and Kion Robertson, Brandon Parris, Kamol Bess and Najee Israel (4x400m) — won their respective heats hands down. “They came with a good attitude. They came to do their best to represent their school and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and they did it well,” Renton said. “They came first in their heats. “Even though their times were not good enough to take them to the finals to compete against some of the best (athletics) schools in the world, they can hold their heads up high,” he added.

TSSS athletes hoisting Penn Relay plaque and Vincy flag.

Right: Coach Godfrey ‘Fuzzy’ It can only get better Harry (2nd from left) with Athletes from 16 nations took part in what is considered (L-R) COSAGO President the longest uninterrupted Lavern collegiate and high school McDowaldtrack event in the United Thompson, States. James Cordice At least six Caribbean and Arlette countries participated in the Dopwellrelays. The Bahamas, James. Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados and Jamaica were represented. witnessed the With over 500, Jamaica had Vincentian team’s historic the largest contingent of participation, screaming their Giving SVG a reason to be athletes and officials. lungs out as TSSS’ athletes proud Saturday’s total attendance graced the tracks for the very of 48,836 fans brought the first time. Nine athletes, accompanied three-day total to 110,087, Harry, who is also president by five officials including organizers said. of the National Netball Renton, Head Coach Godfrey A busload of Vincentians Association, said, despite the ‘Fuzzy’ Harry, assistant Coach from New York, as well as conditions, the teams nationals in Pennsylvania, Michael ‘Lord Have Mercy’ performed “creditably well. New Jersey and Washington, Ollivierre, and Minister of “It’s a start for us. It’s a D.C., among other states, historic occasion. It’s an Health, Cecil McKie — opening for us in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and for athletics in the schools,” said the New Montrose, Kingstown, native.

Publicity for SVG

Vincies resident in the USA and TSSS athletes outside Franklin Field.

Minister Mc Kie — a sprint star in his youthful days at the Grammar School, which had perennially dominated inter-schools sports — said he was able to convince Cabinet to contribute close to $50,000.00 for TSSS’ participation in the event. “Those of you who admire Jamaica will note that no amount of money can pay for

the publicity from the Penn Relays,” he added. “In the next couple of years, I want the people to say the same thing about our athletes and about our country.”

helped us to make a dream come true,” he added. The Clare Valley-born Cordice, who was SVGOP’s president when he first explored the possibility of having a Vincentian team Support from Vincy Diaspora participate in the Penn Relays over five years ago, said his Renton said he was “blown diligence was purely in the interest of nation-building. away” by the support the “In the interest of St. contingent received from the Vincent and the Grenadines, I host group, the St. Vincent dedicated the time for this to and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania become a reality,” said SVGOP’s coordinator of the (SVGOP), particularly its public relations officer, James Penn Relays and Philadelphia co-coordinator of Team Cordice, the man behind the Jamaica Bickle, the Jamaican initiative, as well as from the organization that provides Brooklyn, New York-based meals for Caribbean teams umbrella Vincentian participating in the three-day organization, Council of St. “carnival.” Vincent and the Grenadines, After getting the “runU.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO). “Mr. Cordice’s vital work is around”, for a number of years, from local education commendable,” he said. “If it and sports officials, Cordice weren’t for Mr. Cordice, we said it was Otis Jack, manager wouldn’t be here. “Thanks to every member of of the 2007 national youth cricket team, who referred him the St. Vincent and the to Harry. The rest was history, Grenadines Organization of he said. Pennsylvania. You have




Massive Vincy picnic at 1,000 Is. Story and photos by NELSON A. KING US Correspondent (July 22, 2011) IN WHAT IS CONSIDERED the largest gathering of Vincentians in North America, an estimated 20,000 nationals converged on Brown’s Bay Provincial Park in the 1,000 Islands area in eastern Ontario, Canada, last Saturday, July 16, for the annual Grand Vincy Unity Picnic. Nationals from all walks of life jammed the massive park bordering the St. Lawrence River. Bus and carloads came from major United States and Canadian cities, while others trekked from several Caribbean islands, the United Kingdom and even homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They got down to the latest gyrating soca, calypso and reggae music, dined on mouthwatering Vincy cuisine and, among other things, renewed acquaintances with relatives and friends, some of whom they had not seen in decades. “It’s a tremendous sense of pride in being Vincy among my own people in North America!” exclaimed Lennox Joslyn, formerly from Prospect who resides in Queens, New York, barbecuing chicken on an open grill, in an exclusive VINCENTIAN interview. “I’m seeing people I had not seen in 10-15

Kneading dumplins, L-R: James Cordice, Dofflyn King and Dona Quashie-Richards

Vincies from New York and Pennsylvania getting the fruits and vegetables ready. years and more,” added Joslyn, a member of Striders Social and Educational Club. The Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO) and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania collaborated in bringing six busloads of nationals, with an average of 50 passengers on each bus, to the spectacular event. The Vincentian groups in the US also used the occasion to raise funds for and to promote St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in next year’s renowned Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Thomas Saunders Secondary School in capital city Kingstown was the first Vincentian

What’s a Vincy lime without a game of cards.. Pedro perhaps?

school to compete in the games for the very first time earlier this year.

‘A nice gathering’ Kathy-Ann Mayers, who hails from Diamond in the Prospect area, said she came from home just to be part of the “unforgettable experience. “It’s very exciting,” she said. “I’m having a good time.” Bernard Da Silva, a former executive member of the Buccament Valley Cricket Association, said, “You get to meet lots of people who you have not seen in a while.” He had come over with a busload of nationals from Boston, Massachusetts, organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Boston. “It’s a nice gathering,” intoned Straker, a calypsonian and cricketer in the Brooklyn Cricket League, originally from Vermont. “I’ve been coming here for the last three years now,” he added. “It’s a good setting, a good jam for Vincentians who come from England, Canada and the US. It’s getting bigger every year.”

Bigger and

better Tom Austin, formerly from Rose Place, Kingstown, who is president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Montreal, one of the organizers of the grand event, agreed. “It is much bigger than last year,” he said. “The facilities are even bigger.” Jack Deare, a former Customs Officer at home, one of the founders of the event, said he was ecstatic about the Big Vincy Show on Earth. “Super! Getting bigger and better!” he said tersely.

Stage side

Members of United Vincy Cultural Group of Brooklyn performing. much nostalgia with folkloric renditions of Welcome to St. Vincent; Yo Eat It Once; Fish Fo So; I’m a Better Woman than You; Brown Skin Girl; Sammie Dead, O; Mr. Nancy, O; and Nah Eat Day Fish, among others.

Strength in unity “It’s magnificent,” said James Cordice, former president, now public relations officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania, barbecuing spare ribs also on an open grill. “It shows when you really combine forces positively this is the result,” added the Clare Valley native, the driving force behind St. Vincent and the Grenadines’

participation in the Penn Relays. Laverne McDowaldThompson, the president of COSAGO and Chateaubelair native, underscored the axiom, “In unity, there is strength.” “I think it’s always a great venture when you can bring people together, especially where we left our (Vincentian) shores and come to another country,” she said, acknowledging that she got little sleep in her organization’s preparation of the event, coordinated by O’brien Simmons, COSAGO’s treasurer and president of the Brooklyn-based Bequia United Progressive Organization (BUPO).

Over at the main stage, some Vincentian artistes in North America entertained the crowd in a cultural package, with former National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) General Manager, E. Bernard John, serving as Master of Ceremonies. The line-up included Slim Ting, Sweatz, Edmonton Dance Group, Kim Arthur, Toro Pills Band, Crazy Angle, Spade, Godrey Mc Intosh, Tropix Band, and the Vincy Cultural Group of Brooklyn. The Vincy Cultural Group of Brooklyn brought Nothing like home, but we’ll still take in the beach.


JULY 20, 2012

by JEFF TROTMAN (November 27, 2009) THE HISTORIC QUEST to forge a ‘home grown’ constitution has been jolted to an abrupt stop. Some 55.64% of the votes cast were done so against the proposed document at Wednesday’s referendum, while 43.16% voted for it — a far cry from the 66.7% that was needed to make the proposed constitution the supreme law of the land.

A massacre “Both from a political standpoint and the constitution, this is a massacre,” said renowned attorney at law and social commentator, Andrew Cummings, Q.C., as he gave live comments on radio and television as the results were announced from the Electoral Office, Kingstown. He expressed befuddlement that a government with so much political capital could have convinced itself that it could have received 66.7% at the referendum. Stressing that the government not only failed by a large


margin to achieve a victory at the referendum, but also lost by a large margin to the opposition, Cummings said: “Something had to go palpably wrong in the calculations and the application of the intellect in the procedure…. This is really a massive miscalculation.” “Whether the government can recover and rebuild is left to be seen,” Cummings said. “Everybody seems to suggest it’s a political vote. And if it is a political vote, it’s serious stuff,” Cummings stressed, and added that the government would have to examine itself. He said although he would like to see some aspects of the constitution come on board, it must be accepted that “the people voted no,” and their voice must be heard and accepted.

Victory for the ‘No Vote’ was celebrated in ‘ole mas’ fashion.

Early Elections Social activist and commentator, Renrick Rose, who also gave commentary during the broadcast of the referendum results, said the opposition could use the results of the referendum to press the government for early elections, but it would be foolhardy on the part of the government to consider such a move.

He said the many clean sweeps in the constituencies would have placed the government in a position to reconsider its choice of candidates in those constituencies. According to Rose, the government would want to regroup. “If you put it this way, a government with 43% at a referendum has to listen to the

Lines at the polling booths were long and orderly. Right: The disabled was not left out of the vote. Published by The VINCENTIAN Publishing Co. Ltd, St. Vincent and the Grenadines;

people if it wants to recoup its fortunes,” Rose espoused. He also stated that the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) did not express a definitive position on the proposed constitution and he would like that party to do so, now that the referendum is over. Of the 98,000 persons on the voters list 52,156 cast their ballots at the 225 polling stations across the country, with 22,493 persons voting yes and 29,019 voting no. Many Vincentians braved heavy rainfall during the morning to cast their vote. The rain subsided in the post lunch period.

Continued on Page 29. Printed by the Mc Laren Graphics Limited, Ontario, Canada

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