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The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

FRIDAY,

JANUARY 3, 2014

VOLUME 108, No.01

www.thevincentian.com

FREE EDITION

FLOODS CLAIM NINE LIVES Shirla Edwards. The bodies of six others have been THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. recovered. Desmond VINCENT AND THE Morgan’s body was found GRENADINES will take care in the Buccament Valley of the funeral area, some distance away arrangements of those who from where he was perished in the floods attempting to secure a caused by torrential truck in the Vermont downpours December 24. area. That body was Up to Tuesday trapped in debris along December 31, searches the river bank. were ongoing for three Five other persons died persons missing as a in one house in the North result of the disaster. Leeward village of Rose Those were Joselle Bank. They are Wasley Morgan, Inka Jack and Nanton, Herma Nanton, by WILLIAM ‘KOJAH’ ANTHONY

The Vermont Police Station was in total disarray after the storm.

Kudos must be given to Garth Saunders and the rest of the CWSA team for their prompt response, after the water supply of many residents was halted after the storm. Hazel Baptiste, Bernard some relief from the pain Nanton, and Yowani and suffering that the Bartholomew. families were undergoing. Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves announced the Continued on Page 3. decision of the state covering funeral expenses as helping to provide MORE STORIES INSIDE.


2. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN


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Braving the torrents by WILLIAM ‘KOJAH’ ANTHONY

partly inside and outside the building. Hooper received injury IF THERE IS AN EXAMPLE of from another splash of dirt a loyal and committed while the mission was on. citizen, Byron Hooper must He recounted having been be in the lot. He almost lost knocked over by the mud. his life in the Christmas Eve He had to leave, but in his night disaster, but his wounded state, Hooper dedication helped to bring returned to assist with the attention to what was removal of the bodies from happening in the North the building. Leeward village of Rose He pointed to the scene Bank. He was alerted by an of the tragedy last injured member of the Tuesday. The Nanton Nanton family. According to residence is at the corner Hooper, Wendy Nanton almost at the entrance of called him and told him that the fishing and farming the house had collapsed. community. Hooper joined in the rescue He deduced that a efforts as one of the landslide above the road to occupants was trapped the top of the residence

hurled a tree into a structure above the Nanton’s residence. That created a huge crash of everything including a structure under construction, onto the Nanton’s residence. The rubble piled up even on Tuesday. But the impact of the disaster is sinking in. Five occupants of that residence perished in that

Floods claim nine lives Continued from Page 1. In addition to those who died during the unusual weather phenomenon, several other persons were injured as a result of the floods caused by unusually heavy rainfall. According to the Meteorological Officer David Burgin, at the E.T Joshua Airport located at Arnos Vale, 77.7 millimetres of rain was recorded between 6 pm December 24, and 8 am Christmas morning. Burgin is convinced however that the figure was higher in areas north of the airport. He noted that there has been more rainfall at the E.T. Joshua over a similar period. The Airport was flooded out, and mud and muck had to be removed from that area. However, compared to other parts of the mainland, the impact on the airport was minimal. The extent of the damage is still being assessed, and workers attached the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), were still assessing the cost of the destruction. Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves described it as the “worst natural disaster in living memory.” He referred to a drift towards indigence by persons who previously were poor. For him, the first task is taking care of people’s needs. The PM mentioned that 300 persons were homeless as a result of the floods, and that 240 persons were in Relief shelters. Many other

persons were living in areas away from their homes. He noted that some persons were reluctant to go to the Emergency Relief Shelters. The Prime Minister was speaking last Monday at the handing over ceremony of the new Terminal Building at the Argyle International Airport. That ceremony officially marked the completion of the construction of the building by contractors, OECC of Taiwan, and its possession by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines through the International Airport Development Committee (IADC). His voice cracked when he perhaps reflected on the enormity of the situation, and he wiped away tears, but summoned the strength to carry on. He was confident that the nation will rebound from the mishap, and expressed satisfaction that some people had responded with “resilience and stoicism.” Dr. Gonsalves sees in this disaster, “the seeds of a new St. Vincent and the Grenadines: different and better.” He noted the loss of personal and family possessions with items like beds, stoves, fridges, lap top books, clothing, and shoes, saying that in some households: “everything is lost, every single thing.” Pointing to “constraints of the institutional machinery that we have inherited”, Dr.Gonsalves denounced the “rigid demarcation between the functions of

various agencies and institutions of government.” For him, “at all levels, initiative must be shown.” All categories of workers ought to be engaged in the restoration efforts, he said, and referred to teachers, urging that “they must be mobilised in this national service.” He stressed the importance of persons providing accurate information so that the overall needs could be assessed. Community Health systems must act with urgency, according to the Prime Minister. Given the nature of the situation, “We need a heroic response,” the Prime Minister pointed out, indicating that all 6500 public employees must be involved. “We need everybody to be working on this.” “We have to use this to rise and be stronger,” Dr. Gonslaves indicated. The Vincentian leader thanked his Caricom colleagues for their solidarity. He singled out Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar who he disclosed sent a Special Envoy with food and other supplies. He mentioned that the helicopter dropped off water in Fancy, the mainland’s most northern village. Grenada has also joined in the act of support, and Mr. Angus Steele, a former local manager of LIME in SVG, was also praised for work in getting supplies of water and pipes here. Dr. Gonsalves thanked the St. Kitts/Nevis government for the $1million they have sent to help us.

Byron Hooper. Left: The site of the Rose Bank incident which left five dead. deadly mishap. They are part of the trail of destruction

brought on by the heavy rains. That atmosphere of

The aftermath at Emerald Valley Casino. The Vincentian leader referred to a US$ 200,000 from the Republic of China on Taiwan for emergency supplies. $750,000 has also been sourced from the Caribbean Development Bank for humanitarian matters, while one million dollars have also been transferred from a World Bank Project and $2M re- allocated through the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme. The Prime Minister spoke of a meeting with Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines CEO Derry Williams aimed at fast-tracking funds to accommodate the restoration and relief efforts. As far as Dr. Gonsalves is concerned, getting money from some agencies takes too long. He cannot wait on certain bureaucratic procedures. Some efforts to secure money for disasters as long as three years ago are yet to bear fruit. “We have to do things in more creative ways,” Dr Gonsalves pointed out. He outlined that “a lot of people feel weary and tired,” but concluded however: “You can’t give up. We have to hold each other in partnership and move forward.” He is optimistic that the citizens will find the spirit and strength to overcome the adversity. “I feel sure that we will succeed,” Dr. Gonsalves stated. He pledged his

government’s commitment and his personal support in providing help for those in need.

disbelief engulfed the Rose Bank community days after the incident. Residents and curious passers-by gazed in bewilderment at the debacle. Hooper served as the contact man with the Police. He is not ashamed for having taken the initiative. He confessed to being in close harmony with the family. “We were close friends from the beginning,” Hooper recalled. “We shared everything,” he indicated.

Allen heads New Year’s honours list DISTINGUISHED VINCENTIAN banker and economist, Errol Allen, heads the list of Vincentians honoured in the New Year’s List of Queen Elizabeth, titular Head of State and Queen of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Allen retired in 2005 as Deputy Head of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), having served since Errol Allen 1974. One of the buildings of the ECCB in St Kitts is named in his honour. Allen has been awarded the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG), for services to banking and financial services. Bishop Benjamin Allick Augustus Samuel, has been awarded the CMG for services to the Christian Ministry and the community. Two Vincentians will receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Douglas McGregor Brisbane for services, to business, horticulture and community services while Robert Otway Lindsell Haydock gets his OBE for services to banking, insurance and civil society. Acting Commissioner of Police, Michael FitzGerald Charles, will receive the Member of the British Empire (MBE) award, for services to policing, national security and law and order. Other recipients of this award in the New Year’s List are two Vincentian citizens of what is called the “Syrian community” here. They are Mona Issa Dare and Faez Moussa, both for services to business, the retail trade and community services.


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4. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Courts

Policeman head-butted by civilian REPORTS OF POLICE brutality continued during 2013, but as the year closed, one civilian head-butted a policeman who had arrested him. Oswald Moore, a 47-year-old Lowmans Leeward man, appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Monday, December 30, where he pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding Constable Dominic Ellis. Moore also admitted using indecent language to P.C. Ellis and possession of one rock of cocaine. Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Glenford Gregg told the court that PC Ellis was the sentry at the Central Police Station around 6 p.m. last Friday, December 27 when he noticed Moore harassing two young ladies next to the sentry post. The officer spoke twice to Moore who responded, “move yoh mudder (expletive). PC Ellis held on to Moore, informed him of the offence, and arrested him. However, the court heard that as the officer was taking Moore to the station office, Moore head-butted him, resulting in a 1cm laceration to one of the officer’s eyes. Ellis responded by striking Moore and took him to the station office where a search of his person revealed the cocaine. Moore, who was not represented by a lawyer, told the court that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident. “I didn’t know what was taking place, and I found myself in the barracks,” he claimed. Moore complained to the Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Mathias that police officers beat him after he was taken into custody. He claimed that he received blows to various parts of his body, including his ribs and spine, and that he was in pain up to the time he stood before her. But Browne-Mathias said Moore walked into the prisoners’ dock showing no signs of feeling pain. Moore was ordered to pay the court $300 forthwith or one month for injuring the police officer, $400 forthwith or one month for the indecent language, and $150 forthwith or three months for the cocaine. The sentences will run concurrently if the fines are not paid. At the time of the court’s adjournment on Monday, Moore had not paid the fines and was taken into custody.

COP (Ag.): Police brutality would not be tolerated Stories by HAYDN HUGGINS ACTING COMMISSIONER of Police Michael Charles has made it clear that police brutality would not be tolerated. “The police ought to be seen as the guardians of citizens, and the Police High Command would not tolerate any form of police brutality,” he told THE VINCENTIAN last Tuesday, December 31. Charles assured that all reports of police brutality would be thoroughly investigated, and the injured person/persons will be duly informed of the outcome of those investigations. The Acting COP assured that remedial training would be put in place to deal with police officers who may have over-reacted in the execution of their duties. The top cop, however, crystalized that the police would not be using “white gloves” when dealing with hardened criminals.

Fighting crime is everybodyÊs responsibility ACTING COMMISSIONER of Police Michael Charles is urging citizens to play their part in these challenging times to reduce the crime rate and ensure a safer St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Charles pointed out that, while the police have a duty to prevent and detect crime, crime fighting is the responsibility of every citizen. He is appealing to persons to live more loving with each other and to settle their differences, other than by violent means. Charles is calling on citizens not to expose jewellery in public, to avoid placing valuables in closed vehicles in view of the public or hanging them to windows at homes. The top Security Officer also wants persons to report suspicious activities in their neighbourhood. “Be your brothers and sisters keeper,” he urged. Charles said 2013 started challengingly. He noted that he was Acting Commissioner, while then Commissioner of Police Keith Miller was on vacation, and took the reins of the Constabulary in an acting capacity after Miller proceeded on preretirement leave July 16. Charles, however, stressed that the Police High Command and the general body worked together to ensure that citizens and visitors were safe and secure. “It is impossible for the police to be everywhere, but with the increased presence of the police in and around Kingstown as well as the

Crime rate remains stable STATISTICS have shown that the overall crime rate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains stable. Acting Commissioner of Police Michael Charles expressed the view in a year end chat with THE VINCENTIAN. Nine of 27 homicides recorded up to press time Tuesday, December 31, 2013, remained unsolved, fifteen cracked, Coroner’s Inquests ordered for two, while one was discharged. That’s according to the Criminal Records Office (CRO) of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (SVGPF) which also recorded 11 gunrelated homicides in 2013. Twelve (12) of the 28 homicides recorded in 2012 were unsolved, while 12 were gun-related. While the homicide count for 2012 increased by seven over the 2011 toll of 21, statistics showed an overall reduction in crime for that period. The records up to November 30 revealed 18 reported sexual offences in 2013 compared to ten over the same period in 2012. Of the 18, four were solved, while 14 remained under investigations. Seven of ten recorded over the same period in 2012 had been solved, while three were under investigations. The statistics, however, showed a significant reduction in reported robberies in 2013. There were nine reported robberies, two solved and three being probed. Two of the twenty-three robberies reported over the same period in 2012 were solved, while 21 were being investigated. One hundred and six (106) burglaries were reported up to November 30, 2013, compared to 116 over the same period in 2012. Fifty-nine (59) wounding were reported, compared to 45 over the same period the previous year, while 92 assaults were reported for that period in 2013 compared to 78 in 2012.

Salesman charged for .9mm pistol Acting Commissioner of Police Michael Charles. out districts, crime was kept at a level,” he underscored. Admitting that, “one crime is a crime too many,” the top cop added: “the police will do all in their powers to keep the crime rate minimal, but this could only be achieved if we have the continued support and cooperation of the general public”. The Acting COP expressed condolences to the families and relatives who lost loved ones during a trough system which devastated parts of the country Christmas Eve night. He also extended greetings to Sergeant 401 Jimmy Jack and Constable 843 Julani Jack who were shot in separate incidents earlier this year. Investigations are ongoing in both matters.

CANNIE BALLANTYNE, 32-year-old sales man of Glenn, will appear at the Serious Offences Court Monday, January 6 on a firearm possession charge. The matter was transferred from the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court where Ballantyne initially appeared before Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Mathias last Monday. Ballantyne pleaded not guilty to having one mauser werke 9mm pistol, serial number unknown, without licence. Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent of Police Glenford Gregg did not object to bail, but requested suitable surety and conditions. Ballantyne was granted $15,000 bail with one surety on condition that he report to the Calliaqua Police Station on Mondays and Fridays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. He was also ordered to surrender his travel documents and identification card (ID). Reports are that police, acting on information received, arrested Ballantyne at Freeland, Mesopotamia, December 26.


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Regional

Christmas disaster hits St. Vincent

A resident seen here at her home in Spring Village, captures the shocking ordeal in the aftermath of the Christmas Day disaste. livelihoods, resulting in damages amounting to hundreds of millions of WHILE MOST PERSONS dollars. around the world were The situation forced celebrating Christmas, Prime Minister, Ralph many persons in the rural Gonsalves to cut short areas of St.Vincent were his vacation in England busy mourning and picking and return home. up pieces of what remains Gonsalves, after viewing of their personal areas that were hardest possessions. hit, described the damage Beginning at dusk as “horrific.” on Tuesday 24th and The Vermont Valley into Wednesday 25th extended to Buccament (Christmas Day) Bay, Spring Village, Rose torrential rain Bank and Dark View, accompanied by South Rivers, O’Briens deafening thunder and Valley and Spring Village unusually bright in Georgetown were lightning descended from declared Disaster Zones. the skies, casting a Additionally. dooming Christmas Chateaubelair and Coulls atmosphere on most Hill in North Leeward Vincentians. Reports of sustained severe damage. landslide and flooding in Critical infrastructure and around the country affected included the E. began to surface on the T. Joshua Airport, local radio stations, news temporarily closed due to of person being swept flooding, and the Milton away and killed by heavy Cato Memorial Hospital rain and landslides added (MCMH), where the more pain to the pediatric ward was also situation. Infrastructure flooded. The Ministry of was severely impacted, Health has conducted a along with agriculture, damage assessment at basic necessities and the MCMH, and the Stories by KENVILLE HORNE

This bridge in Spring Village on the North Leeward side of the island was partially destroyed.

estimated cost of damage to the facility is approximately EC$2 million. A number of records and essential pieces of equipment were damaged. Several communities were cut-off due to damaged bridges and blocked roads, including Sandy Bay, and communities in North Leeward. The Caratal Bridge in Georgetown is damaged, and the Bailey by-pass bridge in Colonarie is gone. What is left of Vena Louie’s house in Rose Bank. The raging water swept Gonsalves said the most of her house away. country had experienced “a disaster of a proportion the likes of which we have not seen in living memory.” He said the destruction resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars on the island, which has a population of 110,000. The Prime Minister further commended the citizens for their resoluteness, and asked for a spirit of togetherness as “we rebuild the country.”

Body of Missing girl found

Sharlani Headley in happier times.

Kesla James, aunt of Sharlani Headley, was also swept away and killed by heavy rains.

THE BODY OF the two -year old child, who was washed away during the Restoring pipe-line at Richmond. Christmas disaster in Cane from Canada two days before Grove on Christmas Eve Christmas, to spend the night, was found on Sunday season with their family. morning. But it was a devastating A police source confirmed time when Colleen’s 18-yearthat the body of Sharlani old sister Kesla James and her Headley was found in the two year old daughter were vicinity of Marty Knights’ gas swept away by flood waters. station in Pembroke. Kesla’s body has since been Headley and her mom found, while the body of Colleen James, arrived in St. Sharlani was found on Vincent and the Grenadines

Sunday. This now takes the death toll from the disaster to nine. Those confirmed dead are : Wesley Nanton, 73, Hannah Nanton, 70, Hazel Baptiste 48,Bernard Nanton, 24, Yanick Nanton, 18, Raymond Gonsalves, 62, Kelisia James, 18, Desmond Wilson, 43, Shalarni Headley, 2 yrs old.


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News

Picking up the pieces Stories by WILLIAM ‘KOJAH’ ANTHONY TALES of survival from the December 24 floods will be told as the extent of the episode unfolds. Clean up activities were rampant as soon as the waters subsided. It will take a huge effort to complete the restoration. Destruction to roads and bridges slowed down rescue workers when the situation became safe. Teams from the Central Water & Sewerage Authority began repairing lines so as to speed up supplies to a number of areas. The humanitarian needs equalled the impact of the damage wrought by the swollen waters fuelled by over

Alex Mc Donald

three inches of rainfall. For many people it will be starting over. The loss of household items is a real story. Many persons in the Buccament Bay and Valley have that story of destruction. There are instances of survival, or near brushes with death for many persons. Some persons escaped the disaster in almost miraculous ways. Reports of vehicles performing all sorts of displays are plentiful. Insurance companies will be overflowing with claims from clients. Animals were washed away, adding to the cost of the damage. Alex McDowald, a businessman, pointed to the loss of 120 gas bottles. “Everything gone. I can’t even buy gas,” he added. He was happy to be alive. He pointed to the road and sighed: “I never seen it like that.” Claudette Cain recalled having to run upstairs to escape the rising waters. She acknowledged that she had been helped with getting rid of the mud and debris in and around her premises, but there was no feeling of normalcy. “Me still haffu dey ah struggle,” she admitted. Workers from Rudy’s Electrical were transferring poles in the Vermont area Friday December 27.

Matilda Quashie That was a continuation of emergency operations from Christmas Day. Buildings alongside river banks were washed away, leaving little trace of their previous existence. Areas where crops were planted have been laid bare, leaving stones in some instances or water flowing at a reasonable force. Renard Moses, a heavy equipment operator, described this as the heaviest loss he has suffered. A bridge to his premises was destroyed, and he also pointed to the uprooting of some embankment. He admitted that an assessment was still to be done, but chimed: “I know we need a bridge.” The Palmyra Restaurant on the main road at Buccament was busy with a crew attempting to restore that facility. Jeffrey O’Garro was at the Bungalow, a Restaurant and bar on the coast near to the Buccama Bay Resort. He recalled having to run away from the rising waters. He will have to restart business and personal ventures. He was concerned that his daughter who will be writing her CXC lost all her books, lop top, and notes. Bedie Quashie, a Construction

Bedie Quashie

worker, recalled persons having to be lifted to safety. He saw “deep freeze of food, cattle, goat, sheep, floating down.” His grandmother Matilda Quashie expressed her surprise at the turn of events. “Is the first I see this happen,” she recalled. “E nuh easy. Par me dey ya me fags out. Cyah even get a rest,” she admitted. Shem Gaymes is an Operator with a Construction Company. “Everything gone,” he noted, pointing to the spot where he had some building material. He has been promised help by his employers. He admitted that it was the first time he had seen the water so high. “I had to run. This is the worst,” he added. Shem Gaymes

Real life drama RANDY SCOTT, a Rose Hall farmer, is a living testimony of the scale of the disaster which descended on Vincentians last Christmas morning. Scott is still facing some discomfort, but compared to what he faced that dreadful night, matters are perhaps more tolerable. He was on his way to the Chateaubelair Hospital last Tuesday to seek medical attention to injuries, especially to his hand. Scott escaped from his house in Rose Hall that evening with only the clothes he had on. He had to shed those as soon as he reached safety, for they were soaked with muck. He suffered a number of injuries to different parts of his body during his getaway. He lived by himself

and recalled just getting ready to cook. “Then me hear shoo…. Ah slide, me haffu slide out,” Scott testified. He listed the things he lost: stove, food stuff, bed, chairs, radio, and television. He recounted reaching below the house “with the muck and some wet sand. If me nah been slide out me woulda get badly injured,” Scott said. Scott admitted getting clothing from residents in the community but by then he was cramped, cold and wet. In his words: “me couldn’t help meself.” It was not, according to him, until fo’ day morning “that he reached his mother’s residence. “Real thing me go through that night,” he stated. He came by donkey to

Randy Scott Rose Bank the following day. He was taken to the beach where he was transferred to the Coast Guard then to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. Scott spent two days there before being discharged. But he must attend to his wounds. With water facilities disrupted in Rose Hall, the Clinic there was closed.


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8. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

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: www.thevincentian.com Email: vinpub@thevincentian.com Mailing Address: The Vincentian Publishing Co. Ltd., P.O. Box 592, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Editorial

Not just national, but regional recovery efforts needed THE PEOPLE OF ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, the Windward Islands and the Caribbean as a whole are in mourning once again, following the unseasonal but deadly weather which affected the Windward Islands over the Christmas holiday, causing loss of life and hundreds of millions dollars in damage. While fuller assessments of the true extent of the damage are ongoing, in Dominica, St Lucia and our own country, it is nevertheless clear that this latest has been one of monumental proportions. We are not strangers to natural disasters, but both the timing and the scale of this latest one have impacted on all three societies in a very dramatic way. Not only has the loss of life surpassed all recent disasters, going right back to the Soufriere eruptions of 1971 and 1979, but the damage to the physical infrastructure, and disruptions to the lives of people pose a major challenge for recovery and rehabilitation. Two things must be borne in mind in regard to the destruction. First, that as always, while disasters affect the entire country, the people who suffer most are those who can least withstand it — the poor, the indigent, the aged and infants. Those vulnerable groups are perpetual bearers of the collective sufferings of our people. In addition, the areas most affected are, as in the case of Tomas and the storms of recent years, rural communities in the north of the country. These are the same people battered again and again over the years, and who have shown tremendous resilience in rebuilding their lives. Even the faith of the most firm among them must be severely tested this time. The second point is that these very countries are ones whose economies are under great stress, given the state of the global and regional economies. We have significant limitations in what we can do to assist the poor, needy and suffering; but our neighbours themselves have significant constraints in coming to our rescue, given the scale of the destruction. A truly herculean effort is required. It must also be remembered that just in December, Parliament approved the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for 2014, in preparation for the passage of the national Budget this January. Surely, this latest disaster must have implications for the national Budget, and occasion some readjustment. When all this is taken into consideration, it is clear that we can only overcome this crisis by banding together as a people. In this hour of crisis, we cannot afford distractions and division. Sacrifices are to be expected, not only on the part of those affected by the storm, but each and every one of us must participate in the effort. This is a crisis which must bring us together as never before, which must bring out the best in us. In this, we must avoid the dangers of narrow political partisanship. We have suffered from this in one form or another in the past, going back to the volcanic eruptions of La Soufriere. People with misplaced priorities and interests sometimes let their partisan preferences cloud their national vision. This needs to be avoided. This newspaper wishes to make an appeal to our politicians, our Parliamentarians above all, to set the example. We cannot rebuild among political bickering, and there can be no ULP recovery or NDP help; please reach out to each other. Let our people see our leaders uniting in this effort, and a Parliament which is prepared to put the interests of those who are suffering most, above all else. Let the politicians openly frown on divisive remarks and actions as we try to rebuild. Finally, the recovery effort cannot be complete unless we learn the lessons from all these disasters. Our environment is being impacted negatively by our actions as human beings, our wasteful consumption patterns and reckless disposal of waste and garbage. We have not been paying sufficient attention to climate change, not grounding ourselves in education about its causes and what we can do in mitigation. If ever we have an opportunity for a massive educational programme in this regard, it came upon the “midnight”, not so clear on Christmas Eve. As we express our condolences to all who have lost relatives, and our solidarity with those affected, we also pledge our humble best to support the recovery efforts and to assist in the educational campaign.

The yearly change-over WE ARE NOW INTO 2014, 2013 is now behind us for good. It cannot be recalled, but we can reflect on recent happenings, even as we gird ourselves for the forward push into the New Year full of anxieties, fears and apprehension as to what is in store for us. But we start by backing-up a bit. I had covered some fine senior citizens and recent deaths which are only a sample of an unfolding process. I had forgotten to mention the passing of Louise Miller, with whom I had cultivated a great friendship. Also, fine-living 90-year-old plus Kezia Lavia of Greggs, and Eileen Peters nee Mars an old teacher. And now, a final death in 2013 is recorded of a gracious lady in the person of Marcelle Neverson nee Alves, who for the past fifteen years had been riddled with various ailments. She has now been released and relieved; but we cannot help mourning her felt loss. A past national carnival queen and winner of the Afro-show put on by the Forum, which should make her son Fidel proud. She also was a personable hotelier. Christmas, with its improving ‘Nine Mornings’, Lighting-up and general merriment, was fair to fine. But I get the impression that there has been a falling-off of what should be the chief ingredient, the religious aspect. As a Trinidadian calypsonian put it, Jesus was a notable absentee at his own birthday party! And the anti-climatic freak storm which sneaked up on us on Christmas Eve night was devastating in effect. The phenomenon was at once murderous and majestic in its manifestation. It was as if someone out there served a reminder that, in spite of all the technological revolution, the shots could still be called mysteriously, even mystically. Brilliant and cynical thinkers like Stephen Joachim, Chester Connell and Jomo Thomas will have to probe deeper, after a fundamental and elusive truth which is sometimes stronger than fiction. First have been Douggie DeFreitas, followed by Jerry George who kept the nation abreast of actual events on Nice Radio as they unfolded, and presented a bold analysis and prognosis that point the way to at least some practical solutions for the future. Garth Saunders has stood tall in the way he managed CWSA on the foundation set by Daniel Cummings. The communal solidarity engendered by the force of nature, becoming one another’s brother, has been much commented on, and hopefully represents a silver lining in the clouds of despair, and speak positively for the future of the state of SVG. The international community and our own Caricom partners show signs of a willingness to help urgently. Significantly, it is to be noted that Dominica and SVG, both of whose leaders had been abroad, lost valuable time in responding, whereas St. Lucia had been on the

ball, receiving immediate assistance as a result. It is clear as crystal that it is the norm for our P.M to see every natural disaster as to bringing the people closer to the government which dispenses aid as party political patronage, as was the case of Tomas. This time, most aid is to be channelled via the Red Cross and service organisations, to spread its even distribution, based on need, and not on party support, especially at a time when our national election is around the corner. The government’s time-table is packed to over-flowing. Early o’clock, it has to put its 13th Convention behind it. That is normally plain sailing in ULP type parties which run a tight ship. Their charismatic leader’s return is a fore-gone conclusion. But there could be disturbance in the internal power relations. Camillo we know to be heir presumptive. Luke Browne is in the P.M’s inner circle. But what about Saboto Caesar who was earlier a clone of Ralph’s, but is now seeking to declare his personal independence by asserting himself and creating his own persona. The next election slate will largely determine what happens at this Convention. Already, Ralph and Julian have been seen in North Leeward recently in the company of lawyer Carlos James. The reading is that he would be the candidate for North Leeward, with Jerrol Thompson forced to accept some regional or diplomatic post a la Dougie Slater. If you believe Jules Ferdinand, Ralph had recently invited him to join the ULP, guaranteed to run against Leacock in Central Kingstown, and assured of the deputy leadership of the governing party. That is how school is kept in the ULP. Jomo has returned to the fold in the guise of a prodigal son, and overtures are being made by Ralph to the unruly maverick, Anesia Baptiste quest of power at all costs, with everybody on board! Two or three new national heroes, including Milton Cato, must be thrown into the mix to ensure Camillo’s return in Cato’s former stomping ground, and the opening of the airport as an added attraction, though not tested. In the over-all context, the next budget is a familiar script which is done to accord with constitutional provision, and no more. That is why the debate customarily dissolves into a carnival in which the speaker appears as the King of the Band of the Year. Frankly, and there is no reference to Frank Da Silva, we are headed inexorably unless the change-over of the year is accompanied by a real change-over of governments, from ULP to NDP.


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THE VINCENTIAN FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 9.

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Christmas Eve, a wake-up call When I say to the wicked, “O wicked man you must surely die”, and you do I not warn the wicked about his behavior, the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand”.(Ezk. 33:7-8) Mr Editor, The Association of Evangelical Churches of St Let us recommit ourselves in this new year to Vincent greatly appreciates your kindness in facilitating increasing the influence of righteousness in this nation the publication of this and other messages, and would like through the work of evangelism and discipleship; it is to thank you very much. the responsibility of The Body of Christ to teach the At this time in the history of humanity, we stand at Nation the principles of righteousness, thus bringing the threshold of a new year; 2014 is upon us. Even as the nation under the discipline of righteousness. In we look forward to the future, we cannot help but look addition, according to 2 Chronicles 7:14, the People of back and look around. God are charged with the welfare of the nation...so let The Body of Christ in SVG and around The us “humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God, and Caribbean empathizes with the people of SVG, turn from wickedness”...Appropriate ! I reverence for especially those directly affected by the recent tragedy God must first begin with those who name the name of of Christmas Eve. We pray that the mercies of God will Christ. strengthen you. Do not hesitate to call upon God our This beloved Land of the blessed has received a Saviour, for He assures us in His Word that wake up call. “whosoever shall call upon the name of The LORD God our Creator is not pleased with our general shall be saved”.To the best of our ability, the AEC of mode of conduct: SVG has begun, and will continue to demonstrate the * The moral fabric of this society must be restored in compassion of Christ to those directly affected and the fear of God. The Nation cannot give in to the rendered destitute by this tragedy. demands of the few who clamor for the The Church of Jesus Christ must continue to decriminalization of sodomy, and legalization of embrace its responsibility as God’s Watchman to The marijuana...Any nation which casts off the restraints of Nation. Ezekiel 33:1-20 clearly outlines God’s righteousness, will be likened to a city which destroys requirement for the watchman, and the ensuing it own sea-defenses...the inevitable result will be selfpenalty for negligence: aided catastrophe. “As for you, son of man, I have made you watchman * Parents must take righteous responsibility for the for the House of Israel. Whenever you hear a word upbringing of their children; indeed the hearts of many from My mouth, you must warn them on My behalf. fathers must be turned again to their children. New Year’s Message from Pastor Colin Smith, President of The Association of Evangelical Churches of SVG.

Congrats to the RSVG Police Force I WRITE TO extend congratulations to the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force for an event which the organization recently held. On Friday, December 20, 2013, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force held its inaugural Annual Award and Retirement Ceremony under the theme “Rewarding Excellence through the demonstration of hard work, loyalty and dedication”, at the newly relocated Police Canteen on the top floor of the Kingstown Vegetable Market. The main purpose of the event was to recognize and award serving Police Officers, Retired Police Officers, Justices of the Peace and members of the business community for their contribution to the Police Organization and the country as a whole for 2013.

This was a very auspicious and memorable occasion where a total of eighty (80) persons were awarded; therefore, congratulations are in order to the Leadership of the Police Force, the Chairman and members of the Police Welfare Association, the Organizing Committee, the sponsors and every other person who played a role in making this event come to fruition. Editor, when I enlisted in this noble organization over twenty years ago, I met what was then called “Police Annual Drink-Up and Thanksgiving”. This was an end of year function held every year at the Old Montrose Police Station, and included some speeches from Government and Police officials, and food and drinks. Truth be told, this function had long outlived its usefulness and saw a dwindling attendance yearly. Editor, readers, there was never an end of year ceremony organized by the Constabulary to recognize Police Officers (retirees included) for their contribution to citizen security and nation building until now. This is definitely a bold and positive step by the Police Leadership, which can only result in more positive and uplifting benefits to the organization and its members. Employee Recognition,

Editor, is one of many important ways to motivate workers. The 19th Century Philosopher William James posits “the deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated”. While many researches has proven that a higher pay package is the type of motivation most employees would prefer, a recent study published by Business News Daily revealed that eighty percent of workers who were surveyed in that study said that they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. Editor, if we are to go by the findings in that study, then the recent Annual Award and Retirement Ceremony by the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force must be applauded and be continued for the foreseeable future. Finally, I want to congratulate all of the persons who were recognized. Special congratulations go out to Female Police Officer of the Year Cpl 88 Bristol nee Samuel of the Calliaqua Police Station and Male Police Officer of the Year Able Seaman 699 Damian Franklyn of SVG Coast Guard Service. To those officers who were not fortunate to be recognized this time around, I encourage you to continue working hard for your country and organization because you never know, next time can be your time. To the leadership of the organization, there can be no turning back now. From henceforth, the refrain must be “Left! Right! Forward! March! Let this Award and Retirement Ceremony be a new beginning for yesterday’s omissions. Congrats again to leadership of the Police Force and the Police Welfare Association for this historic event. Junior O. Simmons Station Sergeant of Police

* Justice must be dispensed without partiality, and the vulnerable protected from the wiles of the unscrupulous. * The citizens of The Nation of SVG must seek reconciliation with God and each other. We, in the spirit of true humility must deliberately go about to mend broken fences and bridge existing divides. Politics must no longer be used as a decisive wedge against the inhabitants of this land. * We must, in the fear of God, strive to protect the rights of the unborn, the widow, and the fatherless. The AEC encourages all of its members and affiliates to continue to intercede for the Nation of SVG, including those charged with the responsibility of governing. May God Almighty watch over, and lead us in paths of righteousness by His great mercy. We rest in the grace and mercies of God as we look forward to 2014...Have a Christ-centered new year.

Dishonest judgment WHEN ARE we going to see honest judgment?

Poor focusing The focusing of politicians in this country is poor, too much time wasted on nonsense. Not enough time spent on what can be done to improve the lives of Vincentians. Can you tell me which politician was ever jailed in SVG for wrong-doing? Even if a politician was found guilty for any crime, he or she will not do any jail time here. The only punishment will be the wasting of time and tax payers’ money. Let us focus on what can be done to stop us from buying fish from Trinidad to sell abroad. Restructure the fishing industry. Cut overhanging trees on the roads to Leeward, that cause more water to run on the roads. Develop more tourism projects on the mainland, and find ways that we can improve tourism. Seek more help to finance the airport, and stop the nonsense about all the money going on the airport. Find alternative buyers for our bananas, so that we can say bye, bye to the rat race. Introduce more young people to the skill profession.

Big defeat The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs an overhaul of persons in the administrative positions. It is evident as to what is happening in some of these ministries, especially our health services, as people continue to complain about patients suffering at the hospital. Put systems in place for efficient record keeping, and persons in administration must be able to determine and give advice for the running of the institution (hospital). We are faced with many defeats in the laws, such as the officers of the police force, the prisoners fleeing prison, boys misbehaving in parliament, and lawyer shot in broad daylight.

Award ceremony cont’d Award to the persons on the Pan Against Crime Committee, which did nothing to blind the eyes of crime in SVG. Award to the road trimmers who finish working at twelve o’clock every day. Award to those political Justices of Peace who know nothing about the job. Award to the CWSA leaders who decide to pick up white garbage, leaving the black garbage behind. That’s all for the award ceremony until we find more situations to be awarded for. SPY


V Picking up the pieces; the 10. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

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recovery effort underway The issue ON TUESDAY, December 24th 2013, our beloved country was affected by a low level trough which deposited a substantial level of rainfall, mainly in the north west and north east of the country, but which affected every area, some drastically, and others in a slight to moderate way. This tragedy, which occurred on the traditional Christmas Eve night, has brought untold suffering on Vincentians from all walks of life, in the disaster areas. Eight persons have lost their lives, and five persons are still missing. The government was forced to declare the areas of Vermont Valley, Spring Village, Dark View, Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, South Rivers, Colonarie, O’Briens Valley, Dixon, Spring Village and Fancy as Level 2 disaster areas. Currently, over two hundred persons are in disaster shelters, and here and there, persons have to cope with one difficulty or another. Consider a family of four from the rural area of the country. They would have tried to establish themselves under the various people- centered programmes of the government. They would have benefited from the “duty free barrel programme” of the ULP administration, and would have been getting ready to spend a peaceful Christmas. All this planning would have been destroyed in the space of four hours of heavy torrential rain. Now, like some other Vincentians in the disaster areas, the members of this family are being forced to reexamine their options. They would have spent Christmas Day cleaning and trying to salvage some furniture, appliances and clothes from the flooding. Some families in a similar plight would have thanked Almighty God for sparing their lives. But the long and short of all this, is that the country has been dealt a severe blow, and will require hundreds of millions of dollars in recovery money, to address this situation.

In the face of this tragedy, our people have remained strong, resilient, humane and prayerful. The response has been strong and robust as our citizens rushed here and there, to help flood victims, to provide food, shelter, comfort to those persons who lost loved ones, and generally to begin the restoration process. The state agencies have been impressive in their response. Workers from Vinlec, CWSA, BRAGSA, the Port Authority and NEMO have been magnificent. The private sector has responded well to the relief efforts, and the drive to clean up the capital city, Kingstown. Construction companies and the banking sector in the state are ready to get involved in the restoration process. Abroad, there has been a similar response from Vincentians in the Diaspora, and there is an expectation that more will be done in this regard. As Vincentians, we have to be united and focused, as we endeavour to improve and increase our relief efforts. Regional governments have responded favourably to this situation. The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has already contributed EC$1 million dollars to the relief effort. The government of Trinidad, having assessed our needs, is preparing appropriate packages of assistance. Similar responses will come from the rest of Caricom, including Barbados and Antigua. The international aid agencies will become involved, although this will be a lengthy process. Our friends from Taiwan, Venezuela, and Cuba, etc., will respond in due course. We are indeed fortunate to have a man like Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as leader of the country during this period. His leadership has already been tested in many ways, particularly during Hurricane Tomas, The destruction and he has shown his mettle. It is unfortunate that there are The early estimates are that some 500 persons have been displaced, over those in our midst who would want to 30 houses have been washed away, a make political capital out of the suffering of Vincentians. Their number of houses have suffered comments in the local media and on structural damage and may be the social network, cannot help the unsound. An estimated 30,000 recovery process, and they must be Vincentians are without water, but condemned. The rainfall on the night that number is coming down as the CWSA continues its restorative work. of December 24th, 2013, affected everyone, whether NDP, ULP or There has been major destruction to some critical bridges in the country, otherwise. The relief and restoration including the Vermont bridge and the process must be for all those persons who were affected, without any bias. important Georgetown Langley Park At this critical time, we need all bridge. There are several others hands on deck. No assistance is too whose structural integrity has to be small for the people who are suffering evaluated. A number of roads have at this time. been affected and will have to We must remember the words of undergo evaluation and in some cases, our National Anthem “What e’er the expensive repairs. Rivers have future brings, our faith will see us increased their sizes, particularly in through”. It is at this time that we Cumberland and Vermont, and river must exercise faith, and we must defenses have been breached in redouble our efforts and our prayers, several areas, and will have to be to restore our lovely country, and to repaired. Our infrastructure has provide relief to our people, who were taken a severe beating! affected by the heavy rainfall. May Almighty God continue to A national response bless this country.

The politics of disaster relief THE POLITICS of disaster relief is this:There should be no politics in it! People are hurting and it should not matter one stroke where they come from or who they vote for. The government has a moral responsibility to do its best to relieve the suffering of all the people in need who have suffered loss during this tragic catastrophic event. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on this government to behave like a government. Their fundamental make-up manifests itself in assigning friends and fraternizers to positions or responsibility regardless of their incompetence to fill the roles. Their fundamental response is to say that they will respond to all people, but to empower their candidates to hold the items of relief and to dole out on the basis of party card and political affiliation. It is in their DNA. It is reflected in their commentary to “Own the Government” and to “Own the Jobs.” In true ULP style, they have already shown their intention to “Own the Relief.” Why else would they invite people from overseas to attend, but exclude the Opposition from meetings called to fashion a national response to the disaster? The old dog ULP knows no new tricks. And no amount of tears and posed photographs can change that fact.

Hon. Arnhim Eustace chatting with ULP supporter at South Rivers.

anytime soon, and to be fully prepared in the event that it should recur, the government must prepare itself by targeting not only education in deforestation, and disaster management, at every level, but it must look for a multi-pronged solution, which will consider land and settlement, farming practices and first responder practices. This is not a Give concessions on duty and VAT short term set of public relations exercises. This is a real response, The Leadership of the NDP using the competence in human observed, in touring ground zero of resouce which we possess in the public the disaster, in North Leeward, service, private sector, service clubs, Central Leeward, South Leeward, Christian community at home and North Central Windward and North abroad, utilizing our skill set to Windward, that not only have lives ensure that our response reflects a been lost, but families have suffered real appreciation for this world which unfathomable loss of property. To quantify the losses would be to take a must recognize climate change as fact, not fiction, and respond to the look into each damaged home, where realities of sustainable development. fridges and stoves and other You cannot have your best and appliances have been overtaken by mud. Chair sets and mattresses, beds, brightest languishing in non relevant ministries, while you pose with square and stereo systems, and computers, pegs in round holes, whose incapacity ipads, clothing and school books for makes the human suffering in children, have been damaged beyond circumstances like these all the more repair. These are largely not obscene. Develop a proper strategic household items which one acquires approach to disaster preparedness. without effort and in quick time; many have been purchased and gifted NEMO’s mandate must be revisited , or developed if there is none. We and bought on hire purchase terms; cannot afford to be caught in this way and part of the stress etched in the again. faces of the battered homeowners, is the reality that they do not know how The call to one and all they will recover these items. The NDP has called on the The NDP sounds the call to all who government to offer targeted duty free wish to offer relief and to contribute to concession, and to waive VAT on appliances, which would be purchased the relief effort. We have set up a Relief Task Force Team at our for identified families. This way, the headquarters, who can be contacted to price would be cheaper, and families receive donations in cash or in kind to from abroad and other well wishers would be incentivized to replace these assist the recovery of those most in items lost by those at the heart of the need. You can visit our website tragedy, which are for many big ticket www.ndpsvg.org for all our contact information or call 7844562114 to find items, purchased over time. Farmers out how to contribute. The relief team, and those owning livestock must be headed by the Party President Hon. compensated for their loss, and the Arnhim Eustace, will account for how business community who provide contributions have been used so that books and uniforms, must be those who are interested in ensuring approached to do what they can to that people who need it actually facilitate the replacement of these receive relief, regardless of their items for children, at a subsidized politics, they can rest assured that cost. their contributions will be used properly. Develop a proper strategic Happy New Year to everyone. Our approach to disaster preparedness hearts are with those who in true Vincentian spirit seek to recover as we To ensure that the challenges rebuild as one nation. May 2014 bring presented by this disaster do not with it the much needed change for revisit us and in sharper measure which Vincentians continue to yearn.


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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 11.

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Giving to help and helping to give

Thinking clearly about God

“Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them.” - Chinese proverb The urge to write this article emerged after reflecting on an incident that took place while I was on “Rotary duty” manning one of the donation kettles for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Appeal on Saturday, December 20, 2013. Let me explain: For several years now, members of the Rotary Club of St. Vincent have been volunteering to assist the local Salvation Army in its efforts to raise funds for the many worthy causes that are engaged in. Club members operate three (3) stations around Kingstown and, working on one-hour shifts, invite passersby to donate to the worthy cause. The members on voluntary duty would ring the little bell provided and greet those walking by with a “Merry Christmas! Please help the Salvation Army to help the needy children!” or some similar chant. It was while engaged in such an activity that I observed a mother encouraging her little daughter (not yet five years old) to drop some coins in the opening at the top of the red kettle. I was so encouraged. Her coins were just as valuable as the large notes that some passersby had given. And I pondered, “She is giving to help children less fortunate than herself ... and her mother is helping her to give.” What a valuable life lesson she taught that little child that day! There are many records in the Bible of persons and communities that gave to others. The Old Testament has interesting records of giving and the benefits that are derived from doing so. Reflect on the record of Elijah’s request to the poor woman that she should give him her last loaf of bread (1 Kings 17). She obediently did so, and the records indicate that she was tremendously blessed as a result. I am particularly encouraged by the many historical records in the New Testament that highlight instances where individuals and churches gave out of love ... and were tremendously blessed. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, also taught His disciples about the value of giving and sharing; of letting our love for Him be reflected in our giving to others. And there were so many instances where our Lord reminded His followers of the importance of being charitable. It is therefore not surprising that the early church focused so much on this aspect of Christianity. The book of Acts describes the early church members selling what they had and sharing the revenues with those who were less fortunate. We also read about Barnabas, who evidently had great possessions, and how he selflessly shared these with fellow believers. There is value in giving. There is value in giving to others, and there is certainly value in giving to God’s work. Giving with good intent, with clean motives, will result in tremendous blessings to the recipient

THE EVENTS of the last week must have destabilized some persons and placed a whole lot of things in perspective. If ever Vincentians needed psychological and or emotional help, the time is now. For most, the single most important anchor at this time of extra-ordinary suffering and grief is the belief in God. God alone knows, so many have said. He alone understands is probably the most repeated phrase. I always wondered why so many people proudly proclaim and celebrate the destructive forces of nature as a badge of honour and a reflection of God’s glory. Even as they are overtaken with anguish and pain, people conclude that things could have been worse, and that God truly spared us from total damnation. Why have they not given the suffering caused by national disaster to the powerful former angel, whom we so scornfully call the devil? Would he not have been the perfect villain? There must be another explanation for the calamitous experiences which Vincentians are forced to endure. I remember very well as a little boy when the thunder rolled, Miss Tina, a neighbour of blessed memory, looked to the sky and proclaimed, ‘speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.’ God was said to be doing his work when the lightning flashed. Well, God was a busy man last Christmas Eve night into Christmas morning. For hours, there was non-stop lightning and an intermittent distant thunder. But there is a logical explanation for thunder and lightning. The physicist tells us that a collision of positive and negative electrons in the atmosphere causes the rapidly expanding waves of compressed air to create the flashes of light and an accompanying loud, booming burst of noise we call thunder. Some may still view lightning and thunder as God speaking, in much the same way that some people refuse to believe that man cannot land, much more walk on ‘God’s moon.’ It is said that nature takes back what it gives. The best everyday expression of this truism is “dust to dust, ashes to ashes”. But have we stopped to notice that the floods of 2011 and last week occurred in low lying areas or places where silt from rivers might have created a mirage of solid ground? Georgetown in 2011 and Vermont, Cane Grove, Buccament Valley, South Rivers and Spring Village of last week are exhibits. Lesson: being close to the sea or next to rivers might be seductive and serene, but ever so often these areas may prove deadly. Our planners may have to take another look at where we choose to live and the purposes for which our lands are zoned. About 30 years ago, a deluge overflowed the Vermont river banks. Then, these areas were not as densely populated and there was hardly a hue or cry. Buccament and Cane Grove were agricultural lands. Development has its price. Therefore, the sooner we learn these lessons, the better it will be for all of us. The floods of last week also placed a number of things into perspective. On Christmas Eve, a few of us stood

and the giver. We are encouraged by the old Persian Proverb that says, “Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away.” Reflect on this for a moment. Revisit the statement. Chew on it again (so to speak) and digest the wisdom trapped in those words of wisdom: we all head in the direction of our death, bearing in our hands what we have given away. Link those thoughts with the Chinese Proverb that was used to introduce the article, and the “marriage” becomes something like this: “We proceed through life with hands that are fragrant from the flowers of kindness that we have bestowed to others.” We become richer, bigger, sweeter as a result of our giving. And this is especially so when we do it with pure motives, expecting nothing in return. Doing so without the television cameras blaring or the radio reporter’s microphone at our lips. No cameras. No newspaper reporters. Just giving for the love of it and the love of others. Such selfless giving will not come naturally. It must be taught. It must be encouraged. Some will say that we (you and I) are “wired” to be selfish and self-centred. The normal tendency is for us to look out for ourselves first and then to look at the needs of others. And we do understand and appreciate those who would counteract this statement by claiming that you cannot take care of others unless you first take care of yourself. However, we agree that the thoughts being expressed here remind us that we each have so much of ourselves and our possessions that we can give. And while we do not want to encourage begging and a spirit of dependency, we can give and still allow the recipient to retain their dignity. We can still give and encourage the receiver to seek to help themselves. We can still give and teach the next generation of the beauty and blessings that emerge when we do so. What should you give? What must I give? What will we give to make our special place on this planet a better place, a more fragrant place, to live? We can give time and share talents. We can make financial contributions to a needy individual, a struggling family, or deprived community. We can donate food items, clothing, books, etc. to a needy family. We can consider doing so on an individual basis, or linking with like-minded individuals to help someone in need or a community that is in want. There is so much good that can be achieved when we give to help and we help to give. Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to julesferdinand@gmail.com

in front of the market and lamented the gross commercialism and rampant materialism that have taken over the Christmas celebration. We concluded that the crowds out on the Sunday before Christmas were larger than any seen during carnival. At Carnival, most Christians stay out of town. Not so on the last days before Christmas. Vincentians shopped with a vengeance. And then it happened. Instead of spending a quiet Christmas morning with family and loved ones, we were pained, reviewing and assessing our losses, looking for and helping our neighbours, strangers, anyone. Our whole lives were rearranged. Suffering, unspeakable suffering stalks the land. So what was all the mad rush about? What would Jesus Christ, in whose name all of this madness was done, say? Were we lured us into a collective ambush so that we will all proclaim God’s greatness? Is this the kind of signs and wonders that are supposed to shock us into righteous behavior? I refuse to believe that a loving, allknowing, and beneficent God, whether as himself or as a Trinity will bear down on us with such unspeakable hardship and death and destruction and suffering. I refuse to believe that God has anything to prove to man or anyone else. In fact, it has to be true that God could not care less what mankind does. The word is clear. God has already mapped the past, present and future. He knows who will sin, who will proclaim the word and then backslide. In a nutshell, he already knows who would believe to the end, as well as those who are agnostics or non-believers. We are predestined. There is no need for a God test. Why the need for floods, fire and brimstone? Why create such fear, hurt and pain? It must be true that there are some strong believers who continue to suffer as a result of the storm. Is it to test their faith? Can’t be, God already knows the fortitude of our faith. Some say God demands our attention. But this can’t be true either. God already knows whose attention he is going to get or who will turn their backs on him. He need not harm an innocent 2-year child at Buccament or sacrifice 5 persons from one family at Rose Bank. Others say no one should question God’s work. But is it true that what happened on Christmas Eve night/Christmas morning was really God’s work? I do not think so. Pain, suffering and damnation can never be God’s work. There must be another explanation. We owe it to ourselves to find out why nature is so unforgiving and destructive, and look for the enduring goodness in our God. Send comments, criticism & suggestions to wefirst@aol.com


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12. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Opinion

Massive floods

No contingency fund to provide immediate financial help to our people ST. VINCENT suffered massive floods on 24 and 25 December 2013, with many people swept away and there being substantial damage to property. Section 72 of the 1979 SVG Constitution provides for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund, from which urgent and unforeseen expenditure could be met. However, according to the Director of Audit, the ULP government has not complied with the constitutional order. The ULP government has not established a contingencies fund, and the consequence is that there is no money immediately available to help our people, and they will suffer more. Also, sustaining blanket tax and customs duty exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, that amount to billions of dollars, while our people are in distress and immediate need of financial help, is inhumane. SVG experienced landslides and floods a few years ago, and our people suffered unnecessarily for a long time. Then, as with now, the government had not set aside monies in a contingencies fund, and so were

unable to provide immediate payments and relief to those who suffered. The government had to go begging again from abroad, and our people had to wait many weeks to get help. There has been a failure since the last floods and landslides, and over the last decade, to stop the chopping down of trees in the forest area. This failure has put our fresh drinking water sources at risk of pollution, and exposed our people to greater risk of landslides and floods. SVG Green Party has said many years ago that we must not only stop the chopping down of trees, but also plant many more trees in the forest area to reduce the possibility of landslides and floods. We should set a target of planting half a million trees. Costa Rica planted 8 million trees in 2008 and 5 million in 2007. Planting trees will also create jobs. The United Nations has said that planting trees is one of the best ways, not only to reduce the impact of floods and landslides, but also to reduce the possibility of floods and landslides. They have a direct impact on the stability and reinforcement of soil by

roots, and protect the soil surface from surface erosion and gullying. Mr Ivan O’Neal, Leader of SVG Green Party, was out early on Boxing Day visiting areas affected by flooding. Many people complained to Mr Ivan O’Neal that there was no warning of bad weather given by NEMO, and that they were caught by surprise. There has been a failure to provide an advance warning system for our people, as in most modern countries. SVG Green Party sends its condolences to the families of the deceased. It is apparent that there is an urgent need for an external audit of the planning and operations that deal with disasters and disaster prevention in SVG. Government should comply with section 72 of the 1979 SVG Constitution and set up a multimillion dollar contingency fund, and plant trees to reduce landslides and floods. Our people should not have to suffer these devastating events. SVG Green Party www.svggreenparty.org

What a year of devastation! NORMALLY, we would be reviewing the major events of the past year, in this our first issue for 2014. And, what a year it was! A year in which one of the greatest men to ever bestride this earth, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest, mourned by millions, with representatives of most of the major nations personally in attendance. That was undoubtedly the Event of the Year. Other prominent world leaders to pass away in 2013 included President Chavez of Venezuela and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain. But the grief at the passing of these leaders pales in comparison to that currently being experienced by millions of unfortunate people all over the world, ranging from the Windward Islands, to the Philippines island-chain on the opposite side of the globe, passing through India, Mexico, the United States and Britain. Their common grief was occasioned by devastation as a result of what is commonly called ‘natural disasters.’ Our less than 20 deaths in the Windwards, while a massive tragedy for small islands, is miniscule compared to the more than 6000 who perished when typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, or the more than 5700 killed by floods in north-eastern India in June. The increasing intensity of these ‘natural disasters’ is causing scientists to question whether they are as ‘natural’ as we assume, or whether in fact, we are not contributing to our own misfortune.

Should one pay for water in a disaster? ADMITTEDLY, our country has been bombarded by a natural phenomenon that has left widespread devastation in its wake. Lives have been lost. There has also been loss of property and animals. This is a time when morale could become so low that persons could not have the will to lift a finger to work through their situation. Oppositely, however, the Vincentian spirit rose phenomenally, with persons suspending their Christmas celebrations and feasting; and rolling up their sleeves, putting their all into helping those affected. As a result of the disaster, many things have become extremely essential. Among these is the precious commodity of water. The Central Water and Sewerage Authority has, so far, been doing quite a tremendous job in getting facilities up and running again, and in providing water to those whose supply is taking a bit longer to be reconnected. This is where brotherhood comes in. Persons have been allowing their neighbours and friends to collect water from their taps, once their supply is present. THE VINCENTIAN, last Thursday, was in the Rose Place area, where several persons were seen surrounding a pipe situated outside a church. One person was washing her hair. Shortly after that, the pipe was turned off and a lock placed in a position, so as to prevent the flow of water. When several persons present asked for some water to fill their bottles, they were told by a young lady, apparently

a church member, that anyone needing water would have to “make a contribution to the church”. Neither the pastor of the church nor any elder of the church was present. A heavy argument ensued, but it ended in the needy turning away to look elsewhere for water. One may ask, was this the right action to take? Was the situation best served, with that particular person having the responsibility at the given time? There is need for more thought to be put into these situations.


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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 13.

News

Health Ministry: Guard against contaminated water by KENVILLE HORNE THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH, Wellness and the Environment is appealing to citizens to ensure that water used for human consumption is not only clean, but safe. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Luis Deshong, said in a release following the Christmas tragedy, that alternative water sources for life and livelihood are therefore a viable option. According to the release, because of the absence of water from the municipal supplier, the Central Water and Sewerage Authority

(CWSA), the following options and restrictions are to be noted and embraced: Water from rivers is not to be used for human consumption, including bathing; Harvested rainwater from clean roofing materials should be strained and sanitized by either boiling or via the use of sanitizing solutions or tablets; Packaged bottled water is strongly advised, especially for drinking purposes; Private and public institutions and establishments are encouraged not to open for

People found themselves in rivers throughout the island to ensure that clothes were clean and baths were had. (Photo by Don De Riggs)

Pbusiness unless there is a LIME and Mustique Company partnered to provide reliable supply of clean and safe water for human residents of South Leeward with some much needed clean water. activities. “As the nation awaits “The absence of the primary water the full return of the potable water supply from the Central Water and supply in some areas of the mainland, Sewerage Authority and the it is important that safe water interruption of regular waste collection practices be employed by all citizens. services may result in persons engaged This will undoubtedly not only prevent in unsanitary practices to sustain lives the outbreak of water related diseases and livelihood. One household’s source but also ensure national water safety of water may be another’s waste and security,” said Deshong. disposal site. In this regard, the Additionally, the Health Ministry general public is requested to desist has deployed personnel across the from using unsafe water for any form country to educate residents about of human consumption and to practice healthy lifestyle choices and provide safe and hygienic onsite storage of water purification tablets to all solid waste,” de Shong said in a press citizens. release. Deshong said on Sunday that “Moreover, in an attempt to prevent environmental health officers, nurses the occurrence and outbreak of who work within the various communicable diseases, especially communities and other health those associated with the consumption professionals have been deployed as of unsafe water and food, the Ministry the nation awaits the full restoration of Health, Wellness and the of public utility services in the wake of Environment, in collaboration with the disaster. other public and private entities, has He highlighted the disruption of activated its Health Disaster Response solid waste collection and municipal Mechanism. As a consequence, there potable water supply and said the will be more resources available Ministry is asking the public to towards reducing the human health exercise sound judgment when impacts associated with the recent conducting their regular daily national occurrence”. activities.

“Human suffering unbearable”- Arnhim Eustace THE PRESIDENT of the NDP Hon. Arnhim Eustace seemed lost for words, and was moved to tears as he toured the devastated Cane Grove, Buccament and Vermont Communities today Boxing Day. Speaking on Nice Radio after six hours in Central and South Leeward, Eustace, lamented the “human suffering,” and “anguish” he witnessed as persons were busy clearing debris, and consoling each other after a freak storm caused rivers to overrun their banks resulting in loss of life and property over what should have been

the most “wonderful” time of the year- Christmas day. The President and Leader of the Opposition, who was joined on his tour by Area Representative for South Leeward Nigel Stephenson, Candidate for the NDP in Central Leeward Ben Exeter, MP for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings, and Senator Vynnette A family in distress Making water available to thankful residents. Frederick, extended personal condolences to last eighteen-year-old those persons who lost loved Senator Hon. Vynnette daughter and two- year-old ones, seeing one gentleman Frederick journeyed to Spring grandchild, describing her who described in Village and Rose Bank where strength as she sought to brutal detail losing they met with and heard from encourage her own neighbors hold of his the villagers who have in their communal cleanup girlfriend’s hand as suffered extensive loss and effort, as “remarkable.” the river took them damage to property. under a bridge in Eustace brought with him a NDP delivers water to North Buccament. The truckload of water, which Leeward communities obviously distraught turned out to be the last fifty man was taken from cases in Mountain Top’s Depot In his continued trek the Buccament through flood ravaged parts of which he indicated was facing Secondary School to the island, the Hon. Arnhim its own supply challenges as the Milton Cato Eustace accompanied by North their factory was cut off by Memorial Hospital landslides on the Windward Leeward Area representative for medical attention. Hon. Roland Patel Matthews side of the island. He also spoke with a and MP for West Kingstown The villagers were Julian Francis and Arnhim Eustace talk mother who lost her extremely happy for a taste of Hon Daniel Cummings, and about the extent of the devastation.

having lost everything. drinking water which they said has been in scarce supply since Christmas Eve morning. Eustace was met by the Prime Minister who was also touring the area. The political leaders shook hands and spoke about the extent of damage to the constituency and country. The NDP continues to mobilize regional and international relief support and returned to the airwaves, with Maj. St. Clair Leacock manning the controls on the New Times Programme airing ahead of its January 2014 return date, especially during this time of national crisis.


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14. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Diaspora

Vincies in US join massive relief effort Story and photos by NELSON A. KING naking@verizon.net; neloking@msn.com US CORRESPONDENT

together to assist their homeland in the wake of the Christmas storm that left several people dead and a trail of destruction. Since the disaster VINCENTIANS in the United struck, nationals, States have banded particularly in New

Barrels of supplies.

York, have rallied to the call for help. St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ New York Consulate General is collaborating with a broad-based coalition of Vincentian groups in the United States in appealing for aid. At a meeting in Brooklyn December 26, with nationals, the Consulate and the groups — which include the umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, Council of St. Vincent and the

Preparing clothing for shipping. Grenadines Organizations, for shipment. U.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO), The four-year-old and the St. Vincent and group, VincyCares, the Grenadines Diaspora volunteered to provide Committee of New York hot meals and — agreed to form a refreshments for hard“steering committee” to working volunteers, manage relief efforts. raising funds in the The committee, which process, through the sale also comprises influential of food, to the cause. individuals in the Lawyer and Vincentian community, is accountant Narissa chaired by Consul Morris, who serves as the General Selmon Walters, steering committee’s a former Minister of treasurer, said a total of Government. US$4,504 was collected “Please let us do on Saturday, including something and do VincyCares’ contribution. something good for our On Sunday, at the St. nation,” appealed Vincent and the Walters to a large Grenadines Nurses audience at the Friends Association of New of Crown Heights York’s inaugural Winter Educational Center, Wonderland which serves as the Entertainment Evening, operating center for relief at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal efforts in New York. Church in Brooklyn, “The donations can organizers appealed to come tomorrow,” he patrons to contribute added. “Please spread financially towards the the message.” relief effort. Walters said items Retired registered immediately needed for nurse Celia Bramble, the dispatch to St. Vincent group’s head, said, when the event was planned, and the Grenadines are raising funds for the medical supplies, food, clothing, toiletries, water relief effort was, clearly, “not in our wildest and money. dreams. He said Amerijet has “When we heard about offered to transport relief this (flood disaster), we supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines free had to shift our focus to support the people of St. of cost. Vincent and the Walters said the first Grenadines,” she told set of supplies was patrons. expected to leave New The Relief Steering York’s John F. Kennedy Committee is asking the International Airport Monday night for direct flight to E.T. Joshua Airport. Saturday, nationals and supporters joined hands at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in ensuring that several barrels and pallets of relief supplies were readied Preparing water and other supplies.

public to make monetary donations to the CHASE, SVG Community, Inc. Morris said a Face Book page will be operational for direct deposits through PayPal. The committee — which comprises prominent media personnel, including this correspondent — has reached out to mainstream American media for coverage of relief efforts. As a result, on Sunday night, ABC TV, Channel 7 Eyewitness News, gave a story update on the storm’s destruction at home and relief efforts in Brooklyn, featuring Morris and Deputy New York Consul General Edson Augustus. Additionally, US Ambassador, La Celia Prince, has appealed to nationals to support the relief drive, stating that the assessors are “still conducting their work in terms of quantifying the physical and material loss. “We know that we can count on the support of the Vincentian community to respond to these needs; and, as such, we are sharing this information with you to use as a guide,” she said in a letter to her compatriots. Continued on Page 16.


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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 15.

Diaspora cont’d

Vincies in US join massive relief effort

“But, at the same time, it’s an opportunity for us to re-look the way in which we build our society, both infrastructural and social,” added Haywood, who is also a United Nations development officer. “So we need to go back to the drawing board to see how we can reduce disaster risk.” The Washington-based Organization of American States A section of audience at the (OAS) has expressed “deep sorrow” emergency meeting on Dec. 26. over the loss of lives, and severe damage caused by unseasonably heavy rainfall in the Eastern Caribbean Continued from Page 14. islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The effort is good,” Laverne OAS Secretary General, José McDowald-Thompson, COSAGO Miguel Insulza, expressed his “sincere president, told THE VINCENTIAN. “I like the enthusiasm of the people condolences to the governments and the peoples of the affected countries on and their willingness to help our their loss.” homeland,” added the former school Insulza assured them that the teacher in St. Vincent and the Washington-based hemispheric body Grenadines. “The tragedy is “stands in solidarity with them at this unfortunate. A natural disaster is very difficult time.” unpredictable. It’s very unfortunate He said he will shortly convene what many families have to go other agencies within the Interthrough.” Maxwell Haywood, president of the American system to “mobilize a hemispheric response to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, said debilitating effects of what is becoming known as the Christmas Day rains in the situation in his native land is the southern Eastern Caribbean.” “heart-rending.


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16. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

News

Community lighting proves a point by Gloriah…

Point Village Lighting took the first place position in the Vinlec Community Lighting Competition.

celebrate with great delight.’ THE POINT VILLAGE Each of these COMMUNITY are the 2013 communities Vinlec Community Lighting won in their champions with their respective theme: ‘The Past and the Zones. Present Make Us Who We According to Are.’ In second place was Michael Kingstown Hill, with their Peters, theme ‘Oh Holy Night.’ Third Chairman of position went to Rose Bank the National ,with their focus ‘One Nine Mornings Second Place winner in the Vinlec hundred years of Christmas Committee, Commmunity Lighting Nine Mornings; we forty-two communities Competition, Kingstown Hill. registered for this year’s turned the tables on competition. A fiveOlivia Da Silva of Cane member panel of judges End, who was the was empaneled for the defending champion. task. Glenroy Delpesche of Gardens and individual Frenches placed third. houses were also looked Results for the other at. competitions will be The Richmond Hill announced today Friday Gardens, along the January 3, 2014 at the Richmond Hill public Award Ceremony. Those road, took the top spot in are: Best Nine Mornings this category. The Ces for Community, Best Wes Gardens in Arnos Christmas Community, Vale placed second. The Best 100 Years Theme, Beachfront in Fitz Hughes Most Improved placed third. Community, Most Popular Jimmy Samuel of Local Christmas Song, Rillan Hill had the Best and Best Community at Lit Private House. He the Launch Parade.

Vincies in US join massive relief effort Continued from Page 14. “The effort is good,” Laverne McDowaldThompson, COSAGO president, told THE VINCENTIAN. A section of audience at the “I like the enthusiasm of the emergency meeting on Dec. people and their 26. willingness to help our homeland,” added the former school teacher in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “The tragedy is unfortunate. A natural disaster is unpredictable. It’s very unfortunate what many families have to go through.” Maxwell Haywood, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, said the situation in his native land is “heart-rending. “But, at the same time, it’s an opportunity for us to re-look the way in which we build our society, both infrastructural and social,” added Haywood, who is also a United Nations development officer. “So we need to go back to the drawing board to see how we can reduce disaster risk.” The Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) has expressed “deep sorrow” over the loss of lives, and severe damage caused by unseasonably heavy rainfall in the Eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, expressed his “sincere condolences to the governments and the peoples of the affected countries on their loss.” Insulza assured them that the Washington-based hemispheric body “stands in solidarity with them at this very difficult time.” He said he will shortly convene other agencies within the Inter-American system to “mobilize a hemispheric response to the debilitating effects of what is becoming known as the Christmas Day rains in the southern Eastern Caribbean.”


THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 17.

Metrocint honours a legacy His wife, Noreen Richards, remembers the many late nights when the seeds of Metrocint were sown and Uncle Metro’s inability to sleep, restless with the explosion of ideas of forming a local insurance company and thereby helping to stem the capital outflow from the country. Not one to just stand on ideas, he set about to make it happen, and through sheer determination, enterprise, hard-work and dedication, and marketing genius, Metrocint was formed, and through the years forged a successful path supported by its very committed customers and staff, rising in a relatively short time to be a leading insurance company in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. What has always been striking and “unduplicatable” was the charismatic personality of the founder “Uncle Metro.” His charisma transcended the extraordinary. His persona and genius combined to give continuous momentum to the company. This legacy has been a Managing Director since 2001, Desiree Richards virtual light of growth and relationship shares a light moment with the Spokesperson building. This aspect has made him an ‘Candyman’, and Chairperson, Noreen Richards. unforgettable personality whose memory Egerton ‘Uncle Metro’ Richards, founder of Metrocint is a continuous inspiration and through General Insurance Co. Ltd., a man with a vision. which the Honorable Ralph E. Gonsalves, for gracing us with Metrocint his presence at our customer service appreciation, as essage from relationship he he has done over the last several years without Desiree Richards with the fail. In the light of the circumstances, his effort to Managing Director Vincentian attend was most appreciated. public Notwithstanding the celebratory mood, thoughts AS METROCINT GENERAL continues to of the gravity of our situation in the aftermath of INSURANCE Company, Ltd. thrive. At the the storm were near. Our Vincentian spirit is an marks its 45th anniversary, foundation of it integral part of our core and what defines us. This is we salute our customers who all was his love what brings have believed in us and have of country and us together provided us with steadfast love of people. as a support throughout the It is that culture. It years, enabling us to be the foundation that is fuel for successful company that we gave rise to the survival are today. persona “Uncle and fuel for Forty-five years ago, an Metro.” I enterprise. enterprising Vincentian, remember the May we not Egerton Richards, classic just survive popularly known as ‘Uncle advertisement but rise and Managing Director Desiree Richards celebrates with Metro’, supported by his that gave birth thrive. business-savvy wife, customers. Insurance Manager, Ian Da Silva, longest to “Uncle May God Noreen Richards, formed serving employee is pictured at right. Metro”: bless you, Metrocint General “Children, and may we Insurance Company, children!” be blessed Ltd. This was the start of St. Vincent and the “Yes, Uncle Metro! “ .... The children retorted at the with a Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Grenadines’ first indigenous insurance company. top of their vices. From that time, he became Uncle peaceful former Metrocint legal counsel. in This was several years prior to our country’s Metro, and the name lived on with the persona and and joyful conversation with newest employee, independence. the company being merged into one. Anna Laborde, Miss Metrocint 2013. New Year. This act alone of It was therefore a natural phenomenon that starting a local Metrocint extended itself to the community and insurance company lives of Vincentians. The company reached out to ushered in a new the society in a way that was not done before, and era in Vincentian provided scholarships, contributed to sports and to business thinking culture in an unprecedented way. Many persons as it boldly opened would remember the Uncle Metro Cycling up the range of Competition and the Metrocint Carnival show, the Vincentian Metrocint picnics and New Year’s Eve parties. enterprises. This Metrocint and the community were inextricably was the hallmark of linked. our founder, a It is upon this legacy that Metrocint has been passionate able to grow, inspired by its rich heritage. patriotism that We are proud to celebrate our 45th anniversary of served as the this rich legacy. Thanks to the Vincentian public for foundation and its steadfast support. Thank you to our loyal impetus for customers and staff. Thank you to our colleagues, patriotic business partners and well-wishers who have Managing Director Desiree Richards is joined by enterprising showered us with congratulatory messages. A General Manager Jacinta Elliott (centre) and Sales Three generations of business thinking. special thank you to thePrime Minister, the Associate Angus Martin with customers. Metrocint.

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18. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Metrocint Insurance Company turns 45 Perils Insurance, along with Burglary, Bonds, T WAS EXCITEMENT for Contractors All Risk/ the staff and customers Liability, Goods in at Metrocint General Transit and Employer’s Insurance Company, last Liability. The company Tuesday 31 December, as has been branded a the company turned 45. reputable organization The Metrocint by its members, and Company Headquarters having done 45 years in was decorated and it was the insurance business, a festive atmosphere. Metrocint Insurance Employees of the Company seems destined Company decked in for greater heights. white 45th anniversary The annual T-shirts greeted Appreciation Day was customers. Beverages, turned up a notch this light refreshments and year in reflection of the gifts were on offer. Some milestone. Noreen customers sang, others Richards, wife of the late danced to music founder; CEO of pounding from a speaker. Metrocint Insurance Metrocint General Company, Desiree Insurance Company is Richards; General the oldest and most Manager of Metrocint homegrown insurance Insurance Company, company in the country. Jacintha Elliot; Prime Founded by the late Minister Ralph Egerton ‘Uncle Metro’ Gonsalves and Taxi Richards, it offers Motor drivers, including Insurance, President of the Taxi Homeowners/Householde Drivers Association rs Insurance, Winston “Pops” Morgan Commercial Fire and joined in the celebration.

by KENVILLE HORNE

I

The Taxi Drivers Association has a group insurance package with the company, which sees its members benefiting. Morgan described the service provided by Metrocint as very good, and he was happy with the family-like approach of the employees. “You can speak to a member of Metrocint whether in the office or on the road, or you can speak to management on a one on one basis and they would make you feel like family,” declared the Taxi Drivers President. “The name Metrocint is a long standing name, and everybody knows Uncle Metro.” He added. According to the long standing customer, he claimed once on his insurance and the company dealt with him in a timely manner. “If (an) Insurance (company) can be around for four decades with a good name, it should give

you the confidence to insure with them. 45 years is more years than I have been on mother earth. Companies Customers are all smiles. come and companies go, but Metrocint Right: Prime Minister Gonsalves was on hand to show support to the is still here.” company. Morgan said that affordable to people, if group insurance which you can’t give them his Association has with money directly in their Metrocint covers all its pocket, you have to make members at a more than thing more reasonable affordable price: “and it for them so automatically they cater for you.” is good because it Prime Minister Ralph it would mean more encourages persons to be Gonsalves, was on hand money in their pocket a part of the Association to show support to the and that is what the because there are company. His arrival group insurance does.” benefits to be derived. brought smiles to those The Taxi Association When you ask drivers for President applauded the present. He repeated a reason why they want company for hosting the aspects of his work as to join the Association, “Uncle Metro’s” lawyer, annual Appreciation they say because of the much to the delight of his Day, noting “the insurance with audience. Gonsalves appreciation is good, Metrocint,” danced and hugged staff every member gets a He went on: “In these bottle of wine, they have members before hard economic times, you departing on his busy food, if you are a Rasta have to make things schedule. and you don’t like meat


THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 19.


20. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

The Management and Staff of

Take this opportunity to Extend Best Wishes to

Metrocint General Insurance Company Limited on its 45th Anniversary Dut D Du Duty u y Free F ou outlet utl tle l t E Joshu shu hua Airport hua Airp r ort rp rtt E.T Joshua Tel: (784) 456-6424

Cnr Middle and Melville Streets P.O Box 383, Kingstown Tel:: (784 Tel ((784) 784)) 4574 57-188 1881 1 Fax: Fax: (7 (784) 84) 45 456-2 6-2645 645 457-1881 456-2645

f co com Email: gonliq@caribsurf. gonliq@caribsurf.com


THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 21.

Metrocint Customers Satisfied lawyer, made us an offer, where we would insure ETROCINT with the company and GENERAL they would give us a INSURANCE CO.LTD rebate at the end of the held its annual year. I suggested to the Appreciation Day last Taxi men that we insure Tuesday, December 31. with Metrocint, because Customers shared their after the foreign experience with the company give us a company. rebate, they would take Here is what some most of the money out of said: the country, but when we insure with Metrocint Percy Walker and he put the money in Customer for 30 years the bank, we would go and borrow it, because he I have insured 12 is loca. So am happy that vehicles with Metrocint. we went with Metro. I They sorted me out well. never had any hard time When the Taxi with Metrocint. Metro Association had its office went out his way to help up Sharpe Street people. When the opposite the Banana company was in the first Association office, an building they didn’t have insurance company from computer and they had England that was about five workers. I managed at the time by a by KENVILLE HORNE

M

remember Ian Da Silva and Miss Sergeant working there. The staff was always helpful. I believe in supporting local and Metro has been there with us. I can’t say anything bad about Metrocint, they always satisfy me.

Percy Walker

Michael ‘Bampy’ Mills Customer for 17 years

I have insured 13 vehicles with Metrocint and it’s the best insurance. At Metrocint even if you don’t have your money to pay your insurance on time, you Charles Richardson could talk to someone Customer for eight years and they would help you. The place has changed a Before Metrocint, I lot. It is very comfortable was insured with another inside the office, when company. I think you go inside you don’t Metrocint has a better want to come out. I don’t deal for me, and the have any problem with benefits are good. I them, and when you would recommend reach in the office they persons to Metrocint are always ready to because they have better assist you. I will Insurance coverage. I encourage persons to join have been driving for 29 Metrocint Insurance. years.

Charles Richardson

Michael ‘Bampy’ Mills

Juraney ‘Bagga’ Roberts Customer for 15 years

Since I have been with the company, it has been good. I insured three vehicles with them and I don’t get any problem. They deliver service of the highest. It’s a homegrown insurance and one of the best in the Caribbean. The 45 years that they have been around is worthwhile, and I would encourage every motorist to join Metrocint. You can’t get any better deal than Metrocint. I wish Metrocint General Insurance happy 45 years anniversary and many more.

Juraney ‘Bagga’ Roberts

Eulanda Andrews

Customer for 15 years Metrocint has given me good service over the years and I am satisfied. I wish them all the best and hope they see many more, and they should continue their good work. Eulanda Andrews I have recommended persons in the past and they are happy with the they are appreciating their customers and we service. It’s good to see are happy.

Metrocint staffer Rachel George interacts with a customer, while at right Anna Laborde shares a light moment with a valued client.


22. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

D & E Auto & Towing Wrecker Service

Congratulates

Tel: 458-5087

METROCINT GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED on its

45th Year of business

Wishing you continued growth and strength

Fraser Construction 45 45 Extends Congratulations to

Tel: 453-1806

METROCINT GENERAL INSURANCE CO. LTD on its

45

45

45

Years of service

to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the insurance business

We continue to look forward to your services in the New Year.


THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 23.

Metrocint and Uncle Metro, an institution and an icon

the author of this article to really dub it Metro’s month. A former politician of great stature who contested elections against by PATMOS RICHARDS Buccament, a voice faithful Laverne SVG’s first Prime Minister, emanating from a lived for years. Roberto Milton Cato, he came BOUT THREE OR prominent business place, Enter Uncle: I marginally close to defeat the PERHAPS four weeks owned by a former police asked him if he former. He was an entrepreniual ago, amidst my various officer who goes by the remembered Egerton genius who established milk and maladies , I journeyed to name ‘German’. Hi! There Mc Lean Richards. poultry industries in the late Central Leeward, initially to I met a man who will be Laughter filled the 50s. In 1968 on the 31st Buccament with my last lap my inseparable friend for air as people were December he founded the being Layou: beautiful life. eager to respond, Metrocint Insurance Company. Layou, because that town Spontanteously, a with their After his death in January embodies geographical conversation flowed association with 2001, the institution, was taken attraction and following a fraternal shake ‘Uncle Metro’ over by his illustrious daughter infrastructural class that is hand. We spoke on all socially and Miss Desiree Richards, a lawyer on par with suburban Cane aspects of life; and being formally. by profession. Garden. the senior man in the Now, the closing On behalf of Metrocint Walking the roads of audience, he regaled on stages of this article, Insurance Company, SVG’s first Layou, I heard on my way aspects of his native Layou some businessmen native insurance company, may back to Mrs Carlita and life in his adoptive and people of his soul continue to rest in Griffith’s residence in England, where he and his prominence asked peace.

A


24. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN


THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 25.

Robertson Surveying Services Ltd Tel: 457-1279 Fax: 485-6219

Email: macsurveys@vincysurf.com

Joins in congratulating METROCINT GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED AS THEY CELEBRATE

45 45

Years in the Insurance Industry

Keep up the good works


26. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Metrocint provides relief to flood victims revival efforts. PM Gonsalves ITH MANY thanked Richards VINCENTIANS still for her reeling from the contribution. He effects of the Christmas acknowledged that Disaster, the Management many people were of the Vincentian suffering and some Publishing had lost Company/Metrocint everything. General Insurance Fifteen bridges Company is helping with have been relief efforts. . destroyed, persons Chief Executive have to be Officer of the Vincentian relocated, and it Publishing would require Company/Metrocint hundreds of General Insurance millions of dollars Company, Desiree to rebuild the Richards presented a country, according cheque for EC$15,000 to to the Prime Prime Minister Ralph Minister. He Gonsalves last Tuesday. commended the Richards is aware of resoluteness of degree of suffering many Vincentians. L-R: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves accepted a cheque Vincentians are faced Gonsalves paid from CEO Desiree Richards. with in the wake of the tribute to founding recent disaster, and she father Edgerton and widow at the helm of lawyer for Metrocint is happy to assist. The Richards, and vouched the business. The Insurance Company and CEO commended the that the enterprise was veteran politician of Richards’ purchase of Prime Minister for his in capable hands with recounted his long the Vincentian role in the country’s his (Richard’s) daughter standing relationship as Newspaper. by KENVILLE HORNE

W


Leisure/Advice

Aries (Mar. 21- April 20) You can get others to do things for you but be sure not to overpay them or lend them money. Do yourself a favor and leave your plastic at home. Work at home if at all possible. Anger might lead to carelessness and minor Injuries. You can write beautiful love letters this week. Taurus (Apr. 21- May 21) Try to satisfy both of your needs. Put your energy into self-improvement programs that promise to make you into a better you. Accept the inevitable. Make sure that you have all the pertinent facts before taking action. Gemini (May 22-June 21) Feeling under the weather may be a result of overindulgence. Uncertainties are still prevailing. Time spent with family, children, or good friends will be regenerating and positive. If you're already in a relationship, use this added energy passionately. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Don't gamble unless you can afford to lose. You will be ready to jump on anyone who gets in the way of your progress this week. Don't overspend on friends or children. Intellectual stimulation is what you are looking for. Leo (July 23-Aug 22) Don't make any unreasonable promises. Make love, not war, and all will be fine. Include the whole family or those you love. You will meet new romantic partners through the company you keep. Virgo (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) Travel will turn out to be far more exciting than you imagined. Involvement in fitness clubs will be conducive to engaging roman tic connections. Lack of funds may add stress to your already uncertain situation. Your need to obtain additional details will lead you into strange topics of conversation.

Libra (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) Move forward if you want to turn your life around. You may want to make drastic changes concerning your personal partner. Your talents are likely to be discovered. You need to be around friends and family. Scorpio (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) Realize that you don't have to do everything yourself. Make changes in your domestic scene. Either way, you're up for a passionate encounter with someone special. Your emotional attitude with respect to your status and direction in society may be unrealistic. Sagittarius (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) You will be able to talk about emotional problems with your partner. Travel will also entice you. Deceit around you is evident. You can pick up information that will give you an edge. Capricorn (Dec 22.- Jan. 20) Comfort is a necessity. Check your motives. Don't promise to deliver the goods if you aren't positive that you can meet the deadline. Get involved in competitive sports. Friends will appreciate your attention and playful nature. Travel opportunities look positive, but be cautious while driving. Aquarius (Jan. 21.- Feb. 19) Be sure to double-check the house on your way out. You will need to do a lot of research if you wish to get to the bottom of things. Interaction with colleagues will only be upsetting. Your own small business on the side sounds pretty lucrative. Pisces (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) Others may want to steal your thunder when they realize your ideas are pretty solid. Family responsibilities are escalating. Don't let others know about your private affairs. Your uncanny insight will help you make the right choices.

ACROSS 1.Butterfly’s cousin 5. Advanced degrees (abbr.) 9. Lobo 13. Have __ in one’s bonnet (2 wds.) 14. Lorenz and Moss 16. “__, Nellie!” 17. Assenting votes 18. Informed 19. Part of, as a plot (2 wds.) 20. Pearl’s home 22. Beverly Hills house 24. “Hooked __ Feeling” (2 wds.) 25. Blemish 26. Tutor 29. Mess up, as a bedspread 34. Slangy female 35. Hip-swinging dance 38. Onassis et al. 39. “__ and Ivory” 41. Truth, in China 42. Crunchy 43. “__ Man” (1984 film) 44. Expectant mom’s party 46. Week division 47. Number of pipers piping 49. Ragu products 51. Flying stinger

54. Golf gizmo 55. Canadian province 58. Elegant 62. Consisting of two parts 63. Voting machine switch 65. Boot bottom 66. Therefore 67. Take care of (2 wds.) 68. Pour forth 69. “The die is __” 70. Ship’s front 71. Actress Moore DOWN 1.The __ Clinic 2. Behave 3. Lipton beverages 4. Moses portrayer Charlton 5. Ancient Egyptian ruler 6. “Hee __” 7. Small measures 8. Shoulder bag feature 9. 1940s event (abbr.) 10. Shout of dismay (2 wds.) 11. “Crazy” bird 12. Matinee-idol idolizer 15. Missus, in Madrid 21. Admission

A new man for the New Year

George,

I told my boyfriend that I will be making some changes for the coming New Year and one of them maybe getting another man to replace him due to his insensitive ways.  I have not been impressed by him for the time I have been with him which is exactly 2 years.  We are exactly the same place where we were 2 years ago.  I want more and he does not seem able to give it to me.  His reply to me was that I always say I am going to do changes for the new year and I never follow through and he will live long enough to see me not follow through on replacing him.  I’m wondering, is he for real?

Amazed Dear Amazed, Maybe you need to show more action than talk and by doing so, your stalled boyfriend will wake up to the reality of having to find a

new girl who would put up with his inaction. Quit saying you will do this or do that and just you need to reach. If for so be it! do what you need to do if you it is out with the old that is what needs to be and in with the new than George done to get you to where

Should I marry him? Dear George,

out for us. What do you think?

I AM LIVING with my boyfriend and neither of us are working but yet he wants me to marry him. Right now we are living in his mother’s house. She is away in Barbados and will be coming back to resume living in the house sometime in the new year. This means that we would have to find somewhere to go. I am tired of showing him how impossible it is for us to get married. I am ashamed to say that we have been getting by only because his mother sends him money ever so often. He is not keen on finding work. He says he cannot find work but once I got a job for him and he refused to take it. It is only excuse after excuse. I love this man George but I don’t know how much longer I can remain with him and listening to his sorry excuses. He is saying that we do not have to have money to be married but I strongly disagree. Deep down inside I won’t mind marrying him. Maybe somehow it might work

BETS C Dear BET C, I am sorry to be the one to break the news to you that it is going to take a little more than love to maintain a marriage and relationship. Surely you cannot be seriously remotely considering marriage to this man! He is lacking ambition and is definitely out of touch with reality to think that marriage is the right thing to consider without a job and money and a place to live that you can call your own. If he does not want to get up and get out of his mother’s house and show you that he is capable of being a man then you need to look elsewhere for the type of man who is marriage material and is on the same page as you.

George

23. Actor Erwin 26. Actress Normand 27. Marry clandestinely 28. Justice Ginsburg 30. Scratch 31. “__ goeth before destruction…” 32. Simpson and Hartman 33. See at a distance 34. Richard of “Pretty Woman” 36. Chinese chairman 37. What actors take 40. It precedes

Dec. 42. Savage 44. Tangles 45. Be humiliated (2 wds.) 48. Sheep’s mom 50. Discontinued 52. Saturate 53. Asphalt applier

55. Atmosphere 56. Lingers 57. Ink stain 59. Unspecified amount 60. Willowy 61. Abominable Snowman 62. Kwanzaa’s mo. 64. Ike’s theater

LAST WEEK’s SOLUTION

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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 27.

Argyle Terminal Building now under Gov’t control Continued from Backpage. Director of OECC, Chao-Ming Wang told the audience that his company was pleased to work on the airport, and complimented IADC for its determination. Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Weber Shih defined the construction of the international airport as an important one, and said he was happy to be a part of the project. The Taiwanese Ambassador said the construction of the Terminal Building reflected the effectiveness of cooperation between his country and SVG. He described the Argyle International Airport as a flagship project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He commended the Prime Minister for his determination and leadership for making what seemed impossible, possible. He praised the OECC and the Vincentians who worked on the project. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the Terminal Building was constructed at a cost of just over US$28million. He reminded the audience that the Runway for the airport would measure 9000 feet in length and 150 feet wide. “It’s going to be able to accommodate jets as large as the Boeing 747-400, which would allow for direct flights to our country from the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America.” Gonsalves gave an overview on the progress of the airport. According to him, 85% of the earth works is completed. “The sea defense work at the north east end of the runway started on August 12, 2013 and will extend into the middle of 2014,” said Gonsalves. He commended the OECC for a good job in executing the project, and disclosed that the building will be retrofitted within the next six months. The building consists of three floors, with 145,000 square feet of space, and is designed to handle about one and a half million passengers annually. The Airport is expected to be completed by late 2014.


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28. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Regional

Caricom stands ready to assist member states

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (Caricom) Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said he was profoundly saddened by the loss of life in St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia, and the destruction wrought by floods, landslides and high winds in those member states and in Dominica. In a message of condolence following the severe weather that affected the three Caricom member states, the

secretary-general extended sympathy to those who lost loved ones. He also gave the assurance that Caricom stood ready to render all possible assistance in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. “On behalf of the Community, I extend deepest sympathy to those persons who lost loved ones, were injured or displaced or suffered damage to property, and lament the

damage to infrastructure as a result of the severe weather. The Community shares the concerns of the families of those who remain missing, and prays that they are found safe and sound. “The Community’s regional emergency response mechanism has been activated. As the process of recovery and rebuilding begins, I wish to assure those persons who are affected that the Community stands

Ambassador Irwin Larocque, Secretary General of CARICOM. (Jamaica Gleaner) ready to render all possible assistance as the member states seek to rebuild from the destruction,” the SecretaryGeneral said. (Trinidad Express)

Disaster a setback says Anthony

Saint Lucia after Christmas storm (www.newsamericasnow.com) CASTRIES, ST LUCIA– Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says the damage unleashed by a low-level trough over the Christmas holidays has been extensive and severe, resulting in a further setback for the country. “The road ahead will be difficult and hard especially in the face of the economic challenges facing our country,” Prime Minister Anthony told a news conference yesterday. “But we have handled this disaster magnificently, largely on our own efforts with few resources. We have worked together, mourned together and supported each other. It is that kind of spirit we must invoke to face the future,” he added. Anthony told reporters that many people had lost all of their belongings to the floodwaters that have also been blamed for the deaths of six people. “We now know that some ten homes were completely destroyed by the raging floods. Several vehicles were damaged by flooding, some beyond repair,” Prime Minister Anthony said, adding that agriculture had suffered badly, with initial estimates pointing to a 30 to 40 per cent damage to banana fields, 90 per cent to vegetables and five

Hewanorra Airport flooded (wordpress).

per cent damage to tree crops. Additionally, 90 per cent of all ponds suffered varying degrees of siltation, Anthony said, adding that his administration had set itself five priorities in the aftermath of the damage caused by the weather system. He said, firstly, the government would provide care, support and assistance to those who were affected by the flood waters. “We were anxious to secure the re-opening of our airports to ensure the movement of passengers to and from St Lucia and assure our source tourism markets that we were open for business and that their holidays would not be compromised.” Anthony also said the government was urging the public utilities companies to restore services as quickly as possible, in addition to vehicular traffic around the island. “The Government of St Lucia is pleased to report that we met all of our objectives in this short term,” he told reporters as he also praised Caribbean countries and other friendly countries for coming to the assistance of the island. He added: “We often describe the Caribbean as a family. There was no better illustration of this than the

St Lucia Storm damage 1- Freak storm devastates St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(en.paperblog.com)

support which we received from our neighbours. Nearly every head of government contacted me to express condolences and to offer support and assistance to our island. “While others wanted estimates, our Caribbean family came to our support immediately, without being prompted,” he said, noting that without asking, the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration in T&T had been the first to respond to the plight of St Lucia. He said the St Kitts-Nevis Government had made an EC$1 million donation to the island and the Government of Barbados had offered water and any other assistance St Lucia would require. “Later this week, we are expecting supplies by boat from the Governments of Suriname and Guyana. On Sunday, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and current chairman of the OECS Authority, Baldwin Spencer, visited St Lucia to see the damage for himself.” Anthony said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had expressed “feelings of brotherhood and solidarity and reiterated a commitment to us and indeed the peoples of the Caribbean

in these difficult times.” He said Caracas had pledged “its unwavering support” in caring for the victims and the “reconstruction of the affected infrastructure. “Within 24 hours the island was motorable, albeit imperfectly in some cases. The work done by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport was outstanding,” Anthony told reporters, adding that he was reserving his greatest thanks to the people of St Lucia who he said were determined, patient, co-operative, disciplined, and sometimes stoic. “I thank those who gave their equipment freely to remove debris and to repair damaged roads to enable the safe passage of vehicles. I remember a visit to Canaries and the young people whom I met, armed with spades, buckets and brooms as they cleaned their community. “The people of Bexon had every reason to be disappointed, frustrated and even angry after another flood but they were calm, cooperative and grateful as they commenced the task to clean their community,” he said, thanking also the corporate

St Lucia Prime Minister Dr.Kenny Anthony. community for its assistance and singled out Buckeye, the company that recently bought out the US-owned HESS Terminal here. “Although still unknown, because they have only recently arrived in our midst, they have donated EC$66,391.18 in supplies to aid our recovery efforts, all purchased locally. We thank them immeasurably,” Anthony said, adding that the government is yet to determine the nature of support that would be given to those who lost all their belongings. However, he assured children and their parents that school books would be replaced and grants be given to purchase lost school uniforms. He said that would be done to coincide with the reopening of schools. “The weeks and months ahead will be critical, as we move to restore normalcy to the island. I urge all to continue in the spirit of love and unity that prevailed immediately after the passage of the trough. While many of our possessions were washed away in the floods, our spirit as a caring and resilient society remains,” he said. (Trinidad Guardian)


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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 29.

News

FSA helps Lime Community out Outreach Programme warms 200 hearts are loaded up with employees volunteering their time to this worthy cause. “God bless LIME” “Thank God for LIME” were some of the sentiments expressed by these senior citizens as they accepted the much needed food packages with gratitude. Marketing and Corporate Shut in ladies in Sandy Bay receiving Communications Lead care packages. — Nikala Williams expressed, “this since 2000 and Disabled man in Fancy receiving care package. continues to be a life- changing started off with less KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT – December than 90 packages and was limited to a experience for everyone who volunteers 23rd, 2013: It is that time of year again selected few persons on the windward at LIME. Some of these persons are dis-abled, live alone and sometimes when the Tele-communications giant side of the island to the dry river. hungry or in pain, but still have the LIME, took to the streets delivering food Presently, this drive encompasses ability to smile, give God thanks and packages to 200 shut-Ins, dis-abled and persons from every community share a bit of humour.” less fortunate elderly citizens throughout throughout St. Vincent and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenadines. From Fancy all the way This programme has been in action down to Chateaubelair, LIME vehicles

Taiwan donates for Flood Emergency Relief and Humanitarian Aid At the meeting, Dr. Gonsalves also expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for the completion of the Passenger Terminal Building of the Argyle International Airport Project, which was officially handed over to the SVG Government on December 30. The Prime Minister and Ambassador Shih emphasized that the Argyle International Airport is, so to speak, the biggest project in SVG history, which was started from scratch, and H.E. Ambassador Weber Shih presents cheque to the on-time completion of Dr. The Hon. Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves. the Terminal Building had once again fully condolences to the ON DECEMBER 31, exhibited the families and friends of 2013, H.E. Ambassador effectiveness of Weber Shih, on behalf of those who lost their lives cooperation between the the Government of the in the disaster, and two countries. Republic of China wished Vincentian Ambassador Shih said (Taiwan), handed over a friends who have been that he was so proud to cheque in the amount of affected by this horrific be part of the Terminal US$200,000 to Dr. the natural disaster a speedy Building Project from the Hon. Prime Minister recovery. Prime beginning to its Ralph E. Gonsalves as a Minister Gonsalves completion, and believed donation for emergency expressed thanks for the that with concerted relief and humanitarian assistance from this efforts the international aid in the aftermath of country’s allies to cope airport will be up and the devastating floods on with the disaster, and is running soon and especially grateful for the Christmas Eve. conducive to the nation’s the generosity and Ambassador Shih, on development. (E) behalf of his country, solidarity promptly expressed deepest extended by Taiwan.

Shanika Layne, Employee of the Financial Services Authority presents to Mark Carter, One of the recipients of Food Basket. ‘MARK CARTER AND Family of Rose Place and Wayne Toby of Diamond Village were each recipients of Christmas Charity boxes from the Financial Services Authority on Monday December 23rd, 2013. This is the season for caring and sharing, and the Staff of the Financial Services Authority pooled together to help families in need and to bring joy and cheer in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.


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30. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. THE VINCENTIAN

Sports

Cumberland setback THE BOGEY WHICH has plagued the Cumberland Playing Field for the past years has returned with a vengeance, ironically on Christmas Day. It was a gift no one wished for. However, having come in a national disaster, there is hope that Cumberland will be considered for rehabilitation in the restoration works. That facility has been on the cards for the longest while. It ought to have been opened and in full use. But for whatever reasons, works lingered. Cumberland was unable to escape the heavy downpour. And being close to the river, it was inevitable that an expanded water volume would find its mark. Had there been a secured compound, Cumberland would not have succumbed to serious danger. From what is seen at Cumberland, it would not be an overwhelming venture to clean-up the mess. But there must be additional cost to continue the project. The opportunity must be seized to zero in on the Cumberland Playing Field and ensure that it is part of the restoration. Other Playing Fields suffered under the deluge. They by their very nature will be prone to floods and excessive rains. The Buccament Playing Field suffered from the floods. It might be time for the National Sports Council to provide adequate facilities for sports men and women who use that area. The Buccama Resort is next door, in fact across the banks of the river that divides it from the rest of the community. Ample protection was provided for the Resort. No one will blame them, for that was a multimillion dollar that project was installed there. It is a pity that the same kind of consideration was not put on the structures on the other side of that project. The Petit Bordel Playing is still exposed to waters from the Pavilion Building in use but yet to be fully completed. Attention will have to be paid to reduce the impact of the disaster with the potential of increasing the suffering that citizens have been forced to endure as a result of the floods. In times like these, persons tend to relive the stress in some kind of sporting endeavour. Whether it is to run around, exercise, drift in the open air and feel the breeze across your face, or by watching your favourite sport in action. If Playing Fields suffered because of the weather, it will be the same for the Hard courts. Many of those are mostly hastily assembled and their durability invariably come into question. They are usually tucked into some corner of the community, with very little thought as to suitable site of the facility or its use to the community. The Power Supply Company was perhaps acting with benevolence when they arranged for the construction of hard courts on the Cumberland Hydro Plant Compound at Cumberland. That too suffered from the deluge. Not even Vinlec was able to ensure the sustainable use of the water which has helped to reduce the nation’s fuel cost. At this time, Vinlec will have to cater for its internal restoration in addition to the widespread need for urgency nation-wide. The picture of damage and destruction is not confined to the Leeward side. Sport lovers on the Windward section, and indeed the Grenadines, will also be assessing the consequences of the Christmas Day downpour. Reports are still to be put together. For some rectifying sporting facilities may not be priority, but that is a trend that policy makers will have to revisit.

Table Tennis Association unveils Calendar

the Business House championships are all part of the onboard action. Jack has identified an increase in the membership of the Association among the priorities and Javier Deshong, Damion Dublin, Kavir Gaymes - this will start early January 2014. three young players making the trip. “We have people playing the game, Stories by E. GLENFORD PRESCOTT but as you see what happens at election time, there is always THE ST. VINCENT AND the confusion as to who is eligible to Grenadines Table Tennis Association vote…..we must do things in an is to embark on a comprehensive organised and systematic programme aimed at spreading and way……we are way behind where developing the game throughout the we should have been and this state. executive is taking the initiative to This is according to a calendar lift the profile of the Association,” of activities released recently by Jack told The VINCENTIAN. the Tyrone Jack-led The membership drive will administration, which is into its attempt to set registration and seventh month of a four-year term. subscription fees for junior and The Beverly Warren Memorial senior players. Tournament is slated for the last Technical Director of the week in March at the West St. Association Orville Haslam said George Secondary School. that the New Year will usher in a Warren a former national new approach, with great female champion and emphasis on the youths. administrator, succumbed to “We are not ignoring or cancer a few years ago. discarding the older players, but The Association will also be we would be encouraging them to hosting an Inter-Church move into administration since we competition which will be held at believe that they have a lot to the West St. George, Campden offer by way of Secondary and Georgetown experience……people cannot go on Secondary Schools at the end of indefinitely, so while they may May. still be doing well locally, we Other tournaments including believe the time has come to nationals will be held for both rebuild with their help,” the junior and senior players. several times Caribbean Men’s Heroes Cup Invitational, Singles Champion said. Independence Tournament and

Indication of the thrust by the Association is highlighted with the Coach Joseph launch of a Carrington national development programme set for January 18, 2014. A four-man delegation has been selected to travel to Santo Domingo for a six-week High Performance Training Camp from January 9 to February 20, 2014 and Haslam said that this is the start of the programme to create the path for youth development. Three players: Javier DeShong, Kavir Gaymes and Damion Dublin will make the trip in the company of Coach Joseph Carrington. Haslam said that the national Grassroots programme is ongoing, and he hopes to attend some sessions over the period, and would be making a special effort to assist with the Bequia segment of the programme. Jack said all coaching programmes conducted by the Association will be free, and this will be conveyed to parents and guardians of junior players and students. “In the past, we have heard reports of some coaches collecting monies to do the Saturday morning programmes…..this should not happen since the Association is organising this programme…if parents want specialised coaching for their children that is another story....but no one must collect any fees for this programme,” Jack said.

Windwards preparing for Super 50

CEO of Windwards Cricket Board-Lennox John THE WINDWARD Islands Super50 squad is expected to travel to Trinidad and Tobago next month just prior to the commencement of the regional tournament, once arrangements are confirmed by T&T cricket officials, according to CEO of the Windward Islands Cricket Board Lennox John. John said that Windwards teams travelling South as part their preparations has become the norm since it provides top class facilities and an environment that is ideal for serious training. “Our teams, the senior and youth teams have done that over the last few years and it has had a

positive impact on the players…….this based on the feedback we have had,” John said. He said that once things are finalised, the team is expected to spend five days in Trinidad where they will engage the hometeam in two practice matches. Recently, the TTCB and the Windward Islands Cricket Board signed a memorandum of understanding which would see this country assist the islanders with their development programmes and marketing, part of a story in the Trinidad Guardian said. The Windwards will begin their campaign January 31 against Jamaica at the Queen’s Park Oval, while T&T will face the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) on February 1, also at the Queen’s Park Oval. John is confident that the Windwards who are the defending champions, can repeat their success, based on their combined bowling strength and good allround ability. He however was quick to admit that the absence of Dominican offspinner,

Shane Shillingford, one of their trump cards, has dealt a severe blow to the team’s arsenal. Shillingford was banned by the International Cricket Council-ICC- after his action was deemed illegal following independent tests carried out in Australia during the current New Zealand tour. The eight teams, including Ireland, have been split into two groups with the Windwards playing in Group A alongside Jamaica, Ireland and Guyana. Group B comprises T&T, Barbados, Leewards and CCC. The tournament which is being sponsored by the Trinidad Ministry of Tourism will be played over a two-week period with matches in both Trinidad and Tobago. Two matches will be played in Tobago with losing 2013 finalists, the CCC, who were only included this week after the United States failed to confirm their participation, opposing the Leeward Islands February 5. T&T will face Barbados February 6. Both matches will be

Captain Liam Sebastien, along with joint player of the match Devon Smith and Kenroy Peters and Coach Ian Allen hold Super50 trophy. played at Shaw Park. The Windwards won the 2013 title after beating the CCC by nine wickets in the final at the Kensington Oval by way of the Duckworth/Lewis system. Left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters of SVG with 4-32 and Grenada’s Devon Smith with an attacking 67 were named joint player of the match. The Windwards 2014 squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Liam Sebastien (vice-captain), Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Keddy Lesporis, Johnson Charles, Dalton Polius, Delorn Johnson, Kenroy Peters, Romel Currency, Tyrone Theophile, Alston Bobb, Gary Mathurin and Mervin Mathew.


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THE VINCENTIAN. FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014. 31.

Classifieds


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FRIDAY,

JANUARY 3, 2014

VOLUME 108, No.01

www.thevincentian.com

FREE EDITION

Taiwan donates to flood relief story on Page 29. The Passenger Terminal was handed over to the Government of SVG by the Taiwanese company OECC. by KENVILLE HORNE

L-R: Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Taiwanese Ambassador, Weber Shih exchange Certificate of Substantial Completion of Terminal Building.

ANOTHER MAJOR STEP towards the realization of a Vincentian dream has been taken. The Passenger Terminal and Sub-Station Building, an important component in the construction of the Argyle International Airport, was handed over to the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday 30th December, by the Overseas Engineering and Construction Company (OECC),at the airport site. The handing over has been hailed as a move

closer to the completion of the International Airport at Argyle. Chief Executive Officer of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), Rudy Matthias, said that the building was designed to meet the specifications of the IADC. He said the IADC provided a list of specifications for the designers of the project to ensure that it meets the needs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “We told them in a 53page brief, how we want

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

our Terminal Building to be designed; what we want in our Terminal Building, how many rooms are to be placed, how many floors we should have in the Terminal Building, and the traffic.” Matthias noted that IADC instructed the OECC to design an efficient and pleasant Terminal Building. “It says that our design objectives require the architects to design a functional environmentally sustainable, safe, cost

effective passenger Terminal Building to provide a distinct front door experience to all visitors to the Argyle International Airport, and to provide a pleasant environment for the persons using the building. I believe that we have achieved that”, said Matthias. The Terminal Building features two buildings to allow for the separate processing of international and domestic passengers. Continued on Page 27.

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