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The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines


DECEMBER 6, 2013

VOLUME 107, No.49


Barrels stored in warehouse at Standard Caribbean Shipping on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn.

Ruby Wood with barrels in container (in background) and some of her employees. Gideon “Fessy” Yorke, owner of Standard Shippers, amid barrels in warehouse.

Story and photos by NELSON A. KING; US CORRESPONDENT ‘TIS THE SEASON not only to be jolly but also for sending home barrels! As Christmas draws near, Vincentian shipping companies in the United States are increasingly busy in ensuring that their compatriots receive, in a reasonable time, the multiplicity of barrels that their relatives and friends send home for

the season. Proprietors of some of the major Vincentian shipping concerns in Brooklyn, New York, with whom THE VINCENTIAN spoke over the last weekend, said they have been working for extended hours in participating in the seemingly annual ritual. “It’s extremely hectic,” said Ruby Wood, the Mt. Pleasant-born (small village between Stubbs and Argyle) owner and chief executive officer of Square Deal Shippers

and Movers, Inc. on religious and secular. Church Avenue in “It’s religious because Brooklyn. we send barrels and “This is expected for church circulars and the season,” she added, programs to numerous stating that business churches in Central and picks up significantly in South America,” she mid-November and said. “We also send abates by the end of the barrels over the world, first week in December. including all Caribbean “We have lots of barrels islands. and appliances going home for the season.” Continued on Page 3. Wood also said her company Right: Delaware residents fulfills dual Deanna and Richard Hamilton, missions during of Kingstown Hill and Sion Hill, the season for respectively, standing next to her wide barrels at Standard Shippers on clientele: Avenue D in Brooklyn.

Leon Dopwell, of Paul’s Avenue, assembling barrels with forklift at Standard Shippers.




Trading in Gold

by KENVILLE HORNE MEMBERS OF THE SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) doing business with the Customs and Excise Department stand to benefit significantly with a new Gold Card Programme arrangement between both

entities. Under the new system, goods would be released upon importation with less customs intervention. Documentation, books and records would be checked, verified and audited subsequently. Besides the quickest possible release of consignments, Gold

L-R: Comptroller of Customs and Excise Department Grenville John and Executive Director of Pasta Enterprises Limited Andrew Woodroffe signed the Gold Card Agreement. Card Holders consignments would not

be routinely examined. “Gold Card Holders

L-R: Comptroller of the Inland Revenue Department presented a Gold Card Holder certificate to Albert Porter from the St.Vincent Brewery Limited. would enjoy an improved status when compared with other businesses,” proclaimed Comptroller at the Customs and Execise Department, Grenville John during the launching and signing Ceremony of Customs Gold Card Programme at the New Customs Administration Building last Wednesday. John said that consultation on the programme began February 2013, and declared that the Chamber was their partner of choice. He outlined that the Chamber had been working closely with Customs, and he wants the partnership to continue. John noted that in today’s environment, it is impossible to progress without partnership. “The business community wants to clear their consignments out of the customs at the quickest possible time. And from a customs point of view, it’s the release of legitimate consignments without hesitation while still maintaining the required levels of border control and security,” disclosed John. Customs is prepared to live up to its obligations under the agreement, and anticipates the same from all Gold Card Holders, John promised. Assistant Comptroller Monique Stewart said that the Gold Card Initiative was one of the recommended trade facilitation schemes advanced by the international institutions such as the WTO, the WCO, the World Bank and the IMF to facilitate compliant traders by not making physical and documentary verifications at the time of importation, but rather subject them to post clearance Audits. She noted that those institutions are of the view that importers who display excellence, and are competent and compliant, pose little risk to customs. “Therefore compliant importers are allowed and encouraged to speed their goods through Customs formalities.” Stewart said the department set about putting plans in motion to

Newly appointed president of SVG CIC, Christine Da Silva. develop the Gold Card Programme following the announcement by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during the 2013 budget last January. At that time, Gonsalves spoke of a Gold Card programme to be implemented as part of initiatives to strengthen the performance of Customs. The Gold Card Agreement was drafted by Customs and presented to the SVG CIC. After minor adjustments, the Agreement was adopted. Under the new agreement, only members of CIC or a similar organization can become Gold Card Holders. The Chamber, which has a membership of 138, is anticipating more businesses joining the organization to share in this new measure. Newly appointed president of SVGCIC, Christine Da Silva said the Chamber continues its commitment to the role of supporting initiatives as the Gold Card, “that leads to the continued improvement in doing business in SVG.” She is urging more business with the public sector which strengthens existing ties and leads to a more enabling environment for private sector institutions. “We encourage all business to be informed of this programme and sign up,” said Da Silva. Following the launching of the Gold Card programme, three business entities Pasta Enterprises Limited, St. Vincent Brewery Limited and Coreas Hazells Inc. were awarded Gold Cards and Certificates.

V News 3 Prison officers fired


Williams made the confirmation when contacted THREE PRISON OFFICERS were by THE VINCENTIAN on recently given marching orders Tuesday. following the conclusion of a The trio was among five civil hearing in connection with prison officers who were before the facilitation of a business the tribunal which was set up scam, said to have been to determine whether the orchestrated by a well-known officers were in violation of the inmate at Her Majesty’s Prison. Civil Service Orders and The Public Service Prison rules. Commission (PSC) took the One of the other two prison decision to terminate the officers was fined $1,000 and services of the prison officers, was allowed to resume duties, based on the findings of a while the other returned to tribunal appointed by the work without conditions. PSC, in accordance with the The five had been on Public Service regulations. suspension with full pay, PSC chairman Cecil ‘Blazer’ pending the outcome of the by HAYDN HUGGINS

Enhancing justice and rule of law by KENVILLE HORNE THE OFFICE of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has welcomed the passing of the Witness (Special Measures) Act 2013. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said that the new law was significant, Director of Public and that it was Prosecutions (DPP) Colin designed to Williams. enhance the delivery of justice and the rule of law. DPP Colin Williams, who has been calling for this piece of legislation for a long time now, is quite relieved. In September of 2012, following the death of a former star prosecution witness Uroy ‘Laybay’ Robertson, Williams Told THE VINCENTIAN there was an urgent need for a witness protection system. He said that witness protection, “is very expensive”, but “it is also very important.” At the time of Robertson’s death, Williams admonished the state mechanism for not supporting Robertson, blaming himself in the process. “We did not provide the necessary measures,” admitted Williams. Now that the necessary laws are enacted, Williams hails the move as “yet another significant step forward in the progressive development of criminal law practice and procedure in this country.” The release noted that the theme of one of the community Engagement Programmes of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is “No witness, No Justice.” “This Witness (Special Measures) Act is a significant step forward in ensuring that there will be a witness who will testify and in so doing strength the rule of law and the delivery of justice” the release noted. The DPP’s Office is declaring that the Act stands as a landmark in the delivery of justice and the rule of law, and therefore applauds all those who contributed to ensuring that this valuable law is enacted.

matter. The prison officers were accused of making contacts and conducting business outside of the prison in relation to the matter. Evidence presented before the tribunal revealed that a building contractor was told by the inmate’s contacts, outside the prison, about a house someone was building. The contacts would put the contractor on to the inmate who would answer from the prison. Pretending to be someone calling from the military in the United States, the inmate

told the contractor that he was borrowing money from a lending institution in Kingstown to build the house, but that he had to deposit some money before the loan was processed. He asked the contractor to put his (contractor) funds into the account for him, promising that he would repay the contractor. PSC chairman Cecil ‘Blazer’ The contractor complied, Williams. but the inmate was able to have his contacts get the Kingstown, resulting in goods money out of the account. Evidence also revealed that being delivered to his contacts. The prison officers were the conman used his contacts represented by attorney Carl to do business with firms in Joseph.

Barrels galore for Christmas! Continued from Front page. “To my many customers, we want to wish them a Merry Christmas; and my wish for my homeland is peace and prosperity!” she added. Carl Munro, proprietor of Standard Caribbean Shipping, Inc. on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn, said he, too, has been extremely busy — though not as busy as last year. “This is our season to make some money and to pay some bills; and, if we don’t get the customers now, we’ll be in a hole,” he said. “We have to be very thankful for our customers,” added Munro, who hails from Lower Back Street, Kingstown, disclosing that his company shipped four containers of barrels, comprising mainly food items and appliances, home last week, and was expected to do the same this week. He also revealed that, in one week last month, Standard Caribbean Shipping Inc. shipped six containers of barrels — the most in any week since opening business in September 1999. Gideon ‘Fessy’ Yorke, who owns Standard Shippers on Avenue D in Brooklyn — note the name distinction from Munro’s company — said his business peaks from during the one-month period, Nov. 10-Dec. 10, when customers send barrels of foodstuff, furniture and “plenty TVs” home. “We’ve been very busy,” said the Biabou native, disclosing that he

Items for Clare Valley children from James Cordice-owned Cordice Enterprises,Caribbean American Heritage Collaborative, Inc, and Clare Valley Vintage Jewelry. ships, on average, three containers per week during the Christmas season, and that most of his customers are Vincentian.

wouldn’t come back if we weren’t happy.” The Hamiltons lived in Brooklyn from 1979-94 before moving to Delaware. “We just want to say Merry Christmas to St. Who is shipping Vincent and the Grenadines and 100 Married couple years of Nine Mornings!” Richard and Deanna Hamilton, who hail from they said. James Cordice, the Sion Hill and Kingstown Philadelphia-based, Hill, respectively, told THE VINCENTIAN last former president of the Saturday that they drove St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization by car, for 168 miles, of Pennsylvania, said from their Delaware fellow villagers in Clare residence, to patronize Valley have asked him to Standard Shippers. “We have no problems, fill the void left by the passing of popular we do all our shipping architect Maurice Slater. here,” they said, revealing that the three “Tough task, but we’re barrels, shipped to trying,” said Cordice, relatives at home, disclosing that his comprised “foodstuffs and companies, Cordice everything you need for Enterprises and Christmas. Caribbean American “We feel very Heritage Collaborative, satisfied,” they added. Inc., as well as Clare “We’ve been doing this Valley Vintage Jewelry, for 27 years — as long as an online store he cowe’ve been married. We founded earlier this year,

has shipped, with Besco Shippers , a Philadelphia-based, Jamaican-owned company, at no cost, a barrel of supplies for children in his home village. He said the items included educational toys, books, board and electronic games, sporting gear, sneakers, needle works, school supplies and hand bags. “I know it is good to send barrels to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but we must make sure that the supplies encourage positive growth, like [promoting] education, planting, health and physical fitness,” said the coordinator of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.




Elderly man fined for cutting lover’s throat LENARD PETERS, a 65-year-old Dixon resident, was fined $12,000 on Tuesday for unlawfully and maliciously wounding his former common-law wife Silma Phillips of Byera, with intent. Justice Wesley James handed down the penalty at the Criminal Assizes after Peters pleaded guilty to the offence. Peters was ordered to pay the fine in nine months, with an alternative of one year in prison. According to the facts presented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Colin John, Peters and Phillips, who had a common law relationship, were with friends in Bequia on April 22, 2013 and decided to cook in Hamilton. Phillips was at the time employed in the Northern Grenadine island. Peters inquired of Phillips “Which one of the men in the yard belong to you”, and she replied, “None, because I come to Bequia to look for work, not for man.” The court heard that Peters, who was armed with a penknife told Phillips, “Silma, me go kill you ah nah”, and grabbed her from behind. Peters then used the knife to cut Phillips’ throat. The medical form showed that she sustained a laceration across the anterior neck. Peters’ lawyer Grant Connell told the court, in mitigation, that his client was a virgin to the law, pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and was extremely remorseful for his action. Connell said that his instructions differed from the facts presented by the prosecution, and he referred the court to page 15 of the deposition where prosecution witness John Quashie said in his evidence at the Preliminary Inquiry (P.I) that Peters and Phillips were kissing when the accused pulled the knife from his shirt pocket, and that Peters appeared to be playing because they were still kissing and nothing happened at the time. Connell went on to say that, according to his instructions, the two fell but the knife was still in Peters’ hand, and Phillips was cut accidentally. Connell said everybody on the outing was intoxicated to the point that his client was unable to determine the extent of the injury. Connell requested a suspended sentence, but the Judge opted to impose a fine.

“Male sex weaker”, lawyer admits Attorney Grant Connell in her life, and in the process, Patterson lost A MALE LAWYER admitted on judgment, as “we (human) are Monday that, “the flesh is weak, mere mortals and men being the and the male sex is weaker.” weaker sex.” Attorney Grant Connell The defence lawyer pleaded: expressed the view while mitigating on behalf of his client “we humbly ask the court not to impose a custodial penalty.” He Joel Patterson of Layou who requested a significant fine or pleaded guilty to wounding his suspended sentence. former common-law wife Diana Connell pointed out that his Grant of Fitz Hughes with client was by no means a intent, by stabbing her multiple hardened criminal, and had no times with a knife, resulting in previous convictions. He noted the collapse of one of her lungs. He committed the offence March that Patterson was the father of six children and maintains all 18, 2012. six, one of whom was produced Connell’s passionate by his relationship with Grant. mitigation plea may have saved “This is not a common Patterson from a custodial denominator of Vincentian men,” sentence. Justice Wesley James the defence lawyer said, but fined him $25,000 to be paid in added, “there are some good ones six months, with an alternative around”. of two years hard labour. Connell noted that his client Connell told the High Court, was a mason and part-time in mitigation, that his client farmer, but the lawyer went to Grant’s house to confront emphasized; “He farms in legal greens.” her about another man she had Stories by HAYDN HUGGINS

GRENADIAN national Mervin Williams will spend the next three and a half years behind bars here for having 144 pounds of marijuana with intent to supply. Chief Magistrate Sonya Young handed down the penalty at the Serious Offences Court on Monday. The 23-year-old labourer was nabbed November 21, during an early morning raid by members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) who were patrolling mountains on the Leeward side. The court heard that the lawmen heard dogs barking, following which they saw Williams exiting a hut. The officers approached him and shouted, “Police.” Williams started running, but the officers gave chase, caught him and brought him back to the hut. A search was conducted, and five nylon sacks containing marijuana were found in the hut. Marijuana was also seen hanging in the hut. Williams had pleaded guilty to the offence when he initially appeared in Court on November 21, 2013, but the accused requested an adjournment to obtain the services of a lawyer. He was still without legal representation when he returned to court on Monday. Williams had also pleaded guilty to entering the state illegally, and was fined $1,000 forthwith or three months in prison. The Chief Magistrate also made a deportation recommendation.

“Women are not chattel,” Judge signals HIGH COURT Judge Wesley James has sent a message to men who consider their wives or fiancées to be their personal properties. “Men must realize that women are not chattel. We cannot own

‘Que Pasa’s’ confiscation hearing set for Monday THE CONFISCATION hearing involving businessman Antonio ‘Que Pasa’ Gellizeau is set for Monday, December 9 at the High Court. However, when contacted this week, Mira Commissiong, one of two lawyers representing Gellizeau, told THE VINCENTIAN she didn’t know what position the court would take because the defence had filed an appeal against Gellizeau’s conviction. Gellizeau was sentenced to ten years in prison July 22, 2013 for bringing into the country on the yacht ‘Jotobin’ April 5, 2008, at Calliaqua US$1.73 million, approximately EC$4.6 million in cash, the proceeds of criminal conduct. He was also sentenced to ten years for concealing the cash. The sentences, handed down by Justice Wesley James, will run concurrently and the time Gellizeau spent on remand is to be taken into account. Chief Magistrate Sonya Young, sitting at the Serious Offences Court, had committed Gellizeau and Bermudian seaman Winston Franklyn Robinson to the High Court for sentencing after she found them guilty of the money laundering charges March 9, 2012. Robinson was on October 7, 2013 sentenced to five and a half years on the two money laundering charges to run concurrently. The court, however, took

Grenadian jailed for ganja possession

into account the five and a half years Robinson had already spent in custody, resulting in him being released from prison. He was not represented at the sentencing hearing. Kent Andrews of Trinidad and Tobago, who was also charged in connection with the cash haul, was acquitted at the Serious Offences Court. An application for Gellizeau’s assets was filed the same day he and Robinson were convicted. The confiscation application which was prepared by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in conjunction with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), has been made in relation to approximately EC$10 million, believed to be Gellizeau’s benefits from criminal conduct. This includes vehicles, houses, yachts and cash. U.K-based lawyer Shiraz Aziz leads the case for the defence, while the case for the prosecution is led by Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson of Trinidad and Tobago. When contacted on Wednesday, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Colin John told THE VINCENTIAN the prosecution was ready to proceed with the confiscation hearing. The hearing had been adjourned several times.

them,” Justice James signalled on Monday at the Criminal Assizes before imposing a $25,000 fine on Joel Patterson who pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding his former common-law wife Diana Grant of Fitz Hughes, with intent. The 38-year-old father of six was ordered to pay the fine in six months, with an alternative of two years hard labour. After handing down the penalty, Justice James told the accused, “If there is a relationship and there is a breakdown, do not believe that you have the right to that woman over other men.” Using a biblical reference, the Judge pointed out that Adam was the first man, but he was not the only man. He noted that after Caine killed Abel, he went to a far land and found a woman. Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Colin John had earlier told the Court that Patterson and Grant had a common-law relationship which produced one child. John said that on March 18, 2012, during the day, Patterson and a friend went to Grant’s home at Fitz Hughes. Patterson told Grant that he came to see his child, while his friend indicated that she would not be seeing her child again, and if Patterson cannot take case of the child, he will. Patterson and his friend left, but the accused returned to Grant’s home around 10 p.m. that night.

Grant had already secured her home for the night, but Patterson asked her to open the door. She refused, and Patterson broke into the house. He asked her: “Who man you have in a Judge Wesley white car”? James Grant told him that she didn’t have any man. Patterson then used a knife to stab Grant several times, while she was holding her child in her arms, and in the presence of her greatgrandmother. A medical report showed that Grant suffered multiple stab wounds to her hands, face, chest and back, resulting in the collapse of one of her lungs. She was warded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital for five days. Patterson had also been charged with the attempted murder of Grant. He pleaded not guilty to that, and the prosecution withdrew the charge. After Justice James handed down the penalty on the wounding with intent charge, the Assistant DPP raised the issue of compensation for the victim. But Justice James contended that he was in no position to assess the level of compensation, and that he would leave the victim to decide what course of action she should take.

V Jamaica and T&T to talk



T&T Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, has made it clear that diplomatic relations between her country and Jamaica have not deteriorated. FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTERS of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were scheduled to meet last Monday, December 2, to address the issue of

Jamaican nationals being denied entry into the twin island republic. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar,

confirmed last week that she had received a letter from the Jamaican government suggesting the meeting, and she immediately advised her Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Dookeran, to accept the invitation. The move to sit face to face arose out of recent action by Trinidadian authorities to deny entry to a group of 13 Jamaicans. The fallout of that episode included vociferous calls among Jamaicans for their government to ban the importation of Trinidadian goods. Some even called for their government to seek out those Trinidadians who might be residing illegally in Jamaica and deport them. Jamaica’s Foreign Minister, AJ Nicholson, responded in firm voice that his government had no intention to ban the importation of

Trinidadian goods; that trade between the two CARICOM partners was going to remain intact. Nicholson, however, acknowledged “the number of Jamaicans being returned from Trinidad and Tobago had generated considerable public outrage and had the potential to undermine confidence and diminish goodwill on the part of many Jamaicans towards Trinidad and Tobago and the wider regional integration movement.” He added though, “I believe that our personal intervention and collaboration can go a far way in bringing this issue to a speedy and successful conclusion.” There was an official release from the Jamaican government which urged Jamaican nationals who believed that their rights as CARICOM citizens were infringed, to make

DR breaks off talks with Haiti

Constitutional Court. The Dominican government has come under intense international pressure over the ruling, with foreign leaders, United Nations agencies and human rights groups questioning its legal basis. Gustavo Montalvo, chief of staff to Dominican Michel Martelly, President of Haiti, Republic has won the support of CARICOM President heads. Danilo Medina, said in a THE DOMINICAN statement the Republic broke off talks government will not with Haiti last week Wednesday over a recent participate in a meeting with Haitian officials Dominican court ruling scheduled to be held in that potentially strips Caracas last Saturday. citizenship from more The decision to break than 200,000 Haitian migrants, many of whom off talks follows a were born on Dominican decision by Caribbean heads of state to defer an soil. application from the The two countries, Dominican Republic for which share the land membership in mass of the Caribbean CARICOM, the region’s island of Hispaniola, largest cooperation entered into talks group, until Santo mediated by the Venezuelan government Domingo addresses the high court’s ruling. to resolve their “Haiti has decided to differences over the take a different route September 23 ruling by the Dominican Republic’s and that has brought an

end to our talks for now,” Montalvo said. Haiti President Michel Martelly attended the CARICOM meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday where the group’s leaders urged countries in the region to call on the Dominican Republic to “right this terrible wrong.” The September 23 court ruling retroactively denied Dominican nationality Gustavo Montalvo, DR to anyone born in the President’s Chief of Staff, Dominican republic after 1929 who does not accused Haiti of taking a have at least one parent new path. of Dominican blood, source of cheap labor. citing a constitutional Most of those affected clause declaring all are the descendants of others to be in the Haitians who moved to country illegally or “in the Dominican Republic transit.” to work in the sugar cane Human rights groups fields. Many used a say the ruling could temporary worker’s card leave Haitians in the issued by the former Dominican Republic state sugar company as without basic rights, proof of their residence such as the right to vote, in order to register their and restrict their access offspring. to basic services The Dominican including public Republic’s population of education. 10 million includes about The wealthier of the 458,000 people of Haitian two countries, the descent, many of whom Dominican Republic has lack proper documents, long complained of illegal according to official migration of figures. About 240,000 of undocumented workers those people of Haitian from its impoverished descent were born in the neighbor, even as it Dominican Republic. benefits from a steady (Source: Reuters)

reports to the nearest Jamaican High Commission. Prime Minister PersadBissessar, for her part, said that although there was a provision for granting CARICOM nationals an automatic sixmonth stay AJ Nicholson, Jamaica’s Minister upon entry, of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged there were the public outcry over the certain number of Jamaicans being exceptions to denied entry into T&T. the rule. “There is no Jamaica inviting blanket acceptance of a discussion on the matter CARICOM national was an indication that coming into Trinidad and that country was open to Tobago,” she said, adding dialogue and therefore, a that from her sign that diplomatic understanding of the relations between the judgment, immigration two countries had not officials may refuse a deteriorated. CARICOM national The Trinidad and entry if the individual is Tobago private sector has blacklisted or if they billions of dollars suspect that they (the invested in Jamaica, and individual) would be a Trinidad and Tobago “charge on the public enjoys an advantageous purse.” balance of trade position She was convinced with Jamaica. (Partial that the letter from Source: Caribbean 360)

St. Kitts-Nevis leads OECS exports USA TOTAL EXPORTS FROM member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the United States of American 9USA) during the first nine months of this year, are not as significant as is perceived generally throughout the subregion. According to figures released last week by the US Census Bureau, total exports from the OECS to the USA for the first nine months of 2013, amounted to US$84.4 million worth of goods and services. Of this amount, St. Kitts-Nevis accounted for US$39.9m and St. Lucia US$11.7m. Grenada is said to have accounted for US$8.1m, Antigua and Anguilla US$7.82m each, the BVI US%5.3m, Dominica US$2.1, St. Vincent and the Grenadines US1.9 and Montserrat US$1m. The figures show a common pattern from the period beginning 2000, inclusive of the

St. Kitts-Nevis continues to be the OECS major exporter to the USAvv. fact that St. Kitts-Nevis has been the major OECS exporter of goods and services to the USA for the 2000- 2012 period. Electronics and rum make up the bulk of goods St. Kitts-Nevis exports to the USA. St. Vincent and the Grenadines continues to occupy the lower echelons of the table. (Source: St. Kitts news) . Read more: http://www.caribbean36 ess/1087082.html#ixzz2 mMJQ5two

V No ease on cocaine traffickers 6. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013. THE VINCENTIAN


“We are making it more and more difficult for any PERSONS TRAFFICKING cocaine traffickers to tranship their and using St. Vincent and the cocaine,” he stated last week Grenadines as a transhipment Thursday at the House of point will find it hard to carry out Assembly. their operations. That’s the Minister of National warning from Vincentian Prime Security, he congratulated the Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. Police for having seized 34 by WILLIAM “KOJAH” ANTHONY

Prime Minister Dr. kilos of Gonsalves. cocaine. The drugs, in one-kilogram bricks each, were uncovered in the South Leeward village of Questelles. The seizure came after coordination by Coast Guard, Rapid Response Unit,

Narcotics Division, and Special Services Unit personnel. Gonsalves boasted of enhanced intelligence gathering operations, and indicated: “We are able to move with greater certainty.” He alluded to the million dollar haul, but Ralph mentioned that “no arrests” were made. According to Dr. Gonsalves, a Venezuelan national made the trip to shore along with the cocaine. While the drugs have been secured, there were no reports

on the Venezuelan, and he added that investigations were ongoing. Prime Minister Gonsalves’ statement came the same day a coroner’s inquest started into the deaths of four persons in an incident in the waters off the Union Island coast in June 2012. Three of those killed were Venezuelans. A fourth compatriot, all aboard a Venezuelan Fishing vessel named El Amigo Fay, had charges of attempting to kidnap and attempting to murder a police officer withdrawn. Summonses were sent to the Venezuelans involved in the Union Island scenario to appear at the Coroner’s Inquest. So far with two days hearing having passed, there have been no appearances from any of the Venezuelans.

Witness Bill passes with bipartisan support directions to be given in appropriate cases. These PARLIAMENT ON special measures include Monday passed the the giving of Evidence by Witness (Special live link, video recorded Measures) Act 2013 with evidence, the taking of bipartisan support, evidence from outside of paving the way for SVG and prohibiting the witnesses’ testimony to defendant in certain be given distantly and in cases from personally disguising identity and cross examining voice. particular witnesses. The Act provides for Prime Minister Ralph an application to be Gonsalves said the made to the court for legislation strengthened witness anonymity order, citizen security and the and provides for special maintenance of fairness by KENVILLE HORNE

Beaten by Police

on duty there. DuPont complained of having been slapped as many as seven times by an officer, and hit about the head. He disclosed that he was sick, having fallen from a building at a construction site not too long ago. That has prevented him from working. DuPont informed the officers of problems with his bladder, neck and Ivan Kempes DuPont. back. But his pleas didn’t have any impact. by WILLIAM “KOJAH” He reported having ANTHONY been scuffled up by the Police and confessed: “I IVAN KEMPES DuPont pee down meself.” is hurting and DuPont is incensed by demoralised. A former the way the officers national footballer, reacted to his mentioning DuPont has gone through that he knew the Director some bad times recently. of Public Prosecutions But nothing could be Colin Williams, and worse than last Acting Commissioner of Saturday’s incident Police Michael Charles. outside Victoria Park in The response of the Kingstown. DuPont SSU officers was that claims that around 11 they didn’t care. that night, he was The-53-year old former walking along the area national footballer is when he made some angry with the way he remarks about the Gospel was treated by the Police Fest which was taking and made his feelings place. known when he came to His comments aroused THE Vincentian the response of two newspaper last Monday. Special Service Officers

to the virtual complainants, and protected the society as a whole. He explained that a person charged with incest may have a hold over the virtual complainant, particularly if the alleged victim was a young girl, whose father was accused of incest. “You may wish to protect that witness in certain circumstances and the law does that” assured Gonsalves. He said that under the law, in some circumstances, the accused person may not be able to crossexamine the withness directly, but only through that person’s attorney, or, in cases where the person does not have an attorney, one appointed by the court. Gonsalves told lawmakers that the law will be useful in cases where crimes were committed against sailors aboard yachts. According to the PM, when crimes are committed against a tourist, that visitor may not want to return to the country. Hence under the new law, such a person will be able to give evidence via a video link or other electronic form. The evidence will have the same weight as testimony in person inside the courtroom. Those expected to be protected under this legislation include witnesses giving evidence against money laundering and drugs trafficking. According to Gonsalves, the single greatest contributor of organized violence in the Caribbean, including in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is “drug

trafficking, and its ally, money laundering.” “And that is why in order to get at the persons who perpetrate these crimes, it is often necessary to provide very special protection for witnesses.” There were concerns expressed by Senator Vynnette Frederick, who said that the bill did not amount to a full witness protection programme, and raises uncertainty about its financing. The opposition Senator said that she expects that a lawyer will test in court the constitutionality of denying the defendant the opportunity to crossexamine the virtual complainant directly. Frederick stressed that the Prime Minister’s examples of situations in which the law can be used, were not theoretical, and that persons who play a role in administering justice in SVG will tell the stories of persons who are accused of crime and will wait until the virtual complainant who is a visitor, leaves the country. Frederick said it is “a sore point” for those in the system who seek to see justice done, that some accused persons escape conviction because virtual complainants leave the country before they can give evidence. “This law provides for persons to give evidence remotely. This sits well with those who also want to see justice done,” she said, but contended that, based on what is taking place regionally, the legislation must be considered “a first go around” as the

jurisdiction moves to assist witnesses to come forward. She noted that the legislation was not proposing an entire witness protection programme, and that such a programme was needed in the country. “We support the passing of this legislation, but we don’t want it to pass and lie there,” Frederick said. Opposition Senator, Linton Lewis, along with government Senators Jomo Thomas and Camillo Gonsalves spoke on the bill. Thomas commended the use of technology to give evidence. The younger Gonsalves said he was cognizantof a culture against informers and a cultural preference for anti-informers. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Bill will help balance the anti-informer culture. He is appealing to witnesses of crime to come forward, since with the use of technology you can testify from overseas and see to it that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice. “We can change your voice, hide your face. We can prevent them from asking you certain questions that could reveal who you are,” said Gonsalves. “This bill will help to ensure that you are not branded as an informer or any of those negative things, and it will help you to do your patriot duty, to your family, to your community and to your country. Your government and people need you to do the right

Senator Vynnette Frederick

Camillo Gonsalves

Senator Jomo Thomas thing. Let this bill help you,” the younger Gonsalves concluded. The Act shall come into force on a date to be determined by the Governor General, and the Chief Justice is required to make rules to provide the underpinning.




Rodney Small graduates LAST YEAR, Rodney Small featured in three concerts staged December 28, 29, and 30. Those were part of his first year project at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. This year, Small is stepping up the presentation. It will be a one night escapade at the Russell’s Theatre Auditorium. While Small is the link, the show will feature a variety of artists and cultural enthusiasts. Some of them were at the media launch to this year’s event dubbed Steel Expressions. President of the Youlou Pan Movement Onika

Morgan indicated that persons will hear different aspects of the creative arts and their impact on Rodney Small at the event. La Gracia Dancers will add to the programme, and if there was doubt about the collaborative efforts, Maxine Browne, founder of La Gracia Dance Group gave the assurance that the show will be a blessing. Orande ‘Bomani’ Bowman, President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Music Professionals, endorsed the episode. He and Small will renew acquaintances. Bomani, the 2004 Soca

Monarch and Road March winner, is looking forward to working with Small. This production will be broad in scope, and Saeed Bowman, a St. Vincent Grammar School student, is on the list of performers. Two former Ministers of Culture, John Horne and Rene Baptiste, are endorsing the event. Horne did not hide his amazement at Small’s repertoire. Baptiste, Culture Minister from 2001 to 2010, introduced Small at last Tuesday’s media launch. Bank of Nova Scotia’s manager Basil Alexander echoed his company’s

willingness to help “any meaningful project which has as its mantra development.” Alexander declared his institution’s support for youth, and pledged that “we are here to support any youth development.” Kishore Shallow, Caricom Community Youth Ambassador, commended Small for becoming an entrepreneur. As far as Shallow was concerned, Small is a ‘role-model.’ Small’s persistency was noted by pan enthusiast Francis ‘Pres’ Llewellyn who admitted that Small is an inspiration to him.

Three complete Richmond Vale Academy stint Bank resident got to know about the THREE PERSONS have program by an successfully completed a one- month scholarship stint individual in her community. at the Richmond Vale She contacted Academy (RVA), under the the RVA and Climate Compliance was accepted. Program. She believes Vincentians Shanda her experience Corke and Romique Hooper, will benefit her along with Venezuelan community, Annelie Surewitz, an since she can Accountant manager, all assist farmers received Certificates of to produce their Appreciation last Friday. The Climate Compliance own manure, thereby saving Program covered; Global Warming, Climate Change, money. Surewitz who Actions for Food Security, lives in the Energy Security, Pollution Venezuelan and Waste Prevention. capital Caracas, Corke described the inquired from a The scholarship recipients listen attentively to a lecturer at RVA has experience as a good one. he talks about Organic Compost, which is made by animal manure “The most enjoyable aspect friend about and vegetation. Voluntary work was getting to know people in St. Vincent. and learning from them,” learnt alternative medicine, their village after every She was told about RVA, she indicated. how to grow her own food, session. and the rest is history. She The 19-year-old Rose and animal rearing. Hooper declared that his She intends to use newly acquired knowledge her knowledge when will assist his community. “I she returns home. can show people what I Hooper, also from have learnt. I could take the Rose Bank, heard knowledge and create my about the program own Bio gas.” via the media. A One of the Lecturers at friend from his RVA, Selwyn Patterson told community THE VINCENTIAN “the introduced him to knowledge that they one of the (Scholarship recipients) facilitators at the gained I am sure that they academy. He would apply it wherever presented the they go.” requirements to the Patterson said the Academy and gained relationship between acceptance. He said students at the Academy the experience was was family friendly. wonderful, and he In February 2014, two received information more Vincentian will be on a range of areas. awarded a one-month The students scholarship to the Academy. were allowed to stay Besides the Climate on the campus, but Compliance Program, RVA because the academy conducts ‘The Fighting is close to their Shoulder to Shoulder with home, Corke and The Poor program.’ L-R: Romique Hooper, Annelie Surewitz, Shanda Corke. Standing Sewlyn Patterson. Hooper journeyed to by KENVILLE HORNE

Rodney Small is moving on to bigger and better things.

Scrunter cruising OWEN JOHNSON, known in entertainment circles as Scrunter, will be the main performer at a Parang Soca Party carded for the Cruise Ship Berth December 14. The man behind the promotion is Trinidad born David Jackson popularly referred to as the ‘Doubles Man.’ Jackson prides himself as an original member of the group Drags: (Dynamic Rhythm and Arts Groups in Solidarity) which functioned in West St. George in the early 70s. Jackson is proud of his Caribbean Heritage. Born of Vincentian parents, Jackson has the benefit of dual citizenship and commutes between the two territories. Local cast including Shernelle ‘Skarpyon’ Williams, the Bowman family, Shrevrell ‘Candy Man’ McMillan along with Too Cool Chris and Donovan Crick and the Exclusive Sounds will add to the production. A suckling pig, ready to eat, will be awarded to the best dressed couple.

David Jackson



Views The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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


Caribbean Integration under strain TWO CURRENT CONFLICT situations are impacting negatively on the Caribbean integration process and undermining its integrity. We refer here to the disputes between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on immigration issues, and the outrageous situation in the Dominican Republic regarding Dominican-born persons of Haitian origin. The intra-CARICOM immigration disputes between the groupings’ largest English-speaking members stem from last month’s refusal by Trinidad and Tobago to admit 13 Jamaicans, and their subsequent deportation. Even after Jamaican protests, T&T’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has defended the actions of her immigration officials. That action was seen as even more shocking in the light of the recent Caribbean Court of Justice ruling in the case of another Jamaican national, deported from Barbados, whose case against the Barbadian government was upheld by the CCJ. The CCJ ruling has been hailed as a landmark guaranteeing freedom of movement for Caribbbean nationals within the community; but the deportation of the 13 casts doubts on the commitment of regional governments in this respect. In Jamaica, there has been angry reaction leading to a campaign to boycott Trinidadian products, and even a call for Jamaicans not to attend the popular Trinidadian Carnival. The implications that this could boil over into a trade dispute are so strong that the twin-island state has dispatched a senior minister for talks with the Jamaica government. Far more worrying, from a human point of view, is the situation in the northern Caribbean regarding persons born and raised in the Dominican Republic but of Haitian lineage. The ruling of the Dominican Constitutional Court in September that denies hundreds of thousands of these Haitian-Dominicans of the right to citizenship, dating all the way back to1929 as their year of birth, has been roundly condemned in the Caribbean and worldwide. People of Haitian origin in the Dominican Republic have long faced grave social and economic problems. Racial bias and prejudice are no doubt factors but the Haitian/Dominican conflict has complex historical roots. Many people in the Caribbean are not aware of the historical roots of the on-going conflict between these neighbouring peoples. Haiti it is that ended slavery in the Dominican Republic during a period of two decades when it actually ruled its neighbouring territory. In fact, Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti, and the period of Haitian rule, during which many excesses occurred, is etched in the memory of Dominicans. Today, there has been a change of fortune, and Haiti, once the wealthiest Caribbean colony, is now the region’s poorest state. In desperation, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have poured over the border, and there are now an estimated 2 million persons of Haitian origin living in the DR. They are indispensable to the labour force, particularly in agriculture and construction. However, the vast majority are undocumented, lacking birth certificates or other legal forms of identification. But even for those with some limited certification, Dominican law defines them as “extranjeros”, foreigners not entitled to the same level of rights and services as official Dominican citizens. The September Constitutional Court ruling has gone even further, in effect rendering these persons, born in the DR, as “stateless”. It is that decision which has shocked CARICOM, and with our Prime Minister in the lead, caused it to censure the Dominican Republic, to suspend its pending application for CARICOM and to threaten further actions in international fora. The embattled Dominican Republic has bristled its back, invoking “sovereignty”, and hitting out at its critics, including Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. It cancelled a scheduled meeting with Haiti two weeks ago, accusing its neighbour of breaking an agreement for dialogue between the neighbours, and instead choosing “another route”, presumably the CARICOM one. Both situations, the Jamaica/T&T row, and the far more dangerous one in the Dominican Republic, reflect badly on our ability in the region to handle conflicts. We are peoples, thrown together by a history of colonial expansion and damaged by insularity, encouraged by those who profit from the old “divide and rule” strategy. But we have a responsibility for our own destiny. Clearly, fundamental human rights are at stake in the Dominican situation, and there can be no compromise on this. Yet, there is no substitute for mature dialogue and, as much as the Dominican government must be pressured, the door must always be kept open. Mediation by persons mutually respected can be one such path. In the case of Trinidad and Jamaica, these puerile, narrow insular reactions must be avoided. We must all respect our commitment to regional integration, including freedom of movement for all CARICOM citizens. But we cannot slip into narrow nationalism at the sign of every hurdle. CARICOM’s integrity is at stake.

Arnhim Eustace and “Son” Mitchell FINALLY, the last straw has broken the camel’s back. Arnhim Eustace has shown in a response to recurrent criticisms of his leadership of the NDP by that Party’s founding father, James Mitchell, that enough is enough. He has virtually severed relations with Mitchell and exposed by public letter the open rift for the whole world to see. In fact, Sir James had stated openly that Eustace should step aside and allow another leader with fight and dynamism to emerge in the place of a veritable born loser. The differences clearly are not superficial like the “bickering” it has been called by the “Searchlight” newspaper, but runs deep and is fundamental. Personally, I believe that in Sir James’ view, his control of the party he founded is permanent till death do us part. Having resigned, he saw himself like the absentee estate owner in colonial days. He is purblind and does not accept that a successor has taken his place. Once or twice in viewing the situation, I had called in aid the “Mighty Sparrow’s” warning in “May May”: “When a man finish, I think it’s foolish to play lickerish!”! The simple truth is that Arnhim Eustace, who out of respect tended to lean over backwards vis-a-vis Sir James, has resolved to cut clean and turn a new leaf. It is remarkable that in so doing, a sense of relief has enveloped the NDP itself. It just could not go on serving two masters, with clashing messages. In the past, both men worked as one. As P.M, Mitchell sent for Arnhim to manage the public service. Then worked him in as an elected member, then Minister of Finance and Prime Minister when things got too hot to handle, and Mitchell sought a way out. In fact he passed the torch to Eustace, and left with the NDP in the doldrums, and storm clouds gathering all around in 2001. Now, after a long dark night, the NDP espies light at the end of the tunnel. Sir James feels that the time is appropriate for him or some surrogate to take over the mantle, but is not so it go, according to the mild-mannered Eustace who put his foot down! Historical Back-drop James Mitchell returned to SVG in 1965 and announced the formation of his Grand Caribbean Unity Movement which died stillborn, killed in a fire of Baptism by the joint forces of Labour-PPP. He then enlisted in Labour for which he brought home the Grenadines seat in elections in 1966: 5 to 4 in favour of the PPP. In new elections 1967, occasioned by Slater having crossed the floor, he again won his seat and was made Agriculture Minister in a Labour Government of 6:3. During the following three years, he displayed a restiveness with backwardness and arrogance of Premier Cato, but moreso had calculated that he did not stand much of

a chance succeeding to the leadership of the party, with Hudson Tannis now bolstered by the return of Arthur Williams, Grafton Isaacs, John Thompson, St Clair Dacon and Vincent Beache. So he picked a quarrel with the party, resigned his Ministry and was expelled from the party. Cato called elections in 1972 which saw a tie of 6 seats each for the PPP and Labour, leaving the Independent member Son Mitchell holding the balance of power which he used to become Premier. In fact, “Son” had specifically requested that Parnel Campbell, Kerwyn Morris and I, members of the Forum, come Bequia to advise him in post-elections negotiations that brokered the deal. Just as he had invited Parnel and me to bestow our blessing at the opening of that election campaign. The government was very progressive, banning foreign goods in an ImportSubstitution drive, and placing an emphasis an agriculture development with the slogan “Dig a better life”. Dr. Basil Williams, an agriculture expert and associate of Forum, led the thrust. Then the Joshuas went over to Labour, and the ensuing election was a case of ten-two-one is murder. 10 Labourites 2 PPPites and Mitchell as sole Oppositionist, who formed his own NDP in 1975 with Owen Walker. The 1979 elections returned a government of 11 Labour and 2 NDP- Calder Williams North Leeward and ultimately Mitchell for the Grenadines. Repression was the name of the game, and “Son” Mitchell made a name for himself as leader of the opposition where he single-handedly kept the Labour government at bay, while he fought valiantly as the sole voice in the wilderness. The 1979 election was a block buster. Mitchell won hands-down with former members of the Forum who had joined the NDP, including over the years, John Horne, Eddie Griffith, Marcus De Freitas, Allan Cruickshank , Yvonne Francis Gibson, Stuart Nanton, Carlyle Dougan, Parnel Campbell and Kerwyn Morris. Mitchell displayed positive leadership qualities, but the Forum team carried forward his work. After 3 terms and brilliant accomplishments, the Party somewhat lost its way nearing 2000. That was the time Mitchell ducked out, and invited yet another Forum member Arnhim Eustace to keep the ship afloat, awaiting the return of happier times. Those happy times are around the corner. Throughout, Arnhim Eustace has been quietly efficient, always carrying a straight bat, with a powerful team supporting his undisputed leadership: Lorraine Friday, St Clair Leacock, Linton Lewis, Daniel Cummings, Jules Ferdinand et al. Our cup runneth over. By a strange twist of fate, Sir James, who in his sun-set years should be proudly enjoying the glorying come-back of his political children, should range instead amid their opponents, like “an acolyte” of the ULP.




The political evils are global The NDP convention concluded on Sunday, November 24th, 2013. When we reflect on political conventions and national (political) elections, we see some evils that needed examination: 1. Many so-called pastors and preachers of religions leaving their congregations to attend the functions; 2. People leaving their church service to attend such meetings; 3. People who are enemies of another, gather together to listen to their political gods. Think of the other evils that are not mentioned above. These problems or evils are not only national, they are global and designed by many or some may say, the devil. After slavery, the white systematically programmed our way of life. They set their governors and administrators over us. When some blacks got a limited level of education, the system gradually changed to black chief ministers in the 50s, premier in the 60s, to prime minister in the 70s to the present. The system started on racism then, as blacks

* Whether we are re-establishing a pattern of January Budgets as existed in the past? * Is our government in touch with the government of Venezuela to try and ensure that Venezuelan nationals summoned to appear in court inquests are made available for testimony? * And whether there is official concern about the allegations of Venezuelan involvement in drug smuggling into our country?

moved up the political ladder, it evolved into, got into classism. Some of our leaders began to think and act white — the way the system educated them. From Joshua to Gonsalves, none took a nationalist stand to mobilize, or organize and educate our people to formulate national long term, medium and short term plans for the total development of our people. Yes, this administration will say, “We have a national plan”, but was it

formulated by the collective wisdom of the relevant individuals and groups? We don’t have to enact a new constitution to bring about unity in our blessed land. “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”, was crafted on the cover of a political newspaper, edited by ‘Blazer’ Williams on behalf of a party headed by Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who has been in political office for over twelve

years, and that unity can’t be realized. Failed task…… In the meantime, God sets up governments and He brings them down at His own time, and gives them to whom he pleases. He is mobilizing, organizing and he is educating his own people to take the government (Dan. 7:18). His plan is to give global government to His people (Dan. 2:44; 7:27), who will enact his laws. Jesus said He did not “come to destroy the law nor the

An unforgettable experience SOMETIME around the mid-1950s, I made arrangement with a gentleman to supply transportation for my quintet, “Rhythmaires”, to play music for a fete and dance in a hall at Mesopotamia, on a public holiday. The members of the band were: John Whittle (deceased) on saxophone; George “Bobo” Johnson — guitar; George James — double bass; Winston “Samo” Samuel (deceased) — drums; and Raul Soso — trumpet. May both John and Samo rest in peace. We played for the fete from 1:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Then the dance began at 8:00 p.m. and ended at 2:00 a.m. Both functions were well attended, and at intermission we were served with the tastiest pelau that I have ever eaten. ‘De taste still dey in me mout till now — trust me!’ We returned to the bandstand in high spirits and continued playing to a very appreciative crowd until 2:00 a.m. I told the men to pack up their instruments while I went to collect our fee, which I received promptly. I then asked the gentleman to notify the driver of the bus that we were ready to travel back to Kingstown. He looked at me in amazement and stammered: “I…I tort you all would ah sleep in de hall like de udder band.. .” (He called the name of the band). Faith and common sense prevented me from committing myself. What bothered me most was that I had just recently got a new job at Edwin D. Layne & Sons Ltd., and that I was far out in

the country with no transportation after 2:00 o’clock in the morning. Immediately, I contacted the other members who were also due to return to work 8:00 a.m. that day. Without much ado, we started picking up our instruments and equipment in preparation for the journey on foot. We were forced to leave the bass drum and drum box. George and Samo started off with the double bass, and three of us held our instruments with music and music stands. As the journey progressed, we changed hands. At last, we got to Kingstown in broad daylight and managed to get to our band room in Frenches, in order to

prophecies of the prophets, but to make them work for the good of all”. A new day is dawning. Law presupposes that in every government under Babylon government, the leaders dictate, but under the government of God, the leaders are servants. (Luke 22:2526). Christian Democrat

Dishonest judgment When are we going to set honest judgment?

secure the instruments. Thereafter, each went to his home, and when I got to mine at Mc Kie’s Hill, I was just able to throw myself in a rocking chair in the living room where I slept until 11:00 o’clock that morning. Thankfully, I managed to return to work on time that afternoon. As soon as the boss sat at his desk, I went to his office and explained exactly what had caused my being absent from work. Mr. Layne was quite understanding, and he thought that it was an unfortunate occurrence. I thanked him kindly and returned to my work. May he now rest in peace.

The banana industry Why are politicians killing themselves over the banana industry? If my government was in power, the banana industry would be booming. The others are trying everything possible to hold the banana market. Did you hear any politician say to the people to work your full hours and see how long we can stay in the ring? The cost to produce bananas in this country is way too high. Was any attention paid to the production line? The school ribbons, the baby baths, the toilets and kitchen, the beds, soon farmers will be sleeping in the fields. How long can we stay in that ring? Then up came WINFAIR and used Mr. Flowers as a scapegoat. Then up came a big idea to throw us out the banana industry for good. FAIRTRADE, think about it, does this name fair trade fit? Is the seat belt an effort to make money or is it for our safety? Why harass me in town, when downtown big corporation vehicles are all over town. Is it that another consultant making money again? What about those overloaded trucks toting cement, lumber, etc.? Is the maximum gross weight a thing of the past? These over-weight trucks are mashing these roads up. What are the police doing? Are they waiting on the opportunity to use the word? You want to micro manage everything or whay?

R. Soso


President needs to set the record straight I wish to continue from my last letter that I wrote. It seems to me that Miss President only sees it fit to represent calypsonians from her tent. Remember she said that Up Stage runs the Calypsonians Association. This year, there was a mix-up with the results of the New Song Competition in the calypso category, when the MC announced I-Pa, DeFoe, Man Zangy in that order. I got information that the results were incorrect, that Zamfir was second and DeFoe placed third. Someone called me at home the Sunday morning and told me that. I called Miss President on Monday, the 6th May, and gave her the information. She did nothing about it. On Wednesday the 8th in an executive meeting held at the CDC’s conference room, I raised the issue. She (Miss President) advised that Zangy write a letter and she’ll take it from there. During that time, I did some investigation, only to find out that I-Pa placed 1st with 250 points, Man Zangy placed 2nd with 240 points, DeFoe — 3rd with 233 points, and the person who placed 4th got 232 points. On CDCs

website, it was reported that I-Pa placed 1st, Man Zangy 2nd and DeFoe 3rd. Yet still, Man Zangy ended up with 3rd place prize money. Miss President admitted that it was an error and she will deal with it; but up until this present time, Man Zangy can’t collect his $500.00. Oh, I forgot Man Zangy did not sing with the Up Stage calypso tent, he sang with the Graduates Calypso Tent. Every year, a meeting with the executive of the SVGCA takes place to select judges for the preliminaries, the semi-finals and finals. This year, when the executive met to select judges for the finals, you would not believe what took place in that meeting. Now listen this, when you have power, you really have power, and so you could do almost anything. Shaunelle McKenzie is the treasurer of the SVGCA. She got selected for the finals in this year’s calypso competition. Guess what, she was allowed in the meeting by the President to select judges for the same finals. When Bish-I’s name was mentioned, Shaunelle put up her hand and objected to it. It was defeated by

the majority. Bish-I’s name went forward to the CDC, but his name was off the list. The point I am trying to make is, if Miss President was a woman of principle, she would have asked Shaunelle to excuse herself from the meeting, straight and simple. This year, after the calypso semi-finals, no reserve was mentioned. Ron B was in the finals, and he opted out. I was amazed when I heard Skarpyon was the replacement. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not any enemy of Skarpyon. Remember the president said that Up Stage runs the Association, and Skarpyon is a member of Up Stage. You can read between the lines. I have a question for you, Miss President. Was there a meeting at CDC’s office to discuss the dropping out of Ron B that should have included the executive of the SVGCA? Why is it that only you, the president, knew about it and the other members didn’t know? Winston ‘Chief’ Davis




A busy period for the ULP at the Excerpts from the Hon. Arnhim end of 2013 Eustace’s Address at the NDP’s The Issue 37th Annual Convention IT HAS BEEN A busy end of year period for the ULP administration, led by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, as the party continues to improve the socio-economic development conditions of the country. Overall during this period, the ULP did not lose its focus on the philosophy so clearly outlined over the last fifteen years; that of a peoplecentred development strategy. We all recognize, except persons in the leadership of the opposition NDP, that there are exceptional economic and financial conditions affecting our country. This calls for leadership that is resourceful, astute, and fiscally prudent, with a clear understanding of the current economic scenario, and the issues that must be addressed. Thankfully, within the ranks of the ULP, there is a cadre of such leadership led by Comrade Ralph. That is why many Vincentians are offering prayers of thanksgiving, that it was the ULP that emerged victorious in the 2010 general election. There are Vincentians who will shudder at the thought of Arnhim Eustace and the NDP at the helm of government, especially during the current financial crisis! Payment of Salary increase and Glebe Land The busy period began with the payment of the outstanding 1.5 percent salary increase retroactive to 2011. Government delayed the payment of this money because of the prevailing financial conditions at the time. But Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves put his word on the line, and delivered on a promise made to the public servants. As a result, some 30 million EC dollars went into the Vincentian economy at the end of October 2013 (20 million in salaries and 10 million in arrears). In addition, when it appeared that the public servants could not calculate the taxes in time, the government waived the taxes, allowing a further one million dollars to be paid. The distribution of the Glebe Land in Barrouallie is another feather in cap of the ULP administration, a further demonstration of the strategy of converting “dead capital into live capital”. The people of Glebe are now in possession of their title deeds which indicate that, after so many years, they are now full owners of the land on which their houses were constructed. Now they can approach any financial institution (some of them have already done this) to raise capital to further develop their properties, or pay for the tuition of their children, and the list goes on. Not to be outdone, there has been an outpouring of support from many of the 600 plus students who were paid EC$500, following their achievements in the CXC, CAPE and Cambridge examinations. Over EC$300,000 was provided for this exercise. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Currently, over 4000 persons are involved in a road cleaning programme, where the government has provided some EC$2.5 million dollars to meet the cost of this exercise. Many of these workers are

Fiscal discipline

women, and they will be in a position to enhance further, their preparations to spend a good Christmas. Another 150 workers, mainly carpenters, masons and labourers, are currently employed in the construction of 15 houses at Green Hill, as the government continues its hugely successful Housing Revolution programme. Government is also providing some one million EC dollars to BRAGSA, to commence a road repairs programme in the State, thus providing more jobs. In addition, the State has had to employ one hundred short- term employees at the Port Authority, to cope with the pressure of the additional work that will be created, under the special “duty-free barrel” initiative. The private sector is getting involved in the hiring of more workers, to meet the expected heightened activity, during the month of December. In fact, businesses have begun their Christmas sales earlier this year, having noted the 30 million EC dollars in circulation in the month of November. There is also an expectation that some of the EC$16.5 million dollars, available under the next phase of the BAICO resolution, will be paid out to some of the 540 policy holders who qualify. Early in 2014, the contract for the rehabilitation of the South Leeward highway, from the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital to the post office in Layou, will be awarded. It is expected that when the construction work begins, a number of Vincentians, mainly on the leeward side of the island, will flock to the contracted company or companies, to get jobs. Then there is the current work being done on the Vigie highway, again providing jobs for a number of Vincentians. Larger Strategic Work Beyond these activities mentioned above, the ULP administration will continue to provide jobs through the construction work on the international airport project at Argyle. Next year, construction work will commence on the terminal building, and tenders for the construction of the air cargo and aviation hangars, have been posted in the local media. Plans for the construction of temporary facilities for the patients at the mental health centre are far advanced, and the government will spend EC$1.5 million dollars on this. Almost immediately, rehabilitation work at the current facility at Calliaqua, will commence. 2014 too will see the commencement of work on three health facilities here, under the 10th EDF fund. When Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves presents his 2014 budget next year, expect to hear about special strategies targeting farmers in the state. A figure of EC$6 million will be available under this drive, to be accompanied by another EC$3 million which will be spent on critical feeder roads in the State. Truly, 2014 promises to be a hectic year for the ULP administration.

IF THE GOVERNMENT does not have a surplus of our own money to put up to fund a part of the projects that are financed by donors internationally, counterpart financing, we would have to borrow all the money to finance our projects. This means our national debt will go up and interest payments go up and we would feel the squeeze in our pockets. This is what is happening now. During the entire 17 years of the NDP government, the NDP maintained a surplus on the recurrent budget of 5.28%, so we always had money to contribute to projects which reduced our borrowing. It also meant that we had ready money to borrow at better than normal rates, and it is that fiscal discipline that saw us able to build and maintain roads, schools, provide supplies for the hospitals, ministries, and make Vincentians feel secure in government employment. I must at this point make reference to the national debt; particularly in relation to the debt owing to the private sector. When we look at the internal debt, we would see an item called payables which represents the debt owed by government; largely to the private sector for the goods and services sold to them by the private sector. This would include: funds owing to contractors, consultants and business houses. These are in fact interest free loans made to the government. So, the Private Sector has to incur overdrafts at high interest rates to cover the fact that the government is not paying them, and overdrafts carry an even higher interest rate than loans. This causes increased costs to the private sector, less profit, and fewer jobs and more layoffs. This is in an economy which is not growing, and so the situation is worsened. The debt as at last September was $1 billion 312 million. With a population of 105,000, this would mean that at September 2012, every man, woman and child in St. Vincent and the Grenadines owed $12,495 on the debt. To pay the debt just for the year 2013, our tax dollars for that debt would have to be $50.2 million for interest only, and an additional $82.8 million for the principal, so for this year just to pay the interest and the principal on the debt government would have to pay $133.0 million. So $133.0 million dollars of tax payers’ money just to pay the debt due up to September of last year. This means that for every month in this year, the taxpayers would have to have $11.0 million for debt alone, every week taxpayers would have to pay $2.5 million, for every working day $500 hundred thousand dollars, for every working hour $12,500.00 and for every second $208.33. and the debt is still going up. . Productive Sector

years, once dominated our economy and our foreign exchange earnings. Banana farmers were able to employ people, give the best education to their children, were able to construct their own homes, buy vehicles, patronize small shops in their communities and the bigger businesses in Kingstown. The banana farmer became a solid part of the then emerging Vincentian Middle Class. The NDP policies of land distribution, giving land to the landless in places like Orange Hill and Lauders, played a significant role in promoting agriculture and the importance of the farmer. Even with reduced preferential arrangements affecting banana production, the sector remained important to the Vincentian economy. It was dealt a death blow by the failure of the Prime Minister, Montgomery Daniel and Saboto Caesar to properly respond to the Black Sigatoka disease, flood damage, and other challenges. The industry still does not have an effective programme for fighting Black Sigatoka, after two years, and there is still no meaningful plan for subsidies and inputs and income support for the farmers. Our quality continues to decline, and production continues to be almost non-existent. We are now almost totally dependent on transporting our competitor’s bananas from Santo Domingo. It has been a shockingly poor performance causing hundreds of farmers to lose hope and become welfare recipients. What a shame! We in the New Democratic Party can and will bring back the banana industry to a level of producing 50M dollars per year in banana exports. We have developed a programme with all the necessary components to accomplish this, including, a properly financed programme for the control of Black Sigatoka, some subsidies and income support and quality control. This should go a long way in restoring the dignity and pride of the farmer as well as contributing to the stabilization of the Vincentian economy. All areas of agriculture including the fishing industry need serious attention. And to tackle the situation, we have been developing our plans. For instance the ULP was highly critical some years ago, when then in opposition, difficulties arose between the NDP led government at the time and the European Union, which led to the suspension of fish and lobster exports particularly to Martinique and Guadeloupe. Today, thirteen years later, the ULP has not been able to resolve the issue. And our fishermen both on the mainland and the Grenadines find Agriculture under the ULP in St. themselves still unable to export these Vincent and the Grenadines is almost products. What have they been doing all dead. In 2012, St. Vincent and the this time? Is there really any interest in Grenadines exported a mere 1.5M the fishing industry? The ULP came dollars worth of bananas; a totally into government promising a solution to disgraceful performance. No wonder our these issues in record time. They are economy cannot grow. now in their third term and no solution This country, at its peak in the 1990s is in sight. Just a few evenings ago, I in a single year exported 111M dollars saw a fisherman on the side of the road worth of bananas. In consecutive years in Calliaqua holding up lobsters for we exported 60M, 50M even after the sale. In earlier times, those lobsters changes in the banana regime. As would have been exported and foreign everyone knows, agriculture, including exchange earned for our country. It bananas, has been the backbone of our really is time for Ralph and the others economy over the years. Bananas, to go. The ULP cannot manage which we have grown for over fifty Vincentian affairs.




Good Manners and Behaviour

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” - Fred Astaire; born Frederick Austerlitz (1899–1987) American dancer, singer & actor. WE SEEM TO REGULARLY hear the outcry that today’s children appear to have lost their good manners and behaviour. But while this may appear to be accurate in relation to some children, we must avoid painting them all with the same brush; it is so important that we avoid generalizing and stereotyping. There are still so many of our young wards who demonstrate good manners and behaviour. Unfortunately, our eyes and ears often appear to “have antennae” that pick up mostly the bad examples. However, even as we reflect on such realities we do admit that we need to be more proactive in intercepting those young persons who appear to be nurturing bad (undesirable) manners and behaviours. It is so very important that adults demonstrate good (acceptable) manners and behaviours if we expect our wards to do the same. We know that children are more likely to replicate what we do more quickly than they practise the instructions that we give. We know that “Do what I say and not what I do” is insufficient to get others (young or old) to practise good manners and desirable behaviours. Our deeds are more powerful teachers than our words. The old people have a saying that, “Good manners and behaviours will take you through the world.” That statement is filled with wisdom. Regardless of our academic and/or professional achievement, it is how we behave and who we are (inclusive of our manners and behaviours) that will determine how much we accomplish in life. Such positive behaviours must be encouraged in our homes, schools, and churches. Parents, guardians, and teachers must continue to hold our children accountable to displaying such behaviours ... even when some of them may appear to be resisting such behaviours. We commend Mrs. Nicole Baker, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, for her recent comments in this regard as she reminded students and teachers of the need to demonstrate good manners and behaviour. More of our leaders in business, government, and society need to follow her example and be advocates of decency. We all have a role to play in strengthening the social, moral, and spiritual fabric of our society. The conversations and actions of our parents, teachers, Members of Parliament, and Pastors (to mention a few) must all demonstrate desirable actions. We should never consider ourselves too high and mighty to be decent and kind. It is sometimes amazing to observe the number of individuals who achieve positions of authority and power, and wrongfully assume that this ascension allows them to display rudeness and arrogance. However, we are encouraged by those who retain a spirit of gratitude and maturity and have this reflected in their conversations and behaviours. The manners and behaviours that children demonstrate can often be an indicator of the kinds of homes and schools that our children come from. It is true that some homes and schools may encourage good manners and behaviours, and the children still demonstrate inappropriate and undesirable attitudes. Sometimes such a situation may emerge when our children are influenced by strong negative peer pressure. However, we must endeavour to so influence them that they can resist the temptation to be so swayed; that they demonstrate good manners and behaviours regardless to where they are and who they are with. Bethania Maria reminds us of the need to teach good manners and behaviour to children when they are young. She expressed it so well when she said, “La

rama que crece torcida nunca se endereza” — “ A branch that grows crooked, or that is crooked from the beginning, will never straighten out”. If you don’t learn right from wrong early on, or if you don’t learn manners when you are young, you will never learn them later. These words reflect the wisdom captured in the Old Testament book of Proverbs where we are reminded of the importance of training up children when they are young with the anticipation that when they are old they will not depart from such valuable training. Spending time in my mother’s small shop on the outskirts of Kingstown often provides me with an indication of the evolution of the manners and behaviours of the children who visit. They are often perceived as being ambassadors for their homes and schools. And while many appear to drop the “Good afternoon” greetings or the “please and thank you” remarks, I am conscious of the positive feelings that erupt within me when these “junior customers” demonstrate good manners and show gratitude and appreciation for services rendered. They remind us that there are still many children who are being raised to show gratitude. These are likely to live happier and more fulfilling lives than those who consider it “macho” or “adult” to drop the courtesies. The older readers may be quite familiar with the American singer, cowboy, and film star Roy Rogers (1911-1998). It is reported that after he starred in his first movie, he was flooded with fan mail. Roy had been brought up to demonstrate good manners and behaviour. He therefore intended to answer each letter. However, his weekly salary of $150 was insufficient to cover the required postage. He approached the movie studio (Republic Pictures) and asked that they cover some of the cost. They refused. They considered him foolish to contemplate answering all of his fan mail. After all, none of the actors did so. They considered it unwise to dedicate the time and money to such an activity. Roy Rogers contemplated that if someone thought enough about him to write a letter, it was necessary for him to show them enough respect to answer. He then set out on special tours to raise the necessary funds to meet the demands created by his popularity. His fans responded positively to his fund raising efforts and he was eventually able to employ four persons to assist him in answering his fan mail. As a result of answering fan mail, Roy established a fan base that remained faithful to him for a number of years. Encouraged by this example, we are encouraged to exert the effort and energy to show appreciation to those persons who have, in their own special way, been kind to us. We can also be encouraged by the words of the American educator Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947) when he says, “There are many things that go to make up an education, but there are just two things without which no man can ever hope to have an education ,and these two things are character and good manners.” He reminds us that there is more to education than “book knowledge”. And we can be encouraged by the words of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), the German philosopher, when he said, “A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.” Our manners and behaviours tell us and others who we really are. Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to

ULP Convention: A teach-in, not a cuss out THE NDP CONVENTION of two Sundays ago ended on the theme 'We ready.' The ULP Convention Planned for next weekend must begin to answer the question ready for what and more. If I were the key strategist scripting the goings on at the convention, the conclave would have been more of a teach-in and less of a cuss- out. There would have been little or no mention of the opposition and its pretensions. This convention would be about building and consolidating, examining weaknesses and short comings as well as mending ways with sections of the popular masses who might feel alienated from the party of labour. The teach-in should see a clearer and more concise articulation of the importance of the Argyle International Airport, the pillar on which the further development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines grounded. The narrative coming from this convention should readily admit to people that things are hard and difficult for a lot of citizens, but explain the reasons why things are as they are here and abroad. An admission should be made that the construction of the international airport represents an enormous sacrifice for our country in this period. But that admission should be joined with a celebration of the fact that it took vision and forth sight to undertake the largest infrastructural developmental project in the country's history, while the country and the world experience the most deep seated and damaging financial and economic crisis in a century. People should not only be told to hold on just a little longer. They must be convinced that the fruits from the airport will not just come in increased tourist arrivals, but with greater volumes of export for our crops and products. They must be told that the airport stands the potential to be transformative. The eastern corridor of our beautiful country from Diamond to Georgetown and beyond could possible witness the infusion of foreign direct investment more than ever before. Even the central plains and valleys of Mesopotamia could possibly be impacted. We are not here talking about a cure all for all of our ills. But the impact could be enormous, and this is why more of our people should be convinced to buy into the airport. We have the experience in Grenada where the Maurice Bishop International Airport virtually transformed the southern cone of that island. Grenada's problems are not solved by a long stretch, but it is unlikely that there's a Grenadian who denies the positive economic spill off from the airport at Point Saline. The next big issue that the ULP teach- in should tackle is the economic malaise that the international financial and economic crisis has had on our country. It is possible that there have been reversals of some of the gains we made before the financial and economic crisis began in 2008. The ULP should look for them and honestly address our people on these points. Has the economic decline cause an increase in unemployment? Has some of the more vulnerable persons in our society slid back into or deeper into poverty? If the statistics say so the party

must readily admit these facts. If it does, the ULP will then have a better chance of convincing a larger section of the electorate that it is its stewardship that has prevented more of the people from falling onto the unemployment line. It will be able to draw from the experience of literally every other country in the world, developed and developing to show that what we are witnessing here is not unique to SVG. And the evidence of this fact is all around us. The economic meltdown in Europe and the United States of America, the economic slowdown in China and India, the rapid increase in the price of food and the shrinking markets for our products are all signs of a major systemic breakdown. A teach-in that explains these problems will give a boost to people's understanding of their reality. Even in these difficult times the ULP administration has much to be proud of; it must select 50 of the most people- impacting policies and programs and concentrate on reminding people of them. People have short memories especially in economically depressing times. Even then they have the capacity to understand and accept the truth. They must be reminded and reminded again. This ULP teach-in must also address internal issues. Candidate selections, reactivation of party groups, identification of old and emerging young activists, ways to build up party structures like the youth and women's arm, groups and cells in the different towns and villages across the country. In addition to their respective state functions the party will be well advised to command the youthful Luke Browne and Saboto Caesar to act as the twin towers on whose shoulders the new youth arm must be built. If the party takes more than rhetoric the notion that politics is serious business for serious people, it will not hesitate to make hard decisions related to all areas of its life. It will convince its leaders, especially the PM to slow down, plan wiser, work smarter. This wiser work plan demands even more discipline, greater study and strategic interventions. The ULP convention must project a more thought out media strategy because there is a serious battle for people's minds. The old way of doings things might have been enough to bring past triumph. The new and emerging times demand better strategy and tactics. The immediate aftermath of the convention will show if the ULP is up to the task at hand. Conventions of the old style party have a strong emphasis on fun and picong with the obligatory speech. The base revels in a cuss- out of its rivals. The base need to be stoked, but the diet must be austere. The convention should sound this theme: ‘Labour calls for action, are you ready for the fight.' Send comments, criticisms & suggestions to




Manipulating the accounts – ULP regime abuse of power SECTION 75, subsection 2, of the 1979 Constitution of SVG (Cap 2 laws of SVG) requires the Director of Audit at least once in every year to audit and report on the public accounts of SVG. According to a Director of Audit report, there were several instances where expenditure relating to the previous financial year was deferred to the current financial year. This practice has implications for effective management of expenditure, since these amounts are not provided in the budget estimates of the financial year in which payment is actually made. The significance of this, is that in a certain year, the ULP regime is understating their expenditure and then carrying it forward for the following year, to give an impression of economic growth. This is done to try to fool the people that there is a break in a long period of negative growth, by inserting a year with

positive growth. The Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O’Neal, is a university graduate in finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, and fully agrees with the statement by the Director of Audit report, that effective management is virtually impossible when there are so many instances of manipulation of the accounting system. At the time of this report, the government used the SMARTSTREAM accounting programme. The Funds Exception module in the SMARTSTREAM Accounting programme is a control mechanism used to prevent excess spending on object codes and programmes by Accounting Officers. However, according to a Director of Audit report, it appears that this control was overwritten to allow for excess spending on programmes where there were insufficient funds.

The report says accounting officers should ensure that funds are available before making commitments and be good stewards in the administering of their programmes. This is yet another example of manipulation of the accounts by the ULP regime. We ask the minister of finance, what is going on? Why can’t the ULP regime be good stewards in administering public finances? The manipulation of the accounts is an attempt to fool the people. In a certain year, the manipulation of public debt was so huge that the Treasury Accounts reflected public debt as only being $187,727,750.00, when in fact the audit showed that public debt was a massive $772,879,366.50. The ULP regime understated debt by over 585 million dollars. This manipulation by the ULP regime is an abuse of power. Our

people deserve accountability and transparency. We need a change of government. Another example of manipulating the financial system was the overspending in 2007 by $63 million without parliamentary approval using Special Warrants, and then using Supplementary Estimates in 2008 to seek approval

for the spending after it was already spent. Special Warrants should only be used in emergencies for unforeseen expenditures in cases such as hurricanes, for example. Only a Green Government can competently manage SVG’s finances. A Green government will bring transparency and end the manipulation of the

accounts of public finances. SVG needs a change of government. Our country deserves a government that will not fool the people in the management of SVG public finances. Vote Green — we can deliver economic growth and create jobs and revenue. SVG Green Party

The rural communities still depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Let’s talk agriculture AGRICULTURE is key to the development of rural communities, their livelihood and health. Over the years, our system of farming has changed and has become very costly and risky. At the same time, consumers want to know that the food they eat is nutritious, healthy, and free from high levels of chemical residue and contamination. Many countries have enacted food safety regulations to protect their consumers and, in some cases, protect their farmers and agro processors. Where these laws do not go far enough, they will apply the sanitary and photosanitary risks of the World Trade Organization; to prohibit products from entering their countries, while they in turn, dump high levels of subsidized food in our market destroying our local producers. In most cases these foods are not wholesome or healthy, leaving our country to pay the health bills. Several case studies have shown the extent to which developed countries go to protect their markets and farmers, and in the process, destroy local producers from underdeveloped countries. On the other hand, we do not support our own local farmers and agro processing industries. When we shop, we look for brand named products and eyecatching labels, not fresh quality agroprocessed home-grown produce, which in most instances is grown semiorganically, and which are more wholesome and healthy. Our mangoes, golden apples, soursops, grapefruits, oranges, coconuts, lemons, limes, sorrels, breadfruits are growing mostly in the wild. Yet, when we go to the market, we continue to purchase food that is not

healthy or wholesome, then we complain to the government about how the agroprocessing plant will not buy our produce, so we must close it down. When we get sick, we complain that the government cannot buy medicine, so we must vote them out. In the meantime, some governments are putting billions of dollars into their agro-processing industry in the name of food security. One country said food security is one of the contentious issues for developing countries; food security is inextricably connected to national security and political sovereignty. They further state that agriculture is not just another sector of the economy, but it has far- reaching implications on political influence, support economic performance, specifically employment, food availability, balance of payments position, as well as people’s livelihood, and from a policy position, it’s dangerous to depend on imported foods. These statements in my opinion are correct, but food security to us seems to mean dumping cheap subsidized food, especially processed foods, on our table at all cost. A scientist said the bacteria theory assumes that evil bacteria are always trying to attack people, but the real killers are unsanitary condition, ignorance, poor hygiene, uncleanliness, and poor eating and drinking habits. I fully agree, we must eat, support our local farmers and agro processors. Do the right things when we shop: buy local and bring down our health bill. I am not a scientist, but I am a reader and a thinker. I want us all to think! Wilberforce Emmanuel




100th Nine Mornings launched


Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKie, THE BUILD UP to the 100th applauded the crowd for braving Anniversary of Vincy Nine the weather to witness the Mornings is gathering pace. launch of so significant a The launch took place at traditional milestone. He noted Heritage Square in Kingstown that SVG was the only country Sunday, December 1. where the Nine Mornings Under the theme, tradition is practised. He “Celebrating 100 Years of a commended successive Unique Vincy Tradition,” the governments, committees and commemoration commenced individuals for holding the with a parade. This set the tradition together. platform, after which those Nine Mornings, he gathered heard remarks and said, holds a then witnessed a concert. significant place in Members of Nine Mornings SVG. It represents Communities, youth groups, an important musical bands of different ‘tourism moment.’ genres, and members of the The “Lighting of general public left Heritage the Square” Square, traveled along Bay preceded the concert. Street, turned onto Higginson The Nine Mornings Street, then Back Street, and “Anthem” was sung returned to Heritage Square. by its creators, Costumes highlighting Carlton “CP” Hall different aspects of our unique and Lennox celebration: “Light Up the Bowman. The Country”; “Traditional costumes were Christmas”; “Black Cake”; paraded on stage, to “Sorrel”; “Steel Pan”; “Boom the pleasure of the Drum”; “Caroling”; “It’s Nine audience. Mornings”; and “100th The energetic Anniversary” adorned the group from Sandy streets. The costumes were Bay calling skilfully crafted by Julian themselves ‘Point ‘Peling’ Pollard, and were Village Massive’ displayed by the Arabesque began with the Dancers. performance of a A huge, enthusiastic crowd Christmas folk carol filed into Heritage Square. “Come Leh we Go Before the concert, they heard Nine Mornings.” It from Deputy Chairman of the was rife with SVG National Nine Mornings dramatization and Committee, Lennox Bowman. vocal variations, and He spoke of the rationale behind had the crowd the 100 years, and commended screaming with the four individuals who, he pleasure. It said, came up with the idea continued like that; fifteen years ago, to turn the community after tradition into a festival. These community giving are: Michael Peters, Sebastien glimpses of the old Bassy Alexander, Joel traditions of Nine Providence and himself. He Mornings with congratulated all the Christmas cultural communities who have been presentations. organizing activities, thereby These evolved into decentralizing the festival, to the modern-day the ultimate enjoyment of all. elements of the festival, with renditions coming from Glenroy ‘Sulle’ Caesar, the Bowmans, Carlton CP’ Hall, and Rodney ‘Luta’ McIntosh. The official Nine Mornings festivities begin Monday, December The distinctive “Sorrel” costume on 16 and end


Tuesday, 24. Not only will that period see early morning activities. There will be the judging in the Community Lighting competition, the Best Lit House, and Best Garden. The results of these contests are eagerly awaited at the final day of the festival in Kingstown.

The Point Massive contingent really stood out.






Rose Bank to choose Miss Claus


COME FRIDAY, December 20, Rose Bank and surrounding communities will be given the opportunity to witness the selection of a Young Miss

Claus for 2013. This announcement came at the 2013 Nine Mornings Countdown activity hosted by the Rose Bank Nine Mornings Committee, at the Square late November. THE VINCENTIAN

chatted with the young ladies to find out why each should be selected as Young Ms. Claus.

“I believe that I will do well and will be chosen as Ms. Claus. I am going to do my best. I am ZEANN BAPTISTE: Twelve practising and this will years old and appearing make me successful. My as ‘Ms. No Flakes’.” strongest section will be

the Interview. Everything else is ready.”

Zeann Baptiste ADOLPHINA BROWNE: Thirteen years and appearing as ‘Ms. Silver Bells’ “I will be doing my best in my talent and my interview. I am practising very hard, and everyone will catch up on my secret performance on the night of the show. My talent will be my strong point. If I am chosen as Ms. Claus, I Adolphina Browne will try to make many friends and show a lot more confidence in my school work.” MAKESHA EDWARDS: Twelve years old and appearing as ‘Ms. Snow White’. “I entered this show because I have talent. My talent will be something no one has seen before, and because of this, I know I will be chosen as Ms. Claus. I am working hard, and know my friends will support me.”

Makesha Edwards

AKEACIA HARRY: Twelve years old and appearing as ‘Ms. Snowflakes.’ “I will be chosen as Ms. Claus, because on that night, what I will be bringing will be my talent and intelligence. When I walk in in my Evening Wear, I will be special, and everyone will have to be watching me. I am practising hard. I want the crowd to look at me as a person who had tried very hard and is ever working to take my career further — because I am hoping to become a model. I would like the community to see me as just a young girl who is hoping to follow her dreams.” SHAMARE RYAN: Eleven years old and appearing as ‘Ms. Jingle Bells’. “I hope to be chosen as Ms. Claus because I am beautiful and I have talent. I will show everyone that I can do what I can to impress the judges. I will show that I can sing, act and dance.

Akeacia Harry

Shamare Ryan I will do my interview well for sure. If chosen to be Ms. Claus, I will make sure that I show love and respect to my community and try to be helpful.”




GHS gains Drama Supremacy

Stories by GLORIAH… THE GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL are the 2013 Secondary Schools Drama champions. They displaced the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School to gain the top position in the Facey Trading Secondary Schools Drama Festival, Thursday, November 28 at the Peace Memorial Hall. Their presentation was entitled ‘Rituals’, written by Zeno Obi Constance and directed by winner of the Best Director award, Jillian JohnLlewellyn, Drama Active interrogation in court. teacher at the G.H.S. ‘Ritual’ is a highly symbolic classroom concept to journey into the realities of Omega’s play, presented in a simple life, enacting scenarios that style, with the set being a would have led to her classroom, and the costumes being ordinary uniforms of the pregnancy. The audience was never allowed to meet Omega. classmates. For the drama enthusiast The opening scene saw five who depended solely on school girls entering their humour, ‘Rituals’ did not class to the strains of Bob Marley’s ‘Pirates’. Apparently present the regular diet. The message was serious, and so their teacher had not yet was the language, concept and arrived, so they decided to consequent play action. discuss their lives. In so The cast, in moving through doing, it came out that one of their classmates, Omega, was scene changes right before the eyes of the audience, showed said to be pregnant. excellent character switches The students flowed which at first, were clearly not smoothly in and out of their fully appreciated by all. The

Omega meets Michael.

content, though, allowed for expressive language, which resonated well, especially with other students in the audience. As the classmates traced Omega’s life, from her problems with two warring parents, to her meeting of her Rasta boyfriend, Michael, to her pregnancy and ultimate arrest on a charge of prostitution, they interchanged — a different student taking the hot-seat and becoming the pivotal person in the scenario. Smooth character and prop switches detailed directing prowess. Classmates, on a whim or a departure from

School desks suddenly become delivery beds. current conversation, became Omega, her mother, her father, Michael, the Magistrate, or a witness. Desks became delivery beds. School ties became head ties, neck ties, bangles scarves, or swinging incense holders. The class turned into a court room. Towards the end of the play when one classmate, acting as Omega, forcefully resumed her true character, asking to stop because she did not want to continue the stressful questioning in the court, another student insisted that she should not stop “because all ah we is Omega.” It was

at that point that the true meaning of the message was given to the audience: all Caribbean women, like Omega, carry around her guilt, and it is not until we understand our story and appreciate what our problems are, do we cleanse ourselves of our burdens. The characters, therefore, had no names until the end when this light shone through and the message was accomplished. ‘Rituals’ was a stalwart performance with a sound concept. The GHS is to be congratulated.

Secondary Schools Drama concludes

The GHS Contingent. LAST YEAR’S FINAL winner, the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School (TOSS), had to settle for second place in this year’s Secondary

the family of Charlie Dickenson, a man who was sexually molesting his step-daughter, Victoria. According to Chief Judge, St. Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince, it was a production that inspired emotional responses from its viewers. “It was deep,” he said with feeling. Schools Drama Festival. The judges applauded Their presentation, all the presentations, ‘Don’t Tell Nobody’, describing them as focused on sexual abuse innovative and of children. It involved a humorous. six-member cast that They said that the took the audience acts had brought out through the activities of outstanding talents

which were “tremendous, although drama is not on the curriculum.” Chief Judge Prince called it the “best final” he had ever witnessed, and said that no one actually lost; all were winners. The Girls’ High School won the awards for Best Stage Management and Best Directing. Its students, Angelique Alfred and Adiel Hope, were awarded Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The Bethel High School won Best Costume with Best Set going to the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School. The St. Martins Secondary School was awarded Best Original

Play, and its student, Sauhil James, won the Best Supporting Actor award. Best Makeup was awarded to the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, and Jasper Alexander of that school walked away with Best Jasper Alexander- Best Actor and Actor and Dramatist of Dramatist of the festival. the Festival “Vagabond.” awards. According to Alexander won this Alexander, his prestigious award for achievement came about outstanding performance as a result of his ability in his role as to stay in character and Grandfather Mulie in his to execute his role school’s presentation of effectively.

V Guyanese medical group plans for SVG mission 18. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013. THE VINCENTIAN


Dr. Janice Emanuel-Bunn delivering introductory remarks at fund-raising gospel concert. Story and photos by NELSON A. KING; US CORRESPONDENT AFTER CONDUCTING A NUMBER of medical missions to Guyana in recent years, a prominent Brooklyn, New York-based Guyanese group is now turning its attention to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In this nexus, APC (Action, Performance, Commitment) Community Services, Inc. recently held a very successful gospel concert in Brooklyn in raising funds for its first ever medical mission to Hairouna (Land of the Blessed). Dr. Janice Emanuel-Bunn, the Guyanese-born founder and president of APC Community Services, Inc., in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, told THE VINCENTIAN, in an exclusive interview, that the group’s medical team will visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines from Mar. 21-28 next year. Dr. Emanuel-Bunn, who is also the team leader and a professor at the University of

Musician extraordinaire Professor Keith Proctor on keyboard playing 'You Lift Me Up'.

Phoenix, Arizona, said she is “determined” to keep a promise made, a few years ago, to her classmate Pastor Dermoth Baptiste, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Mission. Dr. Emanuel-Bunn and Pastor Baptiste were students at the Caribbean Union College (renamed University of the Southern Caribbean) in Maracas Valley, Trinidad, from 1975-80. “I strongly believe in honoring promises,” she said. “Therefore, I have galvanized a group of medical doctors, nurses and dentists to provide free medical care to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “This, I believe, is following the example of Jesus in doing ‘good’ to others by ministering to those in need,” she added. Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said the medical group will conduct at least four major clinics and several health symposia and expositions in various parts of the country. She expressed “deep gratitude” to former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Sir Louis Straker, a Seventh Day Adventist himself, for initiating the contact with the SVG SDA Mission. She also thanked Pastors Baptiste and Terrence Haynes for making arrangements for the visit. The fund-raising gospel concert, with the theme “Praising God through Service to Others”, was held on the night of Nov. 16 at the New Life Church of God on Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn. It featured a number of Guyanese and Caribbean artistes, including the Mildred Ford Dancers; dancer Miesha Ross; the Brooklyn Christian Fellowship Praise Team; Queens-based Eden’s Touch;

Mildred Ford Young Dancers. Right: Saw musician Dr. Moses Josiah "saws out" 'One Day at a Time'. Joann Carter and Bertrum Braithwaite; Trisha Croft; Wayne Johnson; Juliet McFarlane; John Williams; saw musician Dr. Moses Josiah; and musician extraordinaire Professor Keith Proctor. “I am very grateful to those who came out and supported the event,” Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said. “We had a wonderful time listening to the incredible talents of the various artistes. “The funds collected will be used to purchase life-saving medicines for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” she added. Dr. Emanuel-Bunn also expressed “deep appreciation” to

the artistes, who “donated their time and talents to raise funds for this worthy cause”. APC Medical Mission was founded in 2009 “in response to the urgent need for quality medical care” in Dr. Emanuel-Bunn’s homeland. The original team comprised three persons, but has since grown to be 30-odd strong. Over the past five years, about 5,000 patients in Guyana have received free medical care,

courtesy APC Community Services, Inc. Medical Team. Services include obstetricsgynecology surgeries, general child and adult care. Services have expanded to include dental care, and there is a vital component of counseling, especially as it relates to domestic violence, substance abuse and depression issues.

Digicel patrons on top by KENVILLE HORNE TWO WOMEN ARE $500 happier after emerging winners in the Digicel ‘Top Up and Win’ promotion which caters to Customers who purchase EC$ 10 credit or more and entered a draw. Clementina Garraway and Shiron Cato were very happy last week, when they each collected EC$500 from the telecommunications company corporate office in the Lewis Building on James Street. Garraway and Cato were the last winners to have been rewarded in this promotion as it concluded this week, making way for the company’s Christmas promotion dubbed “Brighten Someone’s Christmas.” Speaking during the handing of the monies, Digicel’s Marketing Manager, Juno DeRoche said that Digicel was glad to reward Garraway and Cato. She said that the duo won just by topping up their handsets. “Focus has switched to our Christmas promotion where Digicel is giving away EC$2000 every day for persons who top up $15 or more, pay their postpaid bill in full and on time, activate a data plan, Clementina Garraway of Belvedere. She win activate the international bundle or become a in the top up $10 and win $500. Digicel customer,” said DeRoche.

V Women venture into business



Nicole Charles, a returning national and accountant, has TWO WOMEN have opened started the “Small Business businesses in the Service Bookkeeping Services.” St. industry here. Lucian Annetta Tobierre, a Spa therapist, has brought the “Tobierre SPA” into operation. They are located at the Corner of Higginson and Grenville Streets, next to the Kingstown Methodist Church. Charles told THE VINCENTIAN that one of her dreams was to be selfemployed. Having gained more than 10 years’ experience working in Charles opens the door to her Business. other by KENVILLE HORNE

accounting firms, both in Barbados (soon after completing her accounting degree) and in Tortola (BVI) where she resided for seven years, she has taken the courageous step of opening her business to cater for the distressed needs of the small business men and women in St. Vincent and the L-R: Nicole Charles and Annetta Tobierre have both ventured Grenadines. into the business world on their own. “I want to change the way people see accountants She is appealing to small persons to practise a healthier and young women in business operators to keep lifestyle. According to the business,” said Charles, who accurate figures that will proprietor of “Tobierre SPA” hopes to be a mentor to other enable them to know exactly company, “I will like to see aspiring young women. how well it is doing. She also people live a healthier lifestyle “It is not easy to start, as encourages small businesses to through alternative medicines there are a lot of opposition along the way, and your plans desist from including personal such as therapeutic services transactions with the which can give one a healthier and strategies may also business, and treat the mind, body and soul.” She change as you move forward; but the model of this is not to business as if it is a separate wants to mentor women and entity. give up or lean on your own men into this career field, as Tobierre has been working understanding, but she feels that there is a need acknowledge God who has the in the service industry for over for these services both locally 15 years. Her last task was on and regionally. key to any door you wish to open. He opens and he also the Grenadines island of Both Businesses were closes,” testified Charles. Bequia. She is appealing to opened Friday, November 22.




I will never trust Hand job for a another man job? No way! boiling water on him when he stood there lying his teeth out. When I met this I WILL NEVER trust men man, I told him how hard I again in my life, and the next one who comes to me had it before and he promised to be there for talking about love and me, only to bite me in the marriage, I am going to end.  I am so hurt and destroy their manhood.  I am tired about these men angry right now, and I have made a promise to in this country and their worthless ways!  I have or I myself never to trust should have had this man another man, and to leave in my house, believing that them critically wounded when they come around he was the exception to the rule.  While I went out looking for what they did not put down. to work, this man was home having fun with my Hurt & Dangerous daughter, unknowing to me.  He works four days on and three days off.  When I Dear Hurt & Dangerous, confronted him, he made You have every right attempts to deny it, and to be angry with your tried to blame my situation, and it is daughter for what unfortunate that this happened between them. man disguised himself as I almost threw a pot of

Dear George,

THE ONE for you. I know that deep within, you probably know that all men are not like him, and it is just a matter of making a more careful selection the next time around. Give yourself time to heal and to get over this terrible experience completely. I

would strongly suggest that you get some counselling where you can address the anger that you feel presently. Look at this experience as one that taught both you and your daughter a lesson for life.

Dear George,

MY ALMOST 19-year-old daughter came home in tears and telling me how the man she went to for a job interview ended up asking her to give him a hand job instead. She said she refused, and that was when he said to her that she is not the right person for the job. This is the third place she went to and had to put up with sexual assault from these fly by night businessmen. The last one tried to George practically rape her, and she had to run out of the office. Now my girl is at home afraid to venture out to seek work. How do I protect her from year- old daughter, and rent free two years and a these predators? What Dear George, do I tell her? She is the offer he is making is ‘hands free’ from your traumatized by all of very tempting. I am not body. He needs to know MY LANDLORD tried to this! sure what I should do. I that there are rape me, and when I want him to pay boundaries and he must said I was going to the for trying to rape me, never confuse inability to Concerned Mom. police, he promised not pay rent with easy to charge for rent for the but at the same time, I want the break from the access to your body. Use Dear Concerned Mom, next 2 years. I must rent. I am caught in a this opportunity to teach admit that I have been dilemma and need your your daughter some of You begin by telling having problems with advice. the sound principles she your daughter that the my rent as a single needs to learn to grow mother. I have a 12real world can be harsh Between and develop into a strong and unforgiving, but that and no nonsense adult. does not mean she should Dear Between, Get some financial roll over and play dead or counselling so that you give up when she meets Forget about the offer can perhaps get new the scrums of the earth. for a rent-free two years, ideas as to how to better Let her know that sexual and report this matter manage your budget or harassment is not to the police. You will do capitalize on areas that something that anyone so if you do not want to have gone neglected or should have to put up be sexually assaulted in undetected which can the future. There is no bring additional revenue. with anywhere, and it ought to be reported to guarantee he is going to the police. Allow the keep the promise of a George police to deal with the men who sexually harass her or attempt to do so. That law is there for our protection. If it is possible, accompany her to her next interview and assure her that you are right outside of the office just in case. The businessman who said she was not right for that job was indeed correct, because a woman of her standards really does not belong in a place like that.

Free rent for my silence



ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20) Family outings will make you feel secure and happy. You need to get down to basics with regard to yourself. You could be quite erratic regarding your personal relationship. Changes regarding your image will bring you greater confidence. TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21) Residential moves will be hectic and may be unsatisfactory. Express your interest if you want the relationship to progress. Your sensitivity toward those you love will capture their hearts. Your charm will attract someone special. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) Take time to listen to children and help them with projects that seem impossible to them. Make changes in your domestic scene. Your high energy and discipline will enable you to complete any seemingly insurmountable tasks. You could be misinterpreted if you're not careful. CANCER (June 22-July 22) Emotional matters may not be easy for you to handle. Females may put demands or added responsibilities on you. Sit back and observe, regardless of how hard that might be. Don't take your frustrations out on the ones you love. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Do not push your opinions or try to reform your emotional partner this week. Don't let relatives make demands of you. You can make financial deals that will bring you extra cash. Sort situations out as best you can. Watch your spending habits. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) You hard work and dedication will payoff, so stick to your guns and do your job well. It's hard to stay mad if the object of the anger refuses to react. You can get into weight loss programs or go out and change your image with a new look in clothing, hairstyle, and attitude. Try to be reasonable.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) If you join intellectual or cultural groups, you should meet individuals who stimulate you. You may not want to spend time around family or your home. Losses are likely if you have left your financial affairs in other people's hands. You can accomplish a lot if you direct your thoughts toward starting your own small business on the side. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) Your creative ideas must be put to good use. It might be time for you to take a quantum leap from one career to another. Find ways to make extra cash. Start making things or reusing rather than buying ready made. Channel your energy wisely and you can score points with the boss. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) You are best to be discreet. They won't pay you back and you'll be upset. Don't let opposition from those envious of your talents daunt your progress. You should consider getting into self improvement endeavors. CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20) You might find that coworkers will support your endeavors. Travel or short trips will probably be your best outlet. Opportunities will unfold; however, you must be willing to pay the price. Group endeavors will provide you with entertainment. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21.- Feb. 19) Your outgoing nature might work against you this week. Take a look at your legal position. Find out if they have other commitments. Social get-together will bring you in contact with intelligent new friends. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) Go out with friends. You may find yourself in an opportune position if you are willing to take a bit of a risk. You will have original ideas for ways to make extra money. Don't ignore any emotional issues that could be causing problems.


50. Loafer 53. March date 1.Diva’s specialty 54. Stress 5. Partly open 57. 1.6093 9. Nautical prison kilometers 13. Pack animal 58. Ache 15. Calla __ 59. Young herring 16. Carnival attrac- 60. Lugosi of tion films 17. He played 61. Actress Rhett Lanchester Butler (2 wds.) 62. Tennis ace 19. __ about Arthur (approximately, 2 wds.) DOWN 20. Lion’s home 21. The very best 1.Start of a tot’s (2 wds) song 22. Right __ 2. Control 23. Some voice 3. Modern Persia votes 4. Timetable 24. Old Dodge abbr. model 5. Alda and Arkin 26. Monopoly and 6. Be in accord Scrabble 7. “__ About Eve” 28. Exam before 8. Deli loaf finals 9. Anne, 31. Stationed Charlotte, 32. Fends (off) or Emily 33. Lobe locale 10. Circle 35. “Back in the 11. TV’s __” (Beatles) “American __” 36. IOU slips 12. “Red Corner” 37. Smudge star 38. New (prefex) 14. Approved 39. Once a day 18. Leaves 40. Flags down 22. __ and crafts 41. Texts of plays 23. The “A” in 43. Ladies and __ USA (abbr.) 44. Smooth over 24. Unclean 45. Very pleased 25. Increases 46. Ivan of tennis 26. Helium and 49. Poetic “never” xenon

27. The “A” in NBA (abbr.) 28. Sends by post 29. Kindled anew 30. Handles roughly 31. Hot cross or sticky 32. __ as snow 34. Reading and B&O (abbr.) 36. Graduates’ wear 37. Rock group 39. Old tele phone face 40. Valentine symbols 42. Mideast water (2 wds.) 43. Small valley

45. Actress Davis 46. Branch 47. Falco or Adams 48. Actress Gwyn 49. Mark Harmon TV show 50. Keeps out 51. Mormon




state 52. Parcel (out) 54. Big monkey 55. Coolidge’s nickname 56. __ creek without a paddle (2 wds.)




Aunty GÊs Fun Day shifts location THE ANNUAl Aunty G’s Christmas Fun Day for children is on. This is the assurance given by Georgette ‘Aunty G’ Nanton, founder and director of the Aunty G’s Charitable Children Organization (AGCCO), which has been hosting the annual Fun Day for the last six years. However, according to Nanton, this year’s Fun Day, the seventh consecutive one, scheduled for Saturday 14th December, 2013, will be one with a difference. Breaking with the tradition of hosting the Fun Day in Georgetown, Nanton said that her Organization is teaming up with the Backyard Adventure Fun Park in Arnos Vale, to make the 2013 Fun Day “a different and memorable one for the children.” The children, to be drawn from the Sandy Bay and Georgetown communities, will be bused to the Park where they will not only enjoy the facilities there, but also be entertained by Carlton ‘CP’ Hall and Delroy ‘Fireman’ Hooper,

be greeted by Santa Claus and participate in other activities like punch boards, dips and a special raffle. “Our mission is to meet the needs of deprived children in any form. The programme that has been held in Georgetown will, for the first time, be hosted outside of Georgetown to afford the children the opportunity to be exposed to activities and facilities outside their own communities,” Nanton said. Aunty G’s good cheer for the Yuletide season continues on Christmas Day in Georgetown, when gifts will be distributed to children, and food baskets handed out to the elderly. Support for this year’s Fun Day and other Christmas activities of the AGCCO has come from: Dr. Rosie Irish and the The United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn, USA: Jean John of Wayside Community Centre of London, England; and SVG TV. The more mature in Georgetown can also look forward to A Nine Mornings Karaoke

Tribute to Mrs Ermis Jones – a devoted Anglican MRS ERMIS JONES was born in the beautiful countryside of Orange Hill on 30th June 1927. She attended the Georgetown Government School, and later in life, married prominent shopkeeper Charles Jones of Georgetown, and made a meaningful contribution to the progress of his business. Her son and I were delivered by the same midwife, hours apart, and this seemed to have created a bond between our families. She was of a kind, loving and humorous disposition which endeared her to all those with whom she came into contact. As a business woman, she was very kind and helpful, especially to children and to the poorer folk by providing them with meals and other assistance, free of charge. She was a pillar of the Anglican community in North Windward, and assisted in services, meetings and other religious gatherings from Mt. Grenan to Fancy. At fairs, her stalls were

always highly patronized, as she included a variety of attractive items, and kept everyone happy with her jokes and dancing. She was always a prominent organizer of sponsored walks and retreats, and was indeed instrumental in winning many souls for her Lord and Master. Mrs Jones passed away on 7th November 2013, and was laid to rest in the Holy Trinity churchyard after a Eucharistic Service of Thanksgiving on 16th November at the church which she dearly loved and faithfully served. May her soul rest in peace. Claudette Seaton

Competition to be organized by AGCCO, under its now well established Singing With The Stars Karaoke brand. “It’s been a rather active and rewarding year for us, but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the smiles on the faces of the children at our Christmas Fun Day,” Nanton intimated.

The Aunty G’s Charitable Children Organization (AGCCO) was founded in 2007, and held its first Christmas Fun Day that very year.

Core members of the Aunty G’s Charitable Children Organization with founder Georgette Nanton (bottom holding child).



FIFA Officials to investigate match-fixing claims? to reports. While Small is said to have mentioned about 21 causes, which triggered his resignation, the report said that his mention on the issue of match-fixing in the letter, a copy which was sent to FIFA, has apparently galvanised the governing body into action. According to reports reaching THE VINCENTIAN, officials from FIFA are expected to arrive in SVG “sometime this week or early Former SVGFF First Vicenext week” to possibly president Lloyd Small investigate Small’s claims. makes match-fixing claims. General Secretary of the SVGFF Trevor Huggins told THE VINCENTIAN that, by E. GLENFORD PRESCOTT while he was not privy to any information, he learnt that THE RESIGNATION LETTER by ‘some people are supposed to First Vice President Lloyd Small come in to deal with some appears to have put the St. parts of the contents of Small’s Vincent and the Grenadines letter pertaining to matchFootball Federation-SVGFFfixing claims.” under the microscope of the Huggins indicated that he world governing body, according had not seen any

correspondence in relation to the matter, but was only made aware of the situation when enquiries were made to him by an executive member. He said following this query, he asked President Venold Coombs, who confirmed that it was in fact the case that FIFA officials were coming here, but was unable to specify when that visit will take place. The match-fixing claims by Small appear to have taken on serious consequences following the news last week by British media that Grenadian international footballer Delroy Facey is reported to be among six people arrested on suspicion of fixing English football games. According to reports, Facey, who has been representing Grenada in regional and international matches in recent years, has been named

Primary Schools Netball hits Grass THE PRIMARY SCHOOLS Netball festival experienced a softer touch as the players were exposed to grass surfaces at the Arnos Vale playing field compared to recent years as they played Natasha Stapleton the Inter-Schools Chair person Netball competition Action in the Primary this year. grassed The festival, which brought playing field because we a close to the Primary and believe it is softer on the Secondary Schools competitions, was an initiative students’ feet, knees and ankles because at that level undertaken through the they may not be able to afford Ministry of Education, SVG Netball Association, Ministry of the proper foot wear that can give them the protection that Tourism, Sports and Culture. they need,” Stapleton Chairperson of the Netball lamented. “This we believe sub-committee Natasha obviously will prevent early Stapleton said the Primary Schools Netball festival was an injuries to the players at this age. innovation which came as a “Following the festival, our recommendation from the plan is to identify the talents Department of Sports along and bring them together as a with the SVG Netball core or encourage the Schools Association. “We saw it fit to change the to keep them together and play structure of the Primary School more games at their level which is geared towards Netball because we want it to be exciting at this age, not just developing them as netballers. “We believe, once this about competition but having innovation works, the future of fun and enjoying the game of netball will be good because netball,” Stapleton said. ‘We decided to take the game to the from what I have seen, there are lots of excitement, and once

as a member of a suspected betting syndicate. The reports say the player-turned agent and his group, which included at least three footballers, were picked up when officers from SVGFF President Venold Coombs the National Crime facing bright lights, General Secretary Trevor Huggins is pictured at his left. Agency swooped down on them. reasons and recipients. It said the operation took Coombs is reported to have place after police were tipped remained indignant while off about an Asian betting syndicate attempting to target stating that there was no wrongdoing in the financial games across Britain. transactions. The claim by Small comes Reports say that last week, one year after concerns were a travel agent here succeeded raised by some in the media in having the court freeze the about the outcome of some Federation’s accounts as it matches in the domestic sought to recover payments in competitions comprising the excess of sixty thousand National Inter-league and dollars which remained Club Championships. outstanding for a prolonged The SVGFF and its president are trying to stave period. In addition, the Federation off concerns over the has been mandated to pay financial operations of the former president St. Claire organisation, where Leacock over one hundred thousands of dollars have thousand dollars following a been disbursed without legal matter which they lost. accounting records to show

Schools netball festival they are excited, the love will grow, which means they will want to continue to play the sport especially at the secondary level.” Stapleton anticipates that more Primary Schools will show interest in playing netball following the innovation this year. ‘We believe this is the grass root stage, and the aim of the grass root program is to develop the players at a young level while focusing on fun, excitement and the love for the sport,” she said. Approximately 16 Schools were involved in the festival on the mainland. Unfortunately no Schools from the Grenadines took part this year, but we are looking to get them involved next year. I.B.A.ALLEN

Novice, Simple Boys into Finals GAIRY reign. They CONSTRUCTIONrecorded a fourSimple Boys and wicket win over CGM Novice will E.Z Woods contest the finals of Toppers. E.Z the National Woods Toppers Lottery Authorities made 132 for 6 TBPO Softball 20/20 in 20 overs cricket competition, buoyed by following semifinal Vennardo victories at the Primus 37 and Dauphine playing Miles Bascombe field. 36. Bowling for Gairy CGM Novice, Hyron Shallow hit ConstructionRichie Richards a vital 56 Simple Boys beat took 3 for 32. Gomea Bombers by 64 runs. Novice made light work of Simple Boys made 129 for 7 the chase, finishing with 133 in 20 overs, led by Elric for 6 in 17.5 overs. Roderick Morris 39 and Nicos Davis John and Hyron Shallow 56 35 not out. Kendal Payne 3 apiece did the bulk of the for 30 was Gomea’s best scoring for Novice. bowler. Gomea reached 65 in The third and fourth place 18.1 overs. Ovando O’Brian will be decided Sunday from top scored with 27. Bowling 11am when Gomea Bombers for Simple boys, Travis play E.Z Woods Toppers. Cumberbatch took 3 for 1, This will be followed by the and Casmond Walters 3 for finals from 2pm at the 15 doing most of the Dauphine playing field. damage. Presentation Ceremony will Defending champions follow the final. CGM Novice will have an opportunity to extend their I.B.A.ALLEN




Special Olympics SVG honours Jackson and Spence THE BOARD OF Directors of Special Olympics St Vincent and the Grenadines presented plaques of appreciation to two stalwarts of the Special Olympics movement in St Vincent and the Grenadines last Tuesday. They are Velma Jackson and Tyrone ‘Tweety’ Spence. This was in keeping with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In his message on the theme “Break Barriers, Open Doors: For An Inclusive Society For All,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on Governments, members of the UN system, businesses and civil society to break barriers and open doors of opportunity for all persons with disability, and build an inclusive society for all. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. At the time of the introduction of Special Olympics to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Velma Jackson was at the helm of the School for Children with Special Needs Kingstown, and served as the first national director for Special Olympics St Vincent and the Grenadines. She was the first person to accompany a special group of athletes to represent this country at Special Olympics summer and winter games. Her most outstanding achievements were in 1995 when St Vincent and the Grenadines was represented at the World Games in New Haven, Connecticut, where the team amassed a total of 15 medals, and again two years later in York, Canada, at the World

L-R: Ornoro John with Tyrone ‘Tweety’ Spence as he receives his award from the National Director of Special Olympics SVG, Janice McMaster. Winter Games, when the athletes netted their largest tally of gold medals 12. At the handing over of the plaque “in appreciation for the many years of dedicated service, devotion and commitment” Special Olympics SVG Chair Errol at her Allen congratulates Velma Frenches home, SOSVG Jackson after presenting her award. chair Errol Allen realize what he and commended Jackson. others would have Tyrone Spence is no already known, that stranger to sports in St given the opportunity, Vincent and the persons with intellectual Grenadines, the disabilities can make a Caribbean and the difference. Tweety international arena, continued to work with specifically in the game Special Olympics until it of football. ‘Tweety’, as was no longer possible he is commonly known, for him to do so, owing to was a defender on the St health challenges. Vincent and the The plaque was Grenadines national presented to Tweety at team at the peak of its his home by National success in the 1980s. Director Janice After his playing days McMaster. She ended, he came to expressed the Special Olympics SVG as appreciation and a volunteer in the early gratitude of the Board nineties, passing on his for his work with the passion for the game to special athletes and his athletes who were not excellent record of often given a chance to results, and indicated showcase their skills in the Board’s intention to sporting activities. As continue to look out for coach, he took a team of this great, but humble special athletes to sports icon. The represent St Vincent and delegation also the Grenadines at the comprised Directors Earl 1991 World Games in Tash and Cecily Norris, Minnesota, Minneapolis, and was accompanied by where his team took special athlete Ornoro fourth place. John. Four years later, he Special Olympics St. took his team to the top, Vincent & the gaining the gold medal Grenadines will be in 1995, making it the participating in the 2015 first time that Special World Summer Games Olympics SVG has ever in Los Angeles, done this in football. California, from July 25 This made our country to August, 2, 2015.




Blind faith? WHEN the West Indies collapsed on the first day of the recent Indian Test series, I dismissed them there and then, and accused them of having squandered an opportunity to put up a good show. Unfortunately, the Windies fulfilled my dismal prophecy and did not put up the slightest resistance. Even though the Indians were happy to exact some revenge, there was a sense of dissatisfaction that the once formidable West Indies could be overrun so tamely. I was prepared to put the Indian no show aside and give the players some credibility, with the anticipation that they would have changed the approach in New Zealand. Even when the home team amassed 609 for 9 declared and the West Indies were 67 for 2 at the end of the second day, I fathomed the thought that the West Indies could still have salvaged some pride, if not for themselves, for us the die-hards who endure the nightmare to search for some light beyond the tunnel. It seemed like déjà vu, for all my expectations turned into a hollow dream. I don’t mind continuing to dream. Imagine still missing your vital night rest in order to see for yourself what is happening. It doesn’t make sense pretending that you are not interested, and the first thing when you wake up is to find out the score. I am a West Indian cricket supporter. I overlook the signs of insularity and the big island mentality whereby countries persist in making fun of those from the small islands. I can’t blame everyone for adopting a negative approach. There are genuine and committed citizens throughout the Caribbean. There is no point in dwelling on the negatives, because that produces nothing good for the soul. In any event, self-preservation comes first. It makes no sense abandoning the ship in the middle of the ocean. You will drown at any rate. Might as well you stay there and hope that help come to rescue you. The actions of the selectors and administrators must come under scrutiny every time. One wonders if they appreciate the extent of the responsibility on their shoulders. I get the feeling that there is some sense of complacency at the decision making level of West Indies cricket. Somehow, players and countries are led to believe that they have full authority to carry West Indies Cricket down the drain. That may be a harsh assessment, for there can be no justification in anyone wanting to destroy West Indies cricket. Life is full of surprises. Persons have their agendas, sometimes driven by malice, and they pride themselves in perpetuating some of the vilest thoughts. There are generational gaps that have enveloped the region. It is part of the legacy. The West Indies were staring another defeat. There was a feeling that the Indian debacle was past. There is not much to be gained by wallowing in despair. There has to be a way of conquering the situation. If you can’t find a technique of survival, you will be besieged like so many people the world over.

Winlott T/20 winds up in Grenada by E. GLENFORD PRESCOTT

“WE HAD A LONG period of preparation, and once we can put what we planned and practised into play, we can do very well in this year’s tournament,” Lindon James SVG’s senior cricket captain said just prior to the team leaving the ET Joshua Airport for Grenada Wednesday morning. James is at the helm of the team which won the 2012 Winlott Windwards T20 competition and placed third in the two-day segment of the exchanges. James is banking the team’s success on the return of the experienced Romel Currency after a three-year break away from national duties owing to studies and work commitments. “The return of Currency, as well as the selection of his brother Sunil (Ambris) plus (Donwell) Hector, will give us the experience and stability at the top of the order, and we should be able to make good totals,” he explained. He also thinks that the bowling which would be in the hands of West Indies ‘A’ team pacer Delorn Johnson and the experienced and miserly Kenroy Peters, with the support of Alston Bobb and Casman Walters, will be capable of restricting their opponents to gettable totals. In addition, he is looking for good things from newcomers in Asif Hooper, the left-arm spinner and top order batsman and offspinning and middle order batter Rodney Lawrence. The T20 format started yesterday and ends December 8. James is confident that the preparations which the team was involved in have put them in the right frame of mind to “hit the ground running.” “We believe that it is easier to move from T20 into the longer format, so most of our preparations were centred around that type of scenario…….we had net sessions and a few matches, and I think all of the players are fully aware of what their roles are,” he said.

Newcomers Asif Hooper (left) and Rodney Lawrence (right) pose with Donwell Hector with Winlott T20 trophy. The T20 team has no major injury concerns, but the two-day squad suffered a setback when the talented Atticus Browne had to be replaced after suffering some damage to the webbing on his left hand. He has been replaced by wicketkeeper/batsman Salvan Browne. The team’s top rungetter, Hector said he is looking forward to continuing his good form after getting a half century in the final practice match. “My whole approach has changed….when I was dropped from the Windwards, I sat down and took a look at what I was not doing and what I must do……one of the things that came to me is that I must play the game with more confidence and play balls not bowlers,’ he said. “I believe that now that I am 25, it calls for a new and mature approach, and maybe it can start with this tournament,” said the father of two. Last year, Hector was among the top runscorers in the two-day competition but endured a miserable time in the regional first class season. He however enjoyed a bumper local season with 472 runs in the Premier

Division with three centuries. SVG was expected to oppose Dominica in their opening match yesterday, while Grenada and St. Lucia were to do battle in the second match. Today it will be SVG taking on St. Lucia and host Grenada meeting Dominica. On Saturday, St. Lucia will oppose Dominica and SVG will take on Grenada. The final and third place play-off will take place on Sunday. Matches will be played at 9.30am and 1.30pm. The teams: Two-day Lindon James — Captain, Romel Currency - Vice Captain, Delorn Johnson, Miles Bascombe, Kenroy Peters, Darnley Grant, Donwell Hector, Kenneth Dember, Keiron Cottoy, Alston Bobb, Rodney Lawrence, Salvan Browne, Sunil Ambris. Four reserves were

SVG captain Lindon James is looking for good things.

named: Salvan Browne, Rolando Wright, Shaquille Browne and Mcleon Williams Winlott T20: Lindon James — Captain, Romel Currency - Vice Captain, Delorn Johnson, Miles Bascombe, Kenroy Peters, Darnley Grant, Donwell Hector, Casman Walters, Keiron Cottoy, Alston Bobb, Rodney Lawrence, Sunil Ambris, Desron Maloney, and Asif Hooper.





The National Newspaper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines



DECEMBER 6, 2013

VOLUME 107, No.49

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UNION ISLAND DRAMA Customs Officer Othneil Whyte, one of the four victims of the Union Island tragedy.

package tied to the anchor, after having inquired whether there was cocaine on board. VINCENTIAN Police Sergeant Matters escalated in Rohan Deshong is under dramatic fashion, and “tremendous stress mentally Deshong estimated that the and physically.” That by his own “shoot out” lasted fifteen admission. minutes, when questioned by He made the disclosure last Inspector Adolphus Delpesche week Friday as he gave appearing for the prosecution. evidence at the Coroner’s Deshong recounted having Inquest into an incident in the heard a voice say “heh!” Southern Grenadines District “As I turned around, I saw of Union Island June 3, 2012. a black Venezuelan with a Deshong was a Corporal black shot gun two feet long then, attached to the Rapid pointing in our direction. He Response Unit (RRU) based in shot at us. I took cover by Union Island. He and Customs throwing myself on the Officer Othneil Whyte took a ground,” Deshong testified. water taxi to the Venezuelan He recalled having the boat El Amigo Fay which was anchor and package being in the waters off the shores of thrown overboard. Several Clifton, that island’s main Venezuelans came towards town. Deshong he outlined: “They They went on board and were in a hostile manner.” tried to persuade the captain Deshong testified that he to go to the Clifton Wharf. The was still under fire. captain refused and instead, “I saw the Black the boat headed for deeper Venezuelan climb up on the waters. roof of the cabin. I saw the gun Deshong’s testimony was pointed in my direction, I shot that Whyte held onto a through the roof of the vessel; Stories by WILLIAM ‘KOJAH’ ANTHONY

the gun fell from the Black Venezuelan’s hand into the sea.” Even in the heat of that debacle, Deshong received two phone calls. One caller inquired if he was ok. Deshong responded that he was under attack and asked his colleague to “hurry up.” All the while, the boat was heading for the ocean, Deshong continued. He ordered the captain to go to the Clifton Wharf. “He refused,” Deshong indicated. “I used tactics by beating him about the body,” the witness added. “I pushed him to the ground. I pointed my gun towards him. One of the Venezuelans tried to come at me. I pointed my service revolver towards him. He ran to the bow. At that point, I got the situation under control. I realised that Mr Whyte was missing. I took the boat back to Clifton Harbour. As we reached closer to the Wharf, I

told the captain to dock the boat. I threw the rope on to the wharf. Persons tied it up.” The captain and the other crew members were taken to the Union Island Police Station. He handed over his service pistol to Assistant Superintendent of Police Sydney James, along with five rounds of ammunition. The Glock Service revolver was exhibited in court, as well as the anchor and package said to have been on board that day. Coroner Sonia Young examined the revolver, and the sight of the item evoked a smile from her face. Deshong’s testimony was that Whyte had the boat under surveillance since about 12: 45 that afternoon and that it had

not cleared Customs. Whyte and Deshong boarded El Amigo Fay at about 5 pm after a five minute journey by the water taxi. It was approximately five minutes after having embarked that the shotgun appeared. The El Amigo Fay mystery has raised reaction here and abroad.

I want to hear the Venezuelans: Young SENIOR Magistrate Sonya Young wants to hear what the Venezuelans who were on the fishing vessel El Amigo Fay have to say. She made her position known at the Serious Offences Court last week Friday, the second day of the Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of four people. That incident occurred Sunday June 3 off the Coast of Union Island in the Southern Grenadines district. One of those killed was Vincentian Customs Officer Othneil Whyte. His body was found in the waters following the mishap, and autopsy reports revealed that he died

from drowning. Three Venezuelan nationals died from gunshot wounds during the altercation. Their names were given as David Jose Mata, Natividad Mata and Esteban Acosta. A fourth crew member Derbys Salazar, was injured in the escapade. Four other Venezuelans returned to their homeland in September last year after charges of attempting to kidnap Rohan Deshong and attempting to murder him were withdrawn. They were named as Deivid, Degrys, Humberto and Darwin Mata. The vessel El Amigo Fay

arrived in Margarita October last year. The Coroner’s Inquest has been adjourned sine die. Emery Robertson, appearing on behalf of the Whyte family, indicated that the resumption will be in January. A number of witnesses have mounted the witness stand including Deshong. He recounted aspects of the drama. He confessed to the Coroner that he may have omitted important information because he has been under stress since the incident. Robertson expressed empathy with Deshong during

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

his cross examination of that witness. “I praise you for your bravery.” Senior Magistrate Young was not too moved about Robertson’s emotions, and reminded the former Attorney General that there was a jury. “You can speak with him outside,” Young indicated. Deshong could not say how Whyte went missing. He knew that the other occupants of the boat returned home, but he did not know where the boat was. Senior Magistrate Sonya Young

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