Saint Lucia has been monitoring the control of trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS), through the implementation of the Montreal Protocol Act and Regulations since 2002. ODS are chemicals that contain chlorine and bromine and are harmful to the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the stratosphere and protects life on earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Whilst developed countries have already phased out the first group of ODS to be controlled, developing countries have a target date of 2010 to phase out CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons. CFCs are refrigerants used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, including water coolers and vehicle air conditioning units. Preliminary 2008 data for Saint Lucia reveal that CFCs have been phased out, 2 years ahead of the 2010 deadline. As of January 15, 2009, no one will be permitted to import CFCs and the prohibition on the import of equipment containing CFCs continues.
The Ministry, through the Sustainable Development and Environment Section, will be completing a series of training for Customs and Marine Police Officers in the Enforcement of Trade Controls for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) which commenced in September 2008. The final session was held on Friday, 23 January, 2009, in Vieux-Fort.
The main objective is to provide Customs and Marine Police Officers with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and report cases of illegal trade in ODS at the various air and sea ports and during wider boarder control efforts.
To facilitate this monitoring, the Customs Department and Marine Police will be provided with state of the art refrigerant identifiers. These identifiers will enable Customs and Marine Officers to run checks on any refrigeration and air conditioning product, to determine the type of refrigerant contained. This includes refrigerators, vehicle AC units, water coolers and refrigerated containers.
Any cases of illegal trade will be dealt with according to the ozone layer protection and Customs legislation.
With the increasing pressures to safeguard the tourism industry in order to sustain the national economy, the need for well trained and capable human resources in tourism is even more compelling.
Within this context, the St. Lucia Tourist Board announced yesterday, the appointment of two officers to fill two important positions, that of Management Information Systems (MIS) Officer and Head of Special Events Management.
The Head of Special Events Management Lavaughn Francis, a St. Lucian national with a Master of Science degree in Project Management from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Baruch College of the City University of New York, brings to the Board her recent experience with ICC Cricket World Cup working directly with CEO Chris Dehring. Her role entailed developing departmental project plans and monitoring their adherence to the tournament contract. She also coordinated the sponsor leveraging programme for the event and conceptualized, planned and developed strategic implementation and roll-out plans for several of the entertainment zones at the various stadia. Francis has also worked as the Project Manager Information Technology for Mayberry Investments in Jamaica.
As head of the Special Events department Francis will take responsibility for the development, planning, coordination and implementation a all the Board’s calendar of special events. The second appointment is that of Mr. Crispin Blasse who, as the MIS Officer, is responsible for the design, implementation and management of the information technology systems including the acquisition of appropriate hardware and software to meet the information processing and telecommunication needs of the Board.
The Bankers Association of St Lucia has selected Mauricia Thomas-Francis to administer its highest office; that of president for the new year. Mrs. Francis is the Country Manager and Head of Corporate Banking of FirstCaribbean International Bank, and has the distinction of leading the Change Management process at the country level, following the historic Barclays Bank/ CIBC merger that gave birth to FirstCaribbean International.
A graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mauricia Thomas-Francis holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from that institution. She has served on and continues to contribute on various Boards, among them The St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Interim Board of the St. Lucia Coalition of Services. In her current position as Country Head, she manages the Corporate Banking Segment of the St Lucia operation, overseas overall country performance and serves as Chairperson of the FirstCaribbean’s Country Management Committee. Mrs. Francis sits on the Board of FirstCaribbean International Finance Corporation (FINCOR) as well as on the regional bank’s COMTRUST (community trust fund) Foundation.
A career banker in the business for 32 years, the new Bankers Association President’s entry into the sector was in the capacity of a secretary with Barclays Bank PLC in February 1977. She has served at most of the branches on the Island in various capacities, as well as in Dominica as Country Manager and Head of Corporate Banking.
“My predecessors in the role of President have set the bar pretty high. I intend that my tenure leaves its own indelible mark on the organization and on the financial services sector.” She said in relation to the new appointment. Highly regarded by her peers and the business community, Mrs. Francis continues to receive accolades and awards for her achievements in business management and banking. In 2005 she was named as one of St. Lucia’s Top Seven Business Leaders by Business Focus Magazine; in 2006. St. Lucia’s former Prime Minister, Dr Kenny D. Anthony endorsed her as ‘an exemplar of sound banking leadership’; and in 2007 she was selected as Business Person of the Year 2007 by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture. She was preceded in the office of Bankers’ Association President by Country Manager of Scotia Bank, Mr. Chester Hinkson.
The University of the West Indies will host its annual Open Day on Wednesday January 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the UWI Open Campus site at Morne Fortune.
Registration and academic advising teams from all four UWI Campuses will be available to explain procedures and guide prospective students towards making the right choices in their tertiary education.
The University of the West Indies, which prides itself on being the oldest and most prestigious tertiary education institution in the region has a currently enrolled population of approximately 40,000 students and 90,000 alumni around the world.
Head of the St. Lucia branch of the UWI Open Campus, Mrs. Veronica Simon indicated that the annual Open Day is a major outreach initiative which is replicated throughout the fifteen UWI countries. The actual Open Day will be preceded by two days of road tours, where the UWI teams visit secondary schools around the island.
All Secondary Schools and the general public are invited to the Open Day on Wednesday January 28th, 2009.
A student from the south of the island has been awarded the Scotiabank Scholarship for this year, to pursue higher education.
Tricia Moffat who hails from Pierrot was this week presented with her sponsorship cheque of $75,000 which will finance her law studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados and later, her one-year programme at the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago.
Ms. Moffat, who is in currently in the second year of her studies, was elated with her award. A former student of the Pierrot Combined School, she later attended the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.
She said she was honoured to be chosen to receive the Scotiabank award seeing it as an added incentive to successfully complete her studies and realize her dream of becoming a lawyer.
“I am deeply honoured to be chosen to receive this scholarship from Scotiabank”, she said. “I can only promise the bank that its money will be put to good use. I also want to commend the bank for having such a programme in place to help needy students like myself. In so doing, Scotiabank is making an outstanding contribution to education in the community.”
The Scotiabank scholarship programme was launched in 1989 and the award is made once every two years. Ms. Moffat is the 14th student to benefit from the programme.
The award is for needy students who are chosen by the UWI and then recommended to the Bank. Students can be awarded the scholarship at any point in their studies. Completing her studies is not Ms. Moffat’s only focus at this time. She says her eventual goal is to become Scotia-bank’s first in-house lawyer.
Prime Minister of St. Lucia Stephenson King
Prime Minister Stephenson King has challenged the St. Lucia Police Force to step up its crime fighting efforts, warning that the country’s crime rate was dangerously close to putting St Lucia’s economic security at risk.
King, who has overall responsibility for security in the country, has called on the police force to maintain its image as a results-oriented institution.
His caution came as the New Year opened with a brazen daylight robbery of a credit union in downtown Castries and the brutal murder of a well-known doctor based at the private Tapion Hospital.
Police have nabbed suspects in both cases, with some already appearing in court.
King noted that the island’s 1,000-member police force was the largest of all the member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), adding that successive governments have invested heavily in the force, with technical assistance and support sought from several friendly governments over the years.
He said that despite this, crime continues to be a very critical issue that can have “even greater implications on the economy far greater than we can ever imagine.”
“To achieve govern-ment’s objective of a crime free society, indiscipline within the school system must stop, lawlessness and carnage on our streets must stop, violence in our society must stop, crime must stop once and for all,” the Prime Minister said.
In his first statement for 2009, King said that this year, government will ensure that tougher measures are put in place, in addition to great policing of the nation’s streets.
“The police will be mandated to get out of their comfortable offices and get on to the streets, the highways and by-ways, on their feet and on the beat, on patrol to stamp out the violence and break down of law and order in our society.
“There must no excuse for failing, and St. Lucia will stand up and stand out and I am prepared and determined to make that difference,” he added.
Three Super J Supermarket customers are celebrating their good fortune this week, after winning the Super J and Eroline Foods Easy Living Christmas Promotion. Their prizes, thousands of dollars in cash, as well as groceries with cooking gas, telephone, cablevision, internet, mobile, electricity and water bills (up to a certain amount) covered for the entire year.
The excitement and joy of each of the winners, could not be contained when they were contacted by the Super J Marketing Department.
“My ears are ringing from the screaming” said the Marketing Officers who was responsible for calling the winners.
The three lucky winners, all women, Cecila Eudoviqe of La Panse Road (1st prize), Merle Biscette (2nd Prize) and Dona Cooper (3rd Prize) were presented with their prizes on Friday morning by officials of Super J, along with representatives from SOL EC and LIME.
During the presentation, they all described this as a great gift for their loyalty to the Super J supermarkets over the years and coming at a time when they really needed it, given the economic projections for 2009.
Marketing Manager for CFL Sancha Raggie James says a lot of thought goes into crafting every Super J and Eroline Foods promotion. “We always try to anticipate customers needs and tailor our prizes to suit. With the economic crunch which the world and not least Saint Lucia is facing we know that these prizes will really make a difference for our customers. Working with SOL EC and Lime allowed us to add value for shoppers on yet another exciting Super J promotion” said Mrs. James.
The official draw for the Super J Easy Living Christmas promotion took place on Wednesday January 14 and was supervised by an auditor from Price Waterhouse Coopers. All Super J and Eroline Foods Customers spending $150 or more between November 17th - January 12 qualified to enter the promotion.
A funding crisis forced work on the multi-million dollar Ritz Carton Development to stop last year. The Icelandic Bank collapsed eliminating financing for the project, but the developers – Roebuck International have secured a new money source and the project is expected to resume this year. Neal Sweeney of Roebuck says the financial crisis set them back by three months.
The Prime Minister was happy that the project was coming back on stream. Stephenson King had projected a 7 percent growth last year, but with the financial crisis and the events associated with it, the growth for the last year was expected to be below two percent. King says the project will spur growth in construction and other sectors. Senior Vice President at the Ritz Carlton – Ezzat Coutry says he’s confident construction will start sometime this year and the Ritz St. Lucia will be one of the best in the chain.
The project is expected to cost over three hundred million US dollars. It will be built in the Half Moon Bay near Laborie with 275 guestrooms and suites. The property will include two 18-hole golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Christy O’Connor Jr.
The Police Force has been operating without a Deputy Police Commissioner since Hermangild Francis retired several months ago. One of the main roles of the Deputy Commissioner is to deal with disciplinary matters involving police officers.
The Home Affairs Minister says the position had to be re-advertised because there were some issues with the initial process.
The Bordelais Correctional Facility is also without a Director.
Gus Small has been acting in the position since Hilary Herman retired last year.
The Home Affairs Minister says the position is being advertised by the Public Service Ministry.
Mayers says the appointment of the Deputy Police Commissioner and the Director of the Prison will be made once due process is exhausted with the Public Service Commission.
However he says he is confident the senior officials of the Prison and Police Force will continue to execute the functions of the vacant positions professionally.
St. Lucia Tourism Minister
Senator Allen Chastanet
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Marketplace ended Tuesday in Saint Lucia with applause for the successful staging of the event. The spectacle, held in the OECS for the first time ended with a showcase of local musical talent and a performance from Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Montano.
Caribbean Marketplace was conducted at the Pigeon Island National Landmark and provided business people in tourism locally, regionally and internationally a meeting place to discuss and pursue future business.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Stephenson King has echoed the island’s commitment to tourism, with its hosting of the marketplace. Caribbean Marketplace is considered the most important event on the Caribbean’s tourism calendar.
“I therefore trust that we have successfully imparted our determination to rise to the occasion and exceed expectations and challenges. We are all poised for the fight of our life, not unlike years gone by when rising oil prices and terrorism foretold doom,” he said.
Amidst these challenges, the Prime Minister said there needs to be a strong resolve to focus on maximizing the region’s potential. He urged participants to capitalize on the vast opportunities afforded by the marketplace.
“Our brave expectations are that Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean region will rise to meet this challenge, as they have met previous challenges. We will continue to harness positive returns from tourism into the foreseeable future,” said Prime Minister King.
Saint Lucia’s Minister for Tourism, Senator the Honourable Allen Chastanet is charging regional tourism officials with the duty to capitalize on changes in the global environment. Mr. Chastanet placed emphasis on maximizing opportunities instead of dwelling on doubts.
“We are living in uncharted waters and in these situations what we must do is focus on what we can change. Focus on what we can impact. All our energies are going to be required. Let us apply our energies. No longer can the hoteliers by themselves cause the change or maximize the opportunities of what tourism has to offer. We must begin to recognize that workers, taxi drivers, vendors, agriculturalists, all play a huge part in what we call tourism,” the minister said.
The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences announced, at the event’s opening on Sunday, that Saint Lucia was the winner of its Star Diamond Award. The award was received by prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King.
Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL), operators of Super J Supermarkets and Mega J, would like to inform customers and the media of its actions as it relates to the warning issued by the Kellogg Company regarding its Austin and Keebler branded peanut butter sandwich crackers.
The Kellog’s Austin and Keebler Branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers under recall were being carried at Mega J only. Kellogs has not received any consumer illness complaints about this particular product, however the company has recalled the product as a precautionary measure.
In keeping with CFL’s standard operating procedures as it relates to recalls, ALL Kellog’s Austin and Keebler Branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers have been removed from the shelves of Mega J and from warehouse inventory, as of last week Friday, January 16, 2008. Customers who had already purchased the product from Mega J can return it to the store for a full refund.
In addition the company wishes to reassure customers that the brands of peanut butter carried at Super J and Mega J are not part of the recent recall of peanut butter in the United States. The peanut butter in question is processed by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), a peanut processing company and maker of peanut butter for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies. Consolidated Foods Limited does not do any business with the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) or purchase brands of peanut butter made from their paste. As such none of the brands of peanut butters carried by Super J or Mega J are part of this recall.
Given the importance of food safety to CFL, the company remains committed to taking all measures to ensure the safety, quality and wholesomeness of all products carried at our stores. Importantly CFL has and will continue to work very closely with all the agencies in Saint Lucia which have food safety as their mandate in the interest of consumer health and safety.
It’s out with the old and in with the new.
Amid the doom and gloom brought on by the global financial downturn, tourism officials are hoping that a new brand will strengthen St. Lucia’s position in the marketplace.
It’s no longer “St. Lucia Simply Beautiful” which had been in use for a number of years, but just “St Lucia” without a tagline.
The new brand was unveiled earlier this week at the CHA Caribbean Marketplace by Tourism Consultant, Dr. James Hepple.
The new brand was designed by FutureBrand, said to be one of the world’s leading practitioners of destination branding.
They are said to be pioneers in the field, having worked with Dubai, London and Singapore.
Dr. Hepple said the new brand of just St. Lucia without a tagline is sufficient enough to stand on its own.
The St. Lucia Tourist Board will continue the rebranding process by launching a new marketing campaign as well as a completely redesigned destination website.
Meantime, Local musicians are outraged over the inclusion of Trinidadian soca artist - Machel Montano as the headline act for the closing ceremony of the CHA Caribbean Marketplace.
The event is being hosted in the Eastern Caribbean for the first time with a price tag of over two million dollars for the government of St. Lucia.
St. Lucia Association of Musicians and Producers (STAMP), says to add insult to injury, Montano is being paid around ten times more than all the local acts combined.
STAMP PRO, Jackie Weekes believes that local musicians are being undermined when they have worked so hard to improve their craft.
Numbers of the St. Lucia Parrot were desperately low until the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust stepped in over thirty-years ago. At that time there were only a few dozen parrots left in the wild.
The Trust worked with the Forestry Department to protect the parrots and regenerate the indigenous parrot population.
Now, the Trust officials want to establish how the population is doing and quantify the level of success of work carried out in recent years. This is why it is helping the Forestry Department to train thirty-eight young people in survey methods - and the skills needed to conduct research in St. Lucia’s rainforest.
Forestry Officer - Timotheus Jn Baptiste says this scientific method will give the Department an accurate recording of the parrot population. Matthew Morton is one of the project’s co-coordinators.
He describes the survey as an ambitious one that will include all the islands rainforests.
Morton says the six-week project will help confirm the Island’s indigenous parrot count.
The survey is scheduled for completion in March 2009. Its results will be used to determine conservation and regeneration campaigns.
Jn Baptiste says the survey is important for the parrot population management.
The participants will be trained in survey techniques, how to count parrots, accurate data recording and first aid.
The last parrot survey was conducted in 2001. It gave a parrot count of 800 plus or minus fifty birds. Forestry officials hope the new survey will give a more accurate account of Saint Lucia’s bird population.
Franchising as a Business Strategy has enjoyed tremendous success the world over. This success has been based primarily on the replication of successful business formats in different markets around the globe. The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture in its continued effort to inform and educate members will host a seminar on “Franchising”.
The seminar which is scheduled to take place on February 10th, 2009 at the Royal St. Lucian Hotel will be led by Mr. Robert Jones, the Counselor for Commercial Affairs, Caribbean Region of the US Commercial Service and Mr. William Le Sante, Managing Director, Le Sante International.
The St. Lucia Franchise Seminar will provide investors from throughout the Eastern Caribbean with a unique opportunity to learn about the subject of franchising and about how to make a productive franchise investment. Leading American franchise experts will discuss how an investor can effectively evaluate a franchise and the steps necessary to maximize the probability of a successful franchise investment.
Key subjects will be covered, such as: sources of financing for a U.S. franchise investment; how to perform due diligence prior to investing; key considerations in a Franchise Agreement, etc.
In addition, attendees will get more information about how to participate in the official U.S. government Caribbean Delegation to attend the major “International Franchise Expo” being held in Washington, D.C. March 20-22, 2009.
Attendees to the Seminar will obtain the necessary knowledge about the subject in order to enable them to effectively discuss and develop opportunities with franchise company representatives whom they are likely to meet during the International Franchise Expo in March.
The president and past president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have commended the Government of Saint Lucia for pursuing its vision for tourism on the island.
The sentiments came during Saint Lucia’s hosting of the premiere marketing event on the Caribbean tourism calendar, Caribbean Marketplace.
Past president of the CHTA, Peter Odle said, “I would like to thank Prime Minister the Honourable Stephenson King for agreeing to host this important event, especially at this crucial time for all of us in the Caribbean. Your destination is a wonderful example of the brand that we call the Caribbean. We thank you for your understanding of the importance that tourism has in the economy of your nation. And I would like to sincerely say we need more prime ministers like you in the region; thank you prime minister.”
CEO and General Director of the CHTA, Alec Sanguinetti highly praised the transformation of the Pigeon Island Causeway into the site for Caribbean Marketplace.
The outcome, he said, is a testament to the tenacity of tourism officials on island, especially the Minister for Tourism, and the Prime Minister.
“And Prime Minister King, I want to say to you Sir, you should be very, very proud of what has taken place here. Your leadership, your determination and your drive is exemplary in making this happen. It shows that if you dream it, you can do it,”said Sanguinetti.
Sanguinetti said he would like to see the determination and motivation displayed, transferred to getting Caribbean tourism back on track.
The Nobel Laureate Week Committee, under the Chair of Her Excellency the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, is pleased to announce the publication of a selection of lectures delivered during previous years. The publication of these contributions coincides with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of St. Lucia’s Independence.
The lectures, in honour of the late Sir Arthur Lewis (1915-1991) and the Honorable Derek Walcott, have been the centerpiece of the annual programme, established by the late Sir John Compton in 1993.
While the Lewis lectures have been hosted from the beginning by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the Derek Walcott lectures have been hosted by the Cultural Development Foundation. The Nobel Laureate Week Committee oversees the organization of the lectures.
Six of the Sir Arthur Lewis lectures and five of the Derek Walcott lectures are collected in two volumes each and are printed by the National Printing Corporation. The Walcott lectures was launched on Wednesday January 21st, at the time of this year’s lecture by Professor Kenneth Ramchand, while the Lewis lectures had their launch on Friday January 23rd, when this year’s Sir Arthur Lewis lecture was delivered by Marius St. Rose. Both lectures took place at the NIC Conference Room.
The Dunnottar School band comprises of 8 senior students of the Dunnottar School for children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Over the past several years these students have been developing their musical skill with a range of percussion instruments, steel pans and keyboards. Under the direction of music teacher - Mr. John Polius, and other teachers at Dunnottar School the band now has a repertoire of 18 songs which are played with flawless precision.
Since February 2008, the band has been performing every other week during lunch time at the Bel Jou Hotel at La Pansee to the delight of the guests and hotel employees. On Sunday they performed for the first time on a cruise ship ”Saga Rose” during its visit to Saint Lucia.
The students’ diligence in practicing and perfecting their musical talents has resulted in a cohesive group that is able to produce music for others to enjoy.
The principal and teachers applaud the students’ efforts and celebrate their abilities and hope that in the coming months more members of the general public can have an opportunity to hear them play and appreciate their talents.
As have been proven that disability is not inability, the members of the Dunnottar School band are testimony to this fact.
On Monday the 19th of January 2009, Andrew kagan Richardson, 31 years of Bonneterre, quarter of Gros-Islet, was charged for the murder of Dr. Trona Bennett of Trouya, quarter of Gros-Islet.
Dr. Bennett, a gynaecologist at Tapion Hospital was found dead at her home in Trouya on Tuesday the 13th of January 2009, about 12:30 p.m. It is alleged that she was struck on the head with a blunt object and may have also been strangled. A Post Mortem performed subsequently, indicated that she died from Asphyxia, Secondary to Strangulation.
The accused, Andrew Kagan Richardson made an appearance in court on Tuesday the 20th of January, and Dr. Bennett was laid to rest on Wednesday.
The Association of Diocesan Clergy of the Province of Castries celebrated its 25th anniversary here in Saint Lucia, during the week of January 18 - 24, 2009, under the theme: “Disciples on Mission: 25 Years Later”. This association is made up of Diocesan Priests and Deacons of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of St. Georges in Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Castries, St. Lucia; Roseau, Dominica and St. John’s, Basseterre.
One of the activities planned for the Silver Jubilee week was the rededication of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre at Marisule. On Wednesday 21st January, 2009 the Centre was renamed after Archbishop Emeritus Kelvin Felix, in honor of his 27 years of service as Archbishop of Castries. Other events included:
· A grand Opening Mass at 5.30pm on Monday 19th January, at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Castries.
· The Annual Diocesan Clergy Conference.
· A Pauline Symposium in keeping with the Church’s declaration of June 2008/ 2009 as the Year of St. Paul.
· Promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life.
· A special Mass in honor of Archbishop Emeritus Kelvin E. Felix at the St. Joseph the Worker Church, Gros Islet on Thursday January 22nd at 6.00pm.
A number of current and retired Bishops were in attendance, including the Papal Nuncio - His Excellency Thomas Gullickson, who is the Pope’s representative to the Church in the region.
The Piaye Secondary School in Choiseul was the venue for the 1st quarterly meeting of the St. Lucia Cuba Humanistic Solidarity Association which hosted the Cuban nurses and other Cuban collaborators serving in St. Lucia.
The meeting was addressed by His Excellency Hugo Ruiz Cabrerra, Ambassador to Cuba, the Eastern Caribbean Director of ICAP, Juan Pozo, and Magistrate Velon John who spoke specifically about the Cuban Five and read a letter to President Obama on his inauguration asking for their release on humanitarian grounds.
The Ambassador and ICAP Director expressed their gratitude to St. Lucia for their assistance and friendship and promised continued support and solidarity from Cuba.
The meeting also reviewed last year’s fund raising efforts for Cuba’s hurricane relief and reminded the gathering of that continuing effort with the sale of raffle tickets for the excursion to Cuba from 29th March to 5th April. Solidarity messages were given by eye patients and young Cuban graduates.
A cultural presentation by Mrs. Clara Constantine’s group and the Cuban collaborators was very well received and the meeting was brought to a close with a sumptuous buffet and refreshments prepared by the South Committee of the Association.
The St. Lucia Industrial & Small Business Association (SLISBA) will host its first Ordinary General Membership Meeting for 2009 on Sunday, January 25, 2009 at Auberge Seraphine, Pointe Seraphine, Castries at 3.00 pm.
The general membership and other attendees will receive a report from President Hilton Jn Baptiste on the activities of the Association during the past year.
Management Consultant, Edward Harris will present SLISBA’s Work Plan for 2009.
Members of SLISBA and businesspersons around the island are encouraged to attend this very important meeting.
La Clery Woman Shot Dead
St. Lucia has recorded its second homicide for the year 2009. Dead is 33years old Alexandrine Victor popularly known as keema of La Clery, Castries. The incident occurred about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday the 18th of January 2009, where Victor was shot in her house, by an unknown assailant who wore a mask at the time.
It was reported that the assailant called out to someone at the house and when she came to the louvered window, he fired a shot which hit her in the chest area. She was taken to the Victoria Hospital where she died upon arrival.
Her live-in boyfriend, Desmond Rose also of La Clery, was also hit in the leg area, by a fragment of the bullet which ricocheted off the burglar-bar attached to the window. He was treated for a minor injury at the Victoria Hospital where he was later discharged.
The motive for this incident is yet to be established and no one has been arrested, however, investigation is continuing. The deceased left behind four children, the youngest is 3years old.
Police are asking anyone with information concerning this incident, to please contact the Criminal Investigation Department at telephone number: 4563758 or 4563774.
Gardener Charged for Stealing Firearm
A young man of La Croix Maingot, quarter of Castries, had several charges preferred against him by Marigot Police, after he allegedly broke into the residence of Newman Monrose at La Croix Maingot, on Monday the 19th of January, 2009. A .380 firearm along with eight rounds of ammunition were reported stolen from the house.
Acting on information, Marigot Police proceeded to another of Monrose’s house in the vicinity, which is occupied by his gardener, Dexbert Butcher, 24 years, originally of Choiseul.
A search of the house was conducted where police recovered the firearm and the ammunition, all wrapped in a bed-spread. The firearm matched the description of Monrose’s firearm.
Police consequently arrested and escorted Butcher to the Marigot Police Station where he was subsequently charged for the following offences: Burglary, Possession of Firearm and Possession of Ammunition. He was expected to appear in court on Thursday the 22nd of January, 2009.
Police Captured Wanted Man
On Thursday the 22nd of January 2009, about 5:00am, police conducted a joint operation at Desruisseaux, comprising both Castries and Vieux-Fort branch of the Special Services Unit (S.S.U.), along with the Drug Unit.
The operation yielded much success in that police eventually captured Curwin Bowman, 22 years of La Pansee, Castries, who was wanted for escaping lawful custody and discharging a round of ammunition at a police officer at the scene of a Robbery near a bakery on Mary Ann Street, Castries.
Police responded quickly after receiving information that Bowman along with another man, Eversle Andre, 37 years of La Caye, quarter of Dennery, had occupied a house in the Desruisseaux area. During the operation, both men were shot in the leg area and are currently nursing injuries at the St. Jude Hospital under police guard.
In the meantime, police continue their search for Elisha Duverly alias “Coco’ of Pavee, Castries, for several cases of Robbery.
By Robertson Henry
The new calendar year of 2009 has opened its doors to a world full of uncertainties and upheavals, promising a stormy voyage through the choppy economic waters for the Caribbean islands.
However the status quo remains, for as far as sports are concerned, it is only a continued practice of lip service by the powers that be.
Despite the yearning by many in this country and Saint Lucia’s decision to host the 38th Junior Carifta Track and Field Championships- April 9th - 14th 2009 at the George Odlum Stadium in Vieux-Fort, no mention was made of the Government’s plans for sports in 2009, or what was done for sports in 2008; during the Prime Minister’s New Year’s Address to the Nation.
According to Prime Minister Stephenson King, “Last year was one full of challenges. Believe me; I am quite aware that it took much fortitude, for us to make it through the year that has just ebbed away.”
The development of sports cries out for consistent attention, with the current global climate demanding a rethink of programmes and strategies by both Government and sporting organizations.
No longer can St. Lucia afford the unwanted luxury of having so many football and cricket leagues in every nook and cranny, an approach which has failed and continues to fail in providing the quality resources on which national teams can feed.
With a shrinking world economy forcing companies to restructure, financing for sports will be the first item to feel the impact of the financial butcher’s cleaver. Sponsorship for sporting events will shrink even further, forcing organizations to fold and even disappear for lack of private sector assistance.
“My message this evening therefore, stresses the challenges we will continue to face, the hopes and aspirations of our people, our resilience, and the need for us to embark on a mission of transformation of our country, together as a people,” Prime Minister King further stated.
When a group of sports journalists met with the Prime Minister last year, it was with the hope that sports would be given more than just a passing mention in Government policy.
Many would say that we were foolish, but the future of the nation calls for everyone to do what has to be done, not to curry political favour, but as the Prime Minister stated “It is about community, and the need to move our country forward, by taking lessons from our past experience. It is about growing a successful and prosperous country, about creating jobs, about security, about rebuilding and transforming our country, child by child, community by community, and village by village, while caring for each other at the same time.”
However, too many bumps in the road towards the realization of a dream where sports will be accepted by the Government of St. Lucia as a social responsibility, and a pillar in our socio-economic development, have been created not just by public servants, but also by Ministers of Government.
The Prime Minister as the chief cook and bottle washer must take action to underscore his commitment to develop avenues for the people of this country, “where there are high ethical standards in Government; a country where we are tolerant of each other, and a place where crime is at a bare minimum. A country where we maintain a high standard of discipline and accountability in every walk of life. These are the standards to which I subscribe; these are the standards which I promise you; these are the standards to which you should hold me. Let us get back to that time when we were proud to be St. Lucians.”
If the Prime Minister, is serious about addressing the negative social issues affecting St. Lucia, he must ensure that the efforts of many to develop, promote, and market the achievements of St. Lucia’s sportsmen and women, are not simply left to the whims and fancies of Ministers of Government and public servants.
As the Prime Minister further stated, “Fellow St. Lucians, this is not the time for division and confusion, but rather a time for unity. We are a small nation and all ideas on the way forward for St. Lucia, should be considered. I know that St. Lucians are intelligent and hardworking. We know how to solve problems especially when we work together, and this year, like no other over the last thirty years, calls for us to once again find out what it means to be St. Lucian and to show the world that we are a people of character.”
To bring about such unity and a much improved social environment, Prime Minister King along with his Cabinet of Ministers must look at the functions of the various agencies administering sports; from the Ministry of Education to the Department of Youth and Sports to Sports St. Lucia Incorporated.
Sports is an everyday activity, calling for a serious examination with one aim; the consolidation of our sports administration in order to maximize resources, give hope to the hundreds of sports men and women, and truly transform the island’s sporting organizations and institutions into viable productive entities.
However, the failure by Prime Minister King to address the area of sports in his 2009 New Year’s Address to St. Lucia, is heartbreaking, against the aspirations of this nation.
Unless he makes a public statement to correct this oversight and renew the hope and aspirations of the thousands, then his Govern-ment will be seen as one which only talks about sports, but lacks the conviction to do anything substantial about using sports to improve social and economic conditions.in St. Lucia.
Yachtsmen and visitors to St. Lucia for last month’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) pumped an estimated $6 million directly into the local economy, according to Rodney Bay Marina General Manager Mr. Cuthbert Didier.
Didier provided the figure ahead of the usual studies made by the St. Lucia Tourist Board on the economic impact of the event. He said his estimate was based on the performance of the ARC in previous years.
Didier said the Marina was now looking forward to the World ARC to be held around March and planning was already underway for the first 2009 ARC committee meeting. He said already 10 vessels had been registered for this year’s Atlantic crossing
Several yachtsmen and their families are still spending time in St. Lucia following the ARC, the first to be held with new and improved facilities at Rodney Bay Marina undertaken by its owners Island Global Yachting.
Didier said no major changes were planned to the facilities that were now in place. The next stage of construction would be building new banking facilities and maybe moving some tenants closer to the road, he added.
Didier described last month’s ARC as “fantastic” from start to finish. He added: “Every ARC participant has commented on it definitely being the best ARC and I think it was a combination of the new facility, new sponsors, renewed energy and effort by the staff and management and by World Cruising.”
Didier thought that the event had “really matured” and predicted that it would take some effort to duplicate the standard set in this year’s event.