The Ministry of Agriculture, lands, Forestry, and Fisheries (MALFF) in collaboration with the organization representing the banana growers of Martinique and Guadeloupe (Union des Groupement de Producteurs de Guadeloupe et Martinique) held a meeting in St. Lucia on Friday March 26, 2010 .
The meeting was attended by representatives of banana authorities and organizations from the Windward Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad, France and the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The aim of the meeting was to discussed the presents of black Sigatoka disease in the sub region and to formula a joined response since banana still rank among the most valuable of agricultural export crops in several; of these countries and black Sigatoka has been reported in some countries including St. Lucia.
Following conclusive confirmation of black Sigatoka in St. Lucia by the National Plant Protection Laboratory of the agriculture in France, an island wide survey was carried out by the ministry of agriculture to determine the distribution of the disease. The results revealed that the disease was more widespread than anticipated and suspicious symptoms were seen in four (4) (figure 2, figure, 3, figure 4, figure8) of the eight agricultural regions. This clearly indicated that there was no longer the need to continue with eradication efforts but instead to focus on putting systems in place to control or manage the disease.
The Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) recently concluded discussions with the Vige community aimed at the revitalization of the cassava industry as part of the Strengthening Trade through Rural Investments and Development of Entrepreneurship (STRIDE) programme launched on February 3, 2010 under the component: “Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods in Poverty Stricken Areas”.
Located immediately north of Vieux Fort, Vige has been identified in the most recent census as one of the communities in St. Lucia with high poverty levels, endemic unemployment and a declining population as residents migrate to other communities in search of a better standard of living. In light of this situation, the OPSR has incorporated Vige into the STRIDE programme, making them a priority area for development.
The overall objective of the Vige project is to stimulate increased production of competitive export products to aid the community in alleviating poverty and becoming more self sustaining. The use of cassava production has been identified for Vige due to their history of successful production in this industry. The OPSR’s input will assist the community to improve their business skills, enabling the community to take the cassava production to a new level. The input of new technically advanced systems for cassava planting, coupled with training and support to the youth in areas of accounting, marketing, computers and general business management skills will create the right environment for cassava production and agro processing to become a viable business capable of sustaining the community of Vige.
An additional component of the project includes the agro processing of various local produce to create market ready products such as jams, jellies etc. which will be incorporated into the overall community programme for those who are no longer interested or capable of producing the cassava.
Commenting at the community meeting on March 17, 2010 Ms. Kaygiana Toussaint, President of the Vige Community Development Group stated that “this type of intervention is really critical for the community at this time. Our community is a small one with limited resources and we need help to take advantage of those resources so that we can grow and develop ourselves, our family and our community. She further stated that “we look forward to working with the OPSR and incorporating our ideas in the development of the project and are very pleased with the OPSR’s collaborative approach.”
According to the OPSR project coordinator, responsible for the Vige Project - Mr. Anthony John “The OPSR estimates that this project will stimulate growth in the community of Vige thereby contributing to: poverty reduction, the creation of a first class environment for business growth and development; enhancing the communities’ contribution to the national economy, and engaging the youth.” He further states that “The OPSR is very excited about the opportunities for Vige and look forward to working with the community for the benefit of all.”
The Vige project epitomizes the overall mission and objectives of the OPSR which are
· To assist in the creation and sustaining of a strong business environment,
· To facilitate the development of the requisite human resource capabilities and
· To provide support for enhancing business competiveness.
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has given its endorsement to the” Word Alive Literary Arts Festival under way at the Samaans Park.
Director of the SLTB Louis Lewis, says the festival fits nicely into the Board’s initiatives to showcase and pitch Saint Lucia as a high sought-after destination. “I think we need not be shy about some of the attributes that we have. It is important that we can boast about them. A festival of this nature fits rights into this agenda - to give our diverse cultural heritage the abundance of creativity that’s available among our population. With an attractive backdrop as our natural environment, I think that sets the bedrock for exploring the creativity and materials that can entice persons.”
Meantime, Lewis says having recognized the importance of the film industry in marketing the island, the SLTB has employed the services of a consultant who will assist the Board with capitalizing on great opportunities. “You might remember Pirates of the Caribbean which was filmed in the Saint Lucia a few years ago; the SLTB missed out on a great opportunity. You saw what transpired recently with the filming of the Bachelor here in Saint Lucia and its widespread publicity and what it has done for us as a destination. It only tells you how much further we can go if we take deliberate steps to capitalize on some of those assets.” Word Alive runs from 25th-28th of Mar.
The Saint Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association (SLDHA) has launched a national registry for diabetes and hypertension cases in Saint Lucia; a portal that will be used to disseminate statistics on the prevalence of these health conditions among other things.
Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association, George Eugene says the registry will serve as a tool for the development of the Association’s future programmes.
“Hopefully, it is going to be used to help the nation and the Association, to disseminate information that will be beneficial to all persons suffering with diabetes or affected by it. Knowing the status of diabetes and hypertension in this country, we need to do something about it and the Association is very grateful to the peace corps volunteer, Sam Shopinski who is helping us over a period of time to put everything together.”
US Peace Corps Volunteer attached to the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association, Sam Shopinski says, the Registry will be a one-stop location for in-depth data on Diabetic and Hypertensive health conditions.
Mr. Shopinski explains that the Association will deepen its partnership with other institutions and government agencies such as the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture in order to publicise the existence of the national registry. “We are trying to work in three stages. Firstly, with our client base, secondly, through outreach initiatives targeting particular groups such as church groups, communities and the private sector. The third step is to go into the communities to collect information so that we really get a representative sample of the entire island.”
The National Diabetic and Hypertensive Registry was formally launched by the Saint Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association on Wednesday, March 24.
Let me read an excerpt of a presentation that I made in this church on Mothers day 2005.
Let me thank God for the privilege of being here this morning, to make this presentation on Mother’s day.
To me it was only yesterday that I stood here making a similar presentation in honour of our Mothers and this reminds me of a conversation that I had with my granddaughter whilst I was taking her to swimming. She asked me:”Grandpa Bryan; what is the date of today?” and I replied; “It is the 4th of May and she exclaimed in surprise:” Already, just the other day it was May last year! It is May this year already, Just now it will be Christmas and then May next year!” I said “Yes, time and tide waits for no man” and she replied, “IT just goes on and on and on” I then responded “Yes “ and then I remembered a saying of one of the greatest philosophers that I know “La vie c’est un theatre” Can you guess who that philosopher is, well if you can’t I will tell you That philosopher is my Mother, who is also a grand mother and a great grand mother.
I am sure that you will say to me that my mother is a philosopher too and you will be right.
My granddaughter is now 7 years old and she is already a philosopher, One day, hopefully she will be a mother, the next day a grand mother, then the next day a great grand mother. It goes on and on and on,
“Oui La vie c’est verite un Theatre”
The first thing I remember on reflection was the smell of the coffee! My mother was the first to wake up on mornings, around 5.00, and made perked coffee. We had a coffee tree in our back yard and made our own coffee so in the morning the smell of the freshly perked coffee woke you up. She was the first person to wake up in the morning and the last person to go to bed at night. That practice ceased when Nescafe instant coffee came on the scene. I remember her waking up at night hunting the mosquitoes. Making sure that her children had a good night ‘s sleep.
Mama was born in Soufriere on the 23 rd day of January 1923. She was the daughter of Ivanie Edwards and George Hilton. Her mother died at young age and she lived with her grandmother until she moved to Conway, where she resided with her father and Stepmother. She had one sister that we knew of, that was Lena who migrated to Barbados. During that period as a teen in Conway she established life long friendships with persons like Doreen, Enid, Olive, (my Godmother) Says (That what we called her, The Larchers. one of whom Marie, is Joan’s Godmother, The Heywood’s, Lucille Nicklette, I am sure that there were others but those are the ones that I know.
When we moved to Morne Dudon there was a host of other persons who frequently visited her .The ones I remember most is Ma Rodney and her children from Garrand. There was also Ma Clerfand at La Croix Chauberg who visited regularly. We in turn visited them on regular basis.
I recall my father always going to the ice factory to buy ice before we went on the Sunday drive to the Garrand Babbonneau/Monier area.
There was a hoist of other persons, that I no longer remember, who frequented our home at Morne Dudon on a regular basis. Most of her friends however have predeceased her although there a re still a few left.
Judy Edwin in particular was a special friend of hers and had been for as long as I can remember.
Mama maintained a very close relationship with her relatives in Soufriere especially with her Aunt Mido and her offspring. I can never forget, Albertha, Ridley, Lennards, Agatha, and Joan. She always spoke of Gaston, whom I did not know, but who to her was quite a character. She spoke of her grandmother in glowing terms and I believe that it was her grandmother who taught her or who made her the person that she was. The O’Neil family often came to see her. Our home was always open to them and I can remember Ridley spending weekends at home when he came to Castries to play cricket. WE made several trips to Soufriere and I was always taken aback at the hospitality and the welcome the people in Quay lance, now called d Baron’s Drive gave to her when they saw her. There was one lady in particular that she called “Shabeen” who was so happy to see her, Invariable she had to drag us away from Shabeen in order to get to Mido.
During her sojourn in Conway she was introduced to Norman Bartholomew Walcott by Mailings Compton and on the 23 rd day of November 1950, Sir John Stowe Administrator of St.Lucia authorised Canon Laurie to join in the holy state of Matrimony Norman Bartholomew Walcott and Marie Hilton.
By that time, however she had borne him four children, viz: Bryan. Joan, Tyrone and Larry. I remember living in Conway, but I can’t remember living on Victoria street, which I did.
I remember moving to the family home at Morne Dudon, where Dada’s siblings with his first wife. i.e. Mollison, Marjorie and Rennie i.e. Tom and those with his second , i.e. Bryan, Joan, Tyrone and Larry became a family. The architect and builder of this family was Mama. Whilst at Morne Dudon she bore her husband, another 7 children, viz: Fred, Sandra, Norman, Pam, Sharon, Colville and Tony a total of eleven in all. Unfortunately Larry and Tyrone have gone before her. During that time we were introduced to Thecla.another of Dada’s children who became part of the immediate family and virtually lived with us. We also got to know Everett, Babs and Bruce, siblings of Dada’s first child, Ethylene. Eventually Mama and Dada and their children who had not at that time established their own homes moved to LaClery, where Aldrick, another of Dada’s children, used to come for lunch whilst he was at school.
Mama was an accommodating wife to her husband who extended her love for him to all his children, including those who were not hers; some of us wish we had wives like that.
That was what distinguished Mama, the love that she manifested and gave out to those around her, especially children. That was an amazing quality of hers, which I think she learned form her Grandmother in Soufriere. She always gave me stories of people, sending their children to her grandmother, asking for something to cook for the day, and the grandmother always had something to give. She even sometimes had someone to climb a nearby breadfruit tree to pick breadfruit to send for that person in need.
I remember kids coming to our home; most times for something to eat, sometimes she would give them money for their mother who had probably sent them to ask for help. Recently I met a teenager by the fish market who asked me if I knew him. I said no and asked him for his father’s name. I knew the father from Morne Dudon, and he said to me that his second name given to him by his father is Walcott.
He said that his father told him that he could never forget Ma Walcott because as a boy when his mother could not feed him and he was hungry the only place he could go and be assured that he could ask for food and not be turned away was by the Walcott’s. His father told him that sometimes he would go at the Walcott’s just to watch TV and Ma Walcott would make him feel as though he was at his home.
Some other time I was at Pigeon Point and I met a guy that I know very well and he said to me that I had no idea of what my mother had done for him as a kid in More Dudon. The amount of times when his mother had nothing she went across to our home and came back with something for them to eat.
I remember a family just below us, the single mother worked and had no one or nowhere to leave her kids when she went to work, so she used to lock them in the house. When Mama found out, she had the mother bring the kids to our house and she was the baby sitter until the kids started school, when that happened they used to come home for lunch. On weekdays when the mother went to work and mama did not see them I had to go to find out if they were ok and even bring food for them sometimes.
Mama was a caring person: she cared especially for children.
At home, Mama was the first person up in the morning and the last person to go to bed at night.
She prepared breakfast for her husband and children, got the kids off to school, got lunch ready for twelve, so when the kids came home lunch was ready, sent them back to school, when they came back at 3.30,we got a glass ok milk or juice and then we were served supper at about 7.00. The house was kept immaculately clean. Clothes were washed and ironed, beds were made. Although she had helpers but that daily routine of hard work never fazed her, she never complained about the amount of work that she had to do. I now appreciate how much work, how much energy was involved in maintaining such a household, a husband and fourteen children. Christmas time, even more energy, even more work, even more manifestation of love, The bread, the cakes, both plain and fruit, the sorrel, the ginger beer, the ham the pork, the Christmas tree, the decorations, the fireworks. That must have been a lot of work. That woman was something else. Do they still make this kind of woman! That was love!
Mama loved and cared for all the children entrusted to her care, whether or not she gave birth to them.
Despite that love, she was a no nonsense person, and her children had to abide by her laws, you had to obey her, if you did not you paid dearly and painfully for your disobedience. Depending on the severity of the matter she may or may not refer you to the higher authority, i.e. Dada. You could bear the quantity of her lashes but the quality of Dada’s was something that you wanted to avoid at all cost. Those who felt it knew it.
She was a strict disciplinarian. Well organized and pragmatic in her approach to problem solving.
I remember when I was going to Anglican school, I developed a habit of “stone control” i.e. I used to find a stone and control it with my feet from Morne Dudon to School. As a result, instead of replacing my shoes once a year, mama had to replace them once a month. I felt it was more important to me to learn “stone control” so I bore the beating every time I had a shoe replaced. When mama realised that the lashes would not result in the changing of my behaviour, she came up with an idea that did. When I went to her for a replacement, she said not a word; she bought a new shoe, showed it to me, but did not give it to me, In the morning when I asked for the shoe, she led me to the front door and sent me to school bare footed.
I have not done any stone control since then.
There was another time when I developed the habit of leaving home early in the morning around 6.00a.m. , joining the boys around and exploring the Morne Dudon Hill, we would get back around 6.00pm every evening and mama would quarrel with me and may be I even got some lashes.
That did not stop me until one morning I awoke and could not find any pants to put on, so I could not leave the house that day and even more embarrassingly spent the day with no pants on. That put an end to my explorations.
I can recall vividly Mama saying;”Ma jamais allez lecole pour study Economics mai mwen sa economise” She always had a bolster on her bed and she would tell us if anything happened in the house like a fire or something make sure we take the bolster when we ran out.
It was not until Dada got sick and she had to take him to Barbados that we realised the relevance of that statement and the value of the bolster. She had instructed Tyrone, now deceased, to open the bolster and deposit the money in the bank. Tyrone deposited about $20,000.00 and that was the money that kept the family going until Dada was able to get back on his feet.
Mama had a sense of humour; she could give jokes and loved to laugh. That was part of the expression of the love that she shared with those around her. It is said that the more love you give is the more love you get. If you do not love you cannot be loveable and Mama was loveable, and she got love when she needed it most.
I must acknowledge those persons who cared for her when she was unable to take care of herself and her husband. Ma Moise (deceased), Delicia, a name that she never forgot, she called all her helpers Delicia,Ma George, Cheryl, Dianne, Marylyn, Debbie, and Martha. Thanks to all of you.
A special thank you to Everett, Eric and Elizabeth for travelling from the USA to be here.
The same to Kevon and Ron.
A very very special thank you to Dr. Janine Payne, who responded to all our calls at any time day or night,when we needed assistance with Mama. Thank you very very much. Dr. Payne.
God will bless Pamela for being there for her mother when her mother needed someone to be there for her.
I thank all those who sent wreaths, gave expressions of sympathy or in any way helped us at this time.
Please do not take offence if I did not mention your name. Thank you very much.
Marie, Josephine, Edna, Na, Ms. Edna, Ma Edna, Ma Rupert, Ms. Walcott, Ma, Maam, Mom, Mum, Mama passed away on Mothering Sunday, the original day of celebrating Mothers day, before it was moved to May. She gave her life to the service of others as commanded by God. Her reward is in heaven. I do not know what Mothers day means to us nowadays.
But I know for sure that she is resting in peace.
Thank you all once again.
By Bryan Walcot
The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has taken note of attempts by Government’s Press Secretary - Mr. Darnley Lebourne, and others, to downplay the damaging implications of the 2009 US State Department Report for Saint Lucia, which declared that “numerous accounts of Government corruption occurred during the year.”
Nothing that Darnley Lebourne or anyone else has said, can erase the sad and embarrassing stain that the corrupt actions of the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) regime, have inflicted on the people of Saint Lucia. The character and reputation of Saint Lucians have been seriously smeared by the individual and collective actions of our government, and no amount of nitpicking over trivialities can change that fact.
This is the first time that Saint Lucia has been seen in such a negative light and the substance of the US State Department’s corruption charges remain irrefutable. The characterization of Saint Lucia as a nation where corruption flourishes can do tremendous damage to Saint Lucians applying for US Visas and travelling to the United States both for business and pleasure. The resulting increased scrutiny of Saint Lucians by US authorities will negatively affect speculators, business persons and other travellers.
It therefore serves no beneficial purpose to the people of Saint Lucia for the Government to be making “a song and dance” about whether corruption can be numerous but not rampant; whether a high court decision against the Cabinet is not more serious than one against the offending Minister - Dr. Keith Mondesir; and whether a consent order obtained in Minister Richard Frederick’s case without the consent of the Customs Comptroller’s Attorney, erases or reinforces the corruption charge. It is also ludicrous to use Haiti as a benchmark for Saint Lucia, and suggest that an accusation of arrogance by the Haitian President against the US State Department, somehow exonerates either Haiti or Saint Lucia from the very serious charges being made.
Prime Minister Stephenson King and his Government cannot escape responsibility for this very damaging corruption report on Saint Lucia by the US State Department, and it is incumbent upon the Prime Minister to tell the people of Saint Lucia what definite steps that he is taking to stamp out corruption in his government and prevent a similar report for 2010.
LIME is stepping up its support for sports with the promise of a $5,000 sports makeover for one lucky St. Lucian school. Every LIME mobile customer is eligible to participate in the company’s latest promotion; the winner can name any school of his or her choice to receive $5,000 towards equipment, uniforms, facilities or other sports activities.
In addition, the lucky customer will get a LIME / CARIFTA package including a phone and a CARIFTA jersey. In order to qualify, all you need to do is text the word GOLD to 5463; and it’s just 10 cents per text, so send as many as you like! There will be one winner and one winning school in each of 12 territories where LIME operates.
The promotion gives past students, teachers, and parents a unique opportunity to nominate their alma mater or other schools of their choice for a chance to win a gift that could make a big difference in the lives of the students.
“This further complements our increasing support for education and sports in St. Lucia, including our sponsorship of high-jump champion, Levern Spencer,” said LIME Country Manager, Sean Auguste. “We have great confidence in our youths’ ability to excel academically and compete at world-class levels in sports. This campaign is a demonstration of that confidence. We also know many of our customers have great pride in their former schools and their children’s schools, and we want to give them that opportunity to help make a difference.”
The initiative is part of LIME’s CARIFTA School Sports Campaign, designed to give the CARIFTA Games greater visibility across the Caribbean. This year the Games are being held in the Cayman Islands and they are sponsored by LIME to the tune of US $200,000. LIME will also be providing support for the St. Lucia team, whose members come from nearly a dozen of St Lucia’s finest schools.
The only stipulation is that the school must be a primary, secondary or tertiary institution officially recognized by the Ministry of Education. The promotion ends April 5, 2010.
As a bonus, one of the 12 winning schools will also win a visit from Olympic Champion, Asafa Powell. A random selection from among the winning schools from each LIME country will determine which lucky school will win “A Day with Asafa.” Students at the school will have a chance to meet and interact with the world-class athlete who has a solid reputation for excellence, professionalism and sportsmanship.
Residents of the Wilton’s Yard community in Castries stand to reap the benefits derived from the National Youth Mentoring Programme.
The newest initiative in the social development arena, the National Youth Mentoring Programme will embrace the twenty-one principles contained in The Way to Happiness booklet.
Vice President of the Wilton’s Yard Association, Peter Reynolds, says for too long the stigma that has been attached to his community, has suppressed the productiveness and progression of his neighbours, and as such residents are eager to implement the guidelines in the many aspects of their lives.
“The principles and guidelines in The Way to Happiness programme in its entirety has to do with better moral standards - guidelines to help you live a better life. We will be able to use this in trying to raise the level of awareness in Wilton’s Yard residents and non-residents as well, so that they can see other ways of living positively.”
Mr. Reynolds says the Wilton’s Yard Association is dedicated to the holistic development of each resident especially the youth, as it realises the direct link between unmotivated youth and criminal activity.
He explains that the Association will utilise all available resources, and continues to partner with organisations like The Way to Happiness Saint Lucia Chapter, to quell the upsurge of unemployment and deviant behaviour in the community.
“We had two people from the ministry of social transformation and another from the department of youth and sports at our last meeting on Saturday where a lot of the concerns of the residents were brought. We’ve put together, our after school programmes and various other initiatives and we had gotten nowhere because of little government in the past. We are hoping all this will change by first of all, impacting on society with our new standards, and how we intend to change and have society take note of the changes.”
This latest initiative by the Wilton’s Yard Association is being supported by various social development agencies including The Way to Happiness Foundation International, the police fraternity, the ministry of social transformation and the department of youth and sports.
By Andrew Sealy
Dr. Pep for Anse-la-Raye/Canairies
The announcement that Dr. Long, popularly known as Pep would be contesting the Anse-la-Raye Canaries constituency seat was a welcome one. The Doc has professional experience in the fields of education and medicine that make him a potentially good asset for this country. His practice as medical officer for the district makes him familiar with many residents of the community and the issues they face. I am of the view therefore, that all this noise about Dr. Pep being the wrong man for the slate is more noise than logic based arguments.
However, I must point out that academic qualifications alone do not make one a good politician. It takes a lot more than that as we have seen in recent times here and abroad. In fact, it would seem that people skills are even more important than letters behind one’s name.
Looking back at the protest action by the group of concerned Anse la Rayans, it is somewhat difficult to tell whether their motives for opposing Dr. Pep are well intentioned or not. There is the rumour that they may be United Workers’ Party operatives, concerned about the threat the new Doc poses to the incumbent. In any case, there is something in the law called locus standi which, may very well apply here.
The so called independent group which vehemently opposes what it considers the arbitrary selection of the Anse-la-Raye-Canaries candidate for the labor party, might not have a standing to take a position. If its members are not members of the Labour party, they really should have no say in who the labour party selects.
Ultimately, the people of Anse-la-raye-canaries will determine what’s best for them and so there is no real threat of imposing Dr. Long on the constituency. In any case, until he proves otherwise, his presence can only be seen as a blessing on the political climate.
Work - Dignity and Respect
Work is supposed to offer dignity and respect to individuals. There was a time when for our ancestors, work was more degrading than uplifting. We are supposed to have come to an end of that era with the abolition of slavery; however some work environments do not seem to live up to the expectations of a supposedly freed people. Apart from concerns regarding remuneration, there are other issues at play including the health of employees, the psychological impact of verbal abuse by persons with authority and the dehumanization of employees which results from the a-moral approach taken by company’s in today’s world. Employee satisfaction is equal to much more than just pay. But on the issue of pay however, we must remember that each employee is a person, with responsibilities including most likely a family.
In the case of government employees, there is an opportunity to set the standard here. The national workers union does not have a reputation of being unreasonable and irrational in its demands, and in fact, its leaders have been known to temper demands in the public interest. When they stand up on issues like the pay of the school janitors, it is almost certain that they are on good ground. I expect that the government is prepared to negotiate a pay increase that adds dignity to a vocation that needs a vote of confidence because cleanliness is a very important part of our daily lives.
As a St. Lucian, I will support the use of government funds towards that end because the emancipation of our people is at stake. $300 a month does not encourage someone to give of his best and does not allow that individual to meet the basic necessities of even an indigent lifestyle; so better needs to be done for this group.
St. Lucian Politicians
The people of St. Lucia have formed a general opinion of our politicians which leaves a lot to be desired. It is widely accepted that today’s politician is more interested in self serving than in national serving. As a result, many people are now complaining of not wanting to return to the polls. This perception has created a serious problem which needs to be addressed urgently, but nobody seems to have the will to deal with it and get things back on even keel.
This problem started soon after independence when politicians felt the need to “buy” votes in order to ensure a seat in the Parliament. They started offering monetary and other tangibles to encourage voters to support their bids for national office.
People soon took wind of the situation, and began making excessive demands on politicians in exchange for a vote. This situation has now gotten out of hand and is making a mockery of our democracy. The candidate who is able to spend the most money in a given constituency is often able to win his seat even if there is the general perception that he is not suitable for the office. Money rules democracy today.
One of the major legacies of this kind of political behavior is the tribalisation of our people. Initially, most people were able to disagree on political issues and still remain friends, but a kind of rivalry has arrived here in which the supporters of one political party look down on those who support another party as enemies, and this has torn our social fabric to shreds. The sad truth is that the politicians are encouraging that kind of behavior, or at best are not doing anything to discourage it. People now campaign for five years and little groups are set up to help push propaganda all during this period, thus creating greater divisions within the society.
The reason for these divisions is basically money. People now support politicians for what they can get, and the practice of handing out tee shirts to supporters is just compounding the problem. People are now identified by the colour of their tee shirts, and politicians pull all the stops to ensure that tee shirts are distributed everywhere.
In the final analysis, our politicians have not lived up to our expectations as role models, and many of them are proving to be very rotten apples which should not be followed or allowed to run the affairs of state. Some people who would not want a particular politician to marry their daughter, are looking the other way and voting for that same politician in return for some kind of favour.
So our politicians leave a lot to be desired. We need to find a new breed of politicians who see themselves as servants of the people, who will stand for principles, and so help to develop our country in ways beneficial to the interest of the majority, because.
Five schools on the island have pledged their commitment to help in conserving the environment, following the first Youth Environment Forum which was organized by the Saint Lucia National Trust from the 13-17 of July 2009.
The five schools- Camille Henry Memorial, Choiseul Secondary, Castries Comprehensive Secondary, Etangs Combined and Ciceron Secondary, will embark on various projects which include tree planting, poster competitions, clean-up campaigns, rain water diversion and filtering exercises.
On Monday the Saint Lucia National Trust, with the corporate assistance of the Bank of Saint Lucia and British High Commission, presented the participating schools with cheques totalling over four thousand dollars that will go towards the execution of their projects. This focus on youth is not an accident. We at the Trust recognize not only the cliché that youths are the future but also that the work that we do is for them. Heritage conservation is about preserving special places and special things for future generations; we feel that instead of doing it for them we should be doing it with the.
Mr. Tulsie says the Trust sees corporate partnership as a significant element of its strategy to engage young people in heritage conservation.
Meantime Miss Debbie Worrel, of the British High Commission says the British government regards very highly, issues of the environment. “The projects being launched today although on a small scale, will have a big impact on your schools and communities and make them safe and clean environments. It’s also about changing attitudes and raising awareness.”
Miss Worrel says activities like these attract assistance from the British High Commission.
General Manager of the Boys Training Centre, Leonard Terrance says the light at the end of the tunnel has become increasingly visible to him and his team.
Terrance says a strong team has been compiled to facilitate change and bring the centre to optimum operation.
“We talk about well trained staff, specialized persons to deal with problematic boys. If you look at the structure itself, it’s of concern. So I have really tried to focus on the more immediate things that need to happen if we are to begin to provide the kind of service that ought to be provided here at the centre.”
A number of proposals have been prepared to improve operations at the Boys Training Centre, Terrance says, and the hope is that implementation will be subsequent to the upcoming budget year.
“The team we are trying to put together at the Centre, is positive. That does not mean once we have the team together, everything will just change suddenly. We are talking about 15, 16, 17 year olds, who know one set of rules out in the communities they come from, and when they reach the Centre, they learn a different set of rules.”
A new operational structure is in the works for the centre, with the addition of supplementary personnel including social workers, juvenile correctional officers, house parents, and teachers.
Despite a reduction of schools that normally participate in the annual inter-schools athletics championships, this year’s event held at the Soufriere mini-stadium was considered a success.
“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all the schools despite the challenges who insisted in having their inter-house schools meet and have come here to participate in the meet this year,” said Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon Lenard Montoute, as he spoke at the opening of the championships last Friday.
The Minister was very appreciative that a number of schools were able to field teams for the championships despite facing a number of challenges.
“I am one who believes that in the face of adversity we have to show resolve. We have to show some innovation and of course we have to show some adaptability.”
This year’s inter-schools meet was held at the Soufriere mini-stadium because the George Odlum stadium is currently facilitating the operations of the St. Jude Hospital while the other main alternative - the Mindoo Philip Park - has been handed over to the International Cricket Council (ICC), ahead of Saint Lucia’s staging of matches in the upcoming 2010 ICC twenty/20 tournament.
Saint Lucia played host to a regional conference on higher education, where a select group of eminent regional and international educators presented papers and discussed a range of issues relating to tertiary education.
Saint Lucia’s Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, who is a former principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, was among the presenters.
The conference which opened Monday night was organised given the important role of higher education to improving the competitiveness of OECS countries. It also comes on the heels of recent decisions by several countries in the region to upgrade colleges to universities.
The three day regional conference on higher education contributed to the development of an education strategy for the region, as mandated by the OECS Authority at fiftieth meeting in November last year.
The participants also focused highly on increasing access to quality, affordable, reliable and relevant higher education across the OECS region.
Speaking to the GIS ahead of the conference, the education minister reaffirmed government’s commitment to facilitating higher education for all citizens.
Minister James says this is evident by government’s plan to transform the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College into a University.
“The Government of Saint Lucia advocated Universal Secondary Education so that every child will receive an opportunity to attend a secondary school and because of that there is need to transform the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College into a university college to meet the expectations of those students who would move from secondary school and want to pursue tertiary level education,” the education minister said.
“As you know airfares are very high and the cost of university education abroad is also very high, so not many of our students get a chance to travel abroad to attend college or university. A university college will give more opportunities to our students who graduate from secondary school. Our only problem is finance, because the global recession has made difficult but we are committed and we are doing all in our power to ensure that this happens.”
Minister Arsese James along with the Director General of the OECS Secretariat, Dr. Len Ishmael, delivered speeches at the opening of the conference.
Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner delivered the keynote address.
The higher education conference was organised by the OECS Secretariat with assistance from the University of the West Indies, the World Bank, UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning.
At a ceremony held at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Center on Saturday 20th March 2010. Karib Cable became the proud main sponsor of the 2010 St Lucia National Swim Team which goes to competition at the National Stadium Swimming Pool in Kingston Jamaica 3rd to 6th April 2010.
With the seven member National Swim Team comprising Thalia Bergasse, Siona Huxley, Jushua Runako Daniel, Jon L Innocent Dolor, David Mayers, Julien Brice, and Jordan Augier in attendance, with Coach Jamie Peterkin, manager Joyce Huxley, SLASA President Dr Marcus Day, the Hon Senator Guy Mayers , two representatives from Karib Cable, Shermalyn Sidonie-John (Marketing Manager)and Adriana Mitchel (Customer Service Supervisor)made the cheque presentation of $12,000.
Both the Hon. Guy Mayers and Dr. Day expressed their deepest thanks and appreciations with Mrs. Sidonie-John wishing the team good fortune in the competition
Saint Lucians residing in New York and other parts of the United States are outraged and embarrassed by the U.S. State Department’s recent Human Rights Report on Saint Lucia, which expressed undeniable concerns regarding the lack of transparency and accountability in Prime Minister Stephenson King’s United Workers Party (UWP) administration.
Based on the UWP’s lack of response to this report, the immediate consequences are clear. We continue to be governed by so-called leaders driven solely by self-interests. The SLP of New York fears the far-reaching consequences of this report are that Saint Lucia will be viewed throughout the world as a ramshackle island with a shriveling and corrupt government. In addition, Saint Lucians applying for visas and entering the United States may be viewed with increasing suspicion and may be put under added scrutiny by US authorities.
Saint Lucians residing in New York believe that Saint Lucia must not be held captive by the misdeeds of the current administration. This recent report, which is both legitimate and comprehensive, has done much to confirm the nightmare that is our country’s current government.
Not surprisingly, the only response the UWP could muster is a blank and empty claim of “misunderstanding.”, while some of their pundits argue as to whether “numerous accounts” can be interpreted as “rampant”. The only misunder-standing involving the UWP was at the voting booths when the people of Saint Lucia elected officials they believed to have their country’s best interests in mind. Instead, these UWP politicians, now at the highest levels of power, have subjected our country to a litany of scandals starting within weeks of assuming office, causing embarrassment to Saint Lucians at home and abroad.
Undoubtedly, the UWP is in the final stages of its terminal decline, but the citizens of Saint Lucia can take no comfort in that fact while the Government continues to drag our country down. We must not and will not allow this international embarrassment to pass unnoticed.
Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Senator the Honourable Guy Mayers, has announced that in addition to building human capacity in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, the government of Saint Lucia is continuing to utilize technology in its quest to solve crime.
One such undertaking is the installation of closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at the Bordelais Correctional Facility and at strategic locations in the city.
“We will also be providing surveillance for our porous borders to enhance the work of our marine police, and we will continue to upgrade the equipment of the police and correctional officers at Bordelais,” minister Mayers said.
“The Forensic lab will soon be coming into operation, which will assist us in crime fighting efforts. We are also working on the witness protection programme and improving facilities for witnesses to give video evidence and statements so that they don’t have to face their accusers in court. We are also working on the redevelopment of police headquarters in Castries; these are just a few of the things that we are pursuing.”
Meantime the government of Saint Lucia will soon be embarking on a number of capital projects, commencing with a renovation exercise at the now vacated Golden Hope Hospital, which, upon completion, will house the Royal Saint Lucia Police Band and Special Services Unit.
Senator Mayers says plans are also afoot for the construction of modern police stations in the constituencies of Gros-Islet and Babonneau.
The national security minister says the government of Saint Lucia is committed to ensuring the best provisions are in place to facilitate the work of national security institutions.
The St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association held its Annual General meeting on Friday 19th March at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Center
The well attended meeting firstly had a moments silence in memory of the associations Treasurer, Mrs. Pat Charles who recently passed away. Dr Marcus Day then presented the Presidents report on the accomplishments of SLASA over the past 12 months Dr. Day was later reelected unopposed as President. The full executive for 2010-2011 is:
President Dr. Marcus Day
Vice President, Technical Mr. David Moyston
Vice President, Admin Mr. Victor Price
Treasurer Ms. Joanne Cooper
Secretary General Ms. Joyce Huxley
Immediate Past President / P.R.O. Dr. Chris Beaubrun
Floor Members Dr. Leslie Bishop, Mr. Brian Charles, Anat Zevi, Mr. Linwall James
Saint Lucia’s lone female Minister, Senator the Honourable Tessa Mangal, is calling on women to begin to see themselves as part of the leadership equation.
Senator Mangal, along with Micoud North Parliamentary Representative Honourable Jeannine Compton, were invited to speak to over one hundred women, at a national symposium on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Senator Mangal says the issue of women assuming leadership roles is a fundamental challenge which requires a revision of attitudes and approaches.
She says there are clear disparities between genders, in economic, political and social spheres, despite significant achievements, like the Beijing Platform of 1995, the Millennium Declaration in 2000, and the Brussels Programme.
“Currently women participate in all types of political institutions representing nearly twenty percent of legislatures in the Americas. Although women have made impressive strides over the last decade, the region still poses formidable challenges in the areas of economic and political inequality, domestic violence, machismo ethnic marginalization and the limited mechanisms for effective citizen representation and participation.”
Senator Mangal says women must therefore be encouraged to enter the political arena, and those already in politics must work to empower and entice others into running for political office.
“In particular, political parties must actively recruit, train and support women candidates. In order for true democracy to take hold in the Americas, governments must be representative of both sexes and all ethnicities, but we as women should be prepared to come forward and assume our leadership position now.”
Senator Mangal encouraged women to begin to empower themselves by taking interest in the matters that affect their daily lives. She further urged women to take an interest in community activities that appeal to their holistic development.
Gold sponsorship for the third year running
The St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited once again thrown its support behind the annual national schools science and technology fair. The power company gave a cheque of ten thousand dollars to the ministry of education this week, towards this year’s science fair. In making its gold sponsor contribution to the 2010 science fair, LUCELEC’s corporate communications manager, Roger Joseph, said the power company is committed to making such investments in the future of students, the country and the world.
“The utility business is long term by nature. Our investment in the national science fair is a reflection of this. We see beyond the student and the experiments they produce each year to recognize the scientists and breakthrough technologies of the future. It is forums such as the National science and technological science fair that encourage young people to stretch the boundaries of their imagination, find new ways of doing things, and new things to do, which may eventually change all our lives in the future. And LUCELEC is proud to be part of providing such opportunities,” he added.
The 2010 National Schools Science and Technological Fair was held from March 24-26, at the Beausejour Cricket Ground under the theme “Building Global Bridges through Science and Technology.
The Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) will pay out some $5.2M (5.2 million dollars) to its monthly and fortnightly paid employees on the 19th April 2010.
This amount repre-sents the conclusion of an industrial package of Past Years of Service Benefits negotiated between Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authorit (SLASPA) and the National Workers Union (NWU). That agreement was sealed on the 20th Septem-ber, 1991, nine-teen (19) years ago.
The basis for the multi-million dollar tax free payout is a graded schedule ranging from one to ten years service and over to be paid at a minimum of one and a maximum of 3.5 weeks per year at the workers last wage.
The parties having realized that the amount to be paid out would have been a tall order decided to establish an account and deposited the amount in portions over an agreed period. The Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) in consultation with the National Workers Union (NWU) decided to have its Ports Police and CSA members employed with the Authority share in the payout.
The National Workers Union (NWU) is of the opinion that the Authority’s thrust aimed at standardization of benefits for its employees is principled and justified. President General of the National Workers Union (NWU), Mr. Tyrone George Maynard hails the payout as another landmark for the union.
The National Workers Union (NWU) has been able to achieve the same benefit for workers employed with WINERA Ltd., Water & Sewerage Company (WASCO), National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and Windward & Leeward Brewery (WLB).
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - The Princess Hotel in Guyana on Friday evening opened the country’s first in-house casino, while President Bharrat Jagdeo decried the fact that Guyanese will not be allowed to participate in the activities of the casino.
Jagdeo said the restriction is by law as the parliament passed the Gambling Prevention (Amendment) Act in 2007, three years ago, which placed a restriction on Guyanese gambling after a national outcry by religious leaders and some political parties that this may lead to many homes being broken.
The present legislation states that the issuance of casino premises licences will be granted only to a new hotel or resort complex which has a mini mum of 150 rooms allocated for accommodation.
Jagdeo said, while he does not endorse gambling, for a country in which the citizens have freedom of choice barring Guyanese from the establishment did not sit well with him as he recalled the outcry when the law was amended.
“For me, this is something that I find distasteful. I believe that Guyanese should enjoy all of the choices in the country… our society is a moderate one…there was opposition, but we will give people choices,” Jagdeo said.
The president explained that his government took the decision to allow gambling in Guyana as a way of allowing investors in the hotel business to accelerate their profitability.
The president further said that the government will limit the number of casinos in the country, and they will be strictly monitored.
The Princess Casino, which employs about 140 Guyanese, began operating last month for the hotel’s guests and is equipped with 300 slot machines and game tables.
The hotel, originally Buddy’s International Hotel, was opened prior to the 2007 Cricket World Cup and in 2008 was sold to Irish investor Sudi Ozkan, for US$15 million and renamed the Princess Hotel, which forms part of an international chain of such facilities.
A newly established social organisation is leading the way to restore sensible values in society by reaching out to the nation’s youth.
The Way to Happiness Saint Lucia Chapter has formally launched the National Youth Mentoring Programme to the public, an initiative geared towards the holistic development of school students in particular.
Director of The Way to Happiness Saint Lucia, Miss Paula James, says last week’s launch is a continuation of the two-day mentoring training initiative held on board the Freewinds Cruise Line, on the 21 precepts on the way to happiness.
The organisation, she explains will embark on an island-wide bus tour, to deliver “The Way to Happiness” booklets to every community and school, in order to restore essential traits of mankind, such as integrity, tolerance and dignity which are becoming non-existent in Saint Lucia.
“I feel if we don’t do something as a youth mentoring group, we are doing nothing to try to help. This is my contribution and the programme’s contribution to try to deal with the crime situation and the violence that’s going on in the nation. We are losing our young persons every weekend and if we are telling you to be careful, think twice before you do something, that’s the message.”
Director of The Way to Happiness Foundation International, Dr. Joannie Ginesburg, says by equipping educators, parents and youngsters with practical knowledge on everyday etiquette, it is a sure method of achieving a greater level of productivity and progress in any society.
She says it is up to the adult population to make every attempt to quell the upsurge of deviant behaviour among the youth.
“Some of the things that you will learn from The Way To Happiness book are hinges on such themes: “Take Care of Yourself”, “Set A Good Example”, “Be Worthy of Trust”, and “Treat Others As You Would Want them to Treat You”. So, I am hoping that you will embrace this book as others have all over the world and use it to make Saint Lucia a more beautiful and better place.”
The National Youth Mentoring Programme will work with several local social, religious and community-based organisations, to accomplish its mandate to among other things, educate the youth on the acceptable way for positive living. Such organisations include the police fraternity, the Community Action Programme for Safety (CAPS) and RISE, an organization dedicated to restoring integrity and pride, particularly in young persons.
Laura Izibor, the hard-working 22 year-old singing sensation, is gearing up for a thrilling performance at the 2010 Saint Lucia Jazz festival, from May 1 to 9 in Saint Lucia this year.
Booked to perform on Wednesday, May 5 at the Gaiety indoor venue in Rodney Bay, the Irish soul singer recently delivered a show-stopping performance at New York’s SOB’s entertainment venue last month, after which she expressed her enthusiasm for visiting the Caribbean paradise.
“I am excited, it’s also going to be my vacation,” she disclosed, while meeting fans backstage.
“I plan on reaping all the benefits of Saint Lucia! I heard it’s a wonderful gig to do and I am honored to be asked, and really, really look forward to going out there,” she added, explaining that while her music has a lot of ballads, “the show has a lot of energy - it’s soulful and most importantly we’ll have fun!”
Currently touring the US, Laura Izibor is described as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “Artists to Watch” and her voice has been compared to greats like Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys and her writing to that of Carole King and Joan Armatrading.
This past week, the Dublin soul star met US President Barack Obama at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
“We have heard so much about Laura’s amazing career and we’re honored she’ll be here to share her gifts, talents and abilities with Saint Lucians as well as with visitors to the island,” said Senator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. “And in turn, we look forward to delivering the vacation of a lifetime to this incredible musician,” he said.
The St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association has named a seven member squad to participate at the 2010 CARIFTA Swimming Championships to be held at the National Stadium Pool in Kingston Jamaica from April 3rd to 6th 2010. The 7 swimmers are: 11-12 Girls: Thalia Bergasse; 13-14 Boys: Joshua Runako Daniel; 15 -17 Girls: Siona Huxley; 15-17 Boys: Jordan Augier, Julien Brice, Jon-L Innocent-Dolor, David Mayers; Coach - Jamie Peterkin; Team Manager - Joyce Huxley
Included are the two 2010 National Junior Sportspersons of the Year, Jushua Runako Daniel and Siona Huxley and the powerful team will have each swimmer participating in at least 4 to 6 events. The National Team returned with one Silver medal last year and there are expectations for an improvement in the medal count for 2010.
Second time qualifier Thalia Bergasse has demonstrated continuous improvement over the past 12 months, excelling in all strokes but with the backstroke being her favorite. She clearly is one of the swimmers to watch but will have stiff competition in that age group.
Siona Huxley, triple National Junior Sportswoman of the year is a definite medal contender at CARIFTA and will be looking for her medals in the Backstroke events and 50M Free in her age group. Siona has simply been heating up the pool in all her recent outings and her competitors will have to be outstanding to outpace her.
Runako Daniel has grown from strength to strength; recently winning Gold medals at the Barbados Long Course Championships He is one of St Lucias top CARIFTA medal contenders with the short distance Fly being his strongest event
Jordan Augier will be swimming in the boys 15-17 age group and his dramatic recent improvements in the Backstroke also make him a contender in that stroke
Julien Brice who was nominated and shortlisted as Senior Sportsman of the year has also maintained his form and will also be looking for his first CARIFTA medal. He is particularly strong in the 50M Free.
David Myers is member of the 15-17 male relay quartet and he is primed to excel in his pet event, the 50M free.
Jon-L Innocent-Dolor is the Breaststroke specialist and will favor the 50M Breast in his medal quest and will also be a member of the relay team.
The selected swimmers have all trained intensely; have demonstrated the commitment to be selected for the national CARIFTA Team; all reiterated from the results recently in Barbados
SLASA has also named Jamie Peterkin as Head Coach with team manager being Joyce Huxley.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan sent a letter dated March 22 to Taiwan’s Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yaung Chih-liang, informing the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) of the time and venue of the Sixty-third World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting, along with details concerning attendance. Minister Yaung will lead Taiwan’s delegation at this year’s meeting in Geneva.
This year’s invitation is exactly the same as the one Taiwan received in 2009. Taiwan’s second consecutive year of participation in the WHA can be attributed to the pragmatic “flexible diplomacy” policy of President Ma Ying-jeou as improving cross-strait relations also played a contributing role. Strong support from Taiwan’s diplomatic allies like Saint Lucia and friendly countries like the United States, European Union, Japan and many others, together with NGOs across the globe has also played a role of essential significance in making Taiwan’s participation in WHA a reality. Take Saint Lucia for example, Honourable Stephenson King, Prime Minister, and Honourable Dr. Keith Mondesir, Minister for Health, have been staunch advocates for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the WHO and other Specialized Agencies under the United Nations system.
Since the WHO’s incorporation of Taiwan as a participant in the enforcement mechanism of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and as an observer at the WHA in 2009, Taiwan has made progress in expanding its participation in WHO affairs. Through smooth communications with the WHO and under the IHR framework, Taiwan’s representatives also have been invited to take part in WHO meetings concerning the H1N1 influenza pandemic as well as other technical conferences and training programs. Furthermore, with the assistance of the world body and other countries, Taiwan’s population of 23 million has been able to obtain isolated H1N1 virus stock and produce a flu vaccine on its own.
These events indicate that the international community has recognized Taiwan’s need, both professional and functional, to participate in the world health body, as well as the contributions Taiwan can make to the international health system. Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Health are therefore confident that all countries in the world will be glad to see Taiwan’s representatives in attendance at the World Health Assembly once again this year. This positive development, on the one hand, will help Taiwan continue to expand its participation in meetings, mechanisms and activities under the WHO.
On the other hand, it indicates that improvements in cross-strait relations can facilitate the expansion of Taiwan’s international relations, which will in turn make Taiwan more willing and confident to deepen cross-strait relations - a “virtuous circle” worth encouraging.
Taiwan was formally invited by the WHO April 28, 2009 to take part as an observer in that year’s meeting of the WHA - its governing body - under the name “Chinese Taipei.” The then Health Minister Dr. Yeh Ching-chuan led the government delegation of Taiwan to the event. This was the first time for the Taiwan to officially participate in a U.N. meeting since walking out of the world body in 1971.
22rd March 2010 - World Water Day - Drought and the rationing of chlorinated WASCO water in some communities has forced many St. Lucians to rely on river water again, as their parents and grandparents used to do.
But the rivers aren’t as clean as they were years ago and there is growing awareness, not just in St. Lucia, but throughout the Caribbean, of the problems of pollution and protection of watersheds and the need to find new ways to improve water quality for the good of all.
One such initiative is the use of biodigester technology to reduce pollution caused by intensive pig farming.
Environmental Charity Pioneers Use Of Biodigesters On St. Lucian Pig Farms
St. Lucian farmer, Mr. Lennox Elie, of Dennery, is currently working with Jonathan Vickery, a volunteer from Tennessee, to build a prototype biodigester plant on his pig farm in the Mabouya Valley. It is almost complete.
Turning Pollution Into Fuel And Fertiliser
A biogas digester is a concrete tank that processes organic material - in this case manure from Mr. Elie’s 300 pigs - and turns it into biogas (mostly methane) which can be used for cooking and water heating. Even the waste from the digester can be used as composted fertilizer for bananas and other vegetables. Mr Elie’s operation is close to Albert Joseph’s banana farm and they work closely together.
Caribbean Students Test The Water
The initiative for the biodigester project came from US Charity, Caribbean Students Environmental Alliance (Caribbean SEA). Caribbean SEA works with St. Lucian youngsters as well as with local farmers and their communities to help clean up our water, from the freshwater rivers all the way to the coral reefs.
Caribbean Sea is collaborating with the IWCAM project in the valley of which Cornelius Isaac is the manager.
Three boys from Dennery and the valley are already checking the water quality in the area to make sure the biodigesters already in use are making a measurable difference. Pernil Joseph, one of Caribbean SEA’s local student leaders, is coordinating the sampling and Danic Duplessis and Denzel Renee are two of the student scientists assisting in the effort!
The Government of Saint Lucia is sensitive to the fact that many Saint Lucians have had to endure the inconveniences and significant cost associated with the need for rectification of Civil Status records. Government is aware of the frustrations of many who in some instances travel long distances to initiate or enquire on the processing of these documents.
In order to lessen on instances of inconvenience and frustration to members of the public and moreso the significant cost involved in paying for rectifications, the Government of Saint Lucia has approved the appointment of an Adjudicator within the Registry of Civil Status. This Adjudicator will be responsible for rectification of Civil Status records.
The Cabinet of Ministers through Cabinet Conclusion No. 192 of March 11th, 2010 and in keeping with the provisions of Section 25 of the Civil Status Act has approved the payment of a fee of EC $50.00 for each civil status record rectified. This new measure will no doubt bring about a major relief to members of the public who would otherwise have had to secure the services of private legal practitioners at a much higher cost.
Members of the public are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the information contained in the March 12th, Extra-Ordinary Issue of the Saint Lucia Gazette relevant to the new provisions and including the related regulations.
The principal and staff of the George Charles Secondary School have made public, their intention to reward the academic and co-curricular achievements of their students; a move they hope will showcase George Charles Secondary School in a more positive light.
The First Annual George Charles Secondary School Awards which formed part of the School’s 18th anniversary celebrations, was held at the National Cultural Centre on Tuesday, the 23rd of March.
Principal of the George Charles Secondary School, Lera Pascal, says an awards ceremony is a critical component of the teaching-learning experience, and as such, Tuesday’s exercise was aimed at inspiring students to harness their potential in order to lead more productive lives.
“We believe it is important to recognise the effort, it is important to recognise good behaviour, it is important to recognize positive traits in our students, and we think the recognition goes a long way in enhancing the overall experience of students. It is said success breeds success; so if you can succeed along the way, your success can be total.”
Education Officer for District Four, Marilyn Bain, says if parents were cognizant that education was an investment in the future of Saint. Lucia, they would do a lot more to protect and nurture the talents of the youth.
Ms. Bain has urged students to focus heavily on their academic success in order to make an invaluable contribution to Saint Lucia’s development and effect change in the world.
“The students of the George Charles Secondary are loving students. When your classmate passed away tragically last week, some of you cried because you care. You care for each other, you love each other. I know because I am part of your school; I see all the good things. I look forward to the day when people will appreciate you for your talent, love, caring, resilience and your passion for learning.”
The 1st Annual George Charles Secondary School Awards was held under the theme, “Celebrating Students Achievement”.
The Government of Saint Lucia is mindful of the recent campaign undertaken by the Customs and Excise Department towards ensuring that persons involved in the sale of alcohol comply with the provisions of Section 28 of the Liquor License Act. Government commends the Department for their efforts in ensuring that the provisions of the Act are upheld.
Government is aware that since the campaign undertaken by the Customs and Excise Department, many persons have sought to ensure that they are in compliance with the relevant provisions. Government is seized of the fact that many persons engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages as a means of sustaining their livelihoods. Government encourages entrepreneurial activity and seeks to facilitate such ventures when they operate within the ambit of the law.
As such Cabinet has acted in accordance with Sections 7(3) of the Liquor Licence Act; Chapter 13.17 and has agreed to authorize the Liquor Licensing Board to hold monthly Licensing sessions to issue retail licences to City, Town and out-of-town applicants. Interested members of the public are asked keep informed on sessions of the Licencing Board under the new measure and to also familiarize themselves with the application process.
Grow Well is happy to announce Its Young Poets Competition has concluded very successfully with an astounding number of entries. 306 poems from young poets in every school in the Gros Islet District! Several young residents of Gros Islet who attend schools in other areas also submitted poems. The Competition celebrates the 80th birthday of the Hon. Derek Walcott
The awards ceremony took place on March 25 at the Gros Islet Secondary School in the presence of Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of St. Lucia and Hon. Derek Walcott.
Dame Pearlette Louisy and Gros Islet primary school received prizes for the most entries, Corinth Secondary won the 1st and 2nd place in the 14 to 18 category and Dame Pearlette 1st and 2nd in the under 10 age group.
Prizes included digital cameras, digital cell phones, books by Derek Walcott, Book Vouchers, Dominos Pizzas and tickets to Rain Forest Tram rides. Grow Well also presented special awards to the two schools with the highest number of entries.
Young singers from the Grow Well Library sung a special tribute an original composition We Love You Derek Walcott, produced specifically for this occasion.
The Resident British Commissioner, Mr. Karl Burrows visited the Holy Family Children’s Home on Thursday 25 March. Whilst there he handed over to the Administrator, Sister Anthonia, the proceeds of a musical fundraising event which took place at his residence in Vigie on 19 February 2010.
The musical evening featured the Band of the Hampshire Constabulary UK who were visiting St. Lucia to take part in St. Lucia’s Independence Celebrations at the invitation of Commissioner of Police, Ausbert Regis.
The evening was a great success and a large part of that was because of the kind gene-rosity of our sponsors as follows: Auberge Seraphine Hotel, Bel Jou Hotel, Big Chef Steakhouse, Cats Inc., Coco Resorts, Cotton Bay Resort, Crown Foods, Dotz Interiors, Du Boulay’s Bottling Co. Ltd., Inter Caribbean Express (ICE), Jacques Waterfront Dining, Landmark Events, Le Syracuse, Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, Monplaisir Supplies Ltd., M&C Home Depot, Livette Wallace, Peter and Co., Profile 2000 Hair & Nail Spa, St. Lucia Distillers, Windward and Leeward Brewery.
A total of EC$10,662 was raised, all of which went to the Holy Family Children’s Home.
The government of Saint Lucia is continuing to fulfil its commitment to preserve the contribution of great Saint Lucians for history and as inspiration for younger generations. In its latest effort, the government on Wednesday evening, officially launched the much anticipated coffee table publication “Iconic Saint Lucians” which features one hundred Saint Lucians who contributed to nation building in various sectors during the post-independence era.
Prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King says such a publication is overdue for a country with such great history like Saint Lucia.
“For too often Saint Lucians who contribute to the development of our country are forgotten and too often we wait till they die to recognise them through extended eulogies and statements about the great contributions they made to our country. I believe that the launching of this publication “Iconic Saint Lucians” certainly arrests this situation and gives us an opportunity to recognise those who served and contributed in the various sectors of our society.”
The idea behind the publication was born in 2009 in keeping with the country’s thirtieth independence anniversary which was observed under the theme “A Journey to Be Proud of; A future to Look Forward to”.
Chairperson of the 30th Independence Committee Senator Honourable Tessa Mangal says, she hopes the initiative will encourage other citizens to continue contributing to the development of their homeland.
“The rational for such a publication is informed by many issues which are of concern to this government, like the importance of understanding the inextricable link between where we came from and where we are headed as a nation; how we can excite the youth into claiming their identity as Saint Lucians first and as citizens of the world second; giving tangible evidence to our claims of greatness on the world stage; living the pride that we as a government espouse; giving the arts its place in the development agenda and developing ourselves as a learning society.”
The launch of “Iconic Saint Lucians was held under the patronage of the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy.
The publication is available at leading book stores on the island and will be circulated in the Diaspora and the region.
The book has been endorsed by the National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia.
Iconic Saint Lucians is published by Right Angle Imaging.
LIME is receiving positive feedback from customers who are pleased with the way the company has made it easy for them to get things done, quickly and easily. Landline, Internet, Mobile and Digital TV customers can all take advantage of the efficient new services from LIME, aimed at saving them time and money.
One of those ways is the new MyLIME Customer Portal. Through the MyLIME portal, LIME customers save time by accessing their post-paid accounts immediately and securely, 24 hours a day. Customers also like the fact that they can view, download and pay bills in seconds and update their accounts without waiting in line or calling customer service for assistance. They can also use the MyLIME Customer Portal to send free text messages to other LIME mobile customers, to redeem LIME Rewards for AAdvantage miles and even self-check their Internet speed. You can also chat online with a customer service representative from the comfort of your home, day or night.
LIME continues to develop ways for customers to get the most out of their limited time, recognizing that convenience is the name of the game. This is highlighted even further with the newest addition to the company’s time saving services; Self Top Up for prepaid customers. Customers are invited to top up their mobile phones, by simply sending a text message from their mobile phone. With a onetime registration at www.time4lime.com, prepaid customers are able to credit their phones, anytime and anywhere.
Thanks to LIME’s collaboration with various financial institutions, customers can use their LIME mobile phones to view their account balances and transaction history, pay bills, and receive alerts and information, just like consumers in other parts of the world. Fund transfers are also available via the phone’s WAP/internet browser.
With LIME, it’s about giving customers access to a world of ease and simplicity by helping them access their accounts and do transactions from almost anywhere, with a few clicks of a mouse.
“The world is now in the online era where you can do just about anything via the internet. We have made sure that our customers are not left out,” said LIME Head of Marketing, Laurencia Cadette.
Time is too precious to waste and now LIME ensures that you won’t have to.
I have been viewing the news with the disheartening situation among our young people in their school uniforms. I understand the stance by the President of the Principals Association in banning cell phones, however, is this really going to solve the problem? Have we sat and analyzed what the real problem in our society is or are we too afraid to acknowledge who is to be blamed? We are in a technological age so people are acting surprised at what they are seeing now, however, I left Secondary School some ten years ago and this was going on just about every day on the school premises.
I dare say that banning cell phones in the school is not going to mitigate this problem as there is immense moral decay in our society. You see, our society is experiencing a “drip effect” in which the previously unthinkable becomes the acceptable. It is sad to say, but most of these problems stem from the home. This is not to say that there are households where children are not given the proper guidance and yet still fall by the wayside due to peer pressure. However, there has been a lackadaisical attitude by many persons who play a major role in the lives and upbringing of young people, more so the parents. I am not saying that we should go back in time where parents as well as neighbors would give children a good “beating” for every wrong they did, yet great strides need to be taken to improve this rampant situation of our loss of sight on good moral values.
Psychologist, Dr. Linda Papadapoulos said in a recent article that, “Children and young people are not only exposed to increasing amounts of hypersexual images, they are also sold the idea that they have to look “sexy” and “hot”. They are facing pressures that children in the past simply did not have to face.”
So before we think of banning cell phones in schools, let us think about implementing the following as a first step in alleviating this scourge:
* All sexually explicit songs on radios should be removed, rather than “bleeping” when the song gets to certain points. If people wish to listen to this type of music they can purchase cd’s and listen to them on their own or when they go to the “club”.
* Sexually provocative music videos should not be aired on television.
* Establish curfews for school children.
* There should be more stringent laws on carnal knowledge.
* When young teachers are being employed, thorough background checks should be conducted.
* Those persons who are placed in society to protect and serve should receive the harshest penalty for committing illegal acts towards young person’s rather than protecting and serving those young persons.
* Minibuses, when transporting school children, should be banned from playing all sexually explicit and violent music.
Like it has been written once before - There are no instant miracle cures that will make all wrongs right. What is happening now in St. Lucia is a reflection of the general decline in family life that has taken place over successive years, with scant attention being paid to it by all and sundry responsible. The long-term answer is to inculcate a different attitude in society, whereby parents take on a greater responsibility for those children they have brought into the world.