Categorized | Editorial, News

St. Patrick’s Day and our economy, using its many memorable facets

  1. Editorial: March 13, 2015 :
    As of next Monday night, March 16, 2015 St. Patrick’s Day may have another etch on the celebrations for the future celebrations, when Robert William Griffith (Mass Bob) will posthumously be bestowed the prestigious honour of Order of National Hero for his sacrifices for the greater good of Montserrat in the area of Politics and Worker’s rights.

    Dr. Howard Fergus wrote: “St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March, 1998, marked the second anniversary of the death of Robert William Griffith (Maas Bob). A dramatic and flamboyant political figure in his day, he “chose,” as it were, a most significant day on which to die. His death day underscored his claim to a place in the Montserratian hall of heroism.”

    Primarily we remember that in 1768, St. Patrick’s Day, was the slave rebellion on Montserrat. Then, Montserrat celebrates St. Patrick’s day, March 17, also remembering its Irish ancestry. This celebration encompasses a week of activities highlighting the fusion of the Irish and African cultures, unique to Montserrat.

    The discussions seemed mute this year as time and time again the question arises, surprisingly to us, why and how did St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated and a public holiday. The volcanic crisis broke in 1995 and St. Patrick’s Day seemingly took on ‘more’ meaning after the village of St. Patrick’s was not just buried but swept away. Celebrations had began with meaning in the 70’s other than the Roman Catholic Church because of its main church in Plymouth named after St. Patrick, celebrated his feast day.

    At the turn of the millennium celebrating St. Patrick’s Day had turned for some time in a weeklong celebration and soon began challenging the struggling Christmas Festivities which more and more took on a kind of carnival spectacle, always with the reminder to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

    With festivities certainly pre-volcano crisis it was a time when the island looked forward to increasing its tourist arrivals resulting in much needed revenue. But something has gone wrong as Montserrat continues to find the platform to find economic recovery.

    Forced to look back we remember activities which mark the festivities both at Christmas but for this purpose St. Patrick’s Day week. Do we still have the volunteerism for these?

    The exhibition, the Slave Village, the Old time games, the Re-enactment of the slave uprising and the organization of the slave feast was a fine example of volunteers all working to make our island better.

    The Freedom Run; Scriber and the Forest Rangers, hikes, the displays of Irish dancing once witnessed at the Tropical Mansions Barbecue and again at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at the Vue Pointe hotel.

    What an abundance of talent! A comment back then.

    One year the then Governor contributed to the programme with Irish Film crew. David Lea showed some volcano films on two nights, the Vue Pointe Hotel the venue.

    The St. Patrick’s Day lecture like some others, that is still with us, still providing insights as to the significance of St. Patrick’s Day for us.

    Whatever happened to that documentary, the result of Rt. Hon. Michael D. Higgins and the Film Crew from Ireland, coming all the way here to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Week of Activities. The comment then, “We anxiously await the documentary which we hope we will be able to use as a marketing tool for Montserrat.”

    The event was a kite competition, and one of the participants said the event, “was a very good idea, We hope next year we can fly our kites again, and it would be better than this year.”

    There was the involvement of the ferry management who arranged tours from St. Kitts-Nevis and Antigua.

    The Teacher’s Union, Junior Calypso competition, yes, still around.

    There is still Church Service at the Roman Catholic Church, who a few years ago built a new St. Patrick’s Chruch at look Lookout.

    Round-the-Island Ferry Boat Ride which usually gives people, like it did the conversation of the oft-mentioned Thatch Valley about which Government and DFID were in negotiation for ‘a well-needed airport,’ the discussion is still on-going.

    “There was something for every one, ” tourists commented time and time again, back then.

    Mr. Kenny Cassell an economist, wrote once “We have to look at our culture as a source of enrichment. But we cannot ignore the financial and economic benefits that can accrue to us by judicious and creative exploitation of our cultural heritage. It is my hope that those who take the programme forward would bear this in mind.”

     

     

     

     

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  1. Editorial: March 13, 2015 :
    As of next Monday night, March 16, 2015 St. Patrick’s Day may have another etch on the celebrations for the future celebrations, when Robert William Griffith (Mass Bob) will posthumously be bestowed the prestigious honour of Order of National Hero for his sacrifices for the greater good of Montserrat in the area of Politics and Worker’s rights.

    Dr. Howard Fergus wrote: “St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March, 1998, marked the second anniversary of the death of Robert William Griffith (Maas Bob). A dramatic and flamboyant political figure in his day, he “chose,” as it were, a most significant day on which to die. His death day underscored his claim to a place in the Montserratian hall of heroism.”

    Primarily we remember that in 1768, St. Patrick’s Day, was the slave rebellion on Montserrat. Then, Montserrat celebrates St. Patrick’s day, March 17, also remembering its Irish ancestry. This celebration encompasses a week of activities highlighting the fusion of the Irish and African cultures, unique to Montserrat.

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    The discussions seemed mute this year as time and time again the question arises, surprisingly to us, why and how did St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated and a public holiday. The volcanic crisis broke in 1995 and St. Patrick’s Day seemingly took on ‘more’ meaning after the village of St. Patrick’s was not just buried but swept away. Celebrations had began with meaning in the 70’s other than the Roman Catholic Church because of its main church in Plymouth named after St. Patrick, celebrated his feast day.

    At the turn of the millennium celebrating St. Patrick’s Day had turned for some time in a weeklong celebration and soon began challenging the struggling Christmas Festivities which more and more took on a kind of carnival spectacle, always with the reminder to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

    With festivities certainly pre-volcano crisis it was a time when the island looked forward to increasing its tourist arrivals resulting in much needed revenue. But something has gone wrong as Montserrat continues to find the platform to find economic recovery.

    Forced to look back we remember activities which mark the festivities both at Christmas but for this purpose St. Patrick’s Day week. Do we still have the volunteerism for these?

    The exhibition, the Slave Village, the Old time games, the Re-enactment of the slave uprising and the organization of the slave feast was a fine example of volunteers all working to make our island better.

    The Freedom Run; Scriber and the Forest Rangers, hikes, the displays of Irish dancing once witnessed at the Tropical Mansions Barbecue and again at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at the Vue Pointe hotel.

    What an abundance of talent! A comment back then.

    One year the then Governor contributed to the programme with Irish Film crew. David Lea showed some volcano films on two nights, the Vue Pointe Hotel the venue.

    The St. Patrick’s Day lecture like some others, that is still with us, still providing insights as to the significance of St. Patrick’s Day for us.

    Whatever happened to that documentary, the result of Rt. Hon. Michael D. Higgins and the Film Crew from Ireland, coming all the way here to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Week of Activities. The comment then, “We anxiously await the documentary which we hope we will be able to use as a marketing tool for Montserrat.”

    The event was a kite competition, and one of the participants said the event, “was a very good idea, We hope next year we can fly our kites again, and it would be better than this year.”

    There was the involvement of the ferry management who arranged tours from St. Kitts-Nevis and Antigua.

    The Teacher’s Union, Junior Calypso competition, yes, still around.

    There is still Church Service at the Roman Catholic Church, who a few years ago built a new St. Patrick’s Chruch at look Lookout.

    Round-the-Island Ferry Boat Ride which usually gives people, like it did the conversation of the oft-mentioned Thatch Valley about which Government and DFID were in negotiation for ‘a well-needed airport,’ the discussion is still on-going.

    “There was something for every one, ” tourists commented time and time again, back then.

    Mr. Kenny Cassell an economist, wrote once “We have to look at our culture as a source of enrichment. But we cannot ignore the financial and economic benefits that can accrue to us by judicious and creative exploitation of our cultural heritage. It is my hope that those who take the programme forward would bear this in mind.”