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Caribbean Economic Forum

Caribbean Economic Forum

Caribbean Economic Forum – Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 CEF_2018 Promo_01_Social Media Version_preview.mp4

 

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Paula-Mae Weekes first female-president-sworn-in Trinidad and Tobago

First Female President of Trinidad and Tobago Takes Office

 

Paula-Mae Weekes first female-president-sworn-in Trinidad and Tobago

(From left) Former President Anthony Carmona, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Chief Justice Ivor Archie look on as Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, takes the oath of office. (Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago)


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday March 20, 2018
– Paula-Mae Weekes was yesterday sworn in as the first female President and sixth overall Head of State of Trinidad and Tobago.

A large crowd, including Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, senior members of the judiciary gathered at the Queen’s Park Oval for the inauguration ceremony where President Weekes appealed to citizens to walk side-by-side with her in rebuilding the twin-island republic which continues to grapple with crime and other social ills.

She said there were many who lamented that Trinidad and Tobago “is perilously close to the point of no return”, with crime, corruption, racism, abysmal public services and an ineffective judicial system, among other problems, so thick on the ground that all hope is lost, and the country had two choices: “Option 1 – We can lament, blame, criticise and allow a miasma of despair to overwhelm us or Option 2 we can consciously and intentionally choose the alternative.”

“I know what the murder count is and how many of the victims have been women and children slaughtered in acts of domestic violence, I am cognizant of the volatile tensions in east Port of Spain. I see people affected by mental illness, addiction and homelessness sleeping on the streets and if I needed to get to Tobago in a hurry I could not be certain if or when I would arrive. I comprehend fully the state of the state and so understand why we might have every reason to despair.

“None of us is blind or foolish enough to deny that Trinidad and Tobago is going through dark times, but I echo the words of C.S. Lewis when I say: ‘this a good world gone wrong but it still retains the memory of what ought to have been’….So let us today choose Option 2 confront the darkness and declare that it will not take over,” President Weekes said.

She said that as a servant of a people, she would do her best by word and deed to both be a light and spread the light of others at every opportunity.

But Weekes said she needed citizens to help her along.

“If you feel that you are going to leave me alone to do all the heavy lifting, you’re sadly mistaken. I have something to ask of you….I am going to rub my imaginary lamp and appeal to the collective genie that you are,” she said, before outlining her three wishes.

“First of all, I ask you to find ways to make a positive difference in whatever your sphere of influence, not necessarily ambitious designs but rather specific, practical, doable projects – the results of which can be seen and measured in the short term, and then let us celebrate each success. Many individuals and organisations have asked to meet with me. Let’s not meet just for meeting sake—we do not have that luxury. Come armed with your ideas, your feasible projects to improve our quality of life. Nothing will catch my attention faster than a man or woman with a plan.

“Next, I ask those of you with a platform from which to disseminate your views to find new and creative ways to inspire your audience while reporting responsibly and commenting civilly on the facts, in particular on social media which is here to stay and has great value in giving a voice to those who might otherwise be voiceless but reckless use of this or any communication channel will defeat its very purpose.

“And last…we speak all the time about how violent a society we’ve become. True, but the climate of violence is not created or even birthed in overt acts; it’s embedded in everyday talk, in commonplace interaction, in schools, in the market, in business places, in the rum shop and, worst of all, in the home. I ask you to be mindful in your use of language remembering that a soft answer often turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger and that pleasant speech increases one’s persuasiveness. When we have the inevitable differences of opinion we can do so without the savagery, the ad hominem attacks, the gratuitous insults.”

Speaking to the media after the swearing-in ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he was looking forward to working closely with President Weekes, who takes over from the retired Anthony Carmona.

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ADDITIONAL FERRY SERVICE ANNOUNCED FOR POST ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL EXODUS

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As a courtesy to our readers and the many who enquired about the ferry service through this medium, we provide the following submitted to us ‘for information’…

The Access Division has made arrangements to ensure persons leaving Montserrat in the coming days make their international flight connections in Antigua.

On Monday March 19th, 2018, the MV Lovely 1, with a capacity of 350, will leave Montserrat at 7:00am. Passengers are advised to check in 2 and a half hours before departure to allow early boarding of the vessel. The MV Lovely 1 will depart Antigua at 3:00pm with passengers for Luciano’s show at Salem Park.

On Tuesday March 20, 2018, the MV Lovely 1 will depart Montserrat at 7:00am. Check in time is at 4:30am to facilitate the early departure of the vessel.

The MV Jaden Sun will be on standby in the morning and will take additional passengers to Antigua if necessary. The ferry is however, scheduled to depart Montserrat at 5:00pm; leaving Antigua at 7:30pm.

On Wednesday March 21, 2018, the MV Jayden Sun will depart Montserrat at 6:30am and arrive in Antigua at 8:00am. The MV Jayden Sun will then leave Antigua at 7:00pm and arrive in Montserrat at 8:30pm.

Two trips will be scheduled on Wednesday if necessary.

For more information please contact Mr. Roosevelt Jemmotte on 496-9912 or Crenston Buffonge on 392-8731.

 

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IMFF

Improvements in economic prospects for Caribbean/Latin America – IMF

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says economic prospects for the region are generally improving and modest growth is expected in 2018 and 2019.

The IMF, in its Regional Economic Outlook Update for Latin America and the Caribbean, released on Thursday, said the positive outlook is supported by growth in the United States following the recent U.S. tax reform.

IMFFHowever, the international lending agency noted that some of the islands that were hit hard during the 2017 hurricane season face a protracted recovery.

One such country is Dominica.

“In Dominica,  gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to decline by 16 percent in 2018, before rebounding in 2019 as reconstruction gathers pace.”

The IMF also noted that overall, recent trends in the world economy and financial markets are good news for  the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Global growth and trade are on an upswing, and we expect the momentum to continue in 2018.  Stronger commodity prices have also helped the region rebound.”

The report said consumption and exports were the main growth drivers last year and the recovery is broad based across the region.

“Encouragingly, investment is no longer a drag, and is expected to be an important factor behind the acceleration in output this year and next. Inflation came down significantly in 2017 in many countries, providing some scope for easing monetary policy.”

The Washington based lending agency said that while Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean are benefitting from stronger growth in the United States, growth in South America is mainly driven by the end of recessions in Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador, as well as higher commodity prices.

It said that in the United States, reforms to U.S. corporate and personal income taxes passed in December 2017 will likely raise private investment and private consumption over the short term

The report also revealed that in Central America and the Dominican Republic, output growth remains robust, helped by stronger than anticipated remittances flows, improved financial conditions, and good harvests.

However it was also stated that some risks could hurt the region’s recovery – including upcoming elections in some countries  – an event that could cfreate economic and policy uncertainties in the next year.

“Pressures for inward-looking policies in advanced economies—including through a retreat from cross-border integration—and factors such as global geopolitical tensions and extreme weather events could compound these uncertainties.”

The IMF said  in looking beyond the near term, the region also faces serious medium-term challenges.

“As we have been emphasizing, despite the current economic acceleration, Latin America’s output growth is returning to an underwhelming mean. Subdued potential growth and downside medium-term risks call for further efforts to rebuild buffers and implement structural policies to address growth bottlenecks and improve resilience.”

The lending institution said countries that need to lower  fiscal deficits should give attention to the fine balance between preserving inclusive growth and stabilizing high public debt, which has been rising.

“To better withstand future shocks, maintaining exchange rate flexibility, and further improving central bank communication and transparency would increase the resilience and effectiveness of monetary policy,” the IMF stated.

CMC/kb/2018

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Pres. George Maxwell Richards

Former President George Maxwell Richards has died

 PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan. 9, CMC – The fourth president of the Trinidad and Tobago –  Professor George Maxwell Richards is dead.

Richards, who was 86, died on Monday, following a heart attack.

Pres. George Maxwell RichardsPrime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in offering condolences said Trinidad and Tobago has lost a much-loved son of the soil

The Prime Minister said Richards, who served in the highest office of the land from 2003 to 2013, carried out his duties with class and distinction “even as he remained grounded in his love for all things Trinidad and Tobago especially Carnival and soca music.”

“Max as he was affectionately known by the citizens of our twin-island republic, struck you as a man who was not only accomplished but also enjoyed life to the fullest. He distinguished himself as a true patriot throughout his career, first as a chemical engineer with Shell then as a staffer and eventually Principal of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.”

“Moreover, one would be hard-pressed to ever be part of or overhear a conversation where the name ‘Max Richards’ is mentioned and not hear the admiration that people had for his love of culture and his down to earth nature.”

The Prime Minister said flags on public buildings will be flown at half-mast n accordance with the directive of the Minister of National Security.

He said further details of funeral arrangements will be released after consulting with the Richards family.

With Richards’s passing, all former presidents of Trinidad and Tobago are now deceased.

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IMG-20180101-WA0000

Premier Romeo – New Year 2018 Message

by Premier Donaldson Romeo

Fellow Citizens, Residents and friends on Montserrat and around the world!

As we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, I want first to thank God for blessing and keeping us to see this day, the 1st of January 2018; and to wish you all a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.

In 2017 our nation faced many challenges, some of which we have overcome and others we believe we shall overcome.  As we look back on this past year may we do so with the understanding that brighter days are ahead – that while our challenges are great, each of us has a unique part to play, and that every one of us is equipped by God with the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.

This year marks our island’s 23rd year in our journey since volcanic eruptions began in July 1995. This year we must seize the opportunity for a breakthrough or paradigm shift. This will require us all, as citizens, residents and friends of Montserrat, to come together as a single community with an overarching unity of purpose.

  Unity of purpose and action, above and beyond our differences, will be vital to Montserrat’s progress, now and in the years ahead. It is still my conviction that if we – citizens, residents and friends of Montserrat – choose, with God’s help, to pursue unity of purpose and mutual respect as a permanent lifestyle for the New Year and beyond, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

It is that very agreement of purpose that achieved, as I perceive, a step in the right direction for both the UK Government and the UK Overseas Territories just over a month ago.

After the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria last September, the British Overseas Territories which were severely affected joined with other British Overseas Territories in presenting our case to the world and to HMG.  As a result, at the end of November’s Joint Ministerial Council meetings in London, the UK joined with its Overseas Territories in a communiqué to declare that, in accordance with UN law (Article 73), we must ‘ensure’ that the development needs of Montserrat and other BOTs are to be treated as a priority.

This change of thinking happened because Montserrat was no longer making the argument alone, as we have done year after year for twenty-plus years.  This time, working together with other OTs we were able to meet and make a strong case to UK Prime Minister May, as well as to Secretaries of State and other Ministers of the UK Government.  Also, this time around, the UK media were already agitating on our behalf by challenging the UK Government to be prompt and adequate in its assistance to British Overseas Territories in desperate need.

For over 20 years, UK Prime minister after UK Prime Minister, and Chief Minister after Chief Minister on Montserrat along with their administrations have fought to accomplish the things pertinent to Montserrat’s sustainable development; things needed to take Montserrat out of a 20-year dependency on UK tax payers.  Today, Montserrat still needs urgent action to have basic and key infrastructure lost to the volcano replaced, and to address our hurricane-worthiness just as is the case for three BOTs recently devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

We in Montserrat have learnt it the hard way: to be effective, aid must be both adequate and timely. As I said in my appeal at the United Nations in November, we must not let what has happened to Montserrat over the past 20 years continue, and we must not let what has happened to Montserrat happen to our fellow Territories.  The world now knows that Montserrat still needs and deserves an urgent response.

Any day now, we expect to be signing the financial agreement with CDB for the long-needed breakwater and berthing that will allow tourist and cargo vessels to dock safely at our port in Little Bay.  Similarly, DFID has recently assured GoM of their continued commitment to the Subsea Fiber Optic Project, and the Government of Montserrat is on track to present a funding model that meets their new requirements in January.  Significant progress on the project is expected to take place in 2018.

The financial agreement for the European Union Development Fund (EDF 11) of 18.4 million Euros for 2018 to 2020 is to be signed in a few weeks.  The first tranche of these moneys should be available as part of the 2018 March budget.  Thanks to the European Union these 18.4 million Euros will fund energy, tourism, infrastructure and projects in other sectors.

As we all know, January to March are generally slow months for our economy, so it is important for the people of Montserrat to be aware of what is in the pipeline to create employment over the next few weeks and months.

This year we expect several projects for the remaining portion of this year’s capital budget to start shortly. Many of the following will be completed or well underway by March:

  • The four two-bedroom social needs houses went out to tender in December. Bids have come back in and are being evaluated with the hope of having a winning tender and contract in place shortly.
  • A contract has been awarded for the installation of a new roof on the Montserrat Port Authority building while the extension to the Ferry terminal building in Little bay is in its final stage of design before procurement. Construction is expected to start very soon.
  • As a result of the damage across the island caused by the recent hurricanes Irma & Maria, we will continue, over the coming weeks and months, to spend relief funds to assist our farmers and fishermen, and to carry out urgent repairs and rehabilitation to several tourist attraction sites, clear roads, cut verges, as well as urgent works on the Carrs Bay Bridge – due to start in the first quarter of this year.
  • The drilling of the 3rd well as well as short and long term testing is to be completed by DfID in 2018. GoM has taken the initiative to conduct early market engagement for the development of the Geothermal surface plant.
  • The public service is presently the principal driver of Montserrat’s economy. We therefore hope that funding a major reform and modernisation programme for the public service will also be approved in the coming months.
  • During the coming months, we will approve an Economic Growth Strategy and Delivery Plan following further consultation. The Economic Growth Strategy aims to accomplish two critical goals regarding the development of the private sector.

The first is to have a continuous and open dialogue with the private sector on critical issues for moving Montserrat forward.

The second is to get the private sector fully involved in creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth for all Montserratians.

Montserrat’s economy must and shall be transformed for the better of all.

I am convinced that even after 20 years of dependency it is not too late to put corrective measures in place for our resilient and sustainable growth and development.  2018 offers the British Government and the Government and people of Montserrat a unique chance to show the world what can be done, when good will and unity of purpose, backed by adequate funding, are finally applied to our own volcano-devastated island.

This does not mean that we are going to depend solely on HMG who have an important part to play in funding the replacement of key infrastructure and other development needs, for which we are thankful.  With that foundation we must build a modern and vibrant Montserrat with our creativity, entrepreneurship and the hard work of all, young and old.

We must all, Government, and people of Montserrat near and far, be committed to the vision of the sustainable development Plan for Montserrat which speaks of “a thriving, modern economy with a friendly, vibrant community in which all of our people through enterprise and initiative can fulfil their hopes in a truly democratic and God-fearing society.”

I believe that our vision of a democratic and God-fearing Montserrat that is resilient, modern, lively, prosperous, yet peaceful, safe and welcoming is shared by all who love this island. With all hands on deck, and all pulling in the same direction, Montserrat will not remain a welfare-dependent state for long and our vision of a Montserrat standing on its own two feet could soon be a reality.

There is a time for everything and it is now time to let Montserrat Grow. We are all called for such a time and purpose as this.

Fellow Citizens, Residents and friends of Montserrat as we begin 2018, I want once again, to thank you for your cooperation, hard work and contribution over the past year.  Finally, on behalf of myself, my family, and the Government of Montserrat, to those of us here on Island as well as the many overseas I wish each and every one a New Year of restored hope and faith in Montserrat’s future under God.

God bless you all and God bless Montserrat.

END

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Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth Gives a Surprisingly Romantic Shout-Out in Her Annual Christmas Speech

People – Royals
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II – John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty

Lindsay Kimble and Simon Perry

December 24, 2017

Queen Elizabeth is keeping her sentiments focused on home during her annual Christmas message, paying tribute to her husband Prince Philip, as well as the people of the United Kingdom during the 2017 broadcast.

Honoring the Duke of Edinburgh, 96 — with whom she just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary — the Queen voiced praise for Philip’s “support and unique sense of humor.”

“I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born,” she said. “You weren’t expected to be around that long. Even Prince Philip has decided it’s time to slow down a little – having, as he economically put it, “done his bit”. But I know his support and unique sense of humor will remain as strong as ever, as we enjoy spending time this Christmas with our family and look forward to welcoming new members into it next year.”

And like proud grandmothers and great-grandmothers everywhere, the Queen had a few beloved family photos on display on her desk during the broadcast. Framed photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte sat nearest to the Queen. She also had a photo from her wedding day and the official portrait she and Philip took this year to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

During the address, the Queen noted, “We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity and love… there is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home.”

She also noted the technological advances during her record-breaking reign: “Sixty years ago today, a young woman spoke about the speed of technological change as she presented the first television broadcast of its kind. She described the moment as a landmark.”

“Back then, who could have imagined that people would one day be watching this on laptops and mobile phones – as some of you are today. But I’m also struck by something that hasn’t changed.  That, whatever the technology, many of you will be watching this at home.”

The 91-year-old also paid tribute to her country’s resilience amid terror attacks in 2017 on both London and Manchester.

Sky News/Getty

“This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past twelve months in the face of appalling attacks,” the Queen remarked.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who died and those who lost so much; and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives, this past year, saving others.  Many of them, of course, will not be at home today because they are working, to protect us,” she said.

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The message was filmed this year in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace and also features performances by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Artistic Director, Paul Carroll.

The choir was comprised of 52 children, in representation of the 52 nations of the Commonwealth.

For the occasion, the Queen wore an ivory white bouclé dress embellished with Swarovski crystals, designed by Angela Kelly.

 

The Queen’s address was broadcasted on television and radio on Christmas day, and was also available on the Royal Channel on Youtube.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip headed from Buckingham Palace to Sandringham House last week, where they’re celebrating Christmas.

 
 

Chris Jackson/Getty

Last year, the Queen skipped out on much of the festivities due to a heavy cold. She didn’t go out on Christmas Day for the services at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and she wasn’t seen in public until early January. Then, she headed to church with Prince William and Kate Middleton – and helped them celebrate Kate’s 35th birthday, by entertaining the couple and their friends at a dinner.

In addition to further celebrating her and Philip’s anniversary, the royal couple will be joined by Prince Harry and fiancé Meghan Markle.

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F A Rupert Mullings, CD

Passing of a Caribbean stalwart – F A Rupert Mullings

Rupert Mullings

The passing of F A Rupert Mullings, CD, – Feb 2, 1930 – July 18, 2017, late of of Bull Savannah and Big Woods (St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica), the Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados and the Ministry of Finance, Jamaica, was announced quietly, he having died shortly after his son Gordon, who resides in Montserrat with his wife and family, had arrived to visit with him in hospital in Jamaica.

At the age of 87 he left his lovingly remembered by wife; Winnifred (Winnie), sons; Gordon (lives with wife and children in Montserrat) and Ian, brother; Alfred, sisters; Jasmine, Leonora and Cynthia, grandchildren; Jacinth and Allen, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and colleagues

F A Rupert Mullings, CD

A thanksgiving service was held for the life of F A Rupert Mullings at St Aidan Anglican Church, Bull Savannah, on August 5, 2017; “in-urn-ment” of ashes followed at 11:00 a.m. on August 11, at Bull Savannah.

The scripture Verse for life that appeared on the service program: 2 Tim 2:15a: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God.”

Among the many tributes that were published after his passing, the following captures what most who know would likely and say of Mr. Mullings.

PERSONAL AND CDB TRIBUTE FOR THE LIFE OF FAIRFAX AMYAS RUPERT MULLINGS

Marius St Rose, August 5,  2017, St Aidan Church, Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, Jamaica

My first encounter with Mr Mullings was in 1971 in Jamaica where he tried to recruit me to join him and now the late Aynsley Elliot to assist in establishing a research department for the Jamaica Tourist Board. Our lives became virtually psychologically and philosophically bonded, when five years later, and in Barbados, over a span of eleven years he became my and CDBs Director of Economics and Programming, and later, the institutions ranking Vice President. He mentored, tutored, inspired, encouraged and guided me through a meteoric rise in CDB from the positions of Economist, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Director and, ultimately, as his replacement as Vice President Operations over the comparatively short period of under twelve years.

He was invited to be part of the early formative CDB management team for this premiere regional financial institution but chose to influence its ownership, governance and financial structures and corporate philosophy from the sidelines of the Ministry of Finance, where he was Deputy Financial Secretary of Jamaica which country, is, with Trinidad and Tobago, CDB’s largest shareholder. But when he did get on board in 1976, he began to make his influence felt. He continued the work of Arthur Lewis in enhancing the intellectual rigour of CDB’s work to contribute to the optimal social and economic development of our English speaking Caribbean, and gave the institution international credibility, integrity and respect. He never got, formally, to the top but was as effective, influential and as, and even more impactful, than many of its formal leaders. Mr Mullings was an invaluable asset to any institution but his uncompromising attitude to rightly principles, and his unscrupulous integrity and honesty would never see him ascending to the top in man made institutions. In the next three years when the fiftieth anniversary of CDB is evaluated and celebrated the following five names will stand out as the greatest management contributors to the early and lasting development of CDB: Sir Arthur Lewis (vision, management, international profile); William Demas (economic development and regionalism); Sir Neville Nicholls (legal issues and matters); Crispin Sorhaindo (public administration and human resource management; and Rupert Mullings (macro-and micro- economic and financial analysis).

To those who knew Mr Mullings well will remember him and his qualities and attributes and his legacy around the following:

  • Endowed with a brilliant mind, effectively utilized to serve God’s purpose;
  • A capacity and willingness for hard work;
  • Charitable and generous and always willing to help spiritually & materially;
  • A very indefatigable and relentless fighter for causes that he was convinced about;
  • Exemplary Christian Living;
  • Privately proud of his undisputed abilities but very modest in public about them;
  • Self-confident and articulate public speaker;
  • Maintained few but deep, loyal and genuine friendships; and
  • A great keeper of Official Secrets and Personal

We both retired from CDB to our respective homelands: his loving Bull Savannah for him and Saint Lucia for me. We maintained frequent telephone contact and, once, about three years ago, I had the privilege of visiting him, and his lovely wife Winnie, in Bull Savannah. When I recall all that he had done for me, for CDB, Jamaica, and for the region and noting the continuing sharpness of his mind and the clarity of his thought and expression I encouraged him to write his memoirs for its own intellectual stimulation, his grandchildren, for posterity and to be an inspiration to the many who are coming after him who need positive role models. He did, and wrote an unpublished 101 page manuscript entitled “Little Man from Bigwoods” :Brief Memoirs of Fairfax Amyas Rupert Mullings. I will give him the last words that he wrote in the manuscript:

“LAST LICK: Little Clay of Bigwoods lo(o)sing Plasticity”

“Now, like the personality in a Western movie, I must ride off into the sunset, never to have another act. And here ride I, without a horse, but “with a saddle bag of miracle pills, that replace other miracle pills which have lost some of their miracle”. I trudge, and stoop, and grunt, and stagger and stop. But I press on, knowing that very few people of my age die; because they are already dead. I know I must join them. But I am ready. For I

trust my living Saviour to make me live again! And with no grief, and no pain. May I, though dead, yet speak to those, who remain. And touch them like the school boys ‘las lick’, which was really “Goodbye, till tomorrow! ” Amen!

The St Rose, Sir Neville Nichols and CDB families join his wife for 10 days short of 61 years, your nuclear and extended blood and adopted families to say farewell, to commend you for a long life well spent, and to wish you the perpetual and pain free peace yearned, as promised, us by our Dear Saviour, Jesus. Your biggest regret was predeceasing Winnie but you know that everything will be alright as God is in charge and knows best.

Farewell dear friend and mentor!

 

Our condolences from Montserrat Printing & Publishing Inc. and The Montserrat Reporter especially to Gordon Mullings and his family.

 

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derek Walcotts

Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Walcott, dies

By Ernie Seon

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Mar 17, CMC – The St Lucia born poet and playwright, Sir Derek Walcott, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, and had the distinction of bringing the history and culture of the Caribbean people to the attention of a global community died on Friday. He was 87.

He was one of two St. Lucians to have received the prestigious Nobel Prize, following Sir Arthur Lewis, who won the award for economics in 1979.

“When everyone speaks about excellence in St. Lucia and describe St. Lucia with any kind of superlatives, clearly the two names that stand tall in St. Lucia’s history are those of Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott,” said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet as he led the island in paying tribute to the gifted cultural icon.

derek Walcotts
Sir Derek Walcott

Sir Derek Alton Walcott, died at his home at Cap Estate, north of here, and had been ailing for some time and had been on a dialysis machine, a family source said.

He had recently been released from hospital and passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside.

“While he and I may not have agreed on everything, he was always very consistent and very emotional about being Caribbean and being original,” Chastanet, said describing Sir Derek as someone who always participated in many national events.

 “He continued to fly the flag real high,” Chastanet said, adding “we can now sit back and reflect on his achievements which are so incredible”.

The St. Lucia government has ordered all fly flags to be flown at half mast, at least until Tuesday.

“I am in discussion with his wife, his partner, Sigrid and also in discussion with the artistic community here in St. Lucia of what other tributes we can pay to this icon of a man,” Chastanet said.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque tweeted that Walcott was “a Caribbean treasure” while the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) said that Walcott’s “soul will forever live on through his body of award-winning literary works”.

OECS Chairman and St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said that Walcott weas awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992 “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.

“Sir Walcott’s poetry was a reflection of his deep commitment to his country and the Caribbean, as it masterfully captured the physical beauty of his milieu.  It was this idyllic social environment that he gravitated towards throughout his life, choosing to spend much of his time in his homeland of St. Lucia where he died today at the age of 87.”

Dominican-born playwright Dr. Alwyn Bully, whose theatre company had produced many of Walcott’s plays, described him “as one of the greatest writers of the world.

“I think he also had the distinction of bringing the history and culture of the cari8bbean people to the attention of literacy circles worldwide, Bully said, adding that Walcott had encouraged many other playwrights.

“He will be solely missed by the entire Caribbean, but his work will endure forever,” Bully said.

The international media reported Friday that Walcott’s monumental poetry, including 1973’s verse autobiography, Another Life, and his Caribbean reimagining of The Odyssey, 1990’s Omeros, “secured him an international reputation which gained him the Nobel Prize in 1992.”

But this was matched by a theatrical career conducted mostly in the islands of his birth as a director and writer with more than 80 plays to his credit.

He won the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2011. His winning collection for the TS Eliot Prize, White Egrets, was called “a moving, risk-taking and technically flawless book by a great poet” by the judges.

“The arts fraternity, St. Lucia and the world has lost one of its noted literary icons, Sir Derek Walcott,” the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) here said in a statement, noting that “he was very vocal about the island’s culture and heritage and its preservation and his love for Saint Lucia and the Caribbean was evident in his numerous mentions of “home” in his work.

Walcott was born on January 23, 1930 in the capital, Castries and he had acknowledged that the experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott’s life and work.

Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town’s Methodist school.

After studying at St. Mary’s College here and at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962).

In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays.

For many years, he has divided his time between Trinidad, where he had his home as a writer, and Boston University, where he taught literature and creative writing.

His illustrious body of work includes: Three Plays: The Last Carnival; Beef, No Chicken and A Branch of the Blue Nile (1969), Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays (1970), The Joker of Seville and O Babylon! (1978), Remembrance and Pantomime (1980), The Isle is Full of Noises (1982), Omeros (1990) and The Odyssey: A Stage Version (1992).

Walcott received numerous awards including a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s medal of Poetry and a MacArthur Foundation genius award.  In 2016, as part of Independence celebrations, he was given the title of “Sir”, one of the first to be knighted under the Order of St. Lucia.

Sir Derek Walcott, is survived by three children Peter, Elizabeth, and Anna.

State funeral for Sir Derek Walcott

The St. Lucia government Tuesday announced that the Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Alton Walcott, will be given a state funeral on Saturday.

State funerals are usually reserved for heads of state and governments, but the Allen Chastanet government approved of the decision on Monday in light of Walcott’s exceptional contribution to the literary and artistic legacy of St.Lucia, the Caribbean and the world.

The funeral of Sir Derek poet, artist, playwright, and 1992 Nobel Laureate in Literature, will take place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in the capital starting at 2.00 pm (local time) and his body will lie in state at the Parliament for public viewing ahead of the service that will be broadcast live and shown on television screens at the nearby Square that bears Walcott’s name.

Sir Derek will be buried at Morne Fortune, near the Inniskilling Monument, a site vested in the St. Lucia National Trust and within close proximity of fellow Nobel Laureate, Sir Arthur Lewis.

A government statement noted that an evening of tribute and celebration will be held on Friday at the National Cultural Centre hosted by the Cultural Development Foundation and will include readings, recitations and performances by local and visiting artists, writers and musicians.

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Guyana flags

Guyana celebrating Mashramani

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Feb 23, CMC – Guyana is marking the 47th anniversary of republican status with President David Granger saying it provides an opportunity to “celebrate the uniqueness of our nationhood”.

Addressing the flag raising ceremony at D’urban Park, Granger paid tribute to early inhabitants of the country whom he said “have welded our country, irreversibly, into a plural society.

“The Republic guaranteed greater cultural freedom, encouraged diverse beliefs, respected differences of creed, culture, race or religion and entrenched constitutional protection to proscribe discrimination.

Guyana flags“The Republic started the task of shaping a society that was culturally plural by promoting the unhindered celebration of the Christian, Islamic and the Hindu festivals. The Republic aspired to ensure that we would live together in harmony free from racial and religious conflict,” he added.

Granger said Guyana is committed to eliminating extreme poverty, eradicating inequalities; expanding the space for cultural diversity and enhancing the sense of national belonging.

He said the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country is becoming a more socially cohesive country, working “towards the well-being of all its members, fights exclusion and marginalisation, creates a sense of belonging [and] promotes trust.

“Guyana’s various cultural threads have been interwoven into the tapestry of nationhood. We celebrate, today, our republicanism and our pluralism. We have achieved unity by our diversity.”

In his address, President Granger highlighted the contributions of East Indians to the country’s development as they also celebrate the 100th anniversary of their arrival here as indentured servants.

He said said 2017 is an opportunity for Guyana to celebrate the contributions of the Indian community and credited the almost 240,000 Indians, who were transported to then British Guiana from 1838 to work mainly on sugar plantations, with contributing to the cultural and economic development of Guyana.

“Most of the indentured immigrants remained to make our country their home at the end of their contracts of service. They invigorated our cultural life with devotional festivals, colourful dress, tasty foods, vivacious dance, vibrant music, two great world religions – Hinduism and Islam – and other cultural retentions.

“Indian indentured immigration reshaped our economic landscape by making an indelible mark on the cattle, coconut, fishing, rice and sugar industries. The Indian impact is visible on every aspect of national life – the arts, business, diplomacy, education, engineering, industry, jewellery, law, media, medicine, politics, the public service and trade unionism,” he said.

President Granger said Guyana’s 47th anniversary as a republic “is a happy occasion to celebrate the uniqueness of our nationhood” intensified efforts to unite the descendants of fore-parents who were brought to these shores, either as enslaved workers or indentured labourers, to toil on the plantations.

“Independence reminded us, also, that it was their struggles – their resistance, revolts and riots on the plantations – which helped to make their descendants a free people and to make this country a free state.

“The establishment of the Cooperative Republic on 23rd February 1970 intensified our efforts to unite our peoples into a plural nation under the inspirational motto – ‘One people, One nation, One destiny’,” he said.

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