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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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Premier Donaldson Romeo - Christmas Message - 2016

Premier Donaldson Romeo – Christmas Message – 2016

December 25, 2016

By: Honourable Premier, Donaldson Romeo

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Fellow citizens, residents and friends of Montserrat, greetings.

During this season of hope, I want to wish everyone a peaceful and joyous Christmas and a bright and prosperous 2017 when it comes.

This time of festivities & worship should serve as a reminder of why we celebrate the birth of Christ.  Christmas has become one of the busiest times of the year but let us not forget the true meaning of the Christmas season – the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the blessings of God’s love for all of us. Therefore, as we celebrate Christmas with friends and families, let the message of Christmas be at the centre of it all. His message for all the world is one of love and peace and goodwill to all.

As I reflect on the past year I have been deeply impressed by many in the community including public servants, private individuals and organisations, Non-Government organisations and Ministers of the Gospel, who have embodied the Christmas message of peace and goodwill and have reached out to those who need comfort, encouragement and support; and into whose lives the investment of your time and treasure have made a difference for good.

It is also important, especially at this time of the year that we give thanks to the many hardworking Doctors, nurses and staff of health services, social care, police officers, fire fighters, security and emergency services’ staff, carers and volunteers who will be working over the festive period. Your dedication and commitment is very much appreciated.

I must also, thank Montserratians living abroad for the unfailing support you have given in one form or another to advance Montserrat throughout this past year. To the many persons who have returned home to be with their families and loved ones at this time of the year, I wish to say welcome and thank you for coming.

We must also say thank you to Her Majesty’s Government, the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in particular for their continued support.  For 2017 we hope to see the establishment of a joint vision and strategy that promotes high value capital investments which would ultimately lead to continued prosperity, growth and social development on island.

Thanks and best wishes to all, young and old, who assists the GoM in touching the lives of the people on Monsterrat.  Together you are the hands and feet of Jesus and we appreciate the selfless contribution to society.  With Christ’s spirit and power, and together with one united vision and purpose for the good of all, all things are possible.

It is for this reason that I am confident that each and all of us can look forward to 2017 with much hope & optimism.

So, as we look back at the year that has passed and as the New Year comes into view, let us come together and remember that there is far more that unites us than divides us. In offering my best wishes for you and your loved ones this Christmas, amidst the merriment and gatherings with family, friends and those in need, may we all reflect on the true meaning of the hope represented by the Season and commit ourselves afresh in this mission to build Montserrat’s future, the land we love.

Let us commit to make 2017 a year that unites us around one common purpose – to help each other lead the lives we want to lead, and to continue building a better Montserrat for all. We do have much reason to be proud as Montserratians, for we have accomplished great things, against difficult odds at times.

Merry Christmas one and all! Wishing you peace, love, joy and hope this holiday season. 

May God Bless each and every one of you and may God continue to bless Montserrat.

Thank you.

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By-election set for January 30, 2017

Montserrat will have its first by-election in over thirty-five years when voters go to the polls to vote for a replacement on the Legislative seat left vacant by former Premier and leader of the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP), Opposition Leader Reuben T. Meade.

This will take place on January 30 2017 when Montserrat votes will attend at the polls.

Her Excellency Elizabeth Carrier the Governor announced the date, during her Press Conference held on November 29, 2016, at the Governor’s Office, in Brades. She indicated she had just signed the Election Writ as per guidelines set by the island’s Constitution after meeting with the Electoral Commission chairman, Sir Howard Fergus.

On January 17, 2017, is carded as Nomination day when persons will declare their candidacy at St. Patrick Co-operative Credit Union Hall in Brades. Several candidates have come forward to formally announce their vie for the vacated seat in the by-election. Such include: Jermaine Wade, Keithroy “DeBEAR” Morson, Victor James and Dr. Samuel Joseph, with no female candidacy in the air.

The Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP), announced its candidate in the person of Dr. Samuel Joseph, which forced the expectant Jermaine Wade to declare himself as an independent, an action which caused anger and his dismissal from the party.

There is no commitment on a candidate from the incumbent government People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), but one minister has suggested that the party should not enter a contestant.

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Office of the Premier Logo

THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ACCESS UPDATE #3

Office of the Premier LogoThe MV Joyce Ship will depart Bryson’s Pier, Heritage Quay Antigua to Port Little Bay, Montserrat at 4pm on Saturday 16th, April 2016. Cargo will be accepted up until 3pm on Saturday 16th, April 2016.

The handling agent in Antigua is Jenny Tours. They can be contacted at (268) 778-9786 or via email jennyvb@hotmail.co.uk.

Montserrat Customs Revenue Service will facilitate the timely processing and release of frozen goods at the Ferry Terminal.  Dry goods will be processed in accordance with procedures for a cargo vessel and taken to the port cargo shed and will be processed and released in the normal way during working days.

The handling agent for this service is Jemmotte Shipping. They can be contacted at (664) 496-9912.

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Office of the Premier Logo

THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ACCESS UNIT UPDATE #2

Office of the Premier LogoTHE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT ACCESS UNIT UPDATE #2

Please be advised of the following:

  • Persons booking on Fly Montserrat must go to the Access Office located on the top floor of the E. Carney Osborne Building in Little Bay, with their ferry ticket for refund.

Please note: Ferry tickets are valid for one year of purchase date. Refunds are only available for those persons traveling within this interim period of 7th April to 7th May.

  • Persons must plan and book ahead of traveling. Additional flights will be scheduled upon demand by both Fly Montserrat and SVG Air. They can be contacted at telephone numbers: 491-3434 and 491-4200.
  • Persons requiring cargo services between Antigua and Montserrat should continue to contact the Access Office at 491-4702 or 491-4703.

Posted in Announcements/Greetings0 Comments

Rep12-Apr08_16.indd

Premier’s Office Release on Ferry transportation facilitated by airlines

Rep12-Apr08_16.indd

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