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TMR was asked, ‘why so little festival coverage?’

A comment posted on the website asked: “Why is there so little coverage in this newspaper about events taking place as Montserrat celebrates its 50th year of festival? Assuming that one or more reporters from the paper are attending the events and so would expect to see more coverage than this sole article. We are after all now into the second week of festival.”

Our brief response:


Did you notice that there has not been not one note of Festival ads/notices/info in the paper for the entire year?  The startling reality of this came to this crisis and the source of its perpetration only recently became evident.

However, who are the people that will bring the real wealth at Festival time even before the crisis? The working MNIs who can come for two weeks and the rest of the world, that The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) reaches via the internet, are in the tens of thousands. is accessed by people from over 170 countries around the world, with the most visits and hits out of the US, UK, Europe to the least Macau. There is also the Facebook page and amazing number read and download the online print pages.

The question is also appropriate and a response relevant, regarding the Little Bay, port and new town development. The story may be different but the ignorance is the same.

There is a direct effort to kill this newspaper and one way they do it is not to give any kind of business to it. Starve its progress and development, but deny Montserrat exposure.  Unfortunately, in the end, the big loser is Montserrat, and there are those who know that.

We still look for a responsible government who recognizes interest in the people to know that they have an obligation to reach all the people all the time. The majority are without computers or access. Strong emphasis on social media, but the informed knows its place.

It might explain in simpler terms that after TMR was told that its staff will be limited to two passes to cover festival committee event during festival. Should passes be necessary? To satisfy ignorance; and to avoid delay since the gate keepers are rarely knowledgeable how to deal with independent media personnel. Except that the level of ignorance does exist in other quarters, there is usually no difficulty with the private shows that insist on media coverage, but naturally need identities.

Posted in Columns, Feedbacks, News1 Comment

‘FEEDback – “Progress comes only with responsibility”

Author : Johnny Mac (IP: ,
E-mail :
Development is a multifaceted exercise. It is not just the result of a partnership between HMG and GOM. While they play critical roles in the process, development is much more multifaceted than that. Indeed there can be no authentic development unless the general population is the main force – morally, legally, intellectually, and commercially. Indeed we shouldn’t condone a plutocracy. Freedom is never free! Every one of us at home and those living in exile have a vested interest in Montserrat’s redevelopment and must be allowed to make the invaluable contributions that are absolutely required for the country’s redevelopment. If it becomes necessary to take civil/political action against the government, then patriotism and commitment to brotherhood and sisterhood requires that we do that. I keep saying that “freedom is never free! When the people lead the leaders will follow.” Are we suggesting that we have a dictatorial regime, or is it because people keep their tongues tied so they can get an extra piece of bread from Massa, or because are they disinterested or afraid? In any of these cases the redevelopment of Montserrat will be still born, and poverty and misery our constant companion. They will be the just rewards for our apathy and selfishness. Don’t keep blaming the government. The elected officials are selfish, incompetent and dishonest. They seem to lack the virtues of honesty, integrity, fairness and commonsense. However they cannot reelect themselves. I keep thinking that if the slaves who fought for their freedom had instead showed timidity and selfishness that we exhibit we may still be living in slavery today. At least the Hon. Reuben Meade has many characteristics of a slave master.

Posted in Columns, Feedbacks, Opinions0 Comments

FEEDback – FlyMontserrat Woes – Montserrat

FlyMontserrat Woes – Add Sabotage to the mix

by Rev Dr John Weekes <>

Not surprisingly, many people who are regular passengers on FlyMontserrat, and those living abroad who have already booked tickets to fly from Antigua to Montserrat for the Christmas holidays are very worried because of the fatal accident on October 7 and followed just days afterwards by another, though minor, flying incident.

So we are apparently now at a stage where the aircrafts are grounded and some people I hear are asking for refunds. Speaking about refunds, I hardly think that, from a legal point of view, I am no lawyer mind you, the airline at this stage at least would be compellable to make refunds as a temporary grounding would hardly be seen as grounds for vitiating or frustrating a contract to be formed in the future.

More to the point, however, and what should be of the utmost concern is the cause of the two most recent incidents in the first place. I was never a pilot; but I have spent 5 years in and around airplanes, pilots, mechanics, engineers and well over a hundred hours in the air over a period of 5 years. During that time I formed a settled opinion, based on those experiences, that airplanes properly serviced and maintained just do not fall out of the sky.

In my experience, aircrafts crash because of :
a) Poor maintenance,
b) Human error, including pilot’s error,
c) Sabotage
d) Mechanical failure.

Like your car, aircrafts must be regularly serviced and maintained in order to avoid accidents. The big difference is the aircraft comes with a service manual and time table which must be strictly and rigidly followed. The trouble here is that often small and financially strapped airlines will defer and hold off maintenance schedules until it is too late. This needless to say would result in (d) mechanical failure, which, as was premised earlier really ever occur, and when it does may still be attributable to human error, which in turn would be negligence.

By contrast, the vast majority of air accidents are caused by human error, a combination of pilots, air traffic controllers and the like.

Since from about the mid to late sixties, another accident element, perhaps the most likely accident element, has been that of sabotage, the details of which we all know and about which most air travelers are most concerned. I have not added adverse weather conditions, because here again, with modern and advanced meteorological equipment and reports, bad weather conditions can be more often than not avoided. Yes a blinding snow storm can be hazardous for flying; but even the worst thunderstorm and lightening rarely affect the safety of an airplane.

Of course, in all of this we are talking specifically about a fifteen twenty minutes flight which should be like a picnic in the park. If an aircraft takes off with its braking system intact, it remains intact on landing. Leaks in the braking system do not spring up while the airplane is in the air, and certainly not half hour later. Neither do an engine which is working fine on takeoff suddenly stops working a few minutes later.

Let us look at this initial report that the fuel system was apparently corrupted or contaminated by water. We know that fuel and water do not mix. Fuel is not soluble and it is not porous. By soluble I mean it’s not like salt or sugar in water. Both are said to be soluble. But it’s not like water and alcohol which are porous, that is to say the molecules of both water and alcohol can occupy the same molecular space at the same time. If you pour water into a gas such as aviation fuel, the water would sink to the bottom because of its greater density. So then, if somehow water got into the gas line of that ill-fated plane, did the pilot test the engines before take off? If it was working fine, why did it suddenly moments later stop working? Surely, with a full tank of gas and just some water, the gas being lighter would have been first sucked into the engine. If water started to intrude, the engine would spit and splutter, thereby giving the pilot a little more time to gain some height or do a circuit, feather the mal-functioning engine, and bring the plane in to land, bearing in mind that a half loaded plane of that type and size should have been able to fly all the way to Montserrat on a single engine.

I have said all of this to say, grounding the aircrafts for a time is not a bad thing. Something is wrong and we need to find the underlying cause of it. The final report on the crash is not likely to be available before the Christmas season. So I say, let us be calm, let us have faith, and let us have confidence that if good will abounds, and the operators are on the up and up, whatever the cause of these mishaps can be determined and FlyMontserrat will continue to fly safely and proudly again.

Rev Dr. John Weekes

Posted in Feedbacks, News, Opinions2 Comments

FEEDback – FlyMontserrat plane crashes at VC Bird, Antigua Airport

by Chris Lynt 

E-mail :

My last trip out this summer, Jason was the pilot. VC Bird airport is often subject to very storng winds, even when the weather is clear. In stormy conditions, a microburst could occur. The revving of the engines would be consistent with the pilot trying to compensate for an apparent loss of airspeed due to the lateral effects of a microburst near the ground during takeoff.

From wikipedia “A microburst often causes aircraft to crash when they are attempting to land (the above-mentioned BOAC and Pan Am flights are notable exceptions). The microburst is an extremely powerful gust of air that, once hitting the ground, spreads in all directions. As the aircraft is coming in to land, the pilots try to slow the plane to an appropriate speed. When the microburst hits, the pilots will see a large spike in their airspeed, caused by the force of the headwind created by the microburst.

A pilot inexperienced with microbursts would try to decrease the speed. The plane would then travel through the microburst, and fly into the tailwind, causing a sudden decrease in the amount of air flowing across the wings. The decrease in airflow over the wings of the aircraft causes a drop in the amount of lift produced. This decrease in lift combined with a strong downward flow of air can cause the thrust required to remain at altitude to exceed what is available.”

Posted in Columns, Feedbacks, News, Opinions0 Comments

FEEDback – Tobacco, Sodas and Alcohol

“Restrict use of sodas for healthy living, but manufacture tobacco for export”

by Jo-anna
E-mail :

The man must be nuts! He won’t condemn alcohol because that is he has his own problems with alcohol, so he cannot condemn what he loves. How can he speak about non-communicable diseases and not recognize cancer as a result of tobacco consumption?

How dare he use the word hypocritical? Is it not hypocritical in itself to supposedly care only about the health of Montserratians and not care about the lives of those who will get the tobacco after it is produced in Montserrat? How does he know no Montserratian will get it? Blood is on his hands. TELL HIM I SAID SO!

I hope the next government or God himself shuts down that production facility. May God’s will be done. Is that the only project he could think of, great economist that he is? Shame!

The soda decision was a good move, the tobacco decision sounds like it was made by someone in a stupor.

Posted in Feedbacks, News, Opinions1 Comment

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