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Montserrat Youth Accepted to OECS Fashion Design Programme

“Local Business woman with regional impact”

Edella Allen

Miss. Edella Allen has been accepted to the first cohort of the OECS Fashion Design Programme which shall be delivered online from February 11th to September 18th 2019. Miss. Allen, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Montserrat, is the owner of Classics Boutique, which already has a regional and international market for the sale of custom made outfits and fashion designs.

Participants in the programme will be provided with a broad range of support to include target market profile, collection conceptualization, trend forecasting, collection title/inspirational words, mood-board/inspiration board sketches/ technical flats, fabrication/sourcing, manufacturing/production and timelines/ completion, buyer and brand matching/ B2B and sales facilitation.

This CBU intervention is the latest in a series of events targeting the sub-sector since 2015 under the 10th EDF Regional Integration for Trade of the OECS.

The opportunity was promoted by MATHLE and the Youth and Sports Development Programme. Lyston Skerritt, Coordinator of the Youth and Sports Development Programme stated, “We are proud of Miss Allen and our continued success in recent regional opportunities. It shows Montserrat has the skills and talent to participate at the highest level.”

Edella shows off her fashion

When asked about the opportunity, Miss Allen stated, “From this programme I would like to tap into a regional and international market and expand the success of the company”

In this programme, the CBU is targeting emerging as well as export-ready companies involved in the design and production of apparel and accessories in OECS Member States.

At the end of the intervention, the CBU hopes to help further strengthen the fashion and design value chain in the OECS and provide designers with an avenue for increased exposure of their various products and services.

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Posted in CARICOM, Entertainment, Fashion, Local, News, OECS, TOURISM, Youth0 Comments

Redhead on the bench in Montserrat - DSC_5880 web

Justice Albert Redhead dies

Some sections of the legal fraternity here and across the Eastern Caribbean are said to in mourning at the news of the death of retired Justice Albert Redhead who died on March 4 after a brief period of illness in Antigua.

Justice on the bench in Montserrat

He has been referred to as a “powerhouse’ while Justice Keith Thom, the husband of Justice Gertel Thom who sat with Justice Redhead on the bench to officially mark in Montserrat, said of Justice Redhead a former colleague was a ‘legal giant’.

“He was my mentor and my friend. I recall the days when I appeared before him as a prosecutor. Every day was a learning experience,” he said, adding that he was happy he was able to express his love and respect directly to Justice Redhead when he was alive.

According to the Antigua Daily Observer, there have been similar sentiments expressed as tributes poured in throughout the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association.

Justice Redhead has served throughout the OECS region. He was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1972 and two years later he moved to Saint Kitts and Nevis where he began working as a Crown Counsel. He moved on to being Registrar of the High Court and also served as a magistrate of the courts. In 1980 he became the Director of Public Prosecutions for Saint Kitts and Nevis, before moving on to becoming a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ECSC in 1985.

In 1997 he became an Appeals Court Judge of the same court, serving often in Montserrat, retiring in 2003 but was re-appointed more than once thereafter to act as a judge in the High Court in several countries in the OECS.

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Posted in Court, International, Legal, Local, News, Obituaries, OECS, Regional0 Comments

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

by staff writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 9, CMC – National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has condemned the murders of two students of the Donald Quarrie High School, who were killed by gunmen as they slept at their home in Portmore, St. Catherine on  the south east of the island on Thursday night.

Police said that 14 year-old Brittany Allen and 15 year-old David Cameron, were lying in a bed when gunmen entered and shot the teenagers in their heads.

“When young, high school students are killed, the loss to the nation cannot be quantified,” Chang said in a statement, adding that the “the community has taken on a culture of violent crime.

“The police continue to improve their response capabilities through the strengthening the Anti-Gang Task Force, to better manage areas of high crime and gang violence, to support the efforts of the police, we will increase expenditure to programmes that teach our youth life skills, discipline and patience,” he said, appealing to all Jamaicans to refrain from using violence as a method of resolving conflict.

“We must return to a nation where we are our brothers’ keepers and where life is considered sacred. Violence is never the solution,” he said.

Earlier this week, Chang also condemned the murder of six-year-old Jordanion Hodges, describing it as “a brutal and heartless act”.

Police said that Kuwayne Hemmings, 27, who was transporting Hodges along the Windsor main road in the St. James parish on the north west end of the island, was also killed.

“The killing of this child saddens me,” Chang said, adding “this kind of brazen assault on our people and this disregard for the life of a child will not be tolerated”.

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Are there dozens of “genders” and “sexual orientations” to be protected by law?

Are there dozens of “genders” and “sexual orientations” to be protected by law?


(A special – part 3)

Is it bigotry comparable to racism to challenge today’s radical sexual agendas (and their champions in the FAC)?

BRADES, Montserrat, March 4, 2019 – This is no longer a day of live and let live about sexual identity, orientation and gender identity. That is the message sent by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee when they demanded that the five Caribbean OT’s fall in line and pass laws to homosexualise marriage or face imposition by the UK. The FAC went so far as to speak of a “bar” – language previously used to speak of the racist colour bar used to rob colonised Africans of their rights. Clearly, if one dares to challenge the radical sexual activists, she or he can expect to be labelled irrational – a “phobia” is an irrational fear – and will be targetted, smeared and pushed into the same boat as racists. We cannot have a serious conversation under such polarised and hostile circumstances; but, a serious conversation is always the first thing we need if we are to make sound policy decisions and law. Something is wrong, deeply wrong.

To see just how badly wrong, let’s start with a few of the dozens of “genders” that are now being touted by the activists. These are taken from the Genderfluid Support web site’s “master list” (which runs from A to V):

“Any gender named _gender may be made into _boy, _girl, _nonbinary, etc. . . . .

Abimegender: a gender that is profound, deep, and infinite; meant to resemble when one mirror is reflecting into another mirror creating an infinite paradox Adamasgender: a gender which refuses to be categorized Aerogender: a gender that is influenced by your surroundings Aesthetigender: a gender that is derived from an aesthetic; also known as videgender Affectugender: a gender that is affected by mood swings Agender: the feeling of no gender/absence of gender or neutral gender Agenderflux: Being agender and having fluctuating feelings of masculinity or femininity, but NOT male or female”

These are literally the first seven items on the “master list.” And yes, that is the sort of obviously irrational confusion that is now on the table. A chaos that results from rejecting our naturally evident creation order. As we saw last time, “those who try to tamper with marriage or twist sex out of its right place are playing with ruinous fire.” So, let us instead turn to the patent clarity and good sense that Jesus taught:

“Have you never read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matt 19:4 – 6, AMP.]

But, what about sexual orientation, homosexuality, being gay or lesbian or bisexual? (After all, “sexual orientation” is protected in the Bill of Rights in Montserrat’s 2010 Constitution Order.)

The US-based Abortion-promoting Organisation, Planned Parenthood, suggests:

“Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. It’s different than gender identity. Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you ARE — male, female, genderqueer, etc. ”

Such definitions are of course always a work in progress, subject to extension as the radical agendas proceed. One may be sexually attracted and drawn to underage boys or girls, or to animals, or these days even robots. As was pointed out to the framers of the 2010 Constitution Order, “sexual orientation” is a psychological term not a legal one and it is dangerously vague and open to being pushed further and further into hitherto unmentionable territory. Already, we are seeing dozens of bizarre “gender” identities being touted. A warning.

But, aren’t these things genetically programmed so people cannot help what their genes made them do?

No. As we noted in the first article in this special series:

“. . . no complicated human behaviour has ever been shown to be actually determined by our genes. We are not mindless robots. The search for gay genes has unsurprisingly clearly failed despite the impressions given by the media and by ill-advised education. Instead, we are responsible, morally governed, conscience-guided. This clearly includes our sexual behaviour: our sexual attractions, acts and habits are under moral government. Of course, our impulses and behaviours can sometimes trap us in addictive, hard to escape patterns of life that are unwise, ill-advised (or even outright irrational), abnormal, damaging, disease-spreading, insanitary, destructive.

Common sense speaks again: such people need help.”

The above list of “genders” makes it very clear that that help needs to be psychological and spiritual. It is not for nothing that the Apostle Paul warned about the consequences of a civilisation turning its back on God, in Rom 1: 28 – 29: “since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing [as their Creator], God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil.” [AMP]

That is the bottom line: will we or will we not respect our Creator? We can already see the grim consequences of turning our backs on him. Finally, principled, concerned, compassionate questioning of and/or objection to the radical sexual agendas of our day is simply not bigotry equivalent to racism. That defamation stands exposed and must be retracted and apologised for. It is time to return our civilisation to sounder footing.

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Alvin Martin’s nolle prosequi

by a Contributor

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Oris Sullivan issued a nolle prosequi in a case, ending what court observers described was more of persecution than prosecution, of an assault charge against Mr. Alvin Martin, an industrial art – technical teacher at the Montserrat Secondary School, after a two-year wait. DPP  claimed he had enough evidence to successfully convict Mr. Martin. However out of a sense of generosity, the prosecution is ending the case.

Long standing defense counsel Mr. David Brandt argued that according to law, the case should have been concluded within a six-month period and suggested that the case was without merit in the first place. The student in question the attorney argued did not side with the prosecution. In fact according to him he was declared a ‘hostile’ witness by the prosecution as the student maintained in court that Mr. Martin did not bite him on his lip as claimed.

Student witnesses on the spot at the time of the incident also denied the prosecution’s claim.

ZJB News reporting on the matter said that Mr. Martin reported that the incident was grossly and maybe intentionally exaggerated by the school’s administration. No one at the school or the Ministry discussed the student-teacher contact with him before he was arrested and suspended from his job. “The fact is,” he says, “Ministry officials did not entertain him when he made requests to present his side of the story.” Martin accordingly said that a key Ministry official told him: “I have already heard the Principal’s version of the story,” and dismissed him.

Last year, another male teacher at the MSS was acquitted of assault in a matter we reported, should never have seen the courts. The concern for the public in such matters is the fall out that can result from matters of such nature and the cost to the public purse to be paying out monies, for no service as well as replacement teachers.

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Premier Romeo’s Statement at the memorial service for The Right Hon Professor Dr. George Irish (Harlem, New York, March 1, 2019)

Premier Romeo’s Statement at the memorial service for The Right Hon Professor Dr. George Irish (Harlem, New York, March 1, 2019)

Premier Donaldson Romeo

First and foremost, on behalf of the Government and the People of Montserrat wherever they may be, I would like to express profound condolences with wishes of peace and consolation to the wife, children, close relatives, and friends of The Right Hon Professor Dr. George Irish – son and hero of our native land.

Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time.

Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.  

I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to stand before you today to honour a great Montserratian whose life has left so many memories, indelible footprints, in all of our hearts.

He has left enduring footprints in our civic life and education, through trade union activity, the Credit Union, political activism and speeches, through lectures, sermons, classes and informal chats.

He has left his mark on Montserratian culture. Memories of the University Centre packed with people: Arrow on stage performing in his platform shoes, Gus white singing his heart out, Joe West playing the role of Willie Bramble, the newly formed Community Singers bringing National pride tears to our eyes with “Oh Montserrat in the Carib Sea”.

He impacted my own home, particularly through my mother, a firm fan of his. In the Black Power days of the late Sixties and early Seventies, we all wore afros, and our mother sewed up a storm of dashikis for the whole family, for just about every occasion. More importantly, we were taught to wear these symbols of our African heritage with pride, just as he did, as an outward sign of an inner liberation.

For, as sons and daughters of slaves, Montserratians had long learnt to be ashamed of our past, of the culture that had grown out of this past, of our so called “bad English”, of our very selves.

Doc Irish’s enthusiasm for Montserratian ness, for our history, our stories, our music, our jokes and our twang, was contagious, and made a priceless contribution to a joyous sense of national pride and celebration. He has left an imprint that goes way deeper than activism, deeper than clothes, or cultural events. He has left us a legacy of freedom and dignity that is encoded in the DNA of our little Caribbean Rock.

But no one could know Doc Irish for very long, especially in the later years of his life, without realizing that this was a man who loved and feared his God.

He clearly understood that the most important footprints any person can leave behind are not those, however inspiring, left in the shifting sands of time, but those he or she has made from standing firmly on the Eternal Rock of Ages.

Though I won’t see him again on the little Rock he loved so well, I hope with all my heart to see him again when God, through the Eternal Rock of ages, calls all His sleeping children back to vibrant life.

Thanks and may God bless us all.

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FAC Report pushes for homosexualisation of marriage How can Montserrat respond reasonably and responsibly

FAC Report pushes for homosexualisation of marriage How can Montserrat respond reasonably and responsibly

Contribution (A special)

BRADES, Montserrat, February 25, 2019 – In the February 8th issue of The Reporter, it was noticed that when Lord Ahmad appeared before the UK Foreign Affairs Committee, on December 18th last year:

“. . . right after the imposition of a public beneficial ownership register was put on the table, the very next issue raised was: similar imposition of “same-sex ‘marriage’ . . .”? (In other words, when our elected members struck a “compromise” with the FCO in 2010 such that the first “rights” to be protected in the 2010 Constitution Order are “sex” and “sexual orientation” while in Section 10 it asserted the “right to marry a person of the opposite sex” and thus to “found a family,” that was just a temporary pause for those pushing the radical sexual agenda.)”

That concern about the UK Parliament being in a mood to push for further impositions was right. For, when the FAC report on OT’s came out on February 21st, it said that “a notable point of divergence and friction is same-sex marriage, which has been legalised in all but the five OTs in the Caribbean (Anguilla, BVI, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos), though this bar is currently being challenged in the courts in the Cayman Islands.” [Emphasis added.]

“Bar” is a loaded word: it is how the British spoke of how black people in Zimbabwe or Kenya or South Africa were excluded and robbed of their rights: “the colour bar.” In other words, we the people and Governments of Caribbean OT’s are being directly compared to racists. This is not right, it is not fair, it is not true and it must be answered.

Less than ten years ago, when the Montserrat 2010 Constitution Order was being negotiated with the FCO, it was noticed that the FCO draft had in it an odd section about “right to marry” – something that, historically, has not been a Constitutional issue – that was strangely vague and which had not been frankly discussed with the people of our community. So, Montserrat’s elected representatives proposed more specific language for Section 10, that one marries a person “of the opposite sex” and so may “found a family.” As a part of discussion with the FCO, this was “balanced” by specific inclusion of “sex” and “sexual orientation” in the list of rights to be protected under law. This was then passed by resolution of our parliament, was in what was tabled in the UK Parliament and was in what was issued through the Privy Council as an Order in Council.

Less than ten years ago, it was clearly reasonable to hold that marriage is between people of “opposite sex.” So, why is it that the FAC now wishes to compare such a view with racism and colour bar? With, the implication lurking just below the surface, that our Christian convictions on the matter are unreasonable, oppressive and backward?

Arguably, such is because the homosexualism-promoting activists have been able to get their way in several major countries, including the UK and have moved on beyond getting “civil unions” recognised to demanding “marriage equality.” In some, by court rulings, in others by acts passed in parliaments, in a few by referendums. However, here, such a move would have to be by Constitutional amendment, and to deal with that we must ask a pointed question: what has fundamentally changed over the past ten years about the two sexes required to conceive a child and to properly nurture that child in a stable, wholesome family environment? Obviously: nothing.

We will also need to be clear as to what makes a claimed “right” right, and what are the limits on just law. Otherwise, we will be labelled backward bigots and targetted as oppressors blocking “rights.”

So, what is a right, and what makes it a right? Ans: A right is a binding, moral claim that one must be respected and protected due to his or her inherent dignity and worth as a human being. Such worth can only come from our being made in God’s image and “endowed with certain unalienable rights.” Rights, that start with “life.” We are morally governed, conscience-guided creatures who have responsible, rational freedom. Clearly, then, to properly claim a right one must first manifestly be in the right.

Indeed, in order to persuade us the FAC expects us to know that we have duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. That is, they too understand that we are morally governed creatures. But, such conscience-guided moral government, in the end, has just one credible source: the inherently good, wise, loving creator God.

That’s why in July 1776, the American founders wrote:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . ”

Likewise, Jesus went on record:

“Have you never read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matt 19:4 – 6, AMP.]

So, by implicitly comparing our stand to racism, the FAC has now forced us to justify our views, on common sense, moral principle and scripture. Marriage is based on the naturally evident creation order of the two sexes, male and female, and is a lifelong covenant under God. Where, what God joins, man must not separate.

That is also the testimony of common sense. For example, no complicated human behaviour has ever been shown to be actually determined by our genes. We are not mindless robots. The search for gay genes has unsurprisingly clearly failed despite the impressions given by the media and by ill-advised education. Instead, we are responsible, morally governed, conscience-guided. This clearly includes our sexual behaviour: our sexual attractions, acts and habits are under moral government. Of course, our impulses and behaviours can sometimes trap us in addictive, hard to escape patterns of life that are unwise, ill-advised (or even outright irrational), abnormal, damaging, disease-spreading, insanitary, destructive.

Common sense speaks again:
Clearly, distorting Marriage under false colour of law is not the right or just answer. Likewise, stigmatising people who have principled objections to such distortions as though they were backward bigots comparable to racists is equally unjust. The activists have gone too far.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, De Ole Dawg, International, Local, News, OECS, Opinions, Politics, UK - Brexit1 Comment

What is Marriage?

What is Marriage?

Contribution,  (A special, part 2)

Is marriage merely a contract under law that we can change as we wish?

BRADES, Montserrat, March 1, 2019 –  In their February 21st report on Montserrat and other Overseas Territories, the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) it proposed that the UK Government  “should set a date by which it expects all OTs to have legalised same-sex marriage” and if that date is not met, it should impose this novelty through legislation or an Order in Council. However, such presumes that marriage is merely a convenient contractual arrangement that can be readily updated for new times, through getting rid of backward, oppressive notions. Especially, as the FAC viewed the historic understanding as imposing an unjust “bar” on homosexuals, etc.[1]

But, is that so? 

Are those who support the historic view of marriage guilty of the equivalent of the racist “colour bar” that was used to rob Africans of their rights in colonised Africa?


First, historic marriage is obviously not the equivalent of Apartheid – the FAC owes us a public apology and retraction for that outrageous, subtle insult.

Instead, historic marriage rests on our nature as male and female and on sound moral principle. That’s why “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled.” For, men and women are matching halves of a whole, not just so that children may be born and nurtured in a sound family, but relationally – “it is not good for the man to be alone.” Stable marriages that honourably join men and women in a lifelong union and resulting families are the foundation of stable, sustainable society.

That is why those who try to tamper with marriage or twist sex out of its right place are playing with ruinous fire.

That is the logic behind Jesus’ words:

“Have you never read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matt 19:4 – 6, AMP.]

Such words are not mere empty religious bigotry or myths, they reflect our naturally evident creation order, an order that we can all see by simply looking around us. An order, that is the basis for sound, sustainable civilisation. Those who tamper with it are unwittingly serving forces of chaos.

Indeed, we are already seeing the next item on the chaotic sexual agenda, a list of dozens of “genders”[2] intended to replace being male or female – and some of this is already being taught to young children in schools. One wonders, if animals and robots will also be brought into this already absurd picture. Already, factories are building sex robots.

If we are to weather this cultural hurricane, we will need a sound, principled understanding of marriage, one anchored to our nature as male and female. For example, George, Girgis and Anderson wrote in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy that:

“Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together. The spouses seal (consummate) and renew their union by conjugal acts—acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction, thus uniting them as a reproductive unit. Marriage is valuable in itself, but its inherent orientation to the bearing and rearing of children con-tributes to its distinctive structure, including norms of monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of children also helps explain why marriage is important to the common good and why the state should recognize and regulate it.” [“What is Marriage?,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol 34 No. 1, p. 246.]

No, marriage is not merely a matter of romantic attachment and personal fulfillment, to be expressed in whatever acts we can dream up, then can freely discard once the heat of our emotions cools down. No, legislatures did not invent it, nor can they use the magic of words under colour of law to alter its fundamental nature. No, those who stand for sound marriage are not the moral equivalent of oppressive racists.

So, it’s not just about imposition without due consultation with our people. It’s not just a debate on amending Montserrat’s Constitution Order of 2010, which says that a person of appropriate age has a “right to marry a person of the opposite sex” and thus to “found a family.” Provisions, passed by the UK’s Privy Council less than ten years ago. It is about basic respect and it is about preserving the soundness of our civilisation.

[1]See, TMR: and

[2]E.g. see:

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Brian introduces pianist - DSC_1646

Badoor pianist Evgeny Kuznetsov thrills children to showcase their experience

by B. Roach

Evgeny Kuznetsov at the Cultural Center piano

A Russian-born pianist whose name is Evgeny Kuznetsov, on January 25, 2019, enthralled children from the primary schools in a piano play exhibition, almost like a recital.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Evgeny-Kuznetsov-thrills-children-at-piano-DSC_1683.jpg

The children were all students of Brian Hosefros who is the most recent music fellow on island through the Montserrat Music Foundation, which was founded by Sir George Martin, to teach and involve children in music on Montserrat.

Brian Hosefrom introduces Kustnetso

Kustnetsov is a graduate from Moscow State University of Culture and Arts. While studying, he won prizes and participated in competitions and festivals such as Russian Youth Scriabin Piano Competition, Moscow Chopin Piano Festival, Tatiana Nikolayeva International Piano Competition, Moscow Liszt Piano Festival. He currently lives in London and plays on venues such as Steinway Hall, 1901 Arts Club and Burgh House.

Brian Hosefrom introduces Kustnetsov

His exhibition for the children was done at his friend Brian’s invitation who says he is desirous of introducing the children to as many varieties of music; and it is hoped to bring out in the children the wealth of talent he has observed that they have. He is allowing them to create and perform music they have written.

This he will showcase on Saturday,  March 9, in a presentation “A Montserratian Fairy Tale by the Montserrat National Youth Choir” at the Cultural Centre. Brian has been working with the students from the various schools to create a production featuring music and a dramatic presentation written and performed by children.

The show is expected to begin promptly at 7.00 P.M. and all are invited to be in their seats on time for the start.

The pianist Kusnetsov shared an article recently published “in our corporate blog,” to be found here at: It appeared under caption – Badooer makes music in Montserrat. The article boasted: “When Evgeny, one of our QA engineers, had the opportunity to go and perform for the Montserrat Foundation to help support the island’s population, of course we jumped at the chance to support him.” Badooer makes music in Montserrat

Here at Badoo HQ, we like to think we’re always making people’s days a little brighter – bringing new couples together, making dates between strangers possible, coming up with a never-ending stream of romantic puns… But sometimes, we get to take it a little further and actually do some real good. 

When Evgeny, one of our QA engineers, had the opportunity to go and perform for the Montserrat Foundation to help support the island’s population, of course we jumped at the chance to support him.

If you haven’t heard of Montserrat before, or why it’s in need of support, it’s a small island in the West Indies that suffered a terrible volcanic eruption about 20 years ago. The capital city, along with pretty much the whole of the southern half of the island, was buried under about 12m of mud and debris, and several more eruptions, gas clouds and rock flows have further damaged the area since. The whole population had to be evacuated to the northern half of the island, and a new airport, capital city and housing for everyone affected had to be constructed.

More than half the population of Montserrat chose to leave – and have been granted full British citizenship so they can settle here and start fresh – but for the people who decided to stay, the island is still their home. And that’s where the Montserrat Foundation comes in, along with our very own Evgeny.

Evgeny’s been playing the piano since he was seven years old, when the rest of us were still making daisy chains and shooting lasers from our fingers, and his trip to the island was part of the Foundation’s education programme. While he was there, he performed a kind of “lecture-concert” for the children, as he calls it, that included a combo of classical music, contemporary songs and quizzes to make the whole thing more interactive. He also joined in with music lessons and even performed a song by the island’s most popular artist, Arrow.

‘Meeting the people there was the best part of the trip. I met many incredibly talented, fascinating people who work hard to make life on tiny Montserrat better, people who care about education and arts. And the children, with their endless energy, were just amazing!

‘The community on the island is quite small, fewer than 5000 people, so naturally all of the children are very curious about new people – meaning I got a lot of attention! Most of them had never heard live classical music before, and I was very surprised when all of them listened to it very carefully. Then during the pop/rock part, some of them started to sing  – and they sang really well, believe me!’

This isn’t the first time Evgeny’s had the chance to take part in charity events. He recently took part in a 12 hour “piano marathon” in Kings Cross, where pianists played “The Infinite Piano Series” for 12 hours straight to support Amnesty International. However, it is the first time Badoo’s had the chance to support him, and we loved that we got to be a part of his latest adventure.

‘I feel really proud of Badoo. Support for initiatives like this one makes our company not just a place to work, but a place where you feel like people believe in you and your ideas.

‘Life on such a small island is tough for most of the children, but music is powerful and I hope that more of them will expose themselves to the arts. Many them did come to me after the concert with a lot of questions, which makes me think we did the right thing!

‘Overall, it was an incredible experience, and I hope Badoo continues to support other people doing things like this, whatever their activities might be.’

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Dr Irish 1

Dr. J.A. George P. Irish a fallen icon

Dr. James J.A. George P. Irish

With an event such as the passing of such as Montserratian Dr. George Irish in the USA, the information moves very quick far and wide, especially in today’s information ‘age’, socially and otherwise.

So it was, that after this information was shared on December 23, 2018, requesting, “Urgent intercessory prayer for Dr. Irish (George).  He was taken to Einstein Hospital, (New York…He needs a miracle. .and we believe God!  Let’s pray.”

Later news on confirmation from reliable sources, it was reported that he was stable and that the diagnosis that had been circulated (as happens in Social media) was incorrect.

Nothing further until the sudden news on the evening of February 12, 2019, “It is with painful/aching hearts we announce the passing of “DR. GEORGE IRISH (Dr. JAGPI)” our beloved brother and friend.  We have all prayed and asked the Lord to heal him….but HE is in control and does all things well….therefore we all say AMEN TO HIS PERFECT WILL.”

The name “Dr. George Irish,” has always been and immediately the following day was mentioned by everyone who may even just remember having heard of him for somewhere before.

As reported, Premier Donaldson Romeo on Wednesday led Montserrat in “mourning the death of the national icon, Dr. George Irish, who died at the age of 76 years late Tuesday.”

“I, like most Montserratians, am saddened at the passing of the Right Honourable, Dr. James Alfred George Irish, OE, son of the soil and National Icon. Whether known to some as educator, social activist, trade unionist, politician, musician, artist, singer, orator, or Man of God, in each and every aspect he has left an indelible mark on us individually and collectively,” Romeo said, speaking as the majority would.

“As we mourn his loss may we hold on to and be comforted by our God, who Dr. Irish himself chose to love, serve and represent as a Pastor and Man of God,” he added.

Beginning to recall his memory

In brief, as at some time soon, a full memorial of the icon will be presented, Irish was the first recipient of the Ph.D. degree in Spanish from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

He also taught at the university as well as at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) in the Dominican Republic, and in the United States at the City University of New York (CUNY) where he served as Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Studies.

In a poem, Sir Howard Fergus, who co-wrote the Montserrat National Anthem with Irish, said: “in this sickly season when the smell of death pervades the atmosphere, the passing of Professor Irish creates a sad and gaping hole deeper than six feet”. (Presented in this issue)

“George has left us and has left much. At a time when “icon” is liberally distributed as klim in our impoverished childhood, it seems beggarly to so endow him, I dub him a Montserrat avatar which carries spiritual overtones, in honour of his enormous gifting which he generously invested in his island home, attracting meagre appreciation; his legacy is wide and long,” Sir Howard, who served as acting Governor of this British Overseas Territory, wrote in a poem. (See in this issue)

Irish was also the founder of the Montserrat Allied Workers’ Union and the Montserrat Cooperative Credit Union. He was also the author of more than 25 books. (See later)

Shirley Spycalla
a celebrated soprano opera soloist, singer,  in a Social media comment wrote briefly:
 “Dr Irish was an impressive Music Director of the Emerald Community Singers back in the day.”

Montserratian Journalist Toni Frederick-Armstrong Remembers Dr. George Irish remembers in a memorial, “I am honoured to have known him…even as a child I think I always understood that he was a pretty ‘big deal.’” (See in this issue)

The local campus of the UWI also filed a tribute to the late Dr. JAGPI. (See citation here)

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