PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 14, CMC- A 15-year-old boy is due to re-appear in court on March 27 after he was charged with the murder of a retired member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force during the Carnival celebrations.
The boy, appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle in the Port of Spain Eighth Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with killing 56-year-old Calvert James, who died on February 27, Carnival Monday, from multiple stab wounds.
The retired soldier was killed during an incident on the outskirts of the capital. The Director of Public Prosecution, Roger Gaspard SC, on March 11, gave instructions to charge the teenager with murder.
The teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age as he deemed a minor by law, has since been remanded to the St Michael’s Boys Rehabilitation Centre.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 10, CMC – A pastor has been jailed for 20 years after he was found guilty of having sex with a minor two years ago.
Justice Lorna Shelly Williams Friday sentenced Pastor Reverend Paul Hanniford of the Pentecostal City Mission Church after he was found guilty by a seven-member jury on January 24.
Rape fear – alarm
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (OFPP) said the complainant, who is now 15 years old, testified in court that on March 12, 2015, she and her five-year-old brother went to the church for choir practice and after the rehearsal they asked the pastor for a ride.
But the Home Court was told that the child, who was a member of the Pentecostal City Mission Church and was baptised by Hanniford was taken to the pastor’s home in Kingston.
“The pastor gave the five-year-old some cornflakes to eat. The complainant requested the use of the bathroom and while there in the bathroom the pastor entered. The complainant was pushed by the pastor outside the bathroom onto a bed that was inside a nearby bedroom and sexually assaulted her,” the ODPP said in the statement.
The Court was told that the child managed to push the pastor off and went outside of the bedroom to meet her brother, who had heard her cries for help.
The statement said that the brother had climbed onto a chair and peeped through a hole in the door and observed Pastor Hanniford sexually assaulting his sister which made him feel “sad”.
According to the evidence presented to the court, after the incident the pastor gave them some cornflakes to eat and later warned the complainant not to tell anyone as it was their “secret”.
He took them back to the church where the mother of the children met them. The complainant’s brother made a report to his mother in the presence of the pastor about what he had seen.
The following day a meeting was convened at the church with the bishop, the pastor, the complainant, her brother and the children’s parents.
On April 14, 2015, a report was made to the police and the pastor was arrested. He was subsequently charged.
In his defence at the trial, the pastor denied having sexual intercourse with the complainant and said that he had given the children a drive out but not on the day in question.
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 24, CMC – The St. Lucia government Friday apologised over an “Independence message” posted on the official Facebook page of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet saying that it was not approved by the relevant authorities
“The Communications Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister wishes to make it clear that as soon as we became aware of the reported Facebook post we immediately removed it from circulation. The only persons authorized to approve postings on the page is the Prime Minister himself and the Senior Communications Officer for the Government,” the government said in a statement.
It said that since coming to office in June last year “it appears that there were still individuals who had access to the Prime Minister’s Facebook page who made the posting without authorization.
“This has since been addressed internally and we assure the public this situation will not happen again and we will do all within our power to maintain the integrity of our official social media platforms.
“Despite not authorizing the mentioned Facebook post we apologize for any misunderstandings or misconceptions it may have created,” the statement added.
In the original posting, Chastanet is reported to have called on citizens to put aside their difference for the betterment of the island.
It also quoted the prime minister, who led his United Workers Party (UWP) to victory in the general elections, last June, as praising the electorate for changing a government “through a remarkably peaceful electoral process”.
But in the statement, Friday, the government said that the “Official statement for Independence Day, February 22nd 2017, was delivered…by (the) Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment Honourable Lenard Montoute at …(the) Independence Youth Rally at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium.
“During the period of Independence the Prime Minister delivered three statements which included a recorded Independence message to the Diaspora, an address to the audience at the Independence Ball and a brief impromptu introduction of the Minister designated officially to give the Government’s Independence Message Minister Montoute at the Youth Rally,” the statement added
Working in partnership with the UWI Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC), as well as support from the Ministry of Education, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), launched a children’s book entitled “Volcano Stories”.
On the evening of Thursday, January 26, Her Excellency the Governor, Elizabeth Carriere hosted the launch at her residence at Government House in Woodlands, with attendance and the participation of MVO and government officials, along with a small cross section of the public, parents and winning children writers of the volcano stories which are featured in the book.
As a MVO communique informs, “The one-of-a-kind storybook features the 26 winning entries out of a Creative Writing Competition hosted by the MVO in 2013, where teenagers and children were invited to submit stories under the theme “A Volcano’s Touch”.
In a brief ceremony, MVO Director Roderick Stewart introduced the host of the launch, Her Excellency the Governor, opening by very briefly describing that the “new book of children stories that were written as entrants to our creative writing competition. The prize winners some of them have been collected in this book…”
The Governor after welcoming all guests to Government House and the book launch congratulated the students for their work and the MVO for bringing it all together in a stunning hard cover book. She said the book Volcano Stories, “which is an amazing production, not just because it represents the quality of young people’s excellent writing, imaginative writing, creative writing, but also some photographs and drawings from local artists.”
She added that “it’s beautifully produced, it’s a lovely book.” and that everyone should be proud of it. She congratulations the M.V.O. and the SRC hoping that it “it will be distributed in the schools,” while confirming that support for the book also came from the Ministry of Education. Promised and pledged to support the islands youth in their future educational endeavours.
Hon Osborne said: “This is a great achievement for not only children but for us here as Montserratians because when you think about the age of these children… I must say I want to encourage the youths in Montserrat to keep this up; and I’m going to support them in anything that they want to do as long as I think it makes sense.”
‘Volcano Stories’ described as a ‘one-of-a-kind storybook, features the 26 winning entries out of a Creative Writing Competition hosted by the MVO in 2013. Teenagers and younger children were invited to submit stories under the theme “A Volcano’s Touch”. It was illustrated and brought to life with colourful artwork by various Caribbean artists.
The book, suitable for both children and adults, takes the reader to fantastical worlds on volcanic adventures of all kinds, and also to explore Montserrat, the beautiful Caribbean island where so many lives have been touched and forever changed by a volcano.’
At the end Governor Carriere distributed signature books a few of the young authors of the stories.
The book commemorates in some sense, Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills Volcano which has been erupting since 1995, rendering more than half of the island uninhabitable, including the capital city Plymouth. Montserrat has managed to rebuild itself and adapt to living with an erupting volcano. “Volcano Stories” is the only book of its kind as it highlights living with the volcano and the process of adaptation from the unique and imaginative perspective of Montserratian children.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan 18, CMC – The Senate late Tuesday night approved the amendment to the Marriage Bill, raising the legal age of marriage to 18, but without the support of opposition legislators and at least one Independent Senator.
Leader of the Opposition Business in the Senate, Wade Mark, had earlier during the debate supported the raising of the age of marriage to 18 years.
However, he said, the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) was also suggesting there be an exception for children between 16 and 18 years, in circumstances where there is parental and judicial consent, where legal aid is provided and where the child is involved in the decision.
Mark had also suggested that the Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill 2016 be sent to a joint select committee of Parliament so as to allow civil society groups and religious bodies a further opportunity to express their views on amendments to the legislation.
Mark said the opposition party also had concerns with the TT$50,000 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) fine and seven year imprisonment proposed in the bill to be “draconian, oppressive and excessive.”
Clause 27 (b) of the bill states that a person who wilfully and knowingly solemnise the marriage of a person who is under the age 18, commits an offence and is liable on conviction and indictment to a fine of TT$50,000 and imprisonment of seven years.
Mark, a former speaker of the parliament, called on the Keith Rowley government to provide the Children’s Authority with resources to protect children from statutory rape.
“So let me make it clear that the UNC, as it relates to contract marriage, is committed to what the Attorney General put in the legislation as 18 years and over…but we have an exception. With the consent of the parents, judge, the involvement of the child and with the provision of legal aid if they do not have the means.”
But in her contribution to th4e debate Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus said she would not wish for her grandchildren to be married at the age of 12.
“I want them to have a future and getting married at such a young age cuts their future, brings it to an abrupt end,” she said, questioning the calls made by religious leaders for the laws to remain the same.
“I have observed that most of the people who are requesting that the law not be amended and that legal rape remain in place, they have all been men. Where are the women from these organisations? Or is it that these organisations do not have women? It is only the men that are the talking point. That must be of concern to all of us,” she said.
“Hardback men in this society, Madam President, with 12-year-old girls. One shudders,” she said.
She criticised Mark for being influenced by “public pressure” and making it seem that the UNC had always supported the increased marriage age when they are using temporary senators to provide an opposing view.
She said child marriage is an imposition which affects more girls than boys and the records show that child marriages are organised in many instances as a result of wanting to emerge from poverty by selling the child for a price.
“Madam President, this is serious business, how long can we continue to tolerate our very young children being lost and never found?” she asked.
Prior to the vote, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said that a simple majority was now needed to pass the legislation. Mark and other opposition legislators abstained, so too, Dr. Dhanayshar Mahabir, an Independent Senator and a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The bill was passed with 23 in favour and five abstentions.
Sunrise Productions this week announced that “Number 15 is proud to announce the national debut of ‘ALONE’, a short film which brings into focus the issue of child abuse.”
‘ALONE’ will screen at the Montserrat Cultural Centre (MCC) on Sunday January 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
The premiere of the short film is presented under the auspices of Dr. Samuel Joseph, founder of the Prevent, Protect, and Pursue (PPP) Charity. It will be preceded by a red-carpet pre-show, allowing print and broadcast journalists, photographers and videographers the opportunity to interview and capture images of the director/producer, cast and crew.
The film, produced by local videographer Jerely Brown, features around two girls with different lives who suffer from the effects of child abuse. Both thought they were alone, until becoming friends gave them the strength they needed to overcome their adversities. The buzz worthy film involves local up and coming actors/actresses, Amuelle Kirnon, Darion Darroux, Eurlanzo Jeffers, Jahnelle Francis, Jerely Browne, Jhovan Daniel, Mikila Gittens, Sandrae Thomas, Theonna Johnson and Zenoushka Meade.
Following will be a reception and then the presentation of ‘ALONE’, rounding off with entertainment by Pulse.
Warren Cassell Jr. Speaking to a group in T’dad “We Are Better Youths” (WABY). On Saturday October 11, 2014,
As part of the ECCB’s LEAD Conference now to become a yearly financial and business education campaign for Financial Information Month (FIM), the ECCB will host its 2016 Youth LEAD conference on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 and its Maltin Moving Conference Centre, ECCB Headquarters, Bird Rock with videoconference transmission to the other seven ECCB member countries. In Montserrat it will be held at the ECCB Agency Office in Brades.
Cheverlyn Williams presents on LEAD last Aug
The Conference the ECCB says is, “…in keeping with the thrust towards closer OECS integration…” and to “assist in strengthening youth entrepreneurship and leadership initiatives in the region. The conference will provide young people with an opportunity to share experiences and network with peers with the thrust towards closer OECS integration as a key component of regional development.”
Several persons from throughout the region will make presentations at the ECCB’S Learn, Empower, Achieve, Development ‘LEAD conference’ to include young Montserratian Warren Cassell Jr., the Executive Chairman of the Abella Group, who will address on the topic Calculated Risk taking.
The ECCB’s LEAD Conference is a yearly financial and business education campaign for financial information month FIM.
In an ‘overview’ of the Conference the ECCB states: “Youth populations account for over 60% of the Region’s population and represent critical regional and national regenerative development capacities.” http://www.un.org/sg/priorities/sg_agenda_2012.pdf
ECCB Mentorship Prog 2014
“The aforementioned statistics make a strong case for youth leadership development to be addressed in a transformative manner in order to ensure that tomorrow’s adults have the requisite skills and opportunities to contribute effectively to the wider economic growth and social development of the OECS.
“The Youth LEAD conference is designed to assist in strengthening youth development and leadership initiatives in the region and provide an excellent opportunity for outstanding experiences that will nurture our youth to LEAD. It will also afford them the opportunity to network with peers from across the ECCU in keeping with the thrust towards closer OECS integration as one key component of the region’s development.
FIM is a collaborative effort among the East Caribbean Currency Union Member Governments, Financial and Academic Institutions, the Media, Private and Public Sector Institutions and Community Based Groups.
The month forms part of an ECCU Financial Education Program coordinated by the ECCB.
Monday, March 9, 2015, music, dancing and bright colors in a march from the Brades Primary School to the Montserrat Cultural Centre, the staff and students of the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) began celebrating 2015 Commonwealth Day.
Full house watch on stage speeches and performances
Commonwealth Day is observed and or celebrated yearly in 53 Commonwealth Nations across the globe. The MSS day’s event was one of the 730 individual events, taking place to celebrate Commonwealth Day, and from comments and observations, The performances beginning with the March from Brades to the Cultural Centre were outstanding and memorable.
MSS students representing the nations of their origin with their national flags, national colors, dresses and things symbolic to their culture with Principal Mrs. Cherilyn Hogan leading the march, while the students danced to music, beat drums and chanted as they moved along the streets.
A flag raising ceremony at the Montserrat Culture Center, marked the beginning of the activities in the presence of H. E. the Governor Adrian Davis and Premier the Hon. Donaldson Romeo, followed by the raising of flags representing the nationalities of students attending the school. The flag ceremony was conducted by members of the MSS Cadet corps.
The MSS student population is made up of nationalities including, The United Kingdom, Australia, India, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, and Haiti.
The MSS students showcased their different cultures in dance and singed in a cultural extravaganza witnessed by the Governor and his wife Sujue Davis, the Ministers of Government, parents and guests.
E Governor read the Commonwealth Day message, of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the morning’s event. In her address, Her Majesty stressed the need for more partnership and cooperation and highlighted the need for more involvement of what she termed, “a Young Commonwealth,” as the agent for change. “
“Indeed, it seems to me that now, in the second decade of the twenty first century, what we share through being members of the Commonwealth is more important and worthy of protection than perhaps at any other time in the Commonwealth’s existence. We are guardians of a precious flame, and it is our duty not only to keep it burning brightly but to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.
“With this in mind, I think it apt that on this day we celebrate ‘A Young Commonwealth’ and all that it has to offer. As a concept that is unique in human history, the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations.”
The cultural show also included entertainment from The Emerald Singers, the National Youth Choir, MSS Band and students.
The day’s celebration climaxed with food and drinks from the various countries represented with the school band providing musical entertainment.
A one-week workshop dubbed Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) began on the right footing as some 30 of Montserrat’s youth ages 15-29 answered the call to find solutions not only for the unemployment question on Montserrat but the region and further afield.
Recognizing and acknowledging the propensity for problem-solving which the youth possess, the Honourable Minister for Youth Affairs Mrs. Delmaude Ryan dared the youth to put their skills to the test: “The world needs more business solutions”, she challenged, “and you have the answer”.
Using the illustration of the seemingly physical appendage which smartphones have become to the youth, Mrs. Ryan threw out yet another challenge: “If Apple had stopped at the iPhone, there wouldn’t have been an iPhone 6; If Samsung had stopped at the S2, we would not have had an S5. To be competitive and keep solving problems, you have to be ingenious and have the courage to break the rules, take risks and grow”.
How much can the youth on Montserrat grow is an answer only they can answer. It does however, seem pretty clear that the sky is the limit in regards to how far they can take their creations to the world with its billions of consumers. But are they willing to do this? Will they receivethat much-needed support they crave? Or will this workshop be yet another expense without returns? Do the youth really believe that they are capable to orchestrate positive, sustainable change on Montserrat? Will the people of Montserrat support and encourage them?
Many young people simply want to belong. At this developmental stage of their lifespan, psychologists like Erik Erikson and Jean Paiget posit that they need to carve out an identity for themselves, be their own person. Thus, the CEBO workshop appears to be well-placed to provide the catalyst needed to push the youth to explore their God-given potential, find their niche and be their own men and women.
Montserrat is the twelfth Member State on which CEBO has been implemented. According to Dr. Hilary Brown of the visiting CEBO Team, the 6-day training program is geared at engaging, motivating and inspiring entrepreneurial interest and action among the youth. The practical business experience which the workshop is set to facilitate include, but is not limited to the creation of simulated companies, development of a basic business plan, marketing and sale of products and or services using seed money supplied by the Bank of CEBO. At the conclusion of the workshop, the companies will prepare profit and loss statements, analyse their mistakes and successes. Developed to counter youth unemployment and to mitigate social ills such as drug abuse, crime and violence, the CEBO workshop is expected to foster economic resilience among the youth.
Mrs. Ryan pointed out to participants that an opportunity to make a difference was before them and reminded them that every great achievement “and every great successful business started with a step, a move to address a need, a move to fill an economic gap”, a move triggered by something deep within which would not settle for mediocrity. “You know you have a better solution”, she prompted after acknowledging some of the Montserratians who had taken steps to become household names in varying industries on the Island.
“Whose will be the next household name in Montserrat, the region and the World”? She questioned forcefully, encouraging the youth to “anticipate the needs of [your] customers/clients and end users and translate today’s new trends into tomorrow’s successful products”.
A leading Caribbean digital newspaper has named 14-year-old author and serial entrepreneur Warren Cassell Jr. “Entrepreneur of the Year”.
Caribbeanjournal.com made the announcement on its site at the closing of 2013. The digital newspaper noted that while the Caribbean is not the easiest economic environment for entrepreneurs, Warren Cassell Jr. started business and generated profit since the age of 8.
Cassell Jr. got his start in business when he started his greeting card company at 8 years. He then went on to starting Zap Social – a blog featuring inspirational content. After school Warren hopes to get involve with investment banking because “I just like investing — I like the idea of creating wealth and creating wealth for others.”
In speaking to caribbeanjournal.com, Warren Cassell Jr. said that “entrepreneurship needs to be taught more in schools… and the school has a major role to play in building future entrepreneurs.”
The young Cassell also said, “For people who are on the fence of starting a business, I want to tell them to do it — don’t worry about funding, don’t worry about not having enough products to start with,” he says. “Because the first step is to start. If you have all the passion and the determination for it, everything will come and you’ll get the funding and you’ll get clients. But you need the passion to start.”
The digital newspaper, Caribbeanjournal.com says, “For now, the Caribbean will need more enterprising, self-starters like Cassell. He is precisely the kind of entrepreneur that will help lead the Caribbean toward the next level of development.”