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CCRIF to provide US$220,000 to Young Caribbean Nationals in Support of Disaster Risk Management

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, April 8, 2019. CCRIF SPC is pleased to announce that for a fifth year in a row it will provide funding of over US$220,000 to Caribbean nationals in support of scholarships and internships. This initiative is aimed at building a cadre of persons who can effectively provide support for comprehensive disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change adaptation in the region.  

The initiative is part of CCRIF’s Technical Assistance (TA) Programme which was launched in 2010. This programme has three main components – scholarships and professional development; support for local disaster risk management initiatives undertaken by non-governmental organizations; and regional knowledge building, which involves the development of MOUs with regional organizations towards implementation of strategic regional projects in support of DRM and climate change adaptation. Since the inception of the programme in 2010, CCRIF has invested over US$3 million. CCRIF operates as a not-for-profit organization and the resources made available for the TA Programme are derived from earned investment income.

With respect to scholarships, over the period 2010-2018, CCRIF has awarded 24 postgraduate and 29 undergraduate scholarships totalling US$445,250 to students from 8 countries for study at The University of the West Indies and US$545,561 to 16 students from 8 countries in the region for study in the USA and UK.

In 2019, through the CCRIF-UWI Scholarship Programme, CCRIF will provide scholarships to postgraduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing study at The University in areas related to disaster management at all three of its residential campuses (Mona, Jamaica; Cave Hill, Barbados and St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago). Eligible programmes of study include Geography/Geology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Meteorology, Insurance and Risk Management, Natural Resource Management, Land Management and Building and Construction Management. The undergraduate scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in a qualifying BSc or BA programme to cover their second and third (final) years of study. The value of each postgraduate scholarship is US$11,000 and each undergraduate scholarship US$8,000 (US$4,000 per year for the two years). The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/programmes/ccrif-uwi-scholarship

CCRIF also will provide up to four scholarships this year for study in master’s programmes in areas related to disaster risk management at universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada as well as at local universities (other than UWI) in Caribbean countries. Eligible areas of study under the CCRIF Scholarship Programme include: Catastrophe/Disaster Risk Management; Property/Casualty Insurance; Meteorology; other hazard/disaster-related disciplines and MBAs with a major in Risk Management and/or Insurance or a related field. Scholarships are valued up to a maximum of US$40,000 (for extra-regional universities) or US$20,000 (for Caribbean institutions) and are awarded to applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, are involved in, or work in the field of risk/disaster management or sustainable development in the Caribbean and have a record of broader community involvement. The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/scholarship

CCRIF’s flagship professional development programme is its Regional Internship Programme, which was launched in 2015. It is designed to provide opportunities for students who have specialized in the areas of disaster risk management, environmental management, actuarial science, geography, climate studies and other similar areas to be assigned to national and regional organizations where their educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments. In this initiative, CCRIF is partnering with a range of organizations who act as host organizations. These include national disaster management and meteorology agencies as well as: the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); CARICOM Secretariat; Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and various departments of the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI), among others. Since 2015, CCRIF has placed 85 interns in 27 host organizations with an investment of almost US$270,000.

The programme is open to citizens of CARICOM and/or CCRIF Caribbean member countries who are graduates of a recognized university. The interns should have completed a course of study in any one of the following key areas: disaster risk management, environmental management, meteorology, climate studies, civil engineering, management studies with a focus on risk management, environmental economics, geography, geology, civil engineering, risk management and actuarial science. The deadline for 2019 applications is June 2 2019. For further details:

http://www.ccrif.org/content/regional-internship-programme

CCRIF is the world’s first multi-country risk pool in the world, providing parametric insurance for tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall to 19 Caribbean governments and 2 Central American governments. To date, CCRIF has made payouts totalling US$139 million to 13 member governments – all made within 14 days of the event. Data from member countries show that over 2.5 million persons in the Caribbean have benefitted from these payouts.

Through its insurance products and Technical Assistance Programme, CCRIF is committed to supporting Caribbean countries towards reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience within the context of advancing sustainable prosperity of the small island and coastal states of the region.

About CCRIF SPC: CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to Caribbean and – since 2015 – Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, an MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members, and facilitate the entry for Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW, and Ireland. In 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico, approved a grant to CCRIF SPC to provide enhanced insurance coverage to the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries.

For more information about CCRIF:

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

#ccrif #scholarships #internships #technicalassistance #universities #uwi #students #postgraduate #undergraduate #disasterriskmanagement #drm #caribbean #climatechange

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Nerissa Golden Named Acting Director of the Montserrat Arts Council


Nerissa Golden

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Author and Business Coach Nerissa Golden has been appointed to act as Director of the Montserrat Arts Council (MAC) until a substantive head is found.

The acting director along with member of the MAC Board Reinford “Kulcha Don” Gibbons attended the Regional Cultural Committee meeting in Trinidad last week to be updated on the plans for hosting CARIFESTA and other issues related to the development of cultural industries.

Golden, who sat on the board of directors for two years, resigned in order to take up the current position. She will oversee internal restructuring of operations, as well as prepare for Montserrat’s representation at the CARIFESTA XIV in Trinidad & Tobago this August.

Golden is a former Director of Information & Communications for the Government of Montserrat. She is the author of eight books and has managed the Discover Montserrat media platforms for the past four years.

One of her priorities, will be to support the establishment of new governance structures as mandated by the board and the development of a revised cultural policy for the island which aligns with local and regional focus to build the creative sector.

Former director Chadd Cumberbatch ended his secondment to the council from government at the end of March. Chairman of the MAC Board Albrun Semper said they were grateful for Mr. Cumberbatch’s contribution to building culture and wished him success in his future endeavours.

The council recently closed its call for applications for two senior roles, Director of the MAC and the Head of Planning & Production on Friday, March 29.

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Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails

Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails


A Special: Part 5

Does a judge have a just power to overturn the specific provisions of a Constitution?

BRADES, Montserrat, March 30, 2019 –  On Friday, March 29, 2019, Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, QC reportedly ruled[1] that “marriage means the union between two people as one another’s spouses.” In doing so, he tried to establish what has been called “same-sex marriage”[2]; but, at the cost of precipitating[3] a needless, Caribbean-wide – arguably, Commonwealth-wide – constitutional crisis. That’s why the Cayman Government has protested:  “we believe that introducing the entirely new concept of same-sex marriage into the existing Marriage Law goes way beyond any reasonable interpretation of modification or adaptation.” It adds: “[t]his, we believe, might be inconsistent with the separation of powers by trespassing on the constitutional remit of this Legislative Assembly,” and it is appealing the judgement.

This is because Justice Smellie claimed to act under colour of “rights” that have been violated, then dismissed historic or traditional views as prone to “inequities,” further holding that “neither tradition nor religion could form the ‘rational basis for a law’.”  He also (tellingly) asserted that “it was settled case law that the court has the power to make legislation which breaches the constitution.”

Yes, Justice Smellie did plainly say or imply that “the court has the power to make legislation” and – even worse – that such new laws (issued by unelected judges!) can breach provisions of a Constitution. Nor does the claim[4] that “[i]t doesn’t say you can’t add the right of other people to enjoy those rights [of marriage]” change the pivotal fact that one is – by the obvious implications of “add” – amending a Constitution from the judge’s bench. Such, in the teeth of the known democratic intent of both the Legislature and the people of Cayman.

This is dangerous judicial over-reach and must not stand unchallenged. (Indeed, if it is so that “settled case law” backs the judge, it only implies that the danger is even more urgent, more clear and present.)

For, such an imposition threatens the general legitimacy of constitutional democratic government under the rule of law. Indeed, a claim that courts have Constitution-breaching, law-making power is manifestly a serious, anti-democratic judicial over-reach. One, that is obviously in contempt of Parliament, people and Constitution alike. (Indeed, this case may be grounds for establishing that our judges must now be subject to impeachment for contempt of Parliament, people and Constitution.)

But, but, but . . . shouldn’t the judiciary be independent?

Yes, judges are indeed independent. But, not so independent that they – being unelected and not accountable to voters – can strike down and replace actual specific Constitutional provisions as they wish, rather than soundly interpreting and applying the duly established Constitutional law.  In a Constitutional Democracy, for very good reasons, the Constitution is democratically established as the supreme law of the land and it should only be amended or replaced through a proper democratic process. Therefore, judges simply cannot have a legitimate power to unilaterally amend a constitution.

Now, the Cayman Constitution’s Section 14 has already specifically recognised the historic, Creation order based, naturally evident definition of marriage:  “Government shall respect the right of every unmarried man and woman of marriageable age (as determined by law) freely to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family.”  Where, no, this historic understanding that marriage is based on the naturally evident, creation order based complementarity of the two sexes is not mere bigotry or rights-violating oppression and discrimination comparable to slavery or racism or other age-long abuses. Such a suggestion[5] in the ruling is outrageous. Frankly, it reflects nothing less than utter contempt for the people of the Caribbean. People who historically suffered enslavement, oppression and racism.

Thus, fail.

For, we must have the rule of law (especially, through Constitutions), not rule of men. Therefore, judges simply cannot be allowed to dismiss inconvenient Constitutional provisions through dictating from the judicial bench by decree under colour of law.

Not even, under colour of “rights.”

Rights are an underlying issue: what is a right?  Let us therefore recall what was already noted[6] in this special series here at TMR:

“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.”

Therefore, it is fair comment to point out that those who applauded Justice Smellie’s ruling were inadvertently applauding the destructive subversion, usurpation and undermining of the rule of law through constitutional democracy in the Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth.

The Chinese speak of how a government has a mandate from heaven, which can be lost through folly and failure. That is because governments must be legitimate,[7] they must have what the American founders spoke of as “the consent of the governed.”  A government system that undermines and forfeits such legitimacy loses its “just powers” and so faces growing disaffection and the fatal, spreading contempt of ordinary law abiding people.

That is why it is a lesson of history (paid for with blood again and again), that governments that lose legitimacy become tyrannical as they try to impose increasingly unjust power. Such tyrannies will ultimately fail, but that usually costs rivers of blood.  Also, as certain neighbouring Caribbean countries show, there is no guarantee that a replacement will be an improvement.

Instead, let us carefully ponder how Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington and the other American founders warned us all, on July 4, 1776:

“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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, fail.  Fail, through judicial over-reach. Fail, through not understanding that to properly claim a right, one must manifestly be in the right; on pain of trying to compel others to taint conscience, ignore sound moral principle and support one in evil. Fail, through not recognising that reason itself is inescapably morally governed and that moral government therefore traces to the inherently good and wise Moral Governor of the universe, our Creator. We must do better as a region.


[1]See https://caymannewsservice.com/2019/03/legalises-gay-marriage/

[2] See, TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/what-is-marriage/

[3] See KY Gov’t http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/otphome/announcements/statement-on-same-sex-marriage-ruling?fbclid=IwAR0m5tvwHvjd6ZPen82RAzmd-zA3Y0fVj172KftvDmaI0H3u1SjdWoReDWo

[4] See https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/04/01/the-issue-explained-a-closer-look-at-the-same-sex-marriage-ruling/

[5] See, https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/03/29/chief-justice-rules-same-sex-marriage-is-legal/

[6] See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/fac-report-pushes-for-homosexualisation-of-marriage-how-can-montserrat-respond-reasonably-and-responsibly/

[7] See, SEP https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legitimacy/

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Edith Duberry (Statistics) DSC_9913

Montserrat – History Reflections

with Teacher Edith Duberry

Edith Duberry

It is the 3rd day of the St. Patrick’s Heritage Festival on Montserrat. The events include: a National Service at the St. Patrick’ s Roman Catholic Church in Look Out and the 20th edition of the Junior Calypso Competition organized by the Montserrat Union of Teachers, MUT. Let us focus on another aspect of our history. (10/3/2019)

Our ancestors were kidnapped in most cases from Africa. Even some leaders of tribes were paid to enslave their own people and keep them in storage to be sold later.

What a heinous crime! They were split up and sold to masters in various Caribbean islands and other places. Slaves were introduced to Montserrat in the early 1650’s and the Dutch agents were the suppliers.

According to Sheridan, 1974, there were about 9,834 slaves on Montserrat in 1775. It must be noted that slaves were encouraged to dance while they were coming through the Trans-Atlantic Passage.

Some of them were brought on deck to show their skills and to exercise. If they did well, they were thrown a piece of sweet meat and slaves would stamp on it to claim ownership. This has been upgraded to coins. Have you observed how the masquerades stamp on the coins?

There were estates on Montserrat and these were located at Waterworks, Brodericks, Frye’s, Hermitage, Weekes, Farrell’s, Richmond Hill, Bransby, Paradise and other areas. There were sugar mills at Barzey’s, Baker Hill, Forgathy, Sweeney’s, Cork Hill, Manjack and other places.

However, the slaves never gave up their desire to be free because they were regarded as chattel, mere commodities and machinery to make Massa rich and intimately satisfied. That is why they planned the rebellion for March 17, 1768.

The idea was for the slaves at Government House to seize the swords and those who were on the surroundings would use any weapon to create havoc.

This day was chosen as, the slaves knew that their masters would be drunk and very vulnerable. Unfortunately, a white woman who was also a seamstress overheard the conversations. She questioned a slave woman about the matter and she unveiled the whole plan.

It should be noted that probably the slave woman was afraid or maybe she was given some free rum or promised a reduction on the cost of her new dress. The white woman was called Miss Katie, according to my grandmother, Margaret “Peggy” Browne.

The nine ring leaders were executed and thirty others were tried, found guilty and deported to other islands. It was a very sad day. However, even though the rebellion did not take place, we regard those who suffered as freedom fighters, trailblazers and National Heroes.

They ignited the flames for freedom. It must be noted that the Cudjoe who was involved with 17/3/1768 is not the same Cudjoe who was lynched at Cudjoe Head. As time rolled on, other leaders emerged like another Cudjoe, Cuffy, Equiano, Sufia and Bridget & Hannah Woods, George Wyke and Edward Parson.

Before our ancestors came to the Caribbean and other places, they worshipped nature. e.g. the sun, rivers. Their masters introduced them to the Supreme and taught them to be docile and turn the other cheek.

Many of them had to sit on the bench under the tamarind tree in St. Anthony’s Churchyard because they could not worship in the chapel. The slaves involved themselves in various types of rituals and cults because they wanted a better life by breaking the shackles of slavery. The drum was very important in achieving this but it was banned at certain times.

However, the slaves played their drums deep in the mountains and sang folk songs. Moreso, their counterparts from Guadeloupe used to visit on weekends. They came through a tunnel, played their drums and carried lights on sticks.

About two years after the planned rebellion, there was a false alarm of another rebellion and the sixteen persons who were accused were found innocent. The slave owners were frightened and encouraged the jurors to find them innocent in order to still the waters.

The Governor of the day, William Woodley was happy with the verdict.

The slaves left a mark on religion so we note: drumming, rituals, Jumbie Dance, scanting , songs, woo-woo drum, Voodoo, Orisha works, Pocomania, Santeria, Umbanda, Xango, Candomble and Bantuque.

The prejudice against the slaves never ended and the slave well at Dando in Cork Hill is a reminder. Slave women were so fed up with the situation that they performed abortions to ensure that no more people were enslaved.

Some slaves developed a “crab in a barrel mentality” and some of them reported on many secrets so that they would gain the favour of the planter class. Our people were programmed to hate each other!

Our ancestors were pushed to ignore their indigenous culture and adopt the white man’s way of life.

Yet, we have many African legacies to hold onto e.g. (1) our dressing: multi-coloured clothes, headties, long skirts, robes, dashiki, make-up, tattooing, body art, African attire. (2) The slaves made their own wattle and daub houses, stone ovens, pit latrines, calabash utensils, cassava mills and more. (3) Language: words like nyam, babble, buckra, sensed fowl, dutty, cocobay. mummy, nyampi, Pidgin language and dialect.

In 2019, are we still wondering if we have an African legacy? Are we still masquerading to the beat of the white man’s whip? Join me again tomorrow for another episode of reflection.

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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?

Contribution  

(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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It will be some time before it reaches the stage to seek 'political' independence, but...

It will be some time before it reaches the stage to seek ‘political’ independence, but…

March 8, 2019

We should make it clear, we are not calling for independence of Britain, and all that goes with that, on the issues and controversies emanating from the seemingly asseverate position the UK wants to hold over the OTs, in particular those who do not wish to adhere to such especially positions concerning ‘same sex marriage’, and beneficial ownerships of companies, beneficial ownership of companies register, the right to vote for UK citizens resident in Bermuda, and legalisation of same-sex marriage.

We are suggesting that while it will be a decade perhaps or more before Montserrat can claim to just balance its own recurrent budget, much more claim economic independence, or being in a 1995 pre-volcanic crisis, we must be prepared for the hardship that comes with being free of enslavement to having to accept that which the people believe goes against their being.

We noted the other day about what seemed a new phrase, in the sense we had not heard it used often before, that of political independence as against ‘independence’, creating the reality that indeed very few nations in the world if any can claim economic independence. And we can keep this well within the region and narrow it down further to CARICOM and OECS nations. Then consider Montserrat’s place with its unique position and standing having since 1995 having to face a ‘virgin’ situation of building a new country.

We will never forget Minister of State “I mean, where else in the world would some face a disaster like that and still come out smiling and determined to get things going again. The admiration we have for that gives us that extra bit of drive.”

Promote the vision of the OTs as part of the British family, flourishing and vibrant, and less financially dependent.

Does the vision to do this require the soul of the people of Montserrat, and in extension that of all Overseas Territories?

Note Bermuda’s position on issues also coming out of that FAC Report, while the Premier asked London to dismiss a report that recommends British expatriates living in this British Overseas Territory get to vote.

He rejected calls for independence — a longstanding aim of the ruling Progressive Labour Party — but said the stance on cutting ties with Britain could change.

So we must join the thoughts and desires of the other OTs who deplore those ideas which go against the mandate that says: “…to protect our way of life. For democracy to work anywhere – the people’s voice must be heard – and must be respected!”

Specifically, we share the BVI’s new Premier who says: “We value our relations with the UK, and we do hope that Westminster, values and understand the special circumstances of small island territories as ours; that they are sensitive to our culture, customs and values which have been fashioned by history and geography, and our faith in God,”

And do you know our Constitution begins with that? See the Preamble:

“Acknowledging that their society is founded on… the rule of law and the supremacy of God;…”

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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?

No.

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: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/fac-report-pushes-for-homosexualisation-of-marriage-how-can-montserrat-respond-reasonably-and-responsibly/ and https://www.themontserratreporter.com/same-sex-marriage-in-montserrat/

[2]E.g. see: http://genderfluidsupport.tumblr.com/gender/

Posted in Columns, De Ole Dawg, Education, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

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: https://badoo.com/team/press/117/. 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.”

https://badoo.com/team/press/117/ 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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Teenager commits suicide after mother takes away cell phone

Teenager commits suicide after mother takes away cell phone

by staff writer 

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 4, CMC – A 16-year-old girl is reported to have committed suicide after her mother took away her mobile phone after finding out that she had been posting revealing photographs on social media, the Trinidad Express newspaper reported Monday.

It said that the incident occurred on Saturday when the teenager drank a poisonous statement at her home in Wallerfield in East Trinidad.

The paper reported that a container with “a green liquid” was found in the bedroom.

The mother told police that she had taken away her daughter’s cellphone after relatives discovered she had been posting revealing photographs on social media.

The child was rushed to the Arima Health Facility, where she was pronounced dead

 

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Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Education, Entertainment, International, Kids, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Hands holding smartphones

Smartphones in school: Ban, restrict or allow?

BBC News

Hands holding smartphones

Love them or hate them, smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. But should they be left outside the classroom?

Nick Gibb, the minister for school standards in England, told the BBC he believes schools should ban their pupils from bringing in smartphones.

Opinions are certainly divided, with many people saying that pupils should be taught how to use their phones responsibly.

Preparation for life after school

Peter Freeth, whose daughters are aged 13 and 18 years old, says schools should do more to integrate phones into the learning experience.

Peter Freeth with his two daughters
Peter Freeth, here with his daughters, says “It’s too late to take phones off kids so get them using them for something valuable”

“Schools expect children to do their homework on computers. They need to use apps in the classroom as part of the process, to watch videos, stream content, log attendance and participate in study groups. Basically, all the things that smart businesses do.”

“Banning phones is based on an old idea that students should sit quietly in front of the teachers. There shouldn’t be a disconnect. In the work place we’re adapting the learning process to the learner. The idea of getting rid of smartphones is about conformity.”

A fantastic power in their hands

Astrid Natley

Astrid Natley says there’s a hypocritical divide where adults “choose to reject the reality of the 2019 world and how so many people function and communicate”

Astrid Natley, an English teacher at a secondary girls grammar school in Lincolnshire, incorporates phones into her classroom.

“My school does not have money for classroom tablets and technology.”

“When students use their phones for research, they learn that they have a fantastic power in their hands. We can give the student the ability to see how education can be accessed at home without it feeling like a despised departure from their own world.”

“For reading difficulties, font size can be increased on their phones; for recording their work, photos can be taken, and I also use group quizzes to engage the students.”

“If we stop children using phones, then we’re rejecting something they care about. Phones are important for them and that’s not going to change.”

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‘No place in a child’s life’

Meanwhile, Yvonne Lockhart, a registered nurse who has worked for community education supports a complete ban.

“I am banned from mobile phone usage at work, and my phone must be ‘removed’ from my person or handed in. If I am caught with it in my pocket, I will be subject to a disciplinary procedure which will impact on my career.”

“We need to teach children how to behave like the professionals they are striving to become. Ban the phones, they have no place in a child’s life.”

Kids are socialising

On Facebook, Tara Blount reveals her children’s school has implemented a ban and are seeing the benefits. Image copyright .

Richard, a secondary school English teacher in the independent sector, thinks there should be a clear separation between school and home.

“We wouldn’t expect children, left to their own devices all day with no formal schooling, to voluntarily pick up text books at home and learn, so it is inherent in the system that they do things differently in the two environments.”

“Children are getting more than enough screen time and access to this technology in their lives without the need to bring it into the classroom. The internet is too easy and too unreliable a research tool, so let’s leave phones and laptops at home, and show them a different world in their lessons – one of books and pens.”

Stop bullying

Assistant head teacher Alison Gill, from Shropshire, agrees an all-out ban is necessary so staff can “do what they’re trained to do and not take on the role of the police or social services.”

“We have a computer suite, where students can use the internet, under supervision. We’ve no way of tracking what they’re looking at on their phones, iPads or smart watches.”

“We have already had a case of harassment whilst a student was off school. Allowing students mobile technology into school adds another layer of issues for teaching staff to deal with and also leads to further confrontations inside and outside of the classroom.”

Safety is key

Many people accept that mobile phones are a very useful way of keeping in touch with children and making sure they travel safely to and from school. Parents with children who have medical conditions say a smartphone is vital to keep tabs on their health.

Insulin pen being administered
Kay Bellwood’s son’s mobile phone monitors his glucose levels

Kay Bellwood’s 11-year-old son has Type 1 diabetes and relies on his phone to to tell him his blood glucose levels.

“His phone has tracking, so if his blood glucose level is too low he can be found if he’s unable to walk or talk. He can send an SOS.”

“It is literally life saving medical technology. A ban would be direct discrimination under the equality act.”

Written by Sherie Ryder, UGC and Social News

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