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Bertrand-Osborne - OECS

OECS Director General extends condolences on passing of former Chief Minister of Montserrat Bertrand Osborne

OECS Media release

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — The OECS conveys sincere condolences to the Government and people of Montserrat on the passing of Bertrand Osborne, former Chief Minister.

Mr Bertrand Osborne served as Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 1996 to August 1997 during the volcanic crisis and was a member of the Montserrat Legislative Council for 14 years.He was also honoured with the National Order of Distinction award in 2014. 

“We have lost a leader, an oustanding man whose contribution to the development of Montserrat and by extension the OECS region is invaluable. We mourn this loss with the nation of Montserrat and extend our deepest sympathies to his family,” Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didacus Jules stated.


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Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

Government moving to privatise sugar cane industry

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 15, CMC – The Barbados government says it is considering merging or partnering the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company Limited (BAMC) with the Barbados Sugar Industry Limited (BSIL), as it seeks to fully privatise the sugar cane industry.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Indar Weir, said also Barbadians will have an opportunity to own shares in the newly formed entity which should come on stream within another five years.

Weir said the government could no longer subsidise the BAMC to the tune of BDS$12 million (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) under the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrangement.

Last week, Barbados and the IMF said they had reached an agreement that will result in the country y being given access to almost US$300 million to support a home-grown programme aimed at turning around the economy.

Weir said as a result, the company would have to find a way to bridge that financial gap and that he has already instructed the BAMC board of directors would have to look at how quickly the transition into the new entity could happen.

The Agriculture Minister said government’s stake in the entity would be limited.

“We are embarking on a system of retooling and empowering, retraining and enfranchising.  And, if we are going to do this successfully, then it means that we as a Government must pave the way for all of this to take place.

“There is no space for any government in this modern time and place where the private sector can perform those duties and do them better.  I feel that greater efficiencies can come if we can get the sugar industry completely managed and operated through the private sector,” he said.

Weir said that Barbados now had a sugar industry that was capable of delivering what was needed “in terms of build out of an industry” to contribute to Barbados’ economy going forward.

He cited additional opportunities that would be created through the rebirth of the sugar cane industry, such as entrepreneurs becoming involved in the “direct packaging and consumption of sugar” and rum distilleries producing more rum using local inputs.

He also praised the high quality products being made at the St. Nicholas Abbey, as well as their business model, which combines the manufacturing of agricultural products with tourism.

Weir said that there was a high demand for the Barbados rum brand produced by St. Nicholas Abbey and for locally produced rum on a whole, adding that it was being sold “for a premium” in markets such as the United Kingdom.

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TS Isaac - Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac closes down Montserrat?


Cabinet has taken a decision to close all schools and government offices at 12 noon today for the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac. The private sector is also encouraged to close their businesses at 12 noon today as well, especially those with parents who have school-aged children.

According to Major Alvin Ryan, Interim Director at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), although, tropical storm conditions on Montserrat are not expected to get significantly worst, they are not anticipated to improve before 3 pm today and significant rainfall activity is forecast for this afternoon. Therefore, Mr Ryan says to err on the side of caution, all schools, government offices be closed at mid-day and the private sector is encouraged to do likewise.

By B. Roach

As The Montserrat Reporter is not obliged to carry ‘notices’ provided to us merely as information with no request for ‘paid’ publication which then obliges us, we cannot help but editorialise on what we consider to be poor decisions made without due regard for the economic status of the country. We of course regard this merely as a Notice to us, not otherwise, but find it aggravating. Oh for several reasons, not all mentioned here!

The very nature of the NDPRAC statement outlining the status of TS (Tropical Storm) Isaac suggests “to err on the side of caution’ is very questionable as to the understanding of the information available from all sorts of sources.

Along with what they are saying, for those concerned a constant look at the does provide simple guide and information to the weather status affecting Montserrat from We use also additional sources. There you will find hourly weather situations. E.g. Today, unlike earlier in the forecasts which promised possible thunderstorms etc. it shows showers and cloudy conditions from time to time into the evening. Tomorrow a national day of mourning , the passing of former CM Bertrand Osborne – is a holiday.

The question when all other circumstances, including ‘official’ forecasts should this encourage our government to take a decision to close down the country for the rest of the day, when the possible worst would have past. (See diagrams here).

current information:

Center location already west of the most affected islands, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe

TS Isaac – Image 2018-09-13 at 12.37.52 PM – (See Montserrat outside the ball of activity!

These decisions are so symptomatic of the miserable state Montserrat has evolved into the over the past several years. Unfortunately, we see this situation as continuing for some time, throughout this decade, already too long especially as one listens to the ongoing discussions regarding an inquiry invoked by the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) into the UK’s future relationship with the OT’s. We will later inform of some 11-year-olds opinion on the matter.

And also the ill-advised and misguided, unprepared and bad futuristic calls being made these days.




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Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac (Update)

by Bennette Roach

TS Isaac Image 2018-09-12

Isaac forecast 2015-09-13 (THURSDAY) at 2.00 PM

The National Disaster Preparedness Response Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) met today, Tuesday September 11th, 2018 to review Montserrat’s preparedness for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles late on Wednesday night, (chain of Islands from Grenada north to the BVI).

In a release from the NDPRAC it says: “The Antigua Meteorological Service (with responsibility for Montserrat) has placed Montserrat on a Tropical Storm Watch and expects the island to be affected by tropical storm force winds.”

“NDPRAC notes that there will be no air and sea access to and from Montserrat on Thursday, September 13th, 2018. Air access is expected to resume on Friday September 14th, 2018, weather permitting, whilst ferry operations are expected to resume on Saturday September 15th, 2018.”

Meanwhile, NDPRAC NDPRAC continues to advise that all residents and visitors secure their properties, businesses and livestock in preparation for the impending storm.

A further update is expected later today when from sources, it is expected they will advise a further downgrading of the storm, but no doubt plans except for schools, government buildings etc. will be firmly determined.

Funeral services for Bertrand Osborne

Meanwhile, funeral and burial plans for Hon. Bertrand Osborne former Chief Minister have been postponed to Saturday.

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St Lucia Mango festival

First Saint Lucia Mango Festival gathered 500 visitors!

OECS Media release

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — The OECS and EU sponsored Saint Lucia Mango Festival held last week met all expectations as the event brought together 16 exhibitors and 500 participants at the Constitution Park in Castries.

The festival aimed at raising public awareness on the Mango Biodiversity Project which was started in 2017 in order to limit land erosion in vulnerable riverbanks. The high soil stabilisation capacity of the mango tree enables a bio solution to this issue in Saint Lucia where 6.000 have already been planted. Mrs La Force-Haynes highlighted the success of the endeavour.    

The Festival was very well received by the public. We had about 16 participants who showcased different products made with mango and at least 500 visitors today. We hope to make the Saint Lucia Mango Festival an annual event ! Environmental Education Officer Nicole La Force-Haynes explained.  

On a regional level, The Saint Lucia Mango Festival formed part of the European Union funded GCCA iLand Resilience Project on climate change adaptation and sustainable land management. The GCCA project which started in 2014 includes multiple initiatives implemented in collaboration with governments of participating countries.   

Nine OECS Member States are direct beneficiaries of the GCCA Project. It is a 10.6 million euros project and there are various national and regional initiatives supported. Head of the OECS Environmental Sustainability Cluster Chamberlain Emmanuel stated.

Projects undertaken in the scope of GCCA iland Resilience encompasses coastal protection work in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts and Nevis as well as rainwater harvesting in Grenada and Montserrat. Other physical adaptations measures coordinated by the OECS Commission are expected to contribute to a more climate resilience Eastern Caribbean in the future.

First Saint Lucia Mango Festival gathered 500 visitors

Saint Lucia Mango Festival – stand of fresh fruit juices

St Lucia Mango festival – stand of brownies

Saint Lucia Mango Festival – mango jelly and mango cakes








Saint Lucia Mango Festival – stand of mango cakes

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OECS - US Ambasador and Jules 2

US Ambassador Pays Courtesy Visit On the OECS Commission

US Ambassordor to OECS, H.E. Linda Taglialatela and OECS Director General Didacus Jules

OECS Media Release

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — United States Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) H.E. Linda Taglialatela paid a courtesy visit today on Director General of the Organisation Didacus Jules.

During the meeting various issues of mutual interest were discussed including the status of US funded projects currently underway in the OECS region, and the progress of reconstruction efforts in Member States affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The discussions also focused on issues of political and economic concern to both the US and OECS Member States.

On matters concerning key areas for cooperation between the Organisation and the United States, the Ambassador expressed the desire of the United States to remain engaged with the OECS in order to address issues of concern and to enhance future prospects for cooperation.  Collaboration between the United States and the OECS is facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which is a major development partner of the Organisation.

The Director General apprised the Ambassador of the new initiatives currently being undertaken by the Organization, as well as progress made towards regional integration.

Both sides expressed the view that they will continue to maintain contact to share information and to discuss matters of interest particularly related to the economic development and security of the OECS region.

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Antigua Observer Newspaper

Scare for Antiguans travelling on JetBlue flight

Antigua Observer Newspaper


A passenger on board a Jet Blue flight gave a scare to a number of Antiguans and Barbudans and other travelers when he became unruly and violent on the aircraft en route to New York.

One passenger told OBSERVER media the man ripped a few seats on the flight and tried unsuccessfully to pry open the emergency exit in midair.

The traveler said six other passengers rushed from their seats to prevent the man from opening the exit. They wrestled with him and subdued him while the flight diverted to Bermuda where he was removed from the flight.

A JetBlue spokesperson confirmed the 740 flight diverted due to an unruly passenger, according to Bernews in Bermuda.

The news agency quotes the airline as saying, “On Aug. 24, flight 740 from Antigua to New York JFK diverted to Bermuda due to an unruly customer. Local law enforcement met the aircraft to remove the customer, and the flight then continued on to New York.”

The aircraft left the LF Wade International Airport around 8 p.m., not long after the passenger was taken away.

In addition to the police, the Emergency Medical Technicians and Bermuda Fire and Rescue personnel attended the scene.

No one was injured on the flight but an Antiguan passenger said he was scared during the ordeal as he highlighted that not only was his life at risk, but there were dozens of other passengers on board.

He said he had no idea what to think when the incident began to unfold but later passengers said they believed the unruly traveler was struggling with mental issues.

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Collectively We Must Shoulder Blame For Montserrat

Collectively We Must Shoulder Blame For Montserrat

By Claude Gerald

Make no mistake about it.

Political representation is at a low ebb, perhaps at its lowest on Montserrat, since the right to vote in Parliamentary elections.

The fact is the cupboard is empty in terms of quality candidates at the upcoming elections. Things can get more challenging as the choices will be greater now, since all sorts from all quarters realize that based on eligibility and performances of the elected, candidates only need to wash their feet and come, get in, do nothing and be rewarded financially for life.

Parliamentarians who set the island on a strong socio-economic path should be handsomely paid. This keeps them from indulging in mischief. How then does a spouse qualify for a part of the deceased parliamentarian’s emoluments until death? Can a tiny resourced society afford such especially if spouse is a liability? Consider the burden on future tax-payers, since the national productivity is non-existent across all sectors. 

Weaning the dependency on the UK taxpayer is not a serious official policy. A rude awakening is on the horizon as the UK has its steep mountain of domestic issues and its geopolitical power wanes with every passing year.

The prospects of lower grade aspirants to political power are real. The premise on which entry to political office is made is hardly any different to the reason students choose law or medicine as a career, which is to make big bucks at the expense of the gullible. Service to humanity is hardly the central focus in these endeavours and politics must be seen as the avenue that sets the cultural pace for every undertaking on the national stage.

A bunch of parliamentarians, with monstrous self-serving agenda and empty of any passion for real, sacrificial service to country and its people, reigns on Montserrat. There is rarely any real ability or capability to think through national problems. Hindsight, foresight and insight to marshal the present and the future to our sustained benefit is hardly part of their collective portfolio, as gleaned by their discourses in Parliamentary debates, on radio or other pronouncements.  

The peoples’ business is perceptively not on the pecking order. And cannot because persons can only live and give what is truly of their nature: the idea of taking from and not giving to others is the pattern. This attitude has never been a formula for success in human relations at any time in man’s history.  It is central however in determining progress or lack of it in all our ways in this volcanic era.

But in a democracy like ours, parliamentarians are a reflection of the mindset of the electors who dutifully created them and sent them, big salary in hand, to set themselves up, with greed and corruption, never not a part of their business equation in the election cycle.

Collectively we must shoulder blame. We do not value ability. We are personal and petty.  We think low and below. We do not see the wood from the trees. We love a bellyful on nothing. We bribable. We like who we like. Others get baskets full of water. Independent minds get cut down. We do not know that we do not know. We are in a bad state. We call evil good – wearing the church hood.

Many of them are disbelieving that they succeeded at the last election with such ease.  Their ‘red-up and fed up’ mantra worked. Don Romeo was exceedingly popular. In fact Premier Don Romeo is known to have schooled his son to seek popularity as an education is secondary to being acclaimed by the masses. Prosperity then looms. 

Without actually wanting his leadership, others still rallied. He perhaps did not want himself.  But Don despised the thought, rightly so that the opportunistic and bitingly ambitious Claude Hogan, with nothing to distinguish him as worthy of such or much honour, would be pumping his chest – the Lord is Claude – as Hogan salivated profusely and expectantly at the prospect of seeking to upset Don’s first chance at the helm. Don knew the task was too much for him. Down on confidence, he was missing in action from his desk for days after the election – a horrible start.  Given his low pulse readings, he may still.

Premier Romeo better know that he who does not lead will be led by those who have narrow interests, hurting us all. Thus power is given to unelected and duplicitous bureaucrats, many too unfit to make decisions on behalf of the masses but who enjoy the power play for the self-gain, in settings in which he is told what to do and when on national issues.

He was ordered to fire Claude Hogan; sooner would have earned him credit. Similarly was dictated too on the Chairmanship of the Bank of Montserrat; interestingly given to a native Montserratian, who for some thirty odd years still a resident American; and this against the advice of the Manager of the Bank with the awkward logistics of dealing with a Skyping Chairman, who perhaps pulls rank at whim; and with internet irregularities too, all which can spell inefficiency in this light.

The Chairman’s initiation and elevation in the business of the Bank emerged solely on the strength of his blood connections to a famed, politically shifting, Red-UP supporter, with (non-pharmaceutical) expertise, in determining the election prospects of and the policies and machinations of many failed governments in the past; through wide-ranging election gimmickry to win votes for favoured candidates;  from even institutionalized residents, with unstable mindsets, not fully cognizant of their roles in the process;  the only requirement is a mere heartbeat of the infirmed resident for that moment!

When one thinks of this beloved isle, with all its unique underutilized human prospects, its children especially – who escape to be reared in a cold foreign culture, it ushers gut-wrenching sadness. All the possibilities for a bright future that are so wantonly squandered, disappoint and depress.

Does it amount to a hopeless situation beyond redemption?

Claude Gerald is a Social Commentator on Montserrat. Find him at

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A Moment With The Registrar Of Lands- Part 01: 2018

A Moment With The Registrar Of Lands- Part 01: 2018

A moment with the Registrar of Lands

Applying for a replacement Land Certificate.

Every owner of land in Montserrat is entitled to have a land certificate issued as proof of land ownership.  Landowners must be responsible for keeping their certificate in a secure, safe location, just as they would any other important documents, such as passports and birth certificates.  However, there are times when land certificates get lost or misplaced.  This short article sets out the procedure to replace a lost land certificate.

A land certificate may get lost for several reasons.  The most common reason is that the Land Certificate got lost or misplaced after someone moved or relocated or following the death of a family member.  Land certificates may get lost or destroyed as a result of a fire, flood, hurricane or as a result of criminal activity such as arson or burglary.  There are other instances when the certificate gets lost or misplaced after it is entrusted to a third person, such as a family member, or a lawyer, surveyor, realtor, or banker.


Sworn Statement

  • The owner of the land must make a sworn statement or affidavit including facts that would satisfy the Registrar that the certificate has been lost or destroyed.  The statement must detail events leading up to the loss, including where the certificate was last located, and the last time the whereabouts of the certificate were known.  If the certificate was entrusted to a bank, a lawyer, surveyor or family member, then that person would also have to make a statement, to confirm that the land certificate was last in his possession. 
  • Supporting documents must be attached to substantiate the facts stated, such as a police report of a burglary or fire.  In any event, the Registrar of Lands may request any supporting document to satisfy that the Land Certificate is lost or destroyed.


After the application has been accepted by the Land Registry, with the statements and supporting documents, the Land Registry must publish a notice to the public that the certificate is lost.  Newspaper publication has been the most effective publication method for lost certificate application.  The most effective publication method for lost certificate application has been publishing in the newspaper.

Publication is a very important step because it:

  • Affords an opportunity to any person who may have information about the certificate to come forward;
  • Is easily documented as proof of publication, which the Registrar requires to cancel the old certificate and issue a new one;
  • Provides an opportunity to prevent loss by a potential equitable chargee, or a person who may have been entrusted with the certificate by the owner in exchange for a loan, or services and who would lose his security if a new certificate is issued without his knowledge.


Because only one certificate should exist for each parcel of land at any time, the applicant must agree or give an undertaking in his statement that if the lost certificate is ever found, it would be handed into the Land Registry.   This is a very important undertaking because the existence of two certificates for the same land parcel would be highly suspicious, and as it would appear that a falsehood or fraud took place to induce the Registrar of Lands to produce a land certificate when a land certificate was already in existence.


Applications for replacement of lost land certificates are not usually complicated.  Once a comprehensive statutory statement is made, most applications are granted within a short time.  Persons may wish to contact their lawyers for assistance in these applications.  For any questions concerning these or other applications concerning land, contact the Land Registry at (664) 491-3669/3620 or by email at surveys@

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US Coast Guard seizes cocaine, nabs four alleged drug smugglers

US Coast Guard seizes cocaine, nabs four alleged drug smugglers

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug 31,  CMC – The United States Coast Guard says it seized more than two million (US) in cocaine and nabbed four suspected smugglers in separate incidents in the Caribbean Sea.

It said that Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities apprehended three suspected smugglers and seized about US$1 million in cocaine following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel Monday off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

(File Photo)

The Coast Guard said the interdictions were the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve.

“Our collective efforts and interagency cooperation are key in stopping drug laden go-fasts from reaching Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” said Capt. Eric P. King, Commander of US Coast Guard Sector San Juan.

“Within two days, the strong partnerships and efficient coordination within the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, along with the cooperation of augmenting Coast Guard aircraft and US Navy assets, contributed to the interdiction of two drug smuggling go-fasts and seven smugglers being brought to justice,” he added.

The Coast Guard said that in the first instance, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft on a routine patrol detected a suspicious 20-foot go-fast vessel transiting at night towards Puerto Rico without navigational lights, about 22 nautical miles off the northern coast of the island.

It said during the operation that followed the crew recovered multiple bales with a combined weight of 32.2 kilograms, 27 bricks, which tested positive for cocaine.

“The Zephyr destroyed the go-fast vessel as a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin later rendezvoused with the Zephyr and embarked the suspected smugglers and contraband for final transport and transfer to federal law enforcement authorities in Mayaguez [Puerto Rico].”

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