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Representatives of the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit in Montserrat receive a copy of the EAF toolkit

Anguilla and Montserrat strengthen capacity to mainstream climate change adaptation in their fisheries sectors

CANARI Media Release

commonly known in Montserrat as ‘jacks’

Port of Spain, Trinidad With the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season mere weeks away, many Caribbean islands are already bracing for the possibility of being hit by a tropical storm or hurricane.

One sector which has been particularly hard hit is the fisheries sector. Damage to important fisheries infrastructure and assets such as jetties, boats, and fishing gear can cost Caribbean countries millions of dollars in recovery and lost revenue.

These damages also have a substantial impact on the livelihoods of those who depend on fishing as a main source of income and could be a driving force behind increasing poverty in fishing communities. Other climate related effects such as warming oceans and rising sea levels also have negative impacts on the sector, including loss of important fisheries habitats.

Ensuring that countries integrate climate change adaption and disaster risk management into the policies and plans for their fisheries sectors is therefore vital for protecting important fisheries ecosystems, securing livelihoods and food production and reducing poverty.


Participants at the workshop held in Anguilla, January 22-25, 2019

In January 2019, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWICERMES) hosted training workshops in Anguilla and Montserrat with policy makers, fisheries managers, fisherfolk and other key stakeholders to demonstrate how climate change adaption and disaster risk management can be practically incorporated into fisheries management plans. A total of 69 participants from both islands, attended the four-day workshops.

The training workshops used the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) toolbox to help participants decide what practical solutions they could apply given their particular circumstances and resources. Overall, participants found the toolkit easy to use. Participants in particular found the section of the toolkit on communication to be very useful, with one participant in Anguilla noting that “communication and the means in which it is carried out among stakeholder groups is critical in fisheries planning.” 


Representatives of the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit in Montserrat receive a copy of the EAF toolkit

As a follow-up to the workshops, both Anguilla and Montserrat will take steps to update their fisheries management plans to mainstream climate change adaption and disaster risk management using an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. Part of the training also specifically targeted fisherfolk in an effort to get them more involved in stewardship actions that would help protect and conserve the marine habitats upon which they depend, and reduce their vulnerability to climate change impacts. A small grants call was sent out in March 2019 to fisherfolk organisations in both islands for proposals on projects to address climate change adaptation and disaster risk management through stewardship and innovative solutions. The selected projects will launch in June 2019 and end in December 2019.

For further information, please contact: Ainka Granderson, Senior Technical Officer, CANARI at ainka@canari.org or +1-868-638-6062.

About the project:

The training workshops and small grant programme are both key activities under the 3-year Climate change adaptation in the fisheries of Anguilla and Montserrat project (April 2017- March 2020). This project is being is being implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Anguilla, Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit – Montserrat and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWI-CERMES). The project is funded by the Government of the United Kingdom from the Darwin Plus: Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund under the Darwin Initiative. See here for more information on the project:

Climate Change Adaptation In The Fisheries Of Anguilla And Montserrat (April 2017-March 2020)

About CANARI:

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for 30 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships.

Ocean Governance and Fisheries

The Caribbean region is ranked among one of the most biodiverse regions of the world.  In the OECS increasing awareness is being placed on marine areas which hold an abundance of natural resources including rich biodiversity, living resources both marine and terrestrial and nonliving resources in the form of mineral and natural products. In comparison to the land area the OECS has many times more marine area as prescribed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Law of the Sea.

While, the OECS has exercised jurisdiction by legislation over the water column and the accompanying living and non-living resources, the benefits to be derived are not fully maximized but nonetheless many resources are utilized. However, many decades of use and exploitation of the marine environment with inadequate resource management programmes has left a growing evidence of degradation of its critical and vulnerable ecosystems. Some of the drivers of this degradation are those activities associated with poorly-planned coastal and urban development, unsustainable tourism, land based and marine sources of pollution, over-exploitation of living resources, removal of keystone species and the proliferation of invasive species.  Notwithstanding, the economic potential of some marine resources remains unassessed or underutilized. These latter resources include, but are not limited to, non-living resources such as petroleum products, marine renewable energy sources, and mineable resources.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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Sold Into Sex Slavery

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by Mark Bassant and Hema Ramkissoon

May 18 2019

SOLD A LIE

Maria There­sa, a 19-year-old nurs­ing stu­dent from Tu­cu­pi­ta, saw the promise of a new be­gin­ning.

Like oth­er places in Venezuela, the econ­o­my of her small town in the Orinoco Delta had col­lapsed, caus­ing thou­sands of res­i­dents to flee.

Maria saw her chance when a friend told her about peo­ple who could take her to find a bet­ter life in Trinidad.

Some traf­fick­ers, an or­gan­ised net­work of Trinida­di­ans and Venezue­lans, promised Maria and her friends that they would loan them mon­ey for the trip. When they land­ed in Trinidad, the same peo­ple would find them jobs as hair­dressers or house­keep­ers.

So, one night in Jan­u­ary, Maria climbed on­to a pirogue from a hid­den in­let on the Orinoco Riv­er. About six hours lat­er, she land­ed in an area she be­lieved to be Ch­aguara­mas, where she and oth­er pas­sen­gers on the boat were met by a man they didn’t know. From there, they were tak­en to a house oc­cu­pied by oth­er mi­grants.

For three days, Maria and eight oth­er Venezue­lans were crammed in­to a room where day­light bare­ly crept in. Their pass­ports were tak­en from them and they were fed a di­et of Crix and wa­ter. One day, they had no food at all.

It was on­ly then Maria re­alised that the traf­fick­ers had sold her a lie.

On the third day, the door to her room opened and one of her han­dlers told her to get pret­ty; that some vis­i­tors would be ar­riv­ing soon. Maria was con­fused and afraid but did as she was com­mand­ed.

When a strange man came in and leered at her, she un­der­stood her fate.

“They said that we (were) go­ing to be pros­ti­tutes and if we didn’t like it, it didn’t mat­ter, be­cause they brought us here and we had to do it.”

Dressed in a green track suit, Maria gave this de­tailed ac­count from a safe house in Pe­tit Bourg.

“I would have worked in any job be­cause there is noth­ing in Venezuela. There is no op­por­tu­ni­ty. You can’t sur­vive. But not pros­ti­tu­tion,” Maria said, bury­ing her face in her hands.

BONDAGE DEBT PAID WITH SEX

Venezuela’s eco­nom­ic col­lapse has trig­gered an ex­o­dus of some five mil­lion peo­ple from the South Amer­i­can na­tion. By some es­ti­mates, some 60,000 have sought refuge in Trinidad.

A three-month Guardian Me­dia in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed how hu­man traf­fick­ers have swooped in to prey on Venezue­lan women seek­ing eco­nom­ic sur­vival. These traf­fick­ers have placed hun­dreds of young women in­to mod­ern-day sex slav­ery.

The net­works in­volve an en­tan­gled web of Trinida­di­an and Venezue­lan traf­fick­ers who smug­gle these women, cor­rupt po­lice of­fi­cers who fa­cil­i­tate the trade and pro­tect wrong­do­ers, and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials who of­ten times take bribes to turn a blind eye to the women’s ex­ploita­tion. Un­der­world Venezue­lan fig­ures with il­lic­it arms and Asian crim­i­nal gangs are of­ten part of the crim­i­nal net­works.

The il­lic­it sex trade seems to span the en­tire coun­try, from the re­mote port of Ce­dros to high-ris­es in West­moor­ings, where sex slaves—some as young as 15 years old—are held against their will, locked in rooms and forced to have sex with men. Some vic­tims are drugged so old­er men can have their way with them.

The traf­fick­ers rou­tine­ly take these women to bars and night­clubs in search of clients. The younger the women, the high­er the price.

For a 30-minute ses­sion, traf­fick­ers charge $300, about the price of a doc­tor’s vis­it. The rates dou­ble to $600 for an hour. For the en­tire night, the traf­fick­er pock­ets $6,000.

The women are giv­en a mere pit­tance to sur­vive. They are forced to work night af­ter night un­til their bondage debt is erased; a debt owed to traf­fick­ers for their pas­sage to this coun­try.

These women are trapped in a cy­cle of debt with no re­lief in sight. And the traf­fick­ers find ways to keep the women en­slaved by adding the cost of food, cloth­ing, shel­ter, med­ical and pro­tec­tion fees to the orig­i­nal fig­ure.

SIX YEARS LAT­ER, NO CON­VIC­TIONS

Since the in­cep­tion of the Counter Traf­fick­ing Unit un­der the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty six years ago, on­ly 56 peo­ple—a lit­tle more than nine a year—have faced the courts for this of­fence, ac­cord­ing to a top law en­force­ment of­fi­cial. To date, no one has been con­vict­ed, au­thor­i­ties say.

In the last six months, po­lice have made some high-pro­file ar­rests, but hu­man rights ac­tivists con­tend that not enough is be­ing done.

The re­cent ar­rests in­clude:

On Feb­ru­ary 6, Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith lead an op­er­a­tion that res­cued 19 young South Amer­i­can women from two homes in West­moor­ings and a restau­rant along Ari­api­ta Av­enue. The young women, ages 15-18 years, were locked in rooms and made to take drugs and have sex with men for mon­ey. Po­lice al­so round­ed up at least 18 sus­pects for ques­tion­ing. A Chi­nese man, Jin­fu Zhu, and his 23-year-old Venezue­lan ac­com­plice, Solient Tor­res, were lat­er charged with 43 sex charges un­der the Sex­u­al Of­fences Act. The young women, most­ly of Venezue­lan na­tion­al­i­ty, were lat­er tak­en un­der the State’s care and kept in a safe house.

Mere days af­ter this ma­jor bust, a 24-year-old Venezue­lan woman who had es­caped from hu­man traf­fick­ers was re­cap­tured by them in Diego Mar­tin. Po­lice in­ter­cept­ed the al­leged traf­fick­ers along the Solomon Ho­choy High­way in the Clax­ton Bay area. Bat­tered and bruised, the shak­en woman was tak­en to the Wood­brook Po­lice Sta­tion. Akeem James, a 28-year-old spe­cial re­serve po­lice of­fi­cer and 39-year-old Kevin Houl­der a truck dri­ver were lat­er ar­rest­ed .

In Oc­to­ber last year, a 19-year-old Venezue­lan woman was se­vere­ly beat­en in a house in Debe. A video of the beat­ing was post­ed on so­cial me­dia by her al­leged per­pe­tra­tor who be­rat­ed her. A Diego Mar­tin man, Aval­on Cal­len­der was lat­er charged with kid­nap­ping and wound­ing with in­tent.

Au­thor­i­ties ac­knowl­edge that the hu­man traf­fick­ing prob­lem in­volv­ing sex slav­ery is a mas­sive one.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said the res­cue of the 19 women last Feb­ru­ary had trig­gered a flood of tips about il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty in­volv­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing across Trinidad and To­ba­go.

THE WORLD TAKES NO­TICE

Sev­er­al in­ter­na­tion­al agen­cies have fo­cused on the sex traf­fick­ing prob­lem dur­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Venezue­lan mi­grant sit­u­a­tion in Trinidad.

Melanie Teff, who is UNICEF UK’s se­nior hu­man­i­tar­i­an ad­vo­ca­cy and pol­i­cy ad­vis­er, re­called in­ter­view­ing about 50 Venezue­lan vic­tims who re­count­ed how traf­fick­ers en­trapped them in­to lives of sex and drugs.

In an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Teff said, “We heard about these women and girls read­ing ad­ver­tise­ments for what seemed like jobs in bars that did not ap­pear to be pros­ti­tu­tion. Their doc­u­ments are tak­en away leav­ing them trapped in a for­eign land.”

Teff said the height­ened de­spair of these Venezue­lan women left them at the mer­cy of heart­less traf­fick­ers.

“They want to sur­vive and send back mon­ey to their fam­i­lies, who they feel a re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to sup­port. If they are not al­lowed a way of be­ing le­gal in Trinidad and To­ba­go, then they are go­ing to be at much greater risk of be­ing ex­ploit­ed,” she said.

‘COPS IN­VOLVED IN HU­MAN TRAF­FICK­ING’

PCA di­rec­tor David West con­firmed re­ceiv­ing many re­ports about po­lice of­fi­cers be­ing in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing and hold­ing girls and young women cap­tive.

Young girls are at the mer­cy of rogue po­lice of­fi­cers, West said.

“These young girls do not know the sys­tem and there­fore they are afraid to re­port it,” he said.

West said that the PCA had re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of com­plaints in 2019 when com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

“It is very wor­ry­ing, the sto­ries that the girls tell are…,” West said, paus­ing to com­pose him­self.

A fa­ther of two girls, West said, “I do not wish it on any­body’s daugh­ter, what they have al­leged­ly done to those girls.”

West said vic­tims should know that his agency will in­ves­ti­gate com­plaints against of­fi­cers. “Come to the PCA and we will take their com­plaints and in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter and bring those per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice,” he said.

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith said he could not com­ment on pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in­to po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Grif­fith said he was mov­ing quick­ly to adopt poli­cies to tar­get and stamp out cor­rupt cops with the in­tro­duc­tion of poly­graph tests.

“Like any oth­er kind of il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty hu­man traf­fick­ing we will treat through sting op­er­a­tions,” Grif­fith said. “If they don’t (stop),we will get enough ev­i­dence to put them be­hind bars.”

‘YOU’LL BE­COME PROS­TI­TUTES’

Cas­es in­volv­ing Maria and oth­er women im­pli­cate po­lice of­fi­cers who not on­ly held them cap­tive but fa­cil­i­tat­ed sex­u­al ex­ploita­tion of the women.

Maria was adamant that an of­fi­cer was the mas­ter­mind be­hind the hu­man traf­fick­ing ring that held her cap­tive for al­most six months.

An­oth­er woman who was held at the house in Debe, south Trinidad, said a po­lice of­fi­cer rou­tine­ly raped her and forced her to have sex with cus­tomers. “He col­lect­ed and kept all of the mon­ey.”

Guardian Me­dia spoke to their vic­tims…

Like Maria, Ju­marie Car­oli­na fled pover­ty and star­va­tion in her home town of Cara­cas.

She en­dured a nine-hour jour­ney from her home to Tu­cu­pi­ta. Car­ry­ing on­ly a knap­sack, she board­ed a fer­ry to Ce­dros.

A friend from her home town told her of the op­por­tu­ni­ties in Trinidad. The is­land at the South­ern tip of the Caribbean was de­scribed as an ide­al es­cape from the crum­bling Venezue­lan so­ci­ety.

At Ce­dros, she met a man iden­ti­fied as James who picked her up and took her to a house in Princes Town. James told her she would be there for a few days be­fore she could start work­ing as a wait­ress at a near­by bar.

Af­ter three days, one of the traf­fick­ers en­tered her room and raped her. Over sev­er­al days, he re­peat­ed­ly raped her. “He would force me to take (mar­i­jua­na), then rape me,” said Ju­marie, tears welling up in her eyes.

James made it clear that she owed him $1,000 for the trip and would have to work as a pros­ti­tute to re­pay him.

He bought her a back­less hal­ter-top and tight-fit­ting jeans and took her to a well-known San Fer­nan­do night­club fre­quent­ed by men, from all walks of life; hop­ing their mon­ey could buy them a good time with young Span­ish-speak­ing women.

When­ev­er Ju­marie seemed un­will­ing to com­ply with James’ wish­es, he would threat­en to harm her fam­i­ly while bran­dish­ing his firearm, she said.

Ju­marie said she knew she had to es­cape. A taxi dri­ver hired by James to take her to and from the club was her on­ly con­nec­tion to the out­side world. One evening, she asked him how much it would cost to take her to meet a Venezue­lan friend in Port-of-Spain. He agreed to help her.

Af­ter hear­ing Ju­marie’s sto­ry, her friend—de­ter­mined that it would be too risky to keep her—con­tact­ed an­oth­er woman who gave Ju­marie refuge.

But it seemed as though she was un­able to es­cape James’ reach. He sent a se­ries of men­ac­ing mes­sages, show­ing pic­tures of her fam­i­ly mem­bers in Venezuela, she said.

“You can’t hide here and you can’t hide in Venezuela,” he told her via text mes­sage.

Ju­marie had ini­tial­ly agreed to take Guardian Me­dia re­porters to sev­er­al lo­ca­tions where men had abused her. But on the day of the meet­ing, Ju­marie texted a friend, “I’m gone. He will find me.”

She then left on a boat from Ce­dros.

ES­CAP­ING CAP­TORS

One day in Feb­ru­ary, Maria es­caped from her cap­tors when she jumped through a bath­room at a bar in Wood­brook. She ran as fast as she could with no idea of where she was head­ed. She met some Venezue­lans on the street and bor­rowed a phone to con­tact a friend. Maria end­ed up in the same safe house as Ju­marie.

Af­ter ex­chang­ing sto­ries, Maria and Ju­marie re­alised they were vic­tims of the same sex traf­fick­ing ring. They had even stayed in sep­a­rate rooms of the same Debe house rent­ed by the po­lice of­fi­cer.

The sin­gle-storey house, paint­ed in brick red, had raised con­cerns among lo­cal res­i­dents who point­ed out that the house’s win­dows had been plas­tered over and ro­bust steel door kept oc­cu­pants in­side.

Many neigh­bours told Guardian Me­dia how Span­ish-speak­ing women would leave the house at night and re­turn in the wee hours of the morn­ing.

The same house was the scene of sev­er­al ques­tion­able in­ci­dents over the last year, in­clud­ing the vi­ral video of the beat­ing in­volv­ing the Venezue­lan woman.

PO­LICE OF­FI­CER DE­NIES IN­VOLVE­MENT

Both Maria and Ju­marie claimed that an of­fi­cer known as He­mant “Crix” Ram­sumair, who had ties to the po­lice of­fi­cer known as James, rent­ed the Debe home where they were once held cap­tive.

Peo­ple who live in the area said Ram­sumair resided ten min­utes away from the house in ques­tion.

Guardian Me­dia ap­proached Ram­sumair a few weeks ago out­side the Bar­rack­pore Po­lice Sta­tion where he worked. Ram­sumair was asked to ex­plain sev­er­al in­ci­dents at the house, in­clud­ing the beat­ing of the Venezue­lan woman last Oc­to­ber and the use of the prop­er­ty to en­slave Maria, Ju­marie and oth­ers.

Ram­sumair had been sus­pend­ed for some time from the po­lice ser­vice be­cause of a do­mes­tic mat­ter and had on­ly re­cent­ly re­sumed du­ty. He ac­knowl­edged tak­ing charge of the house about two years ago, but said he re­lin­quished it af­ter the beat­ing cap­tured in the vi­ral video.

Ram­sumair dis­tanced him­self from the al­leged beat­ing in­ci­dent at the house and de­nied any part in any hu­man traf­fick­ing ring that in­cludes the in­volve­ment of po­lice of­fi­cers.

He chalked up the in­ci­dent to noth­ing more than a lover’s quar­rel. He said, “That was the guy’s girl­friend and some­thing hap­pened and he could not take it and that is the gist of it. Se­ri­ous­ly.”

While Ram­sumair claimed to have giv­en up rental of the prop­er­ty, lo­cal res­i­dents con­tra­dict­ed that claim.

A rel­a­tive of the own­er, who re­sides in Cana­da, said they had been try­ing to evict Ram­sumair for sev­er­al months now with­out suc­cess.

Asked to com­ment on the as­ser­tions by Maria and Ju­marie and their or­deal, Ram­sumair said: “I would like to see that be­cause I knew all the peo­ple who stayed there. They were my friends. They can’t say any­thing bad. I think I have a good re­la­tion­ship with one or two of the girls I know who came to Trinidad.”

When asked if po­lice of­fi­cers in the area were part of this il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty?

Ram­sumair said, “No, that is not so. It could nev­er be so.”

Ram­sumair said he had nev­er been un­der any in­ves­ti­ga­tion for hu­man traf­fick­ing.

Ram­sumair said, “Hon­est to God, I don’t know any­thing about the stuff, that pros­ti­tu­tion thing. My fam­i­ly taught me bet­ter than that.”

In the last sev­er­al months, dozens of Venezue­lan women have en­tered the coun­try in the hope of a new life. Many have been duped in­to sex slav­ery.

Un­like Ju­marie who es­caped, these women re­main be­hind trapped.

Hema Ramkissoon is the top ed­i­tor for the Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed broad­cast di­vi­sion. She has been with the com­pa­ny for more than a decade. Hema is the host of CNC3’s Morn­ing Brew pro­gramme which high­lights pol­i­cy and pol­i­cy­mak­ers in T&T.

Mark Bas­sant heads the in­ves­tiga­tive desk at Guardian Me­dia Lim­it­ed. He has more than two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in jour­nal­ism and is a grad­u­ate of Ry­er­son Uni­ver­si­ty in Toron­to, Cana­da. He has won six Caribbean Broad­cast­ing Union awards for Best In­ves­tiga­tive Re­port­ing in tele­vi­sion.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Court, Crime, Featured, International, News, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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Margaret ‘Annie’ Dyer-Howe gets elegant homegoing celebration

RT Hon Mary ‘Annie’ Dyer Howe

From related posts – adapted by Bennette Roach

The Right Hon. Margaret Annie Dyer-Howe OE, MBA was finally laid to rest at the Lookout Cemetery following a fitting state-sponsored ‘Service of Celebration…’ for her life at the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. She was born on November 18, 1941, and died on the night of April 6, 2019, after a long illness at the age of 77 years.

She was honored for her tireless crusade to elevate women, protect children and uplift the underprivileged. She was remembered for her calm and measured demeanor, generous spirit and quiet dignity. She was celebrated through words, song and even the steel pan.

“She took her beloved country under her wing. And now she flies with the angels.”

The Right Honourable Margaret Mary “Annie” Dyer-Howe O.E. received a bright homegoing Friday at the Roman Catholic Church in Lookout. Following the two-hour-plus service, a procession led by the Montserrat Defense Force, with marching band in tow, made a one-mile trek to the Lookout Public Cemetery. Mrs. Dyer-Howe received a gun salute and was laid to rest as family members, friends and dignitaries sang hymns.

Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s casket was regal as the woman herself, white with gold trim and a hint of the Montserrat madras, draped with the Montserrat flag.

“Miss Annie’s homegoing service was one that truly summed up the woman she was,” says Rose Willock, Dyer-Howe’s longtime friend and a broadcasting legend in Montserrat. “Outgoing, community-spirited in every way and dedicated to her homeland.”

“She empowered women at every level,” added Willock

“She was an ordinary woman who produced extraordinary outcomes,” said Hon. Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat.

“I have chosen simply to focus on an aspect of her personality that no one who knew her for any length of time could ignore: in all she did, this formidable professional and passionate champion of women’s rights, had a calm, unshakable dignity about her that set her apart,” he said.

He recounted like many others in tribute and recollection: “Mrs. Howe accomplished much as a Minister of Government, but she obviously did not need political office to motivate her forquality service to her island. During the years 1987 to 2001, a gap in her political career, she not only managed the Montserrat Water Authority with distinction, but also co-founded the very successful Howe’s Enterprise and established the Small Business Association. She thus used what was apparent loss, to shift her focus to another area on which to stamp her authenticity and to demonstrate excellence.  Giving to her community and country was always her overriding interest. Mrs. Howe has left much for us to emulate as a nation.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe influenced just about every sector of Montserrat. Principled, pragmatic and devoutly Roman Catholic, she helped enact social change during a time when women were mostly excluded from prominent positions in society. Due to her efforts, the protocol for acceptance into the Montserrat Secondary School was changed to allow non-affluent students a fairer chance. Mrs. Dyer-Howe argued that students from wealthy families had an unfair advantage because their parents could afford private tutoring.

The Hon Speaker Shirley Osborne while delivering a really powerful tribute, said among so much more, “… there was really never any one name that captured everything she was, everything she represented, everything she brought into this world…

Former Chief Minister Dr. Lowel Lewis, said in tribute: “She also made her mark as Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Housing.

“Mrs Dyer Howe was a lady of dignity.  She knew how to recognize true loyalty and support.  Just a smile and a thank you.  Nothing else was required from her.  And she never expected anything from anybody she helped or was kind to.”

More expressions of her exemplary character as Dr. Lewis also recalls, “She never once said a word to me about the fact that I cut short her last term as a Minister of Government, when I changed to a coalition government with MCAP in 2008.  She understood the reason for that decision.”

Paying tribute on behalf of the St. Patrick’s community. Bennette Roach with Shirley Spycalla, sang in Latin the simple prayer, Pie Jesu (Blessed Jesus, grant her thine eternal rest and peace…). He preceded that with a few words speaking to the special character that she had passed on to her St. Patrick’s community, back in 1983-4 when she promised to correct the wrongs (perceived or otherwise) of the PLM party and strive for better and progress…

Mrs. Dyer-Howe, who was profiled in the book Gallery Montserrat by Sir Howard Fergus, was born Margaret Corbett on November 18, 1941 and grew up in St. Patrick’s in southern Montserrat. She was heavily influenced by her grandmother, who was a district midwife. She attended the St. Augustine School, which was then on George Street in Plymouth, and later taught at the school before migrating to the United States for secretarial training. In 1964, she married businessman and politician Michael Dyer. It was during that union that her political aspirations took shape, spending 16-17 years in that service.

In 1974, Michael Dyer passed away. In 1979, Mrs. Dyer-Howe competed in a by-election in the Southern district for the seat of the late Joe Taylor. She won, essentially reclaiming the seat lost years earlier by her husband. In 1983 she was re-elected and assigned the Ministry of Education, Health, Community Services, Women’s Affairs, Culture and Sports. She became only the second woman (of three elected up to that time) in Montserrat to hold a ministry, following Mary Rose Tuitt in 1970. She married Robert Howe in 1984.

“Miss Annie’s home-going service was one that truly summed up the woman she was.”

Fergus, a longtime friend, was among the luminaries paying tribute Friday. Speaking about Mrs. Dyer-Howe helping to break the female barrier in parliament, he said: “She was No. 2 to wear the toga of a minister, and she did more than warm the bench. She did more than any of her generation to elevate women in skills and consciousness.”

In 2018 she was presented with the Order of Excellence during the Montserrat National Awards for her exemplary contributions to the country.

It was again, Hon. Speaker of the House Shirley Osborne who perhaps summed up Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s legacy best during Friday’s service. “Many of the building blocks of Montserrat were put up, leveled out and cemented in place by this woman.

“So, Montserrat is Annie’s house.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe is survived by her husband Robert, step-daughter Joycelyn Howe, brother Neville Corbett (aka Dick Martin) and many other family members.

The Right Hon. Margaret Annie Dyer-Howe OE, MBA was finally laid to rest at the Lookout Cemetery following a fitting state sponsored ‘Service of Celebration…’ for her life at the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. She was born on November 18, 1941 and died on the night of April 6, 2019 after a long illness at the age of 77 years.

She was honored for her tireless crusade to elevate women, protect children and uplift the underprivileged. She was remembered for her calm and measured demeanor, generous spirit and quiet dignity. She was celebrated through words, song and even the steel pan.

“She took her beloved country under her wing. And now she flies with the angels.”

The Right Honourable Margaret Mary “Annie” Dyer-Howe O.E. received a bright homegoing Friday at the Roman Catholic Church in Lookout. Following the two-hour-plus service, a procession led by the Montserrat Defense Force, with marching band in tow, made a one-mile trek to the Lookout Public Cemetery. Mrs. Dyer-Howe received a gun salute and was laid to rest as family members, friends and dignitaries sang hymns.

Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s casket was regal as the woman herself, white with gold trim and a hint of the Montserrat madras, draped with the Montserrat flag.

“Miss Annie’s homegoing service was one that truly summed up the woman she was,” says Rose Willock, Dyer-Howe’s longtime friend and a broadcasting legend in Montserrat. “Outgoing, community-spirited in every way and dedicated to her homeland.”

“She empowered women at every level,” added Willock

“She was an ordinary woman who produced extraordinary outcomes,” said Hon. Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat.

“I have chosen simply to focus on an aspect of her personality that no one who knew her for any length of time could ignore: in all she did, this formidable professional and passionate champion of women’s rights, had a calm, unshakable dignity about her that set her apart,” he said.

He recounted like many others in tribute and recollection: “Mrs. Howe accomplished much as a Minister of Government, but she obviously did not need political office to motivate her forquality service to her island. During the years 1987 to 2001, a gap in her political career, she not only managed the Montserrat Water Authority with distinction, but also co-founded the very successful Howe’s Enterprise and established the Small Business Association. She thus used what was apparent loss, to shift her focus to another area on which to stamp her authenticity and to demonstrate excellence.  Giving to her community and country was always her overriding interest. Mrs. Howe has left much for us to emulate as a nation.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe influenced just about every sector of Montserrat. Principled, pragmatic and devoutly Roman Catholic, she helped enact social change during a time when women were mostly excluded from prominent positions in society. Due to her efforts, the protocol for acceptance into the Montserrat Secondary School was changed to allow non-affluent students a fairer chance. Mrs. Dyer-Howe argued that students from wealthy families had an unfair advantage because their parents could afford private tutoring.

The Hon Speaker Shirley Osborne while delivering a really powerful tribute, said among so much more, “… there was really never any one name that captured everything she was, everything she represented, everything she brought into this world…

Former Chief Minister Dr. Lowel Lewis, said in tribute: “She also made her mark as Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Housing.

“Mrs Dyer Howe was a lady of dignity.  She knew how to recognize true loyalty and support.  Just a smile and a thank you.  Nothing else was required from her.  And she never expected anything from anybody she helped or was kind to.”

More expressions of her exemplary character as Dr. Lewis also recalls, “She never once said a word to me about the fact that I cut short her last term as a Minister of Government, when I changed to a coalition government with MCAP in 2008.  She understood the reason for that decision.”

Paying tribute on behalf of the St. Patrick’s community. Bennette Roach with Shirley Spycalla, sang in Latin the simple prayer, Pie Jesu (Blessed Jesus, grant her thine eternal rest and peace…). He preceded that with a few words speaking to the special character that she had passed on to her St. Patrick’s community , back in 1983-4 when she promised to correct the wrongs (perceived or otherwise) of the PLM party and strive for better and progress…

Mrs. Dyer-Howe, who was profiled in the book Gallery Montserrat by Sir Howard Fergus, was born Margaret Corbett on November 18, 1941 and grew up in St. Patrick’s in southern Montserrat. She was heavily influenced by her grandmother, who was a district midwife. She attended the St. Augustine School, which was then on George Street in Plymouth, and later taught at the school before migrating to the United States for secretarial training. In 1964, she married businessman and politician Michael Dyer. It was during that union that her political aspirations took shape, spending 16-17 years in that service.

In 1974, Michael Dyer passed away. In 1979, Mrs. Dyer-Howe competed in a by-election in the Southern district for the seat of the late Joe Taylor. She won, essentially reclaiming the seat lost years earlier by her husband. In 1983 she was re-elected and assigned the Ministry of Education, Health, Community Services, Women’s Affairs, Culture and Sports. She became only the second woman (of three elected up to that time) in Montserrat to hold a ministry, following Mary Rose Tuitt in 1970. She married Robert Howe in 1984.

“Miss Annie’s home-going service was one that truly summed up the woman she was.”

Fergus, a longtime friend, was among the luminaries paying tribute Friday. Speaking about Mrs. Dyer-Howe helping to break the female barrier in parliament, he said: “She was No. 2 to wear the toga of a minister, and she did more than warm the bench. She did more than any of her generation to elevate women in skills and consciousness.”

In 2018 she was presented with the Order of Excellence during the Montserrat National Awards for her exemplary contributions to the country.

It was again, Hon. Speaker of the House Shirley Osborne who perhaps summed up Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s legacy best during Friday’s service. “Many of the building blocks of Montserrat were put up, leveled out and cemented in place by this woman.

“So, Montserrat is Annie’s house.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe is survived by her husband Robert, step-daughter Joycelyn Howe, brother Neville Corbett (aka Dick Martin) and many other family members.

The casket of Margaret “Annie” Dyer-Howe is prepared for burial at the Lookout Public Cemetery in Montserrat.

She was honored for her tireless crusade to elevate women, protect children and uplift the underprivileged. She was remembered for her calm and measured demeanor, generous spirit and quiet dignity. She was celebrated through words, song and even the steel pan.

“She took her beloved country under her wing. And now she flies with the angels.”


The casket of Margaret “Annie” Dyer-Howe is prepared for burial at the Lookout Public Cemetery in Montserrat.

The Right Honourable Margaret Mary “Annie” Dyer-Howe O.E. received a bright homegoing Friday at the Roman Catholic Church in Lookout. Following the two-hour-plus service, a procession led by the Montserrat Defense Force, with marching band in tow, made a one-mile trek to the Lookout Public Cemetery. Mrs. Dyer-Howe received a gun salute and was laid to rest as family members, friends and dignitaries sang hymns.

Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s casket was regal as the woman herself, white with gold trim and a hint of the Montserrat madras, draped with the Montserrat flag.

“Miss Annie’s homegoing service was one that truly summed up the woman she was,” says Rose Willock, Dyer-Howe’s longtime friend and a broadcasting legend in Montserrat. “Outgoing, community-spirited in every way and dedicated to her homeland.”

“She was an ordinary woman who produced extraordinary outcomes,” said Hon. Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat.

He recounted like many others in tribute and recollection: “Mrs. Howe accomplished much as a Minister of Government, but she obviously did not need political office to motivate her for quality service to her island. During the years 1987 to 2001, a gap in her political career, she not only managed the Montserrat Water Authority with distinction, but also co-founded the very successful Howe’s Enterprise and established the Small Business Association. She thus used what was apparent loss, to shift her focus to another area on which to stamp her authenticity and to demonstrate excellence.  Giving to her community and country was always her overriding interest.

Dr. Lowel Lewis
Florence Griffith
Hon Speaker Shirley

“I have chosen simply to focus on an aspect of her personality that no one who knew her for any length of time could ignore: in all she did, this formidable professional and passionate champion of women’s rights  had a calm, unshakable dignity about her that set her apart.

 “Giving to her community and country was always her overriding interest. Mrs. Howe has left much for us to emulate as a nation.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe influenced just about every sector of Montserrat. Principled, pragmatic and devoutly Roman Catholic, she helped enact social change during a time when women were mostly excluded from prominent positions in society. Due to her efforts, the protocol for acceptance into the Montserrat Secondary School was changed to allow non-affluent students a fairer chance. Mrs. Dyer-Howe argued that students from wealthy families had an unfair advantage because their parents could afford private tutoring.

Jackie Dangler
Wejahna Weekes

The Hon Speaker Shirley Osborne while delivering a really powerful tribute, said among so much more, “… there was really never any one name that captured everything she was, everything she represented, everything she brought into this world…

Former Chief Minister Dr. Lowel Lewis, said in tribute: “She also made her mark as Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Housing.

Easton Taylor Farrell
Premier Romeo

“Mrs Dyer Howe was a lady of dignity.  She knew how to recognize true loyalty and support.  Just a smile and a thank you.  Nothing else was required from her.  And she never expected anything from anybody she helped or was kind to.”

More expressions of her exemplary character as Dr. Lewis also recalls, “She never once said a word to me about the fact that I cut short her last term as a Minister of Government, when I changed to a coalition government with MCAP in 2008.  She understood the reason for that decision.”

Shirley and Bennette
Sir Professor Howard Fergus

Paying tribute on behalf of the St. Patrick’s community. Bennette Roach with Shirley Spycalla sang in Latin the simple prayer, Pie Jesu (Blessed Jesus, grant her thine eternal rest and peace…). He preceded that with a few words speaking to the special character that she had passed on to her St. Patrick’s community, when she promised to correct the wrongs (perceived or otherwise) of her PLM party and strive for better and progress…

Mrs. Dyer-Howe, who was profiled in the book Gallery Montserrat by Sir Howard Fergus, was born Margaret Corbett on November 18, 1941 and grew up in St. Patrick’s in southern Montserrat. She was heavily influenced by her grandmother, who was a district midwife. She attended the St. Augustine School, which was then on George Street in Plymouth, and later taught at the school before migrating to the United States for secretarial training. In 1964, she married businessman and politician Michael Dyer. It was during that union that her political aspirations took shape.

Mrs. Dyer-Howe, who was profiled in the book Gallery Montserrat by Sir Howard Fergus, grew up in St. Patrick’s in southern Montserrat. She was heavily influenced by her grandmother, who was a district midwife. She attended the St. Augustine School, which was then on George Street in Plymouth, and later taught at the school before migrating to the United States for secretarial training. In 1964, she married businessman and politician Michael Dyer. It was during that union that her political aspirations took shape, spending 16-17 years in that service.

In 1974, Michael Dyer passed away. In 1979, Mrs. Dyer-Howe competed in a by-election in the Southern district for the seat of the late Joe Taylor. She won, essentially reclaiming the seat lost years earlier by her husband. In 1983 she was re-elected and assigned the Ministry of Education, Health, Community Services, Women’s Affairs, Culture and Sports. She became only the second woman (of three elected up to that time) in Montserrat to hold a ministry, following Mary Rose Tuitt in 1970. She married Robert Howe in 1984.

“Miss Annie’s home-going service was one that truly summed up the woman she was.”

In 1974, Michael Dyer passed away. In 1979, Mrs. Dyer-Howe competed in a by-election in the Southern district for the seat of the late Joe Taylor. She won, essentially reclaiming the seat lost years earlier by her husband. In 1983 she was re-elected and assigned the Ministry of Education, Health, Community Services, Women’s Affairs, Culture and Sports. She became only the second woman in Montserrat to hold a ministry, following Mary Rose Tuitt in 1970. She married Robert Howe in 1984.

Fergus, a longtime friend, was among the luminaries paying tribute Friday. Speaking about Mrs. Dyer-Howe helping to break the female barrier in parliament, he said: “She was No. 2 to wear the toga of a minister, and she did more than warm the bench. She did more than any of her generation to elevate women in skills and consciousness.”

Added Willock: “She empowered women at every level.”

In 2018 she was presented with the Order of Excellence during the Montserrat National Awards for her exemplary contributions to the country.

Hon. Speaker of the House Shirley Osborne perhaps summed up Mrs. Dyer-Howe’s legacy best during Friday’s service. “Many of the building blocks of Montserrat were put up, leveled out and cemented in place by this woman.

“So Montserrat is Annie’s house.”

Mrs. Dyer-Howe is survived by her husband Robert, step-daughter Joycelyn Howe, brother Neville Corbett (aka Dick Martin) and many other family members.

Keith  Howe
Fr. Mark Schram

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Featured, Local, News, Obituaries, Politics, Regional0 Comments

SPCCU logo

St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Ltd. host Regional Credit Union Movement Board of Directors Meeting

On Friday, April 12, 2019, the St Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Ltd – Montserrat (SPCCU) plays host to the regional Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions Ltd. (CCCU) Board of Directors Meeting. This is the first time in the history of the SPCCU that such a meeting is been hosted in Montserrat.

The Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions is the regional Apex body for credit unions whose mission is to facilitate the advancement of the Caribbean Co-operative Sector through sustained growth and development, protecting the movement’s philosophy and values and ensuring safe, sound and efficient co-operative service providers.

The CCCU Board of Directors meeting in Montserrat comes on the heels of the SPCCU/ Montserrat hosting the prestigious regional credit union movement, Sir Everard Dean Annual Lecturer series in October 2018, another first for the SPCCU/ Montserrat.

The meeting of the CCCU Board of Directors will entertain issues affecting the regional credit union movement such as compliance, governance and regulatory matters. The meeting is also of great significant since it represents the last formal gathering of the CCCU Board of Directors prior to the CCCU hosting the upcoming World Credit Union Conference during the period July 28-31, 2019 in the Bahamas.

SPCCU General Manager, Mr. Peter Queeley notes that SPCCU hosting of such a meeting is a testimony to growth and significance of the SPCCU/ Montserrat in the regional credit union movement. He further noted that the hosting of the meeting also represents a recognition by the regional credit union movement that the SPCCU/ Montserrat has become of age and is ready to play its part and hold its own in terms of the regional credit union movement.

The CCCU Board Meeting in Monserrat comes on the heels of the most recent meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council Meeting held on February 15, 2019. At that meeting, the ECCB noted that twelve financial institutions were identified as systematically important institutions three of which were banks and nine were credit unions.  The ECCB noted that “while commercial banks continued to dominate the financial sector, credit unions were expanding, becoming an increasingly important source of credit to the private sector through increases in membership, assets, loans and deposits. The boom in credit union activity has implications for financial inclusion and the financial stability framework.”

The SPCCU/ Montserrat is a member of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions and the OECS Credit Union Forum.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

crif

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

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Education, News, Youth0 Comments

NGolden-Author-Photo

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.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Education, Entertainment, Fashion, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

webDSC_4710

How this overdone ‘laudation’

by Claude Gerald

This is ridiculous. It’s been overdone. It should never ever been conceived. Redhead is a tiny dot on the map in terms of contribution to growth of the law in this region…

We do not value what is valuable! That is our problem. And our institutions in government behave just like him in acknowledging him.  This hopefully is the last mention of his name in a public fora on Montserrat!

Justice Morley presides over special sitting

To honour Redhead is to dishonor what is moral, decent and proper. The man made a mockery of his role as an impartial adjudicator, imposing his personal views as the law itself, rather than be guided by it. He corrupted the process and sided ahead of time despite evidence.

This man has got a history of impropriety on the bench. Is that what we are celebrating? Notice how politicians in neighbouring Antigua worshiped him? Why you have to ask? What about the deceased ‘Justice’ that attracts such glamour and celebration and praise and adulation?

John Stanley Weeks, Warren Cassell and many others where he injected himself to determine their matters. Questions still persist on his handling of the missing ballots in the 1987 election on Montserrat and the Montserrat Printery where he sided with John Osborn and his lot. His pattern stunk.

We are lauding who is NOT laudable. Anything said about REDHEAD that is worthy is a big stretch of the mind. Notice no other judge who has left this world, not even an officer of the court at the level of a practitioner, anywhere in the Caribbean ever attracted such verbal glow. It is a big laugh but it is not funny at all.

To conceive of this sends the wrong signals to the society on a whole. We should all be thankful that he is not in our lives as a Justice. We should be breathing relief instead. This is all so hypocritical. It is nauseating.

Life is fulfilling without Redhead in our midst. And I wish that his adherents, the Redheadites   of this world could tell him (he lives in their soul) that I was never impressed with his demeanour on the bench, his value system and he devalued and discredited the philosophical virtues and standing of the practice of law. In fact he was a disgrace to decency…. he did what certain interest groups wanted despite what was before him….

Nature rids itself of the no good and the good and accepts their physical bodies in a recycling process for our good.  I wonder if Nature in its perfection could not have pressed the selective button and determine the quality of organisms that returns to its compost heaps. Certain remains need to be screened.  But then Nature is not discriminating in its overall judgments of issues before its courts!

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Opinions, Police1 Comment

Gov Prem Dep G Mrs Redhead passes DSC_4761

Judge Redhead Eulogised

by Bennette Roach

He was lauded at his retirement in Montserrat in 2016

Justice Morley opens special sitting to honour Judge Redhead

By invitation from the Registrar of the High Court office in Montserrat it stated that we (media) were “invited to attend a Special Sitting of the High Court of Justice on Friday, 5th April, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. – In Recognition of the Late Justice Albert Redhead.

Judge Redhead on the bench at his retirement in 2016
Mrs. June Redhead

It showed that the late Judge was born in 1938 and died in 2019. This tribute was in honour “… to his fearless contribution to justice in the OECS and his long service in Montserrat.

Justice Ian Morley who replaced Judge Redhead when he retired (before returning to assist at various times as he did prior), presided over the special sitting where he, in his welcome read the names and titles where required of the long list of persons who were in attendance in the small now packed make-shift courtroom at Government Headquarters, upstairs the High Court Registry.

The order of the addresses as shown on a programme was adhered to by His Lordship Morley. Order of Addresses; – The Honourable Attorney General – Mrs. Sheree Jemmotte Rodney; Mr. Kenneth Allen Q.C. O.B.E – Inner Bar;  Mr. David S. Brandt – Senior Counsel Utter Bar; Mr. Jean Kelsick – President, Montserrat Bar Association; Mr. Oris Sullivan – Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. Kharl Markham – Utter Bar; Ms. Amelia Daley – Public Bar; and, Reply by His Lordship the Honourable; Mr. Justice Iain Morley Q.C.

A quick change to that order was allowed when Antigua veteran Attorney Ralph Francis, on court duty in Montserrat was granted permission to speak as he had missed the events and opportunity to do so during the events surrounding the deceased ceremonial events and his subsequent burial.

Judge Morley named a long list of persons in his opening welcome at the sitting. They included a list similar to the sitting at which Justice Redhead presided with a junior female judge Agnes Actee beside him.

(see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/judge-redhead-retires-in-montserrat/).

QC Kenneth Allen, OBE
David Brandt, Senior Counsel
AG Sheree Jemmotte Rodney

He named them: His Excellency Governor Pierce; Premier Romeo, other Ministers of Government, Delmaude Ryan, Paul Lewis; other Legislative members to include Ag. Minister Claude Hogan and wife Cherlyn Hogan, and other hon members of the Legislative Assembly; Government Claude Hogan and Hon Deputy Governor Mrs. Lyndell Simpson and Mr. Roger Simpson; Attorney General Mrs. Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney, Hon Financial Secretary Colin Owen and Mrs. Owen, Professor Sir Howard Fergus; Senior magistrate Miss Pyumini Weeratunpga and Director of Public Prosecution Mr. Oris Sullivan. Then members of the public service commission, permanent secretaries, heads of departments Commander of the Royal Montserrat Defence Force, Major Alvin Ryan; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Steve Foster; President of the Montserrat Bar Association, Mr. Jean Kelsick; members of the Inner Bar, and members of the Utter bar. Members of the clergy, invited guests; Ladies and gentlemen. The judge then said, “welcome and what a long list here to honour Mr. Justice Redhead.

The judge recounted what had taken place already in Antigua for the judge and his funeral. “Albert had the most extraordinary send off on Antigua. There was a special sitting with the Chief Justice and chief justices from other parts of the Caribbean on Monday, 25th March,” he said which lasted for three hours and seven minutes. “And there was a service,” which lasted three hours and 43minutes. And a procession to Parham where I along with my brother and sister judges walked behind Albert in his hearse.”

Clearly impressed with those proceedings, he concluded, “And it was a wonderful day.”

Jean Kelsick, President Bar Association
Kharl Markham
DPP Oris Sullivan

Before calling on the bar members to address their tributes, Judge Morley noted the picture of Redhead on his right and a book of condolence to his left in which he invited guests to enter their names, at the end of the siting and also noting that names had already been entered; as the book  had already been at the entrance to the court room.

The AG Mrs. Jemmotte Rodney, began the tributes, and put the proceedings well into perspective. She had along with few others attended those proceedings in Antigua, where she told colleagues there, that Montserrat had already made tributes to Redhead at his retirement special sitting in Montserrat.

“…it’s unfortunate that as Caribbean people we wait Caribbean people we wait until after someone has passed to basically give them their flowers…in Montserrat we didn’t wait until Justice Redhead had passed…we had a special sitting for Justice Redhead upon his retirement. I was pleased to be able to say that,” she said.

She added an explanation for the reason of “this special sitting.” “My lord that notwithstanding it was still necessary for us to have this sitting. Mainly because we as counsels, we want to pay our final respects. And it also gives Mrs. Redhead and the other members of the family who are here, an opportunity to hear from us. What we thought of Justice Redhead and again, the impact that he had in us as counsels,” adding also, the impact that he had on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Amelia Daley, public bar
Judge Iain Morley, Presiding

The AG noted making the point of deviation from not just the usual platitudes, but representing some of the Montserrat recollections of the judge. “Now the people of Montserrat have fond and not so fond memories of…” she declared, adding, it all depends on the circumstances in your interactions with him….”

“He was famous for his harsh sentences. Especially in relation to persons who came before him on child abuse and were convicted of sexual offenses… So basically, you came before him sitting in the dock, then you don’t have very fond memories.”

Immediately following was QC Kenneth Allen OBE, eldest member of the bar in Montserrat. He informed that the judge was called to the bar in the UK in society of the Middle Temple in 1972 returning to his home in Grenada. He gave an outline of Redhead’s career as a judge which began in 1985, following his first meeting with him in St. Kitts in 1975 when he served there as a Registrar. In 1985 he was appointed to serve Montserrat and Antigua.

QC Allen was brief as he continued to speak more of Mr. Redhead’s upward movement in the ECSC where he also served in the appeal courts.

He recalled as he reflected on the great life of Mr. Redhead, a thought that would not leave his mind, “how quickly memories of even very great men fade away.” After citing a story of Harry Belafonte who was a guest speaker at an event in St. Kitts which he attended, it brought him to say, “I hope and pray the memories of Mr. Justice Redhead would never fade away.”

Mr. Allen recalled incidents and remember the judge’s statement, cited by others, when he would win an appeal against Judge Redhead, he would react, “Well, you cannot always be right.”

From the inner bar to the utter bar, senior counsel David S. Brandt was next, and in his tribute, he pronounced: “Abraham Lincoln said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power”.

 “Albert Redhead was one of the most powerful men I’ve ever known. His power derived from extra-ordinary intelligence, eloquence, charisma and wit, not to mention 34 years as a Judge. Yet the legacy he leaves is not about power. It’s about character,” he said.

He saw the judge as a role model, mentor and best friend to many.  He was fearless and stood up to power, as he cited one trial which involved former deceased Chief Minister John Osborne, where the Governor made certain requests, but refused vehemently by Redhead.

He said the judge had respect for lawyers, prosecutors and defence, and disagreements were not held over.

As he concluded, “…But I can’t help thinking that the Judge would want us to concentrate on what we have been given and what we can give, to celebrate life and carry on his legacy.”

Visiting Antigua Attorney Ralph Francis


The other attorneys who addressed as listed earlier all spoke in the same terms as much was said by the main earlier speakers. All present heard from Mr. Jean Kelsick – President, Montserrat Bar Association; Mr. Oris Sullivan – Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. Kharl Markham – Utter Bar; Ms. Amelia Daley – Public Bar; and Antigua veteran Attorney Ralph Francis. Then the Reply by His Lordship the Honourable; Mr. Justice Iain Morley Q.C. He informed the rest of the proceedings for the departure from the court room, repeating the availability of the Condolence book and a gathering after in the Administration building meeting area.

 

 

HE Governor, Premier Romeo, Deputy Governor –
Mrs. Redhead leads procession at end of sitting 

 (These addresses may be heard as they become available at www.themontserratreporter.com or on soundcloud in due course).

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jimmy Carter quote on homosexuality

Answering Mr Carter on homosexuality, Christian teaching and “real” Christianity

Is the traditional Christian view of homosexuality out of line with what Jesus taught?

(A special, part 4)

BRADES, Montserrat, March 22, 2019 –  In recent days, The Reporter has learned of the displayed recent remark by former US President, Mr. Jimmy Carter. Others have said much the same, and the matter must be firmly answered as we address the recent push to homosexualise marriage in Montserrat and other UK Overseas Territories.

The basic idea is that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality (or associated topics) so on charity we should just set aside all of that stuff about Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament and dismiss or radically “liberalise” whatever Paul of Tarsus may have written.  In the background, is the impression that big-S Science has shown that homosexuals, transgenders and the like were born that way, and that their behaviour does no harm to the community so we should stop stigmatising (“condemning”) them.

However, something has gone seriously wrong. 

For one, any sound Christian will know that  “all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction.” So, if we see someone trying to drive a wedge between Jesus and the Old Testament and also between Jesus and the Apostles he sent out, that is already a direct proof of their serious error. Darkness in the place of light level error. Instead, we are to follow the whole counsel of God’s Word as soundly understood, not what we pick and choose to suit ourselves. That’s why Peter warned against those who would wrench the Scriptures to their own ruin.

We must not forget, the radical agenda does not stop at any particular point. If the complementarity of the two sexes is rejected and marriage is redefined as we please, “gender” is up for grabs too. Recall, some of the dozens of “genders” we have been hearing about: “Aerogender: a gender that is influenced by your surroundings” and “Agenderflux: Being agender and having fluctuating feelings of masculinity or femininity, but NOT male or female” – obvious absurdity that disregards our naturally evident creation order. If one claims that darkness is light, he then will claim that light is darkness too. If good is deemed evil, evil will be said to be good. If what is sound is dismissed, absurdity will be proclaimed as deep truth, right and rights.

Worse, whoever posted Mr Carter’s claim said, “This is what a real Christian sounds like.” Far from it.

Today’s activists do not have the right to decide what the Christan faith is, and who is or is not a true Christian. That was settled a long time ago, by Jesus and the Apostles he sent out, recorded for us in the Bible. So, let us turn again to the clarity and good sense that Jesus taught about marriage, family, men, women and sex:

“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.]

This is the naturally obvious creation order for men, women and families, the foundation of sound civilisation. We tamper with that at our peril. And already, it is not just “transgenderism” it is teachers being forced to lead even four and five year olds[1] in the UK into gender chaos. That’s why 600 children were pulled out of a school in Birmingham in protest. Let’s notice how it is the parents (not the educators pushing dubious agendas) who are being challenged:

“Parents have come under fire for reportedly withdrawing 600 children from Parkfield Community School today in a row over LGBT lessons. The move from the fuming Muslim mums and dads comes after they claimed their children were being ‘brainwashed’. The pupils were taken out of classes as the row surrounding LGBT lifestyles being taught openly in the classroom escalated. Some reports suggest as many as 80 per cent of the children at Parkfield Community School in Saltley have been removed – around 600.” [Birmingham Live, March 1, 2019.[2]]

The article explains:

“The No Outsiders programme was started by the school’s gay assistant head teacher Andrew Moffat. Mr Moffat MBE has been criticised by parents for piloting the programme, which is run alongside sex and relationship education (SRE) lessons. Its ethos promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools. Books now being read by pupils at Parkfield Community School include Mommy, Mama and Me and King & King – stories about same-sex relationships and marriages.” [TMR: Notice, the assumption that objections to homosexual behaviour and trying to redefine marriage against Creation Order are driven by “phobia” – i.e. irrational fear and bigotry. That’s slander.]

Is that where we want to go, here in Montserrat? Birmingham proves that this is what lies down the path the FAC now wants to lead us into.

In answer, we may read a solemn warning:

“Luke 17: 1 Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks

[temptations and traps set to lure one to sin]

are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. [AMP]”

But, but, but, don’t their genes make them do it?

No. As we already 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.”

In Romans 1,[3] the Apostle Paul teaches us that when nations turn from God their thinking becomes twisted and moral breakdown follows. This includes many different types of ruinous folly and sin, including the warping of our sexuality. He also tells us how by God’s grace, we may overcome grave, enslaving, destructive sins:

“1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God?

Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [by perversion], nor those who participate in homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you [before you believed]. But you were washed [by the atoning sacrifice of Christ], you were sanctified [set apart for God, and made holy], you were justified [declared free of guilt] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God [the source of the believer’s new life and changed behavior]. [AMP]” “And such WERE some of you . . .” But, by God’s grace, there is hope, there is cleansing, there is transformation. And, that is the genuine gospel message, from AD 30 to AD 2019 and beyond.


[1] See: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6766643/Birmingham-Muslim-parents-withdraw-600-children-Parkfield-Community-School-LGBT-lessons.html

[2] See: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/how-birmingham-reacted-parents-withdrawing-15910307

[3] See: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rom+1%3A18+-+32&version=AMP

Posted in CARICOM, Columns, De Ole Dawg, International, Local, News, Regional, Religion1 Comment

guardian

‘It’s phenomenal’: how six Londoners are on verge of glory with Montserrat

Adapted

Football Players with roots on a Caribbean island have helped transform its football fortunes and put a Gold Cup in reach

Nick Ames

Nick Ames @NickAmes82

Left to right: Montserrat’s Adrian Clifton, Dean Mason, James Comley, Sol Henry, Brandon Comley and Bradley Woods-Garness, pictured in north London.

Left to right: Montserrat’s Adrian Clifton, Dean Mason, James Comley, Sol Henry, Brandon Comley and Bradley Woods-Garness, pictured in north London. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

Left to right: Montserrat’s Adrian Clifton, Dean Mason, James Comley, Sol Henry, Brandon Comley and Bradley Woods-Garness, pictured in north London. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian

“You’d literally be playing out here and getting scraped up off the floor.” Bradley Woods-Garness is standing a few yards from one of the north London pitches that, when he was a youngster, tested mettle as much as skill. The five-a-side surface at Elthorne Park is now made of artificial turf, a far cry from the concrete that would shudder the bones of the Corinthian-Casuals forward and those who joined him. “There’d be scars all over your knees,” he says. “But we loved it.”

It is a chilly Sunday morning and, just behind him, a new generation is going through its own rite of footballing passage. Woods-Garness has returned with five of his oldest friends, all of whom cut their teeth in uncompromising surroundings here and at other venues around Islington. Each of them still lives locally. They could never have imagined it but all of them are international footballers now, playing for the same side, and they stand on the verge of something extraordinary.

If Montserrat defeat Cayman Islands in the early hours of Saturday then, with favourable results elsewhere, the tiny Caribbean island’s team will qualify for their first Concacaf Gold Cup. They are ranked 200th in the world but a core of players who grew up a few streets apart have helped turn their fortunes round.

Recruitment for the national team always leant upon word of mouth. Thousands of Montserratians relocated to the UK during the 20th century, Windrush arrivals followed by those who were displaced by the Soufrière Hills volcano’s catastrophic eruption between 1995 and 1997. The side was mainly staffed by their descendants, usually England-born and playing on the non-league circuit. That has not changed much but the way things fell into place for the current crop makes remarkable listening.

“I literally started asking everyone I knew who played football at any level: ‘Do you have any Montserrat in you?’” Dean Mason is among three of the group who play for the National League side Maidenhead United. He began representing Montserrat in 2012 – qualifying through his paternal grandmother, a Windrush settler – after striking up a friendship with the now Sweden-based player Alex Dyer; he and Woods-Garness were teammates at Canvey Island then and, en route to a match, he mentioned his call-up. “I’m from Montserrat too,” Woods-Garness replied. When their mutual astonishment had subsided, they set to work on signing him up with the British protectorate’s FA.

Adrian Clifton juggles a football as his teammates look on.

Adrian Clifton juggles a football as his teammates look on. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian Advertisement

The pair discovered a squad accustomed to crushing defeats and sought to strengthen it. No stone was left unturned: social media were scoured, friends of friends petitioned. Sol Henry, a veteran of the local non-league scene and friend from those bruising kickabouts, was enlisted during a night of tenpin bowling in 2014 and found himself flying to a Caribbean Cup tie against the US Virgin Islands within days.

Adrian Clifton says he saw an Instagram post showing his companions on a beach and thought: “What’s going on?” He would make his debut in March 2015, during a World Cup qualifier with Curaçao. James Comley, who completes the Maidenhead contingent with Clifton, had believed his grandfather hailed from St Lucia but, after casually telling his father that Mason and company were travelling with Montserrat, was amazed to be put straight. He would also begin against Curaçao. Last year Comley’s younger brother Brandon, the Colchester United midfielder, also won his first cap. Quick guide

The men making history for Montserrat

The deep-set bond between all six is clear: the ribbing and in-jokes barely let up but there is a tenderness, a sensitivity, about their interactions too. None of them envisaged this during those days taking kicks on the gravel. Mason saw the new-look team take shape and began to think: “We can definitely do something here.” A much-improved Montserrat ran Curaçao – a formidable side packed with talent from the Dutch leagues – close in that tie; it was a precursor of what they have achieved since but none of them knew, at the time, that the team would not play again for three and a half years.

“People forgot about us,” Mason says. “It was horrible. We stuck together and kept a WhatsApp group going but I felt it was just turning into a whole lot of sarcastic comments. It was like: ‘We’re never going to play together again so we might as well meet up and go to Topgolf.’”

They now understand we’re not here for money and just want to give something back Bradley Woods-Garness

Their adventure appeared to be over as soon as it had started. Montserrat had contested only 34 games since first playing in 1991, in any case; the resources for regular fixtures beyond World Cup ties were just not there. But Concacaf’s creation of a Uefa-style Nations League transformed everything. Now each team was guaranteed meaningful competition and money to stage it. The top 10 of a 34-team table will join sides such as the USA and Mexico at this summer’s Gold Cup. Montserrat came within seconds of a draw with El Salvador last September; they subsequently beat Belize and Aruba. It creates an opportunity on Grand Cayman that would have seemed impossible in 2002, when they lost 4-0 to Bhutan in the “Other World Cup final” between the globe’s two lowest-ranked teams. Advertisement

Overseeing Montserrat’s resurgence is Willie Donachie, the former Scotland international and assistant to Joe Royle at various clubs, who became manager last year. James Comley describes him affectionately as “like a Buddha”; the players admire his serenity and man-management, also appreciating how he allows a necessarily self-sufficient bunch their say on tactics. Donachie quickly understood their closeness and, in several cases, grounding at top-flight academies could be harnessed effectively.

Only 5,000 people live on Montserrat and, at first, the newcomers detected some suspicion. “They now understand we’re not here for money and just want to give something back,” Woods-Garness says. “We are winning games has returned taking to us and enjoying what we do. They can stand up and say: ‘Yeah, you can’t beat our island!”

The process of connecting their roots has been difficult but important. “Every time my grandad talks about home he always says: ‘Where I’m from in Montserrat ain’t there no more,’” Clifton says. “It’s always been an uncomfortable conversation. So to go there and see what he actually meant with my own eyes, half the island literally empty, one side green, one side ash …” He trails off and the group swap memories of the tours they received, taking in the island’s exclusion zone, upon visiting for the first time. After understanding the devastation that had been wreaked, there was no mistaking what they had committed to.

The hope is others will follow. “We’re just kicking this off,” Clifton says. “It’s only going to get bigger; there’s going to be better players than us coming through.” Montserrat can now afford their own talent detection; the days of scouting for teammates are gone. Lyle Taylor, the Charlton forward, is their highest-profile player but a number of Premier League clubs are producing footballers of Montserratian ancestry and there is optimism that, with continued progress, the temptation to hold out for a call from England will be reduced.

By the time they sign up, the boys from those neighbourhoods around Elthorne Park may have completed their fairytale. “We’ve created a fear and other teams respect us,” Clifton says. Montserrat must justify a rare “favourites” tag with three points against the Cayman Islands and hope three other results go their way. The permutations are complex but it is not far-fetched. Finishing the job would crown a tale worthy of a film script.

“I don’t think anybody could believe something like this was possible,” Woods-Garness says. “I don’t think they could believe that five, six, seven people from the same area can grow up together and go on to play international football, and be on the verge of making something as big as the Gold Cup. It’s phenomenal.”

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