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Earthquake - 29cK6NanDe

4.7 Earthquake affects islands near Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea

Via – Loop TT

The preliminary details are as follows:

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) has recorded a 4.7 magnitude earthquake near Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Guadeloupe.

DATE AND TIME:
2019-03-21 04:12 am (Local Time)
2019-03-21 08:12 (UTC)

MAGNITUDE:
4.7

LOCATION:
Latitude: 18.81N
Longitude: 60.41W
Depth: 10 km

NEARBY CITIES:
247 km NE of Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
308 km NE of Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
310 km NE of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe

If you felt this earthquake, please tell us (http://uwiseismic.com/EarthquakeFeedback.aspx)

DISCLAIMER: this event has NOT been reviewed by an analyst. It was automatically located by a seismological computational system, therefore, it is a PRELIMINARY result and this may vary when new additional data are processed.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

PM Gonsalves at news Conf Guadeloupe

OECS chairman on Antigua and Barbuda and Carnival Cruise Lines impasse

by staff writer

BASSE-TERRE, Guadeloupe, Mar 17, CMC – The chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he has held Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne regarding the issue involving the Florida-based Carnival Cruise Lines.

Gonsalves, who chaired the special two-day OECS summit here last week, told reporters that the matter between Antigua and Carnival Cruise Lines “was not specifically raised” at the meeting of the sib-regional leaders.


Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (second from right) at news conference in Guadeloupe (CMC Photo)

“Though the Prime Minister and myself had a long discussion on the subject,” Gonsalves said, adding that he did not want to make any statement that would prejudice planned talks between the parties.

“But let me ask this question. Are we in such a state of servitude in the Caribbean that the prime minister cannot speak publicly in defence of what he perceives to be his country’s interest without reprisals?

“Unilateral reprisals. Is that where we are now? Is that old fashion colonialism replaced by some new species of neo-colonialism,? Gonsalves asked.

Last weekend, the Antigua and Barbuda government said it was prepared to hold talks with the Carnival Cruise Lines amid a confusion in that country as to whether or not the company had cancelled several schedule calls to the island.

Earlier, Tourism and Investment Minister, Henry Charles “Max” Fernandez, in a statement, said he wanted to condemn “unequivocally a misleading and scare-mongering statement” made by the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association (ABCTA), Nathan Dundas, regarding the cancellation of the cruise ships.

Dundas had said that the cruise line did not give a reason for the cancellation adding “so all four ships booked commencing next season November 2019 to 2020 – Breeze, Magic, Legend and Pride will be going to other ports.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the Gaston Browne administration was prepared to meet with the cruise line company at a mutually convenient location wither here or in the United States.

He said in the meantime, both parties have agreed to refrain from making any comments on the situation.

“We felt it necessary to engage them. Despite the hostilities we have continued to engage. We seem them as an important player. Their total brand and all of the ships that are under their control would constitute a significant portion of the existing passengers that come to Antigua under the existing protocol.

“So we do not consider them as being insignificant in the business. So we have continued to engage them. Accordingly based on a conversation that we had again yesterday at cabinet with senior officials we have both agreed to not only stay the hostilities but to have a meeting at a mutually agreeable point.

“It could be in Miami or it could be here in Antigua,” Nicholas said, noting that Carnival Cruise Lines have been complaining about the ports here for decades but have failed to assist in any significant way.

Last month, the Antigua and Barbuda government defended its decision to enter into a multi–million dollar agreement with the London-based Global Ports Holdings (GPH) for the development of the cruise port in the capital.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the US$83 million agreement with GPH would change the landscape of the island.

The GPH, established in 2004, GPH promotes itself on its website as the world’s largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Turkey and Montenegro.

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A Moment With The Registrar of Lands - Part 1: 2019

A Moment With The Registrar of Lands – Part 1: 2019

A moment with the Registrar of Lands

ENCUMBRANCES ON LAND

Restrictive covenants, charges, restrictions… these are all examples of encumbrances that may be registered on one’s land.

An encumbrance is defined as “a right to, or interest in, or legal liability on property that may diminish its [use or] value.”   To be effective and have legal standing, encumbrances must be registered in the Land Registry, recorded in the Land Register page of the particular parcel, so that anyone who considers it prudent to check the Land Register for information on that parcel, would be aware of the encumbrance.   The Land Register is available to the public for searches, so any  person can inquire about any land parcel in Montserrat, particularly before purchasing or otherwise investing in the land.   

Some encumbrances may arise through a contractual arrangement with the land owner, such as restrictive covenants, charges and leases.   

A restrictive covenant is agreed to by the owner at the time of purchase, that he will use the property in the agreed manner only, and that he will refrain from certain actions that may devalue the property, or run contrary to the intended use of the land development.  Common restrictive covenants are for example, that the land will not be used to raise livestock, or that the land will be used for a single-family residence only, not for multiple buildings or a commercial purpose.  A Land Registry search will reveal whether a particular parcel is subject to restrictive covenants. A copy of the specific covenants may be provided as well.

A charge is an interest recorded on land, to signify the existence of a debt on terms which include the use of the land as security for the debt, and a power of the lender to sell the land in the event of default. The owner of the land would have agreed to these terms with the lender that in exchange for the loan.  Banks and credit unions, as the primary financial institutions, account for the majority of charge holders recorded in the Land Registry.   Any person desirous of inquiring whether a land parcel is encumbered with a charge, should request a search of the property at the Land Registry.

The landlord/owner who effects a long-term lease is obliged to register the existence of the lease in the Land Register.  By registration, the Land Register page for the parcel would show the existence and duration of the leasehold interest in the property.  Therefore the property would be subject to, or encumbered with the interests of the lease, as the public record would show that the tenant has a leasehold interest in the property, and that the land lord is entitled to collect rent from the tenant.  If, for example, a landlord entered into a 15- year lease ten years ago, any prospective purchaser or investor in the property would see from the Land Register that there is a 5-year leasehold interest remaining on the property. 

Some encumbrances arise by operation of law, or as a result of competing claims.  These include restrictions and cautions.  For example, the Registrar of Lands may register a restriction on a property to prevent fraud or improper dealing or for any other sufficient reason.  The effect of the restriction is to prevent any dealings with the land until the issue to be resolved is heard and resolved by the Court or the Registrar of Lands.  Affected persons would be notified and given an opportunity to be heard.

A caution is another encumbrance that may be registered on land, to prevent any dealings with the land while the interests of the cautioner subsist.  Like the Charge, the cautioner may be a bank that has loaned money in exchange for an interest in the land.  But a cautioner may also be a person who has an interest in the land that is currently not reflected in the Land Register.  Such a person may be a person who claims part ownership, or who contends that the registered proprietor’s claim is erroneous or fraudulent.  All parties must be given an opportunity to be heard before the caution may be removed and unless there is mutual agreement, caution claims may eventually be ventilated in a formal hearing before the Registrar of Lands or a High Court judge in order for the issues to be resolved.

It is important to landowners to be aware of how encumbrances may affect their property rights, and how encumbrances may be used to protect property rights and property values.  The importance of conducting searches of property before any land purchase or investment, and of seeking legal advice cannot be over emphasized.

For further information please contact the Land and Surveys Department at surveys@gov.ms.

Part 1 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.

Procedure

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.

 Publication

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.

Undertaking

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.

Conclusion

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@ gov.ms.

Posted in Advertisements, Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, Features, Government Notices, International, Land Notices, Local, News, Regional, Registrar of Lands0 Comments

Redhead on the bench in Montserrat - DSC_5880 web

Justice Albert Redhead dies

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

Justice on the bench in Montserrat

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

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

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

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

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

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National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

National Security Minister condemns murders of school students

by staff writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted in CARICOM, Crime, International, Kids, Local, News, Youth0 Comments

Attorney Warren Cassell

Brandt’s trial wavers

Brandt addressing court at Justice
Redhead’s retirement

Attorney-at-Law David S. Brandt, a former chief minister of Montserrat was arrested and charged on Monday, September 21, 2015, on sexually related charges allegedly involving minors dating back to 2010, has had several legal interventions through the appellate courts.

Now on new and or adjusted charges, the news is that new Justice Garret Evans has decided that the trial will take place in June or early July this year.

But, there arose seemingly new problems which suggest a trial may not take place on the matters.

As recorded earlier, “The man known as ‘the man of the people’ and still popularly referred to politically as, ‘The Heavy Roller’ is second to former Premier Reuben T Meade who served for 25 years non-stop from 1991 – 2014, and he for 23 years as the longest serving legislators in Montserrat alive…”

The new dispute is that the prosecution had allegedly told the court that Mr. Brandt would not receive a fair trial in Montserrat and ask that the matter be transferred to another jurisdiction, creating a problem for the trial taking place at all. Mr. Oris Sullivan, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Montserrat disputes the information and according to reports has told ZJB News that the decision made by Justice Evans for the trial to proceed, was based on the eight counts on which Mr Brandt is being charged including exploitation of girls under the age of 18 years.”  

Mr. Sullivan has said: “…that Mr Brandt is capable of having a fair trial in Montserrat. In fact Justice Evans has ruled that having regard of the evidence before him that Mr Brandt is capable of having a fair trial on Montserrat.”

DPP Oris Sullivan

Sullivan said he is responding to “all sorts of rumours or statements that the crown raise the issue that Mr. Brandt is incapable of getting a fair trial,” citing that as being the issue on the matter.

“Of course the issue was raised…before the court. Let me set the records straight and say the crown did not raise that issue before the court,” Sullivan says, explaining: “The issue the crown raised before the court was to bring the courts attention to the fact that Mr. Brandt is a very influential person and the selection of a jury might prove difficult in those circumstances. We are always of the view that Mr. Brandt will get a fair trial in Montserrat. He is not the only high profiled person to be tried on Montserrat.”

Attorney Warren Cassell

But, Attorney Warren Cassell, who contends he is not a member of Brandt’s defence team as reported, has expressed surprise at the DPP’s utterings. “I was pretty much surprised to hear the DPP on radio saying that they always thought that Mr. Brandt could get a fair trial in Montserrat, he says.

“In fact on the tenth day of January 2018,” Cassell continues, “the said DPP and his cohorts to include Annesta Weekes QC (who is the lead prosecutor in the matters) made an application to the court to transfer the trial to another jurisdiction, and in their submission they said, and I am quoting from it, I have a copy, and it is date stamped, ‘filed in the in the court – (it says) “we submit that it is not possible to ensure a fair trial of this defendant if a jury in Montserrat is empanelled…”

“So as a minister of justice,” Cassell concludes, “he is misleading the public to now come and say that it was always their contention that Mr. Brandt can get a fair trial.”

Earlier Cassell had expressed the view that since the prosecution had said Brandt could not get a fair trial in Montserrat, with the defence agreeing, and that according to him there being no legal provision for such matter to be heard except in front of his peers as the law requires, there can then be no trial.

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Rep03-Feb22_19  - br pgs 10

Bank of Montserrat Ltd

Unclaimed Dividends – OVER 15 YEARS
As At September 30, 2018

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

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

Contribution  

(A special – part 3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common sense speaks again: such people need help.”

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

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

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

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

March 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Premier Donaldson Romeo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks and may God bless us all.

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