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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

Figure 2: Crick’s March 19, 1953 letter, p. 5 with a highlight (Fair use)

The Credibility of God

by

A Special: Part 7

Is the gospel a credible basis for a just civilisation?

When Cayman Chief Justice Anthony Smellie recently ruled[1] to impose same-sex marriage under colour of law in Cayman, some of his underlying points suggested that tradition, religion and linked religious ethics lack basic intellectual credibility and are particularly prone to inequities. Also, in recent years, there has been a flood of articles and voices across the Caribbean that have tried to discredit and dismiss the gospel, the Scriptures that teach it and the churches that bear witness to it. Last September, in answer to one such article,  the below was submitted under the right of reply, but was unfortunately rejected by a leading regional newspaper. Given what is now so clearly at stake and given the foundational importance of the gospel message and gospel ethics, we present the below as a needed first defence of our civilisation.

Over the years, many millions have met and been transformed through meeting God in the face of Christ. This includes countless Jamaicans [and many other people across the Caribbean]. It also includes many famed scholars, eminent scientists and leaders of powerful reformations. Logically, if just one of these millions has actually been reconciled with God through Christ, God must be real and the gospel must be true. (Where, if instead so many are deeply delusional, that would undermine the rational credibility of the human mind.)

However, for some years now various voices have tried to dismissively question God, the gospel and Christians. So, it is not unexpected to see Mr Gordon Robinson writing in the Gleaner[2] recently (on Sunday, August 26, 2018),  about alleged “dangerous dogma promulgated by the Church and its many brainwashed surrogates,” “perverse propaganda spread by Christian churches,” “sycophants” and the like.

Along the way, he managed to ask a pivotal question: “Who/what is God?”

Regrettably, he also implied outright fraud by church leaders: “Either the Church has NO CLUE about who/what God really is, or it deliberately misrepresents God’s essence in order to frighten people into becoming church members and tithing. Nothing else makes sense.”

Fig 1 DNA, Showing the Genetic Code (HT ResearchGate)

In fact, a simple Internet search might give a better answer. For, thinkers such as a Thomas Aquinas or an Augustine of Hippo or a Paul of Tarsus or even a Wayne Grudem[3] or a William Lane Craig[4] have long since credibly addressed the idea of God and systematic theology at a little more sophisticated level than Sunday School lessons or Internet Atheist web sites. In so doing, they have made responsible cases that rise above the level of caricatures of the art on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.

We may begin with Paul in Romans 1, 57 AD: “Rom 1:19 . . . what can be known about God is plain to [people], because God has shown it to them. 20 For [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So [people] are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  [ESV]

Here, one of the top dozen minds of our civilisation first points out how our morally governed interior life and what we see in the world all around jointly call us to God our Creator. But, too often we suppress the force of that inner testimony and outer evidence. (This, predictably, leads to unsound thinking and destructive deeds stemming from benumbed consciences and en-darkened minds.)

For one, consider how for sixty years now we have known that the DNA in the cells of our bodies has in it complex, alphanumeric, algorithmic code that is executed through molecular nanotechnology to build proteins, the workhorses of biological life. That’s why Sir Francis Crick wrote to his son Michael on March 19, 1953 that “we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another).”

Yes, alphanumeric code (so, language!), algorithms (so, purpose!), i.e. intelligent design of life from the first living cell on. Including, us. No wonder the dean of the so-called New Atheists was forced to admit that Biology studies complicated things that give a strong appearance of design. 

1947 saw the advent of the transistor age, allowing storage of a single bit of information in a tiny electronic wonder. We have since advanced to computers based on silicon chips comparable in size to a thumb-nail, with millions of transistors. These microchips and support machinery process many millions of instructions per second and have storage capacities of many gigabytes. Coded electronic communication signals routinely go across millions of miles through the solar system.  Every one of these devices and systems required careful design by highly educated engineers, scientists and programmers. The living, self-replicating cell’s sophistication dwarfs all of these; yet we question the all-knowing God, the author of life.

Figure 2: Crick’s March 19, 1953 letter, p. 5 with a highlight (Fair use)

Next, Mr. Robinson and others inevitably appeal to our known duty to truth, right reasoning, fairness, prudent judgement, etc.  But, where did that inner moral law (testified to by our consciences) come from? Surely, it is not a delusion; or else responsible, freely rational discussion would collapse into nihilistic chaos: might and manipulation (= “power and propaganda”) make ‘right,’ ‘rights,’ ‘justice,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge’ etc. Instead, our conscience-guarded hearts and minds clearly show the Creator’s design that we freely live by the light and law of truth and right.

Such considerations – and many more – point us to the only serious candidate for the source of reality that can bridge IS and OUGHT: the inherently good (and wise) Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being. Who is fully worthy of our loyalty and of humble, responsible, reasonable service through doing the good. Then, we may readily draw out the classic understanding of God described in scripture and studied in systematic theology: all-good, eternal, creator and Lord with sound knowledge and full capability to work out his good purposes in the right way at the right time.

Moreover, what we most of all need to know about God is taught by Jesus the Christ, recorded in scripture within eye-witness lifetime then accurately handed down to us for 2000 years now, at fearsome cost: the blood of the martyrs. Martyrs, who had but one incentive: that they directly knew and must peacefully stand by the eternal truth – cost what it will. They refused to be frightened by dungeon, fire or sword, much less mere rhetoric. Why would thousands die horribly to promote a known lie?

Their record is that Christ is the express image of his Father, Logos – Cosmos-ordering Reason himself, prophesied Messiah, the Saviour who in love died for us on a cross. He rose from the dead as Lord with 500 eye-witnesses, precisely fulfilling over three hundred prophecies that were long since recorded in the Old Testament. (See esp. Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12, c. 700 BC.[5]) He ascended to his Father in the presence of the apostles. He shall return as eternal Judge, before whom we must all account. (Yes, professing and “backsliding” Christians too.) The Bible also records Jesus’ prayer for us: “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and [“thy Son”] Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” [John 17:1- 5, cf. 3:16.]

That is the truth witnessed by the church, whether it was 33 AD in Jerusalem before an angry Sanhedrin, or 50 AD before the laughing Athenians (who had built a public monument to their ignorance of God), or today.  We therefore confidently invite Mr Robinson et al. to join with us in a serious-minded, substantially informed discussion about “who/what God really is” and about why the gospel is just that: God’s good news that brings salvation, blessing and hope for the positive transformation for our nation.


[1]See TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/cayman-islands-chief-justice-smellie-tries-to-redefine-marriage-fails/

[2]Cf. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20180826/gordon-robinson-gospel-according-gordon

[3]See: http://www.waynegrudem.com/

[4]See: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/

[5]See: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+52%3A13+-+53%3A12&version=AMP

Posted in Columns, De Ole Dawg, Education, International, Local, News, OECS, Opinions, Regional, Scriptures0 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.

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Special High Court sitting in Montserrat

Special High Court sitting in Montserrat


Montserrat Reporter‏ @mratreporter

Yesterday, April 5 2018, at Special sitting of High Court in Montserrat – Justice Morley presides over tributes in memory of Judge Redhead

12:27 PM – 6 Apr 2019

Posted in Court, Government Notices, Local, News, Obituaries, OECS, Regional0 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

Jus Wonderin...

Jus Wonderin…

Jus wonderin why de magistrate charge $2500 forthwith for some individual and why de Custum Officers jus search out the gel dem panties who come here for St. Patricks festival.

Jus wonderin if these things should no stap and wonder what the Premier goin do bout it and if dey not going decriminalise de marijuana and free up the people  dem.

Jus wonderin when de people in Davy Hill for de spanikin house dem a go get dem key.

Jus wonderin if Gregory is a follower or a leader.

Jus wonderin if dem nar do discipline de honourable doc.

Jus wonderin if de honorable opposition was there when dey outsource the cleaning services and now a pretend he don’t know nothing. I callin on him to stap fool de people dem and buy vote carze Montserrat people dem no foolish.

 Jus wonderin why de hon minista o agriculture and he acting PS demolish de nursery at Brades and move it to where Sankofa was above Public Works.

Jus why de premier and de FS late wid de budget for three years in a row, if dem no need fu come to d people and explain why three years in a row de budget late.

Jus wonderin why de PDM govment so incompetent and also de opposition members also so incompetent.

Jus wonderin if disunity carze dat fu de P D M and de others dem jus ignorunt o stupid.

Jus wonderin why Montserrat people dem no come together and save this country f deterioration.

Jus wonderin if nobady a go say anything bout de Customs offica dem behavia tumbling out de gei dem underwear and brazier dem and spreading dem out in front o everybady.

Jus really wonder if dat a true and why we hear bout marijuana and no bady hear bout de people dem rites and de marginalisation. 

Jus wonderin if dat will continue when Kristmus come.

Jus wonderin wha a happen bout de new hospital if awe a go get wan u not.

Jus wonderin if a new Attorney General appointed yet.

Jus wonderin if now awe get a PMO if the rest of the Premier’s important office is staffed.

Jus wonderin if Saga Gregory mi a fire shots at de FS who really ha the responsibility fu de budget preparation.

Jus wonderin whu much trouble de siam FS carse Montserrat and if he an de Career Govna who appoint him an give him big bonus.

Jus wonderin if dem shudn’t do im de same lek de PMO but definitely fu carse.

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Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails

Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails


A Special: Part 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus, fail.

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

Not even, under colour of “rights.”

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

“A right is a binding, moral claim that one must be respected and protected due to his or her inherent dignity and worth as a human being. Such worth can only come from our being made in God’s image and “endowed with certain unalienable rights.” Rights, that start with “life.” We are morally governed, conscience-guided creatures who have responsible, rational freedom. Clearly, then, to properly claim a right one must first manifestly be in the right.  Indeed, in order to persuade us the FAC expects us to know that we have duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. That is, they too understand that we are morally governed creatures. But, such conscience-guided moral government, in the end, has just one credible source: the inherently good, wise, loving creator God.”

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

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

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

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

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, fail.  Fail, through judicial over-reach. Fail, through not understanding that to properly claim a right, one must manifestly be in the right; on pain of trying to compel others to taint conscience, ignore sound moral principle and support one in evil. Fail, through not recognising that reason itself is inescapably morally governed and that moral government therefore traces to the inherently good and wise Moral Governor of the universe, our Creator. We must do better as a region.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, Court, De Ole Dawg, Education, Legal, OECS, Opinions, Regional, UK - Brexit1 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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OECS welcomes Guadeloupe - 1

OECS welcome Guadeloupe to member statehood

President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe Ary Chalus signs with OECS chairman, Ralph Gonsalves, PM St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) formally welcomed Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France, as an associate member of the Organisation at a meeting held in Basse Terre, on Thursday, March 14, 2019.

Newly elected British Virgin Islands premier, Andrew Fahie, was also welcomed at his first OECS engagement, delivering a passionate address to member states.

Chairman of the OECS and Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves and the President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe Ary Chalus.

OECS chairman and prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, noted the accession of the French territory adds tremendously not only to the land and sea space but to the economic potential of the regional grouping, but in furtherance of the deepening and broadening of the regional integration of small Eastern Caribbean islands.

“The enlargement of the OECS, with the accession of Guadeloupe to associate membership, opens up tremendous possibilities not merely to survive but to thrive more markedly across the arenas of economy, society, culture and polity.

On behalf of all Guadeloupeans, President Chalus said that the accession to the OECS was a historic moment in the life of the territory, is an expression of the new levels of collaboration that Guadeloupe as an associate member of the OECS could look forward to, included functional cooperation such as the INTERREG III program which was delivering solid development outcomes for the Eastern Caribbean.

Opening Ceremony of the Special Meeting of the OECS Authority and ceremony of the accession of Guadeloupe to the OECS. From left to right, President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe Ary Chalus, President of the Collectivity of Martinique Alfred Marie-Jeanne and Chairman of the OECS and Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves. © Région Guadeloupe

“The program contributes to the integration of the Caribbean space and responds to the aspiration of our populations and our accession will seek to deepen this cooperation and outcomes. We share a unity of destiny; island economies, territories vulnerable to climate change and facing the same challenges in terms of energy supply.

“Guadeloupe is determined to contribute to the vision, shared by all of you here, in which the promotion of the green and blue economy is put forward to make the space of the Lesser Antilles, the world reference in sustainable territories.

“The triple Caribbean, French and European membership must be approached pragmatically because, like Martinique and the French part of Saint-Martin, it offers Guadeloupe real opportunities for its development while nourishing the contribution it intends to make within the OECS.

“Shared education, training, health and realisation of our natural heritage and biodiversity strengthens our Territories’ capacities to respond to environmental challenges, improving public services and the resilience of populations to major natural hazards.

“Between the literary greats of Derek Walcott and Edouard Glissant, there is a unity of vision between our people and a shared culture that is our point of convergence connecting the genius of each of our territories and without which we would be mere dust in the wind,” President Chalus said.

Heads of Governments of the OECS Member states at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Meeting of the OECS Authority and ceremony of the accession of Guadeloupe to the OECS

OECS states comprise countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and now, Guadeloupe.

Watch this report – https://we.tl/t-ZWDtXLrmPH

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