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MNI wins Cayman Is new

Big moment for Montserrat football

The win – Montserrat 2 – Cayman Islands 1.

So this is where we were taken from – FB – Craig Brewin

The eight other teams in contention for the last four qualifying places are St Kitts & Nevis, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Bermuda (who play each other), Guyana & Belize (who also play each other), and French Guiana. To add some spice to the final round of matches, and some unpredictability, CONCACAF has arranged things to ensure that each team plays someone of a similar ranking. This is also the final round of qualifying for next season Nations League groupings so everyone has something to play for.

The following is how the weekend needs to pan out for Montserrat.

Day 1: Friday 22nd March. Cayman Islands v Montserrat.

Montserrat has to win. A big win may help. Montserrat is now ahead of Cayman Islands in the FIFA rankings and given its form so far, a win for Montserrat is possibly the more likely option.

Day 2: Saturday 23rd March. Guyana v Belize. Surinam v St Kitts &Nevis.

Either Guyana or Belize will almost certainly finish above Montserrat if they win. St Kitts will finish above Montserrat if they win.

Day 2: Saturday 23rd March. El Salvador v Jamaica.

Kicking off after the two earlier games have finished, El Salvador needs a win against a Jamaica team looking to qualify for League A in the Nations League. It is possible that a big win in the Cayman Islands could see Montserrat stay ahead of El Salvador on goal difference.

Day 3: Sunday 25th.  Dominican Republic v Bermuda.

This game is sudden death, with the winners virtually guaranteed to finish ahead of Montserrat.

Day 3: Sunday 25th. Canada v French Guiana.

This match kicks off at the same time as the game in the Dominican Republic. Montserrat will need French Guiana to lose or draw. It has a good team but was beaten 4-2 by Canada when they met in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Day 3: Sunday 25th. Barbados v Nicaragua. A win for Nicaragua will see them finish ahead of Montserrat. Unless French Guiana, St Kitts and Nevis, and El Salvador have failed to win, it will probably all be down to this game. Montserrat will need Nicaragua to fail to win.

Of course, if Montserrat doesn’t beat Cayman Islands then none of this will matter. Not in terms of the Gold Cup anyway. But there is still next season’s Nations League.

Posted in Featured, International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Youth0 Comments

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.”

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Features, International, International Sports, Local, Local Sports, News, Regional, Regional Sports, Sports, TOURISM0 Comments

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

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

Edith Duberry (Statistics) DSC_9913

Montserrat – History Reflections

with Teacher Edith Duberry

Edith Duberry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Education, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

330px-D._Orlando_Smith_(cropped)

2019 BVI general election


Country and people interest matters we might give as a reason that we almost lost sight or rather did not post re General elections which were held in the British Virgin Islands Monday, on  February 25, 2019.[1] For the first time, four parties with at least one incumbent member were contesting an election.

Premier Andrew Fahie

The result was a decisive victory for the Virgin Islands Party, which won eight of the 13 elected seats under the leadership of Andrew Fahie. The ruling National Democratic Party won only three seats, with new party leader Myron Walwyn losing his seat.[2]

Seven of the thirteen seats were won by candidates contesting an election for the first time, all for the Virgin Islands Party, a territory record.

In June 2018 the Premier and leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Orlando Smith indicated he would be stepping down and not contesting the next general election.[9] In the subsequent leadership contest the party chose Education Minister Myron Walwyn to lead the party into the next election.[10]

The elections were the first in the British Virgin Islands to use electronically tabulated voting rather that manual counts.[3] Voter turnout was 65.26%.

Election monitors reported that they saw “no real evidence of corruption”, but highlighted a large influx of voter registrations in Districts 5 and 8 which had been regarded in some quarters as potential attempt to manipulate results.[4]

14,866 of the registered voters representing 65.3% turned out to vote.

Background

The House of Assembly normally sits in four year terms. The Governor must dissolve the House within four years of the date when the House first meets after a general election unless it has been dissolved sooner.[5] Once the House is dissolved a general election must be held after at least 21 days, but not more than two months after the dissolution of the House. The third session of the House of Assembly first met on 23 June 2015,[6] and therefore in the ordinary course of things the latest possible date of the next British Virgin Islands general election would have been one day short of four years and two months after that date, i.e. on 22 August 2019.

However, Delores Christopher, member of the House of Assembly representing the 5th District died on 16 October 2018.[7] There was broad agreement that it was undesirable to hold two elections so close together (a by-election to appoint a new representative for the 5th District, followed by a general election). Accordingly, after taking legal advice and consulting with the Premier Orlando Smith the Governor, Augustus Jaspert, advised that it had been agreed that no separate by-election should be held, and the election would be held on or before 16 April 2019.[8]

The House of Assembly was dissolved on 23 January 2019 and an election date was immediately announced for 25 February 2019.[1]

New leaders and new parties

Both of the main political parties which had contested the prior election had leadership contests, and in both cases the person who lost the leadership contest left to form their own party. Accordingly, in the 2019 election there will be an unprecedented four different political parties with at least one sitting member contesting the general election.

National Democratic Party

Former Premier (retired and did not contest elections)

In June 2018 the Premier and leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Orlando Smith indicated he would be stepping down and not contesting the next general election.[9] In the subsequent leadership contest the party chose Education Minister Myron Walwyn to lead the party into the next election.[10]

In the wake of Dr Smith’s announced retirement, rumours of splits within the ruling National Democratic Party began to circulate almost immediately.[11] Eventually Ronnie Skelton, runner up in the leadership contest, left to form his own political party,[12] named the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM).[13][14]

Second District Representative Melvin “Mitch” Turnbull also left the NDP to join Skelton,[15] as did at-large representative, Archie Christian.[16] Certain media houses began to sarcastically refer to the PVIM as “NDP 2”.[17]

Virgin Islands Party

The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) also had a leadership contest, and the sitting leader, Julian Fraser, was ousted by the challenger, Andrew Fahie. Fraser subsequently announced he would leave the VIP and set up his own party, which he called Progressives United (PU).[18][19]

Controversies

Myron Walwyn eligibility issue

In the run up to the election there were repeated suggestions in the press that Myron Walwyn was not eligible for election to the House of Assembly because his parents are not from the BVI. His father is from Nevis and his mother is from Antigua.[20][21] Leader of the opposition Virgin Islands Party, Andrew Fahie, distanced himself from questions about Walwyn’s eligibility.[22]

Speaker of the House issue

Some controversy arose when leaked lists of candidates suggested that the speaker of the House, Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe, was to stand as an NDP candidate.[23] A number of public figures, the most prominent being Deputy Premier Kedrick Pickering, expressed concern at her being held out as a candidate for a political party whilst occupying the position of Speaker of the House.[24] Ms Moses-Scatliffe refused to confirm or deny that she would be a candidate for the NDP, and the Attorney General rendered an opinion indicating that even if she were, this would not legally preclude her from acting as Speaker of the House in the interim. Ultimately she was not named as a candidate.

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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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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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Bank of Montserrat Ltd

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

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