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HAPPY 100th Birthday — What’s Next?

Recorded speech of Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo, delivered at the Award Banquet of The Montserrat Progressive Society, New York

Untitledl-1

Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo

With protocols established, I am delighted to share this moment with all of you. This is an incredible and well deserving celebration! 100 years of community service, 100 years of thriving and overcoming, 100 years of leadership and achievements is a very long time!!!! This organization has a lot to be thankful for and much praise to offer both to God, its founders and current leaders, whose vision still rings true today as when you first began. It must have taken every ounce of sight, insight, hindsight and foresight to keep this organization growing from strength to strength.

I want to say a special thanks to those who invited me, and many thanks to others who supported the PDM’s mission of a prosperous and self-sufficient Montserrat. Having won our recent national elections with a landslide victory, we are now working intelligently and innovatively to rebuild our homeland. I want to address three parallel priorities that our new government is pursuing. These are: A shift in Mindset, Collective Engagement and Repopulation.

I believe that although Montserrat is small in size it is big in aspiration. If we think big, we will achieve extraordinary outcomes. If we believe that excellence is within us, then we will begin to value each other and search for homegrown solutions. The truth is this: Our collective gifts and talents are amazingly available for positive nation building. But each of us must be united around a common goal. This goal is captured by the question, what am I willing to do to make Montserrat one of the most wholesome, healthy, prosperous, peaceful and vibrant places on earth, in which to live?

If every one of us asks and answers this question, we will discover that by pooling our intellectual might and by joining our professional forces and by integrating our practical experiences into a collective engagement process, we will advance more than we could ever imagine. I know that we don’t have gold and oil but we have each other. Yes, I agree that all that glitters is not gold but I have lived long enough to realize that all gold glitters.

That is why our new government is clear that to achieve greatness, we must be passionate, aim high, work wisely and hard. We can never allow square mileage to determine the scope of our possibility or the significance of our ambition. I am encouraged that organizations like yours, and opportunities that living in Diaspora can afford, could very well lead to excited open doors. All of you gathered here tonight can organize yourselves into pressure groups, investment hunters, networking associations and powerful lobbyists for the purpose of advancing Montserrat. By that I mean that YOU ARE a source of resources. Think for a moment how you are indeed a source of resources. Think how through a simple conversation, a simple act of networking, a single commitment to doing something marvelous for your homeland, how an army of ideas and creative initiatives can be released and resurrected—so that Montserrat can rise again.

In addition to working together for the improvement of our own lives and the betterment of our beloved Emerald Isle, I envision that we use our goodwill and willpower to rebuild and to repopulate Montserrat. I agree that we are living amidst the information wave and that trading and finances can be done through the push of a button. But small populations have grave economic and social challenges. In this case, Montserrat needs more Montserratians and friends of Montserrat working together to build a modern and vibrant economy to which many can return to happily live and work in our homeland. We have a shortage of potential wives and husbands. We need more children running around and energizing the place. We need more hands on deck.

It is for this reason that the PDM government has decided to engage Britain on new negotiation terms—we intend, where reasonable, to be treated as citizens of England with the rights and privileges that are accorded those that live on mainland England. This strategy is both powerful and sensible. It will help us better identify funding streams from DifD to support a national redevelopment plan where our ecological, social, moral, economic and human capital can be integrated around the practice of good governance. Although good governance where fairness, transparency and accountability are necessary as leadership functions, we need a flourishing economy. This can only be driven by a private sector-led agenda that cares for the vulnerable, that provides opportunities for wealth creation from one generation to the next, and that inspires the quest for responsible nation building.

The United Negro College Fund’s motto rings true, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I submit that a nation is an awful thing to squander but a bold and adventurous people are a powerful force to contend with. Let’s change our mindset, work together to build a prosperous nation, repopulate Montserrat and celebrate tonight this wonderful tribute of 100 Birthday with an aim of making the good better, and the better, best. May God bless each of you, may God bless Montserrat and may each of you have a safe journey to your homes, with a renewed commitment for Montserrat to rise again.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Recorded speech of Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo, delivered at the Award Banquet of The Montserrat Progressive Society, New York

Untitledl-1

Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo

With protocols established, I am delighted to share this moment with all of you. This is an incredible and well deserving celebration! 100 years of community service, 100 years of thriving and overcoming, 100 years of leadership and achievements is a very long time!!!! This organization has a lot to be thankful for and much praise to offer both to God, its founders and current leaders, whose vision still rings true today as when you first began. It must have taken every ounce of sight, insight, hindsight and foresight to keep this organization growing from strength to strength.

I want to say a special thanks to those who invited me, and many thanks to others who supported the PDM’s mission of a prosperous and self-sufficient Montserrat. Having won our recent national elections with a landslide victory, we are now working intelligently and innovatively to rebuild our homeland. I want to address three parallel priorities that our new government is pursuing. These are: A shift in Mindset, Collective Engagement and Repopulation.

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I believe that although Montserrat is small in size it is big in aspiration. If we think big, we will achieve extraordinary outcomes. If we believe that excellence is within us, then we will begin to value each other and search for homegrown solutions. The truth is this: Our collective gifts and talents are amazingly available for positive nation building. But each of us must be united around a common goal. This goal is captured by the question, what am I willing to do to make Montserrat one of the most wholesome, healthy, prosperous, peaceful and vibrant places on earth, in which to live?

If every one of us asks and answers this question, we will discover that by pooling our intellectual might and by joining our professional forces and by integrating our practical experiences into a collective engagement process, we will advance more than we could ever imagine. I know that we don’t have gold and oil but we have each other. Yes, I agree that all that glitters is not gold but I have lived long enough to realize that all gold glitters.

That is why our new government is clear that to achieve greatness, we must be passionate, aim high, work wisely and hard. We can never allow square mileage to determine the scope of our possibility or the significance of our ambition. I am encouraged that organizations like yours, and opportunities that living in Diaspora can afford, could very well lead to excited open doors. All of you gathered here tonight can organize yourselves into pressure groups, investment hunters, networking associations and powerful lobbyists for the purpose of advancing Montserrat. By that I mean that YOU ARE a source of resources. Think for a moment how you are indeed a source of resources. Think how through a simple conversation, a simple act of networking, a single commitment to doing something marvelous for your homeland, how an army of ideas and creative initiatives can be released and resurrected—so that Montserrat can rise again.

In addition to working together for the improvement of our own lives and the betterment of our beloved Emerald Isle, I envision that we use our goodwill and willpower to rebuild and to repopulate Montserrat. I agree that we are living amidst the information wave and that trading and finances can be done through the push of a button. But small populations have grave economic and social challenges. In this case, Montserrat needs more Montserratians and friends of Montserrat working together to build a modern and vibrant economy to which many can return to happily live and work in our homeland. We have a shortage of potential wives and husbands. We need more children running around and energizing the place. We need more hands on deck.

It is for this reason that the PDM government has decided to engage Britain on new negotiation terms—we intend, where reasonable, to be treated as citizens of England with the rights and privileges that are accorded those that live on mainland England. This strategy is both powerful and sensible. It will help us better identify funding streams from DifD to support a national redevelopment plan where our ecological, social, moral, economic and human capital can be integrated around the practice of good governance. Although good governance where fairness, transparency and accountability are necessary as leadership functions, we need a flourishing economy. This can only be driven by a private sector-led agenda that cares for the vulnerable, that provides opportunities for wealth creation from one generation to the next, and that inspires the quest for responsible nation building.

The United Negro College Fund’s motto rings true, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I submit that a nation is an awful thing to squander but a bold and adventurous people are a powerful force to contend with. Let’s change our mindset, work together to build a prosperous nation, repopulate Montserrat and celebrate tonight this wonderful tribute of 100 Birthday with an aim of making the good better, and the better, best. May God bless each of you, may God bless Montserrat and may each of you have a safe journey to your homes, with a renewed commitment for Montserrat to rise again.