Categorized | Letters, Local

Letter to the Chief Minister

Dear Honourable Chief Minister Meade:

I listened to the “Meeting of the Minds” audio from the meeting last week held in Montserrat, from my other home in Canada today. But I have always felt that Montserrat was my home too. The people of
Montserrat were always so good to us. I appreciate and agree with your appeal to keep negotiations out of emotional territory. However, it is difficult to do that about Montserrat.

I am one of the “expats” of Montserrat and have travelled to Montserrat since my father built his house in Old Towne in 1969.  All of our family came to Montserrat throughout the years and my three children loved the island from their first stay as babies. We enjoyed walking through Plymouth, buying t-shirts at the Montserrat t-shirt company, drinking Carib beer at the Turtle Back Bar, buying linens made by the ladies at the Montserrat weaving studio, climbing up the waterfall (we knew the way) and stumbling around the sleeping Soufriere. We hiked across the island through “jungles” and bamboo forests with a local young man who showed us the way. We swung from the strong vines along the narrow trail. We swam in Isles Bay, Foxes Bay, Woodlands, Little Bay, Rendezvous Bay. We enjoyed the help of many people of Montserrat, in the constant upkeep of the house, and shared a dinner or beer after the work was done. Went to the Jump Ups at Christmas time. My husband courted me in Montserrat! Much later, I took my daughter to the excellent Hospital once, located above Plymouth, when she fell and sliced her hand, The Doctors and nurses were wonderful and we spent an enjoyable afternoon listening to all the people in the waiting room (who obviously knew everyone else) all talking in the lovely lilt of Montserrat in the packed waiting room.

They wouldn’t take our money for treatment, so my father initiated an annual Hospital donation. After my father died, my brother, sister and myself paid the taxes through the years and tried to keep up with
maintaining our house from a distance. We just put a new roof on (at great cost to us who do not have deep pockets). The volcano kept on and so did we – unless you count the 4 times we were “excluded” and had to cancel our travel or stay in hotels or rented houses. We hung on – not like the “real” people of Montserrat, who have regrettably suffered terribly with the effects of the volcano, but we still did
not give up, and kept coming, and saving our money to spend in Montserrat. Now we are ready to retire there.

If the people of Montserrat decide, after all they have been through with the volcano, that they need to destroy the Belham Valley and Isles Bay, that is within their power. But I believe they will regret it terribly because they will destroy one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It should be a World
Heritage site.  If the mining operation is established along the valley, I will never return. As a professional biologist, part time resident and long term tax payer of Montserrat, I could not watch that
destruction. And total destruction, a sand mining operation would be.

This answers a question that was raised at the “Meeting of the Minds”. We will not come back. And I believe most of us “ex-pats” feel the same way. We couldn’t possibly watch the devastation because we love Montserrat too much to watch that. Call me a NIMBY if you will, but maybe all the people of Montserrat should be thinking of the Belham Valley as their back yard and protecting it as the beautiful valley that it is now. The volcano didn’t destroy it, please don’t let people destroy it.
Respectfully,
Pam Fulford
Brechin, Ontario, Canada

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Dear Honourable Chief Minister Meade:

I listened to the “Meeting of the Minds” audio from the meeting last week held in Montserrat, from my other home in Canada today. But I have always felt that Montserrat was my home too. The people of
Montserrat were always so good to us. I appreciate and agree with your appeal to keep negotiations out of emotional territory. However, it is difficult to do that about Montserrat.

I am one of the “expats” of Montserrat and have travelled to Montserrat since my father built his house in Old Towne in 1969.  All of our family came to Montserrat throughout the years and my three children loved the island from their first stay as babies. We enjoyed walking through Plymouth, buying t-shirts at the Montserrat t-shirt company, drinking Carib beer at the Turtle Back Bar, buying linens made by the ladies at the Montserrat weaving studio, climbing up the waterfall (we knew the way) and stumbling around the sleeping Soufriere. We hiked across the island through “jungles” and bamboo forests with a local young man who showed us the way. We swung from the strong vines along the narrow trail. We swam in Isles Bay, Foxes Bay, Woodlands, Little Bay, Rendezvous Bay. We enjoyed the help of many people of Montserrat, in the constant upkeep of the house, and shared a dinner or beer after the work was done. Went to the Jump Ups at Christmas time. My husband courted me in Montserrat! Much later, I took my daughter to the excellent Hospital once, located above Plymouth, when she fell and sliced her hand, The Doctors and nurses were wonderful and we spent an enjoyable afternoon listening to all the people in the waiting room (who obviously knew everyone else) all talking in the lovely lilt of Montserrat in the packed waiting room.

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They wouldn’t take our money for treatment, so my father initiated an annual Hospital donation. After my father died, my brother, sister and myself paid the taxes through the years and tried to keep up with
maintaining our house from a distance. We just put a new roof on (at great cost to us who do not have deep pockets). The volcano kept on and so did we – unless you count the 4 times we were “excluded” and had to cancel our travel or stay in hotels or rented houses. We hung on – not like the “real” people of Montserrat, who have regrettably suffered terribly with the effects of the volcano, but we still did
not give up, and kept coming, and saving our money to spend in Montserrat. Now we are ready to retire there.

If the people of Montserrat decide, after all they have been through with the volcano, that they need to destroy the Belham Valley and Isles Bay, that is within their power. But I believe they will regret it terribly because they will destroy one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It should be a World
Heritage site.  If the mining operation is established along the valley, I will never return. As a professional biologist, part time resident and long term tax payer of Montserrat, I could not watch that
destruction. And total destruction, a sand mining operation would be.

This answers a question that was raised at the “Meeting of the Minds”. We will not come back. And I believe most of us “ex-pats” feel the same way. We couldn’t possibly watch the devastation because we love Montserrat too much to watch that. Call me a NIMBY if you will, but maybe all the people of Montserrat should be thinking of the Belham Valley as their back yard and protecting it as the beautiful valley that it is now. The volcano didn’t destroy it, please don’t let people destroy it.
Respectfully,
Pam Fulford
Brechin, Ontario, Canada