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Minister Claude Hogan (Montserrat) Knows Better Than That!

Minister Claude Hogan (Montserrat) Knows Better Than That!

By Claude Gerald

There is a certain public danger to the defiant postures of the Hon. Claude Hogan, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment on Montserrat. He usually vocalizes in a defiant ‘bad boy’ demeanor, presumably to show that he is no walk over and firmly in charge; no one’s idea matters but his. That is the initial stance.

Then after some reflection when he sobers to reality, realizing that his exaggerated ego is still intact and not threatened,  a 180 degree detour is made, usually too late as the damage is done to public welfare. It is his modus operandi where things that matter are subsumed by what he feels and not what is wholesome. Maturity and self awareness are tools that will empower him but citizens appreciative of Nature cannot wait that long for his inevitable recant.  There is too much at stake in the struggle to maintain life forms that support other life forms.

His public stance on the general degradation of the environment and latterly the photographic evidence of heavy equipment poised to gouge sand at Foxes Bay requires better judgment from a leader of standing on Montserrat. In his heart Mr. Hogan knows better and can do better, providing greater service to environmental integrity.  He only has to look at Barbuda and what ‘bad man’ politicians have done to the beaches of an island paradise.

His written responses to attorney Mr. Jean Kelsick’s public spirited exposure of sand mining are at best a ramble, devoid of coordination and reason. Simply a shocking cocktail that makes for a ‘head down’ posture as one read his retort. It is like take it or leave it.

Mr. Hogan must be instructed that humility is the greatest virtue and even the GREATEST, who stung like bees and floated like butterflies, too fast to touch because eyes could not see him, died as is mortal, leaving us with this telling quote: Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth! Please know my namesake that haughtiness does not pay, as Mohammed Ali would have instructed a world, needing leaders of class, grace, humility and public service.

Mr. Hogan must come to his senses and give reverence to the precious life giving gifts of Nature to us, that only proper management can help to sustain in their beauty and service.  In an age of an embarrassment of riches in knowledge availability, and given his continual stand out praise of his Director of the Environment, Gerard Grey, it cannot be that Minister Hogan is short of advise;  or is he not taking it as was said to happen when officials of the Environment were shunned by former Premier Reuben T. Meade, in permanently scarring Piper’s Pond and Gun Hill in the name of an elusive project that would have marginalized Montserratians to water carriers and steal their patrimony? But then Mr. Meade knew well who he could have browbeaten at dark night, by placing lackeys who think only of their salaried obligations.

If you do not have technical men of steel, with the good of Montserrat deep in their bellies, with the ability to stand alone even against an errant Minister, no matter the consequences, then ministerial functions will be muted to the detriment of the public good.

Mr. Hogan must therefore also quickly bring to book and contain the excesses of his Fisheries Officer, Mr. Alwyn Ponteen, in sand removal especially. His science is flawed badly. Somebody must acquaint this playful, enthused lover of sand mining from the western end of Caars Bay that the natural piling up of sand at the mouth of the river has inland causes that he is not addressing. Those natural forces will compensate for such irregularities and do so with grace and precision. His is a symptomatic address that sees opportunists line up to remove and stock sand nearby presumably for profit.  If he is to help then he may use his bulldozers that frighten all life forms, to gently and creatively replenish areas denuded on the beach itself.

His unstable responses when spoken with on many occasions suggests that he is out of control, hell bent on further disfiguring the shore line irreversibly. Is that difficult to see or the wider consequences do not matter to these high paying officials who are positioned to balance difficult decision making sustainably?

It is strange indeed that the most decisive and impressive Minister of the Environment that we have witnessed, Mr. Charles Kirnon, turned out to be one of the villains in the past administration of Reuben T. Meade, in denigrating the environment. His grit and strong character was stellar then. The Charles Kirnon of the early nineties fought impressively and singly as a stout advocate of preserving our beaches and did, even in a government headed by Reuben T. Meade, distinguished as a hater of flora and fauna and things of Nature.

Charles Kirnon, a Cudjoe Head native with intimate knowledge of Piper’s Pond and Gun Hill as a child, sacrificed an election at least in defending what he believed was right and proper and must be hailed for that period ONLY. We need to borrow and own forever some of that forthright will of yesteryear to define our policies on the physical environment today.

Only so shall Nature smile with gratitude and satisfaction to our actions on Montserrat.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Claude Gerald

There is a certain public danger to the defiant postures of the Hon. Claude Hogan, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment on Montserrat. He usually vocalizes in a defiant ‘bad boy’ demeanor, presumably to show that he is no walk over and firmly in charge; no one’s idea matters but his. That is the initial stance.

Then after some reflection when he sobers to reality, realizing that his exaggerated ego is still intact and not threatened,  a 180 degree detour is made, usually too late as the damage is done to public welfare. It is his modus operandi where things that matter are subsumed by what he feels and not what is wholesome. Maturity and self awareness are tools that will empower him but citizens appreciative of Nature cannot wait that long for his inevitable recant.  There is too much at stake in the struggle to maintain life forms that support other life forms.

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His public stance on the general degradation of the environment and latterly the photographic evidence of heavy equipment poised to gouge sand at Foxes Bay requires better judgment from a leader of standing on Montserrat. In his heart Mr. Hogan knows better and can do better, providing greater service to environmental integrity.  He only has to look at Barbuda and what ‘bad man’ politicians have done to the beaches of an island paradise.

His written responses to attorney Mr. Jean Kelsick’s public spirited exposure of sand mining are at best a ramble, devoid of coordination and reason. Simply a shocking cocktail that makes for a ‘head down’ posture as one read his retort. It is like take it or leave it.

Mr. Hogan must be instructed that humility is the greatest virtue and even the GREATEST, who stung like bees and floated like butterflies, too fast to touch because eyes could not see him, died as is mortal, leaving us with this telling quote: Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth! Please know my namesake that haughtiness does not pay, as Mohammed Ali would have instructed a world, needing leaders of class, grace, humility and public service.

Mr. Hogan must come to his senses and give reverence to the precious life giving gifts of Nature to us, that only proper management can help to sustain in their beauty and service.  In an age of an embarrassment of riches in knowledge availability, and given his continual stand out praise of his Director of the Environment, Gerard Grey, it cannot be that Minister Hogan is short of advise;  or is he not taking it as was said to happen when officials of the Environment were shunned by former Premier Reuben T. Meade, in permanently scarring Piper’s Pond and Gun Hill in the name of an elusive project that would have marginalized Montserratians to water carriers and steal their patrimony? But then Mr. Meade knew well who he could have browbeaten at dark night, by placing lackeys who think only of their salaried obligations.

If you do not have technical men of steel, with the good of Montserrat deep in their bellies, with the ability to stand alone even against an errant Minister, no matter the consequences, then ministerial functions will be muted to the detriment of the public good.

Mr. Hogan must therefore also quickly bring to book and contain the excesses of his Fisheries Officer, Mr. Alwyn Ponteen, in sand removal especially. His science is flawed badly. Somebody must acquaint this playful, enthused lover of sand mining from the western end of Caars Bay that the natural piling up of sand at the mouth of the river has inland causes that he is not addressing. Those natural forces will compensate for such irregularities and do so with grace and precision. His is a symptomatic address that sees opportunists line up to remove and stock sand nearby presumably for profit.  If he is to help then he may use his bulldozers that frighten all life forms, to gently and creatively replenish areas denuded on the beach itself.

His unstable responses when spoken with on many occasions suggests that he is out of control, hell bent on further disfiguring the shore line irreversibly. Is that difficult to see or the wider consequences do not matter to these high paying officials who are positioned to balance difficult decision making sustainably?

It is strange indeed that the most decisive and impressive Minister of the Environment that we have witnessed, Mr. Charles Kirnon, turned out to be one of the villains in the past administration of Reuben T. Meade, in denigrating the environment. His grit and strong character was stellar then. The Charles Kirnon of the early nineties fought impressively and singly as a stout advocate of preserving our beaches and did, even in a government headed by Reuben T. Meade, distinguished as a hater of flora and fauna and things of Nature.

Charles Kirnon, a Cudjoe Head native with intimate knowledge of Piper’s Pond and Gun Hill as a child, sacrificed an election at least in defending what he believed was right and proper and must be hailed for that period ONLY. We need to borrow and own forever some of that forthright will of yesteryear to define our policies on the physical environment today.

Only so shall Nature smile with gratitude and satisfaction to our actions on Montserrat.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com