Categorized | Editorial

“The more things change, the more they remain the same”

Editorial

March 18, 2016

Last week as the arguments and presentations raged over the celebrations and/or festivities that have evolved and grown over the last 16 or more years, we presented features and an article captioned Time for a Change after 232 Years.

We hoped there was some edification gained from the presentations.

In that article, C Kirnon who may have been preparing for his return into a political campaign earlier than expected just over a year later had, however not uncharacteristically said: “I call on all Montserratians to make a concerted effort to eradicate this cancer from among us. Let us use our energies to love, respect and help each other and strive to live in harmony. As we rebuild our homeland let us, do so together in a society where every one’s opinion is heard and respected.”

His call may have well been heard and observed because; St. Patrick’s Week and Day in many ways that year will remain on record and in the memories of those who experienced it. The junior calypso competition began that year.

At the end Mr. Kenny Cassell wrote a letter of thanks. “This is a letter of thank you to all those who toiled unstintingly to make the St. Patrick’s Day of Activities the success it seems to have been. Those visitors who came enjoyed the week and say they would come again. They also say they would encourage their friends and relatives also to come. Those who are here also say that they enjoyed the week.

The overall success of the week had to do with organization and management, cooperation, commitment and teamwork. I, as Chairman, had the pleasure of working with some very dedicated people, without whose support and hard work, nothing would have been possible.”

In the thanks he included the Hon. Michael D. Higgins (now the President of Ireland) and the Film Crew from Ireland. Then he said, “My wish is that the Cultural Department would take this experience and build on it for the good of our country. We have to look at our culture as a source of enrichment.’

It was from there the then president of the MCCI which was still functioning and going steady would recall grave disappointment. The next year he was still the chairman, but his kudos were not as charming. The report said, “From all accounts the St. Patrick’s Day Week of Activities was for the most part a success. The visitors who came were glad they did and enjoyed their stay.

He singled out Cecil Cassell who worked in the Chief Minister David Brandt’s office. Cassell visited this year, and we would want to hear his take on what has been described by many as been very good with certainly not the very dubious and even ingenious 7,500 visitors described by an official, but definitely an appreciative number.

At the end he again said spoke of the hope that all, “…continue to highlight our culture so that it can be a source of enrichment to our lives,” adding now, “while bringing some economic benefit to our country.”

In 2000 there was as a highlight described as, “a Lecture-Panel Discussion with Dr. Howard Fergus and Hon. Michael Higgins on the Tuesday night, emphasizing the Planned Slave Uprising on St. Patrick’s Day 1768, and the Irish connection and its significance to Montserrat. Both men raised some very important points and generated a lot of interest from the audience.”

We will delve into following years later, but it would appear that there was a pause and there have been reasons, picking up again in more recent times. But what seemed to have been lacking, and what may have caused the somewhat misinformed discussion, though not entirely, even after the successful and informative lecture panel discussion, is the emphasis of the week of celebration, which were spiritual, the slave uprising and the Irish connection in and with both of these. Then the severe lack of effort and understanding of marketing not just these festivities Christmas, St. Patrick’s ‘Day’ and now ‘Calabash’ to bring not just Montserratians back for an opportune visit, but to attract tourists globally.

Cassell’s hopes and wishes were either ignored or misunderstood, even as he mentioned specifically the furthering of our cultural heritage, “highlight our culture so that it can be a source of enrichment to our lives,while bringing some economic benefit to our country.”

It was in that same year March 2000 that a “New Thinker”, wrote some very strong words: “Analyze this: the elected Government officials and their technocrats (sick! all very, very sick!) continue to either ensure the economic shut down of the country, while aiding and abetting the re-colonization of Montserrat.”

Much have happened since those 16 years, much should have changed. But, there is a saying, “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Why Montserrat?

The 2016/17 budget will be presented next week and anyone who listened to, understood or read any reports of the budget talks should not be expecting anything surprising. At least the budget will be real in that they do not have to wait to know the quantum of monies that should make up the budget. What will be different is in recent years before this Government, the Government was unable to ascertain from DFID how much they will be allocated, going through the legislated requirements, but really a farce.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial

March 18, 2016

Last week as the arguments and presentations raged over the celebrations and/or festivities that have evolved and grown over the last 16 or more years, we presented features and an article captioned Time for a Change after 232 Years.

We hoped there was some edification gained from the presentations.

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In that article, C Kirnon who may have been preparing for his return into a political campaign earlier than expected just over a year later had, however not uncharacteristically said: “I call on all Montserratians to make a concerted effort to eradicate this cancer from among us. Let us use our energies to love, respect and help each other and strive to live in harmony. As we rebuild our homeland let us, do so together in a society where every one’s opinion is heard and respected.”

His call may have well been heard and observed because; St. Patrick’s Week and Day in many ways that year will remain on record and in the memories of those who experienced it. The junior calypso competition began that year.

At the end Mr. Kenny Cassell wrote a letter of thanks. “This is a letter of thank you to all those who toiled unstintingly to make the St. Patrick’s Day of Activities the success it seems to have been. Those visitors who came enjoyed the week and say they would come again. They also say they would encourage their friends and relatives also to come. Those who are here also say that they enjoyed the week.

The overall success of the week had to do with organization and management, cooperation, commitment and teamwork. I, as Chairman, had the pleasure of working with some very dedicated people, without whose support and hard work, nothing would have been possible.”

In the thanks he included the Hon. Michael D. Higgins (now the President of Ireland) and the Film Crew from Ireland. Then he said, “My wish is that the Cultural Department would take this experience and build on it for the good of our country. We have to look at our culture as a source of enrichment.’

It was from there the then president of the MCCI which was still functioning and going steady would recall grave disappointment. The next year he was still the chairman, but his kudos were not as charming. The report said, “From all accounts the St. Patrick’s Day Week of Activities was for the most part a success. The visitors who came were glad they did and enjoyed their stay.

He singled out Cecil Cassell who worked in the Chief Minister David Brandt’s office. Cassell visited this year, and we would want to hear his take on what has been described by many as been very good with certainly not the very dubious and even ingenious 7,500 visitors described by an official, but definitely an appreciative number.

At the end he again said spoke of the hope that all, “…continue to highlight our culture so that it can be a source of enrichment to our lives,” adding now, “while bringing some economic benefit to our country.”

In 2000 there was as a highlight described as, “a Lecture-Panel Discussion with Dr. Howard Fergus and Hon. Michael Higgins on the Tuesday night, emphasizing the Planned Slave Uprising on St. Patrick’s Day 1768, and the Irish connection and its significance to Montserrat. Both men raised some very important points and generated a lot of interest from the audience.”

We will delve into following years later, but it would appear that there was a pause and there have been reasons, picking up again in more recent times. But what seemed to have been lacking, and what may have caused the somewhat misinformed discussion, though not entirely, even after the successful and informative lecture panel discussion, is the emphasis of the week of celebration, which were spiritual, the slave uprising and the Irish connection in and with both of these. Then the severe lack of effort and understanding of marketing not just these festivities Christmas, St. Patrick’s ‘Day’ and now ‘Calabash’ to bring not just Montserratians back for an opportune visit, but to attract tourists globally.

Cassell’s hopes and wishes were either ignored or misunderstood, even as he mentioned specifically the furthering of our cultural heritage, “highlight our culture so that it can be a source of enrichment to our lives,while bringing some economic benefit to our country.”

It was in that same year March 2000 that a “New Thinker”, wrote some very strong words: “Analyze this: the elected Government officials and their technocrats (sick! all very, very sick!) continue to either ensure the economic shut down of the country, while aiding and abetting the re-colonization of Montserrat.”

Much have happened since those 16 years, much should have changed. But, there is a saying, “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Why Montserrat?

The 2016/17 budget will be presented next week and anyone who listened to, understood or read any reports of the budget talks should not be expecting anything surprising. At least the budget will be real in that they do not have to wait to know the quantum of monies that should make up the budget. What will be different is in recent years before this Government, the Government was unable to ascertain from DFID how much they will be allocated, going through the legislated requirements, but really a farce.