Saturday, October 31, 2009

Independence Goodies

Prime Minister announces independence goodies for Vincentians

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – St Vincent and the Grenadines Tuesday celebrated its 30th year of political independence from Britain, with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announcing a EC$30 million (US$11.1 million) package to assist nationals in the future development of the country.

Gonsalves, addressing the military parade at the Victoria Park, said that the package includes EC$10 million (US$3.7 million) in direct payment, another 10 million in subsidies and the remainder in special works.

He said that a “one-off” payment of EC$200 (US$74) made to pensioners last week amounted to one million dollars (US$370,300) and that more than 6,000 persons receiving public assistance from the government would benefit also from an additional one off payment of EC$200.

Gonsalves said that his administration had spent EC$880,000 (US$325,925) purchasing 16,000 bags of fertilizer to be sold to an estimated 2,000 farmers at a reduced price of EC$55 (US$20.30 cents) per bag “as an independence gift”.

“This is on top the subsidy given two months ago on 14,000 bags” he said, noting that the government would be spending an estimated EC$10 million on rehabilitating roads and buildings.

“It is anticipated that this project would provide employment for over 5,000 people in short term employment,” Gonsalves said noting that more than 800 people would benefit from a land distribution scheme for housing across the country.

“These lands amount to 4.6 million square feet with a total market value in excess of EC$25 million (US$9.25 million). We are going to have a lot of generosity here. We are going to sell the land between 1o cents and EC$1.50 a square foot. The subsidy will be at least EC$15 million (S$5.5 million).

The Prime Minister said that in 2010, he intends to purchase more land to distribute to more people “so that people can get lands for their houses”.

Gonsalves also announced that students who performed well during their exams at the local, regional and international levels would receive a promised EC$500 (US$185).

“But there is a group of 30,000 persons, who represent the future of this country, the children in the primary schools, the children in the secondary schools, the young people in the post secondary institutions…from the ninth of November each of these students will be given a cash payment of EC$200 as a gift.”

“This will cost the Treasury six million dollars (US$2.2 million),” Gonsalves told nationals.

Meanwhile, in his Independence Day message, Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne said he was disappointed that not many people today recognize or even remember “the Vincentian warriors who gallantly fought against overwhelming odds to free this nation from the bondage of slavery and colonialism.

“Sadly today many of these warriors are forgotten and only the names of the outstanding politicians seem to be prominent in our memory.

“But they were only the Generals leading the battle ably supported by dedicated men and women from humble background like my parents and yours who worked diligently to educate their children, tilling the fields, cleaning the houses, pulling the seines all in an effort to build this beautiful country of ours.

“Sadly the story of many of these warriors have never been told or not repeated often enough, resulting in a young population who are unaware of their struggles and who do not fully appreciate the true significance of Independence,” he said.

Sir Frederick said that while the global economic forces have combined to prevent the island attaining its full potential, “we have produced scholars, tradesmen, musicians and artists who have excelled not only locally but internationally.

“We have made outstanding progress in Education, Housing and Health Care Delivery and have impacted significantly on the prevalence of poverty in our island State,” he added.

Honduras Settling Down?

October 31, 2009

Deal Set to Restore Ousted Honduran President

By Ginger Thompson and Elizabeth Malkin, New York Times

Less than two days after senior American officials arrived in Honduras, the leader of the nation’s de facto government signed an agreement that would allow the return of the country’s ousted president, paving the way for an end to Latin America’s deepest political crisis in years.

The deal, which was reached late Thursday and still faces the hurdle of being approved by the Honduran Congress, followed months of intransigence by leaders of the de facto government.

After President Manuel Zelaya’s expulsion from the country on June 28, the new government adamantly refused to accept his restoration to office, despite international condemnation, isolation from its neighbors and multiple rounds of failed negotiations.

Roberto Micheletti, the leader of Honduras’s de facto government, relented only after senior Obama administration officials landed in the Honduran capital to take charge of the talks, pressing the point that the United States would not recognize the coming presidential election unless he accepted the deal.

Though senior administration officials played down their role, Latin America experts said that the agreement represented a breakthrough for President Obama, whose relations in the hemisphere were tested by the crisis.
For months, the administration resisted driving the negotiations, positioning itself as just another member of a coalition that included both its allies and its adversaries in the region. Latin American leaders took the lead in the talks, but both sides kept trying to win over Washington, long the dominant power in the region.

During a half-hour telephone call last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took a leading role, making it clear to Mr. Micheletti that the United States was growing impatient with the stalemate and demanding that democracy be restored.

Mr. Micheletti later joked with his aides that she stuck so close to her message it appeared she had a limited vocabulary. “I kept trying to explain our position to her,” he said, according to officials close to the talks, “but all she kept saying was, ‘Restitution, restitution, restitution.’ ”
Speaking on Friday in Pakistan, Mrs. Clinton called the deal a “historic agreement.”

“I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that, having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order, overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue,” she said.

The essential elements of the agreement had largely been worked out months ago by other Latin American leaders. If Congress agrees, Mr. Zelaya will serve out the remaining three months of his term, and the presidential election scheduled for Nov. 29 will be recognized by all sides.

Mr. Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti, both members of the Liberal Party, are not candidates.

Some significant obstacles remain, not least of which is the approval of the nation’s Congress, which voted overwhelmingly to strip Mr. Zelaya of power four months ago and now has to decide whether to reinstate him.

“That is going to be the issue that is most provocative internally,” said Assistant Secretary of State Thomas A. Shannon Jr., who led the American delegation, “and probably where we in the international community are going to have to pay the closest attention.”

The president of Congress, José Alfredo Saavedra, who is close to Mr. Micheletti, suggested that the legislature was in no hurry to decide on Mr. Zelaya’s fate. “At this time, nobody, absolutely nobody, can impose deadlines or terms on Congress,” he said.

The Zelaya camp also warned that there was much to do before the crisis was over. “Signing the agreement does not resolve the problem,” Carlos Eduardo Reina, an adviser to Mr. Zelaya, told local news organizations. “It opens space, it opens the door and determines what will be the path to return Honduras to legality.”

Kevin Casas-Zamora, an analyst at the Brookings Institution and a former vice president of Costa Rica, said he expected the Honduran Congress to approve Mr. Zelaya’s return because the two main presidential candidates right now had the most influence over legislators and wanted an agreement that would legitimize the election.

According to Mr. Micheletti, the accord would establish a unity government and a verification commission to ensure that its conditions were carried out. It would also create a truth commission to investigate the events of the past few months, but it would not provide amnesty for any crimes committed in connection with the coup.

That could cause tensions with the military, which roused Mr. Zelaya from his bed and summarily forced him out of the country. It is unclear what it would mean for Mr. Zelaya, who has been threatened with arrest on charges ranging from corruption to treason.

As news of the agreement spread, residents poured from their homes and workplaces across Tegucigalpa, the capital, to celebrate. Jubilation broke out in streets that had been torn with protests for months.

Latin American governments had pressed the Obama administration to take a forceful approach to ending the impasse. Immediately after Mr. Zelaya was ousted, Mr. Obama joined the rest of the region in calling for Mr. Zelaya’s reinstatement. Later, the administration suspended about $30 million in aid and visas for people who had been identified as central supporters of the de facto government.
But hundreds of millions of dollars in American humanitarian assistance continued to flow, and Latin American countries, concerned about the precedent the coup had set in a region where democracy remained fragile, criticized the United States for sending mixed signals to Honduras.

There were no mixed signals this week, said officials close to the talks. “They showed the isolation the country would face, that doors would be closing to Honduras for some time to come,” said Roberto Flores Bermúdez, a former Honduran ambassador to Washington who served as a representative of the de facto government.

Mark Landler contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.


While this has no specific bearing on St. Vincent, it is encouraging to see that a right-wing coup does not automatically get US approval.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Library

Saint Vincent prime minister lauds firm friendship with Taiwan

Central News Agency 2009-10-29 07:48 PM

Panama City, Panama, Oct. 28 (CNA) The friendship between Taiwan and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has become ever-stronger after many years of cooperation between the two countries, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Wednesday.

Addressing the inauguration of a national library in the Caribbean country constructed using funds from Taiwan, Gonsalves said the biggest public library in the Caribbean region is the best testimony to the friendship between the two countries.

Gonsalves also expressed his thanks to Taiwan for its assistance with several other infrastructure projects, including the country's Youth Empowerment Service (YES) program, which has been rated as the best model program worthy of emulation by other countries in the region by the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO's) Latin American regional office.
The program is geared toward the economic and personal skills and the social enhancement of unemployed young people.

Examination Yuan President John Kuan, who was visiting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the country's 30th anniversary of independence, also attended the ceremony.

Kuan said that assisting Taiwan's allies in strengthening the development of their human resources has been included in his government's white paper on foreign aid policy published in May and that the library's establishment marks the fulfillment of the principles covered in the white paper.

Kuan also said that Taiwan will stick to its promise to continue with bilateral cooperative programs.

(By Huang Kwang-chun and Y.L. Kao)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Website

There is a website at that is quite interesting and potentially useful. It is created by a webmaster in Canada.

Our Gap

If you want to visit us you turn off the Windward Highway at this "gap" (the vincy word equivalent to the american "intersection") and go to the top of the hill. We are next door to King's Inn.

Outside the Market


Some details of the Catholic Cathedral in Kingstown.

Shower Companion

I was about to take a shower when I discovered the stall was already occupied.

A closer look. We came to a mututal agreement.

Letter on Independence

From Caribbean Net News

Dear Sir:

Here on the 30th birthday of Hairouna and her children are fighting among themselves for her affections. It’s a pity and somewhat ironic that we as Vincentians will be clelebrating the 30th birthday of our Motherland in such a tumultuous, polarised climate. At a time when the nation is to come together and celebrate in true unison; most Vincentians will find it hard to celebrate their country’s independence with a clear conscience; due to the political “wisdom” of our dear leader who decided to play political blackjack with our Constitution.

Unlike these heartless politicians and their sycophantic followers' notion of independence; independence is from a common man’s point of view is not only the sense of belonging, but a sense of contribution and existence in every step that our nation takes, we constitute our nation, it does not constitute us.

We live in a democratic country and have rights of free speech, unrestricted movement, and freedom of choice; even though the current climate in my beloved homeland St Vincent and the Grenadines would put such claims to the test. We cannot and must not allow any Government in power to dictate to us.

The populace is too often caught between the devil and deep blue sea when it comes to political choice in Vincyland; however, it is to be noted that too many of us are guilty of political tribalism rather than political nuance, which further acerbates the political process.

We have been faced with dishonest politicians, betrayal, and mistrust that have pervaded the political sphere for the past thirty years; it is sad to say that true leadership and politicians for the people are concepts that are alien to today’s politicians, caught up as they are in the politics of greed, corruption, and political sophistry.

As we “celebrate” our Independence, let us take some time to learn about what our Government is up to and question their actions if and when necessary, and never settle for hubris, or political spin. Never be afraid to express yourself or hold point of views contrary to the popular thinking; "they" may be wrong, and you, the individual, may be right.

Use this independence to learn, educate yourselves, be a free thinker, make your own decisions, and not be a follower like those political simpletons who only see things from a prostrated position. Many of us have access to the internet, use it wisely; read the news articles and commentaries from "fair and balance" media outlets, information is now at our fingertips.

The more information we have at our disposal, the better we are able to make the right decisions for ourselves and our country…This is what independence means.

As the sun will rise tomorrow…these heartless politicians and their cohorts will preach the good sermon at the “big bash” at the Victoria Park and at the various gatherings that will be taking place across the nation and we for the moment, some of us, will try to forget the many lies and distortions that were said the day before by drowning our sadness in a sea of alcohol and eateries…only to wake up next day and realize the lies and distortions continues unabated…so is the vicious cycle of being in a state of depression.

So with a heavy heart; let me say Happy independence to all Vincentians at home and in the Diaspora.
Don’t cry for me Hairouna.

Paul Allington
Maryland, USA

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Canadian Congratulations

The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today congratulated the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as they celebrate their country’s Independence Day.

“Canada extends congratulations to the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of their country’s independence,” said Minister Kent.

“Canada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines enjoy a positive relationship based on our shared values and cultural ties, Commonwealth history and people-to-people links. The Vincentian diaspora in Canada continues to make significant contributions to Canadian society.

“Canada remains committed to strengthening its relations with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Congratulations: US to SVG

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 27, 2009

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as they celebrate 30 years as an independent nation. Our two countries are united by our shared commitment to democracy and human rights and strong economic and cultural ties. We are working as partners to enhance the security and prosperity of the Caribbean region and build a brighter future for all our people.

As Vincentians gather to honor their history and enjoy their Independence Day parade, let me reaffirm the commitment of the United States to work together to deepen and strengthen our partnership.

Monday, October 26, 2009


St. Kitts and Nevis sends congratulatory message to PM Gonsalves

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As St. Vincent and the Grenadines observes 30 years of political independence from Britain on Tuesday, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has dispatched a congratulatory message to mark the occasion.

“It is my wish that as your country celebrates this historic milestone with much deserved reverence and revelry, the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will continue to be blessed as they face the various challenges plaguing our region,” Dr. Douglas said in a message to St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves.

Dr. Douglas told Prime Minister Gonsalves that it is appropriate that St. Vincent and the Grenadines mark this significant moment and reflect on the mutual bonds of friendship and cooperation which both nations have enjoyed and benefited from over the years.

Prime Minister Douglas expressed confidence that the relationship between the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be further strengthened.

“In celebrating with you Comrade, I express sincerest best wishes for your continued health and prosperity as well as that of the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Dr. Douglas’ congratulatory message.


I was surfing around, waiting for supper, and I looked up St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Google Images. I ran across these: a nice arial view of Mt. Soufrier from the north; a stamp featuring Betty Boop; and a clear version of the seal.


ST VINCENT: Political leaders with contrasting messages ahead of anniversary of independence
Posted by admin on 10/26/09 • Categorized as Politics, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. *Photo credit:
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – St. Vincent and the Grenadines will observe 30 years of political independence from Britain on Tuesday with the island’s two main politicians giving contrasting messages to citizens.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, whose government is campaigning for a “Yes” vote in a November 25 national referendum to change the 1979 Constitution, said it was important for nationals to remove the “three irksome colonial impositions” contained in the existing constitution.
He listed these impositions as the retention of Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, retaining the London-based Privy Council as the final appellate court in both civil and criminal matters and the stringent measures to be adopted in altering the constitution.
“In short, the ‘take-it or leave-it’ imposition by the departing colonialism was a shackle designed to prevent the alteration of a constitution stuffed with weaknesses, to which the people had not consented at all,” Gonsalves said.
He said the referendum would provide citizens with an opportunity of adopting a constitution “shaped by their own hands over a seven-year period in a thoroughly extensive and intensive way, never witnessed hitherto, anywhere, in the process of constitution- making.
“This is truly a home-grown effort in the year marked for our nation’s Homecoming. In our lifetime, no other public policy decision is of such importance as this one. For the love of country, Vote ‘Yes’,” Gonsalves added.
But in his message, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said that the 30th anniversary celebrations will take place at a time “when we are in the throes of a recession in our economy, at a time when many persons have lost and continue to lose jobs, at a time when heinous crimes continue, at a time when our major financial institution is in trouble, at a time when many of our people are losing hope and struggling to survive.
“It is surely not a pretty picture on this 30th anniversary,” he said, noting that he expects many people to become more passionate about the new constitution as the date for the referendum gets closer.
“However, whatever the outcome, the Constitution will have no significant effect on the state of our economy and our standard of living in the near future,” said Eustace, whose New Democratic Party is canvassing for a “No” vote in the referendum.
Eustace said that he foresees in the medium to long-term future “a St. Vincent and the Grenadines managed by an administration which pays more than lip service to the preamble of the Constitution which recognises the supremacy of God in all we do and say.
“…are we really serious about the role of God in directing our country and our lives? That question requires an individual answer from each and every one of us here in St .Vincent and the Grenadines – are we prepared to do this and change St. Vincent and the Grenadines for all time?” Eustace asked.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wild Orchid

This is a local wild orchid that blossoms like this for a day or two a couple of times a year. This one is in our yard.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Gonzalves from Madeira

An interesting story of the Gonzalves of Madeira, a possible distant relation of our Prime Minister.

Madeira Exile


Charles Francis

Emanuel Gonzalves began his life on the island of Madeira off the coast of Africa. Folks there called him Manny. That must have been inevitable; the diminutive would stick with him the rest of his life. Manny's life ended in Friendship, Maine. That's where he is buried. Manny's gravestone reads Captain Emanuel Francis and has the dates 1805 and 1883. The facts are cut in stone.

Manny Francis has good many descendants, after all he had three wives. Those descendants can be found all up and down the east coast, from Nova Scotia to the Carolinas, to the westward and, of course, in Maine. Some of those descendants bear the name Francis, others Duncan, Shoppee and Rushford to name but a few. It is relatively easy to trace Manny's descendants. As for his antecedents, that is something of a mystery, an intriguing one.

Manny Francis never said much about his parentage and where he came from. He was a secretive, not all that talkative man. The only family name that has come down from Manny's Madeira past is that of his mother. Manny said her name was Jaswin, a name which suggests India. Other than this one fact and the Indian inference, Manny's mother is a mystery.

Manny Gonzalves came to Maine as a youngster, thirteen or so. He came as a runaway. He came as a stowaway on a vessel that put in at Monhegan Island. That tale has been preserved by at least two distinct lines of Manny's descendants.

Manny was a Madeira Exile. Madeira Exiles are a recognized group of immigrants. They are recognized as a unique singularity, tagged to or identified with a particular time period and place of origin. Most Madeira Exiles fall into one of two general groups. The groupings are based on why they left their home. Many left for much the same reason that the Irish immigrated from their homeland at the time of the potato famine. For this group of Madeira Exiles it wasn't potato blight that brought about their migration but rather a blight that hit the island's all-important grape production. The other Madeira Exiles group left for reasons of religious persecution, persecution by the Catholic Church. The latter group were either Protestant or Jewish.

Today descendants of the nineteenth century Madeira Exiles can be found all over the Americas, in Brazil, Guyana, the islands of Caribbean and the US. Others can be found in Africa and India or wherever else the Portuguese established themselves. The descendants of Manny Francis are to be counted among these once displaced exiles.

Manny could have come from the town of Calheta or from Funchal, Madeira's chief port, or from any number of other coastal towns or villages. His description of his hometown could fit Calheta, at least one of his sons thought so, but it might be otherwise. Whatever the case, Manny somehow managed to hide on a sailing ship bound for America. Several days out from Madeira the vessel's second mate discovered him. The mate must have been a compassionate fellow for he didn't turn Manny over to the captain. Instead he smuggled Manny food and water for the entire Atlantic crossing. Then, when the ship dropped anchor at Monhegan, the mate spirited Manny ashore.

That Manny was an audacious youngster goes without saying. Only a youth possessed with more than a modicum of audacity would leave his home for a strange land, and Monhegan Island and Maine would certainly have been strange. To begin with Manny would have not spoken the language. In fact, language would be an issue all Manny's life. There are indications that even late in life he thought in Portuguese. His grandson Charles Murphy of Friendship thought he did. A Smithsonian researcher who came to Friendship when Manny was an old man described him as slow to answer questions and slower still to talk about himself. Reading behind the lines written by the researcher one has a sense Manny feared revealing too much of himself. So just what was it Manny feared and how did it relate to the reticence that dominated his dealings with others all his life?

A centuries old historic truism says that to be Portuguese in a foreign land was to be Jewish. Was Manny a Jew? Was he what is variously known as a crypto-Jew, a secret Jew, a Jew who hid his identity? Henry Russell Francis, a great grandson of Manny was adamant in his assertions that Manny was not Jewish. On a number of occasions he said “Don't ever let someone tell you Emanuel Francis was a Sephardic Jew.”

Henry Russell Francis and Charles Murphy represent two distinct lines descended from Emmanuel Francis that preserved stories about him. The stories support each other.

Manny Francis was not a church-goer. He did not like ministers and he especially did not like Roman Catholic priests. Manny fled Madeira to escape the Catholic Church. That seems clear. He became a Madeira Exile because Catholic priests were after his mother for money. The money was to pay for prayers to get her recently deceased husband out of Purgatory. Manny fled Madeira to get away from the priests he feared and circumstances he could not tolerate. When he came to Maine he changed his name to make it harder for Catholic authorities to find him. All his life he feared that priests would come looking for him. The two family traditions involving Manny corroborate each other on these points. They agree that Manny's fear would seem to have been something ingrained in him, a part of his basic identity.

There are a variety of terms used to identify or designate crypto-Jews with connections to the Iberian peninsula. They include converso, marrano and anusim. A converso was a Jew who converted to Catholicism. The term is often taken to mean New Christian. Marrano has a number of meanings, it was often used to indicate that conversos were regarded as swine by those born Catholic. Anusim were Jews who had been forced to convert. While forced to convert, anusim were usually thought to continue practising Judaism. Conversos and anusim were not regarded as true Catholics. The general understanding was that all New Christians practiced some form of Judaism to a greater or lesser extent.

Lest one think the above brief discussion of Portuguese crypto-Jews relates only to the period of the infamous Inquisition, Roman Catholic records for Madeira of the 1840s show the island's Bishop ordering all young people be confirmed according to Church rites. The Bishop also ordered that all island inhabitants attend Confession and Mass. Those that did not do so “were to be proceeded against for heresy and apostacy [sic]”. To be convicted of either crime meant imprisonment. These points are found in Record of facts concerning the persecutions at Madeira in 1843 and 1846 by Herman Norton.

The Church and born Catholics in general made things difficult for New Christians and Catholics suspected of being secret Jews. That priests demanded exorbitant amounts of money of New Christians to get the souls of deceased loved ones free of Purgatory was a commonplace. The Exiles of Madeira written by W. M. Blackburn in 1860 describes the latter practice. The book was put out by the Presbyterian Board of Publication. Many Portuguese converts to Presbyterianism fled Madeira to settle in Illinois and elsewhere in the US. They fled to escape the persecution of the Church on Madeira.

By 1800 the forced conversion of Jews was a centuries old practice in Portugal. Practically this meant that crypto-Jews had a long period in which to evolve methods for perpetuating their sense of who they were. What evolved was a strange mix of Judaism and Christianity, a mix created by intensive Catholic instruction and a lack of Jewish instruction. Crypto-Jews might elevate Old Testament figures to sainthood. Thus we have St. Esther. Studies of Portuguese crypto-Jews have revealed an elaborate culture of fraught subterfuge with highly developed congeries of masked identities and hidden phrases. One such phrase, once thought to be meaningless, linguists have determined to be a garbled Hebrew disavowing the rituals in which the worshipper is about to participate. Was this the sort of culture Manny Francis experienced in his formative years? If so it would help explain his conduct as an adult as well as the family stories that have come down about him.

There are a number of excellent resources on the nature of and character of the secret Jew that offer suggestions to determine whether or not one has Jewish ancestry of the cryptic kind. Eduardo Dias of UCLA is an expert on secret Jews and has written a number of books on the subject including Rituals and Secret Practices of the Crypto Jews of Portugal. Practices extend to but are not limited to avoiding a variety of dairy products, meats and shellfish, clipping the nails of the deceased and use of names predominately associated with New Christians. Dias points to the name Emanuel as one of the more common if not the most common masculine first name. He goes on to list family names like Duran, Lopez and Gonzales with all the latter's alternative spellings as Jewish. (A Polish Jew named Emanuel Gonzales is on record as coming to Calheta in the 1500s. He may have been the first of the Gonzales name in the community. The first explorer of Madeira was Joao Goncalves Zarco. It is generally accepted by historians of the great Age of Exploration that he was converso.)

Except for the fact Manny Francis had an aversion for Catholic priests, most of the above is circumstantial evidence as to whether or not Manny was a crypto-Jew. Manny is, however, known to have avoided eating lobster and clams. But then, both were regarded as beneath the dignity of any self-respecting coastal Mainer of the nineteenth century. So are there any provable facts as to Manny's origins?

There are no pictures of Manny Francis. There are pictures of his son Fernando. The old photographs show a small man of an exceptionally swarthy complexion. His dark eyes are piercing, suggesting competence to a rare degree. Fernando was a deep-water sailor. He was the captain of his own ship. He once held off a mutinous crew bent on eating his infant son Manville. This occurred when Fernando's ship was wrecked on the coast of Patagonia.

Fernando Francis once sailed to Madeira. He went specifically to find his grandmother Jaswin. He went looking for a Madeira seaport where there were a lot of boys swimming. The reason for this was that Manny, unlike most Maine fishermen of the nineteenth century, knew how to swim. Manny once offered to bet money that he could swim from Pemaquid Point to Monhegan. He couldn't get any takers. He was that good a swimmer.

There is one real sand beach on Madeira, at Calheta. Fernando found no evidence of Jaswin Gonzales there. Nor did he find any elsewhere on Madeira. Jaswin had disappeared. Where could she have gone?

As mentioned above Jaswin suggests India. In the West the name is a rarity, not European. Though not as common in India as it once was, it can still be found on the Asiatic subcontinent. Could Jaswin Gonzales have fled to India? Perhaps she did. Perhaps Jaswin explains why Fernando Francis had a swarthy complexion. Portugal had colonies in India. Portuguese and Indians intermarried.

It has long been established that there were enclaves of Portuguese Jews in India, The enclaves were in Madras and Goa. Perhaps there is where Jaswin Gonzales fled to escape the persecution of the Church on Madeira. Or, perhaps she fled to another area where there were Jewish enclaves, South America or the Caribbean. (Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Lesser Antilles. His Gonsalves ancestors came to the Caribbean from Madeira. The maiden name of the Prime Minister's mother is Francis. The Prime Minister is Catholic. Some members of this particular Gonsalves clan recognize the possibility of Jewish ancestry.)

Manny Francis lived on Monhegan Island, Muscungus Island and in Friendship. He made his living as a fisherman. Although his gravestone identifies him as “Captain” it is doubtful he was a deep-water sailor as at least two of his sons, Fernando and Henry, were. Manny chose to live much of his life on isolated islands well away from mainland society, not moving to the mainland until late in life.

Before closing it is necessary to deal with the statement of Henry Russell Francis that Emanuel Francis was not a Sephardic Jew. Henry Russell Francis was my father. He was born in 1900. His father Ronello Laurance Francis, a son of Captain Henry Francis, was orphaned as a youngster.

Ronello Francis had a fair degree of financial success. He owned a box factory in Everett, Massachusetts. He retired to own a Red & White store in North Whitefield, Maine. Henry Russell Francis was brought up appreciating the nuances of social mobility. His mother, the former Miranda Mary Russell, was Episcopalian. Henry graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in engineering. He once said he was the first Francis that did not look Portuguese. I would describe my father as possessing a retentive personality. He disliked his father and adored his mother. Henry's gratuitous disclaimer regarding his great grandfather Emanuel's possible Jewish heritage is telling, especially in so retentive a personality, of at least a retrospective resentment. Bearing this out is the fact that in choosing my middle names he opted for Laurance rather than the Portuguese Ronello of his father and Humphrey the family name of my great grandmother Esther, Ronello's mother.

The story of Emanuel Francis is significant for a number of reasons. It has meaning within the context of being one of his descendants. It has meaning within the context of being a descendant of a Madeira Exile. And it has meaning if one knows, suspects or is unknowingly a descendant of a crypto-Jew.

What does identity consist in? Is it biological, cultural, ethical, theological? Are there traits of outlook that define or explain identity?

The name Gonzales is a variant of Gonsalvo. It is as much Portuguese as Spanish. Its origin is Latin and means battle. It is a very common name: it ranks #94 in the US. Francis is a common name too. It is Latin in origin and ranks #112 in the US. It has two meanings, Frenchman and free man. That the youngster who was known as Manny Gonzales changed his name to Manny Francis seems somehow more than fitting. Manny, whether or not he was a crypto-Jew, was born in contentious times and in a contentious place, a time when and a place where survival was a struggle, a battle. It is something of a step to suggest that Manny chose Francis, meaning free man, deliberately when he came to Maine and America. Yet, when he arrived on Monhegan he did achieve a freedom, though he always harbored a degree of apprehension as to the possibility of his past somehow catching up with him.

Posted by Charles Francis

Friday, October 23, 2009


Handmade brooms being sold on Bay Street


Cherry tomato in a pot.


Dawn over Caliaqua from our porch.


A photo of the Careenage (the shallow part of Caliaqua harbour) from our porch.


The Victorian Gaol and the contemporary Food Market


Street vendors are a regular part of the urban landscape in Kingstown, but these guys, just outside Food City, have chosen a striking backdrop.

Passionfruit Flower

I always admire the unique and complex structure of the flower of the passionfruit. Our vines seem to come and go, but we can enjoy the flowers when they appear.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


There will be Independence Day events goin on this coming weekend. Sally & I will be at the Horticultural Exhibition some time, assuming we can get a parking space.

Garifuna and the US Census

The following is a letter from Cheryl Norales relating to Garifuna and the US Census. If you know Garifuna residing in the US you might consider forwarding this to them.

Mabuiga! As you may know, every ten years the United States conducts a nationwide census which is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of its population.

You will be receiving the United States Census questionnaire in March 2010 either by U.S. mail or hand delivery. Everyone living in the U.S. must be counted citizens, non-citizens, resident or illegal-resident/alien. I have included the USA Government link of the 2010 Census for you to review at the bottom of this


Please, pay close attention to questions #8 and #9 in the section labeled as “Person 1”. Person 1 is the person identified as the head of household who is completing the questionnaire. Also, pay close attention to questions #5 and #6 in the proceeding sections “Person 2” and so on. Person 2 is the person identified as a person related to person 1. Please be aware that in question #9 (Person 1) and question #6 (Person 2 and so forth) you have the option to mark the box "Some other race" and write in your race (Garifuna). This information may be useful for those people who want to identify themselves and their children as Garifuna.

Why is this important? For many years people have been estimating how many Garinagu actually live in the United States and there has yet to be an accurate count of Garinagu living in this country. The unofficial estimated Garifuna population in the U.S. has been between 200,000-300,000. I do not know how those numbers were determined when we have never been counted as a people in this country. In the past, we have been told that if we are from a Spanish-speaking country, we should count ourselves as Hispanic, Latino or Spanish. If we are from an English- speaking country, we should count ourselves as Black, African-American or Negro.

In my opinion, this is wrong because we need to be counted as who we are; Garinagu. If you identify yourself as Afro-American or Afro-Latino your options are clear. We, Garinagu, do not have any political agenda or special interest to be counted or identified as something that we are not for the benefit of the African-American or Afro-Latino population. This information is intended for those people who want to identify themselves as GARIFUNA and be counted as a GARIFUNA in the 2010 Census so we may finally have an accurate count of how many Garinagu actually live here in the United States. If we are not counted as Garifuna in the 2010 Census, we will continue to be an invisible race living in the shadows of others who want to define us by their own image and history.

Person 1

#8: Is person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

#9: What is person 1's race?

Person 2

#5: Is person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

#6: What is person 1's race?

Diva Aids SVG Methodists

Pastor Wendy Mitchell. Photo by Nelson A. King

Gospel diva rocks concert to aid SVG church
By Nelson A. King

Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 2:10 PM EDT

A leading Caribbean gospel diva in New York recently brought the house down in a soul-ripping concert in aid of a Methodist church in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Trinidad and Tobago-born Pastor Wendy Mitchell held the packed audience in paroxysms with hits after hits in her wide repertoire at the annual gospel concert, at Public School 91, in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, in helping the Richland Park Methodist Church.

Mitchell – the first female vocalist with the renowned Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, before becoming a born-again Christian – belched out popular renditions, such as “Roll Back the Curtain;” “Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord;” and “I’m Trading My Sorrows – in the 3 ½ -hour-long concert, organized by the Brooklyn-based Vincentian Christian Charity Organization (VINCO).

VINCO members – who worship at Fenimore Street United Methodist Church in Brooklyn – have been, for the last five years, conducting gospel concerts, independent of the church, to help in the refurbishing, among other things, of rural Methodist churches at home.

Proceeds have to date aided the Chateaubelair, Evesham, Georgetown, and Troumaca Methodist churches.

“It was a great pleasure ministering before God’s people, especially for such a good cause,” said Mitchell, who, in yester years provided background vocals for a number of leading Caribbean calypsonians, such as the Mighty Sparrow, Kitchener and Calypso Rose, in an exclusive Caribbean Life interview.

“I believe it is our duty to (do so),” added the pastor at House of God Missions Church in Brooklyn, who was the major headliner in the absence of the award-winning Caribbean Gospel Diva, Bridget Blucher, who had a simultaneous engagement in Boston, Ma.

“As Romans 15:1 says, ‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves,’” Mitchell continued.

“So, I am always happy to support such ventures,” she said. “After all, this is about showing the love of God abroad.”

Mitchell also used the opportunity to bring others to know the Lord, stating that she is “highly driven” by her passion to “evangelize and lead others to Christ.”

“I thank God two people gave their lives to Jesus this evening (on Oct. 3),” she said. “God is truly awesome.

“The concert was wonderful,” Mitchell added. “And even though I am not from St Vincent and the Grenadines, I felt very proud to see the culture being preserved, because, sadly, our young people are not aware of the rich cultural heritage that they have inherited.”

She lauded the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCGB) for such preservation. The group has, among others, over the years, performed freely at VINCO’s gospel concerts, rendering gospel and cultural staples to the wide Caribbean audience.

Roxie Irish, UVCGB president, said the rapidly rising group was “proud and honored” to give its time and talent for a worthy cause.

“To really get where you’re going in life, you have to know where you came from,” she told Caribbean Life. “Progress comes when you’re persistent.

“In my mind, no matter where I go, I’m still a Vincentian,” she added. “I appreciate my country and my culture.

“My culture is who I am,” Irish continued. “You shouldn’t highlight other people’s culture and forget about yours. You shouldn’t lose your identity.”

The concert also featured the Brooklyn-based Attributes of Christ Ministries’ choir, whose pastor is Vincentian William Muckett, renowned as “Brother Muckett,” as well as Vincentians Vonetta Richards, Josette Fraser, Rachel Scott, and the artiste who only wants to be called DUN.

Jamaican gospel artiste Dennis Chin also added variety to the riveting event. Popular Vincentian DJ Supa Eyes provided musical accompaniment.

“I was very delighted to be there, because the event was raising funds for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and whatever I can do to help my country, I’ll do it,” Richards said.

“I hope the message I put forth touched the hearts and lives of my people,” added Richards, who rendered “We Need to Hear from You;” “Through It All;” “Hear My Cry, O Lord; and “It Is Raining.”

“It’s always good to give back to your country,” she continued.

“I think the concert was very, very good,” said Tom Doyle, who carries the sobriquet “Lord Tom” and who owns the San Souci Recording Studio in Brooklyn. Doyle also produced the music of many of the gospel artistes, including Chin, Richards and DUN.

Copyright © 2009 - Caribbean Life

Some New Orchids

These are some new orchids that are in Sally's garden. I'm using the blog software "Blogo" now, and it makes posting a lot easier. I'll try to get more of the photographs in my archives posted and go out and get more of them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Horticultural Exhibition

There will be an exhibition on October 24th and 25th at the UWI Open Campus on Murray's Rd, Kingstown. The theme is "Sustaining Our Gardens Through Climate Change."

I will try to post some pictures after the exhibit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New US ambassador

As published in the T&T Guardian. The interesting parts are the comments. As I pointed out in the case of the Harvard Professor and the Cop, the election of Obama isn't going to make white people less racist, but it will make black people less tolerant of white racism.

Beatrice Wilkinson-Welters, the new US
ambassador-designate to T&T and her
husband Anthony in a 2008 photograph

Obama chooses woman as US ambassador to T&T
Francis Joseph
Published: 17 Oct 2009

Francis Joseph

Nine months after he took over as President of the United States, Barack Obama has chosen a black woman as the new ambassador-designate to T&T.

Her name is Beatrice Wilkinson-Welters, 58, of Mc Lean, Virgninia. She replaces Dr Roy Austin, who left Trinidad at the end of last year after Obama was elected the new President. Austin was the nominee of the last US President George Bush. Austin, a close friend of Bush, spent more than six years as the ambassador to T&T. A native of St Vincent, Austin has returned to his home in Pennsylvania.

T&T was without a US ambassador for most of this year until Obama nominated Wilkinson-Welters for the job. Her name has already been forwarded and approved by the Patrick Manning government. The T&T Guardian was reliably informed that Wilkinson-Welters is packing up her belongings at her Virginia home to come to Trinidad for the next three years. It is expected that she will arrive in Trinidad next month and present her credentials to President George Maxwell Richards. She is married to Anthony Welters and they have two sons, Bryant, 19, and Andrew, 17.

Wilkinson-Welters is the founder and chairman of the AnBryce Foundation and the Vincent Wilkinson Foundation. These foundations focus on underserved youth and young adults to provide multiple settings for their personal and scholastic development.

When President Bush first
Submitted by PETEMAN on 17 October 2009 - 3:05am.
When President Bush first appointed Roy Austin, I wonder if the Guardian wrote "George Bush has chosen a black man as the new ambassador-designate to T&T."
I doubt it.

Peteman - Agreed.
Submitted by trinigirl_00 on 17 October 2009 - 4:39am.
Peteman - Agreed.

This lady is a professional
Submitted by SaD Trini on 17 October 2009 - 7:22am.
This lady is a professional and here to do her job. I wonder when she continues to blank we from getting visas if we will still refer to her as a black woman?

We need to move away from
Submitted by don1 on 17 October 2009 - 8:02am.
We need to move away from racial identification unless it adds value to the story. Her picture would have sufficed if anyone were curious as to her race. We continue to expect much higher standards from the Guardian,but I am beginning to wonder why. Don S. NY

Thanks for that great
Submitted by rowell1608 on 17 October 2009 - 9:39am.
Thanks for that great contribution DON. It is time we stop this nonsense. What does it matter anyway ? Black woman or white man it will be the same policies to follow.

Submitted by fairplay on 17 October 2009 - 11:29am.
Who decides what is of value? My ancestors were valued as one tenth of a human. Stop trying to dictate thoughts, say your say but let others have their day. Drag yuh bow Mr Fiddler.

In a place wher the majority
Submitted by Dinah on 17 October 2009 - 10:06am.
In a place wher the majority of the population is "BLACK" some with curly hair of varying tightness and some with straight hair, I do not understand this headline. But such is the nature and mindset of Trinbagonians. SHAME

Submitted by fairplay on 17 October 2009 - 11:27am.
I do not see BLACK in the headline. To give recognition to positive black achievement is motivational. It helps us to move away from stereotypes on the other hand we should not hide but seek to correct underachievement. It is good for all black and white and all in between.

This is to the blogger who
Submitted by houstontrini2 on 17 October 2009 - 11:33am.
This is to the blogger who said that regardless of whether Obama appointed a black woman or a white man to the post of Ambassador to TnT that the same policies will continue.
Firstly, unlike Tnt, the US for the most part is a country of laws. The embassy staff, from ambassador down have to follow the laws that are set in place by the US Congress and signed by the sitting president. The embassy can't make up arbitary rules or "look the other way" as some would want them to, because "we are Trinis" and deserve some special favours. That is not how it works.
So to suggest that Ambassador-designate Beartrice Wilkinson-Welters should somehow be different that the ex-ambassador Roy Austin in ludacrious. In fact most ambassadorships, to include this one, are political appointments and serve to reward the "party faithfuls" who do work for the political parties or who are "friends" of the sitting presidents or the Sec. of State. They have nothing to do with these people's diplomatic abilities since they are not "career diplomat."
So, this lady, based on her resume as outlined in the article, falls into the catagory of either "friend" of President Obama or a "party faithful" of the Democratic Party to be awarded this ambassadorship. I wish the lady well in her new cushy 3-year assignment. But do not be too hard on her or expect too much from her in her new role. She has rules and laws to follow just like the previous ambassador. The only difference may be style and how she carries out the job. In local parlance, it is a different monkey in the same suit.

Exactly what I am saying
Submitted by rowell1608 on 17 October 2009 - 11:54am.
Exactly what I am saying "Houstontrini". They both have to follow the rules as laid out by congress. Perhaps you missed my point . There is no doubt whatever that these people Ambassador et al have to follow given policies at all times and these policies come from congress. What I cannot understand is why it has to be specifically stated if the person doing the job is black or white. It is time that we move away from this scene, Are we not all equal ? What difference does it make ? Blacks really dont need this to be uplifted. This can be done on merit .

This is the headline I saw
Submitted by The Prince on 17 October 2009 - 12:23pm.
This is the headline I saw :"Obama chooses woman as US ambassador to T&T". No mention of "black".
Then in the first paragraph the article mentioned that she was a black woman.
I honestly see no real problem in that. The lady and her husband cut an elegant figure in the photo and I offer them my sincere congratulations.
She is well-qualified to assist T&T with the kind of problems affecting our lost youth. And contrary to what some say, an Ambassador can shape the way his or her Embassy deals with issues and nationals in the host State. There is such a thing as sympathy and influence.
I know that in the US if you are not white you are black, but this prejudice is slowly eroding as the melting pot melts further. The election of Barack Obama broke down racial barriers, although coming after George Bush made it easier.
Obama regularly uses the word "black" to refer to himself. In my view he is no ordinary black American. He is the genuine Afro-American, the son of a black African father and a white American mother. And what's more his ancestry straddles the world's two largest faiths, Christianity and Islam. You couldn't have a more ideal person in the White House to deal with some of the most sensitive and threatening issues in today's world.
Let us not be oversensitive to a passing mention of the word black. See the wood, not the tree.

Houstontrini, I wish it was
Submitted by bottom-line on 17 October 2009 - 12:31pm.
Houstontrini, I wish it was as simple as having a set of rules to follow as far as the granting of visas is concerned. We hear one story from the Embassy officials but another from the officer at the window when you go to apply for your visa. One guy went, placed his documents before the officer and was told 'you don't look like you will come back' and was rejected. One woman went with $600.00 in her bank account, owned a small wooden house and no other assests to her name and was accepted. Her sister had $14,000.00 on her bank statement, owned an upstairs/downstairs house, had a car and a regular job but was told she did not have enough money in the bank and was rejected. That I guess is following the rules. A woman went well dressed as the professional she is as was refused for no apparent reason. She returned six months later without make up and jewelry and was granted the visa. I wonder what really are the set of rules which they follow.

The guidance for US visa's
Submitted by patddictator on 17 October 2009 - 4:18pm.
The guidance for US visa's are simple: if you lack skills, education and potential to excel you will be granted a visa because you will be an asset in the US by accepting menial work (security, illegal cab driver, laborer, nurses aid). If you believe that you are educated, skilled, and important because of the worthless tt dollars you have you will be denied a visa. Why? first because of your ego you will not accept employment that you are qualified for (janitor, watchman etc), second Third World Education, especially from UWI is not accredited or recognized in western countries and it is not accepted.

We welcome the new
Submitted by bottom-line on 17 October 2009 - 5:04pm.
We welcome the new ambassador-designate to our country and do hope that she will clear up this visa issue for us. After all, we have to put out so much money for what they call administrative fees (a whole lot of administrative work taking place) and then we are turned away for frivolous reasons. A woman who had been to and through the US for years was recently denied a renewal of her visa because she 'did not have enough ties to this country'. Well, my argument is, if she wanted to stay in the US, she could have done so the many times she visited. What a joke. You just don't know where you stand with these people. Probably if they had to go through what we go through, things might have been different.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Editorial From Searchlight Newspaper

Welcome home


To all our Vincentian sisters and brothers returning home for our 30th anniversary of Independence, we say a hearty “WELCOME”. Whether the journey is from neighbouring St. Lucia or faraway Australia, whether you are Vincy-born or first or second generation, whether your sojourn overseas is temporary or you are a long-term resident in another land, it matters not. This is your home and we welcome you.

The homecoming concept is not unique to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Other neighbouring countries have blazed this path successfully. Indeed only last year Dominica also staged a homecoming to mark its 30th anniversary as well, and others are going down that path. What makes our homecoming special is the context in which it is occurring. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is taking the bold step of seeking to rewrite our Constitution and to fashion our own rules of governance. In spite of all the debate and disagreement, this is a remarkable achievement, which, irrespective of the outcome of the November 25 referendum, will go down in the pages of history.

Vincentians returning home will, therefore, have the added privilege of direct involvement in the national conversation from a first-hand vantage point. Not that Vincentians abroad were left out of the constitutional reform process, for a special feature of that process is that serious efforts were made to involve Vincentians living abroad.

Over the next two weeks, a number of activities have been organised to ensure that those returning or visiting for the event not only enjoy the warmth and hospitality of their homeland but also have the opportunity to make their contribution to national debates on various topics. A Committee to spearhead these activities has been put in place. It has had its critics in terms of its scope and methods of operation. What is essential is that we make provision for the links forged and ideas generated to continue or to be acted on after Homecoming. Too many times hopes are raised only to be dashed when the trail is left to go cold. How can we avoid that pitfall this time?

Over the years, for instance, we have continued to boast that there are more Vincentians living abroad than on home soil. Have we been able to document this in a concrete way, so that in the few embassies and High Commissions we have, there is some official record of numbers? More than the actual numbers, the Vincentian migrant community is a vital national human resource, yet as far as we know, that resource is not documented, making it difficult to even begin to tap what may be our most precious asset, far more valuable than the foreign currency reserves we may hold. When are we going to engage in this task, either alone or, preferably in conjunction with other Caribbean states?

Small states like ours have to make every effort to mobilise and utilize their national resources, particularly when the most precious ones are human. That human capital can be a tremendous force for national development, but it must be properly harnessed and given scope for creative effort. Initiatives originating from these sources must not be viewed with suspicion or even hostility but must be taken on board and evaluated as much as if they had originated in our very bosom. The Vincentian migrant community, with all its intellectual, organisational and financial resources must be embraced and given its rightful place. That will represent the true repatriation, the real homecoming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SVG Poets

From an email I just received:

FYI. Poets from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.
Please pass on this information.
Book Release

We are pleased to announce that there is a new book of Caribbean poetry on the market that you may wish to add to your Caribbean collection. It is written by Vincentian-born Marcia Harold Hinds and Barbadian-born Dr. Lance Bannister. The editors are Baldwin King and Cheryl L. A. King. The book "Timescape and Other Caribbean Poems” was published in September 2009 by KINGS-SVG Publishers.
This volume is a gem for poetry lovers especially those familiar with the Caribbean landscape. “Hairoun, Hairoun” and “The Old Maids and the Bachelor Buttons” by Marcia Harold Hinds will fill you with nostalgia. “Baxter Road Awakes” by Dr. Lance Bannister recalls the lively, raucous scene that is Baxter Road. There are seventy other poems to lift your spirits.
The retail cost of the book (Paperback, 111 pages, ISBN: 0-9778981-4-8) is US$12.95 plus US$4.50 for shipping in the US, US$5.50 for shipping to Canada and US $8.00 for shipping to the Caribbean and the United Kingdom, by airmail. To order, please send your name, address and payment-check or money order payable to Baldwin King at P.O. Box 702, Madison, NJ 07940. U.S.A;; website:

Spicy Tour Blurb-SVG

Holidays In Saint Vincent And The Grenadines

The island country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is situated close-fisted the Caribbean Sea. The area of this island is 389 square kilometres and consists of the main archipelago Saint Vincent and the one third of the island Grenadines. The days of yore of the country consists of French and British colonies and is now considered bite of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Saint Vincent and Grenadines is considered a popular tourist target because it is home to some of the big end beautiful resorts and beaches. There are numerous places to tour and possess have a good time making this country a popular fair destination. The better popular tourist enticement here is Saint Vincent. This spot is surrounded by beaches and not hold up under and is a heavenly place to visit. The beaches of Grenadines are the most renowned and many tourists chose to episode them.

The tick primary place in Saint Vincent and Grenadines is Bequia. Whaling, fishing and shipbuilding are considered the integral moving spirit of Bequia. Harbour
Elizabeth located at the edge of Admiralty Bay offer an odd view of great sceneries and anchor drops. The boats on the bay, resorts and restaurants are just some of the popular places of interest for tourists.

The third place of keen on while holidaying in this outback is the Mesopotamia Valley. This valley is filled up with florid and evergreen tropical crop and offers striking awesome views for the tourists. This island is known as the Island of breakfast because this place has lots of bananas, nuts, breadfruit, coconut and cocoa. It is truly a blissful atmosphere listening to the sounds of trickling streams and the fast flowing rivers.

The fourth outstanding place is the Montreal Gardens in the city of Saint Vincent and Grenadines. This garden is situated in the mountains above the Mesopotamia valley and has volcanic fertility and frequent rainfalls. This garden provides an exotic view of flowers, spices and green plants with a wonderful cool and misty environment. The garden is opened to the tourists and public until the week. December and August is considered as the flower season in the Montreal gardens.

The concluding important place is the La Soufriere. This place has the existence of great volcanoes and is situated on the northern side of the Saint Vincent Island. This volcano rises to above 4000 feet on high ground level and during April 1979 the volcano had its last eruption. The name Soufriere is taken from the French language and it involves the rigorous mounting of volcano. Mountain hiking is considered as the major event here and the windward coast of the atoll creates an singular diversion for the tourists visiting.

There is a lot more to see in Saint Vincent and Grenadines, it has many more tourist attractions to experience and enjoy.

Many holiday makers now be communicated to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and stay in a holiday home rental. There are some great villas with swimming pools and self catering holiday apartments to rent on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


A new website with information about (and in favor of) the constitutional revision cam be found at:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ralph on the Constitution

Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said the spirit of togetherness among Vincentians has been strengthened through the government’s campaign for a new constitution.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a National Rally yesterday, organized by the Unity Labour Party as part of the government’s ‘YES Vote’ Campaign.

Vincentians will vote on the proposed new constitution in a Referendum to be held on November 25th.

Dr. Gonsalves said the constitutional process thus far has been positive.

Dr. Gonsalves said the proposed new constitution will go a long way in addressing some of the ills in the Vincentian society.

NBC Radio News

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back Home

We are back in St. Vincent, but don't be surprised if nothing much gets posted fpr a few days. It usually takes us a few days to put ourselves together here, even assuming we made the trip in good health. It wasn't only that I'm not wild about LIAT--but the AA flight from Boston to San Juan, which was going to have lots of room, had to absorb a fully-booked U.S.Air flight that broke down. But at least I figured out how to use my laptop to write on the way down and that took my mind off the crowding.

But at least we are back in a warm place.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Rotarians about SVG:

Constitutional Referendum

- Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says Caribbean countries are afraid of holding referenda on their constitutions because they do not trust their citizens.
“I want to say to you that there is no country in the Caribbean that anyone has gone to the people with a referendum; a referendum election to ask them to change a constitution,” said Gonsalves as he addressed a rally organised by his Unity Labour Party (ULP) on Sunday.

“People are afraid. You know why they are afraid? They don’t trust their own people, even where the referendum is calling only for 50 per cent plus one,” he added.

The government is campaigning for a “yes” vote in the November 25 national referendum to change the country’s constitution that has been in force since independence in 1979. On the other hand, the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is calling on citizens to vote “no”.

A two-thirds majority, or 66.7 per cent, of the valid votes cast is needed to adopt the proposed constitution, which comes at the end of six years of consultation with citizens at home and in the Diaspora.

The Prime Minister noted that some Caribbean countries, including Dominica, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Guyana only needed 50 per cent plus one vote to amend their constitutions while Barbados, Trinidad and Belize don’t require a referendum.

Gonsalves said that because of the two-thirds majority requirement, “you can have a recalcitrant minority to stop the good things from happening and that’s why, in the new constitution we say 60 percent”.

But he said his government was not afraid to seek an amendment.

“And we are not afraid to come to the people and say give us 67 per cent, give yourself 67 per cent, give yourself a gift of the best constitution possible anywhere in the world to govern us,” he said.

In his address to the rally, Gonsalves recounted the history of the multi-island state under colonial rule and that the proposed constitution was “grounded in the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and not the Queen.

“What are we to tell the children, that someone who is not of us holds the most elevated position in our country?

“[The Queen] represents an elitism and an alien set of ideas not connected to the soul and the bosom of our people and we have to free ourselves from these restraints,” he said.

Gonsalves said that the proposed constitution reflects five paramount constitutional doctrines including extending and deepening parliamentary democracy “in a manner nowhere else anywhere in the parliamentary system anywhere in the world”.

It also represents “the most advanced framework of good governance available in any parliamentary system anywhere in the world,” the Prime Minister added.

Original story on "SVGToday"

Sunday, October 04, 2009


There have been unidentified rafts floating around in the waters of the grenadines. If you notice any you might send their position to: