Monday, August 30, 2010

Taiwan president stresses good ties with SVG

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that the signing of a landmark trade pact with China will not affect Taiwan's close relations with the Caribbean ally of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

During a meeting at the Presidential Office with Louis Straker, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of St. Vincent and the the Grenadines, Ma said that an investment protection agreement signed last December has already helped develop Taiwan's economic and trade relations with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Even though Taiwan has improved its relations with China in various fields over the past two years, Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines -- which have enjoyed diplomatic ties for 29 years -- will continue to carry out close bilateral exchanges, Ma said.

He also said the recently signed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) is expected to reduce tensions across the Taiwan Strait and enhance peace and prosperity for the two sides.

"Under the new circumstances, Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are still able to deliver on promises to each other and maintain close ties," Ma said.

Ma also expressed thanks to the Caribbean ally for sending its condolences to Taiwan during Typhoon Morakot last August, and for its continued support for Taiwan's participation in international events.

(By Lee Shu-hua)

Gonsalves begs Iran’s mercy

PRIME MINISTER Ralph Gonsalves has become the first CARICOM leader to make public a plea to the government of Iran for an Iranian woman to be spared from execution on a charge of committing adultery. The woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashianti, a 43-year-old mother and widow, was originally condemned to be stoned to death for that alleged crime, according to Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.

However, following a personal public appeal to the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadjinejad, by Brazil’s President Luiz Ignacio Lula daSilva, in July the Iranian authorities agreed to suspend the stoning death sentence. It, however, explained that she could still be otherwise punished by execution on other charges, including the alleged murder of her husband. In his letter earlier this month to Ahmadinejad, released at the weekend, Gonsalves, who had paid an official visit last year to Iran, pleaded “for clemency and mercy” for Ashtiani, who has already been inflicted with 99 lashes even after denying confessing to the charges against her.
The Vincentian prime minister, in addressing the Iranian president as “my dear brother Mahmoud”, said he was making his “sincere and heartfelt plea of clemency and mercy” in the same spirit as that made previously by the president of Brazil, “my dear friend and brother” for the unfortunate woman. (RS)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Club St. Vincent stages cultural expo

By Nelson A. King Published: Friday, August 27, 2010

In its bid in keeping the Vincentian culture alive in the Big Apple, the Brooklyn-based Club St. Vincent, considered in many quarters here as the pre-eminent Vincy cultural and educational group, on Aug. 14 staged its 2010 cultural exposition.

The massive event, held at V.I.P. International in Brooklyn, featured, among other things, arts and crafts, fashion show, local delicacies, music and live entertainment.

The island-nation’s musical arranger extraordinaire, Frankie McIntosh, and cultural ambassador, Alston “Becket” Cyrus, as well as other calypso and soca artistes, such as Cyril “Scorcher” Thomas, the deputy New York consul general, were on hand, rendering their incomparable talent free of cost.

Frankie’s uncle, Harold McIntosh, played the saxophone, and Detector, I-Mad, Fabulous T, Leon, Kiki and Jakie belched out pulsating soca hits.

Zulema George, who owns Chouchounette boutique in Brooklyn, coordinated the young models; while Shakellia Augustine, proprietor of the Brooklyn-based Carnival Essence, showcased miniature carnival dolls.

U.N. Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves took time out to unwind from the intensity of diplomacy at the New York-based global body.

“I think it’s wonderful that Vincies are taking this opportunity to celebrate their unique cultural heritage and what makes them Vincentian,” he told Caribbean Life between live performances on the gigantic stage.

“We have within our Caribbean civilization a very unique Vincentian component that includes a history of struggle by the Garifuna, their genocide, our triumph over slavery and colonialism, and our tremendous strides as a free and independent people,” he added.

Thomas said it was a “great opportunity” to exhibit Vincy culture in the Diaspora, applauding the organizers for involving the youth in several activities.

“This is good so the culture can pass on from generation to generation,” he said, noting that about one-third of the attendees were children.

Frankie McIntosh said he was dying to participate in the exposition, adding that direct contact between artistes and people were paramount.

“I was looking forward to it for the past 1 1⁄2 weeks,” he said. “It provides a forum for artistes to express themselves. This is done on a personal level – selling CDs, etc.”

Becket, who performed a few of his hits in his wide and historic repertoire, said he couldn’t miss the event “for any tea in China.”

“It’s well organized, too,” he said before rendering “Teaser,” among others. “The local dishes are good.”

While taking in the exhibits and sounds of Vincentian culture, patrons feasted on home-made delights, such as breadfruit and saltfish, saltfish cake, dookunah (spelt a variety of ways), pelau, escovitch fish and cow foot souse, washing them down with ginger and sorrel beer, mauby and seamoss.

“This kind of event is exactly what we need to have as Vincentians,” said James Cordice, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania, who trekked to Brooklyn just to be part of history.

“It encourages solidarity for Vincentians and showcases our talent,” he added. “I don’t care what it is, as long as it is St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I’ll travel for it.”

Verna Arthur, chairperson of the cultural exposition and Club St. Vincent’s public relations officer, said the event played a “pivotal role” in exposing the myriad talents and skills of her compatriots.

“It’s something we provide for the community,” said the group’s former president.

“As a cultural and educational organization, I think it’s befitting to have something of this nature,” she added, singling out the vendors – food and merchandise – for special praise.

“They’re been with us (for 20-odd years),” Arthur continued. “The people, who are here, are supporting the vendors.

“The feedback I’ve been getting is that people enjoy the event,” she said. “The artistes are very good. They give their time for free. It’s something we’ll continue to do as long as we’re around, and do it on a larger scale.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Day on Earth

My name is Darren Murtha and I am part of a team of filmmakers producing a Global Media Event.
One Day on Earth will include the participation of documentary filmmakers, journalists, students and inspired individuals recording a human experience in EVERY country in the world during the 24 hour period of October 10th, 2010. We currently have participants in over 150+ countries. Our goal is to gain a greater understanding of the common threads that connect us and also the differences that make us all unique. There are also big issues being addressed and shared, which will hopefully raise awareness to things that don't make headlines. By participating in this historic event, you will help capture the diversity of life and culture on this planet.
This project has the support of government organizations, non-profit foundations and citizens in every corner of the globe; all looking to share their unique perspective. The first step in getting involved would be to "sign up" at
As our shoot date approaches, we will be providing instructions on how to submit your videos. We will be downloading all submissions and forming an extensive library of international footage. We will be using only that library of footage to edit the film.  (participant trailer)  (original trailer)
Filmmaker Reward - All participants that upload at least 10 minutes verified legal original footage will receive access to an on-line copy of the film.
Ambassador Reward - The first 25 participants to sign up from a given country receive guaranteed tickets to a regional premier.
Auteur Reward - If your footage is used in the film you will receive two tickets to a regional premier, access to an on-line copy of the film, DVD, or Blu-Ray ,and “Cinematographer” credit.
We also have rewards for recruitment-
Friend Level - Signup 25 people and receive access to the online streaming film.
Advocate Level - Signup 125 people and receive access to the online streaming film and a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc.
Leadership Level - Signup 625 and recieve access to the online streaming film, Blu-Ray disc, T-shirt and “special thanks” in the film credits.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions or feedback. Together we will create a document that is a gift to the world.
Darren Murtha

Cost Of Living In SVG


Country Full Name: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Location: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago.

Country Climate: Tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November).

Country Terrain: Volcanic, mountainous.

Languages: English.

Religions: Christianity.

Population: 0.1 million (2008 est.) 0.1 million (2009 est.).

Country Economy: The economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is largely based on agriculture which is dominated by banana production. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important.

Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD).

Country Inflation: 10.1% (2008 est.) 4.2% (2009 est.).

City: Kingstown is the chief port of Saint Vincent, and the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

City Economy: Kingstown is a centre for the island's agricultural industry and a port of entry for tourists. Exports include bananas, coconuts, and arrowroot.

Cost Of Living
Kingstown has an overall cost of living index which equates it with middle cost of living locations. The overall cost of living index is comprised of the prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services across all 13 Basket Groups. Kingstown is currently ranked 180 overall, most expensive place in the world for expatriates to live, out of 282 international locations. The cost of living overview for each of the 13 Basket Groups is as follows:

Alcohol & Tobacco costs for alcoholic beverages such as alcohol at bar, beer, locally produced spirit, whiskey, and wine as well as tobacco products such as cigarettes is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 174 out of 282.

Clothing costs for clothing and footwear products such as business suits, casual clothing, childrens clothing and footwear, coats and hats, evening wear, shoe repairs, and underwear is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 210 out of 282.

Communication costs for various communication costs such as home telephone rental and call charges, internet connection and service provider fees, mobile / cellular phone contract and calls is relatively more expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 47 out of 282.

Education costs such as creche / pre-school fees, high school / college fees, primary school fees, and tertiary study fees is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 151 out of 282.

Furniture & Appliance costs for furniture, household equipment and household appliances such as dvd player, fridge freezer, iron, kettle, toaster, microwave, light bulbs, television, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine is relatively more expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 62 out of 282.

Grocery costs for food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning material items such as baby consumables, baked goods, baking, canned foods, cheese, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fruit juices, meat, oil & vinegars, pet food, pre-prepared meals, sauces, seafood, snacks, soft drinks, spices & herbs is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 158 out of 282.

Healthcare costs for general healthcare, medical and medical insurance such as general practitioner consultation rates, hospital private ward daily rate, non-prescription medicine, and private medical insurance / medical aid contributions is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 236 out of 282.

Household costs for housing, water, electricity, household gas, household fuels, local rates and residential taxes such as house / flat mortgage, house / flat rental, household electricity consumption, household gas / fuel consumption, household water consumption, and local property rates / taxes / levies is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 210 out of 282.

Miscellaneous costs related to stationary, linen and general goods and services such as domestic help, dry cleaning, linen, office supplies, newspapers and magazines, and postage stamps is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 169 out of 282.

Personal Care costs for personal care products and services such as cosmetics, hair care, moisturizer / sun block, nappies, pain relief tablets, toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap / shampoo / conditioner is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 238 out of 282.

Recreation and Culture costs such as books, camera film, cinema ticket, DVD and CDs, sports goods, and theatre tickets is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 95 out of 282.

Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs such as business dinner, dinner at a restaurant (non fast food), hotel rates, take away drinks and snacks (fast food) is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 189 out of 282.

Transport costs for public transport, vehicle costs, vehicle fuel, vehicle insurance and vehicle maintenance such as hire purchase / lease of vehicle, petrol / diesel, public transport service maintenance, tires, vehicle Insurance, and vehicle purchase is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 172 out of 282.

Your exact customized cost of living index for Kingstown is based on which of the above basket groups as well as the comparison location you select in the Calculators. 

In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Kingstown is ranked as a some hardship location with a hardship index of 20%. 

Your exact customized hardship index premium for Kingstown is based on the comparison location that you select in the Calculators.

New ferry service provides speedy ride

A new ferry service called Jaden Sun, operating between the mainland St. Vincent and the Grenadine islands has chopped significant time off traveling between the islands.

The 150-foot boat which can carry over 200 passengers, has as its Captain Elvis Gooding. It made its introductory voyage last Saturday and took a little over 20 minutes in calm waters to reach Bequia. A ride to Bequia usually takes about 45 minutes. The operators of the boat have praised the vessel stating that it is different and faster than the other services offered including those offered by other ferries that they also run. The Jaden Sun also plans to soon offer passage to neighboring Grenada on a regular basis. The Jaden Sun also boasts of being able to reach Canouan in 50 minutes and Union Island in 1 hour 15 minutes.

The Jaden Sun management is also hoping to also use the ferry for passengers only (not cargo).

By on 8/25/10

NDP Aligns With Former CIA?

According to Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has aligned itself with persons who have in the pass done work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Speaking at a rally in Georgetown on Sunday, the PM described the action as, “dangerous” as apart from other things the NDP is conducting fundraisers abroad at which they are asking persons for money, “to save St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

The persons who the PM said the NDP are using in what he thinks is a smear campaign are United States businessmen Dave Copps and Blake Burris.

On a website ran by one of the men, an article written by one, Ajay Waghray on August 4, 2010 and entitled, “Save Democracy for Just $5 states, “I don’t know about y’all, but we here at Dynamo Labs love democracy. The smell of sweet freedom fills our lungs in the mornings before we set out to change the world. We enjoy our inalienable rights (and the occasional McDonald’s cheeseburger) as much as the next guy/girl”.

It goes on, “So when we were told about what’s happening in the island of Saint Vincent in the Grenadines, we knew that we had to help. Heard the story? Saint Vincent in the Grenadines is a beautiful set of islands in the South Caribbean where about 120,000 hard working people live (along with a few American celebrities.) The current Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has aligned himself with Venezuela and Hugo Chavez. The New Democratic Party, led by Arnhim Eustace, wants to save SVG by raising the standard of living and guarantee civil liberties”. After that statement, the site offers a link to click on. Clicking on the link sends you to an NDP website.

The article continues, “Here at Dynamo Labs, we got a request to do what we could to give the people in SVG back the democracy they painfully miss and we fervently cherish. So we gave the New Democratic Party of SVG the online tools to help them fundraise for their campaign with help from our good friends at Piryx”.

It adds, “Through this online fundraising process, anyone will be able to donate $5 or more to the NDP campaign. We encourage all of you tuning in to give. Instead of grabbing that pint of Franconia Wheat or grease-laden Whataburger dinner, take that cash and give back to this nation yearning to be free. SVG deserves to be as free as the rest of us. Donate, or at least come see us on August 12th with a special guest from the NDP”. That special guest according to the PM was Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the NDP Lawyer Vynette Fredericks who took part in the fundraising event in Texas.

Gonsalves added that in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in contradiction to what the NDP is broadcasting worldwide, “we got more freedom here than anywhere else”.

Grenada to import bananas from St. Vincent

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada has resumed the importation of bananas from neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines after a prolonged drought season seriously affected banana cultivation, officials said.
The Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) said that it would import the fruit on a fortnightly basis until local farmers are able to meet consumer demands.

“We are just coming out of a drought and everybody knows the situation with black sigatoka (leaf spot disease),” said MNIB Chairman, Byron Campbell, adding “we have to supply our customers and it was decided that we will resume the importation of bananas because what we are presently receiving from local farmers cannot meet local demands”.

He said that MNIB would be ordering a 20 foot container every fortnight “until we can sustain ourselves locally.”
In 2009, Grenada was forced to import bananas from its neighbouring Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country because of low production levels here.

Campbell said the imported bananas imported carry the Fairtrade label ensuring that the fruit is of a certain standard and quality. Fair trade adopts an organised market-based approach designed to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and prices for their products.

Campbell said that the MNIB would be adopting several initiatives including the supply of fertilizers and increases prices as incentives to get local farmers increase production levels.

Grenada is one of the four Windward Islands exporting bananas to the United Kingdom market.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

READING, England -- Dr Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), addressed the Vincentian Diaspora on developments in SVG, at The Avenue School in Reading, England, followed by a question and answer session.

The Avenue School in Reading caters for children with special needs and is twinned with its counterpart – The Sunshine School in Bequia.

The event was organised by the High Commission for St Vincent and the Grenadines in London and hosted by the SVG Reading Association.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries, nationals and the respective Chairs of the various SVG UK National Associations.

Gonsalves explained to the audience the government’s commitment in building a modern, post-colonial economy on a national, regional and international level.

Significant advancements have been made in all sectors, including public health, housing, education and wellness revolution, fuel and water storage facilities, promotion of youth to fill the country’s technical requirements, scholarships, roads and bridges, agricultural diversification, as well as updates on Buccament Bay and Argyle International Airport that will not only improve infrastructure and accessibility but provide employment and ancillary benefits.

The Vincentian Diaspora plays a significant role in the development of the SVG economy, remittances and assisting the government in its efforts.

The celebrations included music, poetry and a banquet of food with the prime minister entertaining questions from the audience. These questions focused on SVG’s challenges and key areas of development.,-UK-1491.html

Peace Corps adds Mass. Volunteer

Elizabeth Miller, a native of Westford, MA, is currently on her way to Saint Lucia to begin a week long orientation for the Peace Corps. From there she will depart for her assignment in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, with no plans on returning home for more than two years. Miller will spend the next three months living with a host family familiarizing herself with the culture and language.

Miller is a 2010 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in crime and justice. After eight months of writing essays, interviewing and passing a number of tests, including a medical, a legal, and a dental, she was notified of her acceptance. After training, Miller will begin working with at-risk youths with a focus on HIV awareness, employment skills, basic literacy, internet technology, and women’s empowerment.

Improving the lives of children and young adults is leading Miller on a divergent career path from what she studied in college. “I’m still trying to figure it all out. I love kids and volunteering,” she told the Lowell Sun.
During her senior year of college, Miller spent a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She volunteered three days a week at a prison for boys ages 13 to 17.

According to the Peace Corps New England Office, Miller joins the 225 Massachusetts residents currently serving. More than 7,552 Massachusetts residents have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Successful medical mission to St.Vincent and the Grenadines

By Nelson A. King Published: Friday, August 20, 2010 4:44 PM EDT

Despite several setbacks, the Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (VCGB) has described as a “resounding success” its inaugural medical mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

President Roxie Irish said the Jul. 17-25 mission, conducted in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based Health Care International (HCI), met its overall goals and objectives.

Irish, a born-again Christian and former national netball star, said the 19-member mission – comprising, among others, oral surgeons, dentists, physicians and registered nurses – provided medical care to over 500 nationals in Sandy Bay and Colonarie on the windward coast, Troumaca on the leeward coast, and Bequia in the Grenadines.

She said more patients could have been seen if “the various areas were properly notified.”

“But all things worked out very well,” she told Caribbean Life, adding that the group wished it had more wheelchairs and walkers to donate to those in need.

Irish, however, said VCGB plans to dispatch more wheelchairs shortly when it receives more donations.

She said several requests were also made for ophthalmologic services, which could not be offered during the historic mission.

In addition, the VCGB president said six clinics – Biabou, Clare valley, Colonarie, Coulls Hill, Overland and Spring Village – received “much-needed” supplies during a hand-over ceremony.

“From the perspective of HCI, it was one of its best tours,” she said, stating that the group eagerly looks forward to the next medical mission to her beautiful homeland.

“They thoroughly enjoyed the warm Vincentian hospitality and the majestic beauty of SVG,” she added.

Mavelyn Wilson, HCI’s coordinator, told Caribbean Life that the inaugural mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was “wonderful.”

“Overall, the trip was a success,” she said, adding that it was similar to the group’s annual outreach in Jamaica, where it also provides medical and dental service to underserved communities.

Wilson said HCI, founded in 1990 by Jamaican Dr. Noel Browne, has also conducted missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana.

Irish lamented what she characterized as “many setbacks,” including air transportation, during the trip.

“The team faced some challenges with LIAT Airlines with regards to their connecting flights to and from SVG from T & T (Trinidad and Tobago),” she said.

“This was quite an eye-opener and a learning experience,” she added without elaboration.

Irish, however, lauded local medical and political authorities, and concerns and individuals for making the mission successful.

Besides Irish, VCGB members Cheyanne and Chanelle Bongard, Ann Pierre, Judith Cuffy-Murray, Debra Bobb, Ariel Pierre, Kimberle Thompson, and Sofia Nelson comprised the mission.

With hardly a breather since returning here, Irish said the group is already preparing for its 7th annual cultural show, on Sept. 11, at Meyer Levin Intermediate School in Brooklyn.

At that event, funds will be raised to purchase more medical supplies for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ECTEL in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Castries, August 20, 2010:

“The ECTEL model of joint Regulatory Authority is the most sought after model, to the point where we can export our human capital, our talents and expertise to several other regions of the world, including Asia, the Pacific and Africa, to demonstrate and share the ECTEL experience.”

This impression of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) was stated by Prime Minister, The Hon Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in his feature address at the award ceremony at Government House in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Awards Ceremony recognized the contribution of nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and the establishment of ECTEL.

The Prime Minister noted that the achievements of ECTEL was the  result of rigorous negotiations and unrelenting dedication and professionalism of leaders, technical staff and advisers some of whom were selected to be honoured by ECTEL through out the region.
The seven persons who were honored in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, Hon Jerrol Thompson, Minister of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry, Mr. Isaac Solomon, Chairman of the ECTEL Board of Directors, Mr. Donnie Defrietas former Managing Director of ECTEL, Mr. Randolph Cato, Senior Director at the OECS Secretariat and Mr. Apollo Knights  Secretary/Director of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC).

The ceremony in St. Vincent was the third hosted by ECTEL and forms part of a year-long programme of activities and events to observe the tenth anniversary of the regional regulatory authority. Member of the ECTEL Council of Ministers, Dr Jerrol Thompson who also spoke at the event called for the revision of the current legislation governing the telecommunication sector to be expanded in scope to embrace the ICT sector.
Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, executives of telecommunications providers and the Commissioners and staff of the NTRCs in the ECTEL Member States.

ECTEL will hold similar ceremonies in St. Kitts and Nevis in September and in Dominica in November. In addition to the awards ceremony, national and regional symposiums have been held in the Member States where issues such as the experience of service delivery, collaboration in regional regulation and the impact of ICT on young people have been discussed.

ECTEL is celebrating ten years, having been established by a treaty which was signed by the following countries in May 2000 – Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc.
Cordially invites you to honor 5 men and women who have been not only the guardians but also the builders and the supporters of the Garifuna Culture here in Los Angeles, California.

GAHFU, Inc. requests the pleasure of your company in honoring these great individuals and to induct them into GAHFU’s Wall of Fame with an honorary plaque. These men and women are being honored for their lifetime commitment to our community:

Mrs. Martha Martinez – Mrs. Anita Martinez
Mr. Clifford Palacio – Mr. Ruben Reyes – Mr. Carlos Domingo Alvarez
14008 Crenshaw Blvd. Gardena, CA 90249 (310) 323-5000

September 25, 2010 8 pm – 2 am

Dinner & Dance $25 donation per person to benefit the establishment
Our Garifuna Cultural Center.
(Includes admission and dinner only – Drinks sold separately)
Semi-formal and/or cultural attire – Tickets available by contacting GAHFU, Inc. or by calling (323) 898-6841.

Plenty of free parking

Libaña Baba Cultural Drummers, Souls by Harry Shaw,
Norman Yzaguirre, Fred Dixon & DJ Nice

Please RSVP (323) 898-6841 E-mail:
Sent on Monday, August 16, 2010

SVGAIR to discontinue air ambulance service?

Posted by on Aug 16th, 2010

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines airline, SVG AIR, says it is contemplating ending its air ambulance service following the recent crash of one its airlines and the disappearance of the pilot.

Captain Suresh Lakhram was flying a CESSNA 402 aircraft from the ET Joshua Airport to Canouan to airlift involved in a vehicular accident when the incident occurred on August 5 when the accident occurred. One of the victims of the accident has since died.
While rescue workers have recovered some debris from the wreckage, the pilot has not been found.

“Sometimes when we go into these night missions we are risking our lives and we have no insurance for the plane if it gets damaged,” SVG AIR managing director, Paul Gravel, told reporters, adding that the airline had performed hundreds of emergency missions in the past.

He said the ill-fated plane was specially designed to facilitate the transportation of people in need of urgent medical attention seeking medical emergencies and acknowledged that cancellation of the service would be felt locally, “since “Vincentians cannot afford to charter a jet”. .

He said the low maintenance cost of the AVG AIR aircraft made the service affordable and if the service is to continue then the company would have to look at the options of purchasing another CESSNA 402 aircraft or a jet.

Meanwhile, Japheth Gumbs, 29, has appeared in court charged with the murder of 37-year-old Gregory Thomas, who died while awaiting the ill-fated emergency SVG AIR flight.

Police said that Gumbs was driving a vehicle that ran into a motorcycle severely injuring Thomas and the pillion rider, Adolph ‘Bash’ Dells, a 34 year old construction worker, who sustained a fractured right leg.

Gumbs was not required to enter a plea when the matter came up for hearing earlier this week. He will return to court on September 15.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Editorial in Nation News (Barbados)

THE FACT that local and regional political leaders (with the exception of Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves) failed to be represented at the just-concluded Fifth Assembly of Caribbean People, seems not to have had any negative impact on the outcome in relation to deliberations and decisions.

Having got underway with a well attended opening session last Tuesday evening at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, the participants from across the four major language areas of the Greater Caribbean seemed to have been stimulated by the two major addresses, first by the noted novelist and social commentator George Lamming, and secondly by Prime Minister Gonsalves.

In forging “unity”, against the odds, in its varied dimensions, including cultural and economic aspirations among the nationals of the region, the Caribbean Regional Executive Committee (REC) has been persistent in the introduction of themes relevant to the period that each “assembly” was held, over 16 years, since the first in Trinidad and Tobago.

The second Assembly took place inthe Dominican Republic (2001); third in Haiti (2003); fourth in Cuba (2008) and with Barbados hosting the just-concludedweek-long event for which the Clement Payne Centre is credited as having played the key role as convenor.

When an objective assessment is made about the commitment by visiting and local delegations, and the social/cultural, economic and political issues embracedfor follow-up action, the REC could perhaps be viewed as having sustained ideas and passion that had contributed to the inauguration of the Assembly in support of a pan- Caribbean vision.

It seems to be the case that successive assemblies have reflected a distinct left, or left-of-centre ideological preference. At the same time, it is relevant to observe that this apparent philosophical inclination has avoided compromising commitment to spawn and sustain a Pan-Caribbean vision embracing varying ideological schools of thought, while being firm in the advocacy of unity and solidarity across boundaries of nationality, ethnicity and culture.

In this sense, although there are lingering differences in approaches by the region’s economic integration movement that is the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), it could be conceded, even by detractors of the organisation that stands as the “Assembly of Caribbean People”, that both at least share a common goal in relation to generating unity among the region’s nationals – irrespective of nationality; race and culture, or in economic and political systems.

In the circumstances, it is encouragingto know that the local convenor, Clement Payne Centre, played a positive rolein enabling the Regional Executive Committee to express satisfaction with the progress achieved at the just- concluded Fifth Assembly in the furtherance of the goals identified at the inaugural event in Trinidad and Tobago in 1994. © Nation Publishing Co. Limited 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Landing In St. Lucia

For a view of landing a small plane in St. Lucia see YouTube at:

there are some other St. Vincent and the Grenadines travel videos on the same page.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ferry to come?

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Monday August 9, 2010 – The new regional ferry service that will connect several Caribbean countries is moving closer to becoming reality. 

BEDY Ocean Line, the Grenada-based owners and operators of the new regional ferry service, have acquired a large vessel with accommodation for some 900 passengers, 175 motor vehicles and cargo.

Benjamin Ross, the company’s CEO, in providing an update on the project, said the specifications of the new vessel had already been approved by the relevant authorities, and the decision to secure its services was prompted by requests from numerous potential users across the region.

He said the other two vessels, La Palma Express and Nutmeg Express, with a capacity of 260 and 300 respectively, will provide charter and tour services between St Lucia and St Vincent.

When operational, the new ferry service will connect the countries of Barbados, St Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada and St Vincent, providing daily services to all these islands.

The ferry service was initially to being sailing since October last year but has been delayed. No date has been set for the launch as yet.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Comrade at Cave Hill

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves (right) embracing long-time friend Mighty Gabby on Tuesday night.()


PRIME Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines  wants a deepening of economic integration and greater functional cooperation across the Caribbean.

He made his appeal at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Assembly of Caribbean People at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus on Tuesday night.

The Vincentian leader said such conferences were important to discuss some of the pressing issues in the Caribbean.

“We have got to see how much we can build a single Caribbean entity. I wouldn’t say a single Caribbean state because that would be talking about a political union, which is very far away, but to have a single entity which would deepen our economic integration, in short, to make the CARICOM agenda work.

“It hasn’t been working as well as it should. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been successes, but we need to go further than we have gone,” he said.

Negative vibes

Before an audience that included celebrated novelist George Lamming, distinguished attorney Sir Richard Cheltenham, and calypso maestro Mighty Gabby, Gonsalves said he was disappointed he had gotten negative vibes in some quarters for attending the African Union Summit in Uganda.

“It’s a lack of understanding, really. People’s consciousness is not as high as it should be, [including] some leaders, some opinion-makers, but events like these would raise consciousness of the people,” he said.

Gonsalves reminded his Caribbean brothers they had just as significant a role as anyone else and should never feel they were second cousins to anyone else.

“We are not better than anyone else but nobody is better than us,” he said.

In relation to the earthquake that decimated Haiti in January, Gonsalves said that while the United States made the largest contribution in terms of dollar value, Cuba had contributed more per head.

Earlier in the night, chairman of the organising committee, Robert “Bobby” Clarke, called for a move away from party politics as well as an independent foreign policy, and Lamming gave a philosophical and incisive people-centred critique on who and where Caribbean people are.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

New Book: Caribbean Trailblazers

KINGS-SVG Publishers is pleased to announce the publication of

“Caribbean Trailblazers: St. Vincent and the Grenadines".

The new book is edited by Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King and contains biographies of fifteen persons (12 men and 3 women) who have made significant contributions to St. Vincent and the Grenadines itself or the diaspora.

The individuals profiled are Joseph Chatoyer by Adrian Fraser, Edgar Julian Duncan by Baldwin King, J. L. Eustace by Ann Eustace, J. P. Eustace by Vin Samuel, Bernard "Ches" Gibbs by Peggy Antrobus, Fitz Allen John by Catherine John, Nesta "Clarie" Paynter by Ann Samuel and Joan Samuel Simien, Phyllis Joyce Punnett by Andrea Punnett Boos, Alban Radix by Hazeldene Phills Hercules and Cheryl Phills King,Thomas Mowbray Saunders by Adrian Saunders, Franklyn Ellison Seales by Jean Dorsinville, Shirley Richards Squire by Elizabeth Punnett, George C. H. Thomas by Monica Thomas Woodley,
Henry Harvey Williams by Sir Fred Phillips and Earl “Old George” Daniel by Bertram John.

The retail price of the book (paperback, 164 pages, ISBN: 0-9778981-5-6) is US$19.95 plus shipping and handling (US$4 in the US, US$5.50 to Canada and US $10.00 to the Caribbean and the United Kingdom, by airmail). To order, please send us your name, address and payment (check or money order payable to KINGS-SVG) to: Baldwin King, P. O. Box 702, Madison, NJ 07940, U.S.A . You may also place your order through our
website: (Click on Bookstore). Our


In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, books may be obtained from Kings Inn, (Villa, 784-457-4086) as well as other local booksellers.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Fresh faces for Fashion Caribbean

August 6, 2010
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — The many fashion-conscious Vincentians and some of the visitors present on the Caribbean islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines are now gearing up for the country’s biggest fashion event, Fashion Caribbean, which is scheduled to take place at Emerald Valley Casino on Saturday 14 August 2010.

Fashion Caribbean, now in its tenth year, is the brainchild of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ premier fashion house, Image Modelling Agency, which is headed by Monique Tash. Tash explained that for this year, Fashion Caribbean will be using a number of “fresh faces” in keeping with the theme: ‘Fresh Faces of Fashion.’ Some of these fresh faces will include Cole Facts of Guyana, Judith Rawlin’s Brown Sugar Designs of St Kitts, Kuumba Designs of St Lucia and Pat Blackman of Barbados.

Designers Zadd and Eastman are one of the note-worthy designers in their homeland Trinidad and Tobago, known for creating garments with a Caribbean aesthetic and will showcase designs at Fashion Caribbean.

Zadd and Eastman have dressed many Miss Trinidad and Tobago’s Miss World and Miss Universe representatives, Grammy award gospel artist, Dottie Peoples, styled and dressed Camille Mc Donald; second place winner of Tyra Banks’ Next Top Model Show and received the cover and centre spread for Destiny child’s music mega stars.

Trinidad and Tobago will also be represented by Ecliffe Elie, Kaj Designs, Ashley Christmas, The Mill House and Shawn Griffith-Perez.

St Vincent and the Grenadines will be represented by top Country Designers for 2008 and 2009 Kimon Baptiste and Kimya Glasgow Designs; Shenicia Mayers; Jeremy Payne, Accessory Designers Roland ‘Scrapie’ Dopwell and Natural Beats and Plumeria by Monifa Walker, Deon Paul, Kavonne Bacchus, Sophia Blucher and Jnel Charles.

Fashion Caribbean is included on the programme of activities to mark Emancipation Month, which is organized by the Ministry of Culture in celebration of the Emancipation of Slavery

SVG on track

By on 8/05/10

Once everything goes well, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will meet the Millennium Development Goals which have a 2015 deadline.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves spoke of this during a press conference held earlier this week. Stating the SVG is on target to meet the goals, the PM said that we are on the right path with the development Goal which relates to Maternal Deaths and Infant Mortality, poverty and indigence.

However, he added that work must continue to ensure that the nation achieves all of the objectives set down to achieve the Millennium Development goals.

These eight time-bound goals provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. They include goals and targets on income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Court fight over car parks?

Posted Aug 4th, 2010

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce says it is considering legal action against the government after it refused to renew the leases for two car parks operated by the private sector group.

Government has said it will give the leases to the Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) and the National Workers Movement (NWM).

Executive Director of the Chamber, Shafia London, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the business organisation had been notified earlier of the government’s intention not to renew the leases of the two car parks situated at the ET Joshua Airport and in the capital.

“The Chamber took the initiative, as a good corporate citizen, to develop the revenue generating idea of a car park, which did not compete with any activities of its constituents, with the view to effectively utilising abandoned land and providing a service that would support the needs of the business community.

“The Chamber invested over EC$500,000, (US$185,180) with the assistance of the business community, to develop the site into a car park.”

She said that in 2000, the Chamber entered into a lease arrangement with the government in the sum of EC$10,000 (US$3,703) annually for the first five years that was later increased in August 2005 to EC$50,000 (US$18, 518).

London insists that the car park in the capital was not a subsidy or gift from the government and on Tuesday, the Chamber was informed that the leases had not been extended.

The Chamber said it was urging the government to revisit the decision to withdraw the lease arrangement.