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Extracts from the citation honouring Renwick Rose

Extracts from the citation honouring Renwick Rose

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12.JUL.11

Honest, hardworking, committed, patriotic, a revolutionary at heart, gender sensitive, shy and therefore enjoys anonymity, are some of the words which can be used to describe the man whose career as a political and social activist spanned over a period of nearly 40 years and who stood at the helm of WINFA for 20 of those years. He became the advocate of the poor and marginalised, championing the cause of people of the sub-region.{{more}}

A man who has held audiences spellbound wherever he went, due to his unique oratorical skills, he was able to put the farmers, as well other issues, on the agenda of many important fora. This was coupled with his ability to articulate his views through effective writing and protest actions and he attracted the attention of key stakeholders on issues relating to equity and governance.

This introduction relates to no person other than Renwick Ellsworth Adrian Rose, affectionately known as Kamara, who was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to humble parents Reynold (a tailor by profession) and Germaine Rose (an early childhood educator) of Stoney Ground, Kingstown.

In the early 70s, his vision for the future political direction of the country begun to take him in another direction, when he began to challenge the status quo (period of Statehood in St Vincent). In 1972, he founded THE BLACK LIBERATION ACTION COMMITTEE (BLAC), a political pressure group, which sought to build consciousness among the masses. Years later, he then founded the Youlou United Liberation Movement (YULIMO) a Socialist group, organizing under the banner of genuine independence, people’s ownership and control. Persons such as the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Justice Adrian Saunders were members of the group.

In 1979, YULIMO and two other political groups merged to form the United People’s Movement (UPM), of which Rose was one of the triumvirate who led the Party into General Elections.

During his stint with leftist politics, he helped to build political awareness among the mass of Vincentian people, through various media. He has also brought to the attention of government the many issues that affect the lives of ordinary Vincentians. Renwick always believed in networking with other political groups of similar nature, both regionally and internationally, in order to strengthen the voices of the ‘masses’.

As a journalist, he played a significant role in informing the public, having produced several booklets and journals. From 1974 to 1989, Rose managed and edited three newspapers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: FREEDOM, JUSTICE and JUSTSPORTS and later became a columnist in the NEWS and now the SEARCHLIGHT, as well as making regular contributions in the VINCENTIAN newspaper.

After a decade of voluntary political services, he reentered the world of paid employment. In November 1989, he was employed by the Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) as Programme Officer, where he was responsible for coordinating the farmers’ exchange programme and liaised with the francophone members of WINFA. In 1996, he was appointed Coordinator of the said organization until 2010, when he retired from that position.

Rose is an active proponent of civil society participation in governance and decision-making and is the founding member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Civil Society Forum. He currently serves as Chair on the National Economic Social Development Council (NESDEC) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which brings together Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society to discuss national economic and social policy issues. Rose also served as Chair of the Non-State Actors (NSA) and on the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), where he played an active role in setting the framework for a proposed New Constitution for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

On the regional scale, he is a Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), an umbrella of regional NGOs and a founding member of the Caribbean Reference Group on Trade(CRG), which is involved in educational and advocacy work on Trade, such as the Cotonou Agreement, WTO issues, FTAA and CSME.

Over the years, Renwick received several awards for his outstanding contribution to development and political processes:

In politics – the Kambui and Samuel John Awards; Sports – Support to the Softball Cricket Association; The News – Media Personality; National Commercial Bank – Pioneer in Nation Building 1997 – 2000; Fairtrade – Langley Park Fairtrade Group – St Vincent and the Grenadines Fairtrade Organization.

His career spanned over 30 years as journalist, social and political activist, and also teacher. He has remained steadfast in his quest for equal rights and justice for all, in particular the rights of women. Regardless of what areas of development in which he became involved, he was committed to building partnerships to achieve strategic change objectives that would give people living in poverty a chance to achieve a sustainable livelihood.

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