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The Year in Review October – December 2005

The Year in Review October – December 2005

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• OCTOBER

•Arnhim Eustace, Political Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) made a big confession. On Tuesday, September 27, thousands of NDP supporters had marched into Kingstown under the guise that they were marching against poverty, but Eustace, at a political rally on October 1 at the Redemption Sharpes Playing Field confessed that the ulterior motive for staging the march on the eve of the visit of President Chen Shui-Bian of the Republic of China on Taiwan to St.Vincent and the Grenadines was to prove to the Taiwanese the strength of the NDP.{{more}}

•Two young men had their lives viciously snatched from them on October 8. Brian Lewis of Calder who goes by the moniker “Free-I” and George “Nikki” Browne of Ottley Hall were seated opposite the RC Enterprises storeroom at Bottom Town, Kingstown, at about 3 p.m. when a jeep pulled up nearby and gunmen rained bullets upon them. Free-I, a 32-year-old father of three and Nikki, 27, died on the spot in the hail of bullets.

•The Public Officers Conditions of Employment Act, Chapter 208 of the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been repealed. The bill to repeal the act went through all three stages in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, October 11, piloted by Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Sir Vincent Beache.

•Former Editor of the Searchlight Newspaper, Dexter Rose has embarked on a new career path as Ambassador to the Spanish-speaking country of Cuba. Ambassador Rose left the state on Monday, October 10 for Havana, Cuba.

•The Unity Labour Party launched its candidate for West Kingstown, Rene Baptiste on October 9. Addressing the crowd, the West Kingstown candidate thanked everyone for their support and described her nearly five years in office as a “humbling experience.”

•Our October 14 edition reported that Unity Labour Party Senator Edwin Snagg told the voters of the Southern Grenadines that he was asking them for the last time to be their representative.

•The community of Barrouallie was thrown into a state of shock and disbelief on Thursday October 6, when at 2:15 p.m., a truck owned by Kelectric Co. Ltd. slammed into the Millenium Minimart at Glebe Hill, killing three persons. Olive James, 70, Rosa Roberts, 76, and Carol Reece, 65 died on the spot.

•On Monday, October 17, Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves left St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a historic visit to Ethiopia. The nine member delegation included four Rastafarians.

•Arnhim Eustace, President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) announced at a political rally at Dauphine on October 15 that discrepancies in the voters’ list will be pointed out to Rodney Adams, Supervisor of Elections at the Electoral Office by October 18.

•Unity Labour Party candidate for South Windward, Senator Glen Beache, asked to be judged on his own merit. The son of the then representative, Sir Vincent Beache, made the request at the launch of his candidacy at the Biabou Playing Field on October 16.

•Daniel “Compay” Trimmingham’s appeals against his conviction and death sentence were both dismissed. On Wednesday, October 12, when the Court of Appeal convened in Kingstown the sentence of death was affirmed. It is expected that an appeal will be made to the Privy Council on Trimmingham’s behalf. On January 8, 2003, 68-year-old Albert “Bertie” Browne, a resident of Carriere was viciously killed when his head was severed.

•It was announced on October 28 that some categories of workers here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will have their salaries doubled. From January 1, 2006, part time cleaners and cooks in schools and cleaners at clinics, caretakers, and cemetery workers at the District Councils and Town Boards will enjoy salary increases.

•Legendary local surgeon Dr. Arthur Cecil Cyrus was among six outstanding persons upon whom the University of the West Indies conferred honorary doctorates on October 22. He was awarded the Doctor of Science degree.

• NOVEMBER

The International Airport at Argyle “will be built,” and Government will be “fair and reasonable.” These assurances came from Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves when he met with property owners on October 31. The obviously emotional residents sought and were given assurance by the Prime Minister that they will be paid the replacement cost for their homes, and will be compensated for businesses, crops, trees, and land.

His name is Dr. Ralph Everad Gonsalves, and he is the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And if you had not known, he made it clear on October 30. Dr. Gonsalves was at the time taking issue with the response from opposition leader Arnhim Eustace that he (Dr. Gonsalves) was “out of place.” That was in relation to questions that he left for the opposition before he departed on his Ethiopian sojourn.

• Girlyn Miguel, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and parliamentary representative for Marriaqua has reported to her constituents. On October 30, in Mesopotamia.

•On October 29 the New Democratic Party launched its candidate for South Central Leeward, Nigel ‘Nature’ Stevenson, at the Campden Park Playing Field.

•Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on October 28 announced his intention to write Mustique resident, Tommy Hilfiger about the use to which some of the t-shirts he (Hilfiger) donated have been put.

•Julian Francis, the Unity Labour Party East Kingstown candidate on November 6 pleaded with voters to elect him once. Thereafter, he is pledging that other terms will follow, earned on merit. Francis had the task of defeating the opposition leader if he was to elevate his status from Senator to which position he was appointed after the March 28, 2001 general elections.

•Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in a speech to the Nation on November 6 anounced the Elections date. In a hoarse voice, the Unity Labour Party political leader proclaimed, “Parliament will be dissolved tomorrow Monday, November 7, and General Elections will be held on Wednesday, December 7. The two sevens clash; St. Vincent is on the go. Let’s get ready to rumble!”

•Monday November 14 was a fateful day for two fishermen. They were buried in a pile of rubble when a clump of rocks and soil gave way owing to the over- saturation caused by continuous showers. The two, Randolph Matthews, 27, and Alwyn Williams, 28, were among a group of seven camping in Bequia after a fishing expedition.

•Advira Bennett was presented on Saturday, November 12, to Marriaqua constituents at the Richland Park Playing Field as the New Democratic Party, NDP’s, representative for that area.

•Persistent and consistent downpours dumped over six inches of rain in a 24-hour period between November 13 and 14 as a result of a weather pattern that affected the southern Caribbean. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves reported to the media on November 14, in view of the scale of the damage. No dollar estimate had yet been made on the extent of the damage, but there was “substantial damage to the road network,” according to Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves.

•The New Democratic Party’s, NDP’s, leader Arnhim Eustace was well supported as he was launched on Saturday, November 20, at the Victoria Park as the candidate for East Kingstown. He also presented the NDP’s 86-page Economic plan for this country titled “The Key to Economic Development- Unlocking Prosperity for All.”

•Monday, November 21, was Nomination Day. 34 candidates filed nomination papers to contest general elections in the country’s 15 constituencies on December 7.

•On Friday, November 18, even with a ruling from the Privy Council on the Appeal not yet determined, Justice Ephraim Georges handed a report to DPP Colin Williams. According to Roslyn Harry, the Commission’s secretary, “On the evidence disclosed to the Commission,….certain criminal acts or offences have been or may have been committed by certain persons involved in the Ottley Hall and Union Island Resorts projects.” “I am looking at it. I am studying it,” Williams said at his office on November 23.

• DECEMBER

•Our December 2 edition reported that Supervisor of Elections Rodney Adams was satisfied that his office was ready for the December 7 poll. The voters’ list stood at 91,023.

•It was reported in the December 2 edition that the Nine Mornings committee announced that $247, 050 has been budgeted for the 2005 Nine Mornings activities.

•The Unity Labour Party was returned to office for a second consecutive term in the General Elections of December 7, winning 12 of the 15 seats. There were moments of hushed anxiety during the evening as the results unfolded. But by nine p.m., the trend had emerged and ULP supporters were on the streets in spontaneous celebration.

•After a hard-fought general election, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves appealed to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to put aside their differences and work together for the good of the nation. He made his announcement in a televised address hours after his party was announced as winner of the election on December 7.

•Arnhim Eustace, leader of the Opposition under the last parliament, and representative for East Kingstown has strengthened his hold on that constituency. In the December 7 elections, he increased his lead to over 100 votes ahead of ULP challenger, Julian Francis.

•The new Cabinet of the Unity Labour Party Administration was sworn in on Monday December 12 at a ceremony at Victoria Park. Dr. Gonsalves is Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Legal Affairs, and Grenadines Affairs. There have been changes in portfolio for the other members of Cabinet, and new configurations of the Ministries.

•Arnhim Eustace, President of the New Democratic Party (NDP), made it clear to the nation on December 12 and especially to factions of the NDP who are calling for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) to be given a dose of its own medicine,that the NDP will not block the roads. Eustace charged, “The NDP accepts the first past the post system but we are appalled and horrified at the widespread and unprecedented level of irregularities and violation of the electoral process.”

•Our front page on December 23 carried the story that the 2005 Nine Mornings Festivities had been going well.

•Last week Thursday, December 15, at approximately 5.55 a.m., the police received a call that a house was on fire in the Villa-Fountain area. Members of the Fire Department discovered the charred remains of 31-year-old Vonley “Crimo” Llewelyn, a father of six and 21-year-old Jennine “Lucy” Gill, a mother of two. It is believed that Llewelyn suffered a blow to the head while Gill suffered several stab wounds.

•In his maiden interview with the media as Minister of Tourism, Glen Beache, on Wednesday, December 21, took pleasure in announcing the historic inaugural visit of Queen Mary 2 – the largest cruise ship in the world – to St.Vincent and the Grenadines. The ship, dubbed the greatest ocean liner of our time, visited on Wednesday, December 28.

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