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Groups make donations to Argyle airport project

Groups make donations  to Argyle airport project

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Residents of Rose Hall used their cultural background last weekend to help raise awareness about the Argyle International Airport, now under construction.{{more}}

This drive was spearheaded by the Rose Hall Cultural and Development Organisation, which staged a cultural display on the project site last Sunday, August 30, 2009.

President of the organisation, Hayden Ferdinand, described the Argyle International Airport as very important to Rose Hall and generally to North Leeward. They see the potential for development in the agriculture sector, an important part of their local economy, as well as the many tourism sites in North Leeward.

“In North Leeward we have Falls of Baleine, Trinity Falls, Dark View Falls, the Cumberland Beach and other facilities…. Tourists will be able to come directly to St.Vincent and the Grenadines and there will be field trips going to these areas,” said Ferdinand.

He added that producers of arts and crafts in North Leeward, as well as hotels and business places from the community would see many spin-off benefits.

Describing the construction of the Argyle International Airport as a “do-or-die situation”, Ferdinand said the airport could be built and the country could go forward or “don’t build it and get left behind”.

The residents of North Leeward were supported by residents of other communities, including Stubbs, Argyle, Mt Pleasant and surrounding areas, who turned out in fair numbers to view the cultural package and to see for themselves the progress being made on the construction of the airport.

CEO of the International Airport Development Company, Dr. Rudy Matthias, welcomed the gathering and expressed gratitude to the Rose Hall Cultural and Development Organisation, whose initiative it was to stage the display. He gave the background to the project as well as an update on work to date.

Meantime, area representative for North Leeward, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, called on every Vincentian to support the airport project. Speaking at Sunday’s event, Thompson said this is the largest project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its impact would be tremendous.

He said the government had been creative in the way it had gone about financing the airport, and it is important for Vincentians to contribute.

“If other countries are helping us then we need to play our part,” Thompson added.

He further congratulated the Rose Hall group for playing its part, no matter how small it may seem. Sunday’s cultural display saw performances from the South East Steel Orchestra, Renaissance Dances, Zamfair Adams (calypso) and the Rose Hall Cultural and Development Organisation with their Maypole, Quadrille, and Boom Drum, among others.

$847 was collected at Sunday’s event. This money will be deposited in the account of the AIA Contributory Fund.

Meanwhile, the biggest contribution made to date to the Argyle International Airport Contributory Fund was made at Sunday’s Cultural Display. $50,000 was handed over on Sunday by National Properties Limited (NPL).

The presentation was made by Merle Williams of the NPL and was accepted by Matthias on behalf of the trustees. Williams said the donation was intended to cement the productive partnership already existing between the IADC and NPL in ensuring that this “socially and economically monumental project becomes a reality.”

Meanwhile, at a community group meeting on Friday, August 28, hosted by the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit (RIDU), Coordinator of the Rose Hall community group Jocelyn Robinson handed over a cheque for EC$200. RIDU Chairman Ellsworth John received the donation on behalf of the International Airport Development Corporation (IADC).

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