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TCMP honours past Chairman

TCMP honours past Chairman

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The Tobago Cays Marine Park (TCMP) on June 15 recognized Fr Andrew Roache for his visionary guidance and his undaunted leadership as chairman of the Board of Directors during the period 2005-2010.{{more}}

The ceremony, which took place at Buccaneer Restaurant, was attended by board members and staff of the TCMP and family, friends and well-wishers of Fr Roache. Major speakers at the event were director of Grenadines Affairs Edwin Snagg and the current TCMP chairman and deputy director of Grenadines Affairs Herman Belmar.

Both men spoke in glowing terms of the work done by Fr Roache during his time at the TCMP. Snagg, in his address, stated: “I have made many decisions throughout my life as a politician, some good, some bad, but one of the best decisions I have made was my recommendation to the Prime Minister to appoint Fr Andrew Roache as chairman of the TCMP”.

Belmar, in his address, spoke of the hard work done by Fr Roache and has credited his drive to succeed to his humble upbringing.

Persons present, including TCMP board members, staff, former parishioners, friends and family, also had the opportunity, and did pay tribute to the man of the moment. Some of the words that were used to describe Fr Roache were selfless, hard-working, community spirited, leader, dynamic, God-fearing, thoughtful.

Fr Roache, a Catholic priest, took over as chairman of the TCMP in 2005. He spearheaded the development and endorsement of the TCMP management plan, implementation of a fee structure, daily surveillance, and enforcement with the TCMP. He fought for stakeholders’ participation within the TCMP and was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Grenadines Water Taxi Association.
 
One of Fr Andrew’s major accomplishments at the TCMP was his work with the OECS and the implementation of the OECS Protect Areas and Associated Livelihood (OPAAL) project. As part of this project, the TCMP received assistance in infrastructural development, equipment and capacity building for staff and stakeholders. These included the building of an interpretation centre, a patrol boat, computers and the training of key staff to conduct monitoring and evaluation exercises that have ultimately helped in the transformation and development of the TCMP.

Fr Roache was critical in the development of a seed fund program supported by OPAAL, that saw 46 small businesses on Union Island and Mayreau receiving seed funds, representing a total disbursement of over EC$250,000.

In response Fr Roache thanked all present and in particular the board, management and staff of the TCMP for recognizing his contribution to the park. According to him, all the work he did, he was not expecting it to be recognized, but still felt a sense of reward knowing that his contribution has not gone unnoticed. He believes that being a priest must not restrict one from working for his community. He further expressed the need for the church to move out of the building and embrace the communities which they serve.

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