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SVGPA embarks on 50th anniversary celebrations

SVGPA embarks on 50th anniversary celebrations

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority (SVGPA) has officially begun its 50th anniversary celebrations of the Kingstown deep-water pier.

The official launch took place on October 2 at the Cruise Ship Terminal.{{more}}

In brief opening remarks, CEO Bishen John explained why the milestone is being celebrated.

“We want to show recognition of what this pier has meant to us, to our fore-parents and even to generations to come,” John said.

“Even now, 50 years on, we are still developing the country and it is because of this, I think it is of utmost importance that we recognize what pier has done for the country.”

The CEO declared that SVGPA and the deep-water pier have played significant roles in the development of this country and there have been major changes over the past 50 years.

“If you are very observant, you would notice that anytime there is mention of the world going to recession, the first thing that is measured is activity at ports. Activity at ports will definitely show you where your country is going; if you are exporting goods, if you are importing goods,” he said.

Chair of the board Edwin Snagg delivered the feature address in the absence of the minister with responsibility for Ports, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

In his address, Snagg noted that the month of celebrations that will happen is not merely because of the age of the pier, but rather the significant role that it has played in the development of the country.

“We could speak of the Kingstown deep water pier and by extension the Port Authority and the port as we say. You could cuss it, you could abuse it, sometimes you will be happy and would laud it when things go your way and you get it nice, but just imagine not having it,” the chair said.

While Snagg reflected that when the reclamation of the waterfront was being done, there were opposing comments, he commended those that had the vision of the deep-water pier.

“Some things are a question of vision and not everybody see the vision at the same time. We commend those who saw the vision,” he said. “Not everybody saw the vision

at that time. Some thought it was money not well spent.”

In his remarks, the chair also expressed dissatisfaction with the perception of the port by Vincentians.

“Sometimes, I hate the perception and we have to be realistic. What we are trying to do here is remold the corporate image of the Port Authority,” he said.

Snagg noted that every role at the port is important and because of this, heads should engage in the capacity building of staff, “from management right down to the last employee.

“One has to commend ourselves as a people for what we have done with the deep-water pier in Kingstown. We have only had one set of repairs done to the main tussle after all these years. That in itself is testament to the design and the role that it played then is one in which – look at what is happening in the past and what can happen in the future,” he said.

The launch was the first event of a number of activities expected to be held this month to commemorate the half-century milestone. Other activities include customer appreciation days, radio programmes and the annual dinner and awards.(BK)

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