ULP celebrates 25 years of existence
The decommissioned ET Joshua Airport was a beehive of activity last Sunday as thousands of people descended on the tarmac for the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) 25th anniversary rally.
The rally which began at 5 pm, promised entertainment from locals like “Luta”, “Moon”, “Rawlo” and Shanel Nanton with the highlight of the show being Jamaican superstar Glendale “Busy Signal” Gordon.
“No other administration in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines has been able to achieve what the ULP has achieved,” Minister of Health Luke Browne, one of the first speakers, told the gathering after a moment of silence was acknowledged for one of the founders of the ULP Sir Vincent Beache.
He said that one can get a hint of what the ULP has done just by looking at the surroundings, while he opined that the party has changed the country’s political and physical landscapes for the better.
Browne added that the ULP’s time in government has changed the fates and fortunes of Vincentians and also made SVG a centre of excellence in the OECS for paediatric care despite what many persons are saying about the health sector here.
“It hasn’t been just 25 years it has been a great 25 years. The time that this administration has spent in government has made a fundamental difference,” the health minister told his red clad supporters.
The Minister also spoke about big strides in education, tourism, sports and the bettering of people’s lives by the installation of pipe borne water as well as electricity to many homes.
Browne, who has contested the East Kingstown seat as a member of the ULP twice and was beaten by the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) Arnhim Eustace on both occasions, promised that he will bring home that seat during the next elections. Eustace announced last month, his intention to not contest the next general elections.
“We are bringing home the constituency of East Kingstown. We are going to achieve a historic victory in that constituency.
“I see the NDP is a little bit confused about their selection of candidate. It seems as if they have caught the Fitz but let’s be Frank there is a lot of Bramble talk meanwhile one person feel he is the cream of the crop and another person is saying that it is really he that is the true man,” said the health minister.
Browne was playing on the names of prospective candidates for the NDP in East Kingstown — former national goalkeeper and diplomat Fitz Bramble, accountant Frank Clarke and accountant Kevern “Cream” Cyrus.
“I am not going to get in their affairs but all I would say is that whoever will may come but none of them not even a former keeper could stop us from scoring victory for the people in East Kingstown,” Browne said.
Also addressing the gathering was Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, senator Carlos James, party chairman Edwin Snagg, and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves among others.
Caesar, continuing where Browne left off said the ULP has improved the lives of many people especially in education where parents are proud of their university educated children. He also spoke of successes in the agricultural sector, saying that SVG is now the breadbasket of the Southern Caribbean as we produce one of the best chocolates in the world and soon there will be further investment in spices.
“The good news is that we continue to export cattle and recently there is a demand for other livestock to be exported,” said Caesar while adding that we have embarked on a medicinal cannabis initiative that will see no traditional farmer left behind.
“I will vote for a party that Comrade Ralph leads any day but not Friday. Any day for Ralph never Friday…,” said Caesar, a play on the name of opposition leader Dr Godwin Friday.
Addressing the gathering, Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves, the son of the Prime Minister, said the ULP is seeking another term in office and the party will not falter.
“How strong is this Labour family? In the 25 years since this party has been formed, we have enjoyed the support of the majority of Vincentians, since the year 1998.
“So for 21 out of the 25 years that this party has been in existence, the Unity Labor Party has been the voice of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We are undoubtedly the home of the majority of people,” said Gonsalves who said the ULP is a powerful and unstoppable force thanks to its supporters.
The event also made mention of some aspiring candidates including Central Kingstown hopeful Dominic Sutherland, aspiring West St George candidate Curtis King and Mineva Glasgow who is hoping to run on a ULP ticket in South Leeward.
During his performance, Busy Signal thanked Prime Minister Gonsalves for bringing him to SVG. He said the last time he was here about nine years ago, he remembers landing at the ET Joshua Airport.
The entertainer said he was impressed that he was able to fly directly from the Unites States to the Argyle International Airport (AIA), a facility he described as exceptional.