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Remembering the late Robert Milton Cato

Remembering the late Robert Milton Cato

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Tue Oct 15, 2013

Editor: As we celebrate independence we should remember Robert Milton Cato. Putting aside our political affiliation, we must agree that had we built on the start made by the first Prime Minister of this blessed land of ours, the late Robert Milton Cato, we would have been one of the leading countries in the Caribbean economically.{{more}}

Milton Cato is only remembered as the first Prime Minister of SVG. However, there is more that ought to be said about him that we are not hearing. He gave this country a very good start in terms of industries. We had the Diamond Dairy Industries, where milk and other products were produced. Here was an opportunity for farmers to make money; farmers were doing well during his time, with banana doing well, ground provisions, vegetables etc.

There were so many industries at Campden Park, where hundreds were employed making products for export; there was the sugar factory at Mt Bentinck, Georgetown, which was closed the very year it made its first profit. Many persons were self-employed, crushing stones and selling them to the government. During the time of the late Robert Milton Cato, road gangs were on the road regularly. Amongst the road gangs were the patch gangs that regularly patched the roads; there was a regular flow of cash from other businesses.

There was employment in every sector of the economy. Sadly, when James Mitchell took over, he never built on the foundation laid by Milton Cato, but instead he closed down all these factories and the persons who crushed stones were also put out of work. Had James Mitchell built on what Milton Cato started, this country would have been way advanced economically.

We would have been leading the way in industries, including agro processing ,which we had under the late Milton Cato. Sadly, but true, as a nation, we have been set back and now are playing catching up.

Yes, Mr Cato was not a perfect leader, but he deserves to be called a national hero, for had we built on what he started, we may have been the richest country in the Caribbean. Mr Cato gave this country a good foundation to be one country in the Caribbean. So, he was not just the first Prime Minister, but as a leader, one who made positive development to this country and one who laid a good foundation that was destroyed by his successor. More can be said of his contributions to this blessed land of ours.

Indeed, many successive governments have destroyed what was laid positively by the previous government. If this trend continues, then, as a nation, we cannot move forward, but backward.

Kennard King

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