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Montserratians returning to land of their birth

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Tue Sep 16, 2014

Editor: The tiniest British Overseas Dependent Territory of Montserrat has a new government.

Donaldson Romeo swept the polls last Thursday, defeating Reuben Meade’s Movement for Change and Prosperity.{{more}}

Romeo, former journalist now businessman, won seven of the nine seats and was sworn in as Premier by British Governor Adrian Davis. The new head of government, who is also a newcomer in politics, has a lot on his plate, since the island, which was devastated by a volcanic eruption 19 years ago, is now in the course of reconstruction.

Two-thirds of the population fled following the eruption in July 1995 which killed 19 persons. The population is now less than 5,200 and the island is being monitored by a Volcano Observatory. A new town is being constructed at Little Bay, which is located on the north west coast of the island, replacing Plymouth, which was completely wiped out by the volcano.

Montserrat was a thriving territory 35 years ago, where dozens of offshore banks were incorporated.

It also accommodated a recording studio where several world famed singers frequented.

I was fortunate to serve in that territory between 1986 and 1988 as registrar/magistrate. I also carried out the function as public trustee for Spanish Pointe and gave titles to more than 30 Canadians who had encountered problems with a developer.

I spent a month in that territory 18 months ago and I see signs of development and from reports received a few days ago, dozens of Montserratians who left because of the disaster are returning home and some are investing heavily in the island of their birth.

Oscar Ramjeet

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