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Perception and opinion vs facts and truth

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Editor: You know I sit quietly and observe a lot that goes on in life and in my beloved home island of St Vincent and the Grenadines. There are things that I see and hear; some I agree with, some I don’t. My personality is one that I happily maintain, my natural demeanour of “quietness” and I comfortably occupy the shadows of existence, not the limelight of being seen. I say all that to say that at no time are my actions or words ever an attempt to be seen or heard for the sake of being seen or heard. I am very aware that as individuals we all have our opinions and are definitely all entitled to those opinions.{{more}} However, there are times that you hear and see educated individuals in public office make certain statements and you become hard-pressed to identify their reasons for doing so, especially when their statements are rife with half truths or their recounting of happenings are conveniently not 100 per cent accurate.

The latest issue is that the press secretary to the Prime Minister of St Vincent & the Grenadines has an issue with the fact that Fr Ulric Jones did not acknowledge the presence of the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House and other members and past members of Parliament yesterday at St Paul’s in Calliaqua when he delivered the sermon at the funeral of the late Mr Kens Dougan. He went on to say that this was not following protocol and challenged anyone to name him one time when the GG, PM and other members of Parliament were not “acknowledge” (sic). Futhermore, he compared it to when my father presided over the funeral of Mr EG Lynch in Georgetown some time ago and the fact that he “acknowledge” (sic) everyone on that occasion, going on to say that the absence of the Leader of the Opposition at today’s service may have been the reason why my father did not acknowledge the presence of everyone else. Well, the strange thing is my father is personal friends with the Governor General and with the Speaker of the House, to the point where he’s the godfather to the Speaker’s first son. So Mr Press Secretary, when relating a story, telling half the book doesn’t accurately depict the events in the story; it only tilts your audience in the direction that you’re forcing their thoughts. Well, let’s look very closely at the referenced protocol and comparisons. I think any rational thinking individual would agree that you cannot compare an apple to an orange for very, very, obvious reasons. If comparing, you will compare an apple to an apple, an orange to an orange or any item, idea, circumstance to another like item, idea or circumstance.

I would like to point out a few inconsistencies that beg to question the validity of the press secretary’s comments, and even the validity of his thought process, or lack thereof. Fr Jones, in his sermon, did not acknowledge the above mentioned individuals, and my question is, WAS IT HIS ROLE AS THE PREACHER AT THE SERVICE TO DO THAT? For full clarity, the service was being presided over by another priest; Fr Jones’ sole role was to deliver the sermon, as requested by the family. The word protocol was used; does the press secretary know the protocol of the Anglican Church? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t; I don’t know which it is. Were the individuals mentioned recognized by the priest that actually presided over the service? If they were, why would they need to be again recognized by the preacher at the same service? If they were not recognized by the presiding priest, why is that priest not being called to task, as my father is? Does that make sense? Does it add up? As referenced by the press secretary, Fr Jones did recognize the presence of these individuals at EG Lynch’s funeral, but the press secretary failed to articulate the different role my father played at that funeral; he was actually the presiding priest at that service. PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACTS.

Protocol. Let’s discuss protocol. Is it protocol for the leader of a democratic country to continuously verbally attack a private citizen at political rallies because of his personal political views? Is it protocol for the leader of a nation to continuously tell outright lies about a private citizen while speaking at political rallies? All in an attempt to sully the name of a proud national son as a means to an end. A man that is the biggest Vincentian patriot I have known in my time on this earth. Are all these things political protocol? Maybe they are; I do admit my ignorance in this realm. My hope is that, as a nation, as a people and as individuals, we do not allow politics to become the proverbial cataract in our vision, that inhibits the unity, development and advancement of small SVG. I ask us all to keep our eyes open and be able to see for ourselves the motivation behind such comments and beg the validity of such comments. While we all have opinions that we are entitled to have, we also have truths and facts that cannot be clouded by sheer hate and difference of opinion.

Eneka Ulric C Jones

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