Monday, October 21, 2013

Going Back

I have been trying to catch up with medical things and we are pretty near done, so we are going back to St Vincent next week, October 28, 2013. I'll probably not do any blogging till we get down to St. Vincent. It will be nice to be warm for a while--I wasn't warm at all this summer.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another Visitor

If you look at this blog.( you might find something I missed, having gotten old an crochety and turtlish.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SVG And High Wycombe

The Caribbean island that changed a UK town

Written By: 
Natricia Duncan

WHEN PEOPLE from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) arrived in High Wycombe in the 1950s and 60s, many felt unwelcome and struggled to find a place in the sleepy market town.
But a lot has changed over the decades and today they are part of a vibrant and diverse community.
In recognition of the role that the community has played, the High Wycombe Town Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SVG, which recognises the links between the island nation and the Buckinghamshire town.
The agreement means that the town council and local Vincentian community organisations such as SV2G, who witnessed the agreement, will continue to work together on a number of initiatives including an annual festival, a steel pan school that is the first in the UK to offer formal accreditation, and a Heritage Lottery funded, intergenerational project called Coming Back Home which documents the experiences and the impact of the Vincentian Diaspora on High Wycombe.
Co-founder and chair of SV2G, and executive of the SVG National Association UK Jacqueline Roberts, said she is passionate about raising awareness of the Caribbean legacy and culture in the UK. She described the heritage project as a “vital piece of untold history.”
Roberts hopes that the project will discover why High Wycombe has remained home to one of the largest concentration of Vincentians and people of Vincentian heritage in the UK.
According to scholar, playwright and curator Dr Michael McMillan, who created the well known Caribbean Front Room exhibitions, early Vincentian migrants were assigned to the area by the Home Office.
Other Vincentians, he said, followed to join family and friends and to take advantage of work in the thriving carpentry trade. Some, he claimed were even attracted by High Wycombe’s green, hilly terrain which has striking similarities to many parts of their lush, mountainous island.
Vincentians, he added, have made significant contributions to the development of High Wycombe.
He said: “High Wycombe is now a diversified town and Vincentians had a hand in making it what it is today. Their influence is evident in the food, the language, and they even helped to build its infrastructure, transport system, its university and its shopping centre.”
Councillor Tony Green, Chairman of High Wycombe Town Committee, described Vincentians as the “leading lights in local groups” and as “part of the fabric of the town’s everyday life.”
Over the years the relationship between High Wycombe and SVG has remained strong, with the Prime Minister of SVG regularly visiting the area to meet and address the Diaspora, and encourage the formation of new alliances through teacher and youth exchanges.
“It was a High Wycombe to St Vincent youth exchange programme that opened my eyes to the importance of heritage, its link to self-esteem and cultural identity and the need to connect with it. Essentially it sowed the seeds for this intergenerational project,” said Roberts.
The Coming Back Home project, she added, is as much about what was left behind as it is about the new experiences in the UK.
“The way of life, the religion, the culture back home is a big part of that conversation about why they came here and the experiences they had when they arrived; and naturally the next chapter of that story is about how future generations have adapted and integrated into this experience. It is about engaging the whole of the community in this exploration of our culture and teaching the younger generation to connect with who they are, but at the same time embracing other cultures.”
Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, Stuart McLeod, said: “The project will raise awareness of the impact of migrant cultures among the larger community.”
Every aspect of SV2G, Roberts stressed, is geared towards recognising and celebrating the Caribbean legacy. The organisation has steadily risen to prominence, last year receiving the London 2012 Olympic Inspire Mark. Its steel orchestra was also invited to play for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace.
Third generation Vincentian, 19 year old university student Shani Edwards who has been part of the steel pan orchestra since she was eleven said SV2G has boosted her confidence.
“SV2G helped me to experience a sense of community and made me feel very connected with Saint Vincent. Being able to share that heritage with the wider community through experiences such as playing pan for the Queen is amazing and an honour.”
The organisation has also seen growing success with its yearly Wycombe Community Festival which showcases its steel pan orchestra and a variety of local, national and international talent.
Last Saturday it attracted over 3000 people.
Mayor of High Wycombe Councillor Trevor Snaith said the event was a celebration of the multiculturalism in High Wycombe and praised the Vincentian community for their contribution to local life.
He said: “They are excellent when it comes to creating community events that all of the community could participate in.”

Posted on: 28/07/2013 12:00 PM

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Launching

BOOK LAUNCHING KINGS-SVG Publishers, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, announces the formal launching of its two most recent publications:: Caribbean Short Stories: Life Long Ago by Rosa Veta (a pen name). and “Christianity and Black Oppression: Duppy Know Who Fe Frighten" by Zay D. Green. Caribbean Short Stories: Life Long Ago is a collection of fifteen short stories fashioned around the lives of Caribbean youths (particularly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines) in the nineteen forties, fifties and sixties. Christianity and Black Oppression: Duppy Know Who Fe Frighten asks: How is it that blacks have been Christianized for more than four hundred years and yet blacks are stereotyped as morally and mentally inferior? Both volumes are edited by Baldwin King and Cheryl Phills King THE LAUNCHING WILL TAKE PLACE AT UWI OPEN CAMPUS, RICHMOND HILL THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013 AT 5 PM. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Health in SVG

‘Developed countries diseases’ a major challenge in St. Vincent
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 19, IWN – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has lauded primary and secondary health care here but said “developed countries diseases” continue to be a challenge.
“These are hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems and, of course, accidents and criminal violence,” he said Monday on the Northern Grenadine island of Bequia, where a health centre was opened.
He said the number of Vincentians affected with diabetes and hypertension is “just too high.
“We are not eating properly and we are not exercising,” Gonsalves said, adding that he is “not a full and proper example to be talking about this subject.
“But in this dialogue, we have to be critical and self-critical,” he said, adding that he has a normal blood pressure.
“And then, of course, we can’t be smoking the way we’re smoking. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink alcohol … and my sugar level is good,” he said, adding that sugar is a cheap source of energy for children.
“It is a cheap source, but that doesn’t mean they have to drink every Busta in sight. … And [it] doesn’t mean they have to go and eat every fast food that exists. “Which means you have run on the beach, you have to swim …” he further said.
Gonsalves further encouraged citizens to participate in community groups for persons with hypertension and diabetes.
“Get involved with them, because, if you get involved with them and you work with them, they can save you from getting an amputation.
“There are so many people you go to the hospital to see, they’re getting amputations because of the diabetes. And the diabetes combined also with the hypertension creates real problems for them.
“So, I am pleading with you on those things. And the parents, try really to make sure the children stay off too many of the soft drinks and too many of the sweets.”
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said the issue of criminal violence “is a serious business”.
“And that’s why we have to take the strong position that we take on these matters, legislatively and also in terms of the police,” he said.
“There is a particular species of communicable disease — HIV and AIDS. No disease is too bad for anybody too good to get. Of course, all persons who have tested HIV positive, we give free anti-retroviral drugs to them and the treatment is improving, but this is an area where you have to be very careful because it is a potential death sentence.”
He said that while accidents and criminal violence are not normally put in the category of non-communicable disease, the number of vehicles in this country has increased four-fold over the last 12 years even as roads remain unchanged.
Gonsalves was sustained injuries to the mouth and other parts of his body in an accident involving his SUV and a truck in 2007.
“… after I was nearly killed in 2007 with a big truck on a public holiday, I try to stay off the road. I personally, I am not advising you to do that because people have to go to picnics and so on,” Gonsalves said.
“We have evolved a good public health system, a good primary health system, a sound secondary healthcare system,” he said, adding that the Government gets assistance with the secondary and tertiary healthcare system.
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"Powder Dry" in Camillo Incident

I missed this in April. Sorry.

Gov’t keeps ‘legal powder dry’ even after talks with Obama on envoy’s arrest
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The government is keeping its “legal powder dry” but says it is pleased with the progress so far in seeking redress, through diplomatic channels, for the arrest of one of its envoys in New York last month.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told a media briefing on Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have expressed regret at the arrest of Camillo Gonsalves, this country’s U.N. ambassador — Gonsalves’ oldest son — by a New York cop on March 28.
The U.S. officials spoke to the issue in a meeting with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Columbia last weekend.
Gonsalves said he had asked the CARICOM caucus not to raise the issue with the U.S. representatives because his administration was satisfied that the U.S. federal government “was keeping its word and responding, in our view, appropriately and satisfactorily”.
“And that was confirmed in my discussion with President Obama … and with Secretary of State Clinton on the issue. That is to say, they regret very much the incident and are both supportive of the efforts of [U.S ambassador to the United Nations] Susan Rice” – who also expressed regret at the incident.
According to Gonsalves, Clinton has been keeping up to date with Rice and said that Rice would deal with the matter fully to his satisfaction.
“President Obama expressed a similar view and said if there are any hiccups along the way, touch base with his office,” Gonsalves said.
He said he was “grateful” that the top levels U.S. Officials were “showing genuine concern … and expressing regret.
“Now, I don’t want to get onto the conversation about people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who injects partisan political issues into an issue which ought not to be,” he further said.
He added that other leaders at the Summit had expressed solidarity with him and Foreign Affairs Minister Sen. Douglas Slater.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly last Friday sent an investigator along with State Department officials to visit Ambassador Gonsalves, “as promised by Rice to speak to him as part of the investigation which is underway,” the Prime Minister said.
“Camillo has informed me that he went through all the issues with them. He said that he thought that the meeting was a good meeting.
“Of course, all over the world, we know what internal police inquiries sometimes do. But we wait and we wait and keep our legal power dry.
“Remember I said we are proceeding on the basis of diplomacy and law. And we have been very focused, and disciplined and professional on this,” adding that the country had “elicited support from all over the world”. He said “it is really disappointing to see persons suggesting here … that I engineered this whole thing to make it so that Camillo can return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and be parachuted in at the top [of the political hierarchy].
“… It is just a lot of rubbish,” Gonsalves said.
Rice last week Tuesday visited Ambassador Gonsalves at in his office and expressed regret at the incident.
“That is not to be taken lightly. It is the first time, since Independence, that a cabinet member of the U.S. government, who is also the Permanent Representative of the United States, visited the mission of any of these countries in the Caribbean,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that Rice visited Ambassador Gonsalves on a day when she was chairing a Security Council meeting.
“The report given to me was that she was very warm and sincere and from the comments which she made, convinced me that they take the matter seriously and they reiterate their commitment towards the Vienna Convention [on Diplomatic Relations] and also to the host agreements which they have between the United Nations and the United States of America.”
Rice on Thursday invited Ambassador Gonsalves to her home for dinner and to attend a basketball game in New York.
“She was again showing her concern and her empathy,” Gonsalves said, adding that the Vincentians envoy declined the invitation because he was travelling to Kuwait the following day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Buccament Bay

You can follow backwards a series of stories on the troubled financial history of the Buccamment Bay resort by going to:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Being North

Today’s Thursday. We came back north to Myricks, Massachusetts, on Sunday--arriving home on Monday after midnight. We’ve already seen a couple of Doctors who conformed that we are gradually falling apart, but we’ll probably last for another year. I only have one mixup in my prescription drugs, so the odds are that that will get straightened out before I suffer from the lack.

There’s one interesting thing about St. Vincent and the Grenadines: they don’t have a big hangup about prescription drugs. If I run out, and it’s a drug that they stock down there, I can just buy it like it was aspirin or some other OTC (Over-The-Counter) drugstore item. The problem is that they don’t stock some of the stronger pain-killers. Up north here I can’t do that so if somebody in the Doctor’s office makes a mistake on the renewal, and I don’t notice it because I’m not that careful, it takes a lot of effort to straighten it out.

So that’s an interesting thing. There’s an advantage to having a relatively primitive system in some ways; but it costs you.

There’s another thing I should mention: I’ve come to a stopping place in my book. Considering the last version, that was written over several times, I’ve decided that there is no point trying to figure out the details of what the future might bring. Right now we are in the position where we are mostly equal: except for money. The “minorities” who are distinguished by skin color (black, brown or yellow) or gender (traditional female and “other”) are not being discriminated against by legal devices to any great extent. Where they are, and there are a few holdouts, it will be just a matter of organizing the votes to defeat the racism. So the only real  basis for privilege is money. When we decide to eliminate that basis for class we will do so, because it has no particular reason to exist.

The left-center politicians haven’t come to the point where they are willing to abandon money as a class determination basis, but that’s just a matter of time. By the time we have gotten used to “Obamacare” so that good nutrition and shelter is simply a matter of public health, and we expect to get that as a by-product of residence; enough wealth to keep from an early death will be not a privilege but a right. 

So that’s not an important question any more. All we need to do is amass enough votes to make it happen; and that’s just a matter of time.

You can download a copy of the current version of my book from: