Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caribbean Summi

Caribbean Summit Seeks United Front to Economic Crisis
By Peter Richards

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Jun 30, 2010 (IPS) - Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders are gathering here next week for their annual summit still struggling to recover from the two-year global economic and financial crisis that has taken a major toll on their individual economies.

Especially hard hit have been the tourism industry and remittances from abroad. The Guyana-based Caricom Secretariat says that at least half of the 15-member grouping will record either zero or negative growth this year, while high unemployment and other factors are likely to exacerbate the situation.

"This state of affairs cannot be separated from our continuing major social problems related to crime and security," Caricom Secretary-General Edwin Carrington told reporters ahead of the Jul. 4-7 event.

His economic adviser, Dr. Maurice Odle, added that a looming debt crisis and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would also be on the agenda.

Caricom countries have been working towards a Single Market and Economy (CSME) by the year 2015, but the initiative has suffered several setbacks.

"The goalpost on CSME inauguration keeps shifting as a number of member states continue to falter in honouring their pledges to close the yawning gaps on implementation of treaty-based policies and programmes," says veteran Caribbean journalist Rickey Singh.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, a stalwart of the integration process, said he believes that Caricom could learn from the progress being made by the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which recently signed a treaty establishing an economic union among themselves that provides for improved governance and deeper cooperation among member states.

Carrington believes that this weekend's summit, which coincides with Caricom's 37th anniversary, will provide the impetus "as we embark on the second decade of the new millennium".

The meeting will no doubt be dominated by issues such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that the Caribbean signed with European nearly two years ago, negotiations with Canada for a new trade and development accord, and way to strengthen relations with the United States.

The outgoing Caricom chair and prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, said that in the past "there has not been sufficient political dialogue" with Washington.

"We are receptive to dialogue and President Obama has recognised that and he is taking a different approach to the Caribbean," Skerrit said.

The Barack Obama administration pledged 45 million dollars to the region this year under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. In April, Secretary of Defence Robert Gates made a further commitment of 79 million dollars for the security initiative for next year.

Following a 90-minute meeting with Caribbean leaders in Barbados earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also announced that the region was in line to receive a further 170 million dollars in funding for HIV/AIDS and climate change programmes.

Caricom has also sought to deepen its relations with its Latin American neighbours through Brazil and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CALC) as well as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and UNASUR.

The catastrophic January earthquake in Haiti and the pending presidential and legislative elections there are also matters that the regional leaders will have to deal with during their Montego Bay summit.

Carrington said that the reconstruction of the only French- speaking member of Caricom has been a major focus and "demands that we all pitch in to bolster the efforts of the Haitian people".

But, like the international donor community, Caricom is fearful that the arrival of the hurricane and rainy seasons could seriously hamper efforts to rebuild a country where more than a million people became homeless following the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Haitian President René Préval this week announced that the elections will take place on Nov. 28 and he intends to step down in keeping with the constitutional deadline of Feb. 7 even though the parliament recently approved an extension of that date to May.

Climate change issues, particularly as the region gears up to attend a major meeting in Cancun, Mexico in November, will also be a major talking point here, given the outcome of the Copenhagen conference last December.

"Every step must be taken by the region to prepare for that meeting to ensure that the results, in particular the maximum rise in global temperature, do not exceed 1.5 degrees," said Carrington.

"The region's mantra of '1.5 to stay alive' is not a mere slogan for our islands and low-lying coastal states. Its achievement is vital for our very survival," he told reporters.

The four-day summit will also be the first opportunity for Kamla Persad Bissessar, the first ever woman prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, to interact with her regional colleagues since her May 24 general election victory.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52003

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Fall Of The Beresford Dynasty

After the rise, the fall of the Beresford dynasty - minor rather than major colonial officers
Jun. 29th, 2010 at 9:11 PM

John the Commissioner had 4 sons and 3 daughters. First son was Marcus (who underwent "a mortification" at the age of 33), then George (my great x 4 grandfather), then John Claudius who became Lord Mayor of Dublin and was, if it is possible, worse than his father, then Rev. Charles. The daughters were Catharine, Annette Constantia, and Jane.

George (b. 1765) became Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh. In 1794 he married Frances Bushe, daughter of Gervais Parker Bushe (MP for Kilkenny) and Mary Grattan. Mary Grattan was the sister of Henry Grattan who was therefore Frances' uncle. (more about Henry Grattan later)

George and Frances had a son, John (b 1796) who became Colonial Secretary of St Vincent (now in St Vincent and the Grenadines) and he married Harriet Eliza Wylly, daughter of William Wylly, Chief Justice of St Vincent. St Vincent has a total land area of 344 square km and an estimated population today of 105,000, so it doesn't sound like a very important colonial posting. It was handed to the British by the French in 1783 (at Treaty of Versailles, winding up British-French hostilities over the American Revolution), but was only really secured against native rebellion in 1796, the year John was born. He must have gone there before 1822 because he married the Chief Justice's daughter in that year (he was 26). As Colonial Secretary, he presided over the abolition of slavery in 1834 - he was certainly there in 1835 and 1836 (he is mentioned signing legislation in John Anderson's 1836 'Journal of St Vincent During the Apprenticeship') and he was there in 1831 according to svgancestry.com. I have one source that says he retired to England, but I can find no official record to support this.

John's aunt Jane (see above) married Sir George Fitzgerald Hill, a baronet and the leading local representative of the mainly absentee Beresford landlords, in 1788. An entry in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland catalogue records that his correspondence "inevitably reflects the wider political concerns and ambitions of that dynasty, including their electoral interests in Co. Waterford, 1805-1830". Family nepotism continued, as Sir George became Governor of St Vincent, where his nephew by marriage was already Colonial Secretary, in 1830-33 and then Governor of Trinidad, where he died in 1839. Moreover, John named his 4th son John Hill (1832-63). John Hill Beresford became Colonial Secretary for the Island of Tobago which, as we know, has a close association with Trinidad (though he died at the tender age of 31).

When thinking of John B and his uncle George F. Hill I cannot help but think of Marlon Brando's character in the Pontecorvo movie Burn (aka Queimada) in which Brando's character explains how wage labour is more efficient than slavery.

This is from the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago (the two were not unified until 1889):

SIR GEORGE FITZGERALD HILL: 1833-1839
Sir George Fitzgerald Hill was the governor who presided over the abolition of the last of the slavery days in Trinidad. Sir George came here in 1833, at the advanced age of 71, and the tumultuous period from Emancipation in 1834 up to the Abolition in 1838 quite exhausted him. He had the unique distinctions of reading both the emancipation and the “abolition” proclamations from a window in the Treasury Building, where Government House was located at the time. He was already 78 years old, and the fatigue proved too much for him. He died on March 8, 1839, seven months after the abolition, and his grave can be seen as the first one from the west in that little cemetery in the Botanic Gardens, Port-of-Spain. His wife, Lady Hill, had died in November 1836, and she was the one who, on her death-bed passing, had asked to have her “eternal rest” in the Botanic Gardens.

The son of John and Eliza, George William (b. 1823), married Elizabeth Hannah Nicholson Maclean, daughter of Captain Donald Maclean (I can't get anywhere with this ancestor - there are more Donald Macleans than you can poke a stick at). George William and Hannah migrated to Australia where GW became Secretary to the South Australian Parliament. Many years ago a colleague of mine wrote his PhD thesis about early South Australian politics and, in his researches, he came across GW whom he described to me as "alcoholic". The South Australian descendants of George and Hannah generally were professionals (mainly lawyers and stockbrokers) or even minor industrialists, though at least some of them tried to maintain a sort of aristocratic hauteur. I don't get on with them very well and declined their invitation to the 150th anniversary of GW's arrival in 2008.

http://angel80.livejournal.com/611461.html

Monday, June 28, 2010

Stop giving SVG a bad name

Stop giving country a bad name, PM tells nationals

THURSDAY, 24 JUNE 2010 16:23 CMC

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC - Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has appealed to Vincentians to stop giving the country a bad name by applying for refugee status in Canada.

Nationals of St Vincent and the Grenadines do not require a visa to travel to Canada. However, Prime Minister Gonsalves bemoaned the fact that many people from this Eastern Caribbean country have been attempting to regularise their status there by seeking refugee status.

Gonsalves said St Vincent and the Grenadines is “not like some African countries” and argued that it “is arguably the most free and democratic country” in the Caribbean.

He said some women, who can show that they have suffered spousal and domestic abuse, may obtain refugee status because the Canadian authorities would not want them to return to such a situation in their homeland.

“I continue to speak out because it gives us a bad name,” the Prime Minister said, adding that while he understands the predicament of the persons involved, it does not mean what they are doing should be condoned.

“I have repeatedly said don’t waste money on lawyers, who encourage you to use political persecution,” he said, noting that it would be difficult for Vincentians, who over stay their time in Canada, to get their status regularised on such grounds.

The issue of Vincentians seeking refugee status in Canada has been an ongoing political issue on various radio talk shows.

Some talk show hosts, opposed to the Gonsalves administration, have claimed that nationals have been fleeing the country because of a culture of fear and progressively reduced freedom of speech and the loss of jobs from political victimisation.

However, no firm facts have been put forward to support their claims.
 
http://csmenetwork.com/2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8197:st-vincent-stop-giving-country-a-bad-name-pm-tells-nationals&catid=122:csme-network-latest&Itemid=211

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boston Aquarium







Pictures taken on a visit to the New England Aquarium in Boston MA, with Philip and Penny Yu, visitors from the Caribbean. You may recognize Phlip, who was formerly an orchid specialist with the Taiwan Agricultural Mission in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Argyle Airport

There is a video of construction of Argyle Airport on Grantley Williams' Facebook page.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Barrouallie Whalers at Mystic, CT



More photos of the Barrouallie Whalers at the Marine Museum at Mystic, CT. They were part of a festival of traditional music of seamen during the age of sail





Photos taken by Charlie Ipcar and posted, along with many others, on Facebook

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Barrouallie Whalers at Mystic



Photos of the Barrouallie Whalers in the concert at Mystic Seaport during their 2010 tour. Photos by Charlie Ipcar and posted on Facebook.


Shaping a Diaspora policy for SVG

By Nelson. A. King

Luzette King,a Brooklyn-basedVincentian community activist has called on Vincentian nationals in the United States to get more involved in the development of a strong Diaspora policy.

“I call on each of you, no matter your political allegiances, to get involved to develop a Diaspora policy, which we desperately need,” said King, a member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Diaspora Committee of New York.

At a recent consultation on a draft Diaspora policy document at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, the Washington-based registered nurse said the document seeks to “give concrete meaning” to the Vincy Homecoming Theme, “As one people in many lands, we shape our nation with many hands.”

“That is the way we need to treat this document,” she added.

King noted that “at no time in our history has there been such enthusiasm to build sustainable links between Vincentians in the Diaspora and at home.”

It was evident in the structured way that Vincentians in the Diaspora have come together to hold several conferences and generate ideas that would eventually form the basis from which a final Diaspora policy will come, King said.

In the quest for nation-building, King said the committee is looking to formulate a policy document that identifies three main areas around which most Vincentians can rally in order to achieve social development, economic and business development, and governance and political development.

In order for the Diaspora to be a full and effective partner in the development effort of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, King said “the Diaspora must be fully involved on matters related to the National Development Agenda, as well as associated policy issues,” said the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit (RIDU), in the office of the prime minister.

“The dreams of many people in the Diaspora to have excellent functional relations with SVG are now coming to full reality,” said Maxwell Haywood, a Diaspora Committee leader. “I am highly pleased with the process so far,” he added.

http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/articles/2010/06/23/news/caribbean/caribbeanlife-cl_news_caribbean-2010_06_23_nk_diaspora_policy.prt

Monday, June 21, 2010

SVG Montage Video

video

A video made by a visitor from Syracuse, NY, and posted on youtube.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Green Legacy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

“All the beauties which Nature has lavished on the equinoctial regions are here displayed in their fairest and most majestic forms." Rev. Lansdown Guilding, 1825

The Green Legacy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines includes the reprinting of two historical documents. The first document is An Account of the St. Vincent Botanic Garden written by the Anglican priest, Reverend Lansdown Guilding, and originally published in 1825. The second is The King’s Hill Enclosure Ordinance of 1791 which was enacted to preserve the Hill for “the benefit of the neighbourhood”. These are set against a backdrop of approximately two hundred photographs.

This is a special fundraiser edition. The net proceeds from this book will be donated to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust

The Green Legacy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
A Pictorial Tribute to the oldest Botanic Garden in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world's first pieces of Environmental Legislation
Edited by Inga Rhonda King www.strategyforuminc.org

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Barrouallie Whalers at Roxbury MA



The concert the Barrouallie Whalers gave in Hibernian Hall Roxbury (Boston, MA) was the final performance of the Barrouallie Whalers 2010 tour of New England (i.e., the northeast part of the U.S.) They were well received.

These photos of the Barrouallie Whalers in performance at Hibernian Hall, were taken by Polly Pimentel Zajac and published on Facebook.. She is a native of New Bedford, the location of the Whaling Museum National Park where the Summerfest Musiv Festival will take place at the July 4th weekend. Photos reprinted with permission.

Barrouallie Whalers at Mystic, CT




The Barrouallie Whalers who, as I have mentioned previously, have been involved in off-shore whaling on the Caribbean coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for some time, have recently been on a concert tour of New England (i.e., the northeast part of the U.S.).



Among their stops was the maritime museum at Mystic, Connecticut, where they gave a demonstration of singing shanties while rowing a whaleboat. This was a unique demonstration, even for Mystic, and even for a festival devoted to maritime music because American whaling was usually done for commercial quantities of oil which was fished for in big boats and tried out for the oil at sea. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines the whaling, from the time of the Caribs, was done for subsistence and done from small boats based on the shore.



These pictures were taken by David Diamond and published on Facebook and are used here with his permission. Mr. Diamond describes himself this way: “I recently retired - a proud grandad, live near DC, have an English accent, like folk music (and write songs myself), Jazz, Blues, chamber music, and fiddling around with computers. Read a lot of science fiction and science fact.”

Sickout by LIAT pilots

6/18/2010

Hungry, tired and upset.

This was the lament of scores of LIAT passengers who were again left stranded at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday, as the sick-out by pilots went into its second day.

Forced to cancel flights on Wednesday because of the industrial action, the regional airline was left no choice but to scrap those scheduled for yesterday as well, leaving many passengers annoyed and unaware of when they would be able to continue their travelling.

Several expressed frustration, stating that they had slept in the terminal and had been forced to find meals for themselves as the airline was not providing room and board for these grounded passengers.

Others were concerned about what they termed a lack of communication between themselves and the Antigua-based airline as to how much longer they would have to wait.

A statement released to the media yesterday morning by LIAT’s Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Browne stated, “While the company is doing everything to minimise the effect on passengers, they are being advised that for the rest of the day they should expect further cancellations,” before issuing an apology for the disruptions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, expressed his concern over the stranded passengers, while speaking to NBC news yesterday afternoon.

He said that his talks would continue with LIAT’s CEO Brian Challenger and with the leadership of the pilots to quickly resolve this matter to get this “essential service” back up and running.

“I spoke with the two directors for St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the board, Prime Minister (Baldwin) Spencer, CEO of LIAT and with the pilots’ leader. I put the suggestion to them that they go back to work today and that we will organise a meeting here in St. Vincent for us to discuss all of the issues, outside of those which are before the arbitration. They said to me that they appreciated my efforts, but they were not so sure. I told them we could be in touch during the night. Nothing (has) emerged out of that initiative as yet,” he outlined.

“I am really, really concerned and about our passengers with people who have to move to meet their families, to do business, some who have to go for medical attention overseas and it’s a terrible thing,” Gonsalves stressed. (JMB)

http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=10919

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sea turtle films self

MIAMI — Move over James Cameron. A sea turtle found a waterproof camera in the Caribbean, somehow activated the device, filmed itself and is now a YouTube sensation.

Back in May US Coast Guard agent Paul Schultz found a digital camera in a waterproof case on a beach in Key West, Florida, and posted images he found on its memory chip on the Internet in an attempt to find its owner.

In a video clip dated January 2010 "a turtle came across the camera, and it's really hard to tell how, but it turns the camera on and recorded itself swimming with the camera," Schultz told AFP.

"When I saw the video, I thought first that someone was getting attacked by a sea creature," Schultz said.

"I thought that a diver was getting attacked," he said. However, he later realized that the camera was just hitching a ride with a sea turtle.

"The last thing the camera owner did was shoot a video underwater, and then it goes right into the next video with the camera turning around in the water," Schultz said.
The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43sg-Ytt58.

Schultz eventually found the owner, a Dutch navy sailor who lost the camera when he was diving off the island of Aruba in November.

As the crow flies, Aruba, off the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, is some 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) from Key West, Florida.
But the camera likely took a roundabout journey on the Loop Current, which would have taken it from Aruba to the coast of central America, past Belize and the Yucatan peninsula, around the western coast of Cuba, into the Gulf Stream and on to the Florida Keys.
"I'm totally amazed about this," Schultz said.
Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hJAXzSJnKE2NZCJFKe_vqFv8GFlg

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No, I don't smoke weed

Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Yes, I am from the Caribbean but No, I don't smoke weed

The first dinner party I hosted in Europe with a Caribbean theme took place within the my miniscule room situated within the secluded loft of my leafy college, for a few fellow student union members. I remember assiduously cycling to Mill Lane to purchase ripe hands of over-yellow plantains, pungent bottles of caramel browning and jerk sauce, hoping to impress with pure guesswork, my then unhoned culinary skills and a few bottles of overproof rum. It went well – meaning no one was violently and instantly ill) but there was a dip of disappointment as everyone looked expectantly in my direction for the perceived traditional Caribbean petit four of some wacky backy: high grade, home grown weed. I think I was too embarrassed to say that I did not smoke, and I concocted a half hearted excuse of having none “at the moment”. I was petrified to admit the bare truth: I had never smoked weed in my entire life.

Since then, however, I have been surprised at how many people expect me to be a ganja connoisseur. “Surely you were surrounded by it”. Yes. “Is the weed in the Caribbean stronger and purer?” I haven’t the foggiest but I suppose so- we do everything better in the Caribbean. “Can you post us some when you go back?” Heck no. I would probably know where to get it, but they would probably refuse to sell it to me, and then tell my mother who would give me a proper licking, even at my age. So would the woman at the Post Office.

A guy I used to date briefly once complained “You are so goody-goody, so square”, and tried to persuade me to try a cigarette. Asthmatic that I am, I was puffing and huffing at the sheer odour before the darned thing ever had the front to get to my lips. The constant requests for sweet lucy probably means that I have been probably been very unsuccessful in harbouring home the fact that although the Caribbean has a deserved reputation for being ultra cool and chillaxed, the easy-going attitude of its residents has nothing to do with cheeky cannabis. Many are surprised to know that in general, Caribbean culture is very conservative, in fact almost prudish when it comes to attitudes towards drugs and alcohol.

For example, away from the cannabis analysis, beer is not considered to be a woman’s drink. Nice girls would never drink beer. At parties, fetes and social gatherings, most women would have the sweet barley based non-alcoholic malta. For those feeling a bit adventurous, maybe watered down rum and Coke; the more well-heeled would have a glass or two of wine. A woman bearing a Heineken or Carib or Stag proudly (except maybe at Carnival) would be looked upon oddly. (Personally, I don’t care. There is nothing like a beastly cold beer on a hot day.)

Weed, on the other hand, is another thing altogether. It is strange because I quite like the smell. I can match certain childhood memories with its fragrance permeating the air, almost like nature burning her incense. My neighbour was a heavy smoker and he often congregated on the walls of the old battered bakery behind our house with his pals, lighting up several ounces of spliff at a time and ruminating on obscure topics in the indolent and sluggish way that only men who are high can. Smoky billows wafted across, under the gospo tree, and over the wooden fence to provide the sweet-smelling olfactory footage that accompanied me while I was doing my homework. My neighbour across the road sold it and the number of heads that disappeared in between the two stone houses on a daily basis, was like a Catholic procession. The weed disciples would leave the trading temple, stoned, eyes bloodshot but displaying lackadaisical signs of peace. The pungent aroma was never far away on big celebratory occasions and activities. To be honest, on most Sunday afternoons. I often saw large trays of dried marijuana at the home of a friend, whose father built up a steady relationship with la marijeanne. I was somehow, never tempted. I was never presented with it (it would be an affront), and the idea of smoking even a cigarette was so preposterous to me, that it never crossed my mind. None of my friends smoked. Cheeky drinking was more daring, and yes, more acceptable.

Fact is, Caribbean countries’ attitudes towards cannabis varies. The Holy Herb, revered by Rastafarians, occupies a unique musico-cultural and historical significance in Jamaica, for instance. It is by far the largest manufacturer and exporter of marijuana. That is not to say that the official stance is not decidedly miltant, to comply with European and American big stick anti-drug policies. I would say that there is an attitude of grudging tolerance. Contrast St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which after the collapse of the Caribbean banana industry, has occupied a singular place as having the largest and most systematically cannabis fields in the Eastern Caribbean. The topography of hilly mountainous land and the liberal attitude of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves easily lend themselves to covert farms in the inaccessible north. Mr Gonsalves was elected on a mandate of “Rastafari, I am your friend” and he currently leads the charge for the decriminalisation of marijuana in the region, especially for those who use it for religious rites. In Grenada, and many of the other Caribbean islands, weed is readily available and sold on the black market although there is a faux militancy about its use and cultivation. A few ganja farmers’ plantations are targeted sporadically to appease the Christian religious communities.

I have a fairly level-headed attitude towards consumption of marijuana. I believe in its decriminalisation for personal consumption for the mere reason I think law enforcement should be freed up to deal with child abuse, sexual abuse, incest, cocaine trafficking and other more serious and harmful offences.. After all, Bill Clinton, David Cameron and Barack Obama all admit to smoking weed and they have not turned out too shabbily.

I do not think it should be legalised, primarily because it would ultimately become useless for income generation, as with all other products, India and China will ultimately flood the markets. There is a hope that perhaps, Caribbean grown cannabis can become like Habanero cigars, a luxury product but the debate on legalisation will come in a subsequent blogpost. For me, however, I am a risk-adverse person so I am unlikely to touch it, especially having heard of and investigated the link between ganja and paranoia, depression, long term memory loss and schizophrenia, especially among young black people. No thank you very much. I can’t help thinking that I might just be that one person who goes off the rails, thinking I can fly after just that one spliff, and I am too much of a scaredy-cat to justify the jeopardy. Let’s just say that the number of young, potentially productive persons I have seen walking around like lethargic zombies, red-eyed crusts of their former selves truly startles me. Call me dull, call me wet around the ears or boring. I can do without this high. Please can I have a bottle of Ruinart instead.

Posted by kimaspeak.blogspot.com at 10:14 http://kimaspeak.blogspot.com/2010/06/yes-i-am-from-caribbean-but-no-i-dont.html

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Hazards Of Sea-Bathing

Rose Cottage- Villa Beach Complex
Author: Dr. Kenneth John

This week, sea-bathing takes precedence over even our perennial political quarrel. This carnival season, hordes of visitors are sure to come to our shores partly to enjoy the pageantry, partly to take in the country scenes and swim in our waters.

Leaving out the Grenadines which are superb attractions in any language, on mainland S.V.G the most alluring beaches lie in the Indian Bay, Rose Cottage area. This week, I focus on the latter two tourist haunts, and particularly their neglect.

We can take our beauty for granted, for a thousand French men can’t be wrong, much more folk from every quarter of the globe who admit ecstatically or grudgingly that we live in an earthly paradise of which most of us are unaware.

Indeed we must become conscious of our natural gifts and potential. People and government alike seem to pay scant respect and attention to public health, safety and conveniences around the bathing sites.

I live at one point of entry to the beach, but the grassed road was last cut and cleaned in 1989, just before an election. The residents try to maintain this public road as best we could, but the drainage, bush, and garbage often get the better of us.
Government had better pull up its sock and pay attention to this untapped gold-mine, for instance, with improved lighting for safety sake.

We are impossible when it comes to public health. We enjoy stealthily getting rid of our garbage in secret hiding places. It amazes me that this despicable habit is practised in our area where so-called Middle- Class people live. The radicals and “Left-overs” of yesteryear used to call the area “the white coast”.

But down on the glorious Rose Cottage Beach itself, the piles of garbage have to be seen to be believed. The weekends are terrible. Indeed when people leave all their refuse including empty bottles sprayed all over the place, are left behind including memorabilia that tickle the prurient.

The one or two receptacles and public cleaners are grossly inadequate, but increasing their number will not help much. I am ashamed to say this, but basic public education has to be taught somehow, plus pride in one’s country and self which is totally lacking, and apparently difficult to imbibe.

To crown it all, there is more than a suspicion that septic waste probably empties in the sea and could be responsible for the eye and nose infection which occasionally affects swimmers.

Every year, a group of senior citizens from a town in North America holiday in Villa for about a month. They stay at Paradise Inn Beach club, that’s the only time I see the beach spotlessly clean. They happen to be Caucasians and it makes an interesting study to observe these aging people at work, on our beaches.
With the stern economic down-turn, not a few persons have turned to selling drinks and trinkets and rent chairs on the beaches to tourists at upscale market prices.

I serve warning that the competition is too hot for comfort, and one readily anticipates some ugly scene in the near future.
At Rose Cottage, one of these beach-vendors has decided to become residential. He cooks, eats, smartens up, relieves himself, and sleeps right there on the beach. It would appear that he is a deportee from North America who burnt all his bridges in his native St Vincent and finds it difficult to re-integrate.
Amazingly, these types do try to clean up their mess after a fashion, but mattresses in trees, pots and pans on the rocks, smoke and the destruction of our flora are all negatives which do not encourage visitors to our shores to observe the breath-taking sunset!

We are all indebted to a Barbadian Surveyor, Clarence Fitzherbert Richardson who did his utmost best to ensure that there is public access to all beaches, and “bathing right” for all residents secured by open spaces which could easily be turned into relaxation spots.

We must applaud the current Government for its gallant effort at making the beach more accessible to all. But it must do more, after the elections.

Right now, instead of knocking down walls, removing masonry and bits of concrete from the sea, in harking back to the principles of Mr. Richardson, Government is expensively completing a walk-way on the fringes of the sea to accommodate the general sea-bather where they could recover the beach for their people’s use.
For in the Villa area, not only did private businessmen encroach on the beach and “bathing rights” area, but some owners of land near the beach boldly and brazenly extended their private properties sea-wards at the expense of the citizens!
We might as well broaden the issue to touch other areas. The Government must acquire a small piece of land at Indian Bay beach to permit a reasonably sized parking- lot. And it must, repeat “must”, see to the provision of a public road to Sand Bay which unlocks one of the most gorgeous spots in Hairoun, Home of the Blessed.

To come back home to Villa proper, I do recall exchanging a few words with that “pioneer of industry” that constructed that offensive wall. After it was built, it created a hazard and an obstacle.- course for regular bathers including the aging Dr. Vivien Child who had many a fall trying to negotiate her way to God’s sea.

With time, the movie Pirates of the Caribbean constructed a walkway for their own purpose. One of my bathing partners continued its use after expiry date of its shelf- life and ended up with a nasty wound.

To add insult to injury, the present owners of the Aquatic have got into the act. In this day and age, they have been allowed to keep their wharf safe from intruders by cementing broken bottles and glass as silent but effective watchmen. I cut my hand once on holding on to the pier merely to keep my balance as I waded out to sea to begin my swim.

Of course, I only scratch the surface of a bourgeoning problem that demands a sense of restraint, give-and-take, and reality pitted against our self-awareness and dignity as a proud people.
Buccament and the Grenadines, especially Canouan and Mustique, spring to mind as sure challenges and teasers of our maturity and mental frame of mind of an independent nation.

Published: 06/10/2010 http://www.thevincentian.com/dcmain.aspx?p=0&i=5152&skin=75&tID=198

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indian Arrival Day

St Vincent's: The St Vincent's and Grenadines Indian Heritage Foundation (SVGIHF) St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) celebrated the 149th Anniversary of the arrival of Indians in St. Vincent on June 1, officially designated Indian Arrival Day. The highlight of this year's celebration was the performance of a visiting 10-Member Rajasthani Dance Group from ICCR. Program included and display of artifacts, mementos, and Indian cuisine at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste in attendance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Barrouallie Whalers of St. Vincent and the Grenadine

During the summer of 2010 The "Barrouallie Whalers" of St. Vincent and the Grenadine are engaged in a musical tour of locations in northeast US including the maritime museum at Mystic. They performed at a potluck supper in New Bedford that can be found on Flickr. See the previous blog. The following is from their website.

Who Are the Barrouallie Whalers?

The "Barrouallie Whalers" of St. Vincent and the Grenadines consist of several men who have worked in longshore whaling from time to time. Their home, Barrouallie (rhymes with "warily"), a fishing and farming community on the leeward (west) side of the island of St. Vincent, West Indies, has a history and reputation as a blackfish (pilot whale) hunting center during the 20th Century. Within living memory, Barrouallie men pursued various types of whales from Yankee-style open 25-foot wooden whaleboats powered by sail and oar in a manner similar to that of 19th Century American whalemen. The Barrouallie Whalers also are the last practitioners of a unique Eastern Caribbean musical tradition that accompanied their whaling activities. They call their a capella whaling songs "shanties."

Remarkably, many of the Barrouallie shanties are direct descendants of classic deepwater sea chanteys (sailor songs, also spelled "shanties") such as "Blow the Man Down," "Goodbye Fare-you-well," and "Rio Grande." On the basis of a visit to Barrouallie in 1966, American folklorist Dr. Roger Abrahams published a book, Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore, on Caribbean shanties. This book, which featured interviews, songs, stories, and photographs of Barrouallie whalers, became a reference of great interest to chantey and maritime enthusiasts throughout the world.

The Barrouallie Whalers include Edgar Mulraine, Alfred Mason, George "Tall 12" Frederick, Veron "Maysay" Harry, Milton "Proova" Anderson (now of Barbados), and George "Bopsy" Marson. Several of these fellows, who were among those Abrahams recorded in 1966, appeared in the cover photographs of Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore. They form the core of a small group of Vincentians who, since reconvening in 2001, are reviving memories, stories, and songs of their whaling days.

The Barrouallie Whalers Project

Conceived in 2001 by American Dan Lanier and Vincentian Vincent Reid, the "Barrouallie Whalers Project" aims to document and preserve important aspects of Barrouallie's whaling heritage, encourage the enjoyment of this unique culture, and publicize these activities for Vincentians and other interested persons throughout the world. On a cooperative, volunteer basis, Lanier, Reid, and the Barrouallie Whalers are actively engaged in the promotion of this project.

During the Spring of 2002, a remarkable cultural exchange took place when four of the Barrouallie Whalers traveled to the USA to speak and sing of whaling at America's premiere maritime museum, Mystic Seaport Museum® in Connecticut. The last remaining wooden American whaleship, the 1841 bark Charles W. Morgan, resides at Mystic Seaport as a testament to the great Yankee whaling industry that once employed North Americans and Caribbeans alike. This event came about through the special efforts of Craig Edwards, director of Mystic Seaport's Sea Music Festival, and Lanier. Former festival director Geoff Kaufman worked with Roger Abrahams and Mystic Seaport to issue a new edition of Deep the Water Shallow the Shore for the occasion. In October 2003, the Barrouallie Whalers journeyed to Friesland, in the Netherlands, to take part in a maritime festival at Workum. Dutch organizer, journalist, and shanty singer Stephan Kraan brought about this special opportunity to feature a series of performances by the whalers overseas.

In addition to those mentioned above, many other organizations and individuals have contributed importantly to the Barrouallie Whalers Project, including: Dr. Adrian Fraser; Carleton "CP" Hall; Anthony Theobalds; Rev. Alan and Beverly Berry; O'Reilly Lewis; Syd Anderson; Glaston "Stuartie" James; Shelford Dennie; Artwell Cain; WPKN-FM Radio; Stuart Campbell; Glenn Gordinier; Susan Funk; Pablo Cabenda; Carol Entin; Louisa Watrous; Michael Dyer; Randi Olsen; Randall Reeves; CK Web Productions; Stuart Frank; Lee Heald; Rick Spencer; Chris Dobbs; Sarah Fisher; Meg Frost; Peter Glankoff; David Littlefield; Shantyfestival (Workum, NL); Bonnie Milner; Cornelie and Reid; Matt McConeghy; Jonathan Parsons; Roel Verhoeff; Chris Freeman; Nathalie Ward; Capt. Bill Pinkney; Barbara Smith; Peter Kasin; Ankie van der Meer; Thedo Fruithof; Doug Echols; Rik Holwerda; Rensje Plantinga; Ed Verburg; Mary K Edwards; Bob Walser; Jim Mortimer; Don Sineti; Nanne Kalma.

From http://www.barrwhalers.org/index.htm

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

First UWI Alumna in the Office of PM

Professor E. Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies has extended congratulations to Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar who was inaugurated last Wednesday as the first female Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, following the national elections of Monday 24th May, 2010.

In official correspondence to the Office of the Prime Minister, Vice Chancellor Harris expressed his heartiest congratulations to the new Prime Minister and the People´s Partnership on their victory at the polls. "We at The University of the West Indies are doubly proud that another alumnus of this august institution has attained the high office of Prime Minister," he stated. The Vice Chancellor was also proud to acknowledge Mrs. Persad-Bissessar as the first alumna of the University to attain the high office of Prime Minister; an achievement which he believes sends a powerful message to female students at the institution.

Professor Harris confirmed UWI´s commitment to working with the new Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to continue to develop the human resource potential, knowledge and outreach necessary to promote the sustained growth of the twin-island State and by extension the rest of the region.

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar is the fourteenth UWI alumnus designated a Caribbean Head of Government and joins the ranks of incumbent regional Prime Ministers: David Thompson - Barbados, Dean Oliver Barrow - Belize, Dr. Tillman Thomas - Grenada, Bruce Golding - Jamaica, Dr. Denzil Douglas - St. Kitts and Nevis and Ralph Gonsalves - St. Vincent. Like her predecessors, PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar will be inducted into the CARICOM Park at The University of the West Indies, Mona in recognition of her achievement.

http://www2.bviplatinum.com/news.php?module=news&page=Article&articleID=1276078151

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

IMF Reports on SVG

St. Vincent and the Grenadines - An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mrs. Nita Thacker visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines during May 12-21 for the annual Article IV discussions on economic developments and macroeconomic policies.

The mission met with the Honorable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the Acting Prime Minister Mr. Michael Browne, members of the Cabinet, the Director General of the Ministry of Finance Mr. Maurice Edwards, other senior government officials, as well as members of the opposition headed by Hon. Arnhim Eustace. The mission also met with representatives of the private sector and labor unions.

At the end of the mission, Mrs. Thacker issued the following statement:

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been severely affected by the spillovers of the global crisis on tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investments. Economic activity contracted 0.6 percent in 2008 and 1 percent in 2009, after an average increase of about 8 percent in 2006-07. Inflation declined to 0.4 percent in 2009 from 10 percent in 2008, reflecting the decline in international food and fuel prices. The balances of the central government worsened in 2009. The overall deficit doubled to 3.3 percent of GDP and the primary surplus of 2008 disappeared to leave a near-zero deficit in 2009. The deficit was financed largely through issuance of Treasury bonds, leading to an increase in the total public sector debt to 75 percent of GDP, a jump of 7 percentage points from 2008.

“Growth is expected to recover gradually over the medium term, reflecting the projected slow recovery in employment and consumer spending in tourism source economies. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen further this year, reflecting in part spending on some one-off items, including the bridge loan to the airport authority and resources for the financial sector. However, over the medium term, the authorities plan to reduce the deficit through a mix of revenue and expenditure measures to ensure that the debt-to-GDP ratio declines in line with the ECCB recommended target of 60 percent by 2020.

“The banking sector requires close monitoring, as soundness indicators deteriorated in 2009. Also, uncertainty in the nonbank financial sector remains high, reflecting the fallout from the collapse of the CL Financial Group. In this context, the mission welcomed the authorities commitment to a regional strategy for resolving the issues related to this sector. Progress is also being made on establishing a Single Regulatory Unit to strengthen the supervision of the nonbank financial institutions.

“Upon its return to Washington, the mission will prepare a report, to be discussed by the IMF's Executive Board, tentatively scheduled for July 2010.

“The mission thanks the authorities for their warm hospitality and close cooperation.”

Monday, June 07, 2010

PM urges preparedness
Thursday, 03 June 2010

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC - Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has reminded nationals of the importance of disaster management as the six month hurricane season began on Tuesday.

“Disaster management is more than just preparations for the hurricane season. It must be imbedded in aspect of our lives to ensure that our families are safe,” he said in a radio and television broadcast to mark the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

“While we were fortunate last year …as it was one of the least active seasons on record, with the fewest number of storms since 1997, we cannot afford to let our guards down and become complacent this year,” Gonsalves said.

He this year’s hurricane season was forecast to be “an unusually active one”, with experts saying there is a 70 per cent probability of 14 to 23 "named storms”, with top winds of 39 mph or higher.

In March, the island was placed on drought alert after experiencing lower than average rainfall since October 2009, and Gonsalves spoke of other natural and man made disasters that have affected countries around the world in recent times.

He said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could have serious environmental and financial problems.

“One may wonder what all this mean for St Vincent and the Grenadines, and may assume that we are far removed from the many disasters being experienced in various parts of the world. However, when a disaster strikes in one place, there is a trickledown effect and economic fall off in rest of the world, since we are all interconnected,” Gonsalves said.

“It may mean job cuts and pay cuts for our friends and loved ones, little or no remittances coming home to relatives and friends, funds for programmes and projects in developing countries being diverted to assist disaster affected countries, cut backs on investments and reduction in trading, tourism, and other contributors to our economy,” he added.

Gonsalves said that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) had noted that drought management was still a low priority regionally and had received minimum attention in the CDEMA participating states.

He said his administration had reviewed the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy and Framework, a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) initiative designed as a response to disaster experiences in the Caribbean region.

“Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) is the management of all hazards, through all phases of the disaster management cycle — prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation — by all people, public and private sectors, all segments of civil society and the general population in hazard prone areas,” Gonsalves said.

“The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will do all we can with the resources we have to ensure that the necessary training and systems are in place to reduce the likely effects of hazards such as hurricanes,” he added..

Gonsalves appealed to Vincentians to pay attention to weather advisories and follow the advice from reputable sources, noting that information on the Internet is not always generated from correct sources and “sometimes is not applicable for our local situation”.

“While we cannot prevent hurricanes and tropical storm we have the power to mitigate or reduce the likely impacts on our people and their environment.

“…I am urging all Vincentians to get as much information as possible and use the information to ensure that every family, every business, every institution, organisation, ministry and department have a plan which will provide guidance on how to prepare for hurricanes and other hazards before, during and after they occur,” he added.

http://csmenetwork.com/2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7894:st-vincent-pm-urges-preparedness-this-hurricane-season&catid=122:csme-network-latest&Itemid=211
 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

St Vincent and the Grenadines Overview

The multi-island country of St Vincent and the Grenadines is a land of contrasts. St Vincent - the main population centre - is mountainous and lush. Rainforests thrive in the interior and La Soufrie, an active volcano, dominates the north.

Of the many islands and cays that make up the Grenadines, Mustique, Palm Island and Union Island are haunts of the rich and famous - offering yachting, diving and fine beaches.

These playgrounds are worlds away from the many Vincentians who are without jobs. High unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands.

Like other countries in the Windwards chain, St Vincent and the Grenadines has tried to reduce its reliance on banana exports after the European Union phased out preferential treatment to producers from former colonies.

Efforts to diversify the economy have been partially successful. Tourism is said to have great potential and there are plans to build an international airport. But the banana crop remains vital, accounting for around a third of export earnings.

Like many other Caribbean countries, St Vincent and the Grenadines has fallen victim to drug-related crime. Efforts have been made to tackle marijuana cultivation.
The country has taken steps to curb money-laundering, and a Paris-based organisation dedicated to tackling the issue has removed St Vincent and the Grenadines from its list of non-cooperative countries.

FACTS
Full name: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Population: 121,000 (UN, 2005)
Capital and largest city: Kingstown
Area: 389 sq km (150 sq miles)
Major languages: English
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 72 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 East Caribbean dollar = 100 cents
Main exports: Bananas, arrowroot (starch), nutmeg, mace, coconuts
GNI per capita: US $3,400 (World Bank, 2006)
Internet domain: .vc
International dialling code: +1784
LEADERS
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dr Freddy Ballantyne
Prime minister: Ralph Gonsalves Known by many Vincentians as "Comrade Ralph", Mr Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party (ULP) won a second straight term in December 2005, gaining 12 seats in the 15-seat parliament.

PM Ralph Gonsalves campaigned on his economic record
The opposition New Democratic Party won the rest of the seats.
The prime minister campaigned on his government's economic record, citing economic growth and the completion of dozens of major projects. Following his win he called for national reconciliation and an end to "perpetual warfare of a verbal kind".

Mr Gonsalves was born in 1945 and practised as a lawyer. He first came to office in 2001, ending 15 years of rule by the New Democrat Party.

The Vincentian press is privately-owned. The constitution guarantees a free press and publications openly criticise government policies. There are several private radio stations and a national radio service which is partly government-funded.

The press

The Herald - daily
The News - weekly
Searchlight - weekly
The Vincentian - weekly, owned by Vincentian Publishing Company

Broadcast

SVG Television - operated by St Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation.Ra
NBC Radio - partly-government funded national FM service
Hitz FM - music station, affiliated to SVG TV
We FM - private
Hot 97 - private
Nice FM - private


http://unionlideres.mercar.org/countrydetails.html?es_sid=AMERICAS&es_id=99

Web Pages

I ran across one of these Facebook pages and the browsed around. Try these:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/pages/SVG-High-Commission/113786951801

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/album.php?aid=92456&id=80736121770

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/album.php?aid=91580&id=80736121770

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/pages/SVG-TIMES-first-daily-news-from-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/8340852540?v=wall&ref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/DiscoverSVG?ref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/pages/THE-PEOPLES-MOVEMENT-FOR-CHANGE-St-Vincent-the-Grenadines/165565435185?ref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Love-St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/80736121770#!/event.php?eid=128066627212322

http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines/107121809323368?ref=search&v=desc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnIDXunVzRc

Friday, June 04, 2010

Whales

A search on Facebook turned up this item. Not new, but interesting:

A whaling crew from the whaling village of Barrouaillie, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, took a single Bryde's whale in early May 200 0. The crew were out hunting for their usual target species, short-finned pilot whale (locally known as "blackfish"), but none were found on this particular occasion. However, the boats encountered a small group of Bryde's whales and one was successfully harpooned. Advice on how to cook the meat of this baleen whale was obtained from the renowned Bequian humpback whaler, Athneal Ollivierre.

Great oaks grow

[A story from The Irish Times about Canadian musicians influenced by Garifuna.]

The Irish Times - Friday, June 4, 2010

In the space of three albums, Canada’s The Acorn have gone from being a solo hobby to a full-time band with a fanbase that includes Kanye West and Elbow. Rolf Klausener tells SINÉAD GLEESON where it all went right

THERE’S a murkiness surrounding the question of whether Canadian band The Acorn is one man or a bunch of musicians. What started out as the solo platform of Rolf Klausener has expanded into something of a collective, fronted and helmed by the Ottawa singer.
Ahead of the release of third album No Ghost , Klausener says that, having started his musical career alone, he’s now more comfortable with the bulked-out presence of a band.

“The line-up has transformed over the years and it’s never really been a very stable entity. I started on my own, and it took me two years before I started playing with other people. Initially it was a side project, because I was playing in several bands, but lots of them went on hiatus. Suddenly I found myself with very little to do, so I taught myself to record music. The first album was a solo record, but I got bored of playing by myself, so I asked friends to get involved. I never intended it to go beyond playing a few shows here and there, but the response was great and we ended up sticking together.”

One reason people assume The Acorn is a one-man band is due to their feted second album, Glory Hope Mountain , based on specific events in Klausener’s family life. His father (who died when he was a teenager) presented him with a family history, started by his Swiss great-uncle, which goes back centuries.

“He always intended to add our family story to it, and after he passed away I wanted to continue this. In 2005 I mentioned to Howie in the band that I was going to interview my mom about her life and history, and he suggested I should write some songs about it. My mom’s stories were so incredible that I told the band I wanted to write an album about it.”

Concept albums are a tricky beast at the best of times, but one based on the frontman’s mother? “I know! Initially, some of the guys thought it was ludicrous, but they eventually came around.”

His mother was brought up in Honduras, and Klausener wanted this to be represented musically in the songs. As a result, the album is influenced by Honduran Garifuna percussion, and features marimbas and ukuleles.

Laying out so much of your family’s life, there could be a tendency for subsequent work to be less introspective, or worse, to be inclined towards self-censorship. Was it daunting to write No Ghost ?

“What was daunting was the idea that more people would be listening to this album. In some ways this record feels more personal, because I was writing about personal experiences. I’d like to get to a place where I could write in a very direct way. There’s definitely no self-censorship, as I wish I could have been more lyrically blunt – but I like toying with metaphor.”

Glory Hope Mountain was a critical success, and it led Klausener to a crossroads. Until 2008 he was working as a graphic designer, with music “very much a hobby”. Touring would involve taking unpaid leave. Eventually he realised that a leap of faith was required if he wanted to give it a go full-time.

“I never intended to play music as a career or expect to have the luck and opportunities I’ve had. In my mid-20s, I started to get confident in my own songwriting, and thought: ‘Hey, I could probably record myself’.”

Klausener also works with other acts, recording and producing local bands in Ottawa. He and Acorn member Pat Johnson have been working on “an insane dance record” for the past six months. Really?

“Yeah, it’s full on crazy, early ’80s New York-style slash ’90s Eurodance music. The project is called Silken Laumann, after a famous female Canadian rower from the ’80s, but we’ve got about 16 songs. I don’t know what we’ll do with it, but it’s been a source of musical venting. As a music fan my taste really runs the gamut, and The Acorn seems to be the place that I put in most of my heart and soul, but I spend a lot of time recording other projects that help to exorcise my genre demons.”

To record No Ghost , they decamped to a small cottage in northern Quebec, living in almost total isolation. “It was about a band holiday and spending quality time together as much as it was about making the record. That experience in itself fed the entire writing process. It was so isolated – no phone reception, no TV, no internet – that all of us felt instantly quite free.”

Describing what The Acorn do musically is difficult. It’s pop, it’s folk, it’s full of percussion and instrumentation that hints at world music. To coincide with the release of the new album, Four Tet remixed Restoration, and musically the two acts share some common ground, as well as a contact: The Acorn’s manager is Kieran Hebden’s sister.
“We both get the cross-genre thing. On Four Tet records there are jazz drums, horns and electronics, but no one ever asks ‘What’s he doing?’. We had this idea to get people to remix the songs and we compiled a long list. We wanted Kieran to do it, but didn’t want him to feel pressured, so we just sent over the album, with no instructions. He came back saying he loved it and picked Restoration as the song he wanted to rework.

These days, physical abums sell fewer copies, while online consumption of new music has reached a frantic pace, so there is a danger that established bands could be cast aside in the search for newness.

“It’s definitely a question for the media, but there were times when I was constantly refreshing Pitchfork to learn about new bands. That said, someone like Smog just gets better every year, and I love the idea that artists can change and refine their craft. It’s wonderful to be curious about new music, but it’s silly to be close-minded to existing artists. There’s a law about the power of computers doubling every 18 months, so maybe that has trickled down into an artistic by-law. For me, interesting artists, regardless of what number album they’re on, will catch the attention of people who are interested in music.”

The Acorn have managed to do this, with both Kanye West and Elbow’s Guy Garvey praising the band – reinforcing the idea of them having an eclectic fanbase. Are they surprised by the people who like their music?

“Yes, absolutely. I’m not 22 any more, and sometimes feel that my songs are irrelevant to younger audiences. I mean, I’m not that old, but I wonder if the weightiness of the songs has resonance with younger people. The disparate ages at gigs always surprises me. You’ll see a 50-year-old man with his wife – and even his with kids – but what makes me most excited is that people listen and get something out of what we do.”

No Ghost is out now on Bella Union

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2010/0604/1224271777639.html

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Commercial

I just got an email from Blogger saying that they have hooked up with Amazon so I can sell you stuff under the guise of giving you unbiased information. This is just to inform you that I'm not going to sell you anything except St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This blog is going to continue to cost me time and money, but if it benefits St. Vincent and the Grenadines that's all right with me.

Speaking of that the store next to the county gaol has turned into a mall. The ground floor will be a pizza and chicken fast food joint and two floors upstairs have been divided into a bunch of small botiques. I'll write more about them when we get back from visiting the states to get some doctoring done. We are old, you know.

Mystic Seaport to host 31st Annual Sea Music Festival

Mystic Seaport to host 31st Annual Sea Music Festival

By Mystic Seaport


Event features daytime workshops, evening concerts, a children’s stage and a two-day symposium


Maritime musicians from around the world will celebrate the wooden whaleship Charles W. Morgan and her ports of call at the 31st annual Sea Music Festival at Mystic Seaport Thursday through Sunday, June 10-13. Performances will be held onstage Saturday and Sunday (June 12 - 13) from 12 - 5p.m. Themed workshops and demonstrations will take place aboard the tall ships Joseph Conrad and L.A. Dunton, as well as on Museum grounds. The festival also features evening concerts Thursday through Saturday (June 10 - 12) from 7-10 p.m. at the Boat Shed.

A special children’s stage will offer daytime workshops and on-site activities designed especially for a younger audience. Children will be able to create paper hats, banners and musical instruments in the Museum’s Discovery Barn and then participate in the children’s parade which marches through Museum grounds Sunday at 2:45 p.m.
The Barrouallie Whalers, a four-man group from St. Vincent in the Grenadines, will present a unique sea chantey demonstration aboard a Museum whaleboat Friday and Saturday, June 11-12, at 4 p.m. The group, comprised of Milton “Proova” Anderson, George “Tall 12” Frederick, Vernon “Maysay” Harvey and Edgar Mulraine, all worked in the shore whaling of St. Vincent and were documented in musicologist Roger Abrahams’ 1966 volume, Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore. Equipped with wireless microphones, The Barrouallie Whalers will perform songs that they sang while rowing whaleboats from their home shores 50 years ago. The men will be accompanied by colleague Vincent Reid who will be on shore explaining the Barrouallie tradition and music.

In addition, the 31st annual Music of the Sea Symposium, hosted in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, will be held Friday and Saturday, June 11- 12. The two-day symposium, which features presentations of widely themed papers by some of the country’s leading maritime scholars, explores the interaction between sea, music and song.

The Friday, June 11, symposium session will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. at UConn’s Avery Point campus located at 1084 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT, in Room 103 of the Marine Sciences Building.

The symposium continues Saturday, June 12, from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Greenmanville Church at Mystic Seaport. Museum admission is required (free for members). For a list of symposium presenters and topics, visit www.mysticseaport.org/smfsymposium.

The featured performers in the 31st annual Sea Music Festival hail from various regions of the United States, as well as from England, France, Ireland and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The lineup includes: 3 Finger Poi, The Barrouallie Whalers, The Beans, The Black Brook Singers, Jerry Bryant, David Coffin, Debra Cowen, Gabriel Donohue, April Grant, Cliff Haslam and The Jovial Crew, The Johnson Girls, Hughie Jones, Peter Kasin & Richard Adrianowicz, Bonnie and Dan Milner, Deirdra Murtha, Mustard’s Retreat, Nordet, Tim Radford, Stephen Sanfilippo, Steve Roys, Bob Walser, Bob Webb and Kenny Wolin, as well as the Mystic Seaport Chantey Staff: Denise Canella, David Iler, Geoff Kaufman, Barry Keenan, Chris Koldeway, David Littlefield, Don Sineti and Carl Thornton.

All workshops and daytime concerts are included in regular Mystic Seaport admission and do not require separate tickets. Museum admission is good for two days upon ticket validation (visit must be made within one week of purchase date). Tickets are required for evening concerts and can be purchased online at www.mysticseaport.org/seamusicfestival. Weekend passes are also available. College students will be admitted into the festival for the youth rate of $15 upon presentation of a current student ID.

For more information, including musicians’ bios and a schedule of performances, visit www.mysticseaport.org/seamusicfestival.

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org.



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http://www.connecticutplus.com/cplus/information/news/Entertainment_12/Mystic-Seaport-to-host-31st-Annual-Sea-Music-Festival86078607.shtml

SVG Parliament Approves OECS

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines parliament has unanimously approved a motion in support of an Economic Union of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves tabled the motion that also called on legislators to provide additional suggestions for consideration by sub-regional leaders for further amendment, if any, to the existing draft OECS Economic Union treaty.
Gonsalves told legislators that a tentative date of June 18 had been set for the leaders to sign the treaty that had already been initialed last year.

“The conundrum that we face, and I must be honest about it, is that even when we pass it here we may not have signature on the 18th of June because I spoke to one Prime Minister who went to his Parliament yesterday and didn’t take it and said he is not going back to Parliament until after the 18th of June.

“There is another one who has indicated to me that he has not done it either. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been in the leadership of this issue and we had decided and we had decided at the OECS Authority Mr. Speaker, quite properly to get an approval in principle at our parliaments, I want to stick in terms of the decision we took,” he said.

Gonsalves said he was not in favour of taking decisions at the regional level and not implementing them locally.

“The truth is the OECS Economic Union is the principle show on the regional road at the moment and I would not like us to not have it done,” he said, noting that OECS leaders will hold a video conference on Tuesday to discuss the stage of implementation of the treaty.

“I want to get it done so I could say we have done our work here and whatever remains is just some tidying up,” he told legislators.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said he welcomes the progress being made across the sub-region in relation to the move towards the economic union.

“It has taken a long time Mr. Speaker, far too long to arrive at this moment…and when what is called the larger integration movement CARICOM (Caribbean Community) is taken into account they have to pull up their socks.

“Nobody out there is going to wait for us. It is our responsibility to do it ourselves. It is not something we can shrug off,” he said, adding “if we do so we do so at our peril and the economies of our region will suffer and hence our people will suffer”.

“I want to urge all and sundry in the OECS to take this treaty very very seriously,” he added.

The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin islands (BVI).

These islands, except the BVI, already share a number of institutions including a Central Bank and a common judiciary.

Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory and a founding member of the sub-regional grouping, did not initial the accord last December.
The new treaty is an upgrade on the original Treaty of Basseterre that led to the establishment of the OECS 28 years ago. It allows for the delegation of certain legislative authority in certain areas to the heads of government and for the formation of a Regional Assembly of Parliamentarians comprising members of the parliaments of the individual islands.

In addition, the new treaty gives a “much more defined role” to the OECS Commission in getting the interlocking arrangements between the countries and the OECS.
OECS technocrats said that the changes would lead to a more efficient implementation of policy in the sub-region.

Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade Minister, Sir Louis Straker, told legislators that the treaty seeks to remove all “artificial impediments to economic transactions of goods, services, capital and labour…so that these things can flow freely from one state to the other”.

He said that while the cost of services and goods may vary from one country to another, the initiative would bring long term benefit to the sub-region.
“This does not mean that things would be identical in every OECS country …but the objective of this union is to strengthen the economic position of the sub region vis-à-vis the outside world, the global economic system and even the regional economic system”.

http://www.antiguaobserver.com/?p=33191

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Being Garifuna

The blog Being Garifuna> can be found at http://beinggarifuna.wordpress.com/

Looks interesting.

Garifuna Academy

June 1, 2010



To: All Students, Teachers, Staff & Board of Directors and Friends of GAHFU



From: Cheryl L. Noralez, President

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc.

533 East 16thSt .

Long Beah , CA 90813

(562) 366-9396



RE: Community Announcement





Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc. the staff, the board of directors proudly announce that The Garifuna Culture & Language School has been given a new name “The Garifuna Culture & Language Academy”.



We express our gratitude to Helen Laurie our Community Liaison for the design of the academy’s new poster. We greatly appreciate Helen’s vision and dedication to the GAHFU cause.



Furthermore we would like to say thanks and good bye to Arufudahatu Jessie Nunez for her contribution to our academy. She taught for 2 consecutive 8-week sessions. She is now on her way back to Hopkins , Belize .



GAHFU’s Garifuna Culture & Language Academy relies on donations from individuals and from a grant from The Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Please make a donation to help us continue this program. In addition, we would like to thank The Blazer Learning Center for the use of their facility.



You are also invited to come back to our next Session III which will begin on Saturday, June 12 through August 21, 2010. Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United is an exempt organization under section 501 ( c) (3) since November 2005 and all donations are tax deductible. Please visit the link to make an online donation http://www.garifunaheritagefoundation.com/243.html. Seremein;





Cheryl L. Noralez