HIGH WYCOMBE, England — Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Saturday addressed Vincentians, friends of SVG and other interested parties on developments in the country, at The Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe.
Following the Commonwealth high-level conference on governance for small island states in London, the Gonsalves-led delegation visited the SV2G School of Pan Music in High Wycombe before the Town Hall meeting organised by the SVG High Commission.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of National Reconciliation, Maxwell Charles; Cenio Lewis, high commissioner for SVG to the UK; PM Gonsalves, wife, Eloise Gonsalves; SVG Cabinet Secretary, Susan Dougan; Doris Charles, minister counsellor, Dr Christopher Stange, honorary consul for SVG to Northern Ireland; Levi Odoe – honorary consul for SVG to Nigeria; Chaudry Shafique and Perveen Shafique, mayor/mayoress of High Wycombe; Sebert Graham and Beaulah Brown, deputy mayor/mayoress of High Wycombe; officials from Bucks New University, dignitaries, nationals and executive members of the various SVG National Associations in the United Kingdom.
Themain speakers included Prime Minister Gonsalves, Minister Charles, High Commissioner Lewis, and Mayor of High Wycombe Chaudry Shafique.
Dr. Gonsalves updated the packed auditorium about all sectors of the economy in SVG, providing a background and context from the overall impact from the world economic crisis and what the government is doing proactively to create a better future for all Vincentians.
He detailed the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, tackling climate change, shifting towards a green economy utilising geothermal and other renewable sources, CLICO/BAICO, the Building and Loan Association, creative and expanding foreign policies, debt/GDP ratio, transport including new LIAT fleet and expanding routes, reparations for slavery and genocide against our indigenous people, Kingstown/Arnos Vale master plan, agricultural diversification, National Heroes, the Education and Wellness Revolutions, low- to no-income housing, tourism and direct foreign investment in Buccament Bay, Canouan and Bequia.
Argyle International Airport is expected to be completed and fully operational early 2014 with airlines to be announced in the coming months, he said.
Musical and cultural renditions were provided by Kemuel Spence and Frank Robertson followed by a question and answer session with the Prime Minister.
Staff of the SVG High Commission presented gifts of thanks to the various dignitaries and VIPs that attended the event.
The evening finished with refreshments and time to speak to the Prime Minister before his
He keeps saying that the airport will be finished and fully operational by early 2014 (1st quarter), when the IADC Chairman is saying mid summer (August). I believe Dr. Matthias’ projection date of mid summer.
I hope he explained to them about the US million dollars in cash, about the Vincentian/Canadian Diplomatic passport holder who was arrested with a kilo of cocaine, about how the man was niether a diplomat or employee of the government, about the unwillingness of the coalition of the willing, about how almost every cent for the airport has been borrowed bankrupting SVG, about how Venezuela failed to pay the Cubans wages leaving it to us the tax payers, about how the new airport runway level is above that of the arrival building aircraft apron, about the millions of dollars wasted on treasury bonds with an interest of up to 22% per annum, about how the Cubans are doing the work that Vincentians can do, about how the Cubans are carrying home our cash and wrecking our economy, about where the ULP share out money came from, about why there are 60 Argyle airport land owners who still havn’t been paid for their land.
Its all very well giving them crap with a polished surface, dig in and give them the smelly details as well.
I wish I had a recording of his entire speech. It is for this reason I cannot comment on the issues he covered – except one, the airport. I was in SVG this year and don’t share Ralph and his supporters vision of Argyle being operational in 2015.
I see a date of 2020. That’s when a 737 that hold 100 plus passengers will probably land in SVG. There will probably be one plane per week, until the infrastructure is completed to accommodate more visitors at hotels.
The airport will be finish in 2020 and mark my word , i had that vision and it will be just that no earlier no later.
With the current funding issues I predict the Airport being FAA compliant within 3 years realistically.
They played Pan music for Peter Pan. Filled them all up only with what he wanted to tell them and only what they wanted to hear.
All the other stuff, the important stuff that would throw a true light on the deceptions of situations, hushed up and unspoken about. Not telling all, in my eyes, is the same as telling lies.
I am not going to comment on the airport, because even Gonsalves doesn’t really know when it will finish, or even if it will be approved by the FAA and other international authorities. What we do know so far, is that it has bankrupted SVG, when we were told it would cost us nothing.
He must of laughed all the way to the dinner table afterwards, look at the size of him, I understand that they even had parts of the stage reinforced for extra loading. I suppose it could of been worse if Red Rene had accompanied Red Ralph. Like driving an eight wheeler truck over the stage. Why do I mention this? because he as public servent of the Vincentian people owes the people a duty of care to keep himself healthy and well, which he is abusing.
At least he hurried back to take control of who will be our pseudo national hero, his choice, not ours.
Pseudo = artificial, bogus, counterfeit, fake, imitation, pretend Yes the people put forward as National Heros carry all of those titles when it comes to heroism.
WAKE UP HIGH WYCOMBE YOU DON’T KNOW THE HALF OF IT
Ok, FAA compliant in 3 years, but it will take several more years for planes to bring hundreds of visitors to SVG. There have to be package deals that includes hotels and travel cost. That’s the only way to get several planes with hundreds of passengers a day flying to SVG. No 747 or even a smaller 737 will fly to SVG to drop off 10 or 20 visitors. The cost of aviation gas to land and take off will need close to 80 – 100 passengers to cover the cost.
Hence that’s my argument for 2020 operational date. Presently the infrastructure and resources are not in place to make it viable for package deals, which is partly responsible for the success we see in other islands, like St. Lucia (on a smaller scale and Cuba on a larger scale). We have to be realistic and don’t allow politics to enter into this equation. The Bequia airport is a white elephant, that Mitchell brought on SVG without much debate and consultation. That’s why there are so many questions being asked now. I am yet to see any transparency in the previous government and this government. At the end f the day SVG nationals are left with millions of dollars debts, and no one can say how or where the money was spent.
So my friends 2020 looks like a probably date and that’s my assessment on the airport situation.
PVPALMER, are you telling us you have a vision for 2020. That is great you must have 2020 vision.
Writer Geoffrey Morgan
My life was right in front of me but now she’s gone
Now it’s easy to see I was the one who was wrong
How could I be that close and yet so far off the track
Well I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back
Yes it’s clear to me now but I should’ve seen it all along
Why was I so blind to what I had at home
When a woman’s not satisfied it don’t take her long to pack
Well I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back
Lord it hurts to see it all when there’s nothing I can do
Loving her now that it’s too late makes me just a fool
If I open my eyes in time the future would look so black
I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back
I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back
Like the song, I think we will only know when the airport opened by looking back, not looking forward. If I open my eyes in time the future would look so black, I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back, I’ve got 20-20 vision but only looking back.
Well Peter, I know the 2014 or 2015 dates are not possible for commercial planes to fly into SVG. The airport may be completed before or after those dates, but it will take many more years to bring things online. The Buccament resort draws more people arriving by boat than by plane.
I don’t have the answer, but I saw many ships and yachts in Buccament, on my fishing trips, and that shows something is happening. These people are arriving by sea and they often sleep on the boats, so they won’t be flying in or out of SVG.
Let’s face it: The draw to SVG is the Grenadines and not the main land. That’s why there are hundreds of boats in the various harbours. What is important is to be able to service the needs of the yachts people, by local business people.
And of course it doesn’t take 20-20 vision to see how things unfold. Let me add “it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. In other words, most successful business were ideas before they became reality.
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