The “Kingstown Lookout” at Grand Gate. (Photo: Patrick Ferrari)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]. 

It (see pictures) is too modern a wonder to label but it is used as a tourist lookout. So call it, “Kingstown Lookout – a ‘Wonder of the Modern World’ of SVG.” It is overlooking Kingstown and it is midway between the top of Gibson Corner and Midway Butchers. It is the roof of somebody’s home.

This nonpareil wonder; this so elegant a wonder; this so futuristic a modern design; this so peerless a thing of beauty, it would not be found anywhere else. Leastways, not until some less modern country send a top backward engineer — or an Ebenezer Scrooge — to copy how we do a lookout.

Visitors and a guide at the "Kingstown Lookout" at Grand Gate. (Photo: Patrick Ferrari)
Visitors and a guide at the “Kingstown Lookout” at Grand Gate. (Photo: Patrick Ferrari)

It shows that we are in a state of readiness for the influx of tourists in September when international flights start. Do we have Glen Beache and his SVG Tourism Authority to thank for this modern marvel?

Whether or not whomsoever has an arrangement with the owner is none of my business. But I hope he (it could be a she) realizes that should there be a mishap and an American tourist, say, falls over the eight-inch bulwark, down the fifteen-foot drop, a law suit would likely be coming their way.

And if there is a mishap, to which wonder hospital in which modern world would the injured tourist be carried? Back to the ship, nuh.

Patrick Ferrari

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

16 replies on “Kingstown Lookout – a ‘Wonder of the Modern World’”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Patrick, most of our people don’t share your travel experience so they don’t realize how second and third rate — primitive may be the best descriptor — our visitors sites and facilities are.

    Not to worry though; they are bound to leapfrog to world-class status as soon as our new “wonder of the world” airport is operational. Right?

    1. Patrick Ferrari says:

      Right? Glen Beache said the impact of the Modern World Wonder would be “instant.” Which is a wonder in itself. So yes, right.

      Beache is one of the tin gods who believe their own drivel. And in turn, has his set of believers who believe even when it doesn’t happen. And therein lies the irony: they do not need to convince those who are convinced beforehand and they cannot convince those who need convincing.

      1. OK, Patrick and C ben-David. All you is Vincentian born and bred. All you can say what you like. I is a Guyanese here on sufferance, Caricom freedom of movement notwithstanding. I not saying nutting. My brother-in-law has frequently offered to send me back to Guyana in a barrel. But as he has long ago moved himself to North America, I don’t take him seriously! But you never know with the “Luther Bonadie” types.

  2. Luther Bonadie says:

    My friend it’s easy to talk, anyone can.
    You have displayed typical dumb Vincentian talk .
    Mouth open , and SH**T goes in and out.
    Where are your suggestion’s, or one idea for improving, or developing, a Hospital or that look out you talk about.
    You mouth can only open, try shutting it up for once.
    Like I say typical ” Donkey Cart Minded Vincentian Talk “

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Whenever anyone offers criticism of the poor state of our pubic domain, especially the tourism sector, apologists for the government or the status quo immediately reply with the non sequitur: “So you think you can do any better.”

      We have dozens of big-brained and highly-trained civil servants whose expertise and training is to implement improvements for a whole host of public enterprises under the direction of their political masters whose job is to make policy decisions.

      Ordinary citizens like Patrick Ferrari (and myself) have neither the inside information, nor the political or administrate influence, nor the professional expertise to develop or implement policy decisions.

      What they do have are eyes to see and a brain to think. It is both their right and duty as citizens and voters to point out and criticize our many failing as a people and society.

      Rather than being ridiculed, they should be applauded for carrying enough about our country that they have no fear of holding the government’s feet to the fire by using their real names.

      Patrick, I applaud you for fearlessly “telling it like it is” even if you don’t have the power to make the reforms — in this case bringing a potentially important tourist lookout up to snuff — that our beloved country is so crying out for.

  3. Thank you Patrick. I see you have not lost your flair! I miss your weekly columns – they brightened my Friday.

    I wondered who would post something following the original “Wonder of the World”. Frankly, it left me speechless. It sounded so “Donald Trump-ish” – as in we’ll build the wall and the Mexicans will pay for it”. Which world do such people live in? Actually, now I come to think of it, the Vincentian Wonder of the World article reminds me of the letters to the press that we used to get from “Hans King”. Do you think that “Hans King” has a new name?

    And, when there is an accident, (a real possibility for both our Wonders of the World) where do we take the unfortunate tourists? To our “The Best Hospital in the Caribbean”? All I can say is that I hope all our tourists (if we get them) are advised to have insurance that covers medical evacuation. Because the accidents won’t be the run of the mill broken foot.

    What the original “Wonder of the World” article did not explain is why our Wonder of the World airport will bring in numerous tourists, when St Barts, with no Wonder airport, not even a large-ish airport, gets more tourists than we do; and why other West Indian islands get far more tour ships than we do. The “build an airport and they will come” mind set continues to amaze me.

    1. Patrick Ferrari says:

      Thank you too, Pat.

      For all the parroted talk of globalization and twenty-first century, we are an insular society that believes the world begins and ends with St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Well some of us. Ant to them, the airport is a Wonder; and this under- and undeveloped hat-in-hand country, and which depends on Venezuela and Cubans to build their Wonder, is a modern world. And with misconceived pride, proud like a peafowl, they advertise it to the public. Jesus, I shudder to think a St. Lucian read it – and I might as well shudder. Can I sue the author for maligning me? Under different circumstances, Ralph would.

      It is easy to programme these eagerly insular Third World minds but the larger problem is the programmers. After that fifteen years of surrounding themselves with the type of mind that cannot, will not, dare not offer “outside” opinion, the programmers themselves become, sans the stimulation, intellectually flabby and lazy, then they start to believe their own drivel. Take Julian, he believes that by June – like in next month – Arnos Vale would be sold and the money used to pay back the “interim loan” for the Modern World Wonder. Then having sold it, they are going to build a new city with it. Talk of Wonder: Arnos Vale is an elastic wonder. Or as I said elsewhere, it is the five loaves and two fishes.

      An airport is a “Wonder Of The Modern World.” Jesus H Christ. I seriously would not read it.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Patrick, there are actually several “airport wonders of the world” in size, number of terminals, and volume of flights and passengers.

        The problem is passengers hate them (because of their size, distance from urban centres — which is related to size — congestion, etc.). They also lose money or hardly break even despite the volume of traffic because they are so damn expensive to build and maintain.

        Small, commuter airports, on the other hand, are far less expensive to operate and therefore at least break even most of the time.

        As I and others have repeatedly said, including Peter Binose, to his credit, we already have a lovely and perfectly adequate international airport facility in Canouan. So Argyle was never needed excep a vote getting gimmick.

        As for peafowl — a word I have never heard in all my long life – what is wrong with the word peacock?

      2. Patrick Ferrari says:

        Peafowl? C. ben, if there is but any word you do not know, you’d look it up.

        But why peafowl? Easy – as my operator is wont to say. Let me tell you what went on in my head.

        You think of beauty, even exotic, when peacock is mentioned. And that ain’t the author. On the other hand, “fowl” in West Indian parlance is invariably derogatory. And that is.

        I cannot hold in high esteem an idiot who can call the unfinished, untested Argyle airstrip a “Wonder Of The Modern World.” The reckless and spurious landing of the LIAT aircraft was an abuse of position; a chest-thumping, vote-grabbing subterfuge, with a bunch of joy riders on board, does not count for a test – in right-thinking people’s head. And my response was all about the desperate, clutching at straws piece – and its author. (I still haven’t read it and plan not to.) So fowl as in peafowl it is then. (“Peacock; a male peafowl” – Oxford).

        Also, with that in my head and I being the writer, I though using “misconceived pride” and “peacock” in the same sentence would have been a bit of an oxymoron. “Peafowl” with “misconceived pride” was righter and more fitting for the rubric and its cowardly nom de plume of an author.

        Also, since “Vinciman” is pen-name, it is neither man or woman, fish nor fowl and peafowl covers both peacock and peahen. So there.

        Above all else, you, C. ben, is a little devil. You knew that good all the time and is a bait that you knew I’d take. Thank you.

  4. Luther Bonadie says:

    I say this with no regents, that any Vincentian who criticize anything in St. Vincent without a suggestion or a single idea of what they will, or can do to improve or better, is just a darm ” Donkey Cart Minded Foolish Vincentian ” That very much include you ( c-ben ).

    1. Hold on a minute. Why, if I say that a perfectly ordinary airport is not nor ever will be a “Wonder of the World”, do I have to say what I would do? All I am saying is that it is NOT, nor ever will be, a “Wonder of the World”. I doubt that it will even be of the standard of any major airport in the world. And we may not even need a “Wonder of the World” airport, just an effective and efficient port of entry; building a fancy airport does not, of itself, make us either effective or efficient.
      Why if I point out that our hospital is not, contrary to claims by our PM, the “best hospital in the Caribbean”, do I have to say what needs to be done to make it better/the best? I am not a hospital administrator and while I may not be able to propose improvements to the hospital, as a person who uses hospitals I do know when the service provided is not up to “world class”.
      We do have Minister of Government, whose task is to establish policy directions.Ministers have staff, called “public servants” whose work is to identify how such policy directives can and will be achieved. Together they should effect the improvements that all those Ministers claimed would be put in place, when, as politicians, they are seeking our votes at election time. To tell me when I criticize what they have done or failed to do, that I must say what is to be done, is nonsense. Especially if I do not have the expertise to say how the situation could be improved. So if I do not know how to improve a bad situation I should just sit back and not say that it is a bad situation? And accept glorified pronouncements by those who should know better, even when I know that they are, to use a Trini word, “mamaguying” me?

      Why, if I point out that building an airport, however marvelous will not of itself guarantee an explosion of tourist arrivals, (something I can find out by simply looking at the facilities of other countries and their tourist arrival data), do I need to say what will bring in the tourists? Our Minister of Tourism and his staff have opportunities to meet their counterparts at several international gatherings and to discuss with other professionals in the field what is and is not effective in this regard. But if I want to point out that we have fewer cruise ships arriving here than other Caribbean countries, I must tell them what to do about this failing.

      When I see a report that a Minister claims that the airport will allow us to export fish to the US am I not entitled to point out that fish is normally transported in refrigerated ships not by air; that air freight is expensive and would make our fish far too expensive to be able to compete with other suppliers? I must at the same time propose a solution. Of course, part of my critique is that I expect that a Minister of Government knows, or ought to know, something about the relative costs of air and sea freight. So what remedies am I supposed to offer? That the Minister stop mamaguying Vincentians?

      I think that you are either missing the point, or refusing to acknowledge, that the critiques are addressed to our politicians who continue to try to convince us that everything in the garden is lovely when we know that the garden is full of weeds, that are choking the growth of the plants; and that many of those weeds were introduced by those same politicians.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      You are a very poor student. I and others have long answered your non sequitur assertion that a critic is obliged to offer alternatives let alone solutions.

      Have you never heard of movie critics, for example, who perceptively evaluate films on various grounds though they have never produced one themselves? No rationale person would question their expertise as film critics. Perhaps you would which only proves that you are an irrational dunce.

  5. C ben-David – from Chambers Dictionary:

    pea-fowl – see pea(2)
    pea (2) – obsolete name for pea-fowl – a male or female peacock.
    pea-chick – a young pea-fowl
    pea-hen – the female of the peacock

    There’s also a pea-crab, but that is pea (1) And is case you want to know (I usually do; which leads me into all kinds of interesting byways when I consult a dictionary) it’s “a little round crab (Pinnotheres) that lives symbiotically in lamellibranch shells” (& lamellibranch a new word for me – shellfish in everyday parlance)

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Many thanks, Pat, to you and Patrick for enlightening me on the pea-fowl business.

      As you both know, “peacock” as in, “He strutted all about like a peacock” refers to pompous behaviour (often based on a fundamental insecurity about oneself) so peacock was just fine for Patrick to use instead.

      Actually, since strutting means walking like a peacock, the term strutting like a peacock, as evocative as it sounds, is syntactically redundant though it well describes our politicians, especially the Supreme Leader. Also syntactic hyberbole well fits their usually nonsensical utterances (see, for example, the Facebook remarks from Fitz Huggins, our Consul General in Toronto) even as most our masses appear to be beguiled by them.

      I still recall the wedding speeches of semi-literate village orators whose loudly applauded but nonsensical contents began to strike me as I began to gain the knowledge that came with age and formal education. The most nonsensical speeches I ever heard were delivered by E. T. Joshua at the old Market Square in Kingstown during the 1960s. I am told that young Ralph was quite taken with them. The rest is history.

  6. You guys are funny – Kingstown lookout ? A marvel of the modern world ? A tourist will think the entire country had lost its sense of good judgment. Are you laying on free donkey rides from Sion Hill to take the tourists up there to see it ? With the caveat – Please Sir or Madam bring your own carrot, stick and string as the donkeys are ecologically sound 4*4’s but we can’t release the handbrakes without these !

    A lookout car park – With its very own tree blocking the view

    Get moving SVG – AIA is coming.

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