Advertisement 87
Advertisement 211
Retiree Hudson Texeira, 73, has been waiting since 2010 for payment for a property the government acquired from him. (IWN photo)
Retiree Hudson Texeira, 73, has been waiting since 2010 for payment for a property the government acquired from him. (IWN photo)
Advertisement 219

Hudson Texeira came back to St. Vincent and the Grenadines eight years ago, after more than 40 years in England, where he had gone when he was 17.

He had worked as a nurse in England and bought a property in his hometown, Georgetown, in 1982, on which he had planned to build his retirement home.

The two-story building stood on 9,187 square feet of land and once had a business on the ground floor.

But now, at age 73, the man who now walks unsteadily with the help of a cane, finds himself in a battle with the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for payment for his lands, which they acquired in 2010, and now stand vacant next to the Georgetown Police Station.

“This was since December 2010 they published it in the gazette,” Kay Bacchus-Browne, the fourth lawyer who has acted on Texeira’s behalf in the matter, told reporters this past week.

Advertisement 21

Bacchus-Browne came into the matter in 2014.

Texeira is maintaining that he and the government agreed that he would be paid EC$250,000 for the land — EC$19,000 less than what a private evaluator said it was worth.

The retiree said that he and his first lawyer, Carl Glasgow and then Chief Surveyor, Adolphus Ollivierre had agreed to the EC$250,000 settlement.

But, Glasgow is deceased, Ollivierre is retired, and his successor said the government has no records that Texeira negotiated with the government a price for the lands.

“Now, they want to pay him just under $145,000,” Bacchus-Browne said.

“That is where we are at limbo because he refuses to accept that sum because he says his property was worth much more than that when they took it over. We have a valuation for $269,000 in 2011,” Bacchus-Browne said, adding that that evaluation was done by Franklyn Evans, a private evaluator.

She said that having come into the matter, she wrote Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne on 9 Feb. 2015, asking him to appoint an evaluation board, in keeping with the law.

When no response came, Bacchus-Browne again wrote the head of state on the matter in August 2015.

She was able to reach him by telephone on March 18 and the Governor General said that he should have responded to the letter and promised to get back to her, Bacchus-Browne said.
She said he wrote her on March 22 saying that he has forwarded her letter to the Attorney General.

In the meantime, Texeira is still waiting to be paid.

“So he thought he would bring this matter to the press,” Bacchus-Browne said.

“The man is seventy-something years old, has not had a cent from his land, they would not appoint the board so that we can have the dispute settled that is forcing him to accept the figure that they are willing to pay him. Hopefully, this will force the Governor General to do what he is supposed to do,” Bacchus-Browne said.

The property, which stood on 9,187 square feet of land, was demolished after the acquisition.
The property, which stood on 9,187 square feet of land, was demolished after the acquisition.

Texeira said he is “very disappointed” that the matter has not been dealt with and feels “anger and vexation”.

“I am very perturbed that I can be treated in such a way, in a disrespectful manner and … I am angry, annoyed.

“Why should I be treated in the manner in which I am being treated? It is my property I worked hard in damn cold England and I came back here to retire and settle down until I die and for them to treat me the way they are treating me, it is disgusting.”

Texeira said that the government had sent a woman to tell him that they were interested in purchasing the land.

There was a property on the land, but the state was not interested in the property, Texeira said.

He said that during the negotiation, he was told that he could take from the property anything that he wanted.

Texeira said that in light of this, he agreed to accept the EC$250,000 that he said was negotiated with the then Chief Surveyor, Adolphus Ollivierre.

“… I am a fair-minded man,” Texeira said.

“But the irony is that Mr. Keith Francis, who took over, says I never went and negotiated with Mr. Ollivierre. There is nothing there in writing. He wrote to my lawyer to say I never negotiated with Mr. Ollivierre.”

Texeira said he had never sold a property in SVG before and didn’t know how it was done.

In England, two lawyers would negotiate, he said.

“But here, it is diabolical how they treat you with your property…”

He said that after the negotiations, Ollivierre had told him to send his account number and whenever the money is approved, he would call him to sign and the money would go to his account.

“I accept him in good grace because I thought it was genuine and I never queried it. So I left it at him. Weeks gone, months gone, I couldn’t hear anything. That’s why I went to these different lawyers…

“This is indecent how I have been treated. How can I be treated like that? This is wicked beyond words,” Texeira said.

“My property was to be my retirement home,” he said, adding that during the negotiations he also spoke with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

“I went to see the Prime Minister; he talked to me so nicely… He told me whatever was the market value I would be paid for it. I told him that is my retirement property,” Texeira said, adding that Gonsalves said told him Ollivierre would assist him in locating another property.

“I even went to see Mr. Ollivierre and he promised me some land. The land never materialised.”

Texeira said he lives at Georgetown in the home of his deceased mother.

“But I am very unhappy living there. I have a younger brother living with me and it is not my property. And my mother is now dead. I had already worked for my own property. I should have been living in my own property, rent it out — I had everything I was going to do with my property,” he said.

15 replies on “73-y-o retiree demands payment for property gov’t acquired”

  1. I believe the Governor General like everyone else is frightened of Dr Salt so you will get little result there. Remember he rushed to sign in this government amid a call of election fraud.

    Dr Salt has been recalled to Cuba later this week for fresh instructions on the elections.
    There are still 61 people owed for their land at Argyle, land stolen by the government to build the airport on.

    Bigger Bigs had his business destroyed and snatched from him, and 60 workers piled on the scrap heap — families with children and babies unable to feed and support themselves.

    Marcus De Freitas, had his commercial property in Kingstown stolen by the government from him and still awaiting payment 12 years later.

    All those government workers fired from their jobs, because they asked for pay and expenses owed to them. More families with children, unable to feed and support themselves.

    See what I wrote in 2004

    Mr Texeira expect nothing in your life time from this government they are specialists in breaching the constitutional and human rights of Vincentian citizens, you are just one in a long line of such people.

    Remember whatever you do in the courts at the end of the day you will have to come back to Papa, because he said so.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    The most frightening words in SVG are: “I’m from the government and we want to buy your land.” (Apologies to Ronald Reagan)

    Actually, people who engage in lawyer hopping often have severe issues of their own. Also, a “private evaluator” in little SVG will value a property for any amount selected by his client.

    Wickedness, incompetence, greed? Who can tell without a lot more information from all parties concerned.

    As a side note, why on earth would a retiree want to build a home on the noisy and dusty main road in Gerogetown?

    1. Actually in this case he DOES NOT have any “severe issues” of his own but I guess if you appoint a lawyer you trust that the lawyer will work in your interests but from what I have heard about good honest lawyers in SVG they are very very few and far between….always out for a quick buck to line their own pockets especially when their client is based overseas. As to your side note…the house was not built yesterday or a few years ago, he has had the property, business and land for over 30 years that I have known him. I know he is telling the truth and I feel for him because he buss his behind in England and looked forward to going back to his homeland and this is what he has to put up with.

      Quite convenient that there is no record of any agreement but there again…from what I know of the behaviour of “officials” the most of them behave like snakes slithering along and waiting to lick down its next “trusting” client.

      1. There are many decent lawyers in SVG, and yes, some snakes too. For many of them it depends on who the client is. Humans can change color quickly,”Vampire or victim, it depends on who is around”. I have heard the government has done this many times. What do you expect when certain people and/or institutions do not have integrity as a leading principle?

    2. Mr. Ben, stop your nonsense. I suppose SVG is a free country…or that’s in my dreams? That’s the man’s property and if that was his choice to live there no one should dictate differently.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        It wasn’t the legal issue I was referring to. I was only making a nasty side comment that when you build next to a police station is commess you a look for a commess you a get, hence my reference to his being a melee-man.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Wanting to build a retirement home next to the Georgetown place station is the sure sign of a melee-man.

    1. I can assure you that he is not a melee-man…quite the opposite which is probably his downfall as he a decent honest hard working man and maybe too trusting of “officials”.

  4. Up and down the Caribbean is the same with these wicked Governments with regards to land
    and black land owners. If Mr. Texeira was a white man that money would have been paid long time for much more than the market value.

    Shame on you wicked Governments!!

    1. Do not play the race card. It just so happens that 97% of SVG is of African Heritage. Race has nothing to do with it. I can tell you of a number of cases where the government took even millions from whites, and foreigners too. It is a question of who is in favour and who is not. The government will screw all of us out of the fruits of our labor unless you very much support labour. After all they “love the people”.

  5. C. ben-David says:

    Isn’t this the same Kay Bacchus-Browne responsible for the improper filing of the election petitions?

    If so, Mr. Texeira may soon be looking for lawyer number five.

  6. Watching Hard says:

    Was the agreement to pay the 250,000 negotiated by word of mouth? Any good lawyer would have the government’s agreement to pay the money in writing. So he hired four different lawyers and none of them has the government’s agreement in writing? I’m speechless. I feel sorry for this gentleman. He should have retired somewhere else. In fact I would tell anyone considering retiring in SVG that for the sake of their sanity they should go somewhere else. This place is hopeless.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      SVG is indeed hard on old people, especially retirees with little or no family or close friends left. These people are:

      1. robbed by thieves.
      2. ripped off by shady contractors and tradesmen.
      3. begged to death from morning to night by envious neighbours.
      4. deprived of the most basic health care treatment.
      5. unable to walk safely on our poor excuse for roads.
      6. degraded by a lack of handicap facilities or services.

Comments closed.