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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
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Vincentians will, on or before March 14, 2018 know who will join Joseph Chatoyer as a national hero of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told the military parade in Kingstown on Friday to mark the country’ 38 anniversary of independence that he has asked Rene Baptiste, chair of the National Heroes Advisory  Committee, to submit their final report.

Gonsalves said that the report will allow for the requisite legal processes to be finalised for the appointment of other national heroes before or on National Hero’s Day, March 14, 2018.

Chatoyer was declared a national hero on March 14, 2001.

Over the past few years, the government had engaged the public in an exercise to determine who should become a national hero.

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The sometimes contentious national debate has proposed a number of names, including first prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Robert Milton Cato, and former Chief Minister Ebenezer Theodore Joshua.

In April 2013, social commentator, now Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jomo Thomas, resigned from the National Heroes Selection Committee in protest against a speech Gonsalves delivered on national heroes one week earlier.

“I am convinced that the Prime Minister’s presentation has made our work superfluous,” Thomas wrote in his resignation letter to chair of the committee, former culture minister Rene Baptiste.

“His (Gonsalves’) talk was a good one and added much to the debate, but it has irreparably coloured and influenced the debate particularly since PM Gonsalves is the head of cabinet, which makes the final decision as to who our next hero or heroes will be,” Thomas wrote.

The resignation came in the wake of Gonsalves’ lecture on the topic “The Making of a National Hero: The Law and Practice in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, a large section of which was dedicated to making a case for Cato to be made a national hero.

5 replies on “More national heroes to be announced by March 2018”

  1. If a slave-owning traitor like Chatoyer who sold us out to the French so they could re-colonize our country could be our first national hero, then any dog on the block could be named as our second national hero.

    Anyone, including those on death row at Bellisle, would be a giant step forward from the quisling Chatoyer.

    1. C.Ben where can I obtain the information about Chatoyer? Is there a book that you can refer me to?Are those comments factual? What are your sources? Justin curious.

      1. See, for example, Christopher Taylor’s book “The Black Carib Wars,” University Press of Mississippi, 2012.

        There are also some essays on this site written by amateur historian (MA, University of Alberta), Anatol Scott (Jerry Scott’s brother).

        There are also so online essays I have seen here and there.

        The best source, if you are in SVG, are holdings in our own national library.

      2. If ordinary people actually knew that the “father of their country”, Chatoyer, was a slave-holding plantation owner who held the treasonous rank of French general in the Second Carib War, they might well wonder how in God’s name he could he have wound up as our only national hero.

        British Major Alexander Leith who likely killed the traitor Chatoyer in battle and was honoured by the colonists with a plaque (now hidden under a carpet in St. George’s Cathedral in Kingstown) for saving the day is unknown to all but a handful of historians.

        The treacherous turncoat Chatoyer — symbol of our nation; the brave fighter Leith — only good to wipe our feet on. How very Vincentian.

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