Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement at Victoria Park, seen here in this Rico DeShong/Flickr image. The park is named in honour of England’s Queen Victoria.

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will soon establish a committee on the remaining buildings, roads and parks, “to reflect the post-colonial condition of our people,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in his independence address on Saturday.

The address was delivered at Victoria Park, a sports and recreation facility in Kingstown, named for Britain’s Queen Victoria.

“We all admit that it is high time to alter this particular naming which has been done in the past from colonial times,” Gonsalves said, days after the SVG Reparations Committee, in its independence message, called for places in SVG to be rid of their colonial names.

Gonsalves said: “On many of our streets and villages, we see the names of minor colonials that we call these places and these roads after them. Surely, we have come of age and we should be able to address this matter in a united way and move forward.”

In speeches earlier this year, Gonsalves noted that many places in SVG were named for colonial figures.

Meanwhile, in its Independence Message, the SVG Reparations Committee (SVGRC), which is headed by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jomo Thomas, a former lawyer, called on the government to re-name the Victoria Park “with a name more befitting an independent country”.

SVG is celebrating its 39th year of political independence from Britain.

“Our history is replete with outstanding statesmen, women and symbols from which we can choose,” the committee said.

It commended the government on the renaming of the National Insurance Scheme to National Insurance Service.

The committee further noted that the rewording of the Oath of Office for elected and high state officials now entrusts them to work for the people of SVG and upholding its Constitution rather than for the queen, her heirs and successors.

“The programme of renaming, reclaiming and renewal must be strengthened and given real meaning and life,” the committee said.

“Therefore, the SVG Reparations Committee is of the view that these flickers of conscious light must become a flame. The Independence anniversary celebration is a good time to rename the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force to the SVG Police Service,’ it added.

The SVGRC said that it was also calling on the Gonsalves government “to move swiftly to do all in its powers to find ways to recognize and integrate our heroic Garifuna brothers and sisters in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the United States in our cultural and national plans of development.

“The SVG Reparations Committee remains steadfast in the view that Independence and Reparations will remain empty slogans unless an untiring effort is made to lift the consciousness of people on all issues related to their history and place in the world.”

23 replies on “Places in SVG to be rid of colonial names”

  1. Imagine, the descendants of the slave master still want to dictate the way for the descendants of the slaves. Nuff said

    1. The Honourable Prime Minister has not a single slave-owning ancestor. On the contrary, he is the descendant of dirt poor indentured Portuguese sugar-cane workers brought here from Madeira to work on the estates after slavery was abolished in 1838 to replace the many former slaves who either migrated to other islands like Trinidad where wages were higher or began engaging in other economic pursuits here at home.

      You are a very ignorant person to slander our head of government in such a nasty way.

  2. Kmt is that the most pressing need to address as an independent nation?!!! Colonial names!!!… what difference would it really make in the lives of Vincentians?!! This is pathetic- sounds to me like someone grasping at straws but there are those who will shout yeah!!! How about addressing economic stability then as an independent nation…poor people fed up of eating BS for dinner

  3. Rewriting history will never alter that history. This is politically correct nonsense that will have no effect on raising our standard of living or giving the Garifuna back the land stolen from them or allowing them to come back here to live.

    The first name to be changed would have to be St. Vincent and the Grenadines itself. The second would have to be Kingstown. The third would have to be Argyle International Airport, named after a region in England, which the Prime Minister said he would never change.

    If these are not changed this silly joke will descend into a hypocritical farce.

    1. One of your best comments lately; especially the part about the name “Argyle”. Too bad we the people as a group are too blind and stupid to take note of it. We seem to like being Bull$!%%@#….Thanks just the same!

    2. ARGYLE, St. Vincent . . . . SCOTLAND . . .

      Sorry, Argyle is actually named after a place/region/peninsular in Scotland. Indeed, many Vincentians, including Black Vincentians, have ancestral roots there – – – too. This area was probably named as such after it was PURCHASED by a Mr. Campbell, of gentry connections. i have not yet been able to determine if prominent lawyer/politician’s name [or, ethnicity – – -perish the thought ?] was directly derived from this Scot-Vincy link. PR was one of my mentors who taught me the complexities of “psychological slavery” back in my radical school days, though I posit that he most likely will not endorse the logical conclusions that I may posit here.
      I must disappoint a lot of the history revisionists and anti-intellectual bigots – – – though I was about number two “Black Power” disciple at one point in my high school days – – – THERE ARE ACTUALLY, TRULY, FACTUALLY numerous authentic Afro-Saxons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are, objectively, a significantly mixed people and culture.
      Some would go stark, raving, mad if I were to here posit the full, true, roots of Jamaican REGGAE. I spare you the anquish. I still haven’t released that ethno-musicology paper. Sufficient unto the today is the provocation thereof. It would be so good, if we all held an open mind on most things historical.
      The substantive ARGYLE is in SCOTLAND, not in ‘England’. Quod errat demonstrandum.
      Keep the historical and politico-socio-economic discourses going, my fellow St. Vincentians.

      Yours in True National Development
      Steve Huggins
      CPA (UWI)/ A.I.C.
      Amateur Local Historian

      1. You are correct. I knew and forget this but was too hurried to re-check the origin of the name. Yes many of our slavemasters were Scottish.

  4. Every Black Vincentian will have to change their British surname to some made up African name. Indeed, our children have long been given pretend African first names even though most West Africans today have British first names like Jane and Mary. Go figure.

    But the Portuguese like the Comrade are off the hook because his people never lost their original surnames.

    Don’t people know that this renaming business is all poppy show and no substance?

    Welcome to our pretensive brave new world where true is false and false is true.

    1. We cannot forget that the real name for the main island is actually “Hairouna”. Should we call the nation: “Hairouna and the Grenadines”?

  5. Get rid of our Plantation names first

    Many of our Names given to us by Colonial Masters from Generations to Generations. Are going to change them too ? The watch word is “colonial” .
    Thomas is not African name, Gonslave is not mallato name, Campbell is not African name, What name will be given to Mr Brown, let me say that in SVG 99.9 % have colonial name .

    Our brothers and sisters that the government refuse recognize bears the symbol of SVG. Garafuna Name
    Most of names presently are planatation names. So get the ball rolling on our names first and then we can change the streets name.

  6. C Ben Davis my great grandmother was born in 1916, slavery was removed in 1838 and she used to tell us stories that was unbelievable and am in awe sometimes when I see black people crying for Jesus. Mind you, you make some good points but I all for wiping the imperialist shit from our island

  7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and many other Caribbean Islands would have been better off economically if they were still British Territories. The evidence is there. Look at BVI, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Turks and Caicos Islands. They have far better economies than many of the Independent Caribbean Islands who have a lot more. If not all, most of these Territories have a zero unemployment rate.

    This idea of renaming places in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is neither here nor there. Time to forget our Colonial pass and move forward. To change names would reopen old wounds. Even when many Caribbean Governments talk about colonialism they continue to sell out their countries and passports giving rise to neo-colonialism.

    Our focus should be on empowering our people so they can become more creative and innovative like other countries. We should be educating our people to invent new products and create value from the items that are in SVG. Prime Minister Gonsalves needs tell the Vincentian people how he is going to

    1) Stimulate the economy so he can reduce the unemployment rate

    2) Reduce the crime rate and make SVG safer

    3) ELiminate coruption in his Government

    4) Reduce the tax burden by eliminating personal income tax thus giving residents a higher disposable income

    5) Create budget surpluses so SVG can have monies for rainy days

    6) Create a National Health Insurance system so that health care can be more affordable

    These are far more important issues that needs addressing than renaming places. As far as I am concern the names are fine. This is just trivial.

    1. AGUSTUS,

      After 44 years in active politics in SVG, 39 years in actual electoral politics in SVG, and some 24 years in real parliamentary office (after the ideological hijack of the ST.VINCENT LABOUR PARTY, with ready collusion from my countryman Beache – – – who Peter says SOLD OUT – – – as Robert Milton CATO had apparently foreseen), Ralph Everard Francis Gonsalves IS DEMONSTRABLY A WOEFULLY SPENT FORCE IN SVG POLITICS.
      Many of the older folks, inclusive of SVGLP statesmen and leaders like John G. Thompson, Hudson Soso, Hudson Tannis, and St. Clair Dacon, used to say that the very worst thing that could happen to YOULIMO, the Communist Party in St. Vincent, would be IF they were to ever gain political power here.
      Through politico-ideological subversion, deception and RED propagandizing, they [or their ironic elites] were able to ‘get’ power – – – and WHAT A GROSS DISAPPOINTMENT THEY HAVE BEEN.

      Like Hudson Kemuel Tannis and Cousin Milton used to tell us, THE COMMUNISTS KNOW THE EASY PART, i.e., WHAT THE PROBLEMS WERE – – – BUT THEY ARE ATROCIOUSLY IGNORANT OF THE REAL SOLUTIONS AND HOW TO APPROPRIATELY DEVELOP THIS HOME OF THE BLESSED, HAIROUNA – – – THE Caribbean Mini-State of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
      It reminds one: The PRICE of Freedom IS eternal VIGILANCE.
      Long live the long-suffering people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and its true patriots.

      Steve Huggins.

  8. Brown Boy USA says:

    Why do Gonsalves found it fitting to address such a none-issue and avoid the more serious issues in our society in his independence day address? What’s the relevance here? There are so many pressing issues that is plaguing our country. Anyway, anything to get the focus of the people away from the real issues, that’s all that appears to be. It’s a sad state of affairs in my country for which my heart is not too pleased as a born Vincentian. Renaming stuff is not going to make us more independent. We have always been independent but nowadays is appears that we more dependent than ever before. The philosophy here seems like, let us chance the names of colonial places to show independence but keep the minds of our people in a state of dependency. That’s just my views here.

  9. About time, the one i am most upset about is our court of arms being in a foreign language. imagine having a passport and someone has to translate to you what is written on it’s cover. after all these years saying we are independent? shame on our leaders.

  10. Svg one of Almighty God christian Nation establish and brought about by great Britain England my friend , brothers and sisters don’t be fooled by this great evil of deception that is happening right before our eyes the God of this christian island is Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour of our soul again your soul this is the God you and i was brought up to believe in and to serve from your youth our language, education, judicial , religion , and way of life all came from England we are a blessed People but how have we forget who we are and where we come from christian soul the devil and his evil is to remove everything thing that Jehovah God the Father and Jesus has established from us this is coming to pass we are living in the last day .

  11. David Wilson, you are very foolish. So, taking steps to recognize your ancestors contributions in some small part to your native land is now tantamount to welcoming the antichrist? Please, tell me what has GB done for the people of SVG lately that we owe them, and their dead, our eternal allegiance?

    That said, I wouldn’t be completely averse to retaining SOME of the colonial names. History is what it was, and having a visible / accessible record of it is useful and, I believe, sometimes necessary.

  12. A lot of excellent and interesting points are raised here and I wish the PM could take note ………..
    hey Mr. Chance why dont you propose that the PM hold a town hall conference to address important topics but questions should also be taken live via online postings . This will allow persons living overseas and anonymous individuals to also post questions for a healthy debate .

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