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Curtis King at a ULP event earlier this year. (Photo: Anthony Fonz Dennie/Facebook)
Curtis King at a ULP event earlier this year. (Photo: Anthony Fonz Dennie/Facebook)
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The ruling Unity labour Party’s candidate for West St. George, Curtis King, on Wednesday, used his inaugural speech as the candidate to present himself as having strong and long-lasting ties to the constituency that make him fit to be its Member of Parliament  

“I am neither a bird of passage nor ‘a fly- by- night’ resident, not me! I emerged from the bowels of our wonderful constituency of West St. George,” he told the ULP’s first virtual campaign meeting, broadcast on social media, radio and television.

“That is why I am in a great position to understand the issues that confront our residents in West St. George and to represent their interest at all levels,” said King, who comes to politics on the heels of his retirement after a four-decade career as an educator.

“This is your son, a humble member of West St. George,” King said who will face off in the polls with lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP)

He pointed out that he was born in West St, George and has lived here all his life.

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 “My character was shaped and nurtured in West St. George,” he said, noting that he attended the Belair Government School and spent his early teenage years working with youth and community organisations such as DUESO (Dauphine), FAYN (Fountain), GMYF (Dauphine and Ashburton), TBPO (Belair), GYPA (Gomea) and “the parent of them all, Belfongo”.

King said he subsequently worked with AVESCO (Arnos Vale) and ASCO (Ashburton) after he became president of the now-defunct National Youth Council. 

He said he played cricket for the Belfongo and Belmont Methodist Youth Fellowship cricket teams in the National 2nd Division Cricket competitions.

‘in building the capacity of the individual’

King said he taught at both the Gomea Methodist School and the West St. George Secondary School.

“And when it came to choosing a wife, I had no hesitation in marrying a beautiful, wonderful woman, from where? Gomea, in West St. George.

“My professional experience as an educator of 37 years and my voluntary work as a youth and community activist since 1982 have provided me with the life skills needed to work with all ages in the constituency: the young child, the adolescent, the teenager, the adult and the elderly.

“I believe in building the capacity of the individual so that he can help himself. I hold strong to the view that everyone has the ability to achieve his or her true potential. And while we all need help to do so, some need more help than others to do so.

“Further, I know from experience that success is a product of both good leadership and an enabling environment. It is a product of opportunities provided and opportunities wisely utilised.”

King said that in this context, it is clear to him that of “the two political parties” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) today, “the ULP is the one that offers quality leadership; it is also the one more capable of providing the enabling environment that is required for success.”

He offered two examples:  “the bold and creative leadership that delivered an international airport in the midst of the worst global economic meltdown since the 1930s; and the provision of an enabling environment for our students and teachers to create a revolution in education”.

King said that under the NDP — which was in office from 1984 to March 2001 — only about 20% of the under-5 age cohort were exposed to a pre-school or early childhood education.

About 40% of primary school children went on to secondary schools while an even smaller percentage gained access to post-secondary and tertiary education.

“They, the NDP, promised to introduce universal access to secondary school in 2030! The ULP has created the enabling environment to enable 90% of pre-schoolers to attend preschools; there is universal access to secondary education; that is 100% of our primary schools have the opportunity to attend a secondary school since 2005 while an integrated Community College caters for all students who meet the requirements for entry.

“And to crown those opportunities, the government gives scholarships, exhibitions and bursaries to all students who meet the matriculation or entry requirements to university,” King said.

ULP shares ‘my values and hope for our people’

The retired educator said he had “a front seat in the vehicle that was charged with transporting what I used to call the series of initiatives which if implemented properly, will lead to a revolution in education. That revolution has long arrived and is being consolidated!

“I had no choice, therefore, but to join the party that shared my values and hope for our people, especially our young people. For the last 19 years, the ULP has been engaged in a programme of transformation in every aspect of the Vincentian life; in education, in health, in physical infrastructure, in sports and culture, you name it. It has been a virtual revolution that has impacted our people in a positive manner.”

He said citizens are proud to be Vincentians “because of our achievements, locally, regionally and internationally.

“Today this tiny nation earns great respect in the international community as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Today this tiny nation gains tremendous respect in the Caribbean region because of its demonstrated commitment to regional integration and nationally, we feel good to be Vincentians because of the quality of our teamwork that produced a bridge over the Rabacca River, construct an international airport by spanning rivers and blowing down mountains and valleys .

“This Unity Labour Party has been nothing short of magnificent in its performance.”

Transformation reflected in West St. George

He said that transformation is reflected in West St. George.

King said he sees three distinguishing features emerging in the constituency.

At the southern end, a commercial center, in the middle, the emergence of middle income communities on the outskirts of the city and in the third dimension, is the agricultural and eco-tourism potential of the northern end of the constituency.

“West St. George is today one of the fastest growing constituencies both in numbers and economic development. But while much has been done, more needs to be done. We must not neglect those who need greater assistance, who need the enabling environment to help them to enhance their living circumstances. Let us collectively work together and build on the many achievements that this great party under our courageous leader, Comrade Ralph, has achieved.”

King said he was accepting the baton from Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil “Ces” McKie, who is ending his second five-year term as MP for the district.

He noted that McKie had received the baton from Mike Browne, a former minister of education, who also served two terms as MP for West St. George.

 “I thank them both for their role in the development of West St. George. It is now my turn to work with the government and people to take our beloved West St. George to the next level,” he said.

‘a sneak peek of our thinking’

The candidate said he had limited time at Wednesday’s rally to present the details of the party’s plan for West St. George.

“But rest assured that there will be other opportunities to do so in the near future,” he said, adding that he felt compelled to give you “a sneak peek of our thinking”. 

He said the construction of the acute referral hospital in Arnos Vale, the Belair Spa Project, and the coming construction of the Dorsetshire Hill Playing Field are all priority areas for the next term, along with the orderly and fair relocation of the residents of Pole Yard and the delivery of letters of offers to the residents of Upper Queen’s Drive, “so that they can finally own the lands that they and their families presently occupy”.

King said he was giving his commitment to the people of West St. George “that I will work with you to continue the progressive transformation that we have been witnessing in West St. George.

“I will serve you with honesty and dedication and will give of my best at all times. Curtis King is ready to serve, that is why I stand before you, humbly requesting that when the elections are called, you go to the polls and do the right thing, vote Curtis King.”

General elections are constitutionally due by March 2021, but Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has said that Vincentians will elect a new government by the end of 2020.

7 replies on “Curtis ‘neither a bird of passage nor a fly-by-night resident’”

  1. Curtis or better known as Baffie, the criteria for being an effective representative is never because you were born in the area. Secondly you were never part of Dueso. Your Friend Ces Mackie and you are ‘birds of the same feather’.You.know what they same about birds of a feather?They certainly flock together, to the extent that you and Ces are bosom friends. Remember you and the other will meet to lime at the usual place of your buddy every Friday night to lime.

    As far as representation is concerned, from a reasonable point of view Ces Mackie wad the worse politician we ever had in WSG and I want you to say otherwise. The pundits in the ULP realized that Ces being the worse political WSG ever had would have have been defeated . What they did was a direct swap between two buddies.

    My question is where were you Baffie(Curtis ) when Ces did nothing in WSG. You said and did nothing than to accept the baton from him hoping to fool the residents of WSG. Baffie I take is that you will promise a lot and deliver very little. The reason is that the funds will be controlled by the comrade.

    You are telling the residents that you will fix Old Bridge, you will do something with the spa and fix mountain Road. I am afraid you will promise a lot and deliver very little as your friend Ces Mackie did. In addition, you will face the wrath of the comrade if you try to live b up to your promises.

    The roads in WSG I would say are in the worse state. Last year a resident planted a banana plant on the road near the old Febie James Shop. Don’t talk about Queen Dr Rd. This was one of the best Rd in the country. The question Baffie, why should we trust you that you will deliver what you promised?

  2. The ULP that you claim shares your values have decided to punish the Teachers who took part in the a previous election. Despite having a collective agreement and despite the full weight of the law. Are you saying that you are also this lawless and spiteful and unchristian. They have decided to victimize independent minded Vincentians, destroy their livelihood and acquire their properties. You have never stated your disagreement or disgust with these practices and you expect my vote. No way.

  3. Curtis M.King says:

    Just for the record, DUESCO is the first club I joined as a teenager. In fact I was elected to the NYC’s Executive Committee while representing DUESCO at the NYC’s October 1982 AGM. This is a simple fact that can be checked!

  4. The worst type of grubby quislings are those collaborators who pretends to be on the side of the suffering abused! that stated, what price will we Vincentians pay for our eventual and final freedom from a single family dictatorship and Swiss Bank socialism?

    May God thus help us and deliver us from our own stupid folly,our having gained freedom from British slavery, only to fall prey to a family dictatorship! a family dictatorship that exploits our stupid ignorance helped by their numskull quislings!

  5. For the first time I must say a candidate has profess himself so strongly of his wants and hope for the candidate for west st. George. You are an educator and a great one at that. Go for it. You are heading in the right direction curtis. Good luck.

  6. Baffie has absolutely nothing to offer. Just another self-serving windbag trying to get on the gravy train. What does he have to say when the Comrade taking away private people land? What did he do when Otto was unfairly dismissed? Where was he when the so called Communist took monopoly of food at the new airport?
    Nothing. Baffle is dog.

  7. Curtis, God hate a lying tongue, that’s number 2 on His hate list. You watched as ces did nothing for the people, and you refused to say anything. What make you think you are different? You kept silent on the three teachers plight. To see
    evil and refuse to call it evil, that’s evil.. You said you all share the same value , well shame on you. The sour grapes the parents eat will set the children teeth on edge and this will be to generations. Hope one of those value is that you won’t be accused of nothing, so that your children won’t live a life of shame. Shame on you to eat the devil’s food.

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