Hundreds leave TAMCC for the world of work

Over eight hundred young persons from 45 different academic programmes are now looking to enter the world of work after moving on from the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).

Valedictorian, Khalil Buckmire

The college’s 2017 annual graduation ceremony was held at the National Stadium last Thursday under the theme: “Reorienting the College Curriculum to Cultivate Authentic Learning Outcomes for Employment and Social Fortitude.”

In delivering the welcome remarks to the graduants, Chair of Social Sciences in the School of Arts, Science and Professional Studies (ASPS), Claude Douglas told the gathering that graduation was a time to celebrate.

“Class of 2017, today is your day; laugh, cry, sing, jump, dance, kiss, hug, and love. Graduation is also a time for deep reflection. It is a time to reflect upon yesterday; appreciate today and anticipate tomorrow”, was his charge to the students.

“As you graduate today remember that you are an outstanding class, a distinguished class, a formidable class, a class burning not only with knowledge but with compassion and ambition; a class that will be a voice for culture and change. A class that will be committed to leaving legacies of grounded achievements and big picture deliverables,” Douglas said.

For the second time in 15 years, Sir Royston Hopkin, owner of the Spice Island Beach Resort, delivered the featured address at the ceremony.

The hotelier highlighted the importance of meeting the demands of the work force, as he singled out

Tourism and Hospitality as a way of keeping current and remaining relevant as the theme suggested.

“Tourism represents as I speak at least 25-30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in our country. Does that mean that we are going to turn out students with an Associate’s Degree in two years in TAMCC, they leave, they go into the Hotel Industry as entry level employees…but we have to address what is relevant and where we have to go”, Sir Royston told the graduates.

“…I am saying that unless we have our students upgraded from the established or the present Associate Degree and going and having an opportunity to do a bachelor’s in Hospitality and Culinary Management, we are not getting anywhere,” he remarked.

However, Minister of Education, Anthony Boatswain in delivering the charge to the graduants, shared a different sentiment to that of Sir Royston.

He said, “As we seek to address the issue of “unemployability”, it is prudent that we take a competency based approach to education and training. It is well known that technical skills and in particular ICT will be the major drivers of economic activity in the 21st Century. In fact, it is being projected that all jobs in the near future will be primarily skilled based and technology driven.

Some of the 2017 Graduates

“…I therefore urge you to prepare yourself for these emerging job opportunities or risk becoming another unemployment statistic.”

Graduating with a Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.88, Khalil Buckmire delivered the Valedictorian address and urged his fellow students to remember the trail along the way to their success.

He said: “All of us today have faced the adversities of College, the late nights, the seemingly impossible deadlines and assignments, the distractions and of course…procrastination but as we sit here all clad in our black and white, I believe it is fair to say that we have faced and overcame…

“…Our success was no walk in the park. It was hard work and dedication and navigating through high …. roads to get where we are today.

Buckmire recalled that: “…In the summer of 2015…we did not know what to expect but we came with the mindset to win and overcome all…we had all set our long-term goal as graduation and also realised that we had to overcome smaller challenges to succeed and so we started ok and our opponents were relentless in their pursuit to keep us back…we made in through and we had some really good experiences along the way…”.

He attributed the success of each graduate to their dedicated teachers and parents, to whom he said thanks.

RGPF promises a safe Spicemas 2017

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) intends to follow its motto of “protect and serve” as it puts plans in place for the 2017 Carnival Season.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Jessmon Prince hosted the media conference on behalf of RGPF

The plans of RGPF were outlined in a press conference hosted Tuesday by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Jessmon Prince at police headquarters at Fort George.

ACP Prince unveiled plans for greater law enforcement efforts and an increase in stops and searches of persons attending major shows during the carnival festival.

He said that patrons can expect “assertive policing” at every event to assure members of the public that the police force is prepared to ensure a safe and secure environment during the period to the best of its ability.

“The objective of our plan is to create and sustain an enabling environment that ensures the safety and security of all citizens, visitors and spectators during the carnival period,” he added.

According to ACP Prince, certain strategies will be implemented by law enforcement officers including public education, as well as assertive law enforcement activities at the community level and the complete mobilisation of the police force during the period of the festival.

These, he said will be used to achieve the objective that is set out by the force.

ACP Prince told reporters that the public can expect a gradual increase in law enforcement presence in and around hot spots, towns and communities across the island.

However, he urged homeowners and neighbours to continue to do their part by “exercising their responsibility to properly secure and protect their homes and properties while looking out for each other during their absence”.

“The public will also see police check points throughout the state of Grenada. They would also see an increase of foot and mobile patrol on the outer perimeter of events to include random searches,” he said.

ACP Prince disclosed that the police will be engaged in pre-checking of persons for tickets before they reach the entry gate at every carnival event being held at the National Stadium and Progress Park.

“We would see random screening and searching upon entry into these facilities. We would also see the presence of an anti-disruption unit through the capability of ejecting persons or a group of persons whose motive is to disrupt these events”, he said.

“…For all major events from J’ouvert to last lap on Tuesday midnight, you will see check points at strategic locations entering into the towns where these events are going to be hosted and venues. Also to control what comes in and what goes into these venues,” he added.

The high-ranking police officer gave a break down on what will not be allowed into the carnival shows by RGPF.

He said: “Prohibited items as it is customary would not be allowed to enter the National Stadium. So persons with licensed firearms need to take note of that. Persons who are in possession of flame throwing apparatus, also need to take note of that…open flames will not be allowed and aerosol cans will also not be allowed at these venues”.

ACP Prince stressed that carnival will be a ‘no glass bottle celebration’ and that all glass bottle drinks will have to be sold in plastic cups.

Disciplinary Action for IMANIS

Minister of Youth, Roland Bhola has announced that 35 trainees have been suspended from the Imani programme based on complaints from the public.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister Bhola said the suspensions are not indefinitely but were done as a form of disciplinary action against these Imanis.

He announced that a Complaints desk has been set up at the Ministry of Youth to handle complaints and concerns from the public about any trainee.

He said the government agreed to this course of action in light of the utterances from the public on those call-in radio programmes about the behavior of some IMANIS.

“We also have established at the Youth Centre what is called a Complaints desk because from time to time we will hear on some of our talk shows and radio programmes, people are calling and complaining or they are making noises of what they perceive to be a wastage of government’s resources…”, he told Parliament.

However, Minister Bhola was quick to point out that in many cases the complaints made by these people against Imanis are “not absolutely true” but “it is a perception of what they think”.

He chided some people for levelling complaints at times that Imanis are often seen at home and not on the job and wasting the resources of the State.

“…Mr. Speaker like I said, the IMANI itself has many facilities, there are many people who are engaged in the IMANI that are not placed at a job training … simply because they are engaged in the other skills training or probably in academic training”, he said.

“So, for example there are people who are engaged in the IMANI Programme that are now full-time students at TAMCC because we also embark on developing the academic pursuits of some of our trainees.

You may well likely see someone that you know is an IMANI Trainee and probably see them home at a particular time of the day and you may think that this is a person receiving a stipend and receiving government money and not doing anything,” he added.

According to Minister Bhola, there is a hotline at the Complaints desk for persons to call and over one thousand complaints have so far been made against Imanis.

“On the period under the review, Mr. Speaker I would just like to let the people know…so far we have received 1104 complaints at the Complaints desk and I feel very happy to know that we have been able to deal with 95% of those complaints that came in.

“…We also have Mr. Speaker at the Youth Centre, a Disciplinary Committee that would listen to sometime some of the complaints (that) the people at the Complaints desk think that it warrants going forward than just a complaint and an answer.

“So far 138 trainees for the period January to June (have) been brought before the Disciplinary Committee and were dealt with and 35 of those trainees Mr. Speaker (have) been suspended – some for a period of time. I do not believe that there is any permanent suspension but there has to be disciplinary action taken.
Minister Bhola conceded that the Imani programme is not perfect but it is well received by the nation on the whole.

“We are not in any way saying that the programme is perfect but there are still some areas that needs improvement. There are still some areas that we are working with and we are endeavouring to do our very best…”, he said.

He spoke of the need to ensure “that we get our trainees on the right path but most importantly that (the programme) will bring value for money and satisfaction to the Grenadian public that the tremendous investment that government is making in our young people is worth the while and is worthy of being emulated”.

The Keith Mitchell-led ruling New National Party (NNP) administration has been using the Imani programme as the flagship to tackle high youth unemployment in the country.

Minister Thomas: No pregnant residents at Bacolet centre

Minister of Social Development and Housing, Delma Thomas has dismissed claims in some quarters of there being pregnant female residents at the newly opened Grand Bacolet Juvenile and Rehabilitation Centre.

The female government minister told a sitting of Parliament that the centre which came into operation in 2016 is there to offer treatment and rehabilitation for troubled teens and has been doing just that.

“People are saying that there are inmates there who are pregnant. Mr. Speaker that is to just create a problem, create an issue to say that we are not really protecting but we are in fact having these people engaging in sexual activities.

“I want the record show there are criteria when persons are sent into the centre and there are things that we do before those persons are admitted. Every young girl who (is) sent to the Grand Bacolet Centre, we do medical examination on them and one of those medical examination is a pregnancy test because we want to make sure that no resident is not coming in there pregnant.

An upset Minister explained that the layout of the Bacolet facility does not allow for unsupervised interaction between the male and female inmates.

She chided some people who lack information and knowledge of trying to give the public the impression that “it is possible that there are young girls there who are involved in sexual activity while at the centre”.

“(This) cannot happen, Mr. Speaker because the girls are separated from the boys and there are persons supervising even when they have to interact together for classes and otherwise,” she said.

Minister Thomas pointed an accusing finger at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for spreading rumours about pregnancy at the centre and said that it is without any merit or facts.

“…Mr. Speaker while we might do things for political reasons, there are certain things for the poor and vulnerable persons to not bring into those issues Mr. Speaker.

“So, we want to ask that those persons in the opposition who are making those claims…if you have concrete evidence contrary to what we are saying then come forward with it.

“Do not speak on a radio programme and just make statements without having the necessary facts.
The Social Development Minister also alluded to a possible breach of confidential information about the inmates.

“…If a client come to you and they do particular examination, somebody outside there should not have that information – should not be speculating whether or not that test is because you are a part of the centre and you get pregnant there..”, she said.

Co-op Bank maintains highest customer service rating among local commercial banks

For a second consecutive year, the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., (Co-op Bank) is maintaining the highest customer service rating among commercial banks on the island, with an overall rating of 86% for 2017.

Customer Service Supervisor, Tracy Joseph

However, this year’s figure represents a 4% drop compared to last year’s figure of 90%.

This information was disclosed by bank officials during a press conference at Venus Bar and Restaurant in Grand Anse last week Thursday.

Commenting on the rating, the bank’s Executive Manager in Charge of Corporate Banking, Floyd C. Dowden said, “We are still in the high 80’s, which we consider exceptional”, and that the bank is in the “process of analysing the results to see where we have lost some ground and so once that is identified we would obviously put things in place to correct those.”

Dowden pointed out that the bank’s Customer Service Charter, commenced in 2011 with the realisation that “in order to continue to be the banker choice for customers, it is imperative that we continue to provide excellent experience to our customers every time”.

“Our customer service charter is a firm demonstration of Co-op Bank’s commitment to always maintain high standards in satisfying the financial needs of our customers and ensuring that our customers enjoy an excellent experience with us each and every time they do business with us,” he remarked.

According to the bank’s Customer Service Supervisor, Tracy Joseph, “an annual independent Omnibus survey is conducted among the banks and we (Co-op Bank) have received the highest rating for customer service among commercial banks in Grenada.”

The Customer Service Charter focuses on two aspects – commitment to customers’ to deliver excellent service and promises on the standards that can be expected.

An internal audit of Co-op’s Customer Service Charter is conducted annually to measure the bank’s performance against its promises.

The charter is audited in the following areas: telephone service, banking facility, accounts opening procedure, electronic banking, loan processing and staff attributes.

Joseph said the bank’s facilities nation-wide received an average rating of “84%,” with high commendations for being exceptionally “suitable, especially for persons with special needs, being safe and secure and customers were confident that their personal information remained private.”

She announced that an average rating of “79%” was received for the bank’s telephone service.

“While calls were not always answered within three rings, (the) customers service representatives were highly rated for being courteous and helpful, handling questions and problems received over the telephone satisfactory,” she said.

The Bank received a rating of “84%” in the area of account opening procedures.

“At Co-op Bank, we are committed to ensure that our account opening procedures are simple and (that) the amount required for opening an account remains the lowest in the industry (at $25),” Joseph said.

The female supervisor told reporters that while loan processing standards were not always met, the bank has “recorded improvements in our response time applications”.

“Our loan fees remain affordable despite the challenges at the market. We continue to operate in a highly competitive environment and will do our best to meet the needs of our customers by building a deeper relationship,” she said.

According to Joseph, the bank received a rating of “72% in the e-banking category, (while) staff attributes received exceptional ratings with an averaged 82%, for being responsive to customers being friendly and courteous and maintaining a professional appearance.”

Co-op Bank’s Executive Manager in Charge of Commercial Banking, Floyd C. Dowden

She said, overall, “65% of the bank’s customers indicated (that) they were satisfied with the bank and 28% indicated (that) they were somewhat satisfied.”

The Customer Service Charter was audited this year by Pannell Kerr Forster, PKF Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers and was conducted over a 1-month period.

Currently, the bank has a client base of more than 50, 000 customers.

‘Disquiet and confusion’ over NNP candidate selection

The New National Party’s choices of general election candidates in almost half of the seats that are being contested is causing ripples among politicians and members, WIC News understands.

After the debacle involving Terry Forrester – who sources have described as simply the first of many hoping to speak out – there are rumours of “confusion” among NNP members and a trend emerging of discontent.

And one supporter, who agreed to speak if only identified as a friend of a prominent party member, said: “People aren’t really sure what to make of the choices and decisions. And do not understand what Prime Minister Mitchell is doing.”

Among the issues being spoken about on the ground is how long Keith Mitchell – who has been PM since 2013 and also from 1995 to 2008 – will cling to power, and what plans are in place for a post-Mitchell NNP.

Nazim Burke, leader of the National Democratic Congress and de facto opposition in Grenada, said that it was “significant” that after 28 years at the head of his party Mitchell says he is unable to find a successor.

“It is hurtful for the country as no one person has a monopoly on ideas or a monopoly on truth. Grenada can benefit from collective wisdom.”

Long-standing member of the NNP, Terry Forrester, broke ranks earlier this month and complained of mistreatment by his party leader.

Forrester spoke publicly after being overlooked as a possible election candidate for the St George South constituency on multiple occasions, with Health Minister Nickolas Steele chosen for the next vote, as well as being turned down when he asked to serve in the Senate.

He said that “he kept smiling and pretending everything was fine” despite not being given any reasons for “being continually turned down”.

“The appointment of Steele is unconstitutional by the party’s constitution. Steele was selected and not elected,” he said, adding that he had written to the Chairman of the party (Gregory Bowen) requesting that there be a process of campaigning and voting for those keen to be appointed caretaker.

Forrester was also unable to get his diplomatic passport back – which he says he wanted to ease travel for his wife, who was fighting cancer. She died last year.

And although Forrester has apologised for apparent disloyalty to Mitchell, despite also accusing the prime minister of spreading lies, he will be running as an independent in the constituency.

St George South isn’t the only place that is mired in what Forrester called the “undemocratic and dictatorial style that we have experienced over the years.”

Carriacou’s veteran MP Elvin Nimrod, who is also deputy prime minister, is believed to have come under pressure from those in the party to retire, and the election method to find his replacement appears to echo Forrester’s criticisms.

WIC News understands that an internal poll placed lawyer Kindra Maturine-Stewart in last place behind two others, yet she was confirmed as caretaker in June.

And aside from splitting the constituency vote between Maturine-Stewart and initial front-runner Nolan Cox, the effects of the party’s decision appear to have spread to other potential candidates.

One insider said at least one high-profile figures may not run because of the treatment of Nimrod.

Many believe that the manoeuvring by Mitchell is down to issues regarding the 70-year-old’s future successor, who is said to be fearful of losing power.

One controversial choice is Peter David, the former General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, who is now a member of the NNP and seen as close to Keith Mitchell.

David is down to contest the St George seat at the next election but it’s unclear how the ‘old guard’ of the party would feel about the former NDC man taking over.

WIC News has reached out to the prime minister’s office to add their comment to the story but have received no replies to multiple emails.

NDC leader Nazim Burke has commended Forrester for coming forward and speaking his mind, telling WIC News that he sees a pattern of unhappiness with the NNP.

“His statements were very profound. Very telling in many respects, and presented in a most credible and honest manner. His observations have very far reaching implications for our democracy, our system of governance and our country,” Burke said.

“Above all, he painted a picture of Dr Mitchell, our prime minister as ungrateful, spiteful, callous, abusive, vindictive, dictatorial, and prone to telling blatant lies.

“He pointed (out) that it was actually getting worse as Dr Mitchell got older, and these are statements coming from a man who knew him very intimately. They have been working together, very closely, for the last 33 years.

“It is embarrassing to hear him speak of our country’s prime minister in such unflattering terms. The observation is clear: members of the party and the government are afraid of the prime minister and cannot seriously question anything he says or does – they’re a bunch of yes men.”

Delay in Albert Alexis sentencing

The High Court has adjourned until next month the sentencing of 62-year-old Albert Alexis for the May 2015 stabbing death of 31-year-old Alston Henry of Mt. Pleasance in St. Andrew.

Albert Alexis – awaiting his sentence for non-capital murder in the May 2015 death of Alston Henry

The sentence was scheduled for last week Thursday on the non-capital murder charge but was put back until August 28 by the presiding judge, Guyana-born Madam Justice Paula Gilford.

When the matter came up at the No.2 High Court on The Carenage last week, the female judge indicated that she was occupied with other pressing matters and took a decision to adjourn the matter to Monday.

During the scheduled hearing, veteran defense attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden made certain submissions on behalf of his client, requesting additional time to investigate some statements made in the pre-sentencing Social Inquiry Report (SIR).

Clouden felt the report was “very inaccurate” and bias against Alexis and does not give a true picture as it relates to the kind of person his client is.

Justice Gilford acceded to the request and even though the May 2017 assizes closed on Monday gave a commitment to hear the matter during the court’s vacation time on August 28.

Following Monday’s court session, Clouden later told reporters that the report contains “rather adverse comments” on the character of his client and that he “subsequently discovered that some of them (the persons who made the adverse statements) have personal vendetta” against his client.

He said the names of those persons involved were not revealed so they could not have been called for cross examination.

“…It was in that context that the Social Inquiry report was flawed, because it created a handicap for counsel and a lack of proper and accurate information for the court”, he added.

Pointing to the importance of his submissions, the criminal defense attorney noted that “the sentence the judge, would have to administer – a sentence in some measure based on the (bias) report – she would have received from the social inquiry officer.”

Clouden is confident that the adjournment to August 28 will allow him enough time to “make diligent inquiry as to who the persons were and also bring our own personnel for direct examination and possibly for cross examination”.

A nine-member jury on May 20 unanimously found Alexis guilty of non-capital murder in the death of 31-year-old Henry, who died following multiple stab wounds to his body, after an altercation with Alexis over a piece of land.

An autopsy report revealed that Henry died as a result of hypovolemic shock due to a stab wound to the chest.

Attorney Clouden had failed in his multi-faceted attempt to convince the jurors that Henry’s death was either by accident, manslaughter as a result of provocation, or an act of self-defense on the part of the now convicted man.

He had also pointed out that “the evidence was clear that the deceased (had) attacked the now convicted man, (who) responded by pulling the knife he had in his pocket after peeling fruits (and) that the victim had ran into the knife.

Alexis faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the offense.

Urbanisation as a new economic frontier

In 1994 when the Willie Redhead Foundation (tWRF) was established, it had as its mantra: “For the development and renewal of Urban St. George”. Over the years as the foundation began to evolve the mantra was changed to: “For the Preservation & Renewal of the National Heritage of Grenada”.

Despite tWRF ‘s extended vision the main focus remained the conservation and enhancement of our Capital City. This is so-because the foundation is convinced – despite unfavourable challenges, of the enormous economic and cultural potential that the City on a Hill possesses, just waiting to be explored.

This potential, sad to say – has never been recognised or appreciated by our post-colonial politicians and decision makers, but has been constantly referred to by our visitors and overseas organisations in their glowing remarks, when as early as 1930, the Georgian Society of the United Kingdom described it “as a charming Georgian town in the West Indies,” and in 1988 at the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Colombus, CARIMOS – the cultural arm of the Organisation of American States (OAS) undertook a survey of the physical condition of the Capital Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean and described St. George’s “as a monument of the wider Caribbean”.

Even the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in its reconstruction report to the Govt. of Grenada in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan, recommended as a matter of urgency the early restoration of St. George’s heritage buildings – with York House at the top of the list – which at the time was an insignificant amount compared with what it would cost in 2017.

But about two decades ago, the neglect and creeping obsolescence of the capital cities of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – St. George’s being a prime example, began to manifest itself in their disorganised urban sprawl, higgledy piggledy side walk vending, congested and unregulated traffic, a disregard by the Planning Authority to require as a condition of approval for existing and new building construction within the town, features that would harmonise with the historic architectural landscape.

Broken concrete sidewalks, vagrancy and litter; combine, to cause the then governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the late venerable Sir Dwight Venner to make a call to the Eastern Caribbean governments to take action to correct and reverse the urban decay in the sub-region.

Needless to say, this admonition was never heeded and the parlous situation in St. George’s today, has become the standard acceptable norm, with no sign of improvement in sight, when considering the quality of our current political operatives and their offerings; this – despite the fact that in Nov. 2000 the OECS ministers of the environment adopted the St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the OECS, which in the main, has been quietly ignored.

The Sentinel – being a part of the above milieu, was pleasantly surprised to have read in a recent issue of the New Today newspaper (of July 14, 2017), an article captioned “RE-IMAGINING CARIBBEAN CITIES” by David Jessop.

Mr. Jessop’s article was reporting on a forum of Global Cities recently held in Chicago, USA, where presenters postulated “the positive effects of well-planned urbanisation, and that cities create significant intellectual, and other benefits of value, in a world moving towards the provision of services through better educated, globally connected populations”.

In the Anglophone Caribbean he singled out two capital cities: Kingston, Jamaica and Georgetown, Guyana for quite different reasons which “may in the coming decade emerge as cities that will drive national developments”.

In the case of Jamaica he reported that “the UWI is to hold at its Mona Campus from Nov. 9-12, 2017 in collaboration with the Institute of Jamaica an international conference “IMAGINE KINGSTON”, which will focus on the regeneration of the city, and “aims at encouraging interested parties to a future KINGSTON that seeks to re-imagine the city as an example of urban pride and civic feelings about Kingston’s future through its architecture, parks, gardens, food, music, governance and a sense of community”.

In the case of Georgetown, Guyana, Jessop recommended a similar IMAGINE GEORGETOWN, if its authenticity as a city is to be retained, and suggests that with the exploration of oil and gas within Guyana’s territorial waters by Exxon Mobil, by 2020 Georgetown could become an oil rich state “with full employment, urban drift and rapid economic development”, which would demand an upgraded capital city.

Jessop observed that the region has grown tired of hearing about itself and its future in the same old ways, and indicate “that some governments, the private sector, and others are coming to recognise that with the right stimulus, mix of external factors and thoughtful urban planning, it is possible to create new opportunities, and IMAGINE a very different Caribbean in which cities stimulate development and new thinking”.

Would Urban St. George benefit from this new and radical 21st century thinking and approach to urbanisation, which the Willie Redhead Foundation has constantly espoused? Only time would tell, but time is not in our favour.

At this juncture however, tWRF would like to share the good news, in that a kind sponsor has agreed to fund a coloured brochure of the HISTORIC QUARTER of Urban St. George. The purpose of the brochure is to highlight the lingering charm of our Capital City in order to ignite our lost pride and to assist in invigorating the Tourism Industry.

The cover design would be captioned: “The Pride of our Waterfront Heritage, the Renaissance of Urban St. George”, which could very well be the embryonic beginning of IMAGINE St. George’s.

(The above represents the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation)

Sir Royston: Government needs to make education in Hospitality a priority

The island’s most decorated hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkin who is Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort has called on government to make it a priority to search for funds to offer Tourism and Hospitality as a degree at St. George’s University (SGU).

Hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkin hopes for degree in Hospitality

Sir Royston who was delivering the feature address at T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) graduation ceremony at the National Stadium last week is of the belief that the Hospitality Department is the direction Grenada should move towards since it depends heavily on Tourism.

He called for the introduction of a Hospitality Degree Programme by the year 2020 with St. George’s University and a Culinary Programme to be instituted by 2022.

He suggested that Grenada needs to approach funding agencies to get grants to allow SGU to do the programmes since the university already has the framework to do the degrees.

He said government should undertake the venture as “a priority” and do not see it as an expense for Grenada since “investment in the education in our youths is the future of our country…”.

“Just like how we go up and get monies, grants from CDB and World Bank for a lot of other projects in Grenada, we have to … go to the lending agencies and the foundations and raise the money…”, he said.

“…We have to look at it as an investment to the future because Grenada unlike a lot of other countries, Tourism is the engine that will propel us forward coupled (with) Manufacturing, Agriculture etc…”, he added.

Sir Royston stressed that the island should be in a state of readiness to meet the demands from the number of room stock currently under construction in Grenada.

“We have five hundred hotel rooms under construction in this country which will be ready in about four years. We also have four or five hundred under construction of apartments – that is now tourism.

“…Today, those of you who go down to True Blue, you see apartment blocks with 50, 60, 70 units being built.

“…Those thousands of rooms which I am talking about which you folks are looking for employment, you can’t get any because you don’t have the capacity.

Hopkin believes that if something is not done, the job to manage those hotels and apartments will go to foreigners as Grenadians do not have the requirements.

“Who is going to manage those things? Let me tell you, nobody (in Grenada), they’d have to bring in everybody (from outside)”, he remarked.

“…You need to get the local people on board with the capacity to run (the businesses),” he said.

According to Sir Royston, a lot of heavy emphasis should be placed on developing locals in the area of Hospitality, if government wants to deal with the problem of unemployment in the country.

“I am challenging the Government of Grenada, the Private Sector, the Hotel Association, TAMCC to sit like yesterday in a symposium to discuss the way forward (for) us Grenadians…”.

“I don’t want to be the only person every year (making the call and persons only saying that) …this is Sir Royston of Spice. I am tired of hearing it, I want to see other role models coming through.

“This is an indictment on us as Grenadians to be spouting one or two successful hoteliers (when) the government of Grenada and the whole …. country is (saying) that we want investors…”.

In recent years, tourism has emerged as the leading sector for job creation and foreign exchange earnings for the island.

Strange deaths this election season!!!

The Grenada Christian Political Party asks the question – why are there so many strange and questionable deaths occurring in this election season and election year? It seems to be a trend.

The talk on the street is that every election season a certain political party and politicians dive deep into the underworld, obeah, witchcraft and Satanism to become successful at the polls.

It is said that they indulge in bathing in blood and all other sorts of dark practices to achieve their goals. One of this practice is human sacrifice or what we commonly call, selling of souls to the Devil.

G.C.P.P asks the question – is this what we are witnessing with the number of strange and questionable deaths that are occurring this election year?

Deaths of mostly middle aged young men. These men are dying and their families are not satisfied with the cause or reasons for their deaths as reported to them.

We have a police force that generally one will say is a good one, and is on top of crime solving including murders.

However, these recent deaths and the various families dissatisfaction with the causes told to them, leave more questions than answers.

G.C.P.P wants to know if what town is saying is really the truth. G.C.P.P hopes the police truly and honestly solve them to put the families minds at ease.

The human sacrificing, soul-selling, witchcraft, obeah and Satan worshipping that these politicians indulge in when an election comes around, has it arrived? How many more people have to lose their lives because of nasty, low-minded, superstitious, blinded, expired, practicing sinners and politician?

Who for power will kill another human being to appease some low down, nasty Satan to get victory at the polls? Witchful thinking. Shame, shame, shame on you Mr. Politician for stooping so low.

G.C.P.P calls on the population of Grenada to identify who are these wicked politicians and banish them from Grenada, by not giving them a vote in the upcoming elections.

People of Grenada for two long now our sons and daughters of Grenada have been sold to the devil by politicians to win an election. The time has come for this to stop.

G.C.P.P has to report to you the Grenadian people however that the soul-selling ventures of these politicians have gone sadly so to a next level.

These politicians are now telling you to get registered to take the mark of the beast. The number you receive is connected to the multipurpose electronic ID card, they give to you when you get registered, is the mark of the beast with the ID card written of in, Revelation chpt 13:16-18, 14:9-11, 15:2, 16:9,11, 19:20, 20:4.

Those are scriptures that speak about the mark of the beast. Its implementation, its eternal punishment for being unrepentant, victory, repentance, wrath and plagues, judgment of its two main players and the reward for those who were beheaded because they did not partake of the mark of the beast system.

They are giving you the mark of the beast, again selling your soul to the devil. That’s what the politicians of the other political parties are doing to you today. They are selling the people’s souls in mass with the mark of the beast.

Almighty God has raised up G.C.P.P to be formed to contest the upcoming election and winning it to rescue Grenada from the mark of the beast.

The first order of business on G.C.P.P’s agenda when in government is to destroy and end the mark of the beast from Grenada.

G.C.P.P demands that the selling of the Grenadian people’s souls to the devil, whether by strange and questionable deaths, carnival or by the mark of the beast be stopped immediately.

G.C.P.P is fighting for the Grenadian people souls. Join today. G.C.P.P is the only alternative.

Read the service area of the classified section of this newspaper to contact me.

Derick Sealey,
Grenada Christian Political Party