“I hope that I would be remembered as being a person who was a friend of the Grenadian people, who was interested in the best interest of the Grenadian people and in advancing the US/Grenada relationship.”
Those were the words uttered by Louis Chrishock, the US Charge d’Affaires to Grenada in his good-bye ceremony to the media.
Chrishock left the island last Friday for the United States as his three-year term of Foreign Service in Grenada came to end.
The American diplomat told reporters that his service in Grenada has been the most fun he has ever had in the job.
“So many of my family and friends have been able to visit me here in
Grenada and we’ve been able to enjoy all parts of the country and so as I leave here with a little bit of a heavy heart, nevertheless, I’m comforted by the fact that Grenada won’t just be a fond memory for me but will be a memory that I’ll be able to share into the future with my closet family,” he said.
Chrishock stressed that what he is most proud of is being able to advance bilateral relations between the two countries during his tour of duty.
This, he said was done through co-operative programmes, training and through assistance projects.
“We are able to bring some projects which are ongoing…like the Public/Private Partnership with the Government of Grenada, the Cocoa Association, Diamond Display Chocolate factory, J’ouvert Chocolate. I am very proud of that. That was a wonderful opportunity of Government and Private Sector working together”, he said.
“We were also able to complete the Emergency Operation Centre project and we recently handed over in May, three Operation Centres which will help for disaster management and preparedness – one in Petite Martinique, one in River Salle and one in Black Bay…”, he added.
Chrishock applauded the ruling New National Party (NNP) government for “tightening down” on illegal activities in the country such as drug use and urged its continuance.
“I think that drug use is a very important issue for all Governments, not only in the region but in the wider Western Hemisphere and I think it’s something that we hold to our apparel and that includes both control substances and legal substances…the level of alcohol consumption that can lead to non-communicable diseases that can become a very serious health threat”, he said.
“…It is important to note that all Governments, including ours and yours face resource restraints. So I think rather than ask what more can be done, I think we need to ask how can we do what we do better, so it has more impact for the people that we serve and that’s an issue that we’re constantly looking at,” he remarked.
In reflecting on his time in Grenada, Chrishock felt it was at best “a pleasure” and recalled the efforts “to help our team here at the US Embassy in St George’s to advance bilateral relationship between Grenada and the United States…”.
He said this “ is going to be one of the highlights of my diplomatic career, no matter where I go, no matter what I do”.
“It’s been a real pleasure to be able to interact with Government officials, representatives of NGO’s, members of the media, labour officials. It’s been a real treat and I’ve been lucky to have this job, it’s been some of the most fun that I’ve had in the (US) Foreign Service”, he added.
Chrishock successor is yet to be named but he anticipates that in September or October the identified person will be in the country to start work.