Chester Simon seeks appreciation

Grenadian-born Chester Simon who is residing in Switzerland is upset with local authorities for failing to express appreciation to him for the several gifts sent to the island over the years.

Chester Simon – committed to giving back to his homeland

Chester Simon – committed to giving back to his homeland

Simon was involved in a battle with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell last year over a container of medical and other items brought into the country.

The Customs Department claimed that the foreign-based businessman had made a false declaration on the importation documents.

Simon has once again shipped another container of items for the island comprised of supplies for the Ministry of Health.

The restaurant operator in Switzerland called into a radio talk show programme last week Thursday to vent his frustration with local authorities on the container shipment.

He said he decided to start afresh with a new container of items and paid the duties to Customs for his personal effects, and even paid, and provided a meal for the workers who assisted in clearing the container that contained supplies for the State.

He alleged that government refused to pay the hired hands.

According to Simon, the container of items which were mainly medication cost him over $20,000 to get into Grenada and was placed at Dusty Highway for four weeks with him having difficulties in reaching the relevant officials at the Ministry of Health.

Simon claimed that he had to spend an extra week on the island, pleading with the authorities to collect the items.

He said he distributed 12 wheelchairs, and sent another to the Princess Royal Hospital in Carriacou for patients seeking medical attention on the mainland to be able to travel comfortably on the Osprey Lines.

Other items distributed from the container were almost one hundred pairs of shoes for nurses and doctors, and a machine for checking the heart, among other things.

Simon seems to be puzzled over the lukewarm treatment handed out to him by the current rulers in Grenada.

“I am wondering why are they doing this thing to me… I am still waiting for a thank you from the Government of Grenada,” he said.

Simon made it clear that he is not prepared to tow any political party line, but as a Grenadian he loves his people and that is why he is continuing to ship the medication and other supplies to the island.

“I don’t need anything, I don’t need a penny. I have enough (money) to survive until I die. But it is not fair they are targeting me personally. The only thing I’m asking them for is a little note saying thank you very much for helping,” he said.

Simon expressed fears that without the Grenadian authorities showing some kind of appreciation for the items that his contacts in Switzerland may not in the future provide further assistance.

His wife, Beatrice Simon, is equally peeved over the lack of appreciation shown to her husband.

She said that some of their friends who came on vacation in Grenada are upset to have learnt that a lot of the stuff that have been coming in the containers are not being used and just left to rot.

She spoke of wood ants taking over brand new hospital beds that were not distributed.

“The situation is really ridiculous… and some of our friends here (in Switzerland) went out of their way to help, to put a little bit of money or to connect us to people who have something to give, and then they find out the stuff is there rotting because whoever is responsible in that government which is obviously unable to do whatever they have to do… let things rotten,” she said.

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