YEAR 2004 IN REVIEW – SVG makes strides in 2004
January 7, 2005
YEAR 2004 IN REVIEW – SVG makes strides in 2004


•This month commenced with Robert Barrett’s Palm Island Resorts (PIRL) withdrawing its proposals to manage the Tobago Cays under pressure from public protests over his proposed management of the national park. The proposal sent to Government on June 2, 2003, became an issue after Barrett’s PIRL was made public with copies sent to the media.{{more}}

•On Friday, May 7, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves embarked on a Prime Ministerial Tour dubbed “Linking Hearts and Hands” during which he used the opportunity to visit constituencies throughout the state.

•The Commission of Inquiry into the failed Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard hit another snag when it restarted on Tuesday, May 11. After hearing a repeat recording of former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell and former Attorney General P.R. Campbell on Monday, May 10, it was expected that former chairman of the National Commercial Bank, Richard Joachim, would finally make his reappearance, this time with counsel. But this was not to be. Instead Nicole Sylvester, counsel representing Joachim, appeared before the Commission to present what she termed preliminary objections to the manner in which her client had been summoned to appear before the Commission.

•Confronted with problems in staying in the skies, LIAT very early in the month of May also had to deal with turbulence on the ground. The sacking of two of its senior supervisors, Jeremiah Howard and Corbett “Donovan” Crick, on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, respectively with immediate effect triggered off industrial action at the airline.

•In the wake of his contract not being renewed and his claims that he had not been paid, Daniel Cummings, former manager of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), issued a public warning that no one violates his rights and gets away with it.

•On May 29 all roads led to Victoria Park where the battle was on for the coveted title of Miss SVG 2004. For the first time a university scholarship was introduced in the competition. Eight intelligent and beautiful young ladies came forward to compete and provide a quality show. The beauty contest was won by Javorne Williams of Enhams.


•An International Banana Conference was staged at the Methodist Church Hall on Tuesday, June 8, with wide ranging representation from the European Union, Jamaica, Belize, the Windward Islands and other banana interests. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves showed the world how unfair trade liberalization is, the gospel preached by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

•A pall of dismay and disbelief hung over the precincts of the court when, on Tuesday, June 22, the Court of Appeal freed Daniel “Compay” Trimmingham of his murder conviction, while ordering a re-trial for the murder of a farmer whose headless body had been found in a banana field.

•June did not end without added drama. On June 30, a Trans Island Air Twin Otter aircraft ran off the airstrip and crashed into the fence in the vicinity of the nearby Sunrise (C.K. Greaves) Supermar-ket car park.


•Once again girls topped boys in the Common Entrance Examinations. Two females, Nayla Pierre and Yan He of the Kingstown Preparatory School, headed the list of passes followed by male student Joshua Williams.

•Princess Monique successfully defended her Calypso Monarch title on Sunday, July 4, after suffering a bout of food poisoning just a few days before.

•Amidst the enjoyment of a Carnival fete onboard the Shipwreck entertainment boat, Antonio “Bogo” Cuffy, a 23-year-old basketballer and former model, was reported to have been dancing with a young lady when he received the gunshot that proved fatal. A community feud was sparked within hours of Cuffy’s death and there was a strong police presence at his burial.

•On Saturday, July 17, Stella James of Diamonds Village was picked as the winner of the Final Set for Life Draw taking prizes worth EC$500,000, which included a house, a Nissan X-Trail jeep and EC$50,000 cash.


•Differences between the government and the local Football Federation spilled over into open confrontation between Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Senator Leacock of the Opposition New Democratic Party during the August 3 sitting of the House of Assembly. Dr. Gonsalves, in a near hour long painstaking response to a question posed by Senator Leacock, forced the occasional intervention of Speaker of the House Hendrick Alexander, as an angry Senator Leacock rose to clear issues raised by Dr. Gonsalves.

•On Tuesday, August 10, President of the SVG Teachers’ Union, Otto Sam, accused the Ministry of Education of “tardiness and refusal to implement decisions taken at quarterly and other meetings”. He referred to the treatment meted out to the Union as “contempt” and of their “continued exclusion in issues affecting membership and education”. He also accused Minister of Education Mike Browne of not fullfilling roles and called the minister dishonest.

•Gas and diesel prices in St. Vincent and the Grenadines took a 75 cent hike on Monday, August 23. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement in the wake of rises in fuel prices internationally.

•The 2004 A’ level results showed an increase in subject passes by students at the St. Vincent Community College. From 698 subjects areas sat there were 477 passes. This was up from 394 in 2003, which presented a 21 per cent increase in the number of subjects passed.

•Soca sensation Kevin Lyttle received a royal welcome when he returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, August 22. Lyttle was welcomed back home in a triumphant way that he may never have believed possible on his home turf when thousands of screaming fans lines the streets to hail his motocade.

•Sixteen-year-old Kamal Wood carved his name in the records of academic excellence here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines after he returned outstanding grades of 11 ones with nine distinctions to take the highest honours in this year’s General Proficiency Examinations.