May 27, 2005
PM sets election date

The date for General Elections has been set. At least in the mind of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday, he had ideas before leaving for a trip to the Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Trinidad on May 7, but came to a firm conclusion on a precise date during his reflections while on his spiritual retreat.{{more}}

Pressed for the specific date, Dr. Gonsalves in whom the power resides to choose that day, said he was not ready to disclose the date to the electorate. However, it can be anytime between now and March 28.

The Prime Minister said he was not saying there was any particular inspiration which he received to make the determination but, at this point, there is a fixed date in his mind.

“Naturally I thought about the elections while at Mount St.Benedict,” Dr.Gonsalves admitted.

Besides pondering on the upcoming General Elections, the Prime Minister said he thought about politics, life, himself “as a human being, as a husband, a father, friend, Vincentian and a member of the Caribbean civilization”.

He said his pilgrimage to Mount St. Benedict, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the Caribbean, has made him feel better and fortified.

“I have achieved a sense of greater peace with myself, who I am, what am I doing… And when I say I feel more fortified I mean my focus is strengthened.”

He added: “It makes me feel more certain about things I am doing. At the same time, I feel more humbled.”

Dr.Gonsalves said the monastery is located in a place of peace and serenity.

Among other things he said, it is a monastery which focuses on prayer, silence, contemplation and modest works.

Dr.Gonsalves disclosed he took with him from home the following reading material: “A Christian Community Bible”, the “Epistle to the Romans”, “Among The Flowers: A walk in the Himalayas”, “The Return of the Prodigal Son ‘The story of Home Coming”: donated by the late Sister Pat, “The life and time of Rome’s Greatest politicians”, “The Grenadian Revolution ‘Setting the Records Straight”, “Elsewhere” (a book of poems), and “The Caribbean and Intellectual History 1774-2003”.

At Mt.St.Benedict the monks do gardening, counseling, religious services, operate a workshop, a yogurt establishment, and a small cottage industry.