Unfair! sings calypsonian
December 11, 2009

Unfair! sings calypsonian

Popular calypsonian Zion I believes that he has been the victim of a referendum backlash.

The calypsonian, whose real name is Alvin Dennie, believes that his termination as a Shed Clerk at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority was because of his affiliation with the successful ‘Vote No’ campaign, and not due to restructuring of operations at the port, as his termination letter stated.{{more}}

“I see it as victimization and I think it all stem down from the referendum campaign,” said Dennie, on Monday as he visited Searchlight’s office.

The Old Montrose resident said that he had supported St. Clair Leacock in his community and had been encouraging persons to Vote No in the November 25th referendum.

“Even Mr. Leacock was on the radio testifying that I had done a wonderful job in helping the campaign,” he claimed.

Dennie claimed that last Friday afternoon, while at work at the Kingstown Port, he was advised by Operations Manager Lance John that General Manager Paul Kirby wanted to see him.

He said that his meeting with Kirby was a short one as the manager got straight to the point.

“In meeting him I was told by him that ‘I was instructed to dismiss you from your job as from Monday… when he said that, I say ‘For what reason?’ and he say: You didn’t know that the Port was going to do some restructuring? And I say to him ‘No’”.

“He said to me, ‘We are planning to do some restructuring and I was told to dismiss you from Monday,’” Dennie recounted.

Dennie said that he was unaware if anyone else was dismissed due to the restructuring process, and calls to the SVG Port Authority by Searchlight to clarify this went unanswered.

Dennie said that he asked to be dismissed immediately, since he was not happy to return to the job, and this was granted.

“So immediately I took my ID card out of my pocket and I gave it to him along with the reflective vest… and he said to me: “It is very sad when some people have to bring these sorts of messages.”

Dennie, who placed second in the national Calypso Finals earlier this year, is no stranger to controversy.

His 2009 song ‘Sing Leh We Hear’ came under scrutiny because of some of its lyrics, and had to be restructured before it could have been sung in the finals.

The veteran calypsonian said that he believes he was also punished for his song, since he was transferred from the Campden Park Container Port in September after working there since May 2006.

When contacted by SEARCHLIGHT, Kirby indicated that he did not wish to comment on the matter.

As for future plans, Dennie indicated that he was not interested in returning to the Authority.

He said that he intends to return to farming and his previous job as a tour guide, as well as pursue continuing education courses.

Dennie said that he sees his dismissal as a means of instilling fear into the public who might want to voice their opinion.

“They will now have to desist from doing that. If they have a family they might have to be very careful if they don’t want to be dismissed just like me.”