September 13, 2011
Union Island Pan Against Crime to receive EC$25,000

The weekend of September 3 and 4 was fun packed, interactive and rewarding when the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force launched several initiatives and events aimed at reaching out to the residents of Union Island.{{more}}

The chain of events started on Saturday, with the establishment of a Police Youth Club on the island. Parents, guardians and the youths from the island were engaged in an interactive session with staff members from the Police Force. Putting ideas together, they planned the club’s formation. The Police Youth Club is expected to keep the youths occupied in meaningful activities and away from a life of crime and drugs. A total of 45 persons have since registered to be a part of this newly formed group.

On Saturday night, The Grill Restaurant and Bar, located in the village of Clifton, was packed to capacity when the Police Force launched a public karaoke night. It was a fun filled night when members of the public and police officers tuned up their vocal chords and gave renditions of several hit songs. Police Commissioner Keith Miller, who was present all night, gave his rendition, a duet which he sang with a member of the crowd. His highly anticipated voice was powerful and on key, most of the time. Also on the microphone was the voice of ASP Nicholls, who played dual role of MC and Karaoke Selector.

The main event occurred on Sunday, when the Pan Against Crime Committee, in collaboration with the National Commission on Crime Prevention, hosted a closing ceremony for the Pan Against Crime Summer Programme. The ceremony opened with a word of prayer and the National Anthem played richly on pan by two members of the Dynamic Stars, a local pan group from Union Island.

Several key persons gave brief remarks at the closing ceremony. Community stalwart Ulric Hutchinson welcomed the initiative. Summer Training Co-ordinator Owen Prescod vowed to continue the programme, volunteering his own time every Saturday and also made an appeal for parents to send out their children.

Parliamentary Representative Terrence Ollivierre, in his remarks, stated “Music is a stimulus for the mind; children perform better academically as a result of learning music.” He also welcomed the initiative which is something that the youths look forward to.

Attendees were entertained by several performances, including dances by the Clifton Primary School. Also performing was the Union Island Cultural Group in Action who brought back memories of the past with their Drumming and the Big Drum Dance.

Commissioner Keith Miller delivered some good news as part of his remarks, stating that the Palm Island Resort had pledged the sum of EC$25,000 that would go towards the local pan group in Union Island. He also stated “We do not want our youths to live a life of crime and violence.” He encouraged the students to work hard in school.

Miller thanked all the sponsors and also used the occasion to commend the staff of the Union Island Police Department, who along with the Canouan Police Staff captured, within two weeks, the persons responsible for a spate of robberies and break-ins in the Southern Grenadines.

A total of 18 persons took part in the Summer Programme and received their certificates from Miller. The ceremony closed with performances by the summer programme participants, the Roman Catholic Steel Orchestra, the Dynamic Stars group and Lady Gay Gay singing and playing a musical medley on guitar.

In total, close to 1,400 students were trained during the Pan Against Crime Summer Programme. The Pan Against Crime initiative was first launched in 2008. Over the past four years, close to 1,400 persons have been trained in playing the steel pan and 8 bands were established all across St Vincent and the Grenadines. This initiative is definitely bearing fruit in Union Island; the Dynamic Stars placed 4th at this year’s Senior Panorama finals.