Our Readers' Opinions
January 23, 2009
What crime has Israel Bruce committed?


Editor: Kindly permit me a space in your weekly publication to put public my concerns on this matter. We have all had our moments of pleasure and pain having seen the national U20 footballers in action in the CFU U20 male Finals, which was staged at the Victoria Park. The government must be commended for the support lent to the SVGFF and the efforts of both parties commendable.{{more}}

I have been following the progress of this team for some time now and I am somewhat aware of the many challenges which face the players, technical staff, management staff and the SVGFF.

In light of the circumstances, I remain forthright with my view that the players did us proud. They were perceived to complete this tournament in the cellar position, with one caller predicting that would have been trashed by all the teams. Note the term used, not beaten but trashed. I generally felt satisfied knowing of their challenges and realities that the players did try hard. I wish to congratulate them, too.

We must remain, however, mindful that the coaching staff, headed by Kendale Mercury, seems to be bent on taking us to the furthest possible point in the championship, and one can see the effort put in by he and his technical staff.

Too often, however, we are not quick nor are we ready to recognize the efforts of those who are struggling behind the scene to make sure that: (1) the image of the SVGFF is protected in every undertaking (2) the general welfare of the players is looked after (3) the needs of the coaching staff are provided and all else that comes with management.

The manager of the team is a young man that I admire. He has spent many years doing youth and social developmental work in this country. Israel Bruce has demonstrated what it means to show mettle at a very tender age when he became President of the NYC. He also served the CDC and functioned as the deputy chair for rural Carnival activities in 2001.

Before migrating in 2005 in what many regarded as strange circumstances, he was a member of the Constitutional Review Commission, and the general view is that Commissioner Israel Bruce gave a good account of himself both locally and regionally. This assignment had its partisan political taint, but his performances at the various consultations were indeed professional in my humble opinion.

Having returned to St. Vincent & the Grenadines from North America in the early part of 2008, he immediately recommenced his community work with a group of young cricketers. It was after he captured the most outstanding manager award in the “Bottlers Marriaqua Sports Association, 2008 softball cricket tournament” that the SVGFF called him to service and he went in as a true patriot.

My investigation indicated to me that for almost a year now, Mr. Israel Bruce, with a Law degree from the University of Wolverhampton, England, still cannot find himself a job. My obvious question that goes begging is “What is his crime?”

What has this young man done that he cannot find meaningful employment in his country that he has and continues to serve unselfishly. I could not help penning this article after I heard the news on SVGTV that the Hon. Mike Browne was about to meet the unemployed players, with the view of responding to their joblessness. Is Israel Bruce a criminal? How can we as a country continue to utilize his services knowing that he has no means of feeding himself? Have we become such an ungrateful people or are we

so vindictive? Does this economic suffocation have anything to do with his short brush with partisan politics?

I hope not.

I am also aware that Mr. Bruce has applied to a number of places for jobs, only to get what is now perceived a template response. He has gone as far as seeking to volunteer in the legal fraternity so as to get on the job experience to better his chances for getting acceptance to do the Legal Education Certificate (LEC), as is in the Caribbean or the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) in England, all to no avail.

One can only imagine what psychological, economical, social and emotional stress he is going currently through. Where is the heart of St Vincent and the Grenadines?

I have seen persons who have given lesser service

getting scholarship to universities or their economic cost paid. Israel Bruce paid for his Law degree out of his pocket, struggling in the snow and heat after many years of

voluntarism. What has become of that line from Sparrows’ “Children go to school and learn well, or later on in life you will catch real hell?”

Could we have imagined a Vincentian citizen by birth and upbringing with a Law degree cannot find a job in his own country? What crime has Israel Bruce Committed? I would really want to see if the people in position in this country who are capable of helping his cause will turn a deaf ear and a blind eye on Israel Bruce, manager of the national U-20 team.

Concerned Citizen