Our Readers' Opinions
February 24, 2017
Give Jack his jacket

Ralph E Gonsalves – For such a time as this

Editor: I believe this article is appropriate for this historic occasion – the coming into being of the Argyle International Airport (AIA). I would like to divert from the old adage of “giving Jack his jacket” to “giving Ralph his recognition.”

It was Thomas Carlyle who wrote “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Simply stated, men and women are considered great and/or outstanding in their respective fields.

The chief reason for writing this article is to present the Hon Ralph E Gonsalves as a true patriot and the Prime Minister who has the citizens (all the people) at heart and who has provided yeoman service to this country above all others. This was so even from the inception of his tenure in 2001 and for that he deserves our utmost respect and administration. Of course, what the ULP had to fix and put right upon taking office are found in the Comrade’s book “The Making of the Comrade – the political journey of Ralph Gonsalves.”

For the ULP, I would deem it as the start of the building and rebuilding period, over 180 major projects tackled and dealt with in the first nine fruitful years of being in Government. It could be termed a period of restoration. How the Comrade and his government have been able to achieve so much in so short a time is certainly out of the ordinary. And these great achievements came in the midst of a worldwide financial downturn. Putting it in our local parlance ‘ in this hard guava crop.’

Let me interject here that the NDP Government was in power (including that period when they had all 15 seats), when banana was king and other monies were flourishing. Please can someone point out to me the project initiated by the NDP from which the people (the majority) benefitted?

I am currently reading a book which declares the lives of men and women who have achieved much and who have set an example which is worthy of emulating. Very noticeably in the writings of those who tell their story is to present some of these achievers in their respective fields by their first names only. For example, Albert of Pressia – a German political figure of the Reformation period; Alverian of York – English scholar who became advisor to Charlemange; Bernard of Cluny – monk and renowned poet. These men and many others have left their mark – footprints on the sands of time and because of their extraordinary achievements were placed in the annals of history. So, too, would our own Ralph E Gonsalves. He could be recognized as several titles which would aptly fit him: Ralph of Colonarie, St Vincent; scholar, lecturer, lawyer; Prime Minister extraordinaire; visionary, initiator and deliverer of our biggest capital project – the Argyle International Airport, the crowning achievement to which we can say had it not been for Ralph Gonsalves, we would have had to live with the ET Joshua Airport with all of its woes. But he thought that the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines deserve better and, where all other past leaders failed (some had the money in their back pockets), he delivered in spite of what seems as insurmountable difficulties. Surely RALPH E GONSALVES is to be admired and thanked for uplifting the lives of ALL Vincentians.

When, at the opening of the airport, he was recognized for all of his good works, he publicly recognized God who has been his help and fortress in this whole project. Let us also give Jack his jacket, give Ralph his recognition, for he richly deserves it. Who is better able to run this country at this time? I believe that Ralph was raised for just a time as this. He deserves to be honoured by all Vincentians. He has worked hard for us all. Even his worst opposition critic Leacock acknowledged the ‘miracle’ he has delivered to us and has proclaimed him as one of the best in the Caribbean. I am sure that you would all agree with this conclusion, for Leacock is right. He is the best leader the Caribbean has seen. We need him as leader of this country for a long time to come.

Let me just express that as I watched the ceremony last Tuesday, the question foremost in my mind and I am sure in the minds of all right-thinking Vincentians was “what more, what more can Ralph do?” At this time too, we congratulate him on his 23rd year as representative of the people of South Central Windward. Long live Ralph E Gonsalves. Ralph, we thank you. I give you your jacket.