EDITOR: I remember fairly well the two gentlemen who served here as British administrators when St. Vincent and the Grenadines was under colonial government. They are congenial, they showed sincere concern for the welfare of the state, St. Vincent, under their administration and that was reflected in the quality of services provided. The roads in the towns and villages were cleaned and well maintained. The General Hospital, which is now the “MILTON CATO MEMORIAL HOSPITAL”, was meticulously addressed every day by uniformed men. The maintenance of public buildings was routinely carried out by the Public Works Department.
Because of this serious approach to the maintenance of the infrastructure, there were always many young men being trained in various skills under the guidance of the trained professionals at the Public Works Department of the state. Those young men were thus trained in a variety of skills: Mechanics, Plumbing, Building Construction, Furniture Making etc. Many of those young men went on to provide valuable services to the community as independent “tradesmen” in their areas of competence. And to a fair degree, the greater percentage of them found regular employment in the strong agriculture-based economy that prevailed then.
The agricultural activity in St. Vincent was very important to Great Britain, so their Administrators COUTTS and GILES, ensured that the infrastructure was seriously maintained. In addition, the citizens were shown respect generally! If a citizen had a complaint and he approached the administrators on it, the citizens were respectfully and courteously listened to and grievances addressed. In those days the “state” was concerned about the “citizens” welfare and the conduct and approaches of the British Administrators reflected that. They conducted themselves with honour and all the people respected them.
We have now been an independent state for 42 years, but disappointingly, under our own “administrators”, the men and women elected by the “citizens” themselves, there has been distinct retrogression, the “quality of life” has deteriorated markedly for the majority of our people.
We therefore need to have serious discussions now to determine what must be our approach going forward, particularly so as we deal with the question of “REPARATIONS”