Catching up on Happenings in St. Lucia & Beyond!

I must record in my column, the passing of a gentleman who always came across to me as a sincere individual. I refer to Mr. Selwyn Vincent former Labour Commissioner and up to his death – Parliamentary Commissioner. I will miss getting together with him in a corner of the super markets for a quick chat as we made our weekend shopping rounds. Mr. Vincent ensured that civil society was aware of his role and functions and what could be expected of his office as he sought to deal with the fundamental rights of citizens. The nation will miss him. The good die young. May his soul rest in peace.

St. Lucia has done it again. Our External Affairs Minister, Honourable Julian R. Hunte has made us proud at his election to the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly. His outstanding performance in the international diplomatic arena has earned him the respect necessary to head the United Nations General Assembly. As President of the UN General Assembly at this difficult time in the world’s diplomatic relations, I am sure His Excellency will deal resolutely and fairly with important issues that will come to his attention. I wish him success in all his undertakings. St. Lucia will be exposed to the world. This small island state has produced sons and daughters of Excellence. I will keep an eye on developments at the UN General Assembly from here onward and continue to follow his achievements when our very own, His Excellency, Honourable Julian R. Hunte take office in September, 2003. I will like to suggest that all churches on the island hold a service of celebration and his photograph be placed in all schools and offices. Everyone must be aware of this outstanding achievement.

Unlike many individuals who feel the Caribbean is a place where we can survive without getting involved in matters of interest taking place in the developed world, I am always keeping an eye on the latest developments, especially those in the USA. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are over. Tourism seems to be under control. In spite of the seemingly tranquil situation and some would like to believe, it is business as usual, I am still very nervous. I must admit, President Bush appears to be doing a fine job as the polls indicate. The distractions of war have worked well for him and millions of citizens in the USA though out of jobs still support him. It seems as though President Bush can do nothing wrong. He is definitely having his way. Every Democrat is backing away from taking on the incumbent as he gets ready for November, 2004 elections. While I feel it is still early days, I don’t believe his advisors will allow him to do anything wrong. Maybe, he would like to be a Caribbean Leader and call a snap election now rather than go the distance. Caribbean politicians do have privileges.

While the more seasoned Democrats have no choice other than to face the music and dance, Senator Hilary Clinton is waiting in the wings for 2008. She has put out her new book to pave the way. She hopes to answer all possible questions and make the past irrelevant details as she faces the poll in 2008. I am ready to take on the bet that it will be Hilary for President in 2008 and President Bill Clinton will be the 1st gentleman in the White House. If Hillary reciprocates, he will have a lot to do and will definitely play a key role in the world’s political affairs.

Although the world seems to be in limbo economically, the signals are not saying the same. There are pockets of optimism only held back by the fear of a terrorist outbreak. As we reflect on the mood of the citizens of the USA, it will never be business as usual again, anytime soon.

Getting back home, St. Lucia is fast earning a name for itself as being the fete capital of the sub-region. Almost every weekend there is an overseas artiste in the house. Fete! Fete! Fete! Where is the money coming from? It may be argued that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and the reverse is also true. I will also agree that there are more people working this year than last year but I feel our people must be encouraged to spend less. We had a season of Jazz now it is Carnival. While these two major entertainment activities support the tourist industry, the frequency of others must be of concern to the leaders of society. There is definitely too much emphasis on FETE.

I am so happy to note that our men have decided to do something positive that will impact on their attitudes and life style, placing the Creator in the very center of their affairs. The Thousand Man March is a unique way of drawing attention to the serious problems being experienced by men. Unfortunately, I will be overseas on the day of the March but I take this opportunity to congratulate the Organisers and wish the activity every success. Men, onward to battle and resist the evil of this world which try to foil your progress at every level. Onward Christian Soldiers.

On a final note, I will end with a Biblical quote - do nothing whereby your brother becomes weak. Too much fete will raise the entertainment expectation of the less fortunate and cause many to get into trouble by seeking to follow any path to the mighty dollar so that they can fulfill their fantasies. Think Positive, Act Positive!

In the meantime, Keep the faith!!