By: Edward A. Harris

   The Cricket World Cup allocation of venues and matches is now behind us. We got what we wanted and more importantly what we believe we can handle. The job of honouring all the commitments we made upon offering St. Lucia as a destination is in the capable hands of Dr. James Fletcher and his team.

   The announcement came at a time when the nation is very much involved in the season of Carnival which I believe has robbed it of its impact, suspending the real effect of our achievement to be celebrated after Carnival. We should all be proud of this achievement and resolve to make St. Lucia the best venue. The opportunities are awesome. I kept the faith, I continue to be optimistic and now the possibilities are before us.

   We have 3 years to make it happen. The construction sector will begin to take off at the dawn of 2005 with steady momentum as the pace increases to achieve as far as is practicable the required hotels, restaurants and places of entertainment to meet the demand for the year 2007.

   For St. Lucia, this is the moment we have been waiting for, when the economic impact is likely to reach every household. Farmers, manufacturers, service providers, artistes, artisans, distributors, retailers and whosoever will be productive would see demand for goods and services at unimaginable levels.

   When the possibility of Cricket World Cup 2007 being hosted in the Caribbean was first mooted a friend of mine in his capitalistic visionary mood suggested that it would be a good idea to invest in the chartering of cruise vessels and moor them in the harbour to house visitors to St. Lucia during the matches. Now I am coming up with the idea of using tents in the various communities to promote community nights. These tents will help the communities to play hosts to local patrons and visiting relatives and friends. Many who have been seeking out opportunities for a second job have an opportunity to experience the struggles of America right here in St. Lucia. I hope we do not get involved in partying and neglect the opportunity to make some serious money. When it is over we can rather than sing “the foreigners gone, and home people take over now” we can then take over and celebrate our success. After we make money, we can then consider to spend some of it.

   From January 2005, onward to 2007 money will be in the hands of all who will seek to be gainfully employed. We must begin now to train the unemployed in the several areas of vending and hospitality services. Between now and June 2007 many more skilled persons can emerge in the St. Lucia work force. Training in all areas must begin now. The private sector should be contracted to assist Government in equipping the unemployed among us. A number of signs should be placed across the country to keep the people informed and motivated to ensure the CWC 2007 is the success that is expected.

    Let us be thankful for yet another opportunity to showcase our talents and embrace the blessing of prosperity that will be ours to enjoy.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge!!!