May 29, 2007

Edward Harris At Large!


The evening of May 26, 2007 will long be remembered by Guyanese and their friends living in St. Lucia as they celebrated the 41st Independence Anniversary of Guyana. The evening brought together members of sister Associations from Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin and members of the Jamaica – St. Lucia Association.

The celebration took place at the Spinners’ Entertainment Centre, Union, Castries. Mr. Horace Fraser, popular Guyanese Attorney at Law was the Master of Ceremonies. The evening began on a high note with the Invocation by Immediate Past President Edward Harris who prayed for unity among Guyanese everywhere, good governance at home and for the ailing Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Hon. Sir John Compton. Most of all that the evening’s occasion be dedicated to the honour and glory of God. The President of the Association Mr. Nial Beaton and the Honorary Consul for Guyana to St. Lucia addressed the gathering. The feature address was given by Eldon Mathurin, a St. Lucian with a long association with Guyana and Guyanese. Technology was used to the fullest to feature highlights of the Awardees and present a video on Guyana and its peoples.

The Independence Anniversary Celebration for the past six years was marked with a gathering of Guyanese and well wishers which attracted up to 400 persons. The celebration this year marked the 7th time and the organizers decided upon a different approach and made it a grand affair of a Dinner and Dance. To crown things off the Love Connection, a one man band from Georgetown, Guyana was on hand to provide the music. The highlight of the occasion is usually the AWARDS CEREMONY where citizens of Guyanese descent are honoured for their outstanding contributions to the St. Lucian Society. Past honourees included such names as Madhoo Beepat, Ronald Ramjattan, Henry Hinds, Joseph Reds Perriera, Ron Savoury, Edward Harris, to name a few. This year there were three Awardees namely: Mrs. Margaret Clavier, Messrs Shamsundar Jarbandon and Tony Austin. The Awardees were well received by the audience.

There were 25 door prizes ranging from weekends at top resorts on the island to airline tickets. Mr. David Singh, although he was not present at the function, gave 2 airline return tickets to Guyana.

During the week, May 20-26, 2007 St. Lucia was graced with the presence of Guyanese born David Singh, Chairman & CEO of the Destiny Group of Companies based in Canada and a team of his top Executives and their families. Mr. Singh donated to the Medical Services in St. Lucia over EC$5 million comprising of electric hospital beds, a building to house a cafeteria, fully equipped with a gym for members of staff at the Victoria Hospital, medical equipment and supplies.

There were a number of important persons on the tour with Mr. Singh including Mr. Joe Fontana, a former Minister of Labour in Canada and who is the trustee of a new initiative in collaboration with Mr. Singh called “One World Humanitarian Bank” where professionals will deposit their expertise and volunteer their services as the needs arise from time to time. Also accompanying Mr. Singh was Mr. Adrion Smith, an ex footballer who played with the Toronto Argonauts Football Team until his retirement. He is the Founder of R.A.R.E acronym for Responsibility, Attitude, Respect and Education. Special programmes are targeted to students 9 – 13 years in groups of 300. In collaboration with Mr. Singh, they did 100 such sessions in 2006. While in St. Lucia they introduced the programme to students of the Gros islet Primary School. If there is ever a time that there is a need for young people to dare to be RARE, it is now!

Apart from the humanitarian outreach programmes being promoted by Mr. Singh, he has his eyes on two important areas in the Financial Services sector, namely:- Offshore Banking and the Money Transfer businesses. The next few months could see the Group well established in these vital areas of financial services. His investment in real estate on the island sets the stage for a major tourism project in the Pigeon Island area and given the network of Investors, Tax and Financial Consultants on his team, putting together the financial requirement of the project should not be a problem. The Destiny Village project is already receiving attention from locals and visitors and in the months ahead the project will be unveiled.

The Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Hon. Sir John Compton continues to recuperate at home after a few mini strokes. The nation and well wishers are asked to remember him and his family in their prayers at this time.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Expect Miracles in 2007!

Edward Harris
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