P 0 Box 65
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
For The Week Endina Seotember 10th 1977
DISPUTE BRINGS GO-SLOW ON DOCKS
Work on the St.Georges docks are at an almost complete standsatll
as the Grenada Seamen & Waterfront Workers Union operate a go-
slow to enforce their claims in their dispute with the Grenada
This dispute arises from disagreement between the Union and the
Grenada Shipping Agents (GSA) over the date from which an agreed
cost of living should be paid. After some 7 months of
negotiations, GSA and SWWU reached a compromise of i5 on the
Union's claim for this allowance, but, while GSA are willing to
pay the allowance from July 1at, SWWU is adamant that it must be
paid from January let.
Efforts of both the Labour Commissioner, Mr Robert Robinson and
the Minister for Labour, Senator Roy St.John, to get a compromise
failed and, on Monday (5th) the Union instituted a go-slow. At
that time there were two ships in port. These were the Geest
Line banana boat "Geeatland" which had 240 tons of general cargo
to be discharged before loading bananas, and the 341 ton
"Atlantic Pearl" of Atlantic Lines with 130 tons of refrigerated
cargo for Grenada.
The "Atlantic Pearl" sailed on Monday night (5th) with most of
her cargo for Grenads and, after discharging some 170 tons of
cargo, the "Ueestland" began to load bananas. The handling of
bananas is not operated under the contract between GSA and SWWU
but under a separate contract between SWWU and Geeet Industries
Ltd, so that the loading of the "Geestland" was not affected by
The "Geestland" sailed on Tuesday (6th) and no ships called at
Grenade until today (9th) when the 2,640 ton "Mercurius" of the
Royal Netherlands Steamship Go berthed at the docks with 319 tons
of general and cold-storage cargo for the island. It is
reported that efforts were made to have this cargo discharged at
St.Vinoent but that available Warehouae space at that port was
THE GRENADA NEhWSLTTER Week Ending 10.9.77
insufficient. Sources close to SWWU state, however, that
affiliated unions in the region have been requested not to
handle cargo consigned to Grenada.
Sources close to GSA state that the "Mercuriua" is due to call
at Bridgeport, Connecticut, U 8 A, after leaving Grenada and
that an effort will be made to discharge her cold-storage cargo
before she leaves. It is probable, however, that the general
cargo for Grenada will not be handled and that the ship will sail
A further development relative to the situation on the docks is
that the possibility exists that banana shipments may be affected
by industrial action. On Tuesday (6th), SWWU wrote Geest
Industries Ltd demanding a cost of living allowance under the
contract covering the loading of bananas. It is not known
when negotiations will begin.
NUTMEG BOARD CHAIRMAN RESTRAINED
Mr F J Archibald, Chairman of the elected Nutmeg Board dissolved
by Governor General Sir Leo deGale in July t975, has been
restrained by the High Court from publishing any notices in the
name of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA).
This decision was given in chambers today (9th) by Mr Juegifth:
Archibald Nedd as he delivered his judgement in a suit filed by
the Manager of GONA, Mr Robin Renwiok, following publication of
a notice by Mr Archibald that GCNA Area Meetings and a General
Meeting would be held to elect a new Nutmeg Board.
The publication of the notice by Mr Archibald came after
Mr Justice Archibald Nedd had ruled that Sir Leo's Dissolution
Order was null and void and that the Government appointed
Interim Board was illegal. Government, however, appealed
against this decision and the Appeal Court is to decide the
matter sometime later this month.
In his application to the High Court to restrain Mr Archibald
from publishing notices in the name of GCNA, Mr Renwick claimed
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER week ending 10.9.77
that these notices were calculated to cause confusion among
members of GCNA and to disrupt the working of the Association.
GRENADA GOVERNMENT TREASURY BILLS
The Government of Grenada is inviting tenders for Issue No. 18
of Treasury Bills in the amount of EC$1.5 million. A notice
to this effect has been published in the Government Gazette of
September 2nd, and application must reach the Treasury by
These Bills are in denominations of EC#1,000 and EC$50,000. They
will be issued on September 19th and will be payable at par 91
days later, on 18th December.
"Each Tender must be for an amount not less that $1000", says the
notice, "and must specify the amount which will be given for
every one hundred dollars of the amount tendered."
The Government reserves the right to accept or reject any tender
in whole or in part.
GAIDC BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCED
The 15-man Board of Directors of the Grenada Agricultural &
Industrial Development Corporation has been announced by the
Ministry of Finance.
According to a notice in the Government Gazette of September 2nd,
the Board will comprise 4 official members in the persons of the
Permanent SecretaEs of the Ministry of Finasce, Trade and
Industry or his nominee, the Attorney General or his nominee,
the Permanent Secretary of the Planning, Development & Training
Division of the Prime Minister's Office or his nominee, and the
Manager of the Corporation.
Other members of the Board are Sir Dennis Henry and eessra
Matthew St.Panl, L A Purcell, N Williams, D M B Cromsell, Ben
Davis, D Wilber, A Date. P Daviea-Evans, John Japal and B N
A cnrding to provisions of the relevant Ordinance, the Board of
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week ending 10.9.77
Director must be comprised of the 4 official members mentioned
above plus not more than 11 other "appointed" members including
4 representatives of farmers to be appointed after consultation
with the Farmers Club Council, Grenada Farmers Association and
the Statutory Marketing Bodies (for cocoa, bananas and nutmegs),
and 7 representatives of the Commercial, Professional and Trade
The Corporation was established by Act 11 of 1976 which was
assented to on 20th September 1976, and that Act was amended by
Act 2 of 1977, assented to on 8th July 1977. As set out in
these two Acts, the duty of the Corporation is
(a) to assist persons in establishing, carrying on or
expanding development enterprises by participating in
share capital, granting loans and providing other forms
of financial assistance to such persons;
(b)to assist persons in pursuing courses of higher, technical
and vocational education approved by the Board by dik ing
loans and providing other forms of financial assistance
to such persons;
(c) to foster the development of money and capital mwakets in
(d) to mobliise and c-ordinate available resources to be
utilised in financing industrial and agricultural projects
UNION DEMANDS BREA WITH CHILE
The Commercial & Industrial Workers Union (CIWU) has demanded
that the Government of Grenada "immediately break all ties
with the present Chilean regime, and particularly its military
This demand was part of a Resolution passed by the Union on
Monday (5th) and arises from the fact that the Chilean naval
training-ship recently paid an official visit to Grenada.
During that visit, the ahip's .pua1- Relations Officer,
Lieutenant Commander Gaston Vidal, announced that the proposal
is being considered that Grenada's policemen be trained in Chile.
THE GRENADA HNSBLETTER Week FbnAng 10.9.77
The Union's Resolution makes reference to this and states that the
Union "views with the greatest concern the growing ".-,.
links between the Chilean and the Grenadian Regimes, and
regards such as a threat to the security, rights, privileges
and future development of the working people of Grenasa and
In its Resolution, CIWU seeks support from the Grenada Trade
Union Council, all trade unions in Grenada, and trade unions
in the Caribbean and internationally. Copies of the
Resolution have been sent to Prime Minister Gairy (who is
Minister for National Security), the Grenada Trade Union
Couboil, the Caribbean Congress of Labour, the CARICOM
Secretariat and regional Heads of Government.
VENEZULA TO PLORIDA BY KYACK
An expedition of four adventurous people arrived at Grenada on
Thursday (tat) at the end of the third leg of a bold attempt to
paddle two kayaks (canoes) from the Venezuelan coast to Miami,
Led by 32 year old New Zealander, John Dowd, the expedition left
the fishing village of Christobal de Colon on the Venezuelan
coast on August 12th and, after a relatively easy crossing,
Trinidad was the first stop. Other members of the team are
John's wife Beatrice (24), Ken Beard (32) and Stephen Benson (32),
both Englishmen. Beatrice is Canadian.
The kl4cyg are commercial units built in Germany and are capable
of bei ng folded into a small pack. naked about their
portability, Dowd said, "They're 'fold-boats', very compact end
one will fit easily into the back of a car. We flew-in an
aircraft with them."
Unpacked and afloat, the kayaks are 17 feet long, with ,a very
narrow beam, little freeboard and seat two persons fore and aft.
They are propelled by double ended paddles and there's a tiny
rudder in the stern handled from the after cockpit. This
:rddcr, which carries a pale green light at night, was very
THE GRENADA NVESLETTER Week ITdving 10.9.77
nearly the cause of tragedy on the trip from Trinidad to Tobago.
The expedition is sponsored by Guiness Caribbean and the "Daily
Express" of London. One of the boats is called "Boboy" and
the other is "GIGFU" which, being translated means, "Guineas Is
Good For Yor." It was "Boboy", manned by Benson and Beard,
which ran into trouble in the Galleon Passage between Trinidad
It was night. 'Lhe Dowds were in the leading canoe when they
heard an anxious shout from "Boboy". "We paddled back", said
John Dowd, "and found that they had been hit by some very large
fish, probably a shark." Dowd said it was something they had
talked of before as being possible. They had expressed concern
but had never really thought that it would happen.
"The fish had had a go at grasping the end of the boat where the
rudder is, becoase it had a pale little green light on it," he
said, "and it had given 'Boboy' a very nasty lift from behind.
We examined the boat, which has a rubber skin for its bottom and,
fortunately, there were no holes, but I guess everyone was a bit
anxious until we got to Tobago."
The leg to Grenada began shortly after mid-day on August 31st.
According to Dowd, this part of the journey presented the
greatest navigational problems, but he was confident. "a have
charts, we have a compass and we have dead WPehoing whichh is the
oldest form of navigation", he said, it's just taking into
consideration everything you know, feeling the conditions and
estimating your position."
The estimated distance from Tobago to Grenada is 80 miles and
represents one of the longest crossings the kayaks will have to
make. The Florida Strait at the end of the voyage is 45
miles wide and the crossing from Haiti to the Bahamas will be
about equal to the Tobago-Grenada run. However, Dowd expects
other problems on these later crossings.
"We're going to have problems of time", he aaid, "the problem
involved with just weariness, of having been at sea paddling
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Rndlng 10.9.77
kayaks for months and having to take on two or three large
crossings at the end."
The expedition reached Grenade on the afternoon of Thursday
September stt after a sleep-less 30-hour crossing from Tobago.
Landfall was made on the south coast and, after one night's
rest, the party paddled around into S..Georges harbour where
they were met by representatives of the sponsors.
Following a week of rest, the expedition relaunched their kayaks
this morning (8th) and were seen off by representatives of the
Tourist Board, Miss Margaret preudhomme, Grenada's 1977 Carnival
Queen and a large crowd.
The 2000 mile trip has been divided into three sections. The
first, from Venezuela to Anguills, is estimated to be completed
by November. "Though September is the peak of the hurricane
season", said Dowd, "it is also the only time of year the winds
are likely to be calm from the northwest."
The next section, from Anguilla to Haiti, includes the 60 mile
crossing from Anguilla to the U S Virgin Islands, and is expected
to be completed by the end of January. This leg takes in
Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and takes the kayaks
into the Bermuda Triangle.
The final section of the voyage, Haiti to Florida, will produce
special problems with the difficulty of locating landfalls. due to
the low terrain of the islands and the heavy Gulf Stream drift.
This last part of the trip is expected to take two months and
the kayaks are due to arrive in Miami by March 31st next year.
First stops from Grenada will be in the Grenadine Islands, 120
of which stretch over the 70 miles of sea northward to St.Vincent.
Rested and looking fit, the four adventurers in their grey bdats
were convoyed some miles up Grenada's coast this morning by three
brightly painted locally built lagais manned by boys from the
Grenada Junior Acadamy.
"From my point of view", said John Dowd before he left, a successful
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 10,9.77
completion of the trip will mean mostly the actual achievement
of having done it and having got all four or our members happily
and healthily to the other end and everybody feeling pleased
The S S "Geestland" sailed on September 6th with 19,879 boxes
of bananas weighing 599,774 lba. There were 669 boxes of
rejected fruit and the price paid by the Grenada Cooperative
Banana Society to growers was 140 on the weight of fruit
received at the boxing plants, but this figure is not yet
available. The price paid by Geest Industries Ltd tu
the Society is not yet available.
The weight shipped by "Geeststar" on August 28th was 527,216 lbs
and the amount weighed at the boxing plants was 541,345 Ibs,
making a difference of 14,129 Ibs between the boxing plant aid
the shipped weight.
NEWSLETTER regrets that the boxing plant weight on the shipment
by "Geesttide" of August 23rd is not yet available.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending September 3rd, there was only one
cruise liner call. 'his was the "Cunard Countess" which
arrived at Grenada on August 30th with 596 passengers.
CGjuECTION LIAT ST PISTICS
On page 7 of NEWSLETTER for the week ending 13th August last,
LIAT sIttistics of passengers, freight and mail inwards and
outwards were quoted. It was stated then that there might
have been an error in the figure for mail inwards for the Month
of May 1977, which figure was given as 7,000.0 kilos. This
has now been verified and the correct figure should be 3,081.1
kilos, making the total for mail inwards during the period
January to June 1977 to be 16,2111.5 kilos.