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NE WLET TR
SOUNDED I TH AUGUST 1973'
For The period Ending 31st December 1984
'1th .Year of Publicatimn -. - - - *yilt Issue
Volume 12 Number 15
PARLI AMENT CFENS
Grenada returned to the practice of Parliamentary Democracy on
December 28th for ,the first time since the electedd Government of :
S. sir Eric Gairy was overthrown on..-13th March 1979 in a revolution
led by. the late Maur4ceBishqp. .-
SIn a colorful joint sitting of the House of Representatives .
y'a' and the senate at Parliament Buildings in St* George's, prime
S.b Minister Herbert Blaize and the 13 other members of hies!e Nat~
*t' >|ional Party (NP) .took the oath of allegiance t'o-Bs f Maj..ty
Queen Elizabeth of England. The 15th~seat in the House, won 'by
Mr. Marcel Joseph peters of Sir .ric Gairy:' Grenada United La-
our p:-arty, was vacant, .
,. p iMr. peters was not present when his name was called three times 4
: Z by Clerk of parliament Mr. Curtis Strachan, but this did net come.
-, 'as a surprise. Mr. peters and Sir Eric have alleged that the
.-', recent General Elections were rigged and Mr. peters said he will
not take his seat.in the House.
Also taking the Cath of Allegiance to the Queen were 10 Senators
appointed by the prime Minister. Had he taken his seat in the
House and accepted the post of Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Pet-
Sers would have been entitled to appoint three senators, but those
seats we e vacant today.
SOn the invitation of the Clerk of parliament to senators to el-
ect a president of the Senate, senator ,ric Pierre nominated Mr.
Lawrence Joseph, a fellow Senator. The nomination was seconded- 1 Vi
by Senator Norton Noel and, there being no other nominations, Mr.
Joseph was declared President ...
yPro;dLed d& Printd4 by Alister .CyntietthC
P 0 65ix Syt-eorgta'GrernMa, Westindies
L --, -
.. .. .. .. . . ... ... . . .. .. i.-t i- -
Page 2 T1HE GJRINADA NEWSLETTBR ferlc. Ending 31.12.84
As his deputy, the Senators elected Senator Adolphus Antoine.
The' prime Minister, seconded by Dr. Keith Mitchell, nominated Mr. Hudson
Rup6rt Scipio .to be Speaker of the House. Mr. S$ipio, a bar.riater and
not a Member of the House, has been a member of Mr. Blaize's Grenada Nation-
al Party (GNP) since that party was established in the 1950s. GNP was one
of the three parties coming together to form NNP.
Member of the House, -Mr. .Phisna.ey. St. Lou id, wad elected Mrt. Scipio's depu-
i.. 0. -4 ,
Governor General Sir Paul Scoon read the speech from the throne to a dis-
tinguished audience which included 5 Prime Ministers. These were Mr. Ed-
ward Seaga of Jamaica, Miss Eugenia Charles of Dominica, Mr. John Compton
of St. Lucia, Mr. James "Son" Mitchell of St. Vincent and Mr. Manuel Es-
Also presentw-rere.'t ie foreign Minister of''Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Basil
Ince, the. Leader of-the Oppositibn in-Trinidad & ~obsoo Mr. Basdeo F.and-y,
Trinidad & Tobago's acting High CommissioneBr in Barbados, accredited to'
Grenada, Mr. peter Rambert and Mr. Walter Burkes Barbados High Commission-
er resident in Grernad-d.
In the audiqncetobdw~re Mr. Roy Haverkamp, United states Charge d'Affaires
at the embassy in Grenada; Mrw Noble power, Canadian High Commissioner re-
sident in Barbados, Mr. HBrnah Calcurian, Venezuelan Ambassador to Grenada,
Mr, Sun sup Chang, .South K6redn Ambassador to Grenada, Mr. John Kelly, Bri-
tish High Commission Representative in Grcnnda, Mr. William Deras, President
of the Caribbean Development Bank, Mr. Bob Visser, European Economnic Commun-
ity Represernt itive in Grenada, Chief Justice Archibald Nedd,. Mr. Roderick
Rainford, tccret'o y Generzil of the Caribbean Community and Mr. Nicholas
Brathwaite, Cdh-.irhan' of the now disbanded Interim Government.
The debate on the Throne Speech was deferred to a date to be fixed.
GG. PADS TiRONE. SPEECH.
Echoes of the massacre of October 19th 1983 rang in the Chamber of Grenada's
Parliament Building on December 28th as Governor General Sir PaulScoon .read
the speech fromIth (throne at the first meeting of Parliament since the Gov-
ernment of Sik Erie Gairy wad overthrown by'the New Jewel Movement revolu-
tion of Maroh 13th 1979.
On October 19th 1983, the Peoples Revolutionary Army of the New Jewel Move-
ment murdered their -att--prime Minister Maurice Bishop, members of his Cabinet
and a still unknown number of Grenadian citizens.
period riding 31.12.4 TH GENADA NEWSLETTER ge
In the Throne Speech, Si* Paul said the Government of Prime Minister Her-
bert Blaize will take steps to find out how many people died on that day.
"My Government are deeply concerned that there are so many missing Grenadi
ians still unaccounted for since that fateful October day of last year",
he said. "My Government will therefore, as soon as practicable, set up
a fullscale commission of inquiry into the horrendous events and circum-
stances surrounding 19th October 1983".
The Governor General revealed also that the Blaize Government has inherited
k"one of the grimmest situations in the history of the Public Finances of
Grenada". This has come about, he said, as a result of "massive debts"
and a "bloated Public Service structure" created by the peoples Revolution-
ary Government of the New Jewel Movement. As of 30th November last, he
said, the total debt of the country was EC$164,804,020.
This figure represents, he said, twice the country's annual revenue and
this debt burden is likely to have significant implications for the Publia
Finances for some time because "the already overstrained taxable capacity"
of Grenada cannot generate revenue to service this debt.
Additionally, he said, the Public service, mainly as a result of overstaff-
ing, is costing in excess of 5C3" of recurrent revenue.
"These two factors", the G6vernor General said, "have already contributed
to a projected overall deficit of EC~37.2 million to 31st December 1984.
It is small wonder, he said, that Grenadians have been subjected to such
severe and suffocating systeris of taxes that have left them with little
incentive to productive effort.
Sir Paul said that, in 1985, the Blaize Government will be designing and
adopting strategies'to correct what it sees as the present deficiencies in
the public Finances as a whole and the Tax System in particular.
"My Government propose to introduce comprehensive fiscal reform providing
for the reduction of-the heavy tax burden, for the control and reduction
of the public Debt and for the large-scale reorganisation of the public
Service with a view to bringing the number of Public Servants within manage-
able proportions compatible with efficiency, economy and effectiveness",
the Governor General said.
To this end, he continued, arrangements have already been made, through th
British Government, for the recruitment of a team of Organization and Meth-
Sods consultants for the specific purpose of rationalizing the public Service.
page 4 THE GRENADA NEWrLETTER period Ending 31,12.84
CONSTITLTION.L REFCRR PLANNED
"In the light of experience, and conscious of the experiments in Government
that our people have been subjected to in the name of democracy, my Govern-
ment will have, as a top priority, constitutional reform aimed at eliminat-
ing -abuse of power by elected representatives and ensuring greater partici-
pation in governmental affairs by the people".
I This was one of the important objectives of the new Grenada Government an-
nounced by Governor General Sir Paul _coon as he read the Throne Speech at
the opening of parliament on December 28th, and he said Government proposes
Sto set up machinery to provide the necessary checks and balances against any
abuse of power and individual freedom.
"This will include", Sir Paul said, "the removal from office of those who
are not working in the best interests of the people".
Concerning security, the Governor General said it will be necessary to re-
tain the services of the Caribbean peacekeeping Force and the United States
Military police "for some time to come" as the Royal Grenada police Force
proceeds with its pro&ramme of improvement numerically and qualitatively.
The Blaize Government will move especially rapidly to improve the quality
of the top echelons of the Police Force, sir Paul said. The Force will be
insulated from coercive political influence and undue interference, he said,
-nd it will have resources and training, to make it into a professional Force.
"It is proposed to establish a Police Service Commission with responsibili-
ties for promotions, dismissals and general discipline of the Force", he
In what was seen as a veiled reference to the visa restrictions imposed on
Grenadians by Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, the Governor General said the
Blaize Administration believes ordinary citizens of the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) should have greater opportunities to meet one another without let
"In keeping with the true spirit jof CARICCM", he said, "my Government will
be very reluctant to do anything to pose even the slightest difficulty or
inconvenience to citizens of other C.AICCM countries wishing to travel to
Grenada for legitimate purposes".
The Throne speech affirmed the Grenada Government's commitment to the Or-
Sganization of East Caribbean States and the Organization of American States,
but stated that the island's foreign policy will-not include friendship with
any nation which does not allow religious freedom.
S"My Government will maintain relations with traditional friends", Sir Paul
said, "but will review certain relationships with a view to preventing the
imposition of any philosophy whian is hostile to our parliamentary Democrat-
ic lifeR,-'le, or which is foreign and repugnant to the way of life of the
Grenadi.n people". -continued-
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
Informed sources close td~Government told NEWSLETTER that the. certain re-
lationships" to be reviewed are some of the diplomatic connections estab-
lished with non-democratic regimes by the left-wing Peoples Revolutionary
VIPS 3IVE TMPRESSICNS
In a series of on-the-spot interviews following opening of the Grenada Par-
liament on December 28th visiting dignitaries gsve their off-the-cuff im-
pressions of the ceremony.
"I am very glad that Grenada has restored all the democratic institutions",
said South Korean Ambassador sun Sup Choang, "the opening of Parliament is
significant because it says democracy is back in Grenada again".
St. Lucian prime Minister John Compton said he is pleased to see Grenada re-
turn to the democratic fold.
"Granadiians ought to be proud of themselves", he said,"they have.really car-
ried themselves since the events of October 1983"1
Mr. Compton said Grenadians are the "winners" out of these events, the Car-
S ibbean has a lesson to show the world in adherence to democratic principles,
and Grenada is the place where this lesson has been shown.
"I found the Throne Speech full of substance which makes one very interested
in seeing Government carry out those undertakings it gave through the
Throne Speech", said Mr. William Demas, President of the Caribbean Develop-
ment Bank. "I look forward to seeing Government implement all the inten-
tions expressed on its behalf by His Extellency the Governor General".
Mr. Basdeo Panday, Leader of the Opposition in Trinidad & Tobago said the
Government of Trinidad should not leave its relationship with Grenada in a
state of uncertainty as it is now.
,"We, the Opposition in Trinidad & Tobago, have called on the Government to
m-ke a ,decisive statement about GrCnada, particularly with respect to the
visa restrictions", he said, "but the Government has been indecisive,.
Mr. Panday-knew Prime Minister George Chambers of Trinidad & Tobago recently
issued an invitation to prime Minister Herbert Blaize of Grenada to hold
discussions, and Mr. Panday hoped these matters-will be settled at that
The return of.democracy to Grenada is a thing which will be appreciated, not
only by,Grenadians, but by all Crcnad.nIs "brothers" in the region, said Mr.
Basil Ince, Trinidad & Tobago's Foreign Minister,
Period Endifng j1.12.84
page 6 THE GRLNADA N~E'.SLETTER
"As far as our relations with Grenada is
will note that I ciam`here and the Leader
Mr. Ince disclosed that he was to meet w
eign Minister Ben Jones before he return
"They are both very enthusiastic to spea
some indication of the closer bonds betwe
period Ending 31.12.834
concerned", he continued, "you
of the Cppcaition is here also".
ith Prime Minister Blais and For-
k with me", he said,"and that is
en our countries".
Prime Minister Eugenia Charles of Dominica who, as Chairperson of the or-
g-nisation of East Caribbean states, was largely instrumental in arranging
for the "Rescu- Mission" to Grenada, said it was "a pleasure to come here
and to see that the effort we put out in October 1983 has led to this".
Miss Charles was particularly pleased to hear from the Throne Speech that
the Blaize Administration will strengthen local Government to ensure that
Grjenadine l pairt.icipate in their own government.
"I think it is a very important thing", she said, "and I believe the Minis-
ter in charge of Local Government will have a big job but a very important
job to do'".
" What is important now is that one chapter of Caribbean history is over
and that we really plan properly how we are going to take the Caribbean for-
ward from now on".
That is the opinion of James ,Scn" Mitchell, St. Vincent's prime Minister.
Mr. Mitcholl said he was delighted to hear in the Throne Speech that there
is to be a Constitutional Review Commission similar to what has been set up
in St. Vincent.
"It is.going to be difficult to change these constitutions", he said, "but,
nevertheless, in the light of our experience, it's important to have a good
rational look at them".:
"It is a great relief to see Grenada recover to the point where it can est-
ablish, once again, a parliamentary Democracy", said Mr. Edward Se g, Jamai-
ca's Prime Minister, "this is the 'strong tradition of the entire English-
speaking Caribbean . and Grenada was the odd man out for some time".
It is rewarding and pleasing to see Grenada once again in the parliamentary
Democracy fold, Mr. Seaga said, andihe expressed the opinion that on this
base can now be built an economic system which will offer the opportunities
of prosperity to the people.
;Prime Minister Herbert Blaize, around whom the ceremony of the opening of
Parliament centred, expressed satisfaction with "fantastic" public support
Sand said the new members of the House had "shaped up like veterans".
-Period Ending 31.12.84 THL GRENADA NEWSLETTER age 7
Mr. Blaize said the Throne Speech had, in a general way, thanked all those
countries who came to Grenada's support and help, and it would be understood
that this means, primarily, the United States of America.
"But, in addition to that", he said, "we are having special help from the
United States in our budget arrangements, and I believe that, without their
assistance, we could not function".
GGC THINKD ,
Prime Minister Herbert Blaize, addressing parliament on Decembet 28th, said
that, in the Throne Speech, there had been an omission from the list of per-
sons and or.-nis...tions who were thn:;-ked for having come to Grenads's'assist-
ance after the crisis of October 18'3.
"I invite you to throw your minds back'to one year and two months ago", Mr.
Blaize said, "when this country was-in need of a saving grace and had to
find the means of getting itself out of a hole and, by God's grace, we had
at Governor General's House, a man with courage and resourcefulness who put
the pieces together and created the' conditions'for our rescue".
The prime Minister said it is essential, in thanking Governor General Sir
Paul scoon for delivering the Throne Speech, that the fact be recognized
that, were it not for his efforts and the efforts of those who came to Gre-
nada's assistance, the Parliament of Grenada would not have been reestab-
lished at this time,
Mr. Blaize said that, in addition to recognizing the valuable service render
ed to the country by Sir Paul, under very difficult and hazardous conditions
he took the opportunity to.thank the slaff of,the Houses of parliament and
citizen who volunteered to help to organise the proceedings of the opening
C.P pINT AT.7'CUNCED
prime Minister Herbert Blaize, addressing the nation in a radio broadcast
from an .ecumenical service held on December 14th, announced his Cabinet and
the Senators appointed on his advice by Governor General Sir Paul soon.
According to the Constitution, ,the Prime Minister nominates 10 Senators oi
the 13-strong Senate, the Le-der of the Opposition nominating the other 3.
Of the 10 nominated by the prime Minister, 3 are appointed by the Governor
1Gener-l, acting on the advice of the prime Minister, "after the Prime Minis-
ter has consulted with the organizations and interests which the Prime Min-
ister consiacrs the Senators should be selected to represent".
Page 8 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER period Ending 31/12/84
In this connection, Mr. Norris James, Chairman of the Grenada Cooperative
Nutmeg Association, represents the agricultural community, Mr. Charles "Lad-
die" Mclntyre, president of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce re-
presents the commercial community and Mr. C6 Eric Pierre, Secretary of the
Grenada Seamen and W'aterfront Workers Union, represents the trade union move-
The other 7 Senators appointed by Mr. Blaize are Messrs. Bennet "Ben" Andrews,
Adolphus Antoine, Franklin Theodore St. Bernard Bullen, Lawrence A. Joseph,
Jerome Oliver Joseph, Norton Geoffrey Noel and Miss Gloria St. Bernard.
The Cabinet will have 7 Ministers, each being assisted by a Parliamentary
Secretary. Mr. Blaize, as Prime Minister, has retained the portfolios of
Home Affairs, Security, Information, Carriacou Affairs, Finance and Trade,
Industrial Development and.Planning.
Two Senators will be attached to Mr. Blaize's office as Parliamentary Sec-
retaries. They are Mr. Franklin Bullen who will be in charge of Csrriacou
Affairs and Mr. Ben Andrews whose duties have not been specified.
External Affairs and Legal Affairs will be the responsibility of Mr. Ben
Jones with Mr. Tilman Thomas as parliamentary Secretary assisting in Legal
Mr. George Ignr3tious Brizan holds the portfolios of Agriculture, Forestry,
Lands and Fisheries, and of Tourism. His Parliamentary Secretary is Mr.
SLabour, Cooperatives, Social Security and Local Government will be the re-
sponsibility of Dr. Francis Alexis assisted by Parliamentary Secretary Mr.
SNorton Geoffrey Noel who is a Senator.
The portfolios of Education, Culture, Spo't and Youth Affairs have been given
Sto Mr. George McGuire and he wiln be assisted by Parliamentary secretaryy Mr.
Mr. Daniel Williams, assisted by parliamentary Secretary Mrs. Pauline Andrews
will handle Health, Housing, women's Affairs and Community Development. Mrs.
Andrews is the wife of Senator Ben Andrews.
The seventh Ministry ,oes to Dr. Keith Mitchell. This is the portfolio of
Works, Communications, public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Energy. His
parliamentary Secretary is Mr. Kenny Lalsingh.
No Senators have been appointed by the Leader of the Opposition because, Mr.
Marcel peters, .the sole representative in the House of Representatives of Sir
Eric Gairy's .renada United Labour Party, has resigned his appointment by the
Governor General as Leader of the Opposition.
It is not expected that Mr. peter, will take his seat in the House and, when
he has missed 3 consecutive meetings, his seat will be declared, vacant...
P'ri6d Ending 31.12.84
BLAIZE: THINGS BD WITH "RIGHT" AND "LEFT"
prime Minister Herbert Blaize, in a radio broadcast to the nation on Decem-
ber 14th referred to an election pledge of his New National Party (NNP)
that changes will be made in Grenada's Constitution.
"We asked you, during the course of the campaign, to give us the authority
that we can make the changes that are necessary to be made in the Corstitu-
tion to give you the control of the affairs of your state and to permit you
to maintain that control".
Mr. Blaize said NNP had asked for at least a two-thirds majority in parlia-
ment, the majority.needed to effect Constitutional changes, but the elector-
ate, by giving NNP 14 of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives had
said "at least" is not enough and had given the party"a whopping majority".
The Prime Minister referred to charges laid by right wing Sir Eric Gairy
of the Grenada United Labour Party and left wing Kendrick Radix of the
Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement, that the elections had been rigged.
"Those who could not stand the sight of each other before the election", he
said, "those on the right with the kind of dictatorship that we do not want
to go back to, (and) those on the left with the kind of destruction we turn-
ed our backs on, they joined together in saying 'they tief, It.
Mr. Blaize said that, when that stage has been reached, things are very bad
with both the right and the left, and he said the test of a man who wins is
not that he gloats but that he gives thanks for the opportunity given him.
"The case of the one that loses", he said, "is not to charge rigging, but
to say, 'perhaps I will have better luck next time, let me try to serve the
people in such a way that, perhaps, next time, they might tell me yes' ".
The Prime Minister said that, since the election of his party to control
the Government, he has had positive indications of support from a number
of countries and he is thankful for this.
These include China, St. Vincent, Jamaica and other Caribbean Community
countries, France, Venezuela, south Korea, the:organization of East Carib-
bean States, Canada, The United Kingdom, the European Economic Community,
and the orgCanizration of American States.
"I have left out the last and the best", Mr. Blaize-said, "the biggest and
the 'hardest', the United States of America. Having come to our rescue,
They don't feel they can turn their backs on us, and so we say, 'help us
to help ourselves, to put ourselves in a way that we can ensure our own
security'. They say they will do that and more, and I'm waiting to hear
what the 'and more' is."
Mr. Blaize said his Government wishes to mote rapidly on the matter of
Amendment of the Constitution which will provide for local Government,
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
Page 10 TH E GRELADA NEW SLETT_ T per
I" ~ '* * * '
iod Ending 31.12.84
and a Chairman of the Constitution Amendment Committee has already been
The prime Minister said also that each iNP' elected Member of the House has
already begun to prepare a statement of his or her financial position for
"Woe cry ahtn a man takes office, you must know what he is, who he is
oun how much he is worth ...", he said.
The unemployment situation is to have priority attention, he said, and fin-
ancial clearance has already been had from the United States for the setting
up of some factories and, in due course, industrial estates are to be set up
throughout the state.
An Industrial Development Corpbration is shortly to be established, he said,
and Tourism Development is to have early attention.
The Prime Minister said action will be taken against the use of obscene lan-
guage in the streets, on the playing fields, in public places and "even ob-
scene language among some of those who are supposed to maintain law and order,
He spoke out against lawlessness, speeding on the roads of the state, misuse
of Government vehicles and praedial larceny.
"The task ahead is no easy task", he said, "and that is why we began this
day the way we did, so.that we and you together will put:the job on foot".
r" TUC ACCUSES BLAZE
The Grenada Trade Union Council (TUC) has accused Prinme Minister Herbert
Blaize of making 'erroneous" and "misleading" statements.
In a press Release TUC referred to Mr. Balize's public announcement that
agreement had been reached with the Trade Union Movement.on the appointment
of Mr. C. Eric Pierre as Labour's Representative in the Senate, and TUC
said this is not so.
According to TUC, at a meeting held with Mr. Blaize on December 11th, the
prime Minister said that, for this post, he had selected Mr. Pierre who is
the General secretary of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Union.
"The TUC's delegation voiced strong objections to the manner in which the
selection was made in that the Movement was not afforded the opportunity
of making a recommendation as to .who should be its representative", the TUC
'Release said. "The Prime Minister's reply to the delegation's reservations
,as that he had noted the comments made".
__ _ __ _
period Ending 31.12.8 THI GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 11
According to Grenada's Constitution, the Prime Minister is to appoint 10
Senators. There are no conditions attached to the appointment of '7of
these posts, but there are conditions governing appointment of the other 3.
These 3, the Constitution says, are to be appointed after r the prime Minis-
ter has consulted the organizations or interests which the Prime Minister
considers the Senators should be selected to represent'".
These 3 Senators are regarded as "independent" and divorced from the Prime
Minister's political party. In the case of the appointment of Mr. Pierre,
however, there has been public criticism in that he is known to have been a
firm supporter of, if not a member of, Mr. Blaize's Grenada National Party,
one of the parties which went into the making of the New National Party (N;UP
There has been criticism also of the appointment of Mr. Charles "Laddie"
McIntyre to represent commercial interests in the Senate. Mr. McIntyre is
president of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce but informed
sources say that body was not consulted on the appointment. Further, it is
known that Mr. McIntyre took an active part in organizing the NNP election
There has been criticism also of the appointment of the third Senator, Mr.
Norris James, who represents agricultural interests. Informed sources re-
port that a delegation representing the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Associa-
tion, the Cocoa Association and the Grenada Banana Cooperative Society met
Mr. Blaize and put forward the name of their choice for the Senate.
Mr. Blaize did not accept this and it is pointed out that his choice, Mr.
Jam.s, was a candidate for elections on the Grenada National Party ticket
before ?NIP was formed.
An editorial in the "Grenada Voice" newspaper'puts forward the view held
by some sections of the public,
I"The representatives of sectional interests have usually been regarded as
'independent' Senators", the editorial said* "and given the situation which
exists in the Lower House (Blaize's NNP has 14 of the 15 seats) it is some-
what like loading the dice to appoint, in these particular seats, men who
are clearly identifiable as 'Blaize men' ".
* CHAMBER DISPLEASED WITH PM
The Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce 'is to protest to Prime Ministe:
Herbert Blaize over the manner in which he appointed a Senator to represent
commercial interests in parliament.
Scurces close to the Chamber said on December 24th the Chamber was not con-
suited b'efore-Chamber President Charles "Laddie" McIntyre was ap-ointed to
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
period Ending 31.12.84
the Senate, and a letter of protest signurd by the first Vice-president,Fred.
Toppin, is to be sent to the prime Ministr*
According to the Grnad.a Constitution, the Prime Minister is to appoint 10
persons to the Senate. There are no conditions attached to the appoiht-
ment of 7 of these but there are conditions for the other 3.
The Constitution says they are to be appointed "after the prime Minister
has consulted the organizations and interests which the Prime Minister con-
siders the Senators should be selected to represent".
This protest from the Chamber will follow a protest made by the Trade Union
Council that that body was not consulted before Mr. Eric Pierre, Secretary
of the' Samen and l3at'trfront Workers Union, was appointed to the Senate to
represent labour interests.
There has been no public protest from the agricultural community over the
appointment of the third Senator, Mr. Norris James, but informed sources
say there is dissatisfaction with this appointment also.
The sources say a delegation representing the Grenada Cooperative.Nutmeg
Association, the Cocoa Associaton and the Grenada Banona Cooperative Society
met Mr. Blaizu and submitted to him their choice of a senator, but the prime
Minister did not accept this.
,Mr. Mcintyre played an active part in organizing the campaign for Mr. Blaizet
New National Party (rNP) in the recent election campaign. Mr. James was a
candidate on the ticket of Mr. Blaize's Gr'narda National party before NNP
was formed and Mr. Pierre is known to be a firm supporter, if not a member
of Mr. Blaize's political party, the three are seen as "Blaize's men" and
theit appointments:as "patronage" rather than as for'independent represent-
ation of sectional interests.
GRENADA DEDICATED TC GOD
"Three times a day, morning, noon and night, I have prayed for this day to
come ... I promised Almighty God that, come that day, we the people of Gre-
nada will assemble and say, 'God, we are your people, we are here in your
name, bless and let us go forward' ".
So said Prime Minister Herbert Blaize'on December 14th as he addressed tht
nation at an Ecumenical Service of Dedication of the Nation organized by the
Council of Churches, Grenada.
Some 2,000 persons accepted Mr. Blaize's invitation issued after his election
to attend this service held at Queen's Park, the playing fields on the out-
skirts of St. George's.
Period Ending 31.12.84 THE GRL.NADA. TE'LETTER Page 13
Lessons were read by Governor General Sir Paul Scoon and Chairman of the now
dissolved Interim Government, Mr. Nicholas Brathwaitel and the sermon was
preached by Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada, Sydney Charles.
With his theme centering on "liberation" Bishop Charles said that, after
their "exodus" Grenadians are being "challenged to holiness".
"Christian liberation is not only liberation from political domination, ec-
onomic domination or cultural domination", he said, "but liberation from sin,
from moral ic- iad: tion and every other kind of evil that stands between us
In the course of the service, Mr. Blaize announced his Cabinet and the Sen-
ators the Governor General has appointed on his advice. The .ernators and
Members of the Cabinet each took their oaths of allegiance to the tueen and
their Oaths of Office, their Instruments of Appointment being hahded to them
by the Governor General.
In a moving ceremony at the end of the service, Sir Cuthbert Woodroffe, Gre-
nada-born Anglican Archbishop of the West Indies, led the dedication of the
nation as he called on the crowd present and the radio audience to put aside
all else for a few moments.
"Let us forget Herbert BlEise, let us forget Eric Gairy, let us forget Ken-
drick Radix, let us forget GNP and NNP and GULP and what else", he said,
"but let us now see Greonad. with its hands outstretched to God ...",
Then, with the crowd standing and saying after him, and with a request to
Grcnndians in the radio audience to do likewise, Bishop Wcodroffe recited a
vow and pledge of allegiance to Grenada.
During the course of the service, there were renditions by a local choir and
at the end of the service, refreshments were served.
BLAIE TO RELET CHAMBERS
Mr. peter Rambert, acting High Commissioner to Grenada for Trinidad & Tobago
resident in Barbados, confirmed in an interview on December 28th that the
Prime Ministers of Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago are to meet for discussions
"The Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. George Chambers, sometime last
weekk, he said, "issued an invitation to the prince Minister of GrirnAda, Mr
Herbert Blaize, to visit port-of-Spain for talks as soon as Mr. Blaize's
busy schedule will permit him to do son,
jthe Trinidad & Tobago Foreign Minister, Mr. Basil Ince, was due to have dis-
cussions with Mr. Blaize on December 29th, Mr. Rambert said, and he .thought
This is a-very "positive sig,,'.
THT!? GREVDA rN'.V'SLETTER
The acting High Commissioner said he "susp cts" that the Blaize/Ince dis-
cussions would lay the foundation for the prime Ministers' meeting, but he
did not have any inform: tion on this.
MBPM CANDIDATE RESIGNS
One of the candidates who unsuccessfully contested the recent General Elec-
tions on the Maurice Bishop patriotic Movement (MBF'M) ticket, resigned from
that party on December 15th.
Mrs. Kennethia Gittens-Thompson, who polled a total of 99 votes out of the
total of 3,386 cast in the St. George's East constituency, said in a press
Release that she had been "browbeaten" by Messrs Kendrick Radix and George
Louison, prominent MBPM members, into signing a statement which "does not
give a true picture".
The controversy centres around the ollceation that MBPM approached Sir Eric
Gairy with a view to forming a common front with his Grenada United Labour
Party (GULP) to protest the conduct of the recent-General Elections. Mr.
SRadix has denied this, but, in his Party newspaper of December 1st issue Sir
Eric claims that an approach was.made.
"..hil I had decided to lay low with Mr. Radix' denial that a prominent
:'BiM member had visited me", he said, "I must clear the air since silen.ce
on my part would tend to tarnish my reputation and, particularly, as more
and more people have been coming to respl-ct the verity of my written and
Sir Eric said Mrs. Gittens-Thompson visited him and told him she had been
sent by MBPM to find out what GULP planned to do "concerning the Election
The GULP Political Leader reported pleasantries he had exchanged with the
lady and indicated that there had been a discussion concerning the purpose
of her visit to him.
"Our 25-minute discussions were mutually regarded as confidential", Sir
Eric said, "and, as far as I am concerned, it would remain so".
In her Press Release, Mrs. Gittens-Thompson said the visit to sir Eric had
not been her idea but had been at Sir Eric's invitation, She named a
prominent Government official in the Information Service as bringing the
i invitation from Sir Eric and said she did not discuss the matter with Mr.
Radix or any other MBPM Leader before accepting it.
However, naming a wellknown Gren'adian barrister, 'rs. Gittens-Thompson said
ae is Mr. Radix' "close advisor" and, when she had discussed the invitation
with this man,"...he tho' .-ht it was a good idea (and) I have every reason to
believe Mr. Radix 'iid or would approve". -continued-
period Ending 31.12.84
Pe iod Ending 31/12/84 THL 'REr:.DA NEWSLUTTIR Page 15
Neither the Information Service official nor the barrister was available for
The Gittens-Thompson press Release says Messrs. Radix and Louison were
"very abusive in their demands" that she sign the statement prepared by
them. She said also that "the basis of the statement is correct" but, aft-
er she had signed it, Nessrs. Radix and Louison added the words, "I wish to
apologise to the Party and the people for the damage this incident has caus-
Mrs. Gittens-Thompson said she sees no cause for apology and, if any damage
has been done to fiBYHM, it resulted because Mr. Radix' barrister "close ad-
visor" did not tell her Mr. Radix would not approve of accepting Sir Eric's
"I have today resigned from the MBPM", Mrs. Gittens-Thompson said. "I re-
sent the browbeating and pressure brought on me by Mr. Radix and Mr.
Louison to make me sign the statement, and also the Party directives as to
who I can and cannot speak to".
The ex-tHBPM cmrdidnte said she particularly resents the adding to the state-
ment after she had signed it. This is a dangerous and deceptive practice,
she said, and she has publicly disassociated herself from MBPM.
JONES ADDRESSES POLICEMEN
Honourable Ben Jones, recently appointed Minister for Legal Affairs in the
Cabinet of Prime Minister Herbert Blaize, told a passing-out parade of train-
ee policemen on December 20th that the safety and security of G-rrnada de-p.-nr
on their performance.
"I have been told that we will not have an army', he said, "therefore, every
aspect of security in this state will depend on you and how you perform.
And this is why I want to entreat you, as you go about your normal duty, to
bear in mind that you are the custodians of the law and the eyes of the na-
tion will be turned on you, watching what you do and. how you do it".
This was one of Mr. Jones' first official acts and the passing-out parade
was the fourth since the training programme started. There were 35 men on
parade and they bring to 210 the number of policemen who have received
This trnirinng pro'gramme has been divided into three phases, most of the men
now having completed phases 1 and 2. In February next, phase 3 will begin.
!The best trainees from each of the graduating classes will take part in
phase 3, the aim being to create in this phase a specially trained 8C-man
page 6 TI:E GR1ADA NE1'SL.TTER period Ending 31.12.84
Mr. Jones told the graduates that the law will be the instrument with which
they will work and that instrument will give them a great dealt of p6wer and
authority. They will have the power to arrest and to use a certain amount
of force if there is resistance, he said.
"I want to remind you that, in exercising those authorities", he eaid, tre-
member that you must do it with consideration. The laws you will he at-
tempting to enforce .apply requ:illy to you and you will be subject to tzem to
the same extent as the ordinary citizen".
Mr. Jones told the policemen their salaries will be paid from funds provided
by the ordinary citizen. This made them servants of the people, he said,
and no servant can be greater than his master.
Also attending the ceremony was Mr. Cosmos Raymond, deputy Commissioner of
police and Mr. Ben Andrew, parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Secur-
ity, which is in the prime Minister's portfolio.
PIERRE DJII-.S "r-ACHIIG"
Senator Eric pierro, General Secretary of the Grenada Seamen and Waterfront
Workers Union (SWUU) has denied charges that his union has been guilty of
In October, the Bank and General Workers Union (BGWU) complained to the
Trade Union Council (TUC) that SWWU was poaching its members employed at Gre-
nada Breweries Ltd. In a press Release issued on December 17th, TUC said
that, with agreement of both unions, an impartial umpire was appointed to
settle the matter.
Before the umpire could meet the two parties, however, TUC said, the Labour
Commissioner took a poll at Grenada Breweries and this, according to TUC,
was in defiance of Grenada's labour laws and repeated requests from the TUC
president, Mr. Basil Harford, to resolve the matter before the umpire as re-
quired by the TUC constitution.
"The activities of SVJWU-.in violation of the constitution and the TUC work
plan has been viewed by the Council with great disappointment", the TUC re-
lease said, "especially as it was pointed out to both unions at the Manage-
ment Council Meeting that they should cease organising activities pending
the outcome of the investigations of the impartial umpire".
Mr. Pierre said i. an interview on December 17th that, before the complaint
was made against S:'.TU, his union had applied to the Labour Commissioner for
a poll to be taken at Grenada Breweries.
i"We did not approach the BVjGU .:urkers at Grenada Breweries", Mr. pierre said,
S"they .ecnt representatives to us three or four times saying they had no wish
T.!.Z -REtADA NEWSLETTER
to be-lohg to a 'political' union. At their request, I had a meeting with
the workers at the Brewery. I encouraged them to take up their grievances
with B3,U but they were determined to have nothing further to do with that
Mr. Pierre said the workers at Gren.d-. Brew-ries are not the only workers
belonging to BGWU who have expressed a desire to leave that Union which
was founded by a prominent member of the New Jewel Movement, Vince Noel,
who died in a massacre at Fort George in October 1983.
Mr. pierre said workers at the Grenada Beach Hotel, Spice Island Inn and
Caribbean Agro Industries (operators of the flour mill), all members of
BGWU, have approached SVIWU and stated they no longer wish to be B'!GU mem-
The Labour Commissioner cleared it with the Attorney General that it was
legal to conduct the poll, he said, and when the poll was taken, 52 of the
59 workers voting chose SWWU.
"The people in TU.C are talking about poaching", Mr.. Pierre said, but they
do not know the meaning of the word. I have suggested to them that they
speak to the workers at Grenada Breweries and discover for themselves what
the facts are".
A similar situation existed last July with workers at the Health Department
and the St. Georgcs University School of Medicine where the Technical and
Allied Workers Union (TAWU) has r:co01nition, Mr. pierre said. The Senator
said these workers complained to SWWU that they were not getting service
from TAWU and requested SWWU to represent'them. As he had done with the
BGWU workers at Grenada Breweries, Mr. Pierre,said, he advised the TAWU
workers to discuss the matter with their union and, in that case, the mat-
tet had been resolved.
The SWWU General Secretary said most of the LG.VU members had been forced to
join that union in the days of the Peoples Revolutionary Government and now
the Grenada Breweries workers have come over to-SWWU because they no longer
wish to belong to:whnt they call a "political"union.
VENE U LATI EMBASSY BROKEN INTO
A Sunday morning chase by an alert young man may open the way to solve th,
mystery of two break-ins suffered by the Venequelan Embassy in Grenada.
Mr. Hyron Donald drove his parents to Churqh in St. George's on Sunday,
December 30th and, having dropped them off, was returning home when he saw
a lady he knows, Mrs "Ma" Lottie Phillip standing in the street outside her
period ..nding 31.12.84
page 18 THL GRENADA JS,.LLpTTER Period Ending 31.12.84
Mrs. Phillip seemed agitated so Mr. Donald stopped his car and inquired. Mrs.
Phillip said she had heard sounds of someone breaking into the next-door Vene-
zuelan Embassy so Mr. Donald went to investigate.
That Embassy is on the top floor of a 3-storied building and there is.a long
flight of outside stairs le:iding to the entrance* At the top, Mr. Donald
foundd the door open, and inside, there was a man in the front office. The
man ran out a back door and Mr. Donald raced back down the stairs to the
Mr. Donald is a motor mechanic and his car, a "3000 Capri", has had its en-
-ine souped-up and body remodelled with loving care. He calls it "Kit" aft-
er the computorised car seen in the television series "Knight Rider".
"Ma Lottie told me the man had run up the street past where the traffic pol-
iceman was on point duty", Mr. Donald said, "so I jumped into "Kit' and gave
SJenic he got to the policeman, the officer gave Mr. Donald the direction the
man had run and, shortly after, he caught up with the fugitive standing in
front of a shop. Mr. Donald told the man it would be better if he came with
him but the man pulled a knife so Mr. Donald left and alerted Embassy offi-
cials and the police.
Examination of the premises showed the man gained entrance by removing an
air conditioner. Inside, doors had been beaten open with a hammer and desk
"rawers had been forced. Nothing had been stolen.
The disturbing: feature of the incident is the apparent attempt at arson. The
Embassy opiertes a stand-by electricity generator and keeps a 5-gallon ccn-
tainer of gas on the premises. That container was found, half-empty, aban-
ioned in the p-ssage leading to the Ambassador's office. The rest of the
gas had been poured around a bank of three 4-drawer locked filing cabinets
in the office of the Ambassador's secretary. And there was a trail of gas
from the cabinets to the entrance door.
Sources close to the Embassy said there had been a similar break-in some 4
months ago. Nothing had been stolen then either but there had been no at-
tempt at arson. There was, however, one peculiar aspect of that first inci-
In the outer office, on the desk of one of the secretaries, was found a blank
letterhead no one has been able to ex:-lin. The bottom right hand corner wa '
torn off and at the top of the letterhead was printed, "From the desk of the
A Ambassador of Cuba, Grenada".
A Police official said it is only a matter of time before the intruder dis-
turbed by Mr. Donald is caught. "From Mr. Donald's description" he said,
'we know who he is and we will find him"I
period Ending 31.12.84 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Pag- 19
And the police got a "bonus" out of their investigations. Looking for the
man, they approached a house which undesirables are known to frequent. The
man was not there but, before they could enter the house and question the
occupants, a zipper bag containing several hundred dollars worth of mari-
juana was thrown,out of a window. The thrower was not identified.
Uil~TS DO B:.DLY
For yet another year,,the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) has
been forced to dip into its reserve funds in order to put cash in the hands
of farmers for Christmas.
In a financial statement circulated early in December to the 6,000 plus
nutmeg growers in the island, the Nutmeg Board shows a loss of over half a
million East Caribbean (EC) dollars on the trading year ended 30th June 19684
However, cheques were prepared by the Association to distribute 1.2 million
EC dollars to growers.
This has been made possible because one of the last acts of Mr. Nicholas
Brathuaite's Interim Government was to approve a grant of .5 million EC to
the Association from the European Economic Community's (EEC) STABEX alloca-
STABEX is a fund used by EEC to stabilise export prices of commodities from
the African, pacific and Caribbean (APC) countries with which EEC has an
Additionally, GCNA transferred .7 million EC dollars from reserves, thus
making a "surplus" of i.2 million which was distributed to growers.
GCIIA is the statutory body through which all exports of nutmegs and mace
must be made and the operation of the Association is to buy these commodi-
ties from growers throughout the trading year and, when the books are closed
on 30th June, to pay out the "surplus", if any.
However, because of unfavourable world market conditions, the fortunes of
the Association have been on the decline since 1978. In that year, the
surplus was 4 million EC dollars. This figure fell to 2.8 million in 1979
but a transfer from Reserves permitted a "surplus" payment of 4.3 million
SEC dollars in that year.
The actual trading profit fell, in 1980 to 2.1 million, in 1981 to less
than .5 million and in 1982 to a mere 45 thousand dollars. Inroads were
made on reserves in those years to pay "surplusses" of 4 million, 3.1 mil-
lion and 1.0 million respectively.
Page 20 ''E GREIJ,'..\ 1 .T.LLTTER period Ending 31.12.84
In 1983, trading for the year resulted in a loss of 152.4 thousand dollars
but a transfer from Res.rves allowed a payment of 1.2 million as "surplus"
to growers, and the 1984 year, with loss increasing to 576.7 thousand dol-
lars, was helped by Reserves and the STABEX gr-nt to pay 1.2 million.
Over the period 1979 to 1984, GCN. has drawn some 9.5 million EC dollars
from reserve funds to put with a total profit of 4.7 million to pay a "sur-
plus" of over 14 million EC dollars.
In a report to growers, GCNA said the STEEX funds had not yet been received.
It was hoped they will be paid into the Association's account in December
and, in the meantime, overdraft facilities were provided by Barclay's Bank
International and the National Cofmcrcial Bank of Grenada.
Mr. Robin Renwick, GCNA manager, said in an interview on December 13th that
trading in the period July to December 1984 has shown a slight improvement
over the average for the trading year ended 30th June last, but the improve-
ment is "nothing s:ectacular".l
"The constant drr.;ing upon reserve funds to fill out the 'surplus', is a very
unhealthy sign", he said, "and it is not a practice which we can continue in-
FIRE IN ST. GEORGE'S
Hundreds of Grenadians and the Grenada Fire Service stood and watched im-
potently on December 17th as a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed
a wooden dwelling house in St.Juille Street in St. George's
The fire was first seen and reported about 10.45 a.m. but the Fire Brigade
was slow in arriving and, the First Aid tender having exhausted its tank,
there was no water in the mains and the fire burned uncontrolled until the
house was entirely consumed by flames.
Residents of the area said the house had not been occupied but they alleg-
ed that it was frequented by "pot" smokers and it was suggested that this
activity may have been the cause of. the fire.
As a precaution, furniture from the nearest house to the fire was removed
to the nearby Roman Catholic St. Joseph's Convent. Several nuns, sisters,
Roman Catholic Bishop of Grenada, Sydney Charles and the Vicar General Cyril
Lamontagne, were seen actively engaged in this operation with other members
of the public.
No injuries were reported : the value of the fire loss could not be ascer-
tained but residents said, the house was in great need of repair.
period Ending 31.12.84 THL CREND_ NEhSLETTLR -age 21
TH;( ST. BL NA.RD CASE
A former Captain in the Trinidad & Tobago Defence Force and a graduate of
Sandhurst, the British Officers' Training School, gave evidence on December
12th for the prosecution against Ian St. Bernard, former member of the Peo-
ples Revolutionary Government and Ccmmissioner of Police.
Mr. St. Bc'rnard is charged with "preparing by the show of armed force to
procure an alteration in the Government of the State of Grenada", a charge
said to be very close to treason, and the charge relates to events which
took place here in October of last year when the late Prime Minister Maurice
Bishop and others were killed at Fort George.
The Saindhjrst graduate, Mr. Cecil Tony Buxo, who is now an Optometrist, was
the fifth witness to give evidence in this Preliminary Inquiry which opened
before Magistr-te Jerome Forde on October 1st.
On that date, Mr. Robert Evans, a businessman and a cousin of Maurice Bishop
was the only person to give evidence. The case was then adjourned until
October 8th but the Prosecution was not ready and no evidence was heard un-
til October 15th when three witnesses appeared.
These were Mr. Anthony Munro, a businessman who had been detained by the
Peoples Revolutionary Army (Pji.), Ms. Dale Ho3d who is an ex-member of the
PRA and police Inspector Jasper "'atson of the Barbados Police Force, now
seconded to the Grenada Police Force.
At the end of the hearing on December 12th, after Mr. Buxo's evidence, the
prosecution rested its case and Jamaican barrister Mr. Delano Harrison call-
ed no witnesses but made a "no case" submission. This was replied to by
S Grcnada's Jamaican-born Director of public Prosecutions, Mrs. Velma Hylton,
Magistrate Fordc reserved his decision which "ill be delivered on January
10th. MeIanwhile, Mr. St. Bernard remains free on bail.
According to Grenadian law, evidence given at a Preliminary Inquiry may not
Mr. St. Bernard was one of 20 persons charged with the murder of Maurice
Bishop and others on 19th October 1983. In a Preliminary Inquiry ended on
.Aju3t 8th last, he was freed of this change. The other 19 remain in cust-
ody and are experiencing difficulty in retaining Defence lawyers. The ne'
issizes open on February 5th'and this case may be heard then.
The present charge againstt Mr. St. Bernard was laid on August 21st.
period Ending 31.12.84
A 'Vest German national, Mr. Gerhard W. Jonas, convicted here for firearm
offences, has had his sentences remitted by Governor General Sir Paul Scoon.
At the same time, Sir Paul has issued a deportation order against Mr. Jonas
as an undesirable alien.
Mr. Jonas came to Grenada during the regime of the peoples Revolutionary
Government (PRG) and was employed by the PRG on a road construction project.
He stayed on in Grensda after the October 1983 Militar Intervention and,
early in October last, was arrested and charged with being in illegal possess-
ion of a submachine gun and ammunition.
On October 17th he was found guilty and was sentenced to serve two
The Governor General's orders of romi!sion of the unserved part of
I tences and of deportation are dated December 3rd and Mr. Jonas was
Departing plane the next morning.
put on a
A. GR7T'.'DI.N CHRISTMAS
United States troops in Grenada (and possibly some of the Caribbean Peace-
keeping force) will learn things about the Grenada Christmas they didn't
know last year.
December 1983 was too close to October 1985... the events of October were
too fresh in mind and there could not have been much notice of the Christmas
things Grenadians take for granted.
For instance, greet a Grenadian with the universally traditional "Merry
Christmas" and the reply comes back, "Many happy returns". This is not to
be confused with the birthday greeting, "Many happy returns of the day".
What the Grenadian is saying is, happilyy, I am returning your greeting
to you many times".
As happened in 1983, it was expected many of the visiting soldiers
the Caribbean and United States would be invited to have Christmas
with Grenadian families. And, they would enjoy again the special
Which make the Grenadian Christmas.
SThere would be ham and turkey, of course. But, there would also 1
pfI' pot". This is an inheritance from the Amerindians who used tl
manioc root to make a meat preservative called "cassareep". This
be prepared in an earthenware pot as the cassareep would eat ihto anything
ietal with serious gastronomic effects.
THE GNZNuD."D iJEJSLETT-R
THE GRLN ,D, IiJE'S.LETTER
The only thing which mUst not be put into the,peppetpot is fish. Outside
of that, it's your choice. Beef, pork, chicken, lamb., oxtail ...* it's
all there and, just warm the pot everyday and it lasts on and on with what-
ever you add to it. There's a tradition of some families bequeathing their
pepperpots as heirlooms.
In Grenada, if Christmas dinners to be a Christmas dinner, there are cer-
tain essentials. There must be "cush-cush", a delicate purple yam which
is never available ab\ny other time of the year. And there must be green
peas and fribd plantains.
On the "soft" drink side, the two Christmas drinks in Grenada ( and most of
the Caribbean community) are sorrel and ginger beer. Ginger beer is made
from the root of the ginger plant while sorrel is made from the bright red
flower of a s1c-cies of hibiscus plant. After the seed has been removed,
the flower is put to soak in water, then it is "drawn" and put to "set" in
A secret in the manufacture of sorrel, learned the hard way, is never, re-
peat, never, put sorrel to set in bottles with screw tops. It must be put
in bottles with corks. As sorrel sets, it ferments, gets "ripe", they say
in Grenada, and there comes a time when the fermentation reaches a point
when it will blow out the bottle cork. The fermentation is so strong that,
without this safety valve, the sorrel will burst the bottle with the conse-
quent risk of flying glass.
For the "hard".drinks, at Christmas, in addition to the usual rum, whiskey,
beer,:gin, vodka, etc., there is "ponchecrema-, a concoction of rum, eggs,
sugar, milk and nutmeg whose smooth consistency masks a potency which is not
In Grenada, at Christmas, a tale is sometimes recounted to "correct an error'
appearing in most standard dictionaries. In those dictionaries, the word
"grog":is said to mean "a mixture of rum and water" and the Grenadians have
no argument with this. 'ihat they do take issue with is the derivation of
the word which, in the dictionaries, is traced back to a certain British
Admiral Vernon who, in 1740', is said to have ordered that water be mixed
with the rum before it was issued to his sailors.
This Admiral wore a cloak of silk, mohair and wool, known as a "Grogram"
cloak, and, because that earned him the nickname of "Old Grog" the rum and
water mixture he ordered for his sailors is said by the dictionaries to hav
become known as "grog".
lGrenadians dispute this derivation and relate a far more attractive story.
According to the islanders, at a time when Grenada was known for its fine
rum and was a major supplier of this commodity to the Britishmarket, the
British Navy decided to draw its supplies direct from the rum manufacturer:
in Grenada rather than buy through a merchant in Londbn,
. priod Ending 31.12.84
P-.ge 24 THE GREN.D\I NE:.3;LETTER period Ending 31.12.84
Because it was aged in casks for many years before being shi iped, all Grenada
rum was marked, "Old Grenada" to indicate its excellence but the Navy wanted
special markings to, differentiate it from the stuff sold io the market. This
vas in the reign of George 3rd and so all Grenadian exporters were told to
mark "Georgeus Rex Old Grenada" on all casks of rum shipped for the Navy.
These instructions were followed at first, but it took too much time and ef-
fort to write it out in full so, after a while, it was abbreviated to the
First letter of each word, G-R-O-G.
And, for the Grenadian, that's a much better story for Christmas:than Admir-
al Vernon's Grogram cloak.
THZ GR2NADA MACE
STe Mace, in any House of parliament, is a piece of ceremonial equipment re-
Spresenting the authority of the House, but the Mace of the Grenada House of ,
Representatives is, in addition,a thing of mystery.
.hen the Gron:.da parliiamnt opened on December 28th, the Mace was ceremonious-
ly carried into the Chamber of the House and laid on its special cradle. Be-
fore that, it h-id rested, unremembered and gathering.dust, in some cupboard
after the New Jewel Movemen' revolutionaries had in 1979, banned the Consti-
tution and the "Wlestminster' Style" form of Government.
this was not the first time the Mace has dropped out of sight.'' According to
informed sources close to parliament, it disappearede" from the House in 1876,
Sa significant year in Grenada's history.
.t that time, the island had a Constitution from Britain which gave it, if not "
the powers of an independent nation, then control of its own affairs to a far
:greater extent than a Crown Colony. But, the majority of the elected members
of.the Government of that day were not of the calibre to cope with this re-
-hey passed a Resolution abolishing their Constitution and, in an address to
uc.en Victoria, said, "..*4e leave entirely to your Majesty's wisdom and dis-
cretion to erect such form f Government as your Majesty shall deem most de-
sirable for the welfare o he Colony.."..
'The result was that, for the next 50 years, there were no elections in Grena-
da and the island wnsg.-overne.i by decree from London.
IIt was during that period thi the mace, solid silver, measuring 4 ft. 9 ins.,
with a weight of 45 pounds, is said to have ndisnpp.-ared",
7hat happened to it is anyone's guess, but Grenada was granted Limited Repre-
.entative Government in 1925 And, 5 years later, the mace was again occupying
its place in the Legislative Chamber. -contd.-
page 26 THE GREN.'.D.1 N: 'SLETTER period Ending 31.12.84
In asking for assistance from the -ublic for his Government to carry out its
programmes, he used a popular proverb which nceds no explanation.
The Government and people need each other, he said, because "one hand can't
SI!IRTJ..CS OUT 1
At the ceremonial opening of the Grenada Parliament on December 28th the
dress of Members of the House of Representttives and Senate was noticeably
in sharp contrast to what has become the norm in Parliament up to the time
of the 1979 revolution.
All Members in Parliament conformed, to "colonial" standards. The conven-
tional, "jacket and tie" was the order of the day and some of the parliament-
arians had on the full regalia of three-piece suits.
This was a reversal of the trend which began after the General Elections of
December 1976. At the first meeting of parliament..after those Elections,
5 of the 6 Opposition Members of the House wore shirtjack suits. They were
Messrs. Norris Bain, Bern'rd Cgard,..Unison Whiteman, 'inston Whyte and Maur-
ice Bishop, and that was :the first time this Caribbean-style dress had been
seen in the Grenada parliament. .
The sixth Member of the Opposition, Mr. Herbert Blaize, was dressed in collar
Informed sources told NEWSLETTER that the Speaker of the House decides what
Dress is appropriate. Those sources said also that in an effort to "raise
standardss, there will be insistence on the "jacket and tie" mode of dress
31st December 1984
, o j :
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printed &-,Publisied by the Proprietors
.AlXster & Cynthia Hughes, Journalists:
of Sqott Street ,.St., Georgee, Grenada, Westiadies
period Ending 31.12.84 THL GREIJ,D.. NEVSLETTR Page 25
But the greatestmystery of the Grtn.,da Mace is its origin. It bears the
old Arms of the island which show a primitive sugar mill operated by slaves
ard oxen with the Latirt words which mean, "these will be thine arts". And,
like most silver, it bears a hallmark which indicates the year of its manu-
facture. That year is 1780 or 1781, but this does not fit comfortably
into Gronodrn's history.
In 1779, the French captured Grenada from the British who had been in poss-
ession for some 16 yas bYefore that. And the French held Gren3ad until
1783 when the Treaty of Versailles gave the island back to the British. So,
in 1780 and 1781, when Grenada was in the hands of the French, the Mace was
trade in Enlrnnd for an-EnglisHi-sp'iaking Government 6f Grenaia which did not
Of course, the order may have been placed with the silversmiths before Bri-
tain lost the island in 1779 and it was made and kept in anticipation of
recovering Grenada. And, as far as its disappearance in 1876 is concerned,
some patriotic soul may have had it in safekeeping, anticipating a return
to Representative Democratic Government at some time.
The answers are shrouded in'the darkness of poorly kept records. On Dec-
ember 28th, however, Geran-diins saw, nace more, the Mace of the Grenada
House of Representatives, the symbol of parliamentary Democracy, in its
honoured place in the Chambor of Parliament Building.
ONE .'.ND CAN'T CLAP
By his liberal sprinkling of words, phrases and proverbs drawn from the Gre-
nadiin vernacular, Prime Minister Herbert Blaize delighted his listeners
on December 14th as he made his speech to the nation during the Ecumenical
Service of dedication.
Referring to the United States intervention .n October 1983, and highlight-
ing that action as God-inspired, Mr. Blaize said it is well known that,
"when God can't come, he does send". (When God can't come,he sends).
In another instance, giving the reason why poli cians elected to public
office should publish a statement of their fin ial position, he said, "so
when things turn ole mas, you can tell if they practice rachefay". (so,
at the moment of truth, you will know' if they h-'e bekp dishonest).
Speaking out against those who use the roads of Grenada as race tracks for
their vehicles, he said they are behaving as aif "speed is going out of
style". And he said, woe betice those who break the regulations to stop
this becnauBe "crapeau Smbke their pipe" ,: (They will be in a very serious