Group Title: Official newsletter of the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Title: Official newsletter
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 Material Information
Title: Official newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Publisher: Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
Place of Publication: London, England
Publication Date: October/November 2005
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099220
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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_The High CommissE

ISSUE No.104 October/lst November 2005

Sn November I Antigua and Barbuda celebrated its
24th Anniversary of Independence with a Ceremonial
Parade at the Antigua Recreation Grounds.

In his Independence Day Message Prime Minister
of Antigua and Barbuda The Honourable Baldwin Spencer
began his address by expressing his deep gratitude to
everyone for their continuing contribution to the
development of Antigua and Barbuda. Special mention
was made of those who made heroic contributions to their
communities and to their country. He saluted all those
who have been publicly acclaimed, as well as those who
remain unsung heroes, those who have contributed simply
by being worthy examples in their devotion to their
families, many by dedicating their lives to public service
and by providing care and protection to others in our
Prime MinisterSpencer andMrs Spencer at the National communities and some have contributed by providing
Independence Day Ceremonia (Parade spiritual guidance to our nation.

He continued, "As we celebrate this 24th Independence Day, we stand at the threshold of our nation's 25th year of
Independence. We are poised for the year that will take us to our nation's Silver Jubilee, which we will celebrate twelve months
from today. The next twelve months will therefore be of particular historical significance to the Antiguan and Barbudan people.
Next year will be of special significance for Antigua and Barbuda for a number of other reasons. The fiscal and monetary
measures we choose will determine how the country is affected by global perspectives on the price of oil that continue to be
ominous. Though potentially beneficial, Venezuela's PetroCaribe initiative may be several months away from practical
implementation. We will be confronted with managing our country's fragile economy in the uncharted environment that the full
implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Single Economy will bring. The CSME will open our borders to competition of
goods and services from our sister CARICOM countries, to an unprecedented extent."

The Prime Minister also stated "We must also strengthen the institutions and infrastructure that impact investment and
trade, and those that are basic to good governance. My Administration has already put strong institutions and apparatus for good
governance in place. The country's first Integrity Commission has been appointed, and the mandated apparatus for administration
of the Freedom of Information Act is ready."

Doflr ar re[ initiative
commences (pages 5 and6)
PMM Owen Arthur addresses
Antigua Cabinet (page 7)
Andy the VS Cricket Kalfof Fan
(page 8)
Antigua and Barbudai
emerges as preferredcruise
destination (pages 9 and10)

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Prime Minister Spencer reminded nationals that "Every person holding a position of
public trust should inculcate, where it may be absent, a set of values that embrace ethics
and honour, and acknowledging error and culpability, where circumstances so dictate.
These considerations are of particular relevance where public sector investment is

We are committed to the significant completion of two major infrastructural projects
during our nation's Silver Jubilee year. Thanks to the generosity of the People's Republic of
China, construction of the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground is well underway. Plans for
comprehensive upgrade and expansion of VC Bird International Airport are in place."

(For the full text of the Prime Minister's Speech, go to


Dear Reaadrs,

I was aeldyitedto meet so many
Antguans and- Sarhbuakns at tie
Inaependence Service organisedby tie
aNationaliAssociation in ondbn at St
.Marks Ciurci in Dalston on 3oti

In my welcome address to a small
gathering on tie 31st October, I
emphiasisethat "'Lef&ections shoulfocus
on wiat we believe need to be donefor
our elovedacountry, wiat attempts have
been maae in ada'essing tiose needs and
thefervent iope that our unitedefforts
wilf hear the fruit ofsuccess and-relief

ANeedlss to say, the cnalenges
faced/y our &islnds are many.

AJready in 2005 weface escalating
fuer prices, onerous aedt repayment
requirements antfai/iyn infrastructure
as a result of tie effects of te clmatic
outpouring of ieavy rains wiici even
tiouygi we needaadly, tie excess ofit as
surfeitedtie appetite. Recently tie cry

has beenfor tie redef so that our road can
standup a ittie longer than tiey currently
do in the present situation.

As you inow, AJntgua andSarudaa
ufe so many other aeveioping countries is
in need of much direct investment,
investment from its citizens at home ana
just as important from those citizens,
jtiendi and supporters overseas. JTh
government wilf e aiding alf within its
power to estabiish an enaling iusinesj
environment, to foster a transparent,
ethiicaf and generally productive ana
profitable arena in wiic/ everyone, both
Ibcalandforegn businesses canprosper.

The estafblhshment of a gooa
reputation for business anda7ievering on
tie promise ofa goodtourism adstination
are top priorities of tie current

I therefore caflupon eachi ofyou t6
consuir wilat you can adjfor your country
an/dtoput your sioulaers to tie effort oj
nation huiiang.

7We ear often tie proverbiai
statement tiat many iandi maie tie work
g&it, andin applying that to our current
situation I woulfdas that weput asike tle
differences wiich separate us andask ioCA
best we can be engaged- together t&
impyments pins for te strategic growth
and- aeveqlpment of our heautifu ana
unspoit nation

Let us e t e tojon togetierfor ti
common good for we are too few in
numbers, our resources too limited-andfou?
economy toofragiie to operate any otiei
way. "

Dr CarfaRoerts
/ih Commissioner

E NEWSIue 10

Education System
upgraded board
members named

The Ministry of Education is
moving ahead with its plans on
improving the level of education in
Antigua and Barbuda.

The Ministry has released the
names of a number of individuals who
will serve on the boards for three
separate educational institutions.

Education Minister Bertrand
Joseph said that the boards consist of
the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of
Continuing Education (ABICE), the
National Training Agency and the
Tertiary Working Group which will be the
amalgamation of the Antigua and
Barbuda International Institute of
Technology, the Antigua State College
and the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality
Training Institute.

According to Minister Joseph,
although each board will have different
responsibilities, they all serve one main
objective and that is to ensure that the
quality of education disseminated to the
residents of Antigua and Barbuda is of
the highest level in the region.

The members of the ABICE
board are as follows:
Chairman Cuthbert Joseph
Deputy Chair Eden Weston
Other members: Everton Cornelius
Garfield Joseph, Pascal Hughes, Eloise
Hamilton, Vernice Mack, Carl Henry,
Reginald Peterson
Ex-officio members: Acting Director of
ABICE Joseph Gilbert and Hollie

To be confirmed is a
representative of the Student
Government and the ABICE campus in

R. Allen Stanford
announced the programme
before a group of
international and regional
cricket media, and
surrounded by 12 West
Indies cricket legends at
the Pavilion Restaurant at
the V.C. Bird International
Airport. The 20120
Tournament which will take
place annually beginning in
August and September of
2006 and feature 17
SCaribbean countries all
c vying for the top sport and
the top prize of US $1

PM Spencer praises
Stanford Cricket
Tournament as

The initiative by Texan born
Antiguan billionaire R. Allen Stanford to
launch a new Caribbean Regional Cricket
Tournament has been hailed by Prime
Minister Baldwin Spencer as revolutionary.

Commenting at the launch of the
Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament, which
promises to revitalize the game of cricket in
the Caribbean, revive the waning spirits of
West Indies cricket fans and financially
reward the performance of teams and
individuals; Prime Minister Spencer said
that the initiative is a major development
for cricket in the Caribbean and for the
Caribbean in itself.

"This effort by Allen will put us in
a position to see the game of cricket in a
new exciting and dynamic way which is
what the game needs at this time. It is a
shot in the arm for the game and it will not
only tap the cadre of young cricket talent in
the region, but it will also place us in a good
position for World Cup 2007," said Prime
Minister Spencer.

Mr Stanford explained that
the tournament will be a single
elimination knock out competition
where the winning team will receive
US$1 million and the second place
finisher US$500,000; the cricket
boards of the top two teams will
receive US$200,000 and US$100,
000 respectively which must be used
toward the development and
improvement of the cricket facilities
in those countries. In addition, the
Man of the Match in every game will
receive US$25,000 and the Man of
the Match in the championship game
will receive US$100,000.

Mr Stanford also unveiled a
US$28 million budget that will be
invested in cricket in the region over
the coming months up to November
2006. At that time, a Stanford Super-
Star team will be selected by the
legends to play one match against a
world class team to be named. This
will be for a prize of US$5 million

The 17 countries which
have been invited to participate in the
competition are Anguilla, Antigua
and Barbuda, the Bahamas,
Bermuda, the Cayman Islands,
Dominica, Grenada, Guyana,

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EW Ie 56. 14

Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis,
St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines and
Trinidad and Tobago.

The cricket legends who were
in attendance comprised the Board of
the 20/20 Tournament including Clive
Lloyd, Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Viv Richards,
Wes Hall, Lance Gibbs and Desmond

Minister Baptiste wants
laws for the protection of
senior citizens

The Minister of Social
Transformation, Hilson Baptiste wants to
enact laws that will protect the nation's

Minister Baptiste made the
disclosure while speaking at a
Thanksgiving Service at the Holy Family
Cathedral, which was in recognition of
International Day for the Elderly and was
recently observed in Antigua and

According to the Minister, it
pains his heart that so many old persons
are left at the Fiennes Institute, while
their family members take over their
possessions and pensions and use them
for their own interest. The Minister said
he wants laws set up to protect the
senior citizens.

"I want Government to pass the
law that give Government the right that if
you have a house and can't take care of
yourself, we will take it and maintain you
until God take you from the earth." He
added that when the person dies the
funds will be used to cover all expenses
and what remains will go towards the

Lady Cartisfe presents a bouquet to one of
oldest persons in church

The Minister's comments evoked
loud applause from the congregation, as
he added that family members who do not
wish for this type of arrangement should
take better care of their loved ones.

The Minister said that family
members of a number of persons at the
Fiennes Institute are collecting
Government pensions and Social Security
benefits and this should not be.

During his address he said that he
hopes next year that the Citizens Welfare
Division and the Ministry of Social
Transformation can recognize all those
individuals who have given dedicated
service towards the safety and well-being
of the elderly.

The homily was delivered by
Superintendent of the Methodist Church,
Rev Charles Seaton, who encouraged the
elders not to forsake God and strive to live
in peace with everyone.

Also participating in the service
were Governor General Sir James Carlisle
and Lady Carlisle, who read the 1st Lesson.

A musical selection was rendered
by St. Stephens' Golden Age Choir while
the talented Jeremy Jarvis blessed the
hearts of the elders with a pan rendition.

Country Poverty Survey
to help eradicate
pockets of poverty

Antigua and Barbuda's
overdue Assessment of Living
Conditions and Country Poverty
Assessment was officially launched
on 5th October, opening the gates
for evaluators to take to the field.

The survey is
comprehensive in that it combines
living conditions, household income
and expenditure. It is a rich source
of socioeconomic information on the
household population and is often
regarded as an essential source of
data for the determination of social
needs and the establishment of
targets for development planning.

The feature address was
delivered by Minister of Social
Transformation, Hilson Baptiste who
likens the study to a plan for building
a house.

"You cannot honestly solve
the poverty situation in Antigua
unless you really know where it
is... and anybody who told you
otherwise they are wrong", Minister
Baptiste said. He added that, "You
cannot build a house without a plan
otherwise you will have problems
and to create a plan for economic
/social development you must
conduct a study and this is the only
way you can help the persons who
need help" Baptiste concluded.

Baptiste encouraged all
persons involved in the survey to
work diligently and put nation above
politics as the country needs all
hands on deck.

Also speaking at the launch
was Clairvair Squires, Portfolio
Manager Project Finance Division

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SNEWS Isue 14 e

of the Caribbean Development Bank,
who stressed the need for total
cooperation from the public.

Mr Squires told the press that
he was heartened by the presence of the
media and called upon them to use their
outlets to help publicize the event, which
is a key component for the success of
the survey.

Plans for the survey began
earlier this year and its expected that the
entire process will be completed within
one year.

Ministers of Labour
Conference in Mexico
a success

Antigua and Barbuda's Minister
of Labour Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro in
hailing the 14th Inter-American
Conference of Ministers of Labour a
resounding success.

Dr. Quinn-Leandro said that at
the Mexico meeting, Ministers of Labour
of the Organization of American States,
OAS re-affirmed their commitment to
respect, promote and realize the
principles of the International Labour
Organization as they relate to the
Fundamental Principles and Rights of

She outlined that two major
commitments are reaffirming the
conviction that "decent work" is the key
for improvements of living conditions for
peoples of the Hemisphere; and
underscoring the right to work as being
fundamental to human dignity. The
Ministers of Labour also issued a draft
Plan of Action with strategic objectives
which include promoting policies that
encourage investment and growth,
strengthening the capacities of the
Ministries of Labour and ensuring

Minister Quinn-Leandro (seatedsecondfrom right)
with her Labour colleagues

effective application of core international
labour standards.

The Mexico Declaration and Plan
of Action will be further assessed at the
Fourth (IVTH) Summit of the Americas
when Heads of State and Government
meet in Argentina later this year under the
theme: "Creating jobs to fight poverty and
strengthen democratic governance."

Minister Leandro was
accompanied to the Ministers of Labour
Meeting by Ambassador on Industrial
Relations, His Excellency Keithlyn Smith.

Police Communication
capabilities boosted

On the 29th October the
communication capabilities of the Royal
Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda was
further boosted with the handing over of
thirty cellular phones made possible
through an initiative mounted by the
Ministry of Information.

The Minister responsible for
Information, Dr. Edmond Mansoor
accepted the handsets from Assistant CEO
of Cable and Wireless Antigua, Mr. Melford
Nicholas. The handsets were made
possible through the collaboration of the
government, which is subsidizing the cost
of the units and Cable and Wireless, the
major telecommunications provider in the

Dr. Mansoor said that the
Ministry of Information will continue
to enter into arrangements with
members of the business
community in an effort to assist the
police in their crime fighting duties.
He noted that communication plays
a very important role in that avenue
and the government is committed
to ensuring that the Force is fully

The Information Minister
also noted that his Ministry will soon
continue the upgrading of all the
police stations in the country by
outfitting them with computers and
high speed Internet service. He said
that the upgrading will also include
networking the entire police system
in the country.

Mr Nicholas said that his
company immediately accepted the
initiative as proposed by the Ministry
of Information and will continue to
assist the Police Force in whatever
way possible. He said that the thirty
phones is the first in a set of
donations that will be made to the

Acting Police Commissioner
Ms. Delano Christopher thanked
both Dr. Edmond Mansoor and
Melford Nicholas for the donation to
the Police Force and called upon
other members of the business
community to assist them in their
crime fighting efforts.

Dollar Barrel Initiative to
commence November 15

On 26th October, Minister
of Finance and the Economy, Dr.
Errol Cort announced that the Dollar
Barrel initiative of the Government
will commence on 15th November,
2005 and will continue through to 31st
December, 2005.

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E N S Iue 1 04 e 2

Minister Cort noted that the
Government will once again bring cheer
to many families at Christmas by
allowing each household to import into
the country a standard-size shipping
barrel of selected goods free of all duties
and taxes but for one dollar.

The list of goods to be allowed
in the Dollar Barrel is as follows:

(a) foodstuffs;
(b) clothing, not exceeding seven
pieces of the same type;
(c) toilet paper;
(d) toothpaste;
(e) deodorant;
(f) soap; and
(g) shampoo.

The Department of Customs
and the Port Authority are presently
finalizing arrangements for the smooth
implementation of the Dollar Barrel

Antigua and Barbuda
commences development
of Influenza Pandemic Plan

The Minister of Health, John
Maginley met senior health and
veterinary officials towards the end of
October to discuss the avian influenza
situation. There has been a growing
concern about a possible bird flu
epidemic as outbreaks have been
reported in Asia. While the H5N1 virus
has most recently been detected in
Turkey, Romania and Russia, no human
cases have been reported in these

Senior health officials are in the
process of developing an influenza
pandemic plan for Antigua and Barbuda.
Officials recently attended a meeting at
the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre
(CAREC) in Trinidad where they were

updated on the avian influenza situation
and given draft preparedness plans.

"While there is no major cause for
alarm, we want to have plans in place so
that we are prepared and can respond
rapidly in the event of an outbreak" Minister
Maginley said. No cases of human to
human transmission of avian influenza
have been reported but scientists are
concerned the virus may combine with the
human influenza virus to produce a very
virulent virus that may cause a pandemic.

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr.
Gikonyo Kanyuira also met poultry farmers
to inform them of the precautionary
measures that can be taken to prevent the
spread of the disease and to improve
surveillance in animals. An animal disease
emergency preparedness plan is already in
place and will be adapted for avian
influenza. Live animals are not imported
from Asia or any other infected countries.
There is however a concern that migratory
waterfowl could introduce the virus into the
country and so migratory birds need to be

While avian influenza has
sometimes been shown to infect man, this
should not be confused with human
influenza virus, a common human disease
that affects populations seasonally. The
Ministry of Health is looking at procuring
vaccines for the human influenza, which
will be made available firstly to vulnerable
groups. A vaccine for avian influenza is not
yet available.

Minister Maginley also outlined
that members of the public need not be
concerned about the arrival of construction
workers from China who will be working on
the construction of the new cricket stadium.
He said that although China has reported
outbreaks of bird flu, no human cases have
been reported and so persons traveling
from China to Antigua do not pose a risk at
this time. There are no travel restrictions in
effect for persons travelling from China and
other Asian territories with avian influenza.

On an international note,
poultry is being kept indoors as a
precautionary measure in some
European countries and companies
are stepping up the manufacture of
the anti-retroviral drug Tamiflu, which
helps to reduce the symptoms of
human influenza.

"There is no need to panic
but we must continue to monitor the
situation carefully. The best thing the
public can do is to keep informed and
stay alert.

Avian flu is not a food borne
virus so eating chicken and eggs is
safe," the Minister said.

Former AIDS
Coordinator honoured

Antigua and Barbuda was
represented by the AIDS Programme
Manager, Mrs. Janet Weston at the
4th Annual General Meeting and
Capacity Building Workshop for
Caribbean Coalition of National AIDS
Programme Coordinators (CCNAPC)
held in St. Maarten from 17 19
October 2005.

Three persons who made
outstanding contributions to the fight
of HIV/AIDS were recognized and
awarded for their effort at the general

Mrs. Felicity Aymer of
Antigua/Barbuda was awarded for
her Outstanding Service to a
National Programme. Also honoured
were Dr. Bilali Camara from CAREC
for Special Lifetime Award for
Outstanding Service to CCNAP and
Ms. Mavis Huggins from St. Kitts and
Nevis for her Outstanding Service to

The CCNAPC is a peer
based organization committed to
improving the quality of National

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SNEue N. 14 2

AIDS Programme Coordinators and to
supporting member Caribbean nations in
reducing 4he spread and mitigating the
impact of HIV/AIDS in the region. This is
achieved through the strengthening of
membership capacity; facilitation of
collaboration among member
coordinators, managers and directors;
and the development of regional and
international alliances. To date the
membership consists of 35 countries
throughout the Caribbean.

Each year the CCNAPC meet
to discuss and share knowledge and to
plan programme for the development of
organization and its members. This
year a Capacity Building Workshop on
Behaviour Change Communication
designed to build capacity of the
participants in bringing about a positive
Behaviour Change as it related to
HIV/AIDS, was added to the agenda.

CCNAPC also elected a new
executive for the next two years. The
new chair is Ms. Suzette Moses, Director
and the AIDS Programme Coordinator
for St. Maarten.

Ministry of Tourism urges
nationals to rediscover
Antigua and Barbuda for
Tourism Week 2005

Plans are underway to host the
2005 Tourism Week celebrations, an
annual event organized by the Ministry of
Tourism to launch the upcoming winter
tourist season.

This year the week which runs
from November 27th to December 4th, will
be held under the theme, "Rediscover
Antigua and Barbuda together!"

According to Tourism Minister
Harold Lovell, "Much emphasis is being
placed on this year's event as we hope

to make it an all inclusive
national event
where everyone gets
involved and recognizes the
importance of the tourism
industry to our national
growth and development."

"It is imperative that
we as nationals know our
rime Minist
product, and market diligently wih RIC
and professionally if we are to t
compete for international
recognition, thus the reason
for the theme," Minister Lovell continued.

Committees have been set up
within the technical department of the
Ministry of Tourism to organize and plan

The advent of a new event added
to the week of events "Trading Places" is
already creating much stir among tourism
stakeholders. On this day Tourism officials
will exchange roles for the day and act in
the roles of their colleagues. It has already
been suggested that Minister of Tourism
Harold Lovell will be carrying out the duties
of a Taxi driver on that day.

More of national importance is the
Tourism Summit where it is expected that
this gathering will see over 300 tourism
stakeholders converged at the GRAND

The summit will feature key
speakers such as Vincent Vanderpool
Wallace, and St. Lucia's Minister of
Tourism Phillip Pierre, who will present
papers on various salient tourism topics,
after which notable dialogue between
stakeholders will serve as the basis for the
pending National Tourism Master plan.

It is the Ministry's intention to
garner full public support for this years'
event as we signal the start of the 2005-
2006 Winter Tourist Season.

ers (Baldwin Spencer andArthur photographed
OM Secretary-GeneraCand his Technicians and
he Cabinet ofAntigua andBar6uda

PM Owen Arthur
addresses Antigua and
Barbuda Cabinet

On the 15th October, the
Cabinet was brought up to date on
the status of the country's readiness
for the implementation of the
CARICOM Single Market by
December 2005, by the Prime
Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur
on his recent visit Antigua and

Prime Minister Arthur along
with CARICOM Secretary General
Dr. Edwin Carrington and a number
of technicians from the Secretariat
updated the Cabinet on the status of
the implementation of the CSME and
the areas in which Antigua and
Barbuda need to address in order to
become CSME compliant.

Among the major issues
which were brought to the fore were
the matter of non-citizens land
holding rights and free movement of

The CARICOM Secretariat
has consented to provide the
necessary assistance to Antigua and
Barbuda in its efforts to become fully

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E NEWS Ise .14 e

Finance Minister leads
OECS,preparation for
WTO Ministerial

On the 19th October Minister of
Finance and the Economy, Dr. Errol Cort
chaired a special two-day meeting of the
OECS Ministers responsible for Trade at
the Royal Antiguan Resort.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Cort
spoke of a challenging environment for
international trade at present, and urged
his colleagues to ensure that OECS
member states are well prepared for the
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
Ministerial which will take place in Hong
Kong in mid December.

WTO member states are in the
final stages of preparation for the Hong
Kong Ministerial, and WTO Director
General Pascal Lamy hopes to have a
ministerial declaration ready for
consideration by November 15.

During their meeting, the OECS
Ministers focused on the review of the
OECS trade policy framework especially
in the area of services. Also on the
agenda was an examination of CSM
processes; and assessing the state of
preparation for the Sixth WTO Ministerial
Conference. The Ministers also had
before them the impact studies for the
OECS on the proposed Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPA's) with
the European Union; and will review
recent developments on bananas in the

Minister Cort said that during
the 1980's and early 90's, OECS
Ministers and technicians formed an
effective partnership to advance OECS
interests within the wider CARICOM

"I call on my colleagues and all
senior officials to duplicate that synergy
and drive in the current globalization

environment because economic growth
and development very much depends on
it," Dr. Cort asserted.

Antigua and Barbuda
salutes Andy Roberts'
induction into the
US Cricket Hall of Fame

On 1st October former fast bowler
Andy Roberts represented the West Indies
once again, as the only West Indian to be
inducted into the US Cricket Hall of Fame.

This year's Cricket Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony was held in Hartford,
Connecticut and Roberts shared the
spotlight with famous Indian leg spinner
Bhagaat Chandrasekhar.

Roberts was also honoured at a
cocktail reception preceding the formal
Induction Ceremony co-sponsored by The
Ministry of Tourism and ABSTA. The major
presenter for this event was Mr. Hugh
Gore, one of Roberts' early cricket
contemporaries who took guests on a walk
down memory lane as he chronicled the
accomplishments of Andy Roberts'
impressive cricket career. Gore described
Roberts as "Antigua and Barbuda's
trailblazer in the world of cricket and a force
to be reckoned with among formidable fast
bowlers in the 70s and 80s."

One of the highlights of the
cocktail reception was the unveiling of a
portrait of Roberts by renowned Antiguan
artist Danny Knowles. This is a first in a
series of oil paintings featuring Antigua and
Barbuda's legendary cricketers that have
been commissioned by ABSTA. Knowles
indicated that he will release a series of oil
paintings as a part of the Calendar of
Events for the 500-Day Countdown to
Cricket Carnival.

A short film chronicling Roberts'
career and featuring tributes from many of

FormerAntiqua andWest Indies
fast 6owler, Andy Ro6erts

Roberts' cricket colleagues and
famous cricket commentators was
well received by guests.

Cricket trivia was also a
highlight of the evening and guests
and fans had the opportunity to win
cricket balls personally autographed
by Andy Roberts.

One of the crowning
features of the evening was the
distribution of life size solid chocolate
cricket balls which were described as
"bouncer balls that capture the
essence of Andy Roberts."

In accepting an award of
Excellence from the Government and
People of Antigua and Barbuda an
emotional Roberts said "I am
humbled and moved by this
programme and the outpouring of
kind words and well wishes.... this
has surpassed my expectations and
I am at a loss for words."

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E S Iu e N. 14 O e

Minister of Tourism Harold Lovell

Tourism Minister strongly v
advocates national t
tourism education r

"Do not only teach our people to
smile, but give them a reason to smile!" r
were the words echoed from Tourism
Minister Harold Lovell during his address
to the 2005 Graduating class of the t
Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality i
Training Institute.

The Tourism Minister delivered
a resounding message speaking on the t
importance of creating a tourism minded t
nation through proper education and t
training and ultimately certification. "In i
this new world environment no country
can survive if its people lack the training
and skills to compete with others. A well
trained, competent and motivated
workforce is a must if our small nation
state is to remain competitive and t
increase our market share," the Minister
Minister Lovell took the
opportunity to inform the gathering of a
new thrust being undertaken by the
Ministry to grant higher accreditation to
its students. "The Institute is currently

finalizing the necessary
logistics to introduce at the
A Certificate and diploma levels
An culinary and housekeeping
courses. Discussions are
Bait also currently taking place
.;- with the University of the
West Indies to start the
degree programme in
Tourism, with students
completing the first two years
in Antigua and Barbuda and
their final year in one of the
Campus territories like
Jamaica, Trinidad or
Barbados," he concluded.

In this same vein, the
Ministry of Tourism through
the ABHTI will be forging
inkages with tourism businesses with a
iew to increasing the efficiency of the
ourism education system and its
elevance to the labour market.

In early 2006 a Tourism
Education Summit will be held with all
elevant stakeholders present for the
Ministry to outline its strategic position and
dialogue with stakeholders to strengthen
he ABHTI by expanding the institution and
ts programs.

Emphasis in this regard will be
)laced on the developmental needs of the
ourism sector and the crafting of a long
erm Strategic Program of Action to drive
he institution in better preparing the
industry to face the challenges of

During the proceedings Prime
Minister Baldwin Spencer lauded the
efforts and exceptional work being done by
he Tourism Minister.

The Prime Minister said that
through the negotiating skills of Minister
Lovell the government is currently looking
at a number of new tourism investment
proposalss that represent an additional
?000 rooms with as many direct jobs for
\ntiguans and Barbudans, and

considering the caliber of students
passing out at the ceremony he is
confident that the future of tourism is
in good hands.

159 students graduated
from the Antigua and Barbuda
Hospitality Training Centre during a
ceremony held at the Multi-Purpose
Cultural Centre.

The areas of discipline
included Basic Cookery, Food and
Beverage Service, Entertaining with
Style, Quality Customer Care, and
the Service Ambassador Program.

The Ministry of Tourism
congratulates the staff of the ABHTI
under the directorship of Muriel
O'Mard for the excellent work which
they continue to do in enhancing the
cause of tourism in Antigua and

Antigua and Barbuda
emerges as preferred
Cruise destination

Following a series of
meetings with top cruise line
executives at the Florida Caribbean
Cruise Association Conference in St.
Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda emerged
as one of the preferred and evolving
destinations as recognized by the
cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean Cruise
Lines, Regional Vice President of
Government Relations, Horace Hord,
acknowledged the strengthening
partnership with Antigua and
Barbuda and recognized the
responsiveness of the country to the
concerns and issues raised over the
years by the cruise line.

Minister of Tourism, Harold
Lovell, presented a Government

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I VER M N NEW Isue *~o 10 ctbr2

tigua & Barbud1

Antigqua anfdBar6uda Cruise Conference delegation
2ntigua andr~arbula Crube Conference delegation

initiative to the cruise line executives,
which seeks to reduce the costs incurred
by cruise lines at the port. "We have
analysed the current industry and note
the growing importance of cost as a
determining factor in the development of
itineraries especially as the cost of fuel
continues to escalate," indicated Minister

Another area of concern raised
over the years was also being addressed
by the sector, with the improvement of
the taxi dispatch system and general
ground transportation in St. John's.

Mr. Hord concurred with the
recommendation of the Florida
Caribbean Cruise Association that St.
Maarten be used as a model and was
encouraged that Antiguan taxi drivers
had visited St. Maarten and were moving
toward implementing a similar system in
St. John's. He emphasised the need to
continue the development of taxi
services as a critical component in the
cruise visitor experience by focussing on
the condition of the vehicle, the
appearance of the driver and the
knowledge of the driver which was
relayed to President of the St. John's
Taxi Association, Evanson Ellis who

attended the conference to represent the
taxi drivers' interest along with the
Vendors Association representative,
Colleen Richards.

Information was garnered from
the cruise lines of new ship builds with
the possibility of Antigua being included
in the ultra voyager class itineraries of
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in 2007
and the P&O Cunard's largest new build
Queen Mary 2.

"It is vital that we ascertain
directly from the cruise lines their plans
for upcoming years so that we can
position the country to benefit as the
global industry continues its growth,"
added Minister Lovell. "We have a
number of industry transforming
innovations we plan to propose to the
cruise lines in the upcoming months to
ensure that our Winter business
continues to develop and more
importantly, to develop the cruise sector
in Antigua as a year round activity. We
have approached our attendance of
these Conferences strategically and
have already seen tremendous results
from a developing relationship with the
decision makers in the global industry."

Following the Florida
Caribbean Cruise Association in St.
Kitts, a smaller delegation comprising
representatives of the Ministry of
Tourism, Antigua Pier Group and the
Antigua and Barbuda Cruise
Association travelled to the Cruise Line
International Agents (CLIA) trade show
in Fort Lauderdale.

This show was the first in
CLIA's history and Antigua and
Barbuda was one of only three
Caribbean destinations displaying their
attributes to this captive large group of
travel agents.

Antigua and Barbuda rose
above the multitude of competing
destinations at the show with the official
launch of its world class destination
DVD which will be used to inform travel
agents, cruise line staff and consumers
of the vacation highlights of Antigua
and Barbuda. The DVD, produced by
the PPI Group which produces similar
quality material for the cruise lines
themselves, is the first destination
commissioned DVD which will be
played in passenger cabins to assist in
encouraging their visit and spending

Antigua Pier Group Managing
Director, Cameron Fraser, was satisfied
by the impact that Antigua and Barbuda
made among travel agents. "Although
our presentations targeted cruise line
travel agents, we are very aware that
the travel agent industry is moving
away from specific sector agents
towards comprehensive travel agents
that sell both cruise and hotel vacation
packages. We were able to position
Antigua and Barbuda as a premier
destination of interest to both potential
cruise passengers and hotel guests."

Mr. Fraser continued, "We are
particularly excited about the growing
interest in Barbuda as a day tour for the
exclusive passengers from high end
cruise lines such as Radison Seven

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E N S Isue N. 1

Seas out of Europe and Windstar, a
Carnival subsidiary."

Antigua and Barbuda is set to
experience a bumper season with
projections of 600,000 cruise
passengers, an anticipated 15% growth
in 2005.

Agreement between
Government and Service
Station Dealers

On the 17th October the Prime
Minister and the Minister of Finance and
the Economy along with officials of the
Ministry of Finance met representatives
of the Service Station Dealers
Association (SSDA) to complete
negotiations for an increase in the
margin to the service station operators.

These negotiations between
Government and the SSDA were
prompted by the service station dealers'
indication that over the past few years,
their operating costs have increased
significantly with no adjustment in their

The SSDA stressed that this
situation has continued to negatively
affect the viability of their operations and
pointed out that between 2003 and 2005
their margin as a proportion of their
costs has deteriorated to an untenable

Similarly, the consumption tax
earned by the Government has also
decreased markedly as the Government
has continually absorbed these
increases in an effort to cushion the
effect of rising prices. Government,
though understanding of the dealers'
plight, was concerned about the
potential impact of an increase in the
dealers' margin.

PM Spencer andMinistry of Finance officials
meeting with the Service DealersAssociation

Following intense discussions,
which attempted to take both parties'
concerns into account, the Government
and the SSDA agreed to a 23 cents
increase in the margin for gas and a 10
cents increase in the margin for diesel.
This outcome, though not an ideal one
for either party, represents a high level
of compromise which was driven mainly
by their concern about the potential
implications on an increase in the
dealers' margin for the general public.

This consensus was arrived at
with due consideration given to the
impact of rising prices on all
stakeholders; the Government, petrol
dealers, and consumers. Whilst the
Government would wish to see the
prices of gasoline and diesel stabilized,
it was persuaded by arguments
submitted by the dealers that an
increase in their margin was merited. In
that regard, an increase in the margin for
gas to 98 cents and the increase in the
margin for diesel to 85 cents were
agreed upon. These increases are
expected to take effect from the next
shipment of gasoline and diesel.

Antigua and Barbuda
participates in CCL Fair

On Saturday 5th November the
Antigua and Barbuda High Commission
along with members of the Antigua and
Barbuda National Association in London
again participated in the "Foods and

Crafts of the Commonwealth", a yearly
Charity event by the Commonwealth
Countries League (CCL) held at the
Kensington Town Hall. CCL raises
money to educate needy girls of
academic potential around the

This year, the Antigua and
Barbuda National Association in
London was in charge of the Food Stall.
This was the first time that Antigua and
Barbuda held a Food Stall.

Local Antiguan and Barbudan
dishes such as doucana and saltfish,
seasoned rice with chicken or fish,
conch soup, sweet potato pudding,
cakes and other niceties prepared by
the ladies of the Association were
quickly sold.

(above) ffig Commissioner's
wife, StalTfoarer Mrs Pauline
Ro6erts displays one of our best
sellers Antigua's Cavalier Sm

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Sigh Commissioner (Dr CarlRb6erts andMrs Roberts hosted smalleception on Monday 31st October in celebration ofAntigua
and(Barbuda's 24th Anniversary ofIndependence. Featured6elow are afew photos of that event.

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