The Grenada newsletter

Material Information

The Grenada newsletter
Place of Publication:
St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
A. & C. Hughes
Publication Date:
Twenty no. a year
completely irregular
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
newspaper ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1973.
General Note:
Description based on surrogate of: Vol. 11, no. 1 (Jan. 22, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
A. & C. Hughes
Holding Location:
A. & C. Hughes
Rights Management:
Copyright A. & C. Hughes. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
24157414 ( OCLC )
sn 91021217 ( LCCN )
F2056.A2 G74 ( lcc )


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Full Text


For The Period Endina 31st December 1985
12th Yesr of Publication - - -329th IsTe
Volume 13 Number 18

SA senior Police Officer confirmed on Decembef'3""st that 6 men had
' bbeen arrested and charged with "being engaged. in military exercises
and training".
The Officer said the men had been taken before a Magistrate on De-
cember 24th and have been remanded in custody until January 9th.
It is alleged that .the.exercises" were being conducted in the
forest reserve area in ~he centre qf tbe island and covered an area
* from a point 'h the east coast running through the mountains to the
west coast.
The Police have confiscated-a dilapidated pick-up truck camouflaged
in dappled green, yellow red paint, alleged to have been used
by the accused men. Both doors of the truck are marked in large,
rough, black letters, "M.I.G.".
The Police Officer said the Police had not found any arms involved
in the alleged military exercises..

Air Grenada's inaugural flight touched down at Point Saline Inter-
national Airport at 3,21 pm on December 18th. ",
A direct connection from New York, the leased 7 7 aircraft had 78
Sof its 120 seats filled, among the passengers'being Mr James Harding
a special representative of New York's Mayor Edward Koch.
-- continued -

LIZZIE--- ---

Page 2 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER 1985 End Of Year Issue

At a welcome ceremony attended by Prime Minister Herbert BlAize, his
Cabinet, other members of Government and about 100 guests, Mr Harding
said he brought special greetings from Mayor Koch.

"Mayor Koch would like me to extend his warmest wishes to you
Mr Prime Minister", he said, "and to Grenada Airways on the occasion
of the maiden voyage".

Grenada Airways has been established under a 10 year Agreement by
the Goveinment of Grenada with the United States firm of Groupe In-
ternationale du Transport et Industrie Petrolier (GITIP).

Under that Agreement, GITIP finances the operation of and manages
the airline, all profits going .initially to the Company.

In a recent interview, Dr Keith Mitchell, Minister for Communicat-
ions, told NEWSLETTER the Agreement makes provision for a review
of the profit distribution, but he indicated Government is more
interested in the boost the airline will give the island's tourist

The Agreement also provides for construction of a 450 bed hotel by
GITIP and Dr Mitchell said that project, together with the airline,
will give employment tO some 650 persons.

Addressing the welcoming ceremony at the airport, GITIP President,
Mr L'Emir Fayez Chahab, thanked the Grenada Government for the
cooperation his company has received..

"What we have seen from this Governmeht is something we never ex-
pected", he said, "but it is something we have wished to experi-
ence with Governments all over the world".

Others speaking briefly at the ceremony were Prime Minister Blaize,
Dr Mitchell and Mr George Brizan, Minister for Tourism..

Mr Brizan said a Miami based company has offered Grenada a contract
to supply 20,000 pounds of fish weekly, which demand the island
cannot meet. However, he said, the company is willing to accept
3,000 pounds of fish per week.

"The reason why they have been able to come up with this offer",
Mr Brizan said, "is through the existence of Grenada Airways."

In an interview with NEWSLETTER on December 17th, Minister for
Communications, Dr Keith Mitchell, said the Agreement with GITIP
was signed last June 20th and Grenada Airways is part of a GITIP
investment of some US$20 million including construction of a
luxury hotel.

"The Company will finance the leasing of two 707 aircraft and the
Purchase of all required equipment", he said, "but the Airline is
Sthe property of the Grenada Government. Initially, the profits
will be applied to liquidating the Company's investment, but
j ^_ ^_ ______________________ \ ___ ___________________r

'1985 End O Year IsEse THE GP.E;.-A.' NEWSLETTER Page 3

there is provision in the Agreement for a revidr profit dis-

According to Dr Mitchell, i -z Grernada has unlimited route rights in-
to the United States and will schedc'.le t'wo flights to Miami and
three to New York we'-kly. Tr: -e are plans to fly to Barbados en
route to the United States, but t;il na ;s not yet bIc-cnfinalised
with the Barbados Government.

"When GITIP approached us with the proposal in December 1984,", the
Minister said, "what appealed to us -nost Aas not the idea of poss-
ible profits but the adva-.tages the airline will bring us in other

These advantages he listed as the boof:t it will give Grenada's
tourism to have direct flight acces-; to iNorth America, and the em-
ployment of some 650 persons which it C; estimated the airline and
hotel will provide.

Originally, Dr MitcheIll said, thi. nc:e :o be located near Point
Saline International Airport, wa. :o .ve 750 beds, but the required
40 acres plus of land was rot available. Twenty-nine acres,
Government's share of the inves;-ten-t, have been allocated, and the
hotel is now to have 450 -_. Is, he aid-. Construction will begin
in January.


One letter was missing rrom the ,.-..-, of -ithe 707 Grenada Airways
jet when it touched down at Point S. its inaugural flight on Decenber Ibt'h.

In bold letters on the body of t!h plane was marked, 'GR NADA AIR-
WAYS", the letter "E". being mis',ing -rom the iw'ord "Grenada".

A source close to the airline saia the weather in :.:erw York had been
so cold, that it had not been po3s;.:ble t paint on the airliners name
until just a few hours befze l.;ihT t:ie and, when the plane was
ready for boarding, it was di-co:-cred That a; error had been made.

"Whoever painted on the name spelt t t ;RAr'ADA" ,s in the town in
iSpain", the source said, and not Giir.nDA : the n;,ie of the island
in the Caribbean."'

i The source said it was too lAte tlhe. to have the error corrected
so the "A" was painted out, leaving "GR'J NADA A-WAYS".

L a g TII
i "' "


': -+**'

I---------~---- ----'-~~ --

Page 4 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER 1985 End Of Year Issue


The Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) expects that, be-
fore the middle of 1986, construction will begin on the Association's
planned nutmeg oil distillery in Grenada.

This was disclosed to NEWSLETTER by Mr Robert Renwick, GCNA Manager
in an interview on December 31st, and he said discussions are to be
held in January with Belgium firms interested in entering into a
joint venture with GCNA.

"We have agreed in principle to undertake a joint venture in nutmeg
oil distilling with Agricom S.A. and Socetina S A, both of Belgium",
the GCNA Manager said, "and we expect a visit in January from rep-
resentatives of these firms."

Mr Renwick said Socetina S A is a distilling company which will
supply the necessary technology for the undertaking while Agricom
S A, a subsidiary of Tractionel S A, a large conglomerate, is
interested in financing.

The terms of the venture will be a 60% holding by GCNA and 40% by
the Belgium firms, Mr Renwick said, the cost estimate of the ven-
ture being EC$1.6 million.

The GCNA input will be represented by some cash and by land and
buildings owned by the Association in Grenville, the island's second
second town where the distillery is to be located.

the GCNA Manager said his Association has applied to the Caribbean:
Development Bank (CDB) and other agencies for funding, and he has .
no doubt that 'the necessary cash can be raised.

"It depends on how soon we can finalise our financial arrangements",
Mr Renwick said, "but I expect that, before the end of the current
Nutmeg Year on 30th June 1986, we will have begun Construction."

The Manager painted a less optimistic picture with reference to the
venture of marketing "bottled nutmegs" in the United States.

In conjunction with V.I.E.Industries, a United States firm, nut-
megs were packed by GCNA in a small bottle with a grater, the object
being to appeal to the U.S. housewife. However, Mr Renwick said
marketing had not produced satisfactory results and the venture
must be regarded as a failure.

The GCNA Manager was more optimistic with respect to what he called
an "interesting recent development".

In 1979, Mr Renwick visited Indonesia, the other country which is a
main supplier of nutmegs on the world market. The purpose of his
visit was to arrange for cooperation between Grenada and Indonesia
in the marketing of nutmegs particularly with respect to control of
prices, but no success attended his efforts.
continued -

Page 5


This is disclosed in the Financial Statement and Report circulated to
members, the nutmeg growers of the State, by the Nutmeg Board, the
Association's Board of Management.

But the Statement, for the Nutmeg Year ending 30th June 1985, shows
that, generally, that year was better than either of the two pre-
vious years.

The iDprovemeht shows in increased advances to producers. During
the trading year, GCNA "purchases" produce from growers, any surplus
on trading being distributed at the end of the year, and these
"purchases", advances to growers i, Wnounted to EBC$4..6 million in 1985.
This figure compares favourably with EC$4.4 million ahd EC$3.3
million paid, respectively, in 1984 and 1983.

The Statement shows also that GCNA sold more nutmegs in 1985 than in
any year in the last decade, and this resulted in a welcome reduction
of stocks which have been building up because of poor market demand.

In 198J, because of a poor sales period dating back to 1979, end-of-
year inventory had climbed to 7.7 million pounds of nutmegs. This
figure dropped slightly in 1983 and 1984, but was still over the
6 million pound mark. 'End-of-year inventory in 1985 was 4.1
million pounds.

This movement of stock was achieved at the cost of low market prices
but gross income increased to EC$12.4 million, an advance of 47%
over the 1984 figure of BC$8.4 million. con d
on- continued -


~ I

1985 EMd of Year Issue

" cc3


I c ',


According to him, Indonesia did not have the statutory arrangements
(as Grenada has) under which all nutmeg exports must be shipped
through a central organisation, and he had been unable to establish
any satisfactory arrangements with individual exporters.

"The Indonesians have made several attempts to form a'Nutmeg Export-
.er Association which would control the industry", he said, "but, for
variety of reasons, these efforts have been unsuccessful'i

Mr RenWick said GCNA has now received word from Indonesia that a bet-
ter organised Associatioh has now been established with governmental

"We have strong hopes", he said, "that this organisation will be
found to be a workable one and, as soon as we have indications that
they have got off the ground, we hope to send a delegation to talk
with them. This, we hope, will be before the middle of 1986".


For the third consecutive year, the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Ass-
ociation (GCNA) has shown a trading loss.

Page 6 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER ... 1285 BtdlOfrYearQussue

However, in spite of this increase, GCNA had a trading deficit of
EC$240,990 in 1985.

"In spite of the substantial increase in gross revenue over the
previous year", the Report says, "this year's trading resulted in
a nett deficit, represented by a deficit of EC$1,500,490 on the
sale of nutmegs and a surplus of EC$1,259,500 on the sale of

Statement Of Trading And Surplus Distribution
For The Year Ended 30th June 1985

1985 1984
Gross Income EC$12,467,528 EC$8,478,401
Cost of Produce from Growers 5,482,394 3,878,166

1985 1984 6,985,134 4,600,235
Direct -;s
Expenses $4,573,521 $3,325,544
General &
Expenses., 1,485,647 1,406,518
Cess Reserve
For the Year 1,221,943 825,301 7,281,111 5,557,363
Operating loss EC$ (295,977)EC$.(957,128)
Other Income/(Expenses)
Interest -Produce Debtors 50,578 32,688
Investment Income 52,161 72,609
Gain/(Loss) on Exchange 786 (5,279)
Miscellaneous 14*918 14,052
Commissions received 15,162 ,4,302
Net Cost of Nutmeg Oil Research to date 82,008
Gain on Disposal of Fixed Assets 3,390 -
EC$ ..(240,990)EC$ (838,756)
Add Transfer from Reserve 2,240,990 2,038,756
For Distribution to Growers :- EC$ 2,000,000 EC$1,200,000

The Report explains that the large deficit on the sale of nutmegs
resulted fm 'genrei 'l increain operational exenses'c heavier
labour and other expenses in handling substantially larger volume
of nutmegs for which sales were made at a lower market price.

"In view of the abundant supplies of nutmegs available on the
market because of heavy stocks which had accumulated in both
Indonesia and Grenada during the depressed market period'l, the
Report says, "market prices remained weak, and in order to meet
competition in disposing of excess stocks, lower prices had to
be accepted."

As in previous years, favourable trading in mace (the lacey red
Covering on the nutmeg shell) has assisted, in 1985, in reducing
the overall loss.

"Mace exports, whilst also increasing in quantity were, unlike
nutmegs, also higher in price due to the shortage of supplies in

S1985 :En.l Of Year Issue THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Pae 7

prince ipal.arketq*:f thd,Report* ays. "As a tesulti-447,135 b1bfoof
mace) were sold for a value ofrEC$3.54 million,, as agairnt the pre-
vious year's exports of 308,555 Ibs valued at EC$1.47 million."

The Statement shows that, in 1985, 6.2 million pounds of nutrcg,
were sold as compared with 4.9 million pounds in 1984 arnd 5.9
million pounds -in 1983. H however, the A vrarce .market price in 1985
-.was only EC$1.35 per pound as compared with EC(.$1,41 per prirnd in-
1984 and EC$1.60 per pound in 1983.

A spokesman for the Association said the improvement in ;or'.d
economies had resulted in an increased demand for'nutrecs had, while
market prices had been unfavourable in 1985, both'Grenadi n: Indo-
nesia the other world supplier of nutmegr had sold off rc4.: of
the stocks accumulated over the past few years because r,.:r' sals.

"The result is that, during the last .ix months of 1985, which re
the first six months 'of the current Nutmeg Year", the tokl.-ar: naid,
"sales have continued to be good with gradually irmrovirng p'3rcs .

In spite of the loss at the end of the 1985 N'ut-m e Yea:, ~ ..t spokes-
man said, the Nutme'i Board decided to transfer funds f romn -th Asa.-,
ociation's reserves for distribution to growers.

"In view of the more encouraging outlook for the current year and
the resulting improved cash flow position of the Association', the
Report says, "the Nutmeg Board, considering the difficult financial
conditions confronting farmers, decided to transfer the i-in of
EC$2,240,990 from the Association's reserves in order to wri-e ,ff
the trading deficit of EC$240,990 and to provide the balance c.o
EC$2,00,000 to pay growers as surplus distribution fo .the ye~,'

As in 1984, Holland was 'the largest importer of.nutm-q-r, wivhlb West
Germany next. The percentage of total exports to these co ~-uries:
were, in 1985,. 42.62%c-ardd 22110% respectively.


The year 1984-,- the 27th since the Wi.idward Islands Banana. Glwei
Association (WINBAN) was established, has been recorded in the WINBANi '
1984 Annual Peport as a year of sub-normal economic perfor*nznc::e.

This is disclosed in a WINBAN release iskue8 recently. Thz.t release
says that, although exports increased by 16.2% from the 1983 figure-
Sof 119,323 tonnes, to 138,873 tonnes in 1984, prices received for the
crop were not favourable.

S"Nineteen eighty-four was not a very good year from the pic. oc view
of prices or average earnings to the Association or to growers", the
Release quotes the Report as saying, ',byt-the increase in total pro-
duction meant increased foreign exchange ,and other benetf .o the
. .;. ~LIk- ;L .


island's economies".
With the exceptiaon-of Grenada, the Annual Report states, all the is-
lands recorded an increase in total production over the 1983 levels.
However, the level of increase that was anticipated in the seCOnd
quarter was not realized and the over estimation of production in
that quarter, particularly with respect to St Lucia, led to an over
supply of shipping space.

During 1984, there were losses with respect to "out-shipped" fruit,
that is, fruit prepared for shipment but not exported.

With respect to "out-shipped" fruit, the release says, the WINBAN
Report states that about 1,244.67 tonnes of fruit, valued at
BC$977,600 was "out-shipped" in 1984, 85% of which was in the first
quarter. The Report adds that St Lucia accounted for about 71%
or 833 tonnes of all "out-shipped" fruit.

With respect to the fact that increased production in 1984 has not
resulted in increased average income, WINBAN is concerned with
banana growers reaction.

"It would, no doubt, be difficult for the grower to reconcile the
simultaneous occurance of the phenomena of increasing production
and decreasing average revenue, particularly in the longer run",
the WINBAN Report says. "Yet, increased production is essential
Sfor the long run viability of the industry, not only on the island
level but also at the regional Windward Islands level".

According to the WINBAN release, the breakdown of banana exports
from the Windward Islands in 1984 is as follows :-

Quarter Dominica St Lucia St Vincent Grenada Total
Jan Mar 8,505 16,765 8,451 2,220 35,941
Apr Jun 9,602 18,196 8,844 2,329 38,971
Jul Sep 7,603 15,108 7,667 1,824 32,202
Oct Dec 5,935 15,554 8,055 2,215 31,759
Total Tonnes31,645 65,623 33,017 8,588 138,873

An informed source told NEWSLETTER that, in 1985, Grenada's banana
exports fell by 2 or 3 percent below the 1984 figure, but there
was an overall increase in exports from the Windward Islands.

"The past year has been a good one for Windward Island banana
exports in spite of Grenada's poor showing", the source said,
"prices have improved and it is likely that the downward trend in
Grenada will be reversed in 1986".

Grenada has now introduced the model farm system which, it is re-
ported, has been so successful in boosting St Lucia's banana ex-
Sports, the source said, and, coupled with the change to field pack-
ing with consequent quality improvement, 1986 should show marked
advances in Grenada's export figures.

Page 8

lG^i-Cd Of Year Tsslle.. Z.-.'-Ti-R_ k PT NEWSLF;T;R.:r f 1 gPage'isu


The year 1985 has been described by business leaders in Grenada as
an extremely good year for the Commercial Community.

This opinion has emerged from a partial survey of key businessmen
conducted by NEWSLETTER, and a variety of reasons have been given
for the boost in business.

"The New National Party Government reduced the rate of Company In-
come Tax from 555 to 50%", .one .. an said, "and, not only
does this represent a saving to my business, but it is an incentive
to exert one's self when Government is t ki:-.i L.ei s of my profits"

Another source pointed out that economic. activity, partic.ularly in
the sale of building material;, was very good in 1985 and, the
source said, the state of the building trade is always an accurate
barometer of the state of the overall economic activi-y.

t"Isee this position bei,.3 maintained for at least two or three
years", that source said, "as there will be a co. iii-Lng influence
of United"- States aid money and aid money from other doners."

But the source warned that, if there is not adeuate investment in
the private sector to make Grenada's economy self sustaining, then,
when aid funds.are at an end, Grenada risks a slump which could be

Other sources have pointed out that some investment is -:-ow being
made in the Tourist Industry but Gove?:nment may be hampering the de-
velopment of "resident tourism", the investment in a home-in Grenada
by non-Greniadianr who spend part of the year in the island.

"There is no suggestion that the rules for the purchase of land by
Snon-Grenadians should be relaxed", NE'.w.I.TTE, was told, "but there is
need to streamline the bureauracy so that, as happens at the present
time; people don't have to wait for up to 12 months to get a response
to their application."

It is contended by this source that a non-Grenadian resident family
provides employment overall for some 6 to 7 persons, and it is felt
that, properly organised and controlled, "resident tourism" can c:.allr
challenge regular tourism as a money earner for Grenada.

Supporting this view, other sources point out that "resident tourism"
I .development in Grenada has taken place mainly on the island's south-
east and morth-east coasts, in dry areas unsuitable for agriculture.

"There is still a lot of room in these dry areas available for de-
velopment", the sources say, "and this development; can be done at no
expe: se totthe agricultural sector."

In reply to an inquiry as to whether a substantial increase in non-
Grenadian residents may brig undesirable social.consequences, these

-- -- .

Page 10 THE GRENADA NEW LETTER 1985 End uO Year issue

sources point out 1.-t there is already a fair number of non-Grenadiar
residents on Grenada and, as opposed to what has happened in other
islands, these residents have been integrated into and form part of
the local society.

"One thousand new non-Grenadian families can easily be accomodated",
NEWSLETTER was told. '"These will provide employment for at least
5,000 Grenadians and, culturally, Grenada is well able to take care
of such an influx."

As far as economic benefits to Grenada are concerned, another source
said the island is not exploiting the full resources of tourism.?

"The hotels are still full of the business type clients", this
source said, "and, outside of their hotel and bar bills, they don't
spend much. Shopping facilities for tourists in Grenada are in-
adequate, and these facilities must be improved if we are to reap
the full potential of the industry."

The opinion was expressed by one well informed businessman that,
during 1985, Grenadians resident abroad had increased their re-
mittances home and this had had a marked desirable effect on trading.

"Traditionally, we expect that, between October and December, we will
see increased sales in household appliances", he said, "and many of
these appliances will be paid for with foreign cheques. There was a
dramatic increase in such sales this year.

Another businessman said that there is now an increased air of con- .
fidence in the country and people are taking out their savings from
"the stocking and from under the mattress".

There is a division of opinion in the Commercial Community as to the
stability of the New National Government (NNP) of Prime Minister
Herbert Blaize.

Oteis re agnised by all sources of opinion canvassed by NEWSLETTER
that 4 potentially disruptive situation could develop in NNP. It
is thought that station could arise if elements of the three
political parties which merged to form 74P saw themselves still,
primarily, as elements of those parties with loyalties to those
parties rather than loyalties to NNP.

One school of thought recognizes this possibility but affirms
there has been no indication of the development of a split in NNP.
The other school of thoulit sees sE lns of stress and "jockeying for

"There is too much politicing within the party", one businessman
said, "most of the Ministers of Government seem to be looking to the
future and continue to carry out political campaigns".

continued -

'*___________________________________________________________________________________________________________^ ...- --__ ------ ----- ,--, ------- ----------------- -j

1985 End Of Year Issue THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 11

This view is shared by other businessmen and, in one quarter,
NESLETTER was told it is obvious that the groundwork is being laid
for the "future political leader'of Grenada".

Other sections of the business community, recognizing toAt the health
of Prime Minister Blaize probably will not permit him to continue as
NNP Political Leader following the present term of Government, say a
future political leader for NNP must emerge, but believe this change
need not create problems.

"There is absolutely no evidence of the truth of this remour that
there is in-fighting in the ranks of NNP", one businessman -said, "and
even if there is, I have confidence in the persuasive ability of the
seasoned statesman, Herbert Blaize, to convince his colleagues that
there must be a smooth take over and cooperation by everybody if the
party is to survive and give democracy a chance".

The view was expressed in another quarter that the alleged stress
within NNP may discourage some potential investors.

"Only time will help the situation", this businessman said, "time,
ifd the use NNP makes ef it to establish a track record of stability"

Christmas dinner, for many Grenadians, was not quite the same this
year. And, they can blame it on the weather. Very unusually,
in October, the island was deluged by heavy rain just when some plants
needed sunshine for their fruit to form.

This seriously set back the peas crop and an important Christmas dish,
stewed green peas, was absent from or in short supply on many a Gre-
Sjnadian table.

Hopefully, this is a temporary lack in Grenada's traditional Christmas
festivities, but there is another custom which seems to have been lost

Fifty years ago, Grenadians were awakened on Christmas morning by the
sound of "serenaders". Composed, usually, of a quatro (4 stringed
.instrument), fiddle, triangle and flute, each serenading band had an
"orator" who addressed the household.

'"Good morning to the Master and Mistress of #his illustrious cottage",,
" he began, "we come to bring you good tidings of the birth of a say-

Details of that memorized speech have been lost with the passage of
time but, when it had been delivered and after the serenaders had
played and sung several appropriate tunes, they expected to be given
food and drink. continued
continued -

Pa#l$4a-. :THE HRBNa N B$WS LBTEER A .198.5 EX Of ,Year Issue

-- --~-- ~---.-,'-t-------.-- -.i--- c-.. ~- i
But, if this was' not forthcoming, politeness forbi'dany direct re-
qtdst;.: Instead, there was.-an accepted code to indicate -that re-
fteshment time was overdue.

Standing squarely before the members of the household, the orator
would say, "Me (my) jawbone'walk, me jawbone talk, me jawbone eat
with a knife and fork".

Serenading bands have long ceased to brighten Grenadians' Christ-
mas mornings, but other traditions have stood the test of time.

One such tradit' the Christmas greeting.
Raian ph-py F its tR and, almost invariably, he will reply,
"Many Happy Returns".

For most of the rest of the world, that phrase is reserved for
somebody's birthday or anniversary. It offers a wish that
there will be many more birthdays or anniversaries.

Not so in Grenada. When a Grenadian says, "Many Happy Returns",
what he is saying is, "I am happily returning your good wishes
many times over"

In addition to stewed green peas, the Grenadiah Christmas dinner
is incomplete without "cush-cush", a delicate purple yam which
is available only at this season. There is the ham and turkey,
of course, but there must also be fried ripe plantains, pepper
pot, rice-and-peas, candied sweet potatoes and black cake.

With the rest of the Caribbean Community, Grenadians must also
have ginger bedr and sorrel at Christmas, the latter being a
drink made from the flower of a plant of the hibiscus family.

But, special to Grenada is "shrub", prepared from over rpof rum
and limes in a variety of ways according to jealously guarded
family secrets.

And, as the drinks were served this season, there were, again,
thee challenges -rto all the dictionary writers as to how strong
-drink got 'the name of "grog".

The accepted story, outside of Grenada, is that the name de'
rived from Admiral Edward'Vernon who is remembered for his ex-
SploaitA -i the Caribbean early in 't e 18th Century. .This British
sea-dog is remembered .also for the fact that, inc t order. to reduce
drunkenness among his cews, he ordered that water be mixed with
neat rum before being served to his sailors.

,.i Admiral Vernon always a cloak of grogramm", a, material made of

isilk, mohair, and wool and it is said that, because of this,
both he and the rum-and-water mixture he gave his men got the
nickname -grog".

continued -



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RQ6 Bad Of Year Issue-.E I E E89 r gBEQTRWS LETTER Page 13

Grenadians say no. In the time of George III of England, they
say lots of aged rum was shipped from the island to London for mer-
chants in the liquor trade. It was an excellent rum and the.
British Government decided to import some for the Navy but, in order
to differentiate between commercial shipments of rum and shipments
for the Navy, shippers in Grenada were instructed to put a special
marking on the casks for the Government. These Casks were
to be marked, "Georgius Rex Old Grenada".

But, the shippers soon found that that long marking took too much
time and space. So it was abbreviated, and only the first letter
of each wbrd was used........ G R G.

True or not, it's a better story.

As, once again, we welcome a new year,
wishes its subscribers
every success
and the very best in the coming months.

/ '

S' .... .....
i i "
:^ ^J'1i

Alister Hughes

Cynthia Hughes

31st December 1985

Printed & Published by the Proprietors
Alister & Cynthia Hughes, Journalists
Of Scott Street, St. Georges, Grenada, Westindies

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