The 12thmeeting of the Ministerial council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFN) is being held today May 18, 2018 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. The opening ceremony acknowledged the presence of members from the islands of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Surinam and the host country Montserrat as part of the delegation to this meeting today. Also present is Mr. Milton Horton from Belize. The CRFM was incorporated in 2003 and made up of 17 member states.
One of the main purpose of the meeting today is to review the recommendations presented by the 16thMeeting of the Fisheries Forum held on April 16 and 17 here on Montserrat, and to adopt the policies in conjunction with their mandate which is to facilitate the responsible utilization of the regions fisheries and aquatic resources– that will be expected to be implemented within the region.
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The Government of Montserrat presented its 164.8 million dollar budget for the fiscal year April 2018 to March 2019 under the theme ‘Advancing Our Journey to Self-Sustainability through Strategic Investments,’ from the Sir George Martin Auditorium on April 23, 2018. This Legislative Department has over a number of years, utilized the Montserrat Cultural Centre for its Legislative meetings.
The Debate will continue over the next two days in the conference room of the Montserrat Cultural Centre where the Ministers can now expound on their objectives and strategies for the upcoming year and where the opposition is likely to challenge some of the information presented based on previous year’s performance and the presentations to be made.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands Housing and the Environment (MATHLE) in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) hosted the Sixteenth Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum at the Montserrat Cultural Center, April 16 & 17, 2018. This Forum meeting will be immediately be followed by a Regional Workshop to review the Draft Protocol to integrate Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy on 18 April 2018. Participation at both meetings included heads of National Fisheries Authorities from the member states of CRFM, observers and Partner Organizations.
The Objectives of these Meetings were to provide updates on the progress of programmes, projects and activities being undertaken by the CRFM in conjunction with Member States and network partners, and to prepare recommendations for the way forward for consideration by the Ministerial Council.
The opening ceremony was held in the Sir George Martin Auditorium. The National song was sung by Mrs. Mildred Chalmers and the feature address was presented by the Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment – Mr. David Osborne.
The Government of Montserrat held its 4th National Honours and Awards Ceremony on March 16, 2018. This ceremony has been held on three previous occasions – March 2014, 2015 and 2016.
There were six (6) awardees this year. Three persons were presented with the Order of Merit – Mr. William Bodkin, Rev. Dr Beatrice Allen and Mr. Cecil Lake MBE. The Order of Distinction was presented to Ms Manelva Greenaway and the Order of Excellence was presented to Dr. Lowell Lewis and Mrs. Margaret Dyer-Howe.
Performances for the occasion were given by Mrs. Mildred Chalmers with a beautiful rendition of the National Song, the Emerald Shamioles Masquerades entertaining cultural dance and the Matrix Dancers – group talented of young persons – led by Ms. Bianca Chambers.
The decoration of the Sir George Auditorium was done by Celebrations Design.
The Catholic Community held its annual St Patrick’s Dinner on March 10 of this year at the Montserrat Cultural Centre – in the Sir George Martin Auditorium. This event has been an annual event put on by the Catholic Church for well over 20 years. The funds raised from the dinner is in support of the Catholic School – currently the St. Augustine Catholic School here on Montserrat. Special appearance by Father George Aggar who complimented the occasion with an Irish melody.
Décor for the event was done by Celebrations Designs– Verna Brandt – which she does as her contribution as a member of the church.
Last month our Cultural Centre was gifted with new audio equipment. Two employees of Disney’s Lion King on Broadway (Butch Servillo and Alain Van Achte) have been working closely with Hon. Donaldson Romeo, Premier of Montserrat, to bring new life to the Centre. The new equipment was installed and a tutorial was set up to teach a few volunteers how to use and take care of the equipment properly. Butch and Alain hope to be able to continue to provide their services and provide more donated equipment in the fall of this year.