The Bank of Montserrat embarked on a new drive with the hosting of its first homeowners showcase which was held on Saturday August 12, 2023 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. This initiative is geared towards encouraging local residents in becoming homeowners.
The event included presentations in areas such as – applying for a mortgage, the legal aspects of homeownership, understanding valuation, choosing a contractor and green energy.
Exhibitors included those from service providers in the industry and from local architects. The closing remarks for the days’ event were given by Mr. Baldwin Spencer, Bank of Montserrat’s General Manager.
The just completed PRIME 2023 – Produced in Montserrat Expo – which ran from July 22 to July 23, 2023 was a success according to feedback received from both vendors and shoppers alike.
PRIME 2023 is the Government of Montserrat third such event. This event has been led by the Trade and Infrastructure Division in the Office of the Premier. Ms. Adena Johnson, the former head of that division has been the ‘driver’ of this initiative for the last three years.
PRIME 2023 saw some 38 business names registered with displays over 9 industry areas to include – agro-processed foods; arts, crafts, souvenirs; beverages; candle manufacturing; health, beauty and wellness; horticulture; clothing/accessories/jewelry; literary arts and business services.
The PRIME 2023 committee was initially led by Ms. Adena Johnson who saw through 75% of its preparations before leaving to pursue other initiatives. The final committee included Ms. Venaire Bass who replaced Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Cynthia Dyett, Mrs. Rosetta West Gerrald, Ms. Sharlene Lindsay, Ms. Cherise Aymer, Ms. Ritchlyn Hackett, Ms. Sharyn White and Mr. Kenneth ‘Rabo” Silcott.
Winners of PRIME 2023 special awards were: Ms. Juana Osborne of Woven Wick and Ms. Serina Laird of Ser-Essence Candles for the best packaged and labled products. Mr. Christopher Gerald of Jaxxxonz Winery won best booth layout and Mr. Ian Gerald of Island momentos won the Best customer service. Best social engagement was won by Ms. Kerry Ann Shaw of Sculpt MNI. She won a gift bag from one of our sponsors – FLOW. Mr. David Lee also won a price from Digicel – another sponsors of PRIME. Mrs. Sheree Jemmotte Rodney won a 4 night stay at the Chez Mango Villa in Olveston, sponsored by Dr. Gary Morton of the Chez Mango Villa.
PRIME platinum sponsor was from the Bank of Montserrat Ltd. Gold sponsors were the Ministry of Finance and from MS Osborne Ltd. Other sponsors from the private sector included that from BBC Hardware, and LHNet Services
Entertainment for PRIME 2023 included steel pan music from the Local Volpanics Band led by Mr. Herman ‘Cupid” Francis, dances from the Matrix dance group and from the Next level dance group. Local music was played throughout both days by Javier Adams.
Two fun filled days of colour and fun filled shopping. PRIME 2023.
As the Montserrat Cultural Centre (MCC) transitions to new ownership and management by the Government of Montserrat, it is a good time to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of its development, growth and charter as the focal point of togetherness, celebrations and cultural observations on the island.
It will be recalled that the MCC was the brainchild of the late Sir George Martin of Beetles fame. Sir George was conscious of the need to afford the people of Montserrat a place of pride for local gatherings. The development of our MCC was a very bold initiative taken by Sir George in conjunction with the Government of the day in 2003 and with inspired and practical support from our own Sir Howard Fergus. The building started while the Soufriere Hills Volcano was still in its eruptive phase and when abandoning the island was not a budding thought. Sir George Martin – a famous English music producer, composer, songwriter and founder of our famous Air Studious led on the initiative involving the Stars of Air Studios as fundraisers, through to its completion. He was also present when Sir Howard was installed as the centre’s first Chairperson.
Sir Howard Fergus served as the Chairman of the Board of the MCC from its inception in 2006 until its hand over to the Government of Montserrat in 2023. He was one of the two persons who held the shares as owners of the legal entity, the Montserrat Cultural Centre Incorporated. The late Sir Howard Fergus led in the oversight and guidance of operations at the MCC with six other nationals namely : Attorney at Law Mr. Kenneth Allen, Q.C.; Mrs. Sarita Francis; Mr. D. R. V. Edwards; Mr. Levons Watts; Mr. Dwain Lovett and Mr. John E. Whyke.
The development of the Centre was critical to the people of the island who saw the building as a place to bring friends and relatives together for, inter alia, weddings, re-unions, school events and birthday parties. The venue also showcased theatrical, musicals, calypso shows, lecture and government events. The MCC embraced local culture fully and prospered with pride in the development of local talents. This was especially important to the memory of Sir Howard and Sir George given the traumatic experiences with the eruptions of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat especially from 1995 to 2003.
The late Sir Howard Fergus is especially memorialized at this juncture for using his experience, knowledge and skill to guide the Committee and the MCC over the years up to this year 2023. He is greatly missed by all especially the staff at the Centre who came to know and respect his kind words and encouragements so lavishly given for the Montserrat Cultural Centre Project.
The CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is an entity created by CARICOM whose mandate is to harmonize and implement standards to facilitate international competitiveness as part of the EDF – TBT PROJECT. Members from the CROSQ Team are on Montserrat to conduct a training on the Introduction to quality management systems.
The opening ceremony was held on Monday 12 th June, 2023. Opening remarks were given by Ms. Adena Johnson the Principal Trade and Quality Infrastructure Officer in the Trade Unit for the Government of Montserrat. There were also remarks by the Acting Premier, Dr. Samuel Joseph, followed by an overview of the training by the Project Co-coordinator Mr. Terry Hutchinson and Ms. Sheryl Anderson, of QSSI Global.
The training will be conducted over a week from June 12 to June 16, 2023 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Participants are expected to utilize the opportunity to gain an understanding of quality and regional standards that are expected in the production of goods and services.
The 2022 Alliouguana Festival of the Word (AFW) hosted by the Montserrat Arts Council in collaboration with Golden Media held two of its activities at the Montserrat Cultural Centre during its week of activities in November 2022. On November 17 th the AFW held a movie night which introduced a special advanced screening featuring a Howard Allen film from out of Antigua named Deep Blue. They also presented a comedy series from out of St. Maarten called the Fab 4 & the Silent Retreat.
The events on November 19 saw the launch of several books. The first was by our well-known local Arthur Sir Howard Fergus titled ‘Intriguing story’, Deonne Whisky John discussed her “UMPH-writing stories using box paragraphing’, and Ian Gerald – ‘The Professionals’ Journals Series’. Royden Silcott from Montserrat launched his first book from his Cassava Kids Collective called ‘Responsible Rosie’ and Coryn Anaya Clark from Trinidad also launched her new publication from her Chronicles of Coryn series. The evening ended with a book party and fun day for the children which included face painting and book swaps.
The 72nd Meeting of the OECS Authority was held in Montserrat on the 19th and 20th October, 2022. The meeting was hosted by the Chairman Hon. Easton Taylor-Farrell, Premier of Montserrat. The meeting saw representation from Government leaders from across the OECS Region to include Antigua, Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, including representations from the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The meeting was supported by the Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules. The Chief Justice of the Eastern Supreme Court Dame Janice M. Pereina also made representation.
The meeting concluded on the 20 th of October, 2022 with a Town Hall meeting and press conference in the Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
The Legislative Office is currently in its 7 th year of hosting an orientation programme for new students entering the Montserrat Secondary School at the first form level. Presently there are some 50 students participating in this workshops. This programme was organized to provide the new students with key information to assist them with the transition from Primary School to the Secondary School level.
Topics addressed included: – classroom etiquette, team building exercise, time management, understanding the importance of rules, conflict resolution, learning styles and techniques, how to become a well-rounded student. The Legislators were also on hand to make brief presentations to the students.
The second annual production of PRIME – Produced in Montserrat Expo, was held on July 23rd and 24th 2022 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
Organized by the Trade and Quality Infrastructure Division in conjunction with the Montserrat Arts Council, PRIME is billed as the ideal market place for goods and services produced in Montserrat. The event provided an opportunity for small businesses to increase their revenue potential, expand their market potential while utilizing the opportunity for networking and interacting with other entrepreneurs and customers.
Adena Johnson, Principal Trade and Quality Infrastructure Officer in the Trade and Quality Infrastructure Division says “the Expo an opportunity to spark some creativity and business ideas among our young persons on Montserrat. The hope is that the youths of today will become inspired and motivated to venture into the world of entrepreneurship”. This year the added entertainment feature were presentations from the Matrixx Dance Group and the Volpanics Steel Orchestra on Sunday the 24th July, 2022.
The National Service of Thanksgiving was held on July 20, 2022, in the George Martin Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. The Service was held under the theme – ‘Give God his due’. The service of thanksgiving is one in which the Government of Montserrat recognizes the plight of its citizens through the years from the Soufriere Hills Volcanic Eruptions which started in July some 27years ago – acknowledging the lives lost and the devastating impact to the local economy, and being thankful for the progress made on Montserrat since then.
The service was coordinated by the Ministry responsible for Ecclesiastic Affairs – the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Montserrat Christian Council. The Liturgist for the evening was Rev. Gesner Louis-Charles, Chairman of the Montserrat Christian Council. The message was presented by Rev. Kellar McFarlane. The praise and worship session were led by the Church of God Choir. Other special presentations included an instrumental piece by McLoyd White, and a musical item by the Emerald Community Singers.
The Montserrat Secondary School hosted its 2022 Graduation Exercise July 6, 2022 under the theme -‘Through adversity and loss, like the Phoenix, we rise from the ashes’. There were 63 students who graduated as part of Class of 2022. The Feature address was delivered by Dr. Tiffannie Skeritt and the Principles address delivered by Mr. Toney Allen. The graduation award for excellence in Mathematics was issued to Vashirn Roache, Excellence in Business went to Vashirn Roache, Outstanding leadership went to Waynette Fenton, Excellence in Humanities went to Waynette Fenton, Excellence in Business and IT went to Mikayla Cole and for the boy with Exemplary Conduct went to Jeremiah Collymore. The valedictory address was given by Vashirn Roach and the vote of thanks by Ms. Waynette Fenton. Congratulations to all of the graduates of Class of 2022.
MSS Graduation Scenes 2023
P.R.I.M.E Displays 2022
Summer Weddings 2022
M/rat Carnival Queen for Antigua 2022
Lady Under The Stairs realeased at MCC on 17th Sept. 2021