Keep personal scores out of National Hero search – PM

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincentians are being encouraged to approach in a dispassionate way the discussion about the possible appointment of more national heroes over the next year.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, delivering the feature address at the Wreath-Laying Ceremony at The Obelisk in honour of National Hero Joseph Chatoyer, said Wednesday – Hero’s Day — that the discussion should not be used to “settle scores”.

“We celebrate today the life of Joseph Chatoyer. We celebrate very much his immense contribution. We thank him, we honour him,” he said at the event at Dorsetshire Hill, where Chatoyer is believed to have been ambushed and killed by the British in 1795.

He said the names of several individuals have been the subject of discussion for possible candidacy for National Hero.

These persons, he said, include Hugh Mulzac, Elma Francois, George Augustus McIntosh, Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, Robert Milton Cato, and Dr. J. Pamenos Eustace.

“There may well be others but those are some of the names that people have been talking about for the possible elevation to the status of National Hero,” he said, adding, “Over the next year, we will have a conversation and I am hopeful that the debate will be robust, honest, reflective and respectful.

“I know that there are some people who are alive who would have worked with or against persons like Ebenezer Joshua and Milton Cato,” Gonsalves said.

“We must not allow this debate to be used to settle scores; because some persons may have a score which they want to settle. Please, let’s not use it for that. Let’s have a dispassionate discussion and let us use it for unifying purpose and let us use it for upliftment and national reconciliation,” Gonsalves further stated.

Joshua, a former premier, was a leader of the People Progressive Party, the base of which formed the current opposition New Democratic Party, which was founded in 1975.

Cato, this country’s “founding father”, was the first premier and first prime minister and was a leader of the St. Vincent Labour Party, which, in 1994, merged with the Movement for National Unity to form the Unity Labour Party, which Gonsalves leads.

Joseph Chatoyer, Paramount Chief of the Garifuna People, became this country’s sole National Hero in 2002. Gonsalves said that after ten years, his government thought it appropriate to make other deserving Vincentians national heroes.

He said that, in accordance with the Order of National Hero Act, Cabinet has begun to establish the National Hero’s Advisory Committee.

The panel will comprise two persons appointed by the Governor General in his absolute discretion, two persons appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister and one person on the advise of the Opposition Leader, three persons approved by the Governor General — after consultation with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition — from a list of names submitted by local non-governmental organisations.

The Committee will receive and consider nominations of persons for the Order, investigate the persons on whom honour may be conferred and carry out duties assigned by the Governor General, the Chancellor of the Committee.

The Committee may consult with other persons or bodies as it thinks necessary and its findings will be submitted to the Governor General who will submit the report to the Cabinet for consideration.

The Committee will conduct its business of in private.

To be a National Hero of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) a person must be born in SVG or was a citizen at the time of death or was entitled to be a citizen.

The individual must also satisfy one of the following criteria:

  1. Has given outstanding service to SVG and their contribution has altered positively the course of the history of the country.
  2. Has given service to SVG, which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attainment of the highest excellence which has redound to the honour of SVG.
  3. The person has through heroic exploits and sacrifices contributed to the improvement of the economic, social and political conditions of SVG generally.

The persons must also be deceased.

“You can’t have in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as in some other places, a live national hero. It would be a problem if you have a live national hero who goes to an after-dinner party and in a moment of weakness drives his vehicles into somebody else and you have to take him to court for negligent driving or something of the sort,” Gonsalves said.

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12 thoughts on “Keep personal scores out of National Hero search – PM

  1. The PM knows he wants Cato to be the next National Hero. We must not allow this man who have brought to our parlimant the most draconian piece of legislation ever in the history of SVG. A law which said that a police can arrest you if he suspect you of thinking of comiting a crime
    He also mashed a trade unionist and when told he mashed the man he said. I dodnt mash you I walked all over you. This is the man some pepole want to make a national hero. There more stories I can tell.

    Posted by TAD | March 15, 2012, 12:09
  2. Every National Hero needs to be really scrutinised, and the people presented with the truth.

    I am against changing history to satisfy the Marxist members of the ULP.

    Eventually everything will be exposed, nothing can be hidden in today’s World of super technology.

    Posted by Peter | March 15, 2012, 12:47
  3. I believe that Duvalle should be paramount on that list as well.

    Posted by VINCY POWA (@VINCYPOWA) | March 15, 2012, 15:46
  4. Is anyone aware that at the time of his death Joseph Chatoyer was a French citizen and had been appointed a General in the French Army. He spoke French fluently and his children were educated in Martinique. He also owned a number of African slaves that worked his plantation. He also sold captured runaway slaves from other islands, and traded or sold them to French farmers in Saint Vincent and also to the French from Martinique.

    Chatoyer had vast amounts of gold coinage and regularly visited other islands to buy goods. He was often seen wearing expensive French tailored suits and shoes.

    His brother Duvalle also kept and worked African slaves.

    This is all checkable from French Public Records.

    Gonsalves was aware of this when he made Chatoyer a National Hero, he was warned at the time by a politician and also a prominent Vincentian historian, not to do so. He chose to ignore these people, he was warned that this action could come back and bite him in the arse.

    The most important thing for Gonsalves was that Chatoyer fought the British, because Gonsalves hates the British.

    Won’t tell you any more, read the book to be published later this year from public records.

    I am very sorry to present this at this time to the Garifuna people, but I am sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to many of them, seeing as this information is readily available in written form, and has been for hundreds of years.

    Posted by Peter | March 17, 2012, 11:42

    Did you know that AFRICANS had AFRICAN SLAVES?

    Did you know that EUROPEANS had EUROPEAN SLAVES?

    Did you know that ASIANS had ASIANS SLAVES?

    There can be no PROFOUND ARGUMENT make by anyone why PARAMOUNT CHIEF, Joseph Chatoyer, should not been the FIRST NATIONAL HERO of this BLESSED NATION.

    That said; DUVALLE should be a SERIOUS CONTENDER for NATIONAL HERO STATUS for all the same reasons Chatoyer was selected and elected.

    Posted by vincypowa | March 17, 2012, 18:39
  6. VINCYPOWA, you are as sick as Gonsalves, you really should urgently seek psychiatric treatment.

    It is obvious by your post that you support slavery past and present in whatever form it is found.

    As you often talk on behalf of Gonsalves, by your comments it implies that Gonsalves also supports slavery.

    Posted by Peter | March 18, 2012, 00:25
  7. PETER, your STUPIDITY knows no BOUNDS.

    My post was to show you that the HIStory or HISTORY about Chatoyer has been in the public domain for decades.

    In other words, what you have stated is nothing new…just like it is nothing new that Africans had other Africans as slaves…just like Europeans had other Europeans as slaves…just like Asians had other Asians as slaves…just like free Blacks in America had other Blacks as slaves.

    The point I am making is a simple one. Do not try and use that claim as the reason why Chatoyer should not have been National Hero of SVG, because he is BEYOND WORTHY of NATIONAL HERO STATUS of SVG.

    That said; it seems like you’re UPSET because I threw a MONKEY WRENCH in your SILLY PROPAGANDA game by trying to claim that Chatoyer should not have been NATIONAL HERO and Duvalle should not be considered.


    See you around, BUB.

    Posted by vincypowa | March 18, 2012, 21:37
  8. VINCYPOWA, If the people want someone as a National Hero, so be it. If the people are introduced to persons of the past and fed lies about that persons character and behaviour that is evil and wrong and should be exposed.

    Seeing as you want to put yourself forward as an expert, please tell us the qualities as you personally see them that made Chatoyer national hero material. Lets see if they match the truth.

    You being a proven liar, supporter of a liar and a know everything know nothing turd, lets hear your contribution.

    Posted by Peter | March 20, 2012, 09:11
  9. BUBbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    Posted by Peter | March 20, 2012, 09:12

    “Seeing as you want to put yourself forward as an expert, please tell us the qualities as you personally see them that made Chatoyer national hero material”.

    Posted by Peter | March 26, 2012, 07:30

    Posted by Peter | March 26, 2012, 07:32
  12. Gonsalves, Francis, how about you, lets hear what you have to say.

    Posted by Peter | March 27, 2012, 15:59

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