Over to you! (May/June 2000)

Memorable quotes, plus your letters and answers to your questions



I usually enjoy reading your magazine when flying with BWIA and I love looking at those lovely photographs of the Caribbean. I think the Caribbean should, at all times, be showcased in your magazine and not metropolitan countries, for the reasons you mentioned in your January/February 2000 issue, in answer to a letter writer who asked for more articles on metropolitan destinations. My contention is that the magazine should always focus on the Caribbean so as to sensitise those persons who are inclined to touring, and show them how beautiful the Caribbean is and why they should visit.

— Kim Verbeke, Georgetown, Guyana


One of the features I look forward to most in each issue of Caribbean Beat is the article on classic works of Caribbean literature by James Ferguson. I’ve found myself rediscovering many books and authors I’d once read, and have even learned of some I never knew existed. Thanks for the continuing education.
Vanessa Campbell, Bridgetown, Barbados


We’ve visited Trinidad during Carnival for the past two years and have really appreciated Caribbean Beat’s special Carnival section. The information it contained was intelligent, accurate, up-to-date, and a good read. Also appreciated the historical perspective in this year’s articles. We’d like to see more, and bigger, pictures, though-as a visual reminder of the good time we had and a record of the festival of the previous year.

— Ann and Peter Small, London, England


I had not heard of BWIA until I was booked to fly BWIA to Barbados next month. Can you tell me something about the airline? How old is it?

— Jennifer Scott, Nottingham, England

BWIA started flying in November 1940, so it celebrates its 60th anniversary later this year. It was actually started by a New Zealand aviator, Lowell Yerex, who had previously set up air services in Central America – he was called in because surface travel and shipping in the Caribbean was becoming highly dangerous in those early days of World War II, as German submarines sought to isolate Britain from its supply sources. BWIA came under British ownership for a while, but was bought by the Trinidad and Tobago government in 1961 and privatised in 1995. BWIA has been servicing the Caribbean, and providing the Caribbean’s links with North America and Europe, ever since 1940, come rain or shine. It is now renewing its fleet of aircraft and preparing for a new phase of development. We hope you enjoy your Barbados trip!

On the record

“It’s more than words can express. It’s a great feeling and a great accomplishment for him to visit us in Trench Town. We would like to thank her Majesty the Queen for trusting us to look after her son in an area which people had always said was no-go.”

— Rita Marley, on the February 29 visit of HRH Prince Charles to Trench Town, the Kingston slum immortalised in song by Bob Marley

“After that meeting, I cannot recall any serious attempt to deal with the human resource factor. Because at the same time we’ve had over 50 scholarships to Cuba just for Grenada.”

— Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, referring to US President Bill Clinton’s promise of aid for human resource development at the US-Caribbean Summit in Barbados in May 1997

“They [the judges who are sitting in the regional court] will be subjected to huge pressure because they will be actually living in the community where they are being forced to take certain decisions which the ordinary person on the street doesn’t like.”

— Lord Wolfe, senior civil court judge in the British appeals court system, on plans to abolish the Privy Council as the Court of last resort and replace it with a Caribbean Court of Justice

“I personally will sell Mr Sainsbury my best mangoes … I’m willing, happy and ready to grow everything for him if he makes it interesting. He could have all my avocado crop, vanilla and nutmeg. I shall piggyback on him. I will meet him at the airport.”

— Lennox Purcell, Grenadian businessman and estate owner, on an initiative by British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to take over the island’s agricultural production to supply the British market with organic tropical fruit

“Sainsbury’s concern is that there are too many small fish in the sea; so it’s easier to catch a whale [a country] than three million herring. I’m not sure of Sainsbury’s strategy. Do they want to take over Grenada?”

— Renwick Rose, Windward Islands National Farmers Association

“Forget the captaincy, the commercial side and the politics and enjoy the essence of the game, his batting and the success and camaraderie of his teammates.If he can rediscover these simple joys then it could be bad news for England this coming series.”

Former England captain and Test player Mike Atherton, on the resignation of West Indies captain Brian Lara, from his column in the Telegraph