Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Is The Choiseul Development Foundation In Hibernation?

Biens Charlemagne
I was very taken aback and surprised, when I read this post on Facebook. Actually it was posted in the group What's Going On In Choiseul?
It was posted by  Biens Charlemagne, who coincidentally happens to be the chairman of the SLP Choiseul Constituency Branch. He wrote:
"My Thoughts
Is there a real Development Foundation in Choiseul?
What is the mandate of this group, who constitutes this group?
Blochay.... What really is that?
Why was there no other activities other than a failed Jourvert with youth parading in the skimpiest outfits.
why not a craft festival instead of jouvert jam
Why not a parade of of costume bands?
why not use resources in choiseul rather than giving Jerrrico thousands of dollors that will never be spent in choiseul?
Why Why Why."

For starters, it mystifies me as to why it took Biens two years to ask these questions? what is he contemplating?

Augustin aka Bolo Charles openned the comments innings of  biens' post:
  •  This is perhaps how we define our Choiseul! It is apparent that the Foundation is immersed in its own "mission-critical" challenges which has in turn aptly defined them. What is the way going forward? I wish I knew!'
It would be quite interesting if Bolo could have expanded on "immersed in its own"mission-critical" challenges which in turn aptly define them' That would be something.I am sure we have not heard the last of him on this issue, though i have this gut feeling that he would rather stay quiet on this.........he does not want to rock the boat.

John Satney  president  of CDF
  The idea of a Choiseul Development Foundation/ Committee must have come about by the Social Transformation Officer. I remember vividly his enthusiasm about the whole project. How the group was formed remains a mystery to many Choiseulians. It is no secret that some of the members on the Foundation/Committee were persons with strong political inclinations...prove me wrong if you can. John Satney, Goddard Darchiville two members who actually lived in Castries, held top positions on the Foundation.

Jimmy Haynes, in his turn at the wicket to answer Mr Charlemagne's question, "Is there a real Foundation in Choiseul?' puts it like this:
  • Unfortunately, the Choiseul Foundation is a Boy &Girls Club which despite its huge appetite for public assistance preferably financial and goodwill is accountable to only itself. Some Foundation.
So the Boys' and Girls' Club have vanished into thin air?Have they left any financial audit reports or any minutes?

     Immediately after general elections 2011, there was that zeal, that euphoria about good things ah gwan, and there was this bubbling of energy after a victory. Then came along a brain child of the Foundation, "BLOTJE EN CHWASEZ"This sub group got down to the nitty gritty of it and by August had plans well on the way for a FIRST activity in the district. Their Facebook page posted this itenary in September 2012

Blotje Carnival Queen Contestants (2013)
Another scene with the Contestants
    Choiseul Cultural Festival
Sunday 16th September-Mini Launch
Sunday 23rd September- Sports
Saturday 29th September- Music Festival
Sunday 30th September- Craft & Agicultural Festival & Country & Western
Monday 1st October- J'Overt, Craft & Agricultural Festival & Parade of Bands

Rufus Bousquet
    The festival went on into 2013. Rumours were circulation that the finances are not forthcoming and that the carnival queen pageant may not come off. Whether or not it came off is not the concern here. .One will recall on more that on occasion before 2012, Many will remember how Bousquet used his influence to source funding ($10,000.00) for the carnival pageant...during the period which was managed by a Carnival Development Committee,which was headed by Feria Modeste.

Below is another Facebook post by the Blotje group
September 2013
Eve Aimable, worked with Blotje
  Look out for Choiseul Cultural Festival 2013 dubbed 'Blotje' This will include a complete package this year...and yes..the famous Queen Pageant is back after a short absence..from September 28 to October 7..will include an Anse Citorn Fish Lime each Friday from September 13 in Choiseul Village...(more details later)
This CDF was so hyped-up and enthusiastic that John Satney president, also spoke to the Star about this new initiative.  “We decided that we wanted to have not just another carnival but something different. We wanted this to be a part of the tourism product to show diversity in the arts and culture under a different name,” Satney says. “The idea is that hopefully  this will not just impact Saint Lucia but the diaspora as well,” he added.

    Now in 2014, the Blotje En Chawzey group and the CDF are scattered, disenfranchised and lack the motivation to move on. Was it the Rep's attitude toward the constituency that caused this year's activities to be so low-keyed?Is something brewing that Choiseulians need to know about? Don't the CDF still want according to Satney, ..."be a part of the tourism product...?"

      There are no Fb post from the Blotje group for 2014? What does this tell you?

What interests me, and hopefully other Choiseulians, is why out of the blue  Biens is concerned about the ineptitude,of the CDF and asks these questions? Is he looking forward to taking it over? One will recall the masquerade he and some of his friends created in an attempt to overthrow the Executive of the Delcer Farmer's Association. What became of this escapade?
    Beins will do well to let sleeping dogs lie. Goddard and Satney rate themselves as big fishes in Choiseul politics...remember the former's contribution of a bus to Club 60? Also one must not forget the deal he also made with the Choiseul Constituency Council for over $200,000.00 for that piece of shit that lies on the Fisheries Complex compounds. You scratch my back, I scratch yours style of politics that still goes on in Choiseul.
The Parliamentary Rep
 Will Beins champion the cause and ask for fresh elections? Does this CDF have a constitution?  When last did they have a meeting? Who are the person's that put this year's activities together?Where did the money to pay Jericho come from? These questions  which he asked may have merit but they have no legs...not with the let downs and broken promises,as well as the poor representation by our Rep.  Who will anyone put their neck on the block to find ou?. It would serve Biens well, with  all the disgruntlement about his Rep now going on, to put his energies into his Constituency group and try to see if he can pull off the Parliamentary seat for his Party, come next year or early 2016.
   My take, the relevant authorities should set up a one-man committee to investigate this CDF/BLOTJE and come up with a forensic audit report and recommendations, and take it from there. Get Choiseulians who live in Choiseul to man the foundation. I recommend  Mr Augustin Charles as my first choice to carry out this investigation.

Choiseulians, wake up and smell the coffee.

Editor's note: The statements by the individuals in this post are unedited.

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