By Gavin the Constant Gardener
I just came back from Dominica. It broke my heart, with the darkness I saw in the land. Young men, listless, sitting down smoking weed. Doing nothing. They are broken men and women in Grand Bay and around the country after 15 years of Skerrit. The handout heaven created by Skerrit the reigning King has turned into a real handout hell. And all the Kings horses, and all the Kings men, with ferries, coolout money and chartered planes cannot put the shattered Humpty Dumpty government together again.
Tete Morne School still broken down since Maria. The same broken down school stands in ruins as if Hurricane Maria just passed. Shame.
The once beautiful now broken down St George’s Anglican Church on Victoria Street is an eyesore in Roseau. Bush comes up to the bolted church door. A Jurassic Park it is, right in the middle of town.
The Castle Bruce flat which was a bread basket of fruitful trees , now full of weeds and wild bush. The rows of orderly banana trees of my youth gone.
During this trip to Dominica not one grapefruit tree I could see.
Let me talk of Grand Bay, my home town and citadel of the ruling Dominica Labour Party now turned into Skerrit Family & Friends Party:
Grand Bay once had a hospital which admitted people: gone!
We had a resident dispenser: gone!
We had a resident magistrate: gone!
We had a resident inspector of Police (Mr. Valmond in my time): gone!
The Grand Bay magistrate court: gone!
The Alcendor Supermarket: gone!
The St Luce Supermarket: gone!
The Postman Supermarket: gone!
People would come from other places to Grandbay to buy chains, boots, cloth, clothes, buy gas at the gas station, visit the public library, verviter grass industry to make hats: all gone!
Grand Bay was supplying Roseau with milk: gone!
Grand Bay supplied Roseau with local honey: gone!
Grand Bay supplied Roseau with avocado: gone!
Grand Bay had a market at Lalay: gone!
Grand Bay had a agriculture station: gone!
Tete Morne had about 20 bakeries with an annual bakers feast: gone!
Grand Bay had Fete Isidore which showcased our culture and productivity: a shadow of itself.
Today Tete Morne has no bakery. Zero!
No Bakers Fete. Zero!
Grand Bay had had four serious bands in Grand Bay to include Ebonite, Midnight Groovers. Today we have only one.
Grand Bay was the cultural mecca of Dominica. Today it is the coolout mecca where youth sit around waiting for crumbs.
Instead of new music coming from our beloved Grand Bay it is only mayhem we see happening as frustrated youth fight each other. That must stop!
We must flush that frightening spectacle brought us by scary government down the toilet and birth a new Grand Bay worthy of its heritage as the cultural mecca.
Grand Bay had an annual agriculture fair where people brought their biggest bull, the biggest goat, the biggest sheep, the biggest cock, the biggest yam, the biggest boar: gone!
Dominica was once a prosperous agriculture based economy. Now, not one grapefruit tree I could see.
My message don’t come to Dominica to vote this scary government back in office and then go. Leaving behind you the same misery you ran away from. We deserve better. What you are doing is illegal. Accepting a plane or boat rides is accepting something of value in exchange for a vote. That lawlessness will haunt you and will destroy our country. Stop it. Don’t do it.
Let us be constant gardeners in productive endeavor!
Let us root out all these weeds that are choking off the bounty of Dominica’s garden.
Let Grandbay rise again!
Let Dominica right rise again!
Dominicans run around the world searching for Eden.
But the real Eden can be right at home!
Let us make Dominica the Garden of Eden it can be.
To be all we can be, and our best selves, let us vote for change!