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Cynclair’s Swan Song coming for North Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 9, 2023 – For eight years, Cynclair Musgrove has been the District Commissioner in North Caicos; taking the lead on solving problems and giving council to everyone who needed it, for some the hefty responsibility would have been exhausting, but Cynclair describes it as a dream come true.

“My tenure began on August 4th, 2015 and will end officially on March 31st, 2023. To say it was my dream job would be an understatement.  Working on my island home and doing what I love was a blessing for which I shall be forever grateful,” she told us over the phone ahead of a huge event she is planning to say farewell and thank you to the people of North Caicos.

The best part of it she said was the constant engagement with her countrymen young and old.

“What I cherished most was the opportunity it afforded me to work closely with every school, organization or church. Whether it was my initiative or not it did not matter.  Once it was for or on North Caicos, that’s all that mattered to me.”

It’s one of the reasons she’s hosting her event Cycnlair’s Swan Song; a final hurrah to celebrate her retirement, but once again the focus isn’t on her per se but the people of her island who have stood by her side throughout this journey.  She spoke about them with extreme fondness and gratitude.

“Throughout my tenure, I have been blessed with a core group of dedicated people.  Each initiative was made possible by their commitment.  They never sought money or the spotlight. But while I could only hope that some people come out, I could count on my support system for the duration.  I have tons of anecdotes about each honoree. How they went beyond the call of duty time and time again; how my rake and scrape band boys and my other student volunteers literally grew up before my eyes; how they never got tired of doing the heavy lifting.  My ideas became their mission which they chose to accept without hesitation,” she said

Cynclair, also an educator and writer, is currently working on a commemorative book, filled with photos she says, of the myriad of experiences she has had during her time as District Commissioner for the island.

While they are too many to name, the DC easily listed her favourite times, these she said stand out fresh in her mind:

  • Having the myriad talents of our students, and senior citizens – farmers, artisans, and restaurateurs recognized beyond our boundaries with the help of social media.
  • When students Briann Gardiner and Astacio Ariza spearheaded the Horse Stable Beach renovation after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Briann went on to become a National Honors and Awards recipient ;
  • Janella Forbes winning the Turks and Caicos Film Festival Art competition after accepting a last-minute invitation to Provo on a Sunday (I was shocked when her mom said she could go with me)!
  • Nominating Jessica Corvil for the 1st annual National Honors and Awards which she won easily for her then, girls’ empowerment movement;
  • Honouring people from all walks of life for their contribution to society through her celebrated poems

“As I leave, I wish to showcase, once more, the plethora of talent that abounds in our country.  The entertainment for the awards ceremony is chock full of mostly unknown amazing talent.  I want them to be recognized for their gift,” she explained

She is also very grateful to the people who donated time and more to the causes on North Caicos, “This has been a marvelous journey because whenever I asked, and lord knows I was always asking, they spoke yes – fluently!  Hence, the reason for my Swan Song.”

The event started out as a simple commemorative awards ceremony to be held on March 19th but has swelled into a slew of activities with a walkathon on Saturday March 18th which she says will include uniformed personnel  and is open to the general public.

After March 31st someone else will stand in her role but Cynclair says she has hasting dreams for her island.

“My hope is that residents of North Caicos become entrepreneurs rather than employees.  We are on the cusp of a development boom.  I hope that our locals benefit greatly.  The local Chamber of Commerce can serve to drive this. As the island grows, its people should not be left behind,” adding, “As I vacate the office of the District Commissioner, I am compelled to say thank you to this core group.  I know many may say that I left them out.  But, my gratitude is for one and all.”

Cynclair’s Swan Song will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th at Horse Stable Beach Community Centre.

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Opposition Leader strong admonition to New RBC Manager

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 29, 2024 – The Opposition has proposed to the new Managing Director of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), that the institution open new branches in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI), with services that can lead to financial inclusion.

Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Edwin Astwood says while the Managing Director has his welcome to the TCI, he said a meeting she had with significant Government officials, has been keenly noted, especially for RBC’s involvement in funding key Government projects, and for “talks to progress further than this, I believe the discussion on Financial Inclusion must take place.

“Providing much-needed access to banking services to individuals and businesses in our underserved communities. This can help improve financial literacy and access to financial products for the family islands population outside of Providenciales,” the Opposition Leader said in a statement.

He added that a discussion on Supporting Economic Development, must also be on the table, as a “caring Government” would have been soliciting the respective bank for more access to capital for the people on TCI-owned businesses, stressing that the Opposition is cognizant of the fact that by offering small to medium-sized business loans, banks can support entrepreneurship and economic development in communities throughout the TCI.

Further, he said access to capital is crucial for small businesses to start and grow, and by providing loans, banks can help stimulate local economic activity and job creation, underscoring that when banks invest in rural districts through branches and business loans, they contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of the community.

“Small businesses are often the backbone of rural economies, and by supporting them, banks can help these communities thrive. I believe that banks doing business should be concerned about Building Customer Relationships. Opening branches in our family islands and underserved communities of Providenciales and providing business loans can help banks build long-term relationships with customers,” he said

He argued that by being present in the community and supporting local businesses, banks can establish trust and loyalty among residents, which can lead to increased customer retention and satisfaction.

Mr. Astwood in his strident statement, said citizens deserve better from banking institutions, and the people of Providenciales where the banks are located deserve better, and “our people in the family islands deserve better, therefore the TCI deserves better, and that is a PDM Government who will work to foster a healthy and inclusive financial system that includes serving the interests of all our people in all our islands,” he said.

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News

Norman B Saunders Airport Opens, opportunities touted by Gov’t

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 29, 2024 – Employment and business opportunities are now looming in the South Caicos, and Government officials are urging young people, along with entrepreneurs to prepare themselves and maximise the openings.

Speaking at the renaming of the of South Caicos Airport to the Norman B. Saunders Snr. International Airport, Deputy Governor, Hon. Anya Williams said the Government is diversifying the economy, and expanding tourism to all the outer islands.

“You have to be part of that. For this airport to operate as an international airport, we need additional staff. We will need immigration officers, custom officers, fire officers, and we will need other staff,” the Deputy Governor said.

She added that the Government is providing small grants, assistance in preparing business plans, and technical advice for the setting up of “your businesses. Prepare to come back home because your island will need you,” she told her audience.

The Deputy Governor noted that having had the opportunity to work with Mr. Saunders, she found him to be a great “encourager, and someone who is so smart and articulate,” and always take the opportunity to “grant wisdom” to others, and “I developed so much respect” for the former Parliamentarian, she said.

For Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, the new airport is a catalyst for progress, as the Government has signed an agreement with American Airline, while major resorts are entering the area, and “plans are afoot to have an activity here, that you have never seen before in South Caicos,” he said.

Declaring that young people should “get ready,” the Premier said, “this is your moment, so, South Caicos, I want you to appreciate what you see here, I want you to treat it properly and well, and all of you, young people should strive to leave a positive legacy,” as Mr. Saunders has done, he said.

Mr. Misick also said Mr. Saunders who became Chief Minister of the Turks Caicos Islands (TCI), from 1980-1985, with responsibility, among other things, as well as  Immigration, Fisheries, Civil Aviation, went “above and beyond the call of duty,” in the performance of his duties, and “we are all better for it. Naming this airport in his honour, is only a very small token” of the recognition he should be given, the Premier said.

In his response, Mr. Saunders said he enjoyed all the moments in public live, and “we believe that South Caicos will be the next big spot, and area for tourism. I trust that this place will be the gateway to other islands, and I am confident that everything I did, was for the benefit of this country,” he said.

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Caribbean News

A King and High Level Speakers open SIDS Conference in Antigua & Barbuda

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#Antigua, May 29, 2024 – The Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda is hosting the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which seeks to build resilience, and find solutions to the pressing challenges of debt burden, and to achieve sustainable development goals.

Opened on Monday, in St. Johns, under the theme, “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity,” the Conference which run from May 27 to 30, had addresses from 33 countries, where speakers pressed the need for actions on financing for Climate emergency, and crises such as spiraling debt, and health challenges.

Speaking via video link, King Charles III, said island nations are leading the way in confronting Climate Change, protecting biodiversity, and stewarding the global Ocean, while pointing out that there is potential for large investors to contribute to Climate financing, and the benefits of collaboration among SIDS. The King also called for “bold action” and said “your future is our future.”

Host Prime Minister, Gaston Browne told his audience that SIDS face unprecedented global challenges, that they did not create, and “large-scale polluters” bear responsibility for compensation, as he called for ending fossil subsidies.

The Prime Minister also called for   the establishment of the Commission of Small Island States (COSIS) and the recent unanimous advisory opinion from the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which affirmed the legal duty of state parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to mitigate Climate impacts to protect the marine environment.

In the Caribbean region, PM Browne has been at the forefront of advocacy to develop a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index that truly reflects SIDS needs for development finance, and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados has spearheaded the Bridgetown Initiative to transform lending and provide inclusive, resilient finance to countries facing Climate crises.

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Davis urged the SIDS Conference to support a new global tax treaty to be negotiated and for financial flows to be regulated to ease the crippling debt burden impeding many SIDS from fully developing their potential.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres aid SIDS stands as a test case for Climate and financial justice, and called on all countries to align with the 1.5°C Climate targets, and for Climate finance to double by 2025, and for significant contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund. “SIDS can make an almighty noise together to deliver meaningful change to benefit the whole of humankind,” he said.

Many SIDS remain dependent on imported fossil fuels, curtailing both their environmental and economic efforts. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), some SIDS would need an investment of around US $5.9 billion annually to achieve their renewable energy targets by 2030 and reduce their fossil-fuel dependency.

The COVID-19 pandemic deepened existing fragilities and triggered the most acute economic contraction across SIDS, increasing their debt burden and depleting resources. Over 40 per cent of SIDS are now on the edge of or are already grappling with unsustainable levels of debt. Between 2000 and 2019, the external debt of SIDS rose by 24 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The total public debt for SIDS now stands at approximately US $82 billion dollars.

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