Supporters and well-wishers of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) poured into the La Clery Playing Field on Sunday, April 24, 2016, to attend the launch of Stephen John Charlery as the SLP’s candidate for Castries North. A host of cheering supporters, young and old, welcomed Charlery in a sea of red t-shirts and banners, as the former Saint Lucian national footballer talked about the importance of community and grassroots youth programmes.
During his acceptance speech, the SLP candidate underscored the fundamental pillar of his campaign; to work for better representation for Castries North. Charlery described his deep understanding of the issues that matter to the people of Castries North. He acknowledged that his decision to contest the seat is because of his bond with the people. Charley said, ‘I am also here because of your faith in me to provide better representation … Brothers and sisters, you believe that I can do it. I too, believe that I can do it. That to my mind is a winning combination. Together we will do it.’
Charlery told the crowd that he had grown up in a supportive and caring community, and had benefitted from his long experience in working with local youth and development groups before his political career. He further highlighted his belief in collective organisation to achieve meaningful improvements for the people of Castries North, by strengthening local groups, the youth and sports council and development committees.
The candidate outlined his plans and ambitions to transform Castries North into the sporting capital of Saint Lucia. He stressed that Castries North has produced many of Saint Lucia’s most outstanding sportsmen and women, and emphasised the significance of community sporting organisations. To further aid the needs of local young people, Charlery proposed a constituency apprenticeship programme to improve the skills and employability of young people via vital work experience in both local and nation-wide organisations.
The SLP candidate, who has led a lifetime of service to Saint Lucia, has played for the Castries Youth Organisation (CYO) and represented his country at several World Cup qualifiers. He is also a founding member of the Careille Development Committee, a committee which oversaw the overall development of the community.