Dear “758 Patriot”:
I would like to respond to the questions posed in your Letter to the Editor today.
1) Is a Government subvention supposed to be forever, especially when an organization has their own revenue exceeding $2 Million dollars a year?
The St. Lucia National Trust is charged with the conservation of the the natural and cultural heritage of St. Lucia, and the promotion of values that lead to national pride and love of country. Do you really not think our heritage and our national pride are worth at least $700,000 a year?
2) Will the National Trust give the public a breakdown of their monthly or yearly expenditure apart from salaries to make a better determination of whether the Trust’s finances are being managed prudently?
When the subvention is reinstated, we should definitely demand this from the National Trust, but in the meantime, why are you not calling for a breakdown of expenditure from all the other organizations that receive subventions?
3) What is the average monthly salary in the Public service and average National salary when compared to the Trust’s average of $3,241.00 monthly?
A more relevant question would be: what is the average work output in the Public service compared to the Trust’s average?
4) Is the construction of a conference centre and offices at Pigeon island the best use of the $6.6 Million that the Trust proposes to spend?
The conference centre is probably a good idea given Pigeon Island’s huge popularity as a wedding and party venue.
5) Why didn’t the National Trust speak out against the Dolphin Park project when it was initially announced by the Dr.Kenny Anthony administration in his 2014 Budget address, since they oppose the dolphin park not only being setup at Pigeon Island but anywhere in Saint Lucia?
There are two issues at stake with the current proposal:
- The issue of protecting a National Landmark (this is a national issue and a conservation issue)
- The issue of the cruelty of dolphin captivity (this is a moral issue and an animal rights issue)
The St. Lucia National Trust opposes a dolphin facility at Pigeon Island because of the destruction it will cause to the Park and the bay; the members of the Trust oppose dolphin captivity anywhere in St. Lucia because they believe it is morally wrong and will have a negative impact on St. Lucia’s image.
There are many other questions that I would like to ask especially in light of a recent revelation that the St.Lucia National Trust received a boat as a gift from the World Bank to monitor Maria Islands and to conduct tours on the islands but have never made use of this boat.
It in fact has since been revealed that this same boat was used by certain board members of the Trust to go on outings on weekends with their family and friends and that the National Trust has recently sold the boat without consulting or notifying several of their board members.
There was no question here, but I’m sure the Chairman or Director of the Trust would be happy to answer a question if you come up with one.
Most concerning however is that it appears that the St.Lucia National Trust has allowed itself to be hijacked by high ranking officials of the St.Lucia Labour Party which will be to its detriment.
The St. Lucia National Trust is not a partisan organization; the members of the Trust are highly motivated citizens with one common goal: to protect our heritage. The Trust, in fact, is stronger than ever and not even slightly at risk of being hijacked.
We Saint Lucians are tired of party politics, and an institution which is mandated to protect our National assets should make all attempts to be seen and known as non-political. The deterioration of the National Trust via politics and mismanagement is a very unfortunate event and something that should outrage all right thinking Saint Lucians.
Yes. We St. Lucians are very tired of party politics. The assault on our protected areas and on the organization charged with protecting them should outrage all right-thinking St. Lucians.
A right-thinking St. Lucian