Minister Easton Farrel Taylor

Montserrat kicks off ArrowFest 2010

String Band performing during the opening of ArrowFest 2010 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Friday, December 17, 2010. (Photo by Nerissa Golden - GIU)

BRADES, Montserrat – Are You Ready? Alright Then! ArrowFest 2010 has begun! On Friday evening, the festival was officially opened at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, which will serve as the main arena for many of the key events this season.

View Highlights here….

Minister of Agriculture Easton Taylor-Farrell who is also a minister of religion, gave the opening prayer and reigning Calypso Monarch Sylvina “Candie” Malone sang the national song.

Throughout the evening, performances were given by the Shamrock Masqueraders and the String Band, with appearances from the contestants in the MonFest Queen and the Sunrise Productions Teen pageants.

Following the passing of the Soca King of the World Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell MBE in September, the Montserrat Festival Committee (MonFest) renamed the annual cultural festival ArrowFest, to honor the legacy of an artist, businessman and friend who placed Montserrat on the world stage.

Chairman of MonFest Gregory Willock said despite the challenges of the past year, the festival promises to be one to remember. The main concerts and competitions will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, the street parades will take place in the village of Salem, while other activities will happen around the island. This, he said makes ArrowFest an island-wide event. He thanked all of the committee members and private organizations who have been working tirelessly to bring the festival to fruition.

Minister of Education Colin Riley officially opened ArrowFest 2010 and commended the many volunteers who help to make the festival happen annually. “Volunteers give of their time, talent and treasure to help us as we go through the four major festivals in our year…Calabash Festival, the (Alliouagana) Literary Festival, St. Patrick’s Week and ArrowFest.”

Shamrock Masqueraders performing at the opening of ArrowFest 2010 (Photo by Nerissa Golden - GIU)

The official also called for the continued teaching of the masquerade dance and that it must be included in the island’s cultural policy. He admitted to not knowing the traditional dance and desired that every national should learn it and enable its continuity through the ages.

ArrowFest 2010 is primarily sponsored by the Government of Montserrat through the Office of the Chief Minister and the platinum sponsor is the telecommunications provider LIME. Fly Montserrat, Tradewinds Real Estate and the Royal Bank of Canada are also key supporters.

View Highlights here….

Watch ArrowFest 2010 live online on www.zjb.gov.ms.

View pictures from each ArrowFest 2010 event on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-of-Montserrat/103640209673708.

Davy Hill Shared Equity Housing Scheme to kick off

BRADES – The first five persons have been selected to benefit from the Davy Hill Housing Rehabilitation Programme announced by Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade and Minister of Housing Joseph Farrell-Taylor last September.

Under the programme, residents will have new homes constructed in a shared equity plan with the Government of Montserrat.

The impetus for the programme Minister Farrell-Taylor said was that government is “committed to closing all emergency shelters within 18 months of coming into office.”

“This is a dual ownership. Meaning a portion of the property will belong to the government until such time as the owner or a relative wants to buy out that portion,” explained Camille Thomas-Gerald, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. “Each agreement is different and depends on how much equity each owner is willing to give up in order for the new construction to happen.”

The Project Implementation Unit will be managing the construction of the homes for the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment (MALHE). The permanent secretary explained that plans for two and three bedroom homes have been drawn up and the low-cost model design is copyrighted by government and will be used in other housing programmes which will come on line in the months to come.

The homes are expected to take three months to complete, and in the meantime persons can choose to stay at housing designated in Pasture Piece or with relative and friends.

ENDS

Greenhouse supplies for farmers

Agri Greenhouse suppliesBRADES – The Ministry of Agriculture recently received a shipment of greenhouse equipment which will be handed over to the Farmers Association in an effort to improve the island’s food production.

Minister of Agriculture, Easton Taylor Farrell says there are presently six greenhouses designated for the Farmer’s Association and a large one in Salem for the Department of Agriculture. The additional supplies received will be distributed after space in the greenhouses is allocated to local farmers.

“Using greenhouses for cultivation is the way to go. Government is committed to reducing the island’s dependence on food imports and this is one step closer to that,” Minister Farrell stated.

The increased ash fall to the safe zones severely damaged crops for farmers. It is hoped that the greenhouses will be operating by the end of January.

ENDS

Captions: The trailer with greenhouse supplies arrived this week. Minister of Agriculture Easton Taylor Farrell says using greenhouses to cultivate fruits and vegetables is the way forward to decrease the island’s dependency on food imports. (Courtesy GIU)

Ms. Nerissa Golden

Director of Information & Communications

Office of the Chief Minister

Brades, Montserrat, W.I.

Tel: 664-491-3463/3378

Cell: 664-495-4420

Fax: 664-491-6780

Email: goldenn@gov.ms


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