Peterkin dom­i­nates Cham­ber Awards show . . . again!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

IToni Ni­cholas couldn’t help but won­der who was re­ally hav­ing the last laugh at Satur­day’s Cham­ber of Com­merce Awards. On more than one oc­ca­sion I have de­scribed the evening’s em­cee as some­one not par­tic­u­larly fa­mous for risk-tak­ing. Richard Peterkin’s public state­ments, for the most part, have been po­lit­i­cally cor­rect—to the point he of­ten comes across as a wimp.

Not on Satur­day evening. This time around he proved there were still men in this coun­try with go­nads, re­gard­less of how small the num­ber. He was brazen; his jokes set off rau­cous laugh­ter in some quar­ters, even as the more con­ser­va­tive squirmed in their seats or rolled their eyes.

Early dur­ing the evening Peterkin an­nounced that a par­tic­u­larly lucky win­ner would re­ceive free tu­ition at Lam­birds academy. Call it po­lit­i­cal if you like but per­haps the prime min­is­ter’s idio­syn­cratic laugh­ter drowned out all other re­ac­tions. Since the gov­ern­ment had li­censed the school, Peterkin went on, it was only right that the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry should as­sist the scammed Asian stu­dents. This time it seemed the joke failed to reach the prime min­is­ter!

And then there was Peterkin’s telling ref­er­ence to “the third most pow­er­ful man in the land.” Peterkin made cer­tain the line did not go over any heads when he said the semi-pow­er­house could not be present be­cause of an ear­lier en­gage­ment - a make-up din­ner with the land’s sec­ond most pow­er­ful Fran­cis: Mary. Was that Peterkin’s way of say­ing where he stood on the re­cent Fran­cis v Fran­cis war of words? As if he hadn’t al­ready stepped on a pam­pered toe too many, Peterkin ref­er­enced the PM’s sup­port for the Massy Group: Any­thing to end the Chas­tanet su­per­mar­ket mo­nop­oly! Funny? How about his bit about low-cal con­doms?

As for the more se­ri­ous as­pect of the show, once again the night’s big win­ner was Bay Gar­dens Re­sorts. For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year the ho­tel car­ried away the pres­ti­gious Busi­ness of the Year award. The re­sort also won the award for Mar­ket­ing Ex­cel­lence.

Eleven other awards were handed out in­clud­ing the now in­fa­mous Prime Min­is­ter’s Award for In­no­va­tion. This time it went to West Tech­nol­ogy Group Inc. Peterkin spared the PM any ref­er­ence to the 2013 win­ner Ge­orge Ben­son who went out of busi­ness soon af­ter Philip J. Pierre handed him his tro­phy.

The award for Ser­vice Ex­cel­lence went to Spice of In­dia, En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Award to Spice of In­dia’s Adil Sher­wani, Young En­tre­pre­neur of the Year Award to Monetta Wil­son, Goods Ex­porter of the Year Award to Baron Foods Ltd, Ser­vice Ex­porter of the Year Award to FDL Con­sult Inc., Award for Ex­cel­lence in Hu­man Re­source Devel­op­ment: to Con­sol­i­dated Foods Ltd, Award for Cor­po­rate Lead­er­ship: to De­bra To­bierre of True Value Build­ing & Hard­ware Sup­plies Ltd, Award for Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity to 1st Na­tional Bank St. Lu­cia Ltd and the Green Award to FDL Pest Con­trol So­lu­tions. The Idea of the Year Award went to In­de­pen­dent Film Com­pany run by Dale El­liot who pro­duces the popular TV se­ries Un­told Sto­ries.

The Cham­ber’s Life­time Achieve­ment Award went to busi­ness­man Christo­pher Renwick, founder of Renwick and Com­pany.

The cer­e­mony was pre­ceded by a red car­pet af­fair where the who’s who in pol­i­tics and busi­ness (of­ten one and the same) smiled for the cam­eras. The event, which was aired live on Choice-TV ended with a grand she­bang that af­forded in­vi­tees the op­por­tu­nity to smooch and show off their ex­pen­sive bling, their suits and their designer gowns. Hope­fully, all of it was pur­chased from lo­cal stores.

The sixth an­nual Saint Lu­cia Cham­ber of Com­merce Awards cer­e­mony was held at the San­dals Grande Beach Re­sort and Spa. Turn to pages 12 and 13 for more on Cham­ber Awards.

Sanovnik Des­tang de­liv­ers ac­cep­tance speech while

Bay Gar­dens Re­sorts team mem­bers look on.

Shayne Ross per­form­ing at last Satur­day’s Busi­ness Awards.

Richard Peterkin at his finest.

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