HOW FAR HAVE WE COME IN 27 YEARS?

The dead and dy­ing have no use of hosan­nas!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

“If we do not rec­og­nize, re­spect and re­ward our own we can­not se­ri­ously ex­pect oth­ers do so for us,” Caricom sec­re­tary-gen­eral Rod­er­ick Rain­ford this week ob­served. Mr. Rain­ford ad­vised that we should re­ward “not only out­stand­ing per­son­al­i­ties but also those who are strug­gling to achieve. It was also re­as­sur­ing this week to hear Prime Min­is­ter John Comp­ton ex­tolling Mr. Ro­manus Lan­siquot’s de­ter­mined ef­forts at es­tab­lish­ing St. Lucia’s first sports sta­dium, as well as the health min­is­ter’s mil­lion-dol­lar ini­tia­tive to ben­e­fit Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal, which at­tracted hun­dreds of sup­port­ive St. Lu­cians to Wil­liam Peter Boule­vard.

For Mr. Lan­siquot the prime min­is­ter’s words on Sun­day af­ter­noon must’ve held spe­cial mean­ing. The word on the street had been that all was not well be­tween the two; that the prime min­is­ter was not sup­port­ive of his Cab­i­net col­league’s un­prece­dented am­bi­tions. For the health min­is­ter Mr. Comp­ton’s ex­pressed en­cour­age­ment was not only vin­di­ca­tion at last but it also added flesh to the bones of the largely se­cret sus­pi­cion that the prime min­is­ter is a much big­ger man than his public­ity would sug­gest. But enough of the two gen­tle­men and their cur­rent pre­oc­cu­pa­tions. Our prime min­is­ter must now pay more at­ten­tion to the fu­ture of our na­tion—in par­tic­u­lar, to our young cit­i­zens who have lit­tle rea­son to con­front the sac­ri­fices that great ac­com­plish­ments de­mand.

By his own de­ter­mined ef­forts Mr. Lan­siquot has proved in the face of wide­spread mind­less crit­i­cism that noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble when faith and sweat com­bine. Point­less deny­ing that what propels or­di­nary men to reach for the sky is in­cen­tive. The hu­man con­di­tion de­mands it. As Mr. Rain­ford re­cently ad­vised, we must now go out of our way to re­ward those who, de­spite at times crush­ing dis­cour­age­ments, stub­bornly reach for the top rung of the suc­cess lad­der.

Our prime min­is­ter must not only talk about the lead­ers of tomorrow. He must demon­strate at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity his per­sonal ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the pop­u­lar ef­forts at suc­cess—es­pe­cially the ef­forts of the eas­ily dis­tracted young. He might start with a spe­cial recog­ni­tion of Mr. Lan­siquot’s work on be­half on sport; not so much for the min­is­ter’s sake but for the en­cour­age­ment of our largely unin­spired peo­ple. We at the STAR sug­gest the Sans Soucis Sports Com­plex be named af­ter Ro­manus Lan­siquot who, by the prime min­is­ter’s own word, “moved heaven and earth to build it. We al­ready have a high­way named af­ter our prime min­is­ter. A cricket field has been named in honor of one of our na­tion’s great­est play­ers—Min­doo Phillip. Why not a mon­u­ment to the man widely ac­claimed as our most in­dus­tri­ous gov­ern­ment min­is­ter?

And while we’re at it, isn’t it time we re­con­sid­ered the de­ci­sion to name our main air­port He­wanorra? We might as well have named it St. Lucia Air­port, He­wanorra sim­ply be­ing the an­cient version of St. Lucia. I feel cer­tain we could sub­sti­tute a more use­ful ded­i­ca­tion. And I don’t mean He­len!

For too long we have been honor­ing our spe­cial cit­i­zens af­ter they have died or when they are too far gone to ap­pre­ci­ate their re­ward for spe­cial con­tri­bu­tions to their coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment. Leo “Spar” St. He­len was one heck of an ath­lete, pho­tog­ra­pher and chron­i­cler of things St. Lu­cian. He and Ge­orge Od­lum were close friends. John Comp­ton also knew him well. Alas, all the younger Saint Lu­cian knows of Spar (if any­thing) is that he was an­other fat, old guy who lived with his fam­ily in Corinth and drove a van. Spar died with­out know­ing how dearly his con­tri­bu­tions were ap­pre­ci­ated by those who had had the good for­tune to know him as an ath­lete and artist. To echo Mr. Rain­ford: We can­not ex­pect oth­ers to rec­og­nize and re­spect the ef­forts of our spe­cial sons and daugh­ters when we refuse our­selves to do so!

Ed­i­tor’s Note: The pre­ced­ing by Rick Wayne first ap­peared in the 4 June 1988 edi­tion of

the STAR.

Most of our ac­com­plish­ments carry the names ei­ther of politi­cians or things neb­u­lous.

Will pro­posed ad­just­ments to our main air­port also in­clude a new name?

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