Michael Chas­tanet says nepo­tism played no part in Knight­hood

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - ---Joshua St. Aimee

Mr. Michael Chas­tanet has been awarded a knight­hood by Queen El­iz­a­beth II in the 2019 New Year’s Hon­ours List with the ti­tle of Knight Com­man­der of the Most Dis­tin­guished Or­der of St. Michael and St. Ge­orge (KCMG). The award comes in recog­ni­tion of his “out­stand­ing achievements and con­tri­bu­tions to busi­ness, com­merce, tourism and na­tional devel­op­ment”. This award is Mr. Chas­tanet’s third. In 2001 he was awarded the Or­der of the British Em­pire (OBE), and in 2010 Com­pan­ion of the Most Dis­tin­guished Or­der of St. Michael and St. Ge­orge (CMG).

In a sit-down with the STAR this week, the 83-yearold re­vis­ited his early years in busi­ness, work­ing to sup­port his fam­ily, with no thoughts of the Queen and na­tional awards. He said dur­ing our short in­ter­view that when he was first in­formed of the pos­si­bil­ity of re­ceiv­ing a knight­hood, his ini­tial re­ac­tion was: “I’ve al­ready been dec­o­rated, not just once but twice. At my age, and with al­most ev­ery­thing be­ing made into a nasty po­lit­i­cal is­sue, why en­cour­age more of that by ac­cept­ing the of­fer of a knight­hood? It took some time be­fore I agreed.”

The Or­der of Saint Lu­cia, the lo­cal awards sys­tem, was es­tab­lished in 1980. It con­sists of seven awards and in­cludes the ti­tle of Knight Com­man­der. So why was Michael Chas­tanet awarded the UK’s ti­tle of KCMG but not the ver­sion es­tab­lished in the time of Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony? Michael Chas­tanet had no ex­pla­na­tion.

Michael Chas­tanet with his CMG award in 2010. He had ear­lier been awarded the OBE in 2001.

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