Last Sunday’s (Nov. 06) New Democratic Party hosted boat ride to Mayreau might just have awakened Dr. Godwin Friday to certain realities on the island.
One day after the boat ride (Monday), Dr. Friday, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the NDP and MP for the Northern Grenadines, took to radio to appeal for attention to be paid to Mayreau.
Mayreau, part of the Southern Grenadines constituency, is the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, with an area of about 1/2 sq. mile, and a population of about 300. With the exception of 22 acres at its northern tip that is privately owned and 21 acres that comprise the island’s single (unnamed) village and were acquired by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mayreau remains in the hands of heirs of the original owners but is quickly becoming an attraction for investment by both the local and foreign moneyed class.
That said, Dr. Friday noted the spirit of entrepreneurship that has taken root in Mayreau among its indigenous resident population.
Some residents, he observed, were focusing not only on the opportunities that present themselves now, but was looking down the road to what was possible, and looking to position themselves to secure a place in future developments.
The potential in Mayreau was evident given the involvement of locals, he opined.
That said, Dr. Friday called for “…support from the government by providing the infrastructure to make Mayreau more accessible.”
And given that the only access to Mayreau is by sea, he focused foremost on the need to repair the main jetty on the island and, by extension, to look at expanding the road network to improve ground transportation.
“All of these things need to be done but it needs vision, it needs a commitment to getting that done,” Friday said, noting that Mayreau “is no less a part of this country than any other part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He recognized that the potential in Mayreau was evident given the involvement of locals.
Those who took the opportunity of last Sunday’s boat ride were overwhelmed by the hospitality of the residents and were enticed by the things they made, not least being the cuisine.
Taking off on this, Dr. Friday stated that “the beauty is already there, but the people are, of course, the number one attraction.”
The development that comes their way, therefore, must make the people’s lives better.
“It’s about making people’s lives better. That is my call. That is my vision for development in this country,” the Opposition leader shared.
What was very clear to him in Mayreau is that, “more of that attention and focus need to be had.”