I was born in 1961 and I recall that back in those days, many people were left motherless and fatherless, seeking employment abroad. I too was left motherless but not fatherless. I consider myself fortunate in that respect. My mother visited every year for her two week vacation to spend time with us. When she first started coming, I wondered who was that woman. After a while, I saw the tears that my older siblings and my Dad would shed. Pretty soon everyone was crying on the date of her departure back to work taking care of someone else’s children, or working in some hotel.
Now that I am older and I look back I realize that it was partly the booming tourism industry of those islands that drew the mothers and fathers of St. Kitts-Nevis and most all other Caribbean islanders to the shores of the Virgin Islands, St. Maarten-Martin, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, England and the United States of America. If we look at some of the jobs that people left St. Kitts and Nevis for it was mainly around tourism. There are people today who work in hotels in the above islands.
ST. KITTS-NEVIS THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON YOU
What if St. Kitts-Nevis were able to afford the same luxuries they enjoy in other islands and countries on the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis? There may be more intact families, our country will have time to develop in other ways such as providing more opportunities for higher learning. Building a larger and stronger pool of professionals. And many other positives not readily available to the naked eye.
Now that we are ourselves engaging in the tourism industry we are finding great opposition. Is the argument that as long as those hotels exist in other off shore island but not in ours? If locals in St. Kitts-Nevis and in the diaspora can afford to build hotels, I am sure that the ones who had interest in doing so will. If locals had the capital, I am sure the same opportunity would have been afforded to them, had they stepped forward and fulfilled the requirements for the types of developments the St. Kitts-Nevis is currently seeking.
Developing a country is similar to building a house. This is just done on a larger scale. After the house is built do not forget the landscaping, furnishings and decorations.
If we sincerely want sugar cane in St. Kitts-Nevis, it is possible to have a private party build a sugar factory and sell sugar. Sugar is something we all use.
Some of us may not be able to build hotels, but we can provide goods and services that may be needed by the industry. Most local business you see today started small.
Let us look at American Bakery for an example. If anyone remembers Mr. Amory took it upon himself as a young man to learn from the elders, how to make bread. Anyone old enough to remember Mr. Amory’s “pinchie”? The little bags of crunchy cookies he sold on the corner of church and central streets. Mr. Amory baked bread and sold buttered toast. As time went by Mr. Amory moved across the street and had another business where he sold rum raisin ice cream, popcorn and other pastries. Mr. Amory became so successful he moved into owning a small resort at Frigate Bay and eventually into real estate ownership. He continued growing his business until today look at the legacy Mr. Amory left his family and the islands of St. Kitts-Nevis.
One thing my mother taught me that perplexed my brain for a long time. She said, “When you listen to people talk, they are either boasting or complaining.” I took it upon myself to listen to people in conversation; with time I realized that she was right. If we continuously complain and start looking and recognizing opportunities, no matter which politician we put in power we will always complain unless we learn to find in ourselves the ability to make something out of nothing. Mr. Amory did it so can we. As we say in the old days, “If you try a ting and it failed, try and try again!!!” Maybe not the same thing but try something until you find your niche. Everyone has a calling, sometimes it does not come on the first, second or third try but we must not give up in despair and resort to complaining. So will we be boasters or complainers. How do you feel when your grown children, with all their muscle brain and might, constantly complain to you?
If we can go to other people’s countries to work in the same industries developed by the same foreign investors, is it possible for us to fathom having our own; or are we dealing in double standards?
Most of the cries of opposition we hear today come directly from the pinch and squeeze we feel as our nation grows.