Address by the Hon. Calixte George
Minister for Home Affairs and Internal Security
at the Handover Ceremony of Musical Instruments to the
Royal St. Lucia Police Band by the Chinese Ambassador
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Hon. Petrus Compton, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and
Civil Aviation, Your Excellency Gu Haming, Chinese Ambassador, Commissioner of
Police, Senior Officers, Mr. Piper, Director of Royal St. Lucia Police Band,
Members of the Band, other officers of the Force, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have normally spoken on Police matters in terms of Crime, Security and safety.
But today I stand to sing a different tune as I join with the harmonious music
of the Police Band in acknowledging the contribution of the Chinese Government.
The Hon. Petrus Compton has already made reference to the level of support from
the Chinese to the Government and People of St. Lucia. Today's ceremony marks a
further strengthening and deepening of the relationship between our two peoples.
At this juncture I want to personally thank Hon. Petrus Compton for initiating
this enterprise at the Ministerial level, for making sure that it bore fruit and
for his continuing efforts and dedication towards improving the Royal St. Lucia
Police Band. Today we celebrate Valentine’s day, a day when love is the focus.
Your Excellency, I wish to convey my deepest appreciation as your gesture, is
truly symbolic of the profound love which you hold for our Country. Thank you
for this love gift which will undoubtedly go a long way towards the general
upgrading of the band. I am sure too that the acquisition of new instruments
would ease the frustration of band members and that they would be encouraged to
play on in accordance with the prompt from William Shakespeare “If music be
the food of love, play on”.
Once again Your Excellency, another indelible mark of the Government and People
of China will be added to our National, Social and Cultural landscape as the
band utilizes those instruments to render their repertoire, not only nationally,
but regionally and internationally as well.
During my tenure as Minister for Home Affairs and Internal Security I have not
been aware of a single complaint levied at the Royal St. Lucia Police Band. This
is no doubt a manifestation of the Band’s level of professionalism, dedication,
commitment, focus, initiative, and quality output. The Police Band has given
yeoman's service to the Government and people of Saint Lucia. The band is a gem
and can be considered to be the ‘Diamond’ in the Crown of the Royal St. Lucia
Police Force. Their performances at official ceremonies as well as in providing
public entertainment to various audiences throughout the length and breadth of
St. Lucia has been outstanding and phenomenal and well received by all – young
It is the forgoing too which led to the Band being given special recognition and
honour approximately one year ago by Government. As a result, the Band was given
$100,000.00 which is to go inter alia towards the production of its first
I am therefore appealing to all St. Lucians to support this venture. William F.
Buckley, Jr. indicated that “Life can’t be all that bad when for ten dollars
you can buy all the Beethoven Sonatas and listen to them for ten years”.
And, may I add, with advances in technology you can buy local and listen to the
first CD produced by the Band beyond ten years.
I sincerely hope that the positive image which the Band has established within
the public domain will be sustained. One of the major objectives of my Ministry
is to improve the public image of the Police Force in general. In the course of
this year therefore I will be exploring avenues aimed at enhancing the image of
the Police Force to the level now enjoyed by the Band and I look forward to the
participation of the general public assisting us to meet that objective.
I wish to express the gratitude of the Government and people of St. Lucia to the
Government and people of the People’s Republic of China. The co-operation
between our two nations has been fruitful. We are particularly pleased to see
you expanding the field of co-operation from the building of physical monuments
like the National Stadium and now the Psychiatric Hospital to the softer gentler
arena of Music. This will certainly contribute to the spiritual upliftment of
the Nation in a way that Bounty can never achieve. The music of the Police Band
should form the basis of the “Spirit of Saint Lucia” not Bounty Rum.
Mr. Ambassador as you live in this country I am sure that you are aware that
Fighting Crime is of great concern to us. In order to fight crime successfully a
multitude of resources is required. In that regard we sincerely hope that this
gift to the Royal St. Lucia Police Force is only an ‘initiation’ or beginning
and that you will be seriously considering other ways and means by which you can
assist the Royal Police Force in combating crime in this our fair Helen.
We thank you sincerely for your efforts in this endeavour and hope you continue
to co-operate with us.