Performing at the 2021 Independence ceremony is Michele Henderson
Performing at the 2021 Independence ceremony is Michele Henderson

Another gem is gone

After gracing the earth for an astonishing 107 years, Mionette Gussi Bannis, fondly known as Ma Lawoss, peacefully departed on March 23, leaving a cherished legacy of wisdom and joy.

Born on April 27, 1916, in Dublanc, Ma Lawoss eventually settled in Paix Bouche. In a heartfelt interview with the Sun, she shared insights into her life, finding contentment in simple pleasures. With a preference for ground provisions and fish, Ma Lawoss playfully rejected rice, deeming it "fowl food" throughout her long and fulfilling journey.

Though blessed with two children, who have since passed, Ma Lawoss's industrious spirit led her to work as a diligent cleaner at the Botanic Gardens in her youth. A devout Catholic, she drew solace from her faith. She was delighted to attend church, explore the island through tours, and indulge in manicures and pedicures. She generously shared her wisdom through lectures at Paix Bouche Primary School.

Her message of resilience and joy echoes through the ages: "Work hard and enjoy life." With Ma Lawoss's passing, Dominica now treasures 12 living centenarians.

Five acts announced for this year's Jazz n' Creole

The much-anticipated Jazz n' Creole festival is set to dazzle audiences once again this year, with an exciting lineup of talented performers announced. Headlining the festival will be Jamaican-American singer Alaine Laughton, known simply as 'Alaine'. Dominica's princess of song, Michele Henderson, will join her on stage.

Adding to the lineup is The Swingin Stars Band, renowned for their infectious energy and captivating performances. Lianne "Lí-Lí Octave" Letang, a daughter of Dominican soil, will also grace the stage with her multifaceted talents. Mapy, the sensational violin queen hailing from Réunion Island, is rounding off the lineup.

Scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 5, at the historic Fort Shirley in Cabrits, Portsmouth, this year's festival will celebrate under the theme "Creole Fusion". Embracing the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean, the event will blend traditional Creole elements with a modern twist, both in the music and vibrant attire.

Sgt. David Andrew Jr. takes the helm as chairman of PWA

In a significant leadership transition, the Police Welfare Association (PWA) has elected Sgt. David Andrew Jr. to spearhead the organization, succeeding acting Sgt. Jefferson Drigo, who opted not to seek reelection for the top post.

A dedicated team of executives, including Cpl. Vivian Maximea as Deputy Chairman, A/Sgt. Jefferson Drigo as Secretary, Cpl. Andy Celaire as Treasurer, Const. Teesha Alfred as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, and A/Cpl. Michael Desbonnes, as Public Relations Officer (PRO), is joining Sgt. Andrew Jr. in leading the PWA.

With his newly appointed role, Sgt. David Andrew Jr. wasted no time in outlining his vision for the PWA. Central to his agenda is addressing the array of challenges police officers face, primarily focusing on the urgent need for salary increases amidst prevailing economic constraints. Sgt. Andrew Jr. underscored his dedication to collaborating with the executive team to craft a comprehensive proposal to present to the government on behalf of all police personnel.

Additional members, including Sgt. Greamry Laville, Cpl. Sherwin Mitchel, and Const. Zachariah Roberts, further bolstering the PWA's leadership roster.

Dominica joins forces with three other islands to strengthen the CBI programme

Dominica has partnered with three other Caribbean nations to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bolster their Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CBIP).

This collaborative effort, led by the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Terrance Drew, seeks to reassure the international community of the collective commitment to operate their CBI programs with a focus on exchanging best practices, implementing rigorous due diligence processes, and sharing intelligence to mitigate potential security or compliance risks.

The four countries are Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Grenada. They are all members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Dr Drew praised the signing of the MOU, dated March 20, 2024. He said that the countries are committed to increasing the minimum threshold of their CBIP to at least US$200,000 no later than June 30, 2024.

He also hoped the MOU would end 'underselling,' which he said has been a "scourge to the CBI Industry in recent times."

According to the MOU, the four countries agreed to the following:

  1. Share information on CBIP applicants;

  2. Implement enhanced transparency measures such as the disclosure of funds received by CBIPs, the use of the proceeds of CBIs, and the conducting of independent financial and operational audits to assess CBI's compliance with best practice standards;

  3. Assign or establish a regional competent authority to set standards per international requirements and best practices and to regulate the CBIPs;

  4. Establish common standards to manage the communications and promotion of the CBIPs;

  5. Facilitate joint training programs and capacity-building initiatives sh common standards for the regulation of agents operating in the CBIPs and for their respective officials and agencies involved in the administration of CBIPs.

Early Start to 2024 Hurricane Season

An increase in rainfall events and amounts is possible from April into May (medium to high confidence). An increased frequency of wet and extremely wet days and spells is likely (medium to high confidence).

According to the climatological Department of the Dominica Meteorological Service, these conditions are expected to continue throughout the upcoming wet season (June to November), thus increasing the chances of life-threatening hazards such as flash floods, landslides, and rockfalls across the island.

Heat concerns are expected to begin as early as April and continue well into October/November 2024, leading to yet another year of possible heat stress and other heat-related complications.