A FORMER NATIONAL SPORTSMAN SPEAKS OUT ON THE CHOISEUL MINI-STADIUM
The article below is reproduced from the Blog "Choiseul-on the-Move" - a Blog which unabashedly promoted "Bousquet and his works" prior to the 2011 elections. It is insightful and provides some interesting insider perspectives on what was dubbed the Choiseul Mini-Stadium which today remains as mysterious as it was when it was first conceived.
The POWERHOUSE looks forward to answers to the many questions which are still being asked about this project.
just concluded “super six” night cricket competition at the Soufriere Mini-Stadium
has brought painful memories to my mind. The competition was played under the
newly installed lights. Boy oh boy what a spectacle that was!
thought to myself that this should have been taking place at La Fargue
(Choiseul) in our proposed Stadium. Night cricket in Choiseul has been my dream
and that was why I was all for the stadium. Also, the stadium would be an
avenue where our artists and athletes would showcase their talents and skills
thus bringing out the best of them.
skills as a cricketer/sportsman were achieved through the exclusive use of the
best facilities on the island during the period 1970 - 1985. During that period,
I was considered the best batsman on the island. It has always been my notion
that if you give your players/athletes good facilities and conditions, (then)
they will perform. (The Voice archives
should have an article to this effect which I wrote in July, 1970)
past Olympics exposed our authorities. So where are we at with our proposed
blog (Choiseul-on-the-Move) is aware
that some works have been done so far (eg, Securing EC $900,000.000, deciding
on the site, the initial proposed drawings, etc).
my tenure as a Councillor at the Choiseul Village Council some $900,000.00 was
deposited in an account solely for the construction of a mini stadium - the
brain child of the past Parliamentary Rep. I understood sometime between
September and October last year, that some $12,000.00 was used to pay an
architect for the drawings and for ground works done on the site. During this
time, we were in “election mode” and Council did not having any meetings;
hence, approval of this pay out was impossible.
before the site was confirmed, persons like Glen Albert and a group of
stakeholders had obvious issues with the location for the stadium. Peter “Reds”
Phillip who I guess Rufus had been empowered to oversee the stadium works, was
not budging from his position and disregarded the advice given and issues raised
by Glen and the stakeholders group, to wit: leave the small field free, and use
only the bigger field for the construction of the stadium.
sure you are eager to know the source did the Stadium funds! Here is a little
history: Rufus approached the Council and disclosed that he had received a
donation by the Moroccan Government which he wanted to use for the construction
of the stadium; and that we - on the Council - need to open an account so that
the funds can be transferred.
also bragged how he got a smaller donation from the Spanish government. “Double-checking” on his story this blog (Choiseul
on the Move) later learnt the following: That the monies were donated to assist
the different constituencies. But Rufus who seemingly had negotiated the
donation, begged the PM to allow him to use this donation for a big project
[the stadium] for Choiseul – a project Rufus claimed he had in mind for a long
time. (It is alleged) that King
hesitantly went with him and soon special arrangements were being made for the
transfer of the funds to a special account at the Choiseul Credit Union in the
funds were deposited in the account specifically for the construction of the
stadium. As a Councillor, I kept my eyes on these funds like a hawk to make
sure it went towards the intended purpose; but (I have to admit) I failed in
that endeavour. Council was not meeting and I was in election mode and paid no
interest in that account which to my mind is safe.
days after elections the Labour Party supporters had it on the streets that
there wasn’t any money left in the stadium funds. How can this reach the
streets so fast? Is this a fact, I asked myself? But how can this be? My head
went into a spin, trying to figure out what to believe. The news spread like
wildfire and my phone (why me?) kept on ringing ceaselessly – persons asking
questions as to the truth or denial of the matter. Could I answer this? Nope,
not in Council anymore, but made myself a promise to get to the bottom of this.
For real, the amount that is $900,000.00 - $12,000.00, which is about
$888,000.00, is not on the account. Where did it go to? Who authorised its
withdrawal? How could the funds be deducted when Council was not meeting
anymore? Last unconfirmed report suggests that there was below $400,000.00 on
contacted a senior person in our camp and he confirmed that the past Rep had
ordered the withdrawal of the funds to do community projects and to pay workers
where a stimulus package funds had fallen short.
these monies actually spent on projects? Can these projects be identified and,
if any, quantify the amount withdrawn? Were these monies used for campaigning
or personal use? Who gave the past Rep the right to authorise withdrawal of
Stadium monies for other purposes? What
process was used to get access to these funds? Council was in recess, what
channel did the past Rep go through to get access to the stadium funds? These
questions must and will be answered since it has reached this blog that a
forensic audit has been commissioned on the accounts of the Village Council.
This blog welcomes such a move.
certain Labour party brain told this blog that they [Labour Party Crew] carried
out a small audit in the Council and approximately $2m could not be accounted
for. Whether this is true or not the forensic audit by Government will
where do we stand with our stadium? With only a few thousand dollars left on
the account it will now take a mammoth effort to get started again only because
of the greed of politicians. Our youths want to see the stadium completed. Let
us not forget that our present Rep, in his campaign rhetoric promised to finish
it. But maybe we can relax on him a bit since the mess done with the funds ws
none of his making.
must find some form of sponsorship to help with our stadium. Our Rep must try and
rally corporate St. Lucia and other agencies to help with the financing of our
STADIUM. With a serious campaign, I am sure that by 2016 our athletes can shout
out about Choiseul’s Mini Stadium.
the mean time we can take comfort in the statement that the Minister of Sports
made during his Budget address, that the La Fargue field will be lighted in
this financial year. Or, should we believe in this adage, 'promise by a
politician is a comfort to a fool.' "
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