March 22, 2023

Peter Binose: PM Ralph Gonsalves wife, First Lady of SVG

ralph_eloiseBy Peter Binose

Wrong and right is not always easily interpreted in Saint Vincent. What is important is how the citizens, the Vincentian public perceive what is wrong and what is right. Transparency is ultra important in all sections of government, including family members of ministers and MP’s. Included in that transparency must be the actions and behavior by the wife of any minister or member of government, who many will consider rightly or wrongly an extension of her husband. Unfortunately we are a little short on transparency in SVG, as it was in the beginning of this regime and still is now. The actions and behavior of the wife of the Prime Minister is even more important because she is in a privileged position of trust and evidences daily the behavior of her husband good or bad. Who else will the PM discuss what he is doing with more than his own wife, who travels with him all over the World at the cost of Vincentian taxpayers? She must know everything, perhaps even some of his alleged indiscretions.

I was sitting on a rock watching the wave’s crash at Argyle [there is the next story and its mind blowing] and thinking about some of the things Ralph Gonsalves said about the poor lady Ms Ann Joshua who runs the Cobblestone Inn. He told us that when the lady got the building 30 years ago it was not offered out to others by any kind of tender process, he told us no one else was invited to bid for it. That turned out to be untrue, another lie.

Joshua won Cobblestone tenancy after a bid

Also a letter posted on the front page of News Newspaper, July 22, 2016, proves that is a lie, because it is a form of tender signed by Sir James Mitchell PM on May 9, 1986. Very clear a straight forward lie on the part of Ralph Gonsalves, will the lies ever stop?

Then I thought how his wife has got contracts which appear to be on the back of government business from people that are exclusive to her through her husband, deals which are not offered to any other party to bid on them. I also believe his children have got government jobs without those jobs being offered fairly to others. I was thinking what a hypocritical man Gonsalves is and how he bends the truth to suit himself and the family dynasty.

Now I know that Ralph hates for anyone to write or speak about his wife, who he describes as “my woman“. I always find that kind of description rude and condescending. But she seems to put up with such descriptions so I suppose it’s OK, so who am I to comment on that? Well I have commented because I know he will say “leave my woman alone“, so I am setting the scene.

It is about his wife Eloise that I would like to write today, not for any other reason than that I have listened to comments by a number of people during the last couple of years. People are currently talking again and nasty comments are being made, that is not good for the image of SVG.

The current wife of Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, Mrs Eloise Gonsalves, maiden name Eloise Harris a Trinidadian of Dominican parentage, is a very nice person socially, we have met many times. She is an intelligent lady and has a University Degree is a graduate of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in English and French and I believe also holds a certificate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in Designing. Dr. Gonsalves has two children by a previous marriage Camillo and Adam, by this present union Isis, Storm and Soleil, all now grown up. Ralph and Eloise claim to be practicing Roman Catholics. But that does not sit well with me when you consider that Ralph Everard Gonsalves has been a Marxist-Leninist for time imemorable.

Getting to the point, when Buccament Resort was in its early stages, shortly after Harlequin or predecessor had signed a deal with Ralph Gonsalves, Eloise was awarded a contract to design and furnish a very small number of cabana’s at the resort, for what some claim was a very large sum of money. An amount I am told that is greater than most poor Vincentians will earn in a lifetime. Within months of furnishing those cabana’s, the whole of the insides were ripped out again and they were refurbished and refurnished by someone else with Chinese furniture and fittings brought from China in a sea-container by Dave Ames. Apparently he hated what Eloise had done, he said it was not 5 star.

Is Eloise a competent person to carry out such a contract, she studied designing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. What kind of designing that was I do not know, but the website says its clothing and fashion. How that fits with interior design I need an explanation. Perhaps I am wrong and someone can correct me.

But if we look at the signing of a multimillion dollar contract by her husband with a company, then shortly thereafter or simultaneously Eloise getting that contract, it doesn’t sit right. It doesn’t ring right, it leaves the interpretation of such a matter open for people to believe that the contract was a pay off or bribe, it looks like corruption. Is it? I do not know but I would hope and pray not, and I am not saying it is. I am talking about perception.

A more recent event is Kelly and Janky Glass, late of Karib Cable, taking over the old CSY hotel at Canash Beach, which is now called Blue Lagoon and Blue Lagoon Beach. God bless them Kelly worked his arse off and deserved what he got. Sunsail recently pulled out and moved their operation to St. Lucia, with Vincentian yacht tourist numbers down they needed to consolidate in what they chose as the most profitable location.

Kelly and Janky are good friends of the Gonsalves. Janky herself told me she occasionally cooks super Indian curries and delivers them to the PM’s Official residence.

The Glass’s were able to acquire the section of hotel on private land from the widow of Mr Joquim and the area that the hotel is on that is Crown Land, in fact built years ago on beach, as a leasehold deal from the government. There is a very nice public beach to the right of the hotel when looking out to the bay. The Glass’s have taken two thirds of the public beach and built two huge wooden decks out into the sea. More recently they have added some permanency to one deck by making a concrete approach, again built on the public beach. They have contrary to the constitution built a substantial structure on the public beach. To compound that atrocity the company which is renting and running a beach bar from the Glass’s have chairs and tables on the decks and they have become a substantial part of that business. And even worse still again once or twice a month a $50 entrance to the decks and beach is charged for an all you can drink with the most dreadful loud live music, and unless you pay you are barred from the public beach. A coach and horses has been driven through the constitution.

An objection was made by the planning department and an order was made to remove the decks and return the beach to public use. From what I can see that has been ignored, perhaps even squashed. What I would like to know is was there an intervention by a political friend in a high place?

Now I am told by one of the police bodyguards that when the hotel was finished Eloise was contracted to use her specialist skills in designing and furnishing the refurbished hotel rooms. I know that sounds a little like the Buccament situation, but who knows, there is such a situation known as coincidence. Eloise now has established a very nice Café on the dock at Blue Lagoon, very nice and tastefully done I must say. Run to a very high standard perhaps never before experienced in SVG.

The public have every right to worry about what is going on, it leaves the interpretation of such a matters open for people to believe that something is amiss, it looks like corruption. Is it? I doubt it, I would hope and pray not, and I am not saying it is. I am talking about perception.

When writing this story I am not expressing or implying that Eloise Gonsalves, or Ralph Gonsalves are doing anything wrong or have done anything wrong. As I am not saying that Kelly and Janky Glass have bribed anyone, I have not suggested expressed or implied that. What I wish to point out is that the perception by the citizens and public at large should be kept in mind and a policy of transparency is ultra important.

If these two situations that I bring you here happened under the NDP government by Arnhim Eustace and his wife, whilst Gonsalves was in opposition, he would be charging about like a red raging bull making all sorts of accusations and allegations.

If Kelly and Janky were not friends of the ULP and the Gonsalves, if instead they were contributors to the NDP, would they have got the same treatment as Bigger Biggs? Would they have been closed down and the decks on the public beaches ripped up? Would they have been closed down and accused of polluting the bay with untreated effluent?

You Dr Gonsalves know it’s perception that is important; it looks like and smells like some kind of corruption has taken place. Both at Buccament and Blue Lagoon. No one wants to believe that so we await your explanation of what actually happened.

On July 13th and 14th, 2009, the Grove Luxury Hotel in Watford, England, was filled with about 2,500 actual and potential investors, tourism marketing and travel agency executives and government officials from several Caribbean countries who gathered for Harlequin Hotels and Resorts grand launch of three of their resorts.

Harlequin’s chairman, Dave Ames of Essex, led people to believe he had spared no expense putting together a multifaceted partnership to develop these multi-million dollar, five-star resorts. Which actually turned out that only Buccament resort on Saint Vincent was partially built, all the rest were never built. People invested in a dream that turned out to be a nightmare.

The first of these resorts, Buccament Beach Resort, was set to have its first phase opened by July 1st next year. “We are so excited about the economic benefits it will bring to St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said wife of Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Eloise Gonsalves, when she addressed hundreds of Harlequin’s investors. She went on to describe Buccament Bay as “the prettiest bay in Saint Vincent which was truly a part of heaven.”

Eloise proved to be such an eloquent, attractive and believable speaker because I was there and witnessed it, that I think she convinced investors to invest perhaps hundreds of millions of pounds sterling into the Harlequin rip off. They must have flocked to their financial advisers the following morning. I doubt Eloise had any inkling that she was simply being used as a tool by Dave Ames.

She was part of an overly large Vincentian delegation flown in to London by Dave Ames to celebrate the launch. The Vincentian delegation also included the Chairman of the National Investment Promotion Incorporated, Edmond Jackson, Chairman of the SVG Tourism Authority, Joel Providence, and the Authority’s CEO, Yvonne Armour Shilingford. Parliamentary Representative for the South Leeward constituency, where the resort is located, Dr Douglas Slater, was also included in a team that was led by Minister of Tourism Glen Beache. All paid for by Dave Ames or Harlequin. A really good time was had by all and our Vincentian team thought it was Christmas, they were mugged off by an Essex boy and never knew it.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was scheduled to attend but could not make it because he had a couple of little things to take care of at home; poking about here and there and making a few special phone calls I was told.

So all we need now is a full explanation regarding all that I have written here, not from Ralph Everard Gonsalves because we all know his word cannot be relied on, he is a self confessed liar. Perhaps we should ask for an explanation from Eloise Gonsalves she is after all, SVG’s First Lady.

In writing this I genuinely want to know the truth, I mean no disrespect to anyone and do not mean to bring ridicule on any one. Of course those things will be judged by the readers. That’s why I always stay a gentleman and try and be diplomatic in all my writings.

By the time you read this I will be in Holland doing some serious consultancy work for a large oil company. So when I write next I will be sitting on a log next to a canal. Wonderful steamed mussels and fries laden in real mayonnaise, or pickled raw herring and pickled cucumbers. Wow what a life and I do not need to steal, lie and cheat to achieve it. I am fortunate in as much as greed has never driven or controlled me, I do not envy others more fortunate and live by my father’s old saying “honesty is the best policy”.


DISCLAIMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ or official policies of iNews Cayman/

IMAGE: Prime Minister Gonsalves and his wife Eloise at the launch of the launch of the ULP’s manifesto on Sunday. (Photo: Facebook).

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  1. Inola McGuire says

    This is wrong what has been going on in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

  2. Nathan Jolly Green says

    And it continues, if anything it gets worse because Vincentian media sites and newspapers are frightened to publish these kind of stories even if they are true and factual. They are all terrified of the comrade attacking them, closing off government contact so as they become semi-newsless.

    Freedom of speech and expression has been destroyed by the man.

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