” New school is lasting testament to the vision and foresight of the late
Roosevelt Douglas,” says Hon. Ian Douglas
Roseau, Dominica – April 22, 2009……………… On the occasion of the official opening of the new Roosevelt Douglas Primary School on Monday, funded in large part by the Regional Council of Martinique, Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit reminded the large gathering of invited guests and well-wishers of the vision of the late Roosevelt Douglas for a closer relationship between Dominica and Guadeloupe and Martinique, and even membership of the European Union.
“For many years Rosie Douglas (of blessed memory) spoke of the importance of deepening Dominica’s relationship with our French neighbours of Guadeloupe and Martinique. His rational for this was simple. Rosie felt that our French neighbours did not merely enjoy their location in the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea as we do, but that there existed commonalities in our people’s social and cultural way of life which we could all benefit from,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.
The Prime Minister explained what he felt was the late Prime Minister’s rationale for wanting to forge closer ties with the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
“Additionally, Rosie understood the paradigm shift that the new era of globalization would bring and the dynamics within which small island developing states like Dominica would be forced to survive.”
The Dominican leader expressed the gratitude of his Government to the Government and people of Martinique for “this most generous gift to the people of Dominica”.
“Madame Maguy Marie-Jeanne, the citizens of Dominica accept this most charitable gift on behalf of our fallen leader Rosie Douglas and the children of Dominica….. I want to say to the Regional Council of Martinique that the people of Dominica, the people of Portsmouth, accept this gift today with one hand and give you the other hand in assurance of our continued friendship and cooperation,” Hon. Skerrit said.
In his remarks at the official opening, Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth constituency and Minister for Tourism, Hon. Ian Douglas said the new school is a “lasting testament to the vision and foresight of the late Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Douglas”.
“Rosie’s legacy of forging closer relations with the French departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe is here standing majestically before us for all of the world to see,” Hon. Ian Douglas stated.
Hon. Douglas, who is also a nephew of the late Roosevelt Douglas, also spoke with passion and conviction on what this new school symbolises.
“This building will forever represent the bonds of lasting friendship which has been nurtured and forged by the lifelong work of Rosie, “Hon Douglas concluded.
Addresses at the official opening were also delivered by the Minister for Education, Hon. Sonia Williams, President of the Regional Council of Martinique, Mr. Alfred Marie Jeanne and Mr. Macintyre Douglas, brother of the late Prime Minister.
A high point of the ceremony was the unveiling of the plaque by Senator the Hon. Sonia Williams, the unveiling of the mural by Dr. Lennox Honychurch and the cutting of the ribbon by Mrs. Verna Liverpool, wife of His Excellency, the President.
The construction and furnishing of the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School was funded by the Regional Council of Martinique and the Government of Dominica. The contribution of the French was just over EC$5.7 million and the contribution of the Government of Dominica was EC $1.095 million.