Following a public consultation meeting on Union Island held on Thursday 10th January 2019 to discuss matters pertaining to the Union Island Easterval Festival, Anthony Alexander, popularly known as “TJ” was elected President of the Easterval Committee. The previous president Abdon Whyte stepped down after serving for a number of years.
The consultation was organised by the Director of Grenadines Affairs, Edwin Snagg.
Snagg outlined the importance of the festival to the Island and used the opportunity to thank all the persons including outgoing Whyte who were involved over the years to bring the festival to where it is now.
Snagg outlined that there is a need to align the festival under a broader oversight arrangement such as under the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
The financial position of the committee was disclosed by Treasurer Kanesha Peters.
Several suggestions were heard on issues moving ahead, present were past presidents Lesroy Noel , Ken James and several other stakeholders of the festival.
The issue of franchising of events and contributions from private promoters was discussed and will be advanced by the new committee.
The elected President Anthony Alexander is no stranger to community work and leadership. Alexander is the founder and Manager of the Southern Grenadines Organic Poultry Farm providing employment to several youths of Union Island since 2017. He has been involved in the upkeep of the Island’s big drum culture for the past 13 years and has a leading role in the newly formed cultural conquerors big drum group on the island.
Alexander completed his studies at the Union Island Secondary School (UISS) and moved on to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College where he completed an Applied Associate Degree in Agricultural Science. After college, he volunteered at the UISS, teaching Agricultural Science and also worked part time for the Adult Education Department, delivering lectures in Agricultural Science to adult learners.
His work as a Tourism Officer attached at the Union Island Tourism Bureau brought much-needed change to the tourism environment. He was instrumental in organizing police patrols in Clifton which greatly reduced the harassment of tourists. Alexander met with market vendors and other shops and organized a coordinated repainting exercise, he organized the repainting of the road traffic markings and has even starred in a recent tourism meet and greet video series.
Other Members of the Easterval Committee
Vice President – Kevin John
Treasurer – Kanesha Peters
Secretary – Ladonna Louis
Pro – Asantha Alexander
Pro – Natasha Joseph Williams
Members – Loyola Alexander , Keniel Straiker, Kadeem Wilson, Junior Adams
Additional support to the committee will be provided by past presidents: Ken James and Abdon Whyte.
Membership of the committee is open to other persons interested in joining.
Ashton Hard Court
The state of the Ashton Basketball Court was also discussed. Over the past years, the Hard Court is usually transformed into “Easterval City” and is home to several events. Edwin Snagg in his opening remarks at the consultation related that discussions are in progress at the Prime Ministerial level to reconstruct the facilities there.
The first meeting of the Easterval Committee will be held on Monday 14th January to plan for the 2019 Easterval Festival April 14th – 22nd.