Kitchen at Charlestown Primary was work of philanthropy and not political patronage

Charlestown Primary Cafeteria

Charlestown, Nevis (Thursday, May3, 2012) – Premier Hon. Joseph Parry on Tuesday May 1 called on Nevisians to distinguish between philanthropy and political patronage.

The Premier advised that the state-of-the-art kitchen at the Charlestown Primary School, which was officially commissioned on Wednesday, April 25, was the result of a love for the island of Nevis by philanthropist, Mr. James Milnes Gaskell.

Speaking on his live weekly In Touch With the Premier program on Choice 105.3 FM and other radio stations in the Federation, Premier Parry stated that Mr. James Gaskell was not a supporter of the Nevis Reformation Party.

He said that it was wrong for anyone to suggest that Mr. Gaskell, who worked along with Mr. Hastings Daniel to ensure that the dream to have a kitchen at the Charlestown Primary School became a reality, was a supporter of the Nevis Reformation Party, as he is known to criticize both political parties on the island.

“He is no contributor to the Nevis Reformation Party as some people like to believe, or some people go round and pretend. He is not a contributor at all to the Nevis Reformation Party,” pointed out Premier Parry. “James Gaskell loves Nevis, and he has contributed to Nevis, and he contributed in a big way.”

The Premier, who is also the Minister of Education, advised that the government did not spend a single cent on the project as some people have intimated. He revealed that Mr. Gaskell would have also made contributions to the kitchens at the Elizabeth Pemberton and Ivor Walters Primary Schools.

Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Gaskell has been making contributions, he is not going around trying to change any government, Premier Parry advised. He also defended the philanthropist, saying that he had no political innuendos when he (Gaskell) wrote the Windsong Foundation, as all he wanted were funds to help children in Nevis.

According to the Premier, Mr. Gaskell was acting based on the fact that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)Party, the Hon. Mark Brantley, had advised that the Windsong Foundation had $1 million to invest in the children of Nevis.

“People need to understand that you just can’t go around and say things loosely, and then run away from it, and blame other people,” said the Premier. “I heard that he (Brantley) said something about James Gaskell having written a letter.”

According to the Premier, Gaskell had acted in good faith and that politics was not involved, adding that Mr. Gaskell was also trying to get funds for use at the Gingerland Primary School.

Premier Parry also said that a group of five Nevisians whom he did not name, and who are associated with the Charlestown Secondary School had contacted Hon. Brantley, but did not receive any money.

He, however, revealed that he had been in contact with the leader of Anguilla, who reliably informed him that all the money Hon. Brantley would have talked about in Windsong Foundation had been used up in Anguilla.

“Let me say, the leader of the Anguillan government told me that no money will come to Nevis because the funds were already used up in Anguilla,” said Premier Parry. “He did indicate that there were no funds available. So when Mark Brantley was promising, there were no funds. Funds were already gone, and had nothing to do with Mr. Gaskell’s letter, or any other letter for that matter.”

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