PHOTO: Thirty-two years ago today – a slice of history

mary eugenia charlesThe photo above depicts then prime minister of Dominica, Mary Eugenia Charles, and Maurice Bishop of Grenada during a gathering of regional leaders in St. Kitts to sign the Treaty of Basseterre which created the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on June 18, 1981.

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38 Comments

  1. Frabo
    June 23, 2013

    She looks just like girl after a nice “work-out.”

  2. Prophet2
    June 18, 2013

    Long live the Little Ones, all nine of them! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  3. sentient
    June 18, 2013

    hmm sad. Bishop never saw his betrayal coming.

  4. Not a herd follower
    June 18, 2013

    it’s nice to see Eugenia and Maurice similing together despite teh differences in age and ideology. It is important to note that Maurice Bishop was moving away from his hardline Marxist position and seeking to become more pragmatic (which was Eugenia’s approach to running the affairs of her country). Coard and Austin and others of the ruling junta in Grenada did not like that and killed Bishop in a coup d’├ętat from within.

  5. joy
    June 18, 2013

    thirty two years and there is so much more work to be done.we as a people are so much more divided .we have been preaching integration for so long and free movement of people, goods and services but we have more problems in those regards than we did before.

  6. Big-Bannan
    June 18, 2013

    DNO, thanks again.. Some of us would be so lost without you. You bring history to our homes.

  7. Elector
    June 18, 2013

    The seats say differently. But this scene looks so much like downstairs the Ministry with the water pond in the background. I know Maurice Bishp was here for some OECS meeting just before he was murdered by his own Cabinet colleagues.

    • Kaliban
      June 19, 2013

      This photo was taken downstairs the Government Headquaters in Basseterre, St. Kitts, which has a set of stairs just like our own “ministry” in Dominica.

  8. Truth Seeker
    June 18, 2013

    The irony and symbolism in of this image should not be missed. These two giants of Caribbean political culture were diametrically (at one time) opposed in their politics, yet could set aside their competing philosophies and unite around the quest for political and economic unity for the greater OECS region. Today’s Caribbean politician would do well to learn how to forge a truly cooperative and collaborative OECS identify from the philosophies of Mamo and Bish. And for the sake of learning from our own (the best of them) and cultivating our own, we would be well served if the UWI or the Dominica State College created a School for Caribbean Peace bearing the names of Maurice Bishop and Eugenia Charles. Something like The Maurice Bishop and Eugenia Charles School for Caribbean Peace sounds appropriate.

  9. Awsh
    June 18, 2013

    Sinple and and looked after the afairs of the the people. Not what we have today. What we have here now are highway ru66er3

  10. getoutofthisprogram
    June 18, 2013

    Glad I remembered this lady during my days. Even though i wasn’t born yet when this photo was removed. My mum was empowered by the iron lady. Dominican women should take example and take ground especially when it comes to relationships, financial matters etc.

  11. trute
    June 18, 2013

    Truly a piece of history. Happy 32nd Birthday OECS!

  12. Aye Dominique
    June 18, 2013

    Amazing how you can sit and smile with a person one day, and the next lead the strike to his death to appease a cowboy turned president.

    Who vex lost.

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2013

      Is that claim correct? I thought the Mamo sought help and the US forces went in after Bishop had been killed or rumored to have been overthrown at a minimum. Are you guys revisionists or mistaken?

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2013

      You really have NO idea of history. Ask Lennox H.

      • June 27, 2013

        Hello. Only Lennox H that can read,Research and understand things. The information is out there for us to read.

    • ......
      June 19, 2013

      You do not even know your history but you are on here making wrong statements. Please do some research or ask Dr. Lennox

    • GG
      June 19, 2013

      u sot and uninformed.

  13. DC
    June 18, 2013

    Unfortunately, many Grenadians do not share this perception. They adored Maurice Bishop and so they view the former Prime Minister of Dominica as a back stabber. This is from my interaction with the father of my two children who is a proud Grenadian, as well as the many Grenadian people i have met. On a brighter note, we must never give up the fight unless the Caribbean has one voice at the UN and we ate treated with respect at every port of entry in the Caribbean.

    • Truth Seeker
      June 18, 2013

      Sorry, but this is not how I remember Grenada and Grenadians in the very throes of the counterrevolution. Indeed, Grenadians’ love for Bish was unrivaled, as compared to other Caribbean leaders then and now (to my mind). I was in the thick of the American invasion in 1983. And to a person, Grenadians were upset with those who sold out their Revo. Anger towards Ms. Charles for her role in the debacle is not what I recall of Grenadians’ response to the national crisis.

      Those of us who were sent in to support the invaders (as it were) would have most certainly felt that anger. Instead we were much embraced by every single Granadian for our joining in the effort to free them from Coard and his ilk, as I recall. Not that Grenadians sang and jumped in the streets of St. Georges extolling the Dame. But expressing anger at her for leading the charge against the anarchists was simply not the general Grenadian sentiment.

      Then again, it could be that Grenadians were too traumatized by the experience to harbor ill will for the Iron Lady and her stance to rid the OECS of what she perceived as the “communist threat” from Bernard Coard and his supporters.

    • Malgraysa
      June 18, 2013

      I understand your sentiments DC, from the side you are coming from. However, I also remember that brother Bishop was executed in cold blood by his own comrades, whom Eugenia Charles helped to bring to justice. A painful episode for the whole Caribbean and I pray we’ve learned from it.

    • June 18, 2013

      I agree. My people are blind and they don’t like to hear the truth. I apologize to all Grenadian’s for what she did to him.

      • Malgraysa
        June 18, 2013

        Tony, please be explicit. What exactly did she do to him? Was she the one, who got him murdered, shot against a wall?

      • June 19, 2013

        Malgraysa

        Hello why are my people so misinformed. Mr Bishop went to the United Nation and he met with the Americans Core of Engineneers and he requested help and a price to build the International Airport. They told him it would cost One Hundred and Fourty Million US dollars and they would have to used US contractors . He declined their offer and he seek help from the Russion and Cubans which both Government decide to help him build the airport. The US Government then came up with the statement saying their citizens in Grenada were being mistreated which was totally bogus and they seek Miss Charles endorsement to justify their in invasion of Grenada. She gave her endorsement to the US to invade Grenada which lead to his death.

    • Anonymous
      June 18, 2013

      They are just looking for someone to blame…but it is Grenadians who Bishop trusted and broke bread with who took their beloved national hero from them.

      It is another matter whether PM Charles should have gone to Reagan for help. One can argue the merits or demerits of her action and of the US in the context of international and sovereign laws…and what the impact of the invasion had on Grenadians but one cannot at any time say it was the invasion that caused Maurice Bishop’s death.

      That would be revisionism!

  14. Pundit
    June 18, 2013

    Viva Mama Eugenia. You were untouchable when it came to vision and ethics.

  15. Anonymous
    June 18, 2013

    Eugenia worked hard and long hours during her first and second terms as Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and achieved much in public service discipline and the developement of the physical infrastructure of the country.She was a great disappointment in attracting AUTHENTIC private sector INVESTMENTS to the island. The last term of her Administration, when she had a one seat majority in the House of Assembly, was a massive disaster.She ammended the Citizenship Act to introduce the “economic citizenship” programme. The very first “project” to benefit from the sale of Dominica’s passports was the LAYOU RIVER HOTEL COMPANY in which Eugenia, Frank A M BARON and the other “prominent shareholders and dignitaries” held controlling interests!Jenner B M Armour quite rightly refused to say ,in answering a question in Parliament, that the Eugenia/Charles Maynard Economic Citizenship Programme was being conducted in Dominica’s best interest!

  16. Jay
    June 18, 2013

    Don’t like that separate OECS at all. Is just a charter for some to make extra money. Flour from St. Vincent We still have extra 50% duty on pasta from outside OECS even though Pasta Paul burned down mor than a decade ago. Coca Cola at min. $8.40 for a large bottle. That drink is no longer bottled in Dominica and we lost jobs because of that but still we are punished with a high duty when we bringng it in from our our brothers in Caricom, who are not in OECS. That special status was supposed to benefit the people and create jobs but is only a select few that benefitting. I say, let there be a true open market in Caricom, for the benefit of the sonsumers and not just a few merchants.

  17. concern citizen
    June 18, 2013

    The iron lady

  18. Pondera
    June 18, 2013

    Mamo looks like she is enjoying the company of Maurice Bishop. Great photo.

  19. Anonymous
    June 18, 2013

    look at how simple these leaders were dressed no expensive suits,expensive watches or jewelry.
    But then again exactly what has become of this union, when we cant even go to Antigua without being harassed.

    • Malgraysa
      June 18, 2013

      Today we have bling-bling but no respect.

      • Frabo
        June 18, 2013

        What was the “bling” then?…’money’ in the bank.

    • Frabo
      June 18, 2013

      You know how much she paid for her dress? boy all you boy! that’s an old roughed-up photo – balck & white; how you expect it to look? wey papa…

  20. Lil Blue
    June 18, 2013

    Two great leaders gone but not forgotten

  21. Dominijen
    June 18, 2013

    True Leaders of the Region….they put country before self always!

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