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PM Keith Mitchell opens Indian Diaspora Conference in Grenada

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Mr. Jan Egeland(R), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator, to brief journalists on the Central Emergency Response Fund with H.E. The Rt. Hon. Dr. Keith C. Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.(L)

Grenada, April 30, 2017: This year, in April end, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell will formally open the International Conference on The Indian Diaspora in Grenada and the Wider Caribbean.

Prime Minister Mitchell is also the Minister of National Security, Public Administration, Disaster Management, Home Affairs and Implementation in Grenada. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Grenada, presiding in that office for over 13 years.

The weekend conference, from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, 2017 will commemorate the arrival of East Indians in Grenada on May 1, 1857. May 1st has been officially recognised by the Government since 2009 as Indian Arrival Day.

On that historic day, the Maidstone docked at Irwin’s Bay in St. Patrick’s with 287 passengers who were brought as indentured labourers to replace the emancipated African slaves. Over 22 years (1856 to 1878), 3,033 Indians came from India to Grenada to work on the sugarcane estates.

The Grenada conference aims to bring together academics, historians, teachers, tourism and culture workers, and other persons with an interest in the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean to discuss their research findings. Space will be provided for less formal presentations from activists and practitioners in the field in order to contribute to the limited store of public knowledge on Indians in Grenada.

Attendance to the conference is free of charge and open to the public.

For attendance and participation in the conference, please contact-

Dr Kumar Mahabir (Trinidad), Cell: (868) 756-4961 E-mail: dmahabir@gmail.com, Ms. Shadel Nyack Compton (Grenada), Cell: (473) 533-9525 E-mail: Shadelcompton@gmail.com and Mr. Jai Sears (Grenada), Cell: (473) 405-2921 E-mail: jaisears@yahoo.com.

 

 

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Frenchman Trip Across Atlantic in Barrel Coming to an End

With no engine, sails or paddles, the unusual craft has relied on trade winds and currents to push Savin 4,800 kilometers from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean

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frenchman, atlantic, barrel
FILE - Jean-Jacques Savin works on the construction of a ship made from a barrel on Nov. 15, 2018, at the shipyard in Ares, France. VOA

A Frenchman who has spent 113 days floating across the Atlantic in a custom-made barrel says he is in high spirits as he approaches the end of his journey.

Earlier this week, Jean-Jacques Savin, 72, posted on his Facebook page that he was just 750 kilometers from the island of St. Martin. But he has traveled only 250 kilometers in the past week because of the lack of wind.

But he does not seem to mind. “There is no hurry, let’s leave time to time and now there are a series of favorable days coming to push me towards the South-West,” he wrote. With no engine, sails or paddles, the unusual craft has relied on trade winds and currents to push Savin 4,800 kilometers from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

Savin spent months building his bright orange, barrel-shaped capsule of resin-coated plywood that is strong enough to withstand battering waves and other stresses. The barrel is 3 meters long and 2.10 meters across, has a small galley area, and a mattress with straps to keep him from being tossed out of his bunk by rough seas.

frenchman, barrel, atlantic
Frenchman Jean-Jacques Savin posted on his Facebook page that he was just 750 kilometers from the island of St. Martin. He set sail for the Caribbean Dec. 26, leaving from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands. VOA

Portholes on either side of the barrel and another looking into the water provide sunlight and a bit of entertainment. The unique craft also has a solar panel that generates energy for communications and GPS positioning.

As he drifts along, Savin is dropping markers in the ocean to help oceanographers study ocean currents. At the end of the journey, Savin himself will be studied by doctors for effects of solitude in close confinement.  He also posts regular updates, including GPS coordinates that track his journey,on a Facebook page.

ALSO READ: British-led Nekton Scientific Mission in Indian Ocean Reaches an End

He described his journey as a “crossing during which man isn’t captain of his ship, but a passenger of the ocean.”  Savin’s adventure, which will cost a little more than $65,000, was funded by French barrel makers and crowdfunding.

Savin hopes to end his journey on a French island, like Martinique or Guadeloupe. “That would be easier for the paperwork and for bringing the barrel back,” he told AFP. (VOA)