Points query at Spirit show
AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into last Saturday’s Spirit Of The Nation gala, which saw Ambassadors Debra-lee Grant and Ricardo Marshall from St Peter scoring a hat-trick for the parish.
Speaking to the SUNDAY SUN yesterday, Stephen Lashley, who holds responsibility for the Community Independence Celebrations, said it was his understanding that an issue had been raised with the points.
“I have instructed that there be an investigation into the concerns raised, so that I can be better informed . . . . The most logical approach is to have the entire issue properly investigated and I’ve asked the permanent secretary to do that investigation and report to me on what exactly is the issue. When I know that, then I’ll be able to speak to it,” Lashly said.
Questioned on the probe around their win, Ambassador Grant said: “I have no clue.”
She said that she received the information second-hand through the media and that up to 4 p.m. yesterday she had not been contacted by officials.
It is understood that the queries were raised by the St Lucy Parish Committee, which is “not too” happy with the result. A source close to the committee said a meeting had been scheduled with the Independence Secretariat for Wednesday.
According to the source, the St Lucy Ambassadors went into the show in the lead, won Best Costume and yet could not place in the first four.
“It befuddles the mind, any kind of logical thinking. Once you go into the Spirit Of The Nation show in the lead, and you are leading one of those categories, then you basically would place in the first three – even if you don’t become Most Outstanding Ambassadors.
“And one of the strange things is that our attendant got 89.33 per cent, as we were told the night in front, and yet an attendant is first runner-up, which is St Michael, with 86 per cent and ours was never mentioned,” the source argued, adding that the St Lucy pair were second to St George in the project.
The committee is reportedly asking for a full disclosure of all the points St Lucy would have accumulated.
Making it clear that St Lucy did not have anything personal against Grant and Marshall, the source said people were beginning to think that St Lucy was being targeted.
Last year there was an issue with St Lucy’s eventual placement in the costume category, after being in the lead and would have suffered a penalty of a maximum deduction of 15 points after a piece dropped off. The ambassadors placed fourth.
“I don’t know if it is that we are doing too well . . . . We are not happy about it at all,” he said.
“You can’t take a programme that is designed for young people, to build young people, to give young people exposure as much as possible, and it is so run that it leaves a very bitter taste in the said young people’s mouths. This affects our ability as a committee, and any other committee, at the end of the day, to look to find people coming forward as ambassadors.
“. . . It is not good for the programme, not good for people who volunteer and do their best. Not everybody can win; somebody has to be a winner, but let it be clear and let it be done in the right way. Too much controversy is creeping into this show right now. It’s too much,” the source added. (YB)