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EDITORIAL – The spirit can only live in a joyful heart


marciadottin, [email protected]

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Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known? – Charles de Lint.
THE?CANADIAN?FANTASY?AUTHOR might be right about experiencing the fascinating quality of mystery, but what would be to our gain hankering after knowledge we would never get? And, pray tell who would want to shroud the Spirit Of The Nation in mystique and gobbledegook?
At the risk of being accused again by Minister of Youth Stephen Lashley of being “insensitive” and “not verifying certain details”, we can’t helped but remark that the spirit has been knocked out of the Community Independence Celebrations show.
Firstly, St Lucy Ambassadors Sadie Murphy and Tony Pompey were nowhere in the top three in the November 20 Spirit Of The Nation gala at the end of the night – through any fault of their own. Sensibly they and their team figured something was wrong.
After all, they had entered the night ahead on points – and after capturing Best Costume. It was a mystery!
The St Lucy Parish Committee would protest its ambassadors’ lowly placing; and to Minister Lashley’s credit he would order an enquiry into the allocation of competition points. The major finding would be that there was “a computer glitch”. In simple words, the tabulator or tabulators had made an error.
Errors we can live with – if we make an effort to correct them; mysteries we shouldn’t have to.
Mr Lashley’s investigation showed that the St Lucy team did in fact win the Spirit Of The Nation contest. So why are these ambassadors sharing first place with St Peter’s who really didn’t?
What a mystery!
And, if the top two did indeed share the same position, then there is no second; only third and fourth. Who are in these spots?
But if the first placed ambassadors have earned 93.5 points and the next placed duo 92.8, how can they be joint winners? This is a mystery too!
If Mr Lashley is going to take full responsibility for the error that brought on the protest and confusion in the first place, he must also hold himself responsible for a sensible solution.
It is not good enough to declare that he and the parish committees, ambassadors and attendants were “able to reach a consensus, and it speaks to a maturity of all the persons involved”. What about consensus with the many Spirit Of The Nation patrons who anticipated victory won fairly and squarely?
We are not impressed by his “going forward” platitude either, but we take some comfort in Mr Lashley’s chopping into new ground of enquiry: his pledge to seek review of the rules and criteria for judging of the Independence competition, “so that we can minimise the reoccurrence of any problems”.
In the meantime, the minister can answer the questions raised about the 15th Spirit Of The Nation, and once and for all invalidate the mystery and the mumbo-jumbo that camp around it.

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