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T.A. Marryshow branded “the darling of Grenada’s politics”

Dr. Curtis Jacobs (Credit to Grenada's 50th Anniversary of Independence Facebook page)

Marryshow was the darling of Grenada’s politics until he eventually died in 1958. Now Marryshow in my view exerts a brooding presence on Grenada’s politics.

This sentiment was expressed by Dr. Curtis Jacobs, a historian and former head of the Marryshow House at a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) panel discussion held last week Wednesday at the T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) in Tanteen, St George’s.

The event also included the unveiling of the nearby round-about and honouring of T.A. Marryshow as a visionary who helped in paving the way for CARICOM which was established under the Treaty of Chaguaramas and came into fruition on August 1, 1973 after the failure of CARIFTA in 1972.

Apart from Dr. Jacobs, the panelists included Grenada’s Ambassador to Caricom Aaron Moses, Dr. Wendy Grenade, and Arley Gill who spoke on the different aspects of Grenadian history related to T.A. Marryshow and regional integration.

In his address, Dr. Jacobs stated that his initial knowledge of Marryshow in Grenada’s history was that the name has a connection in the fight against slavery.

“…T.A. Marryshow is one of the pivots around with the modern contemporary history of Grenada …. I make the point to say that the Marryshow name has been associated with the anti-slavery, anti-colonial movement since the 18th century…,” he said.

He spoke on Marryshow’s work relationship with fellow newspaper editor and political activist, William Galwey Donovan, who Marryshow referred to as his “political Gamaliel.”

“He became under the tutelage of a chap called William Galloway Donovan and he learned all he could learn about news publishing and politics from Donovan.”

Focusing on the areas of government and self-rule, Dr. Jacobs recalled that Marryshow who was the cofounder of the newspaper “The West Indian” lived to serve the public.

“… His life, we could say was one of public service for his whole natural life and his birth, his lifetime and public career has been basically what Grenada’s political and constitutional movement (did) towards what we know today,” he said.

According to Dr. Jacobs, this included being an elected member of the representative government from 1925 until his death in 1958.

Additionally, the historian noted that the Father of West Indies Federation was partly involved in the formation of Grenada’s well known home-grown indigenous bank.

“…Marryshow was involved in all Grenada’s political goings-on. Marryshow was one of the founders of the Grenada Cooperative Bank Limited. Most of the people involved in the formation of the Grenada Cooperative Bank Limited were associated with the anti-colonial, anti-slavery movement,” he remarked.

Dr. Jacobs stressed that T.A. Marryshow held a very unique presence over Grenada’s politics until the arrival of the flamboyant Eric Gairy in 1951.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Export Development, Joseph Andall who addressed the ceremony said it is important as West Indians to uphold the legacy of many Caribbean leaders, movers and shakers who embraced regional unity.

“CARICOM symbolises everything good about the Caribbean and Caribbean civilisation. We are small dots in the world but we punch…and it is incumbent upon us to keep the flames of Caribbean unity alive not only to honour the memories of those who have gone before us and have paved the way but for the young ones for whom we ought to be shining examples,” he added.

According to the senior government minister, despite the rough journey on the road to Caribbean integration, he is confident that “with the right knowledge and personnel, we can boost the Caribbean in a way that will benefit all Caribbean people.”

“Our journey to this point has been a long and sometimes torturous one but I’m confident that we have the wherewithal by way of human resource to transform the Caribbean landscape for the good of all of our citizens,” he told the panel discussion.

In a direct message to the government established 50th anniversary Independence committee, Minister Andall said it is imperative to have the Grenadians engaged in dialogue regarding the good things happening on the island.

“Sometimes we need to do symbolic things as a means of highlighting important junctures in our history and in our journey to transformation…it is important that we keep our citizens immersed in everything good that is going on among us with us, by us and for us,” he said.

In her brief address, Chairperson for the National Organising Committee for the Golden Jubilee, Dr. Wendy Crawford highlighted Grenada’s integral role in regional integration over the years.

“We thought that this was a very important event in the sense that Grenada has always had a strong commitment to regional unity and that we have played a major part in regional integration,” she said.

“…We think it is important that we understand the journey that we have traveled from the early integration movement to the establishment of CARICOM,” she added.

Speaking on behalf of the T.A. Marryshow Community College, Acting Principal John Telesford expressed gratitude for the discussion and the institution being selected to host the historical event.

“We at T.A.M.C.C, we are pleased as the indigenous tertiary and post-secondary institution in Grenada to host this auspicious panel discussion as we move boldly towards our 50th anniversary of Independence.

“On this journey of Independence, the TAMCC is delighted to bring into our noble walls these esteemed experts to discuss and share on the unveiling unity (of the) CARICOM Roundabout panel.”

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