Letters & Opinion

For the Likes of George Odlum

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

IT was said of George Odlum, that he was the best Prime Minister Saint Lucia never had. Some would also say that he had a lot of miscalculations or misjudgements (as some may prefer to call it) in his political journey. There was no doubt that Brother George was well read. He was avantgarde in his time and his intentions may have been misunderstood.

Given the dearth of leadership in both the government and the opposition, one (or is that I) would wish for the resurrection of a Sir John or a Brother George. But given that we hardly have miracles these days, we now have to pray for a rebirth or a new coming. Someone has to save this nation or am I the only one who sees the dreaded doom, if we sit back and do nothing. The present trajectory is steering to hit the iceberg but only the captain thinks his ship is unsinkable.

So the merriment goes on unabated and high class reigns these days. More equitable distribution of wealth is not going to happen under this administration. A lot of our folks said, “Lets put a businessman in the prime ministers chair. He has the money so he will not be looking to fill his pocket.” Hello? What will he do, try to put you in his league. The ching, ching promised in your pocket is only small change, if you get any of the crumbs at all. The bounties on the table are for friends and the elite, those who funded the political campaigns.

If we had a brother George in the office, that would be a different story. Sir John walked the walk. He was able to empathize with us; he was a man of the ground and on the ground. All I get from this prime minister is pretence. He pretends to know us. He pretends to care for us. He pretends that he is making, bold daring, unpopular decisions that are supposed to be grandiose and change Saint Lucia forever. At the rate he is going, Saint Lucia will change, it will be unrecognizable because he never knew who we were in the first place.

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I remember in primary school going to a birthday party at the Odlum’s house in Marigot. It was the birthday of a son of George Odlum with whom I attended elementary school. Large swimming pool, pools table, maid and all, the works; but the home owners were very down to earth. The Odlums were neighbours of mine when I lived at La Toc Road as a youth but one of my most cherished recollection was one time when I was stranded along, the Marigot/Ti Colon highway and who was driving along the road? Brother George. He had a pickup truck that was loaded with people on the back. As loaded as he was, he stopped and offered myself and another man a ride. “I don’t know if you can fit, but try,” he said. Sure enough we did. As we build an elitists society you wish for brothers like Sir John and George Odlum.


  1. PETER: I think I know Bro George a little better than you, from elementary school
    to S.M.C. to the U.K. and beyond. We knew each other very well; George was o.k.
    as long you don’t cross him. We both loved the same pretty girl, but guess what?
    the old Fox have been around a long time.George was dedicated, he applied himself
    and with his ambition he tried too hard and frightened certain people. I would say that
    you think that this present leader is a bit too deliberate. The expected flamboyancy
    may not be there, but Peter, let me advise you, I’ve been around a long time, with a
    choice right now, with the International leaders we have, I would tread softly. I wish
    people would stop complaining, use what you have and try to improve with help from
    current friends. Forget about the left wing hangover,times have changed, and we too must.

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