Message from The Leader of SVG Green Party, Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons.), MSc, MBA
Fellow Vincentians and other citizens,
I come from a humble background in Spring Village, Georgetown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Outside of school, my early life was spent tending goats and helping my father growing food for our family.
When I was 18, the chance came to travel to England. I grasped this opportunity with a sense of excitement, and apprehension, as I did not know if I would ever see my family again. I was the first one in my family to go to England; it was a journey in to the unknown.
When I arrived in England - this land of opportunity – I was cold, lonely and poor. I knew no one and had little money in my pocket. I vowed then and there to myself that my children would not have to live in poverty and knew that education was the way to ensure a life of prosperity.
I have five children and they have all been to university; my youngest graduating from medical school to become a doctor.
I have seven grandchildren and the oldest four have been to university: Natasha, 27, graduating with a Masters in Engineering from Cambridge University, England; Emma, 27, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from Nottingham University, England; Yasmin, 25, graduating with a BA (Hons) in English from Bristol University, England; and Jessica, 21, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Economics from Nottingham University, England.
I joined the British Royal Air Force and served for over 31 years as a Safety Engineer, with honourable and distinguished military service, including five years seconded as a Military Instructor to the Armed Forces of His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei.
I was awarded the Most Blessed Order of Brunei and the RAF Meritorious Service Medal. I retired as a Warrant Officer on 15 May 1989 with Exemplary Conduct.
After military life and seeing that all my children had received a university education, I decided that I needed to embark upon a journey of higher education. Over the next five years, I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University, England, a Masters Degree in Budgeting, Macro-Economic Policy and Planning from Bradford University, England and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Leicester University, England.
I have seen through my own life experience, with my children and grandchildren, that high-quality education and university education brings a life of prosperity and job security. This is possible even when one has humble roots like mine in Spring Village, Georgetown.
I believe in equality and prosperity for all. I believe also that all Vincentian children have the right to free technical training, free, high-quality education and free university, as this is the only way that all Vincentian children will be able to achieve their dreams and live a prosperous life.
I believe that focusing on education, science, technology and innovation is the best way for us to bring jobs and prosperity to our people and strengthen our dying economy, and the only way our country will become a rich nation and the only we will eradicate poverty and achieve prosperity.
My message to you is that a Green Government, under my competent and visionary leadership, will boost the economy and brings jobs and prosperity to all our people. This will be on a foundation of education, science, technology and innovation.
For the sake of all Vincentians, and in the name of fairness and equality, a Green government will make important and necessary changes. A Green government will bring free wi-fi internet, abolish apartheid, get rid of the parasitic Taiwanese, tax the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, create thousands of new jobs, ban the sale of land to foreigners, reduce the price of water and electricity by 50%, ensure food security and build a science and technology university.
We have an obligation, each of us, every man, woman and child, to complete the task that our forefathers started, to make this country strong and a place where we will hear children laughing again, see parents smiling again and our people can feel safe in their homes and communities and the black child is treated equal to the white.
On election day, vote Green, vote for the telephone. Let us build a brighter and sustainable future for our children together.
May God bless you and may God bless SVG.