St Vincent: Minister says violence is not the answer

| June 28, 2014

Caribbean news. MONDAY JUNE 23, 2014; KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – Junior ‘Spintoe’ Mckie was about five months old when current Central Leeward Parliamentary Representative and Minister for National Reconciliation Maxwell Charles began teaching at the Questelles Government School.

Last Sunday June 22, 2014, having received an invitation to address the burial service for Junior Mckie, Minister Charles profited the opportunity to remind persons of their duty to each other.

The 42-year-old Mckie was killed when a stone thrown by a group of young men during the Clare Valley Village carnival jump up, struck him on the head.

Minister Charles addressing the funeral service last Sunday

Minister Charles addressing the funeral service last Sunday

Honourable Charles pointed out it was indeed very sad to be saying goodbye to someone so much younger than he is. “He is a son, a cousin, a father, a brother, someone dear to many who are now coming to terms that he is no longer with you on this earth.”

The Minister for National Reconciliation told the residents “We need to treat each other with love and respect,” if the strive and warfare is to cease.

“This afternoon I am not addressing you as a politician,” Honourable Charles stated. “I am addressing you as a friend, as a brother, as a community man on the loss of Junior.

He used his recent trip to England and Geneva where he had a premonition to visit his old uncle in England, whom he had not seen for seven years. After spending some quality time with his old uncle, soon after his return to the state, his family sent word to him that his uncle was dead.

“Each meeting that you have with your neighbor, with your friends, do the things that are right to them. Imagine it to be your last meeting with them, because you never know what is going to happen after.”

Minister Maxwell Charles extending condolences to the mother of Junior Mckie

Minister Maxwell Charles extending condolences to the mother of Junior Mckie

Citing the circumstances, which resulted in Junior Mckie’s death, Charles told the congregation “as a community, we need to be able to create the ability to settle our differences, amicably…to sit down and talk our differences over.

“These are not the days when we should resort to violence…no…no…no. Because when we resort to violence, sometimes innocent people suffer. Innocent people die.

“This death is an example of that. We are a Christian community and the Bible says that we should love one another. The Good Book is filled with so many pieces of advice for us. It says that he who is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”

He told the gathering of family members, friends, and well-wishers that there will be differences but persons ought not to allow wrath to take the better of them.

He asked the residents that through their community groups to contact his Ministry for assistance in settling any differences that may be existing, for it is part of his Ministry’s mandate to assist communities in building an atmosphere of peace and love amongst residents.

According to Honourable Charles, the Bible also states “’be angry and sin not. What is wrong with getting vex, but we need to settle our differences in a peaceful manner.”

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