Month: April 2012
Never Never Give Up
About the Candidate
Dr. Rufus Washington Ewing was born in the historic seaside settlement of Blue Hills on the Island of Providenciales where he was raised in a Seventh Day Adventist Christian home by his Mother Mrs. Jane Ewing and Father Hon. Hilly Ewing, former Deputy Chief Minister along with his many siblings. It was during these formative years that the Christian Principles of honesty, integrity, humility, love for mankind and service were instilled.
At an early age Dr. Ewing was introduced to the world of service and caring by his Aunt, Nurse Joyce Ewing-Beswick, with whom he lived while in Jamaica in the early 1970’s. During that period he attended clinics with his Aunt and was fascinated with the art of medicine and there onwards developed a passion for the profession and caring for people. This exposure to medicine continued when Dr. Ewing again accompanied his Aunt to the Blue Hills Clinic when she returned home to work in the late 1970’s.
Dr. Ewing attended the Blue Hills Primary School now called Oseta Jolly Primary School where he was taught by respected educators such as, Mrs. Ellen Howell, Mrs. Cicely Ewing, Mrs. Thelma Lightbourne and Mrs. Mavis Cunningham, just to name a few. After Primary School, Dr. Ewing spent one term at the Private Provo High School in the Bight before being transferred to Grand Turk to attend High School there.
It was in Grand Turk at the Turks and Caicos High School (now Helena Jones Robinson High School) that Dr. Ewing had the opportunity to advance his education and develop his leadership skills and ability. Growing up in Grand Turk away from his immediate family was made easy by the comfort and care offered to him by Ms. Sarah Haven, with whom he lived and whom he now calls his second Mother. This comfort was magnified by the warmed reception he received by his Good Street and North and South Back Salina neighbours and friends and his schoolmates from across the Turks and Caicos. Dr. Ewing was one who was always focused, disciplined and set goals to which he would aspire and achieve and he did just that. He was selected as the Head Boy of his class which was his first opportunity to develop and demonstrate his leadership potential. He was taught by many excellent teachers, but a few of them in particular instilled in him certain qualities that he lives by and cherishes today. Ms. Lillian Swann-Missick, his teacher of history was the first to have left an impressionable mark on his life. She taught him to be a critical and independent thinker, to “not be gullible about the information written in the history books as they were written by “the oppressors and enslavers”. Dr. Ewing was so passionate about her teachings that he excelled in the subject, which was outside of his science mainstream. Mr. Poulose, Mrs. Latha, Mr. Babu, Mrs. Allam and Mr. Ross ensured that he was prepared for the world of science. Mrs. Julia Williams, his teacher of English and Literature taught him perseverance and skills to overcome challenges and obstacles, while Mr. Hubert Fulford, as a Music teacher taught him temperance and patience. The School Principal, Mr. Bertram Ross was his mentor and taught him the art of diplomacy and Leadership. Dr. Ewing graduated from the Turks and Caicos High School in 1985 as the Valedictorian of his class. In 1985 Dr. Ewing was offered a scholarship to go to Trinidad to study to be a General Science Teacher but he turned it down as this was not his ambition and goal. His goal was to become a Surgeon or at least an Electrical Engineer both of which he was passionate about. Dr. Ewing stayed at the Turks and Caicos High School as the Laboratory Technician and Science Tutor whilst improving his academic credentials until 1986 when he was awarded a scholarship to pursue Advanced Level Studies at the Barbados Community College.
Whilst in Barbados Dr. Ewing learned to live an independent life and how to really compete for the prize against serious competitors. Dr. Ewing again surpassed his competitors and excelled in his A-Levels and was awarded a Turks and Caicos Scholarship to pursue Medicine at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.
In Jamaica Dr. Ewing again had the opportunity to further develop his Leadership skills. Dr. Ewing, along with Mr. Delton Jones, Bradley Handfield, Alpheus Gardiner and Ms. Carol (former Jamaican Teacher of the Turks and Caicos High School) were instrumental in establishing the Turks and Caicos Students Association (TACSA) in Jamaica. TACSA was established with the mandate to address the welfare of all Turks and Caicos Students studying in Jamaica. TACSA acted as the Liaison between the TCI Government and Students in Jamaica and also represented TCI Students issues at the various institutions. TACSA also acted as an outlet for mentoring younger TCI students ensuring the achievement of their goals. Dr. Ewing served for two years as Vice President and two years as President of TACSA.
Medical School in Jamaica was where the qualities of humility and caring were cultured and solidified and the art of team work was ingrained, as without these one would not survive medical school or emerge to be a great physician.
The Physician and Surgeon
It was in Jamaica, during his Medical School team work sessions that Dr. Ewing met and fell in love with his classmate Dr. Dawn Perry. Dr. Ewing always believed in being organized and efficient and to that end he got married to Dr. Dawn Perry in 1993 on their graduation day.
After completion of Medical School Dr. Ewing and his wife moved to Nassau, Bahamas to complete their internship and start a family life which gave birth to their Son Stuart Ewing. It was in Nassau that Dr. Ewing’s passion for surgery grew. He knew from High school that he wanted to be a surgeon, but there was no conviction to that desire until completion of his surgical internship rotation. This conviction to become a General Surgeon led him back to Jamaica in 1996 to enter the General Surgery Residency Training Programme.
The General Surgery Training Programme was the place where Dr. Ewing was able to utilize all of the life and leadership skills he learnt along the way. However, the skills of critical thinking, evaluation and situational analysis, confidence, discipline and astute decision making were paramount to practice and successful clinical outcome, all based on certain principles which were not to be violated less you fail. During his surgical residency and even so today, Dr. Ewing live on the principles of recognizing his limitations and not wasting time defending the indefensible. Dr. Ewing became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1998 and received training in Paediatric General Surgery in 2000 at the IWK Grace Health Center and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada before graduating from the University of the West Indies with a Doctorate of Medicine Degree in General Surgery in 2001.
Dr. Ewing has always been a true patriot and loved serving his people. He began serving his people from the time he entered Medical School in 1993, where he looked out for the interest of Turks and Caicos Islanders seeking medical care in Jamaica. This service continued in Nassau during his internship and was scaled up in Jamaica during his residency training. Recognizing the many health needs of his people, Dr. Ewing was anxious to return home to serve his people and did so in 2001 with his family.
The Public Health Care Leader and Community Volunteer
Dr. Ewing was always a visionary and a goal oriented person. Upon arrival home he immediately requested a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Permanent Secretary of Health and others and presented them with his vision for health care in the Turks and Caicos and how he can get it done. There was very little difference between Dr. Ewing’s vision and the plans of the ongoing DFID funded Health Care visioning and Health Sector Development Strategy project.
In August 2001 Dr. Ewing was employed by the Ministry of Health as Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) with direct responsibility for the Myrtle Rigby Health Complex (MRHC) and Lead Surgeon at the MRHC. There were many challenges being experienced in the Health Care Sector. The most prominent were the lack of surgical services in Providenciales, the rising cost of overseas treatment and the inadequate health infrastructure, particularly on Providenciales and the general lack of equipment. Through Dr. Ewing’s Leadership and the assistance of a dedicated team, the MRHC Operating Theatre was commissioned and the first major surgical procedure was performed in October 2001, after three months on the job. This was a significant achievement as persons from Providenciales requiring appendicitis surgery, routine hernia surgery and C-sections to name a few, no longer had to fly to Grand Turk for surgery. Dr. Ewing addressed the rising cost of overseas treatment by recommending the implementation of a Treatment at Home Programme. This programme saw the procurement of new surgical equipment, the recruitment of more medical and surgical staff and the expansion of the visiting specialist programme. This programme along with other policies resulted in a precipitous reduction in the cost of overseas treatment. The Development of new health facilities and the financing thereof was the most challenging of all the health concerns. Dr. Ewing provided sound clinical guidance and advice to both governments during his term as DCMO and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on the development of new hospital facilities and the implementation of a National Health Insurance Plan (NHIP).
Dr. Ewing acted as CMO on numerous occasions between 2001 and 2005, until he was appointed as CMO/Director of Health Services in 2005. Dr. Ewing saw it fitting to expand his Public Health knowledge and as such pursued a Master of Public Health Degree from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health which he completed in 2008.
Dr. Ewing was the Lead of the Clinical Work stream for the new Hospitals project and was a member of the National Health Insurance Steering Committee. On both of these committees he played the role of providing policy advice in relation to the provision of clinical services in the new hospitals the protection of the interest of the people in accessing quality health care at all levels especially protecting those that are most vulnerable.
Dr. Ewing saw the need for the strengthening of the Ministry of Health to perform its function with respect to policy and regulation of the health sector. To this end he was instrumental in moving the operating level of the CMO and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) from the level of the hospital to that of the Ministry of Health and hence strengthened the leadership, management and policy development capacity of the Ministry of Health. He was also instrumental in advocating for the establishment of critical policy, regulatory and strategic units within the Ministry of Health which included the National Epidemiology and Research Unit, the Health Planning and Promotion Unit and the Health Emergency Management Unit. These Units significantly increased the capacity of the Ministry of Health to perform Its Essential Public Health Functions.
Some of major Policies and Projects developed under Dr. Ewing’s Leadership with the assistance of his great health team were:
- Treatment at Home Policy
- Treatment Abroad Policy
- Health Care Infrastructure Development Policy to include the development of:
- MRHC and Grand Turk Hospital Operating Theatre Projects
- South Caicos Clinic
- Two New Hospitals
- Middle Caicos Clinic
- Blue Hills Clinic
- Health Strategic Plans
- Primary Health Care Renewal
- Migrant Health Evaluation Policy and Programme
- Health Care Regulations
Dr. Ewing has achieved much in the development of health care in the Turks and Caicos, but he recognizes that there is still much left to be done especially in the area of Primary Health Care, Health Care Financing and Health Care Regulations and he is committed to realizing his health care vision of a healthy TCI Population.
During his 11years at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ewing was a member of many Boards by virtue of his position as CMO and also served as Chairman of the Health Practitioners’ Board, Public and Environmental Health Board, National Insurance Medical Board and Director of the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC).
Dr. Ewing is a member of a number of Health NGOs providing support to them in particular the National cancer Society, Diabetes Association and the Turks and Caicos Heart foundation. He is a Founding Member and Director of the Turks and Caicos AIDS Awareness Foundation.
Dr. Ewing upon his return home in 2001 was given permission by the Executive Council to operate a Private Medical Practice, Omnicare, which he shared with his wife since 2002. Through this practice he has been able to provide service to the wider TCI public who were not keen on attending government facilities. Through this practice Dr. Ewing has also been able to provide outreach health care services to the community in particular sporting organizations and Churches.
The Public Service and Civil Rights Leader
After the suspension of the TCI constitution and the imposition of direct rule from Britain, Dr. Ewing became frustrated by the policy direction of the Interim Administration and the manner in which policies and laws were being introduced and enacted, which had a significant negative impact on the lives of citizens in general and Civil Servants in particular. Dr. Ewing considered resignation from the service in late 2010 but decided to stay in the Service to help fight against the policies that he considered detrimental to the welfare of citizens and Civil Servants and to protect the rights of Civil Servants. In November of 2010 Dr. Ewing and a few Civil Servants formed a working group to revitalize the dormant Civil Service Association (CSA), which was revitalized on January 6, 2011 with the election of the CSA’s management Council with Dr. Ewing as President.
The CSA under the Leadership of Dr. Ewing had ongoing negotiations and dialogue with the Interim Administration to prevent the implementation of policies which they thought were not in the best interest of Civil Servants and the country. The Administration’s failure to address fairly the issues of salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities and redundancy of Civil Servants lead the CSA to several industrial actions and improvement of some benefits in the interest of Civil Servants.
In August of 2011, Dr. Ewing, frustrated by the actions of the Interim Administration led a one man demonstration against the Governor and his Advisory Council demanding their resignation and the imposition of a democratically elected government. Just prior to this action Dr. Ewing submitted his letter of resignation to the Ministry of Health with an effective date of March 30, 2012. This gave him greater comfort and freedom to speak out against the injustices of the Interim Administration. Dr. Ewing continued his work with the CSA defending the rights of Civil Servants until his resignation from the Civil Service on March 30, 2012.
Bishop Blasts Brits
By Vivian Tyson
SUN Senior Editor
At least one clergyman is calling for the return of former Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands Richard Tauwhare, to face questioning and possibly charges in the ongoing Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) corruption probe, since he was the chief overseer for government affairs during the Michael Misick administration.
Bishop Derek Browne, President for the Methodist Conference of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands and Pastor for the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Blue Hills, said that former governor Tauwhare was equally responsible for anything found to be untoward during the former Misick administration, and should be asked to answer to charges similar to those that his former cabinet colleagues were facing, which included corruption and money laundering.
“I have shared in the past, and I continue to share now that the situation that we are in now has not started with the British folk. For me, it started with the former administration, which included the Governor Richard Tauwhare. Richard Tauwhare needs to come back here or wherever to and answer in the same manner in which the local leaders are being called to respond to whatever charges.
“He should be here because much of what went on went on either with his approval, or if it was any matter of being set up, he set up for others to do the dirty work. But he was a part of what was going on, and we should not look at justice as being something which is one-sided. Whatever is good for the local leaders must also be good for the leaders of Britain who are part of the administration here,” Browne charged.
Unimpressed by the leadership of the Interim Administration, Bishop Browne said that the church could not sit idly by and watch injustices run amok. He also called on the current leadership to change its style of governance from an autocratic one to one of plurality, since the people have a part to play in deciding how they should be governed.
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“The Church is the conscience of the society; the church has to speak out against the dictatorship, and that kind of style. The church has to also speak out against things that would happen that are not in-keeping with the law. It is the church’s responsibility to speak out against injustice. But for me, we do not speak on hearsay.
“I have said that the current administration which is led by the governor, in many instances, they do what they feel like doing. They don’t consult, and much of what is happening, as far as I am concerned, is not for the benefit and the betterment of the Turks and Caicos Islands. As far as I am concerned, when I looked at certain things being done, it seems to be done with the intention of sinking the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Browne argued.
Bishop Browne pointed out that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands would come away with a different point of view of the Interim Administration, if, when considering to implement certain measures, they would garner the input of the people, coupled with their ideas, to arrive at a bipartisan decision, instead of arbitrarily implementing their plans.
“What can give persons a different perspective is, if they would sit more frequently and discuss in an open way, and not come with preconceived ideas, because the Turks and Caicos Islands economy is not the economy of Britain, and you cannot run it in the same way.
“The whole matter of increasing taxes; you may have to increase taxes, but you must do it wisely and sensibly. And when you look at it, there has been an exodus outside of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and so, things have changed in many ways. Things are getting worst; persons are being laid off; and taxes are increasing in many instances. And so, where you would have had more people involved – for example, national health – now there is less. It was not sufficient when you had more people, what about now?” Browne asserted.
He added: The governor and his team, who seemed to have come having all the answers; I think they need to work with people; here their concerns and be objective. But they have come with a subjective view. They already know what they are going to do, and it is sad. They have issues (in the UK) the same as we have here; they can’t fix them, but somehow, they have this bright idea that they can fix the things in the Turks and Caicos.
By Vivian Tyson- SUN Senior Editor
Former Deputy Premier Lillian Boyce says British direct rule was not in the best interest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, since they were not looking out for the benefit of the people of this country, but for themselves.
Therefore, she urged the young people to make themselves available for service to their country, so that the British would never again take what was rightfully theirs.
“Every one of our young people who have the ambition to enter politics, you should go forth and do it. Go and serve your country. Make that important contribution, so that they (British) cannot keep on bringing in these old, lazy, good for nothing, baldheaded, grey haired British People, who are sleeping on the job. You, Young people, who we are educated, take your position in our country because we certainly don’t need them to push papers,” Boyce said during a Progressive National Party rally on Friday night, March 30, at the PNP headquarters along Airport Road in Providenciales.
She said that the PNP trumped the Interim Administration on education at all levels, the management of the economy and human rights as a whole, and as such, there was no comparison between the two administrations.
“When we were the government, the PNP, and of course the PDM- because I prefer to have an elected government any day than this British colonial party – we cared about education. Now, hundreds of children are on the streets not being educated. Whether they are our nationality or whether they are our Caribbean brothers and sisters, it is important for our children, any children living our country, to be educated. Under an elected government, you know that we would educate our children from early childhood education to tertiary level. We have thousands of educated people today because of the education policy that we, as a government, had,” Boyce said.
On the matter of investment, Boyce said that the former PNP administration, through its policies, modernized the Turks and Caicos. She said however, that the British Government was planning to decimate all that was achieved.
“I sometimes wonder what would really happen if the international media would just take for a moment and find out what is happening in the Turks and Caicos. Many of you who had a piece of land to build your dream home or just to build a home, today you can’t even afford it. They have raised the price above affordability. Those of you whose children have finished college, the community college or high school, at least three years ago are here unemployed,” she said.
Boyce also lamented the massive cut in the civil service, which she said was designed to leave many on the street jobless in a shrinking economy.
She charged that a number of locals who had been axed from the civil service were frustrated out of their jobs by the Interim Administration, who wanted to replace them with UK workers.
“We have Dr. Ewing here, and Sonia Williams, who used to be my undersecretary in Education (Ministry); we have many other Turks and Caicos Islanders, who spent their last day in the civil service today (Friday, March 30), simply because the Brits want to push them out to bring in their lazy, good for nothing people, to go up on Grace Bay Beach to cool out; to live in big time hotels and cool out on our beach.
“Of course we have some Turks and Caicos Islanders, who love to lick, lick, lick (sell-out their own at any cost), but I am happy that people like Dr. Ewing and Sonia Williams told them to ‘go to hell’; ‘give me my package’ or ‘I resign’; ‘I will definitely go and serve my country’, ” Boyce noted.
Boyce said that she was happy that the rally attracted not only PNP supporters but also PDM sympathizers. Among the members of the audience was the PDM’s Secretary General Ewonka Selver.
CAPTION: Lillian Boyce delivers her speak at the PNP Rally
published in SUNTCI
Chief executive officer of the interim administration, Patrick Boyle, took to the airwaves on the Expressions radio show last week to express his frustration with the criticism being leveled at the interim government.
Boyle complained that both political parties have failed to provide “policy agendas” that lay out their plans for moving the county forward.
|published in TCI News|
I AM ME,I AM FREE
Democracy is in danger in Turks and Caicos Islands and I am a victim of this.
In July 2008 The Governor of Turks and Caicos – representing the UK Government – appointed a Commission to conduct an Inquiry into “possible corruption or other dishonesty” in Government. Hearings were held – presided over by His Lordship, Mr. Justice Sir Robin Auld – in January of 2009, concluding in February of the same year. In August 2009, His Excellency, then the Governor of the Turks and Caicos islands, Gordon Wetherell brought into force an Order in Council suspending portions of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution. Under this move Ministerial Government, and the House of Assembly – which is the only means of representing the people – was dissolved and all representative seats were vacated, with the promise of elections in 24 months. Amongst the astounding changes was that the basic right in the European Declaration of Human Rights to a Trial by Jury was also suspended, and confirmed recently by law. The sole political power in the Turks and Caicos Islands is now the Governor, appointed by the British government. He has appointed an Advisory Council and a Consultative Forum. However, as the appointment documents make clear, the Governor has no obligation to follow or regard their recommendations. This undemocratic move, which is totally inconsistent with Article I of the United Nation’s Charter on the Right to Self-Determination, is still the case in Turks and Caicos, and still, now nearly 2 and a half years later.
And still there is no date for elections.
My involvement in the Turks and Caicos dates from early 2005. In June of that year we purchased a private island called Dellis Cay, to develop a USD$1 billion project with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and villas with world famous architects – including Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban, Piero Lissoni and Carl Ettenspenger. The development proceeded in an unremarkable fashion, with usual succession of planning permits, from the start construction date of June 2008 to October 2009. A mixture of funds from my own resources, sales of residential units and loans from the Trinidad & Tobago Unit Trust Corporation funded the development.
In June of 2008, we bought a second island, Joe Grant Cay, from the Crown (The government of Turks and Caicos), presented the deal structure to the British Governor of Turks and Caicos – who was then His Excellency Richard Tauwhare – with the development agreement signed in November of 2008 by the new Governor, His Excellency Gordon Wetherell, with the objective of developing a resort with Bulgari Hotel and Villas.
In January 2009, in the course of hearings by the Commission of Inquiry, the Premier of Turks and Caicos disclosed political contributions by several businessperson and companies toward his party’s elections, two years before, in 2007. He disclosed a political contribution made by our company as well; which is normal all over the world, including in Britain.
Neither the Inquiry, nor the Judge, nor the Governor made any request of me, or my representatives to provide answers about these contributions. Yet, our actions were remarked upon adversely in the Commission’s report.
In June 2009, we asked the High Court of Turks and Caicos Islands to undertake a Judicial Review of the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry, with the result that the Supreme Court called for the removal of any and all adverse references to my or our companies. In his ruling the Chief Justice agreed with us, that there was a “Clear and almost total failure by the Commission to follow its own procedures”. His Lordship stated further that I had not been given a fair hearing, and said that if any adverse statements were included in the Final Report, they should not be published.
It must be understood that even though this court is in Turks and Caicos, it is an English court, applying English law and procedures. Yet, four (4) weeks later, in July of 2009, the Final Report was published, with text unredacted, so that the adverse statements made about me and my companies, which were judged to have been unfair and unlawful, were made public; even after the Chief Justice ruled they should not be published.
Despite my attempts to cooperate and assist the lending bank for our projects to understand the issues relating to the Commission of Inquiry and their unlawful published reports, it was no longer possible to avoid the entrance into Receivership of the Dellis Cay project in favour of the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation in October 2009.
This failure of the Commission to follow the law has therefore done me harm because I provided personal guarantee to the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation.
Since that time – January 2010 – the bank has obtained a worldwide freezing order against me. The Attorney General of Turks and Caicos issued a Writ and Statement of Claim regarding Joe Grant Cay in July 2010.
I have appealed both actions.
After three (3) years, in October 2011, I was finally able to explain my side of the allegations of bribery for the political contributions above. In the meantime, my assets in Dellis Cay and the assets of buyers in that development have been destroyed; even though I have never bribed anyone in Turks and Caicos, or anywhere else.
I have been made a victim of the politics of Turks and Caicos. In English law, the saying is that “justice must not only be done, but it must be…seen to be done”. I speak now to warn that this is not the case in Turks and Caicos and to say that human rights, and property rights, democracy and justice are under threat in Turks and Caicos