December 13, 2007
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency Dr. Ernst Martens, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Martens and Mr. Walter H. Mertins, paid a courtesy call on Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry at his Bath Plain Office on Wednesday December 12, 2007, during his first visit to Nevis.
Premier Parry welcomed the Ambassador and expressed gratitude on behalf of the people of Nevis to the German government, for its invaluable assistance to Nevis through the Basic Education Trust Fund. The Fund is administered on Nevis by the Premier’s wife Mrs. Myrthlyn Parry.
He said Germany together with the Europeans had established a long and successful relationship with Nevis and the Federation and looked to continued good relations and financial aid in the future.
Premier Parry described the visit as an auspicious occasion which in his view was symbolic.
“This is the Bath Hotel, the first hotel in the Caribbean where we are. This hotel was built in 1778, close to some warm springs and that is why it was a hotel in the first place. People from England used to come here to the waters in the late 18th century and 19th century. So I think it is a very auspicious that we are in this historical place and I hope this is a historic occasion for us and this will be the beginning of a very good relationship,” he said.
Ambassador Dr. Martens who is based in Trinidad, in response said he was pleased to be in Nevis, having earlier presented his credentials to the Federation’s Governor General Sir Cuthbert Sebastien.
It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be here for the first time. I just came recently to present my credentials to the Federation but I could not leave without visiting the lovely island of Nevis.
During his visit he visited the Gingerland Health Centre and the Ivor Walters Primary School which had both benefited from funds from the German government.
“I was more than pleased today to see these two projects, to see the wonderful work that has been done there. I am talking about the primary school (Ivor Walters Primary) where the little bit of money we have been able to provide was put to a perfect use. You can see from the outcome how successful all this was. I was particularly pleased to see the happy faces of all the pupils to see the dedicated work that the teachers are performing there.
“Another small project [was] at the Gingerland Health Centre where we have been able to provide a little bit as well to make the work of this very important Health Centre a little bit easier. Again it was more than pleasing to see what good use this help that we have provided has been put and thanks again to the efforts of your wife who has been helping us to find these projects and I did indicate to her that in case she should have other similarly good ideas we would be more than willing to help,” he said.
Under the Fund, the Gingerland Health Center received a grant aid package of EC$24,607.91. The funds were used to upgrade and replace furniture and equipment in order to promote efficiency at the Health Centre and the quality of health services provided.
In the other project, the Ivor Walters Primary School received a grant of $30,678.38 to further upgrade its premises. Renovation work included the construction of a concrete stage which replaced the rotting wooden stage and five classrooms and the Science Lab were tiled.
That project was geared toward a safer and enhanced teaching and learning environment; the improvement of the school’s infrastructure; and to boost morale of teachers, students, parents and the entire community.