REAL NEWS – D. Gisele Isaac, the chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is scoffing with amusement at statements made by a former Labour Party representative about Party members who attended a function at the The UWI-Five Islands campus.
On a recent radio outing, Senator Samantha Marshall declared that past Political Leader Harold Lovell and MP Richard Lewis – in whose Rural West constituency the university sits – should have turned into a pillar of salt for attending the graduation exercise held on Saturday, October 7.
Dr. Jacqui Quinn, during whose tenure as minister of education, the campus was constructed, also came in for bitter criticism from one of Marshall’s colleagues.
But had it not been for the UPP, The UWI would not have been able to call the Five Islands campus home, says Isaac, who lectured in the Undergraduate Department for 14 years, from 2002 to 2019.
Under the Baldwin Spencer Administration, the facility had been purpose-built as a modern secondary school – on the recommendation of the The University of the West Indies, itself – to alleviate overcrowding at the Princess Margaret and Ottos Comprehensive Schools, in particular.
However, after assuming office, the Browne Administration decided to appropriate the facility for the purpose of locating the university’s fourth landed campus.
Isaac recounts that, as the executive secretary at the Board of Education, she was involved during the planning stages for the construction of the Five Islands school, working along with Dr. Quinn.
Refuting Marshall’s accusation that she “never wanted a university,” Isaac notes that she once served on a sub-committee of the hoped- for University of Antigua Working Committee.
The UPP chairman concludes that some Labour Party members are seeking relevance, but she does not have time to waste on them.
In fact, she says, she pities Marshall who has enough internal troubles of her own.
She says Marshall is trying to take her mind off the fact that she was booted out as the St. Mary’s South candidate and replaced by a UPP turncoat.
Therefore, she could be disparaging the Party to make herself feel better.
The UPP has said, repeatedly, that it has no issue with The UWI expansion into Antigua and Barbuda. Rather, its issue was the location.
The Party felt that the former US Naval Base in Coolidge would have been a better choice.
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