5 July 2011
Veteran Vincentian social activist and journalist, Renwick Rose, has been honoured by his colleagues in the civil society movement in the Caribbean. Rose was honoured at a special ceremony during activities held to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Caribbean (NGO) Policy Development Centre at the Pegasus Hotel in Guyana last week. As Coordinator of WINFA, the Windward Islands Farmers Association, Renwick has played a key role in efforts to defend the interests of small banana farmers, including the almost total conversion of banana production to Fairtrade in the islands. On behalf of WINFA, he has also driven forward efforts, in partnership with COLSIBA, the Regional Coordination of Agro Industrial Unions, to improve the livelihoods of all workers and farmers involved in the international banana trade including the establishment in 2009 of the World Banana Forum.
The CPDC is the umbrella organisation linking a wide range of Caribbean civil society groupings stretching from Suriname in the south right up to Cuba in the north; involving women, youth, labour, farmers and development nongovernmental
Mr. Rose, who represents the Windward Islands Farmers’ Association (WINFA), at the CPDC level, was commended for his more than 40 years of social and political activism and for his meritorious contribution to the CPDC in particular and Caribbean civil society in general. WINFA is a founding member of the CPDC and Rose is its longest-serving member of the Board of Directors. The citation of commendation was read by the CPDC’s first Executive Coordinator Ms. Joan French of Jamaica and supported by its current CEO, Ms. Cecilia Babb and another former Coordinator, The Hon. Christopher Sinckler, who is now Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs in the government of Barbados.
The association of Renwick Rose with civil society activism began in the midsixties in the then fledgling National Youth Council and has continued spanning a broad area of interests. Over the period he has been involved with political activism, the labour and farmers’ movements, human rights and consumers’ organisations, the promotion of solidarity with the people of Cuba, constitutional reform and mass movements in defense of democracy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. His association with the CPDC dates back to its formation in 1991 and he has been one of the foremost champions of the regional civil society
At the conclusion of the CPDC’s 2011 General Assembly, Mr. Rose was reelected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the organisation.