The existence of family ties between Caribbean Islands is nothing new. In fact, islanders have always been integrating.
Of note, however, are some key, high-profile relationships between individuals from two countries which are 1123 miles apart – Jamaica in the north and St. Vincent & the Grenadines in the south.
Here are five (5) key relationships of public figures:
1. Ralph Gonsalves and Sonia Hokke:
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Lawyer and Political Activist, now Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines met Sonia Hokke, now a professor of Psychology, while both of them were studying at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica.
They both got married on March 20, 1971 and made two children together, according to Parbook.com.
In a 2006 interview with Searchlight Newspaper, Gonsalves stated:
“My first wife Sonia, she’s a professor at the moment. That’s the mother of Camillo and Adam. We were students together at university, she actually came here to St.Vincent and she worked at St. Martins Secondary School. She left and went to do her PhD and we drifted apart”.
Professor Sonia Hokke is the mother of current Finance Minister in St. Vincent, Camillo Gonsalves who is Ralph Gonsalves’ son.
Though divorced, both Dr. Gonsalves and Professor Hokke have established themselves as outstanding Caribbean professionals and have put the Caribbean on the map in several ways.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is now married to Professional Interior Decorator – Eloise Harris-Gonsalves and they have three children together. Eloise, also a UWI graduate is Trinidadian-born, according to Searchlight Newspaper.
2. Mike Ollivierre and Lorna Bennett:
Another high-profile Vincentian-Jamaican relationship was that of Senior Athletics Coach, Vincentian Mike Ollivierre and Jamaican Lawyer and Singer – Lorna Bennett from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.
Both Vincentian Ollivierre and Jamaican Bennett are parents of two children, including renowned reggae artiste – Oje Ken Ollivierre, known as Protoje.
Both Mike and Lorna have made solid contributions to the Caribbean region in Sports and Music and Law.
3. Darron Andrews and Shari-Ann Davis-Andrews:
Shari-Ann Davis-Andrews (Left-center-front) & Darron Andrews (center-right-back)
Internationally Acclaimed Violinist, Darron Andrews – (St. Vincent) studied at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. While there, he met (now Medical Doctor), Shari-Ann Davis and they fell in love.
Both are now happily married and making solid contributions to the Caribbean region in the Arts and Medicine, respectively.
Fun fact: Shari-Ann was born at Andrews Memorial Hospital in Jamaica.
4. Micheal Orey Craigg and Moya Rhoe-Craigg
Youth Pastor Rev. Michael Orey Craigg is a well-respected young figure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Christian community. Pastor Craigg Majored in Theological studies in Jamaica and holds a Bachelors degree.
There, he met Moya Rhoe (now a Medical Doctor) and both fell in love and are now happily married.
Both are making solid contributions to the Caribbean region in Ministry and Medicine, respectively.
5. Douglas Slater and Sherian Taylor-Slater:
Dr. Douglas Wilbert Slater from St. Vincent studied in Cuba where he met Sherian Taylor, a student at the time from Jamaica.
In 1985, Douglas and Sherian got married in a double ceremony with
two other Vincentian students, Andreas Wickham and Yvette Barnwell, according to Searchlight Newspaper. The Slater’s have two children.
Both Doctors have made excellent contributions to public health in the Caribbean.
Dr. Douglas Slater, an elected member of Parliament in St. Vincent (2001 -2010 and Senator 2010 – 2013) served as Minster of Health, Wellness and the Environment in St. Vincent, along with other portfolios. He is currently the Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM on Human and Social Development.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sherian Slater is the former head of obstetrics and gynecology at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
According to Trinity School of Medicine where she is affiliated,
Dr. Slater “continues her service as a practicing physician and as both chief medical officer and acting medical director”.
“A fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Slater has been a leader in the region for decades and serves on Trinity’s faculty as an assistant clinical tutor of students in the medical school’s first three terms” – the school posted on its website.
By: Demion McTair
Secrets of St. Vincent & the Grenadines