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Fmr CFD chief Bertrand Lettsome hailed as visionary leader- CFD 2011 Report

The Conservation and Fisheries Department, in its annual report to the House of Assembly, hailed former Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Mr Bertrand ‘Washasha X’ Lettsome as a leader who brought vision, growth and direction to the Conservation and Fisheries Department (CFD). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Former Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Mr Bertrand ‘Washasha X’ Lettsome has been hailed as a leader who brought vision, growth and direction to the Conservation and Fisheries Department (CFD) over the many years and that the CFD was sadden to see him go into retirement.

Mr Lettsome, the son of the late Legislator Terrence B. Lettsome, retired in September 2011 and made a run for political office at the November 7, 2011 elections as an independent At Large candidate

In the Conservation and Fisheries 2009-2011 Annual Report submitted to the House of Assembly on October 9, 2012, Acting Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Kelvin Penn dedicated almost an entire page to pay tribute to Mr Lettsome, who he said had defended his post as Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer, remarkably well over the 18 years of environmental stewardship to the Virgin islands natural and human resources, "and we can say indeed, that of the Caribbean too".

The Acting CFD chief said Mr Lettsome, along with the staff, over the years really raised the environmental awareness of the people and importantly, decision makers at all levels, about trying to protect and conserve mangroves, seagrass, beaches, coral reefs, fish and other marine life for generations to come. 

"Under Mr Lettsome tenure, two foundational statues for the better running of the Department were enacted- The Fisheries Act of 1997, and its enabling arms, the Fisheries Regulations of 2003. Both pieces of legislation provided the Department with modern concepts and principles to govern fisheries and to some extent, development of the coastal zone in the Territory."

It was also stated in the report that close to his time of retirement, Mr. Lettsome worked tirelessly on a draft comprehensive environment bill which aims to address more terrestrial environmental issues, including the 'grouping' of various ad hoc environmental legislations, and additionally, it introduces the standardisation of environmental standards for the Territory, akin to the US Environmental Protection Agency standards in the United States. The bill is in draft form and is currently in review.

"Mr. Lettsome was and is a leader who brought vision, growth and direction to the Conservation and Fisheries Department over the many years. It is sad to see him go into retirement, and the staff and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I must say though, that I feel an injustice by being constraint to dedicate only these few lines about him for his many years of service."

Mr Penn said himself and Mr Lettsome are alma mater of Hamshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts of the United States and as such, both share a philosophy of 'freedom' in leadership style and 'sponge' depository mentality in the quest for knowledge. He also said he hopes to continue in Mr Lettsome's footsteps on certain ways, but feels, and has expressed to both Minister, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, and new Permanent Secretary, Mr Ronald Berkeley-Smith, that the Department needs to be in a production driven mode at this time.

Mr. Penn concluded his report by stating that Mr Lettsome's mantra, "as the environment goes, so goes the BVI", continues.

Meanwhile, Mr Lettsome was earlier this year contracted by Government as a consultant in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour to provide advice to Hon. Pickering on several issues including the East End/Fat Hog's Bay Harbour Development Project and the expansion of the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport runway at Beef Island.

17 Responses to “Fmr CFD chief Bertrand Lettsome hailed as visionary leader- CFD 2011 Report”

  • pop (17/10/2012, 08:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well deserved
  • critic (17/10/2012, 08:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    kedric only give him that job at the airport to keep him quiet and to prevent him from running against him in 2015...he's so blind that he cant even see that
    • bigger picture (17/10/2012, 10:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Bert stood by his convictions, knowing the consequences when he became part of the documentary trying to preserve Beef Island/Hans Creek. (enforced vacation?) Maybe its better to have someone watching over the proceedings in EE and BI runway from the inside, but unfortunately, I believe that his hiring (for good money) was a way to get him off the playing field. Let's hope he continues defending his convictions because, as we know "as the environment goes, so goes the BVI".
    • Polo (17/10/2012, 11:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why is it whenever someone say something positive about our people that is something uplifting someone has to cry them down? come on critic
      • Mindful (17/10/2012, 13:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Why is it whenever someone say something positive about BVIslanders it have to be accepted without any use of brain faculties whatsoever? Are we happy to be treated like 4 yr-old children: 'well done little guy? you picked up the ball!'. No, we should be better than that, we should expect better than that, and that means credit should come where it is due and only there. Criticism is part of life, so let's not go around treating each other with kid gloves and building a false sense of the world around us. That's one reason we still so damn backward - we can't handle critical thought!
        Washasha X did some great stuff for the BVI environment, he has been a real hero in some realms. But in others there are questions. While Mr Penn saying how great this BVIslander was for the islands, let the critics air their concerns, too. What's wrong with that?
  • samuel (17/10/2012, 09:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    WashasaX is an inspiration, a believer in the environment and a his opinions, work and contribution, especially on environmental issues must be respected. He knows what he's about. A great man. Kelvin, it sounds to me like you wrote the report straight from your heart - that makes you a bigger man. Keep up the good work that you do
  • Virgin Son (17/10/2012, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We missed Mr. Lettsome as the NDP now trying to stifle accurate information getting to we the people about what they are doing to the environment!
  • rasta (17/10/2012, 12:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this man is a sell-out
  • Shara Parlin (17/10/2012, 16:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    In addition to all the well intentioned ideas of the former Chief CFO we miss him from the department which needs to be more active directly to influencing the state of the environment…
    • bigger picture (18/10/2012, 11:23) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      I agree that the DCF needs to be a better watch dog. problem is they are dependent financially on the bigger ministers who tend to politicize issues and not let Conservation and Fisheries act independently because of a conflict of interest between NDP and environment. Bert knows that the extended runway will cut off trellis water patterns and distroy sea grass, the favorite food for turtles. He also knows that bigger and louder planes will disrupt migratory patterns of birds and wildlife. He also knows that the bigger the airport, the more need for expanded terminal AND a need for a hotel for those passengers missing flights. NDP are still going to get their way no matter how much they talk out of both sides of their mouth. Come on Bert. Hold firm!!
  • CNN (17/10/2012, 19:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Glad to see our own being big up....
  • rat tail (17/10/2012, 22:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If it's true that every community needs a hero, then Bertrand is ours
  • facts man (17/10/2012, 23:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am not surprised by this decision to hail to the chief..that department can never be the same without him!
  • One Who Has Been There (18/10/2012, 04:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Knowing Mr. Lettsome he would not even come on here and comment about the good the bad nor the indifferent. That is just not his style. He is a man of ACTION. He doesn't even read the. He just don't have that kind of time. It is about time that we see the good in our own. Why don't we accept the fact that maybe just maybe Dr. Pickering knows that if it is one man he can count on and rely on Environmentally speaking it is none other than Mr. Lettsome. He would never buckle if his life depended on it. He would quicker give up the job than BUCKLE or BEND and Dr. Pickering knows that without a doubt. Mr. Lettsome has time and time again STOOD UP SINGLEHANDEDLY ALONE AND BY HIMSELF when everyone was scared to defend he was not. He has repeatedly represented us so well at countless OECS conferences and meetings throughout the Caribbean, South America, Cuba and as far away as England. His record is so impeccable that now since he has retired countless other Caribbean islands our neighbours and even couple of his EUROPEAN counterparts have been making him attractive offers and he has turned them ALL down so that he could stay HERE and defend this little island for our UNGRATEFUL BACKSIDES and we still continue to hammer away at him. And to you "Mr. So-called RASTA" where were you when he singlehandedly wrote the Petition and got it signed by hundreds of us and was able to command a meeting with our then Chief Minister The Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal along with a handful of his Rasta Counterparts to eradicate the RASTA LAW which eventually allows for your RASTA family, friend and peers to easily travel to our beautiful Virgin Islands? Where were you? Were you a part of the delegation and in on then meeeting if so SHAME on you? Or were you one of the RASTAS in name only and had nothing to do with this privilege that is enjoyed by so many today? Then hush, Mr. Lettsome is not only a DOER but a SHAKER. Things that he told us to do 15+ years ago we are now beginning to do and put in place. So Hush. I am yet to see another VISIONARY that is so many light years ahead of ALL OF US including me. When we are sleeping he is up strategizing this country's next 100+ years. Talk to Long Look Youths who have been sitting on the Stickett for how many years now and who are finally beginning to feel like a part of the ole Long Look Community again. Regarding his image, he is so much more than the physical a spiritual man at heart, a man who doesn't even have time to look in the mirror 'cause there is so much work to be done. Yes, the harvest is GREAT but the workers are FEW. Yes, the next time you decide to TALK see how full Mr. Lettsome's glass is not half-empty. The next time you decide to talk - SING INSTEAD!!!!!!!
  • To One.... (18/10/2012, 12:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some interesting perspectives you have doled out - alas some misinformation is sprinkled in there as well. Messr. Lettsome WAS NOT the singular person whom you are so crediting with getting the dicriminatory "Rasta Law" off the "books" - I know cause I was there in da mix. So its and insult to those others whom fought and organised hard to get this repelled! Fact not Fiction!
  • One Who Has Been There (20/10/2012, 04:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Please reread and comprehend the written facts "he went along with a SMALL DELEGATION to the Chief Ministers Office to eradicate the RASTA LAW'. There was also a CIVILIZATION MARCH which should have been mentioned previously (for that I apologize) maybe you were a part of that MARCH sorry for its omission. I was not solely mentioning him for the removal law. I am only giving credit for a SMALL COMMUNITY that decided TO stand up WITH HIM for itself. If you ever watch the video it's been documented (you can't video those of you who decided not to show up and many of you so-called RASTAS decided not to show up for whatever reason rather to nitpick on the sidelines like you are doing know) you will see how many of you were there and how many of you chose not to be there why haven't you mention that. If you were there KUDOS to you!! If not then why?? Why in your comments regarding ALL that Messr. Lettsome has done you pick on that one thing? Did you help him fight for Beef Island or again you were one on the sidelines just complaining?? Why don't you have anything POSITIVE to say at all?? Let's remember and focus on Messr. Lettsome's GOOD and POSITIVITY because it surely outweighs the Negativity. Don't be so quick and ready to jump to only negative conclusions as usual. Respect your ow!!. He is a Son of the Soil!! He is also ONLY HUMAN!!

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