Amy joins fight to save local beach shack?
Written By: Guest Writer
Rehab singer Amy Winehouse with beach bar owner Majorie Lambert who she affectionately calls “aunty”.
By Jason Sifflet
“We’ve got to save this beach.” Amy Winehouse’s love affair with St Lucia is getting protective.
On Friday at Cas en Bas beach, the British rock star was happily signing autographs and encouraging guests at Majorie’s Beach Shack to sign petitions against developers who want to the government to take Majorie Lambert’s 5,000 square foot Crown land lease away from her and give it to the St Lucia Golf and Country Club.
“People can’t let this happen,” she said to the STAR on Friday afternoon. “This place is heaven and there ain’t no reason to take it from Majorie.”
Amy’s appeal might be too little too late, however.
Although Lambert said that planning minister Richard Frederick had promised her that ‘as long as I am in Cabinet. Nobody can move you from here,’ Lambert has received notice from the Crown Lands Commissioner that her cause may already be lost.
The cover letter of Lambert’s petition books—there are now 20 of them signed and annotated in St Lucia alone—is a copy of the letter from the Crown Lands Commissioner Peter Felix.
He informed Lambert that “Cabinet conclusion No. 1062 of 2008 has directed that upon expiration of your existing lease of Block and Parcel 1457B368 situated at Cas en Bas, Gros Islet will not be renewed.”
Frederick reportedly told Lambert that he was not in Cabinet when this decision was taken. Other ministers of government have yet to answer for their promises to support the small business woman who sold the first bottle of water and built the first toilet at Cas en Bas. Lambert told the STAR yesterday that her beach shack was visited by the Prime Minister Stephenson King as well as district representative Leonard ‘Spider’ Montoute among other ministers, not very long ago. Guy Joseph and Allen Chastanet were also reportedly there, though they preferred not to be seen entering the beach shack, given their support for the St Lucia Golf and Country Club’s expansion into the land that Lambert leases.
“They came here, they bought drinks for everybody in the place and they spent a long time. I thought that things were going my way.”
But political promises are a double-edged sword and a politician’s smile is often no better than a kiss before dying, as she recently found out.
The golf club reportedly asked Lambert to name her price and also offered to give her a piece of land further from the beach to restart her business. Lambert refused, saying that she has a right to continue operating from her present location for generations, because she was the first person to prove Cas en Bas’ commercial potential.
Now, she might be the first casualty of its commercial success. Amy Winehouse, however, has yet to lose hope.
At other places in St Lucia, she has been known to be camera shy, but at Majorie’s Beach Shack, she was very friendly, taking pictures and talking to other guests at what is now the most famous little restaurant in St Lucia.
“They can’t do nothing to my aunty,” she said hopefully, sticking a toe into the water of local controversy. Heritage business owners all over the island hope that she is more right than all the ministers of government put together.
For more about Majorie Lambert’s battle to save her beach shack see: http://stluciastar.com/content/archives/4661