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President's Annual Reports

Report for 2005

As we enter this New Year, 2006, I wanted to give a very brief review of the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences (DAAS) activities during its short existence from its incorporation in the US in May, 2002 to the present and to look at the future of the organization.

Board of Directors

Chair

Dr Clayton Shillingford

Vice Chair

Dr Dorothy Wills

Treasurer

Dr Leroy Mitchell

IT Specialist

Frazer Jones

Secretary

Shirley Allan

Assistant Secretary

Dr Maureen Paul

Director

Dr Peter St Jean

Director

Julius Sampson

Director

Vincent John

Executive Committee

President

Dr Clayton Shillingford

Vice President/Legal Advisor

Gabriel Christian

Secretary

Petronella Savarin-John

Assistant Secretary

Basicillia Toussaint

Public Relations Officer

(Vacant)

Treasurer

Dr Thomson Fontaine

Assistant Treasurer

Julius Corbett

Research & Development Officer

Dr Clemon George

Webmaster/Committees Coordinator

Raglan Riviere

Dominica Chapter Chair

(Vacant)

Executive, Local Chapter (Pending elections for new Chapter)

Chair

Mona George Dill (resigned)

Vice Chair

Dr Irvin Pascal

Secretary

Francis Richards

Treasurer

Alexander Stephenson

Chair of Working Committees

Agriculture & Environment

Dr Clayton Shillingford

Education & Youth

(Vacant) Athenia Benjamin resigned

Tourism & Hospitality

Rosamund Adrien

Health Assistance

Marvlyn Birmingham

Finance

Dr Thomson Fontaine

Membership

Bernard Hurtault

Business & Economic Development

Dr Maureen Paul

Arts and Culture

Delmance Rasmo Moses

Research &Development

Dr Peter St Jean

Dominica-Diaspora Relations

Franklyn W. Watty

Emergency Relief

Gabriel Christian

News & Information (PRO)

(Vacant)

Special Project Coordinator

Dominican Associations Worldwide

Petronella Savarin-John

The key projects for 2005 are to be reported by chairpersons of the various committees. At time of writing, Committee Reports were received from Research & Development, Emergency Relief and Agriculture & Environment. Work continues on the existing website that features the Dominica Botanic Gardens. We are awaiting feed back from the Government on the Draft Diaspora Policy paper which was presented to the Prime Minister in October, 2004.

Plans to hold a DAAS management meeting as in Buffalo the previous year did not materalise.

The key projects for 2004/2005 were initiation of the agricultural recovery program, renewed membership drive, crime prevention research, youth soccer tournament and camp, DAAS raffle, We have lost momentum with some of the projects initiated in 2004, e.g. Blows Agro-Products, Dominica Medical Professionals, Save our Sons (SOS) and substance abuse prevention, guest lecture series, the Diaspora Policy Document,

We have established bank accounts in the US and Dominica and are registered as a non-profit, charitable organization in the US and under the Companies Act in Dominica as DAAS Inc. Our plans to register similarly in Canada and possibly in the UK have not taken place. Attempts to raise funds through grants have not been successful to date. We are hoping that this year we will be more assertive in seeking grant funding through the Grants Subcommittee under Finance. The DAAS raffle was disappointing and did not meet its stated objectives. We were very fortunate, however, to receive a charitable donation of five properties in Dominica from Willard De Filipps consequent on the death of his brother, Dr Robert A. De Filipps, a scientific colleague and the owner of the properties.

We continue to work with affiliated Dominican associations, and other institutions . Examples are attendance and participation at the Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association (CDOA), Dominica UK Association (DUKA), Dominica Oversea Nationals Association (DONA), National Association of Youth in Agriculture (NAYA), ongoing collaboration with Archbold Tropical Research & Education Institute (ATREI), Oceanographic Institute of Dominica (OID), and Clean and Sober Humans (CASH).

A memorandum of Understanding was signed with Special Projects Assistance Team (SPAT), a local Development Agency, to facilitate partnership in agriculture, arts, sciences, and sustainable technology. An MOU has also been submitted to the Dominica State College (DSC) to assist in defining the relationship between DAAS and the DSC but has not yet been signed.

There was a draft plan before the leadership of DAAS to establish a Community Center and Headquarters most likely in Washington. The intention here is to establish an international base for DAAS to serve as a physical headquarters, an educational center, and in part a museum of Dominican Diaspora efforts (cultural, social and economic).

Electronic elections were conducted in 2005. According to the DAAS By-laws, the BOD is elected for 3 years and approximately 1/3 of the directors should be elected each year. Term of the Executive is also 3 years and replacement occurs at the Annual General Meeting. An officer may only be elected twice, that is, to serve 9 years in the same office. I would like to encourage all members to read our By-laws to have a clearer understanding of the mission and purpose of DAAS, membership rules, the authority and composition of the BOD, Executive Committee, financial administration and the working committees.

TRAVEL

January 13 to January 20, London

January 23 to February 13, Dominica

        Visited with Greg Rushford, journalist who was preparing to write an article on WTO and the banana trade issues. Joined in interview of management of DBP Co.(Dominica Banana Producers)

        Meeting with Eric Hypolite, Head of Forestry Division. Gave copies of botanical literature from Smithsonian Institution.

        Discussed status of Diaspora Policy paper with Dr Carl Mitchell, Swinburne Lestrade and Eisenhower Douglas, Ministry of Finance

        Held Soccer planning meetings

March 25 to April 22, Washington/Dominica

        Meetings in Washington with Gabriel Christian and Dr Eddie Edmunds. Preparation of draft proposal for resuscitation of the Windwards Banana Industry

        Soccer planning meetings in Dominica. Police for security, Ministry of Sports, Dominica Football Assoc, Newtown Juvenile Football Academy etc

        Meetings with P.M and other political leaders. Discussed DAAS affairs and future collaborative plans with OID for marine biology teaching and commercial programs

        Worked with Felix Wilson , Dominica Employers Federation to sponsor political campaign debate among the three parties

        Media Hand over ceremony of OID US$1.2 million of medical supplies consequent on fire destruction of PMH medical Stores.

June 8 to June 21, Dominica

June 22 to June 27, London

        UK soccer training sessions

        DUKA fund raising dance

July 13 to August 24, Dominica

September 13 to 21, London

October 1 to October 4, Toronto, Boston

October 18 to November 20. Dominica

SOCCER TOURNAMENT & CAMP

DAAS was the main sponsor of the 1st International Soccer Tournament and Educational Camp on Dominica, July 19 to 26 .Sponsorship was wide among DAAS members, individuals, businesses and institutions in the UK, Canada, US and Dominica. The Dominican Government played a key part in supporting the welcome party, and fee waiver for site visits and departure taxes. The press exposure was extensive on the internet, newspapers, radio and TV.

As part of the camp and education the participants were shown some of the major cultural and historical sites as well as cultural performance of music and dance. These teams were organized by collaboration with the Dominica United kingdom Association ( DUKA), the Acclaim Youth Development Group of Canada, , Newtown Juvenile Football Academy, Dominica Football Association

VISITORS to DAAS WEBSITE

Below are cumulative statistics for DAAS as of today with accompanying graph. 

Statistics commenced on July 29, 2002, that is 41 months ago.  With a total of 61,114 visitors (page views), that works out at 1490 visits per month approximately or 17,880 per year. 

We receive visitors from direct hits by members or through referrals from other site links and search engines.  Because of the serious nature of our website, visits are not as impressive as other fun-loving sites.  But, they are respectable.

DIASPORA POLICY DOCUMENT

On the request of Prime Minister Skerrit, a Diaspora Policy Document was submitted to Prime Minister Skerrit on October 14, 2004. The entire document can be viewed on the DAAS website and includes key issues such as returnees, overseas representation, investment, social and economic development, etc

Apart from some brief review comments by the Customs Dept, National Development Corp (NDC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 14 months later there has been no official response from our Government.

COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES

Let me wish our members every success for 2006 and hope that we will be better able to meet the challenges for DAAS in this New Year. Much will depend on the participation of members, the commitment of Committee Chairs, success of fund raising efforts, and the identification of practical projects.

Dr Clayton A. Shillingford

President, DAAS

January 26, 2006