The Grenada Revolution Online


Newspapers, Newsletters & News Magazines - Before the Gairy Government Newspaper (Amendment) Act, 1975

An interesting date to observe is that the first printing occurred in St. George's by W. Weyland in 1765 per Horne's Bibliography. Some publications can be found searching in Google Books. One example of a scanned Google document is the Grenada Magazine of 1833.

Multiple colonial newspapers were issued, including those from Grenada, Carriacou and the Grenadines. They include the "Royal Grenada Gazette", the "Gazette Royale de la Grenade", the "Courier de la Grenade", "The New Era", the "Carriacou Observer", the "Grenadines Journal", the "Grenada Observer", Septimus Wells and family "St. George's Chronicle", the "Equilibrium", The "Federalist", William Galwey Donovan's the "Grenada People", the "Federalist and Grenada People". The Government of Grenada has published the official "Grenada Gazette" since its origins in 1862.

Study of old Grenada newspapers taken from holdings in varying institutions - see Old Grenadian Newspapers. Further investigation awaits the intrepid researcher for all of Grenada's early newspapers with a strong beginning with research published in John Angus Martin's A~Z of Grenada Heritage.


Grenada Chronicle and Gazette,
1714-1915
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

Grenada Chronicle, according to Benjamin, was

. . . the oldest newspaper in the Western Hemisphere and second oldest in the English-speaking world."

Augier and Gordon's 'Sources of West Indian History' presented an editorial from Grenada Chronicle, 25 April 1846:

There was no meeting of the House of Assembly on Wednesday last in consequence of a sufficient number of members not attending . . . It would be far preferable and decidedly more hones, in honourable members, if their private business clash with their public duties, to resign their seats than, by retaining them, and not attending regularly, to retard the business of the country.

The Grenada Chronicle and Gazette was edited by George DeFreitas, Dougaldston Estate.


The Federalist and Grenada People, circa 1901-1920
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

In his late teens in Grenada, Theophilus Albert Marryshow worked at the newspaper "The Federalist and Grenada People," under editor William Galwey Donovan. The head by-line of this newspaper came from Donovan's former November 1883 newspaper the "Grenada People" which said "A Naked Freedman is a Nobler Object than a Gorgeous Slave." Recall the shorter and famous saying:

A Naked Freeman Is Nobler Than a Gilded Slave.


The West Indian, 1915-1975
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

T.A. Marryshow, journalist and politician, and the Grenadian lawyer Charles "Jab-Neg" F.P. Renwick founded the "West Indian" newspaper in 1915. The first issue was dated 1 January 1915. The thrust of the news was to focus on current news, education, self-rule and a West Indian federation; an advocate of popular rights.

The paper, edited by Marryshow for twenty years, had this slogan on its masthead:

The West Indies Must Be Westindian

T.A. Marryshow advocated greater independence from Great Britain, self-government and the establishment of a West Indian federation. He died in 1958.

Appearing five-times-weekly, Monday through Friday, the circulation of the "West Indian" was approximately 1000 per issue for, generally, a 6-page paper. During the course of this newspaper, T.A. Marryshow was its owner.

The paper's contents after Marryshow left in 1935 became mundane with slim news material, heavy advertisement and an over-ambitious use of type for headlines. The "West Indian" monitored radio broadcasts for some reports, used cable services and subscribed to Reuters Press Service for many of its stories. It accepted "Letters to the Editor" and often printed them on the front page to fill the space where reporter stories were lacking.

Interestingly, the late Patrick Chookolingo was Editor of the "West Indian" newspaper and played an active role in exposing Eric Gairy in relation to the 1969 'Squandermania' issue. In 1969, Eric Gairy acquired the "West Indian" newspaper, according to one source.

In 1979, Choko was in Trinidad publishing the "National Target." He also wrote for and edited the "BOMB" which took up an anti-Bishop/Coard, anti-guns and anti-Cuban stance from the first days of the coup.

In a news article in a late 1971 issue of 'The Torchlight' this headlined story appeared:

"GOVERNMENT MOVE TO ACQUIRE 'WEST INDIAN' - PURCHASE BID BY LOCAL GROUP FOILED - BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWSUITE THREATENS"

"Government has notified the owner of THE WEST INDIAN newspaper, Mr. J.B. Renwick, in writing of its intention to acquire the building in which the newspaper is housed, as well as the equipment in the building. In short, it is Government's intention to acquire the newspaper (owned privately for 56 years)."

Gairy had lost the bid to a local group - Rawle Charles, Leslie Pierre and Gordon Renwick - thus Government moved forward and acquired it.

With the newspaper in the hands of Gairy, it printed whatever the Gairy government wanted and whatever the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) decided to print.


The Torchlight, 1955 - 1975
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The masthead on The Torchlight reads:

Knowledge Is Power - Savoir C'est Pouvoir

The "Torchlight," located in the edifice where The Federalist was printed, was published by Grenada Publishers Ltd., a local, private company. The paper was founded in 1 October 1955 by L.C.J. [Lewis Colton John] Thomas after he broke with Gairy. Printed Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, "Torchlight" had about 1000 papers in circulation per issue.

The "Torchlight" carried news of local politics and followed the activities of Grenadians. The paper also accepted "Letters to the Editor" and often printed those on the front page.

Elcon Mason, was an editor May, 1971. In 1972, a young Rudolph Ogilvie joined the staff as printer.

The last issue of the "Torchlight" before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act 1975 came into law on 4 July 1975 was the issue of Sunday, 7 July 1975. See the "Torchlight" section, after the Newspaper Amendment Act of 1975, below.


The Grapevine, circa 1963

"The Grapevine" was a paper, like "Star" and "Thunder" and "New Horizon", issued in Grenada by Eric Matthew Gairy. "The Grapevine", without a named publisher, was printed by the Grenada United Printing Co., owned by one man.


Vanguard, 1964-1973
possibly as early as 1957 [before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The "Vanguard" was the weekly newspaper of the Grenada National Party (GNP), It was started in 1964 and circulated 1,500 copies per issue. It was supported by the GNP and private advertising.

The "Vanguard" was edited by lawyer Arnold Michael Cruickshank who ran against Gairy in September 1962 for St. George's South. Cruickshank had campaigned thoroughly for the position door to door in his constituency, running up 1,015 votes to Gairy's 1,269 votes. A similar count occurred in the 25 August 1967 election with Cruickshank pulling in 1,309 votes on the GNP ticket to Gairy GULP 2,196 votes.

This GNP paper was highly critical of Gairy and his government. One time Cruickshank commented, according to an interview in 1971 with Lent, that he likened the Prime Minister [Gairy] to Hitler.

According to Singham, Cruickshank had cut close to Gairy's strength when he -

" . . . campaigned heavily on the 'Go Trinidad' issue, and made liberal use of the slogan that had become very popular throughout the campaign [of 1962] - that every second person in Grenada had relatives in Trinidad, and it was time to join them."

In relation to the the Vanguard newspaper and the 'Go Trinidad' issue, Singham reports on what Gairy said:

"The G.N.P. big shots came and promised you big things, they told you a lot of lies about how Dr. Williams had agreed to let them join him the day after elections and the result was that instead of being in a Unitary State with Trinidad we found ourselves a unit of Carriacou."

The above quote is hilarious vintage Gairy for those of you who are not aware that Herbert Blaize, GNP, representing Carriacou, was the new Chief Minister.

After Cruickshank's close losses to Gairy and battling the Gairy government, he gave up and returned to a full-time law practice. Cruickshank was one of three GNP barristers who worked on the case in 1973 of the release of Bishop and five others from jail. The "Vanguard" closed in late October 1972.


Caribbean Monthly Bulletin, 1966 - 1975
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The Caribbean Monthly Bulletin, published by Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico has consistently carried copy from Grenada. Its primary Grenadian columnist was Alister Hughes who was writing the section on Grenada each month as early as 1973 [until 1994].


The Forum (and Cribou in 1971), 1970 - 1972
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

"Forum, the People's Paper" was a weekly publication which started in June, 1970. The newspaper was closely association with the National Action Front [NAF], a Black consciousness organization.

In 1970, Barrister Maurice Bishop wrote a long paper on the need for a popular newspaper in Grenada. This document, found at the US National Archives, detailed in its many pages, exactly the tasks and costs of such an endeavour. Bishop made the assessment that the "West Indian", "Vanguard" and "Torchlight" newspapers had low circulation and everyone read the "Trinidad Express" anyway. And he determined that Grenada needed a modern printery on its own shores. Bishop wrote:

. . . Backwardness is not simply political, but social. Politics must have a central place in the social movement, for without politics the movement would be nothing. To that the movement that is required in Grenada today is a social movement with a clear political direction. A popular newspaper and an independent modern printery are vital to the building of such a movement.

The "Forum" grew out of the meeting of a group known as the "Forum". Maurice Bishop, who recently returned from England was part of the "Forum" group. Unison Whiteman was President of the publication and Ian Francis was Secretary. The "Forum" newspaper was published at Tryne Alley in the town of Saint George. The "Forum" was active June, July, November (during the Nurses Strike) 1970 with some monthly omissions. It featured a weekly series on Marxism. One issue declared:

". . . the strongest and most vital force in the struggle to better the life of man has come, not from Christian institutions, but from the followers of Karl Marx."

By the first months of 1971, FORUM as a newspaper was unavailable. Members were accusing one of its members for its fall. It is surmised there followed, by younger members of Forum, one or two issues of a newspaper called "CRIBOU" published by members of the group Cribou. Cribou Publishers Limited was registered under the Companies Ordinance Act during October 1971.


The J.E.W.E.L., 1972 - 1973
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The "Jewel" newspaper was edited by Teddy Victor who was publications secretary from the beginning until October 1973. Another early worker on the paper was Sebastian 'Sambas' Thomas.

'The Jewel'—in its first issue on 14 April 1972—carried an attack on Gairy's plans for independence. The newsletter was stated to 'be the voice of the co-operative movement soon to be launched in St. David's.' The paper contained an attack by Unison Whiteman on Gairy's plan for independence for Grenada as

" . . . another smoke screen, another diversion, another side stepping of our real problems --- national unity, upgrading essential services were essential pre-requisites for independence."

On the other hand, according to Sandford from March 1972 Jewel newspapers and meeting minutes:

"Even in its new, more political form, the JEWEL was neither exactly revolutionary nor exactly socialist. It quoted Marx on the ideal communist society but it began and ended its meetings with prayer. Most members, like most Grenadians, were devout Catholics. It was vehemently anti-Gairy and hinted that force might be necessary to remove him. But it had no clear plan to take power and certainly no clear plan to abolish the existing social and political system. Most of all, the JEWEL leaders were farmers who understood the real needs of rural people."


The New Jewel, 1973 - 1979
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The New Jewel newspaper of 11 March 1973, referred to the joining of Jewel and MAP as the Great Merger. The paper was called "Jewel" also. The masthead changed from "Let's join hands to build a better land" to "Not just another society but a just society" and "Let those who labour hold the reins."

Its circulation was 2,000 in 1973. Teddy Victor continued as an editor until October, 1973. Eslee E. Carberry was NJM publications secretary until 17 July 1974. Selwyn Strachan was also a Publications Secretary of The New Jewel, and was taken with writs by Gairy before a magistrate, primarily for libel.

Because of the Gairy Government Newspaper (Amendment) act of 1975 and because Gairy did not like the paper, various members of the New Jewel Movement were harassed, beaten or killed. Notably, those were Jeremiah Richardson, who on 21 April 1973 was shot by secret police while distributing New Jewel and Alston Williams chopped 1 June 1973, by secret police for selling the NJM newspaper. For additional information, link to Gairy and the Media and Gairy and the Jewel.

According to Jacobs:

Its [Jewel's] tactic of publishing rumors in particular was a brilliant political strategy as Grenadian society thrives on rumors while have great admiration for those who can consistently produce 'factual' rumors."

By 1975, the New Jewel newspaper was reaching a circulation of 10,000 out of a population of approximately 100,000. It was written in the language of and emphasized issues related to the everyday lives of people. Brizan refers to the New Jewel as "both educational and agitational."


This Was the Week That Was, 13 May - 20 May, 1973

"This Was the Week That Was" most likely was published by Wellington Friday or the Leeds family from Les Verts Vents [the Green Wind] in Sauteurs. The issue of 13-20 May 1973 is the single source available at this time. That Wellington Friday or one of the members of the Leeds family was the publisher has not been confirmed despite attempts to contact kin or by placing a query on a public discussion group.


The Grenada Newsletter, 17 August 1973 - 1975
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

In 1973, Alister Hughes, as journalist and editor, and his wife Cynthia wrote, produced and distributed the "Grenada Newsletter" After the first issue on 17 August 1973, they printed and distributed the newsletter every three weeks by subscription only, often with a comprehensive index at the end of the year. The subscription basis appears to have exempted the Grenada Newsletter from any governmental interference.


New Dimensions, circa July 1974
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

The publication “New Dimensions” issued its Volume 1, Number 2 newsletter with approximately 8 unnumbered pages sometime in July 1974. “New Dimensions: faith without work is dead” was published by the Tivoli Catholic Youth Organization [TCYO] in St. Patrick’s parish.

The front page story pleaded for donations to a charity fund to help poor children, especially at the Tivoli R.C. School. The editorial considered the social character of wealth and urged the Church to become a congregation of believers.

“What We Believe” is stated in full on the second page:

T.C.Y.O. believe that the purpose of community is a progressive discovery of God’s will, which can only come about through a radical change in natural man. In other words – community is the attempt to re-discover the early Christian experience of the Church, an outward visible expression of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The innter truth is carried over into the outer sharing of material goods, of commitment to one another. This, in turn, leads the individual to those experiences which are necessary in orer to apprehend the inner truth more clearly. Community life is based on (i) the relationship between the individual and God, which is prayer, and (ii) the relationship between the individual and the community.

We believe in common ownership work and prayer; the family dovetailed and tensioned to the community; a common structure requiring obedience to community decisions.

The “Pantin Calls for Africanization in Catholic Church” article filled the apparent third page to partial fourth page. The column concerned the urgings of the Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony Pantin. The unsigned article, referring to itself as coming from the group TCYO, saluted Pantin’s call for the Africanization of the Catholic Church. It states at one point:

The Church is the most guilty in destroying black consciousness in the Caribbean

A side paragraph highlights a point:

POVERTY IS – THE CHILDREN IN TIVOLI, LA PATERIE AND RIVER SALLEE WHO HAVE WATER/GRAVY FOR BREAKFAST. THE RESULTING MALNUTRITION RISKING – PERHAPS INVITING – SERIOUS MENTAL RETARDATION

Another side paragraph continues:

POVERTY IS – THE AGRICULTURAL WORKER NEGLECTED BY SOCIETY; THE ELDERLY WHO CAN NO LONGER WORK AND HAVE NO FUNDS

The real names or alias names printed in this issue as authors includes Leslie Joseph, Simon Marrast, Renon ‘Sheep Eye’ Simon, Godfrey Ferguson. The issue pays tribute to those recently deceased: Augustin Wardally and Robernson ‘Crusoe’ Bartholomew. TCYO extended sympathy to Rommel Lawrence whose mother had recently died and printed a poem he wrote. The newsletter also acknowledged the return of the parish priest of Tivoli, Father Peter Ouillet. It appears each issue printed short biography of “Great West Indians”.


The Road, 1974

"The Road" was the official organ of the United Peoples Party (UPP) under political leadership of Leslie Pierre and Winston Whyte.


The Corn, 1975
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

"The Corn" was the official organ of the Grenada National Party (GNP) under political leader Herbert Blaize. It was through an April 1975 article written by Blaize and following the report of the Duffus Commission, that all opposition to the Gairy Government was called upon to unite in group action. At that time Blaize was Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives. A May and June issue followed.


Horizon
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

Gairy's party, the Grenada United Labour Party [GULP] has a newspaper of quite low circulation. The content of speeches and addresses by Sir Eric himself repeated those same speeches and his Radio Grenada addresses.


"Gairy's Journalism, an article from The New Jewel of 5 September 1975"
[before the Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975]

On at least 10 different occasions over the last 12 months or so, Gairy has said that he has had to take libel actions against "Opposition" newspapers and had to pass his Newspaper Law banning freedom of expression because of "irresponsible journalists".

To give our readers an idea of what Gairy calls "responsible" journalism, we reprint extracts this week from Gairy's "newspaper" in 1963 - GRAPEVINE. As those tid-bits are read, we should remember that Gairy has over the years published not just "Grapevine" but also "Star" "Thunder" and "new Horizon", and each was worse than the one before. Pure scandal and rubbish from the man who talks so much about "responsible journalism".

We must also point out that in all of his issues of the "GRAPEVINE" Gairy was openly breaking the law as he never put in his paper the name of the published as the law demanded. How can this fool and joker today talk about "law and order" and law-breakers.

We publish the extracts below:

GRAPEVINE - October 19, 1973

Let us not be fooled. The GRAPEVINE is only printed by the Grenada United Printing Company, but the Vine belongs to one man. The Printing Co. would be coming out with a decent Paper representing the policy of the company. This Vine is just a "Scandal Sheet" designed to straighten up those persons who run their mouths so loosely on other persons and whose lives are so much worse.

THE AUTHOR OF THE VINE FEELS THAT THE WRONGS COMMITTED BY THE LITTLE MAN ARE GIVEN SUCH PUBLICITY WHILE THE BIGGER WRONGS COMMITTED BY THE SO-CALLED ELITES AND EVEN SOME HUNGRY MIDDLE CLASS ARE COVERED DOWN WITH SUCH MUSH IT'S NOT FUNNY. WHEN THE COMPANY'S PAPER COMES OUT (SHORTLY) THE AUTHOR OF THIS "SCANDAL SHEET" HOPES THAT THE COMPANY WOULD ACCEPT SOME IF NOT ALL OF HIS VINE INTO A COLUMN. WHAT MAKES THE GRAPEVINE MOST INTERESTED IS THE FACT THAT IT RUNS WHERE OTHER PAPERS CANNOT RUN. SUCH IS THE VINE.

More the devil has, the more he wants. A certain "Victoria" man has ordered some of his reliable workers to push down some of the banana trees standing after the hurricane. Run com Mr. Police! Insurance Gentleman investigate, please.

"Uncle" friends are friends when you can help them give them building spots, invest hundreds of dollars with them without looking to see what they do with it; let them fire and hire in your Bar; let them insult and embarrass your staff and customers. But their's sacred [sic]. "Uncle" don't trust those who drink and eat with you. Don't associate with them especially if you have nothing to gain from them. None is holding any police secrets or any other secrets for you. Although some pretend to be friends, they only looking for opportunity to scandalise your name. Go slow with those hypocrites "Uncle".

Bacchanal in the City with this little-fool Indian woman and that red-skinned Police man. The policeman says that the Chief can't tell him who to love, and he must mind his darned business. The Black-haired Indian woman says it is true that she is married but her husband cannot tell her who to love.

Just imagine the Robust woman in the hotel. She took away the English woman's husband completely all to herself. Yet she is bad-talking other people. Her feet are like those of a "full-back" on a wet football match. Woopie!.

GRAPEVINE - NOVEMBER 2, 1963

Bacchanal in W.I.B.S., big fight between two girls, head-bursing [sic] and so on went on. Yes, but hear what they're fighting for. Well yes wee. Good morning Mr. Announce, Good Morning.

A new public Works Department has been formed. Believe it or not. The people of Willis and New Hampshire are so darned fed up with things these days that they formed themselves into a Department and are fixing their own road. Shame on G.N.P.

We say again . . . think about it Sisters and Brothers! Gairy, the writer of this rubbish, is now trying to control newspapers.

THINK ABOUT IT!!


Newspaper (Amendment) Act, 1975

The Gairy Government Newspaper (Amendment) Act of 1975 severely restricted publishing in Grenada. The Act came into law on 4 July 1975. See Gairy and the Media for details of this Act.

The Newspaper (Amendment) Act, 1975 is a dividing line in Grenadian publishing.

The only publication within the parameters of the Act was the, after the Newspaper (Amendment) Act was the Government-owned "West Indian." The other four weekly and bi-weekly papers suspended publication.


Appreciation and acknowledgement to John A. Lent's interviews with Grenadian editors and program directors found in "Third World Mass Media and Their Search for Modernity" and the Journalism Quarterly article "Mass Media in Grenada."

For additional and detailed information, please check out these links:

Gairy and Media
The Spark, 2 February 1975
The Spark, [March 1975]
Torchlight and the PRG/NJM
Grenadian Voice and the PRG/NJM
Grenada Newspapers - Between 1975-1979
Grenada Newspapers - 1979 - 1983

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