Peter Josie releases ‘Shattered Dreams’

You hear the phrase, “Shattered Dreams” and you immediately think of some Hollywood flick directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington. But reading through Peter Josie’s new book, you can’t help but be astonished as his words bring to life all the drama that Saint Lucia and Saint Lucian politics endured post-independence.
The title, “Shattered Dreams” could not be more forthright. The retired politician turned author, has a definitive and objective point of view about his recollection of politics in the golden days. Josie takes the reader on a meandering path pondering the history, controversy, role, and, most importantly, the downfall of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) during the 80s.
“Shattered Dreams is the story of the ups and downs of political activism and the personalities and events that shaped the emergence of the Caribbean island,” said Josie. When asked what inspired him to write this book, Josie answered:  “First, I thought it was important on the 33rd anniversary of the independence of St Lucia to have something that I think was a memento to the occasion.
“Secondly, I first entertained the idea of writing this book after the passing of George Odlum in September 2003,” Josie further stated the encouragement of persons who had enjoyed his articles in the Mirror newspaper fueled his desire to pen, what he calls the story of a “political odyssey in St Lucia.”
The new author explained why he chose the title; “I chose Shattered Dreams from a list sent to me by persons whose views I canvassed and to my mind that title captures more aptly the sad–and shattered–ending to the fairly solid political bond which had been built up between George Odlum and me over many years.”
He added, “It took me three and a half years, maybe a little longer, to do this exercise and whilst I was doing it, I was writing a half-page for the Voice every Saturday.”
Josie said, while it was challenging putting this historical piece together, “It has been a labour of love to have written this.” The former politician took some time to recognize the contributions of journalist and writer, Guy Ellis whom he says has been of great help to him in writing this book.
Josie begins the book by providing a rather entertaining yet informative and well-thought-out descriptive story of his younger days in Vieux Fort and his pursuit of excellence academically. He describes from his vantage point, the visits by Queen and Emperor, the genesis of banana production in St Lucia, how he met George Odlum and the years of struggle between 1974 and 1979. Then he takes the reader through the preparation of acquiring independence from Britain to post-independence elections and politics.
Josie served from 1974 to 1982 as a Member of Parliament for Castries East on the ticket of the Saint Lucia Labour Party. He began his career as Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries and then Minister of Foreign Affairs. After the ill-fated Labour Government fell, he led it unsuccessfully in the General Elections of 1982. He continued with the party and won his seat as an MP for Vieux Fort South in 1987. He was removed from the Labour Party in 1988 after campaigning against then leader Julian Hunte for the post of political leader. He switched allegiance to the ruling United Workers Party and became one of its two Ministers with responsibility for Agriculture. He didn’t to retain his seat in the 1997 General Elections and in 2001 he was defeated again at the polls this time in his old stomping grounds, Castries East on the platform of the National Front.
Shattered Dreams was printed by The St Lucia Star Publishing Company Ltd and is now available on book stands in St Lucia.

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