Monday 24 February, 2020

Nina Compton rejects Goodwill Ambassador role

In a letter dated January 22, 2020, addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries, Chef Nina Compton rejected the Government of Saint Lucia's appointment of her as a Goodwill Ambassador to Saint Lucia.

The rejection to serve as a Goodwill Ambassador comes as a result of Compton's perception of ill-treatment towards her family by the government.

"Over the years our family has had to endure many challenges whilst in the service of Saint Lucia, and despite this, we have never faltered in that service. In recent times, however, members of my family have had to endure privately and of late, publicly an unveiled hostility and attacks on their integrity, honesty, ability, and unprejudiced commitment to our country, and this from the highest levels of Government," Compton stated in the letter.

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She continued, "Please know that these disparaging and derogatory attacks and the lengths that have been taken to denigrate, besmirch and to deny members of my family their ability to also serve our country have brought a great deal of disappointment and have given me cause to reflect. It is, therefore, with great regret and sadness that I inform you that I must decline your invitation to serve as Goodwill Ambassador."

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet recently rejected Jeannine Compton-Antoine as director of the Saint Lucia National Trust, claiming she is not fit and qualified for the position. He has been steadfast in his decision whenever the topic is brought up.

Both Jeannine and Nina are the daughters of former prime minister and Father of the Nation, Sir John Compton.

Compton was one of twelve Saint Lucians selected for the prestigious role intended to leverage their profile and celebrity status locally, regionally and internationally to "tap into access for growth and to forge strategic partnership between the Cultural Development Foundation and other related agencies." 

The title of “Your Excellency” will be conferred on the ambassadors, who will also be awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Merit Gold and a diplomatic passport.

The award-winning Saint Lucian chef was first invited to serve as a Culinary Ambassador to Saint Lucia back in 2014 after competing on Season 11 of the popular cooking show, Top Chef.

In the letter she references that role saying, "As a proud St Lucian I was honoured to serve St Lucia then, and today I continue to promote my country and to support St Lucians and St Lucian businesses and organisations - and I shall always do so."

The acclaimed chef said that as a patriot it was a difficult decision to decline the position.

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