Q. What is regarded as the national tree of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

A:  The Soufriere Tree (spachea elegans)

Q:  Who are the Black Caribs of St Vincent?

A:  A mixed population resulting from interbreeding between Caribs and blacks. Among the circumstances facilitating this interbreeding was the instance in 1675 when a passing Dutch ship with European settlers and their slaves became shipwrecked between St Vincent and Bequia. Only the slaves survived and they interbred with the Amerindians.

Q:  What great tragedy befell the island of St Vincent in 1902?

A:  La Soufriere erupted, killing 2000 people. Two days later Mont Pelee on the island of Martinique erupted, killing 30,000.

Q:  What is unique about the Botanic Gardens in St. Vincent?

A:  Established in 1763, it is the oldest in the West Indies.

Q:  Who is St Vincent's national hero?

A.  Chief Joseph Chatoyer, the Garifuna Carib chief who headed a revolt against the British. A monument to him stands on Dorsetshire Hill, where he died in battle on March 14, 1795.

Q:  What is Vincy Mas?

A:  Vincy stands for St Vincent. Mas is short for masquerade. Vincy Mas St Vincent's carnival, held in the last week of June and the first week of July.

Q:  Who was the first Prime Minister of St Vincent?

A:  Milton Cato (1915-1997). 

Q:  What did the Caribs call St Vincent while they lived there?

A:  Hairoun

Q:  What is Hiroona?

A:  An epic poem, published in 1937, concerning the 1795 Carib revolt and deportation to Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras. Its author, Horatio Nelson Huggins, a Vincentian, is believed to have written it around 1885.

Q:  What is Bequia?

A:  It is the largest of the island dependencies of St Vincent. It lies nine miles south of St Vincent and is just about seven miles square.

Q:  How should you pronounce Bequia?

A:  Bequia is pronounced "bek-way."

Q:  Of what product is St Vincent the largest producer?

A:  Arrowroot starch. This product has been used traditionally as a thickening agent in cooking. More recently it has been used in the production of computer paper.

Q:  Why do Captain William Bligh and his ship, H.M.S. Bounty, have a special relevance to St. Vincent?

A:  The Botanic Gardens there received the first breadfruit trees brought from the Pacific by Captain Bligh in 1793.

Q:  What musician and poet became Director of Culture in St Vincent?

A:  Ellsworth McGranahan Keane, widely known as Shake (after Shakepeare) Keane, born in St Vincent in 1927. At age 6, he was playing trumpet, by age 14 he was a bandleader.  After living in London and New York and traveling a great deal, he returned in 1972 to St Vincent as Director of Culture. He later became principal of Bishop’s College, Georgetown. Shake Keane died on November 10, 1997.