Montserrat

Key facts

Date of Membership in CARICOM: 1 May 1974

Also Known as:Emerald Isle

Status of Independence:Independent

Area: 103 km2 (40 miles2)

Capital City: Plymouth (abandoned in 1997 due to volcanic activity. Interim government buildings built at Brades Estate at the northwest end

Population: 4,932 (2009)

Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$)

Highest National Award: Montserrat Badge of Honour

Economy

GDP: EC$176 Mn (2012)

GNI: 0.058 Bn US$

Key dates in history

1493      Sighted by Columbus who changed island’s Amerindian name `Alliouagana’ (land of the prickly bush) to Montserrat, after abbey of same name in Spain

1632      Colonised by Britain (settled by Anglo-Irish who arrived from St. Kitts)

1783      Finally ceded to Britain by France following numerous exchanges between the two countries which began in the seventeenth century

1871      Incorporated into Leeward Islands Administration

1958      Incorporated into the West Indies Federation

1967      Elected to retain colonial status instead of associated status within the West Indies Associated States (WISA)

1982 Montserrat-born, Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell released his first Pan-Caribbean hit called ‘Hot Hot Hot’ which became the biggest soca hit of all time

1989      Hurricane Hugo destroys more than  90 per cent of the island’s homes and other infrastructure. Island rebuilt in less than five years

1995      Eruption of Langs Soufriere Volcano

2002      Monsterratians regain full British citizenship

2009 Locally-based airline, FlyMontserrat commenced scheduled flights from Montserrat to Antigua. Permanent fast ferry services resume.

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