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New ambassador Lou-Anne Gilchrist honoured at farewell

New ambassador  Lou-Anne Gilchrist honoured at farewell


Former Chief Education Officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist has vowed to give of her best in her new post overseas.

Gilchrist, who is soon to take up her post as the Ambassador to the United States of America, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada, gave the assurance to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, her former colleagues in the Ministry of Education, and by extension St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) that she will efficiently and successfully carry out her duties.

“Let me give you my assurance that your confidence in me will be met by the grace of God, with success,” Gilchrist said, as she gave her response to accolades bestowed on her last night, during a farewell ceremony held in her honour by the SVG Association of Principals of Secondary Schools and Technical Institutions at the residence of the Prime Minister at Old Montrose.{{more}}

“Our sovereign nation will be well represented. I will carry out the policies of St Vincent and the Grenadines… and I will act as an agent and representative of the people and Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I will be on top of things,” Gilchrist, who replaces former Ambassador LaCelia Prince, said.

As she looks forward to, and embraces her new appointment, Gilchrist, who has been an educator for the past 30 years, thanked the persons who displayed confidence in her.

On leaving the education system, she reminded her former colleagues of their responsibilities to the teachers under them, and the students.

“As I leave St Vincent and the Grenadines, I am begging you to ensure that your teachers embrace the Universal Access to Secondary Education. There is a place in school for every boy and girl; let us meet them where they are and bring them to where they need to be.”

As her peers bade farewell to her, she was described by persons who spoke as a true diplomat, a virtuous woman, graceful, polite, soft-spoken, but firm, quiet, deep, loving and understanding, and one who went the extra mile to ensure that needs are met.

Speaking on behalf of the principals and teachers were Curtis King, Curtis Greaves, Kay Martin-Jack, Bertillion Hamilton, Vernette Olliverre, and John Renton.

Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC registrar, also spoke on behalf of the Barbados-based Council.

Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves, who also spoke at the ceremony, said that Gilchrist was tried and tested, and with her language skills and background, he believes that she will be able to handle the situations that may arise with her responsibilities.

“She is a woman of great quality [who] understands the foreign policy of this government [and] will defend our sovereignty and independence,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister added that Gilchrist would have a lot of responsibilities, being in charge of all honorary consuls and a young and bright staff in the United States.

“I am proud of this woman of extraordinary quality,” he added.

Gilchrist was appointed to the post of chief education officer in 2010.

The former Girls’ High School and St Vincent Grammar School student moved up the ranks from classroom teacher to local registrar in the Ministry of Education, to chief education officer, now to the title of “Her Excellency.”(JJ)