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Vincentian is FirstCaribbean’s outstanding Unsung Hero

Vincentian is FirstCaribbean’s outstanding  Unsung Hero

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Veolant Cuplid, a volunteer worker from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has emerged as the most outstanding in FirstCaribbean International Bank’s region-wide Unsung Heroes programme for 2008.{{more}}

When the distinguished panel of regional judges met in October to make their final selections from 25 regional finalists, Cupid, a community volunteer, credited with touching many lives, was chosen the top Unsung Hero for 2008.

Cupid, 61, has been for many people a tower of strength in the rural community of Lauders, St. Vincent. She has established outreach programmes for orphans, the elderly, adult education, poverty assistance, and even recognition of police officers, nurses and teachers.

On this occasion, runner-up positions went to prison outreach volunteer, Thomas Watts, of Barbados, and Patsy Thomas, noted for her work assisting the poor in the Carib Territory of Dominica. Also for 2008, a special commendation award for her work with orphaned children will go to finalist, Gwendolyn E.M. Chambers, a retired educator of St. John’s, Antigua.

The judging panel included Sir George Alleyne, the Chancellor of the University of the West Indies; Sir Neville Nicholls – retired President of the Caribbean Development Bank; A. Leonard Archer, the former Bahamas Ambassador to CARICOM; Charles Williams, the Carib Chief from Dominica; Jones P. Madeira – Manager of the Information and Protocol Division of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago; Marie MacCormack Q.C, retired High Court Justice; and Dame Olga Lopes Seale, renowned Barbadian social worker.

The four champion Unsung Heroes will be honoured early next year at a ceremony in Barbados, which will simultaneously launch the 2009 Unsung Heroes programme. Having, as local finalists, already received award donations of US $6,000 each towards the development of their benevolent work, the regional runners-up will now receive an additional $US 5,000 each, while the overall hero will receive a further US $7,500.

Chairman of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Michael Mansoor, issued heartiest congratulations to all the regional finalists, but particularly singled out the final four overall heroes for having had the courage and determination to take action and make a significant difference in their communities. Mansoor said the FirstCaribbean Unsung Heroes programme is a credit not just to FirstCaribbean, but to the benevolent spirit and community-mindedness of the people of the region.

“We could not have been more impressed with the quality of submissions both at the local and regional levels for this programme; and looking at the outstanding persons nominated from around the region, we would not have wanted to be on the panel of judges, as their task certainly could not have been an easy one,” Mansoor said.