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A King to further serve and unite

A King to further serve and unite
Curtis King in conversation with two young boys

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by Robertson S. Henry

A few years ago, during the heyday of the national youth movements in the Caribbean region in the 1980s, a youth delegate remarked upon hearing a young man from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) speak; that he would enter the world of politics.

 When he spoke on the myriad of issues confronting Caribbean youth, and the socio-economic development of the islands, that young man’s voice and captivating oratory was a joy to behold.

 Almost 40 years later, that young man in the person of Curtis King has been endorsed as the governing Unity Labour Party’s candidate to contest the West St George constituency, at the next general election.

 “I give my commitment to the people of West St George that I will work with them. I will serve them with honesty and dedication and will give of my best at all times. Curtis King is ready to serve,” he stated while giving his word to work with all for the betterment of West St George and by extension, SVG.

 Countering accusations of seeking to enrich himself at the expense of the poor and working class people of West St George, King stated, “I am neither a bird of passage, nor ‘a fly-by-night’ resident. Not me! I emerged from the bowels of our wonderful constituency of West St George.”

 King was born in, and has lived in the West St George constituency all of his life, where his character was shaped and nurtured.

 He attended the Belair Government School, and spent his early teenage years in community and social work. He worked with youth and community organizations such as DUESO of Dauphine, FAYN of Fountain, GMYF of Dauphine and Ashburton, TBPO of Belair, GYPA of Gomea; and the parent of all these organisations – Belfongo.

 Subsequently, he also worked with AVESCO of Arnos Vale, and ASCO of Ashburton, after being elected President of National Youth Council, and the Caribbean Federation of Youth, respectively. 

 An avid sports fan, King played cricket for the Belfongo and Belmont Methodist Fourth Fellowship Cricket teams in the Cricket Association’s National Second Division Cricket competitions.

Professionally, King taught at both the primary and secondary school levels, among them the Gomea Methodist Primary, CW Prescod Primary, and the St. Vincent Grammar School. 

 He was the deputy principal at the West St George Secondary School, and at the JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School he acted as deputy principal, before returning to the St Vincent Grammar School where he served as deputy headmaster, and subsequently headmaster.

 He is secure that with the knowledge and experience garnered as a professional educator spread over 37 years of service, along with his voluntary work as a youth and community activist since 1982, that he has the life skills needed to work with all age groups and gender in the West St. George constituency.

 King strongly believes that in strengthening the socio-economic framework of a country, “the young child, the adolescence, the teenager, the adult and the elderly, must be amongst those armed with the requisite skill sets and knowledge, so the revolution of development is holistic.

 “I believe in building the capacity of the individual so that he can help himself. I hold strong to the view that everyone has the ability to achieve his or her true potential. 

 “And while we all need help to do so, some need more help than others to do so. Further, I know from experience that success is a product of both good leadership and an enabling environment. It is a product of opportunities provided and opportunities wisely utilized.”

 According to King: “I have seen a transformation of the West St. George constituency over the past two decades, and look forward to continue the development of this wonderful constituency.

 “There is to be constructed a commercial centre, the emergence of middle income communities on the outskirts of the Arnos Vale city, while the agricultural and eco-tourism potential of the northern end of West St. George continues to be developed.”

 In the political party of choice, King said, “the ULP is the one that offers quality leadership. It is also the one more capable of providing the enabling environment that is required for success.

 “I had no choice, therefore, but to join the party that shared my values and hope for our people, especially our young people.”

 He noted: “While much has been done, more needs to be done. We must not neglect those who need greater assistance, who need the enabling environment to help them to enhance their living circumstances.”