Heroes come in many different forms
By the time this edition of SEARCHLIGHT is published, another National Heroes’ Day would have come and gone, most likely without the naming of another person to join paramount chief Joseph Chatoyer on the pedestal of national heroes of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
We have, for several years been debating the merits and demerits of the candidates being considered for this vaulted position including Captain Hugh Mulzac, Elma Francois, George McIntosh, Ebenezer T Joshua, Robert Milton Cato and Dr JP Eustace.
No doubt, these persons have, to a greater or lesser extent, all provided outstanding service to St Vincent and the Grenadines in ways which altered positively the history of our country. The candidates are all dead, as that is one criterion which must be satisfied in order to be considered for national hero status.
But while the debate continues, National Heroes Month is as good a time as any for us to honour those who, in small ways or grand, inspire us for the better.
Heroes come in many different forms.
There are those members of the community, who with simple acts of kindness are heroic to the people they assist on a daily basis. The teacher who goes the extra mile to help a struggling child; the nurse who spends an hour beyond the end of her shift to calm the fears of her patients; the neighbour who watches over the children of a single mother who must be elsewhere making a living; those who make regular checks or telephone calls to elderly shut ins; those who quietly leave fruit and vegetables for others, without ever seeking payment or acknowledgement. We know who they are and they should not be taken for granted.
Earlier this week, Rodney Small and his team at the Ministry of Culture organized a training workshop for the young members of the secondary schools bands. Small co-opted experienced band members, including our own international super star Marlon Roudette, to act as mentors of each school band, and the result was amazing. The experience was one that the students say they will never forget. For them, the encouragement and attention of these outstanding mentors will be remembered for a very long time.
Then there are those who inspire us on a grander scale.
Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle arrived yesterday at the Argyle International Airport to a heroes’ welcome in honour of his victory in the Road March competition in Trinidad and Tobago — a first for a non national of that country. As we went to press on Wednesday, a huge party was planned for Kingstown in honour of Skinny and his collaborators – Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin.
For others, our heroes are our mothers, fathers, friends and work colleagues who go the extra mile.
We are by no means saying that these people should be considered to become national heroes. But as we reflect as a nation during National Heroes Month, it is important to recognize that everyone has potential to be a hero in his or her own right.