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We must remain eager for success

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Address presented by Saboto S. Caesar on October 26, 2005 at the 26th Annual Independence Secondary School Public Speaking Competition sponsored by Cable & Wireless in collaboration with Lions Club St. Vincent South.

Mr. Chairman

This evening marks an excellent showcasing of academic brilliance on the part of all the participants, both for the schools represented here as a whole, and for the particular individuals representing each school. {{more}}It is a definite show of youthful Vincentian talent, that which has been spiriting through our nation in recent times, and one which must be carefully nurtured and harvested if we are to continue to build and advance as individuals, and as a nation renowned for producing intellectuals of varying kinds.

The new millennium continues to unfold many challenges. The resultant implications of such constitute the very challenges, that we will have to grapple with as youth in an era of change, in which we must adopt new ways of protecting our social, political and economic independence. It is this undeniable and inevitable development of these new species of challenges which awaits us all.

I encourage us all to maintain a positive outlook; we have within us the very solutions to many of these challenges we face once we remain resolute in our commitment to excellence.

It was a moment like this over a decade ago, that my siege on Public shyness broke all loose, and I sat in a similar seat to showcase whatever little skill I had in me on behalf of the St. Martin’s Secondary School in the Annual National Mock Parliament Debates. As you have seen, I have not learnt very much about Public speaking since then.

But I did not stop there, and in like manner you must also continue. Participants must see this evening’s event as a first step towards a higher calling. Advocacy and the ability to communicate at all levels is a most important weapon in the armory of any aspiring youth.

Still do not rest there.

I am assured in my mind that detailed research and endless hours of mental preparation must have been necessary to brave the weather of this evening and to speak to your nation as a rising Vincentian STAR holding the key for the future. And in a period of general elections, Mr. Chairman I use the words “star” and “key” advisedly. I am obliged.

But again you must not stay there. Such exposure like that which this evening brings must be cemented by other academic achievements in varying fields. Only then would you be able to fully harness the true fruits of your ability as young advocates. I agree that we are living in a time both in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and comparatively within the rest of the region, where it is safe to say that academic achievement translates into life long success.

I will rest here finally though, and by way of admonishment to the students on behalf of myself and the sponsors – Cable & Wireless who have collaborated with Lions Club St. Vincent South, I make reference to a statement I made in a Valedictory address at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College in 1999, which reads as follows:

“An exceptional cadre of multi-talented youth is needed for the future, who would be able to effectively and efficiently engage in the planning, structuring and governing both of their own lives and the life of this our blessed nation.”

Six years later brings me to tonight, and I must admit that I see such an energy in Joeverne Webb, Chevonne La Borde, Felicia Baptiste, Catrena Hazell, Kimroy Walters and Raianna Thomas. The future of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is indeed in safe hands.

I see a great day coming for us as youths. We must remain eager for success.

Be ye steadfast in your push ahead, forthright, resolute in your pursuit of excellence. By the same token, be ye also the group of youth who will effect change, development and a better St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr. Chairman

Ladies and Gentlemen

Indeed it has been an honour.

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