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Cupid gets superstar welcome

Cupid gets superstar welcome


by Omesha Spence 27.MAR.09

Veolant Cupid was welcomed back to her homeland like a superstar on Wednesday, after being declared the First Caribbean International Bank’s (FCIB) Regional Unsung Hero of 2009.{{more}}

Cupid, who received her award during an official ceremony in Barbados, returned to her village of Lauders, as members of the community lined the streets shouting congratulations to their hero.

Surrounded by friends and family at her home, Cupid expressed thanks to those who were gathered: “I am so overwhelmed,” she said. Cupid also related her experience in Barbados, which she recalled as being “wonderful”, as she was given the red carpet treatment of a warm welcome and a stay at the Hilton Hotel.

The FCIB Unsung Hero award was introduced in 2003 to applaud outstanding community members who gave selflessly but remained unrecognized. Cupid, a stalwart of her community, was previously awarded as the Local Unsung Hero in 2008 and competed with twenty-two finalists before being the given the regional unsung hero title. She becomes the second Vincentian to win the regional title and the third Vincentian regional finalist to qualify.

Speaking to an audience of friends, family members and students, Cupid encouraged them to always aim for the best in life. “Aim high…aim for the sky,” she said. Cupid, a committed community member for over forty-five years, started at the age of sixteen when she learned and taught sewing skills to other women in her village.

Cupid has also been vigorously involved in other activities such as appreciation services for nurses and policemen and trips to the Mental Institution and Her Majesty’s Prisons. Cupid related that her need to help others comes from the way she was raised. Cupid, who was raised by her grandmother, stated that it was her grandmother who taught her how to love and care for the elderly and children.

A sixty-two-year-old mother of four, she also extended some hearty advice to young persons aiming for achievements similar to hers. “In every thing you do, do it from the depth of your heart and not to get a reward from it,” she advised.

Cupid’s prizes include trophies, as well as a cash prize of about $13,000. The runners-up of the Regional Unsung Hero programme are Thomas Watts of Barbados and Patsy Thomas of Dominica. Gwendolyn E.M. Chambers of Antigua received a special commendation.

A regional panel selected the hero of 2009. The panel included Sir Shridath Ramphal, of Guyana, as well as Sir George Alleyne and Sir Neville Nichols, of Barbados, among others.