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Students: Referendum was not a waste of resources

Students: Referendum was not a waste of resources


by Denika Compton Tue, Oct 5, 2010

Students representing three secondary schools here are of the firm belief that the recent referendum exercise was not a waste of resources.{{more}}

The three, who represented the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, the Thomas Saunders Secondary and the Girls’ High School, were participating in the Zone 1 preliminary round of the annual Lions Club South Lime Secondary School Public Speaking Competition. They spoke on the topic: “The recent referendum exercise in SVG was a waste of scarce resources”.

The event was held at the Peace Memorial Hall on Tuesday, September 28, 2010. Rolien Nedd represented the St. Joseph Convent Kingstown, Resa Eustace, the Thomas Saunders Secondary School and Lisa Lafermarl, the St.Vincent Girls’ High School.

Nedd, who spoke for 10mins and 53secs, said the fact that the nation was sensitized about something that is as important as the referendum, cannot be a waste. Speaking for 9mins and 40secs, Eustace said that citizens are now more literate on constitutional matters having been led to read both the 1979 Constitution and the proposed 2009 constitution. Lafermarl, in her 9mins 23secs speech, quoted from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves when he said, “The seven-year process, which led to the drafting of the new constitution, should be viewed as lighting a beacon to illuminate the pathways against the remnants of colonialism, in the interest of Vincentian humanization”.

She said that although Vincentians voted against the referendum, the beacon was indeed lit. Lafermarl also commented on a news article on, with the headline, “Is Britain trying to recolonise the Caribbean?” She said that we have not wasted our resources, but we have to use much more resources, to get us out of this “Constitutional tight spot” which we now find ourselves in.

While Nedd and Lafermarl eased through the impromptu segment, with their topics “Greed” and “Fast food” respectively, Eustace had a more difficult time addressing her topic “Dengue”. Nedd, with a time of 1min 13secs, advised the audience not to put their hats where their hands cannot reach. In 2 mins, Lafermarl’s advice was to stay away from the problem that causes our health care bill to be so high today, and that is fast food. Eustace managed in a time of 2 mins to establish that Dengue is caused by mosquitoes.

In his remarks to open the 14th successful year of the competition, Chairman Lennox Bowman said that whenever Lions clubs come together, problems get smaller and communities get better.

In giving brief remarks, Senior Education Officer, Carlton Hall said that the competition is geared at developing research skills. He said that the challenge is to present the argument with a purpose of convincing the audience and the judges about the point. Remarks were also given by Marketing Director of LIME, Fitz Huggins, who said that what they are doing is preparing the youths for tomorrow’s future.

Zone two of the preliminaries continued on Wednesday, September 29. That zone included the Campden Park Secondary School, the St.Vincent Grammar School, the Bequia Community High School, the Intermediate High School, the Bequia Seventh-Day Adventist School and the West St. George Secondary School. They spoke on the topic, “The silencing of the independent voice in SVG. Fact or fiction?”