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Taking advantage of reunions

During the last two weeks, both the St. Leonard’s Boys’ and the Coleridge and Parry schools celebrated their 60th anniversaries. I attended both celebrations, where there was a tremendous amount emotion and passion from past students of both of these institutions.

I believe that this is a position that would be obtained with any school in Barbados. My belief is that people tend to associate their lifestyle and successes with the institutions where their education was obtained. During the educational process, friendships and relationships are developed which sometimes last a lifetime, even though persons may migrate to other destinations.

Over the last few years, we have been talking about new ways of creating tourism interest and improving the numbers during the off-peak periods. One of the strategies, which I know we have been discussing, was the use of the Barbadian Family and Friends. Colleges and universities all over the world make a big thing of their reunions as indeed they see their membership base as family and friends and plan celebrations long enough in advance to give their alumni time to plan their holidays to be able to attend.

Barbados has had a good educational system over the years, and all schools can boast of having produced great sons of our soil. Because our educational process has been an evolving one and the various institutions were developed at different times, I believe that significant celebratory landmarks will take place at different times and in different years. These therefore provide us with many opportunities to plan, execute celebrations and encourage our Barbadians living overseas to return home at these landmark times.

Last Saturday night I was extremely proud to have been a member of the Coleridge and Parry alumni. The tribute made by the former principal to the Governor General, a past student, was chilling; the remarks given by Sir Hilary were just a flash of his brilliance as an orator. The musical renditions of the Old Scholars Band brought a touch of class and elegance to the entertainment, which is not commonly or easily found in Barbados today. The dance performance of the members of ACE Dance Centre displayed that all is not lost with our young people in Barbados, for indeed the cast was a young one indulging in what people normally associate with older members of a society.

I deliberately omitted Professor Curwin Best as I described the others who made significant contributions to the charm of last week’s ball. I believe that his presentation should be documented, and used as a source of inspiration and motivation for every member of the school. It should also be used to motivate members of the alumni to plan future events and make continuous contributions to their schools. Professor Best, you were brilliant, especially your take on the CP Brand.

Tourism is our business, let us play our part.

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