Pursue your passion, Minister tells students

Nineteen children said goodbye to St John’s Primary School in a touching graduation ceremony that marked the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

And as they continue that journey, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley urged them to pursue excellence, especially in areas of study in which they have a natural interest.

“You would have greater satisfaction not just in the short term, but certainly in the long term, if you do the things you truly love,” he said, telling the graduates they did not have to be limited to careers in the traditional medicine, law or accounting fields.

“As minister responsible for sports, I encourage those of you who are gifted in the area of sports, whether in track and field, cricket, or road tennis, to name a few, to pursue greatness by means of those avenues. Look at the success of our own Sir Garfield Sobers and others in our region in more recent times, like Usain Bolt – all giants in their respective fields. Clearly, success can come from such avenues as well. These avenues are also stepping stones to greatness.”

Lashley also advised the students to stay focused and give their all in their work at the secondary level.

“You cannot expect to do well at secondary school by only putting in 50 per cent. The greatest cricketer to have ever lived…none other than national hero, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers said ‘In all my life, when I was playing sports, I always put 100 percent. I have always given the best’; and you must too,” the Minister told them.

He also launched a prize from the William and Verona Lashley Foundation, a charitable foundation created in honour of his parents which raises funds and solicits donations to provide support and assistance to young Barbadians, with an initial focus on those from the St John’s Primary School and the Vauxhall Primary School in Christ Church.

The inaugural William and Verona Lashley Foundation Prize went to top students Chinara Blunte and Zachary Hill who will both be attending The Lodge School from September.

Valedictorian Chinara Blunte accepting the William and Verona Lashley Prize for being St John’s Primary’s most outstanding girl in the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Exam, from Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley.
Zachary Hill accepting the William and Verona Lashley Prize for being St John’s Primary’s most outstanding boy in the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Exam, from Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley.
Davira Rowe accepting the Gabrielle Gay Trophy for Excellence in Reading, from principal Ometa Hinds.
Tio Brewster accepting the Sports Personality of the Year Award from Roger Broomes.

In her address, principal Ometa Hinds urged the students to continue to strive for excellence.

“Do not waste the free education afforded to you. At your new school, you will be confronted with a diverse amount of challenges but do not give up,” Hinds said, as she wished the children success and God’s blessings as they enter another stage of the educational development. 

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