Douglas: ‘A double portion of blessing in becoming a physician and prime minister’

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 17TH 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas regards becoming a physician and head of government as a “a double portion of blessings because I never thought as a youngster especially in St. Paul’s, the least developed village in St. Kitts to become a medical doctor or even Prime Minister of our Great Nation.”

“To a large extent what it speaks to is taking opportunities; one of which was given to me by the Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw. While I was writing the scholarship examination that allows the entrance into the elite’s St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School of the day, I was able to excel,” Prime Minister Douglas told family and friends as well as officials from the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union and departments under his portfolio including Customs, Sustainable Development, Finance, Anti-Crime Unit as well as from the constituency that he has been the parliamentary representative since 1989.during a luncheon at Carambola to mark his 60th birthday.

“In those times, it was not easy, because there was a time when my father, a very sensible man he was, why I was the lucky one in St. Paul’s to have won that scholarship, because there was a time when it was uncertain that I would have been given the scholarship. The head teacher was saying to my father that your son may have to come back next year, because there is another child who has done just as well as he has done, but the child is older so maybe you should allow that child to get the scholarship this year and your child being younger could get another chance next year,” Dr. Douglas told persons in response to several tributes to mark the occasion.

“But he was not from St. Paul’s. He was only attending school in St. Paul’s because his father was the Head Teacher, so he was not even living in St. Pauls, so really the scholarship was mines. So my father argued that the child is not living in St. Pauls. He is not born in St. Paul’s, my son was born in St. Paul’s so the scholarship belongs to him and eventually I got it. My father had to pay $18 every 3 months, $18 every term, if I didn’t get the scholarship and my father had told the head teacher I would not be able to go to school, because he did not have it,” said Prime Minister, adding:

“I make reference to that to show, that I got an opportunity as a poor boy in St. Paul’s. The opportunity was provided by a scholarship from Mr. Bradshaw and I never looked back after that.”

Prime Minister Douglas said: “It is the opportunity that you get in life that may change your life and makes the difference. I was given the opportunity to go to Grammar School.”

He recounted: “My father he worked in the Sugar Cane Industry, he used to be the checker on the siding. He was the guy who was responsible for checking and recording the cutters and drivers to make sure that they get appropriately paid at the end of the week.

But we survived because of the blessings of God and the prayers of an entire community and that is why today, everything I do, I do it with compassion and with pride, because I remember the very humble beginnings from which we came from. I don’t believe that our people must not remain where they are, our people must have the opportunity to move forward and improve the quality of living and also improving their personal status of life.

Whatever I have done therefore, I have done it with pride and with a certain conviction that what I am doing, if it’s not right, at least it has been done with those great intentions.

Photos by Erasmus Williams of the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, family members, friends, well-wishers, government and community and constituency representatives at the luncheon during a boat ride to mark his 60th birthday.

I want to thank all of you who are gathered here today, those who have been very closely associated with me, those who have worked with me over the years, in my constituency, in my community, in my family; those who have worked with me in the party in particular and those who have worked with me in government; Also those who have worked with me in the various ministries which I have had the honour to be responsible for, as Minister.

Not to forget those who I have met in my personal life who have gone on to be very good friends with me, and also those whose friendships I have cultivated over the years because of the need to have their very interesting and helpful views and opinions in pursuing the government agenda for our nation.

I want to thank those who have brought me comfort, sacrifice and stability that I need in life,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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