Dr Harris spells out Constituency Empowerment’s role

Senior Minister Dr Timothy Harris addresses CIPEO’s Excellence Award Ceremony.

St. Kitts (May 4, 2010) — The central focus of the role of the recently created Department of Constituency Empowerment is to ensure that power, management, authority, responsibility, control and accountability are spread right the way through all of the constituencies, for the benefit of all the people.

According to Dr Timothy Harris, Senior Minister with responsibility for Constituency Empowerment, the new department must be about the preservation, promotion and expansion of democracy, and how best to involve each and every citizen in helping in the process of building a better nation for all and for future generations.

Dr Harris who oversees the larger docket of Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives and Constituency Empowerment, made the remarks Sunday night when he delivered an address at the second Excellence Award Ceremony held by the Community Improvement and Personal Empowerment Organisation (CIPEO) of Sandy Point.

Area Parliamentary Representative Shawn Richards addresses CIPEO’s Excellence Award Ceremony.

“As I steer the course ahead in this vitally important venture of constituency empowerment, I am extremely grateful for the expressed support and friendship of CIPEO as one of the Ministry’s partners,” said the head of Constituency Empowerment in what was his first official function in that capacity.

“Hence, as we travel this route together, I strongly implore CIPEO, and other community groups, to undertake membership expansion drives,” advised Dr Harris. “Additionally, they should pursue the implementation of projects, programmes and other activities, including the establishment of websites that seek to reach out positively to greater numbers of residents, particularly the vulnerable youths in our midst.”

The colourful ceremony which was held at the Sandy Point Community Centre saw the honouring of six retired teachers from the Sandy Point area, and according to Stephen Duggins, CIPEO’s immediate past president, Dr Harris was invited to address the award ceremony in his capacity as the minister with responsibilities for Constituency Empowerment.

Retired teacher, Alexandrina Caesar (centre) receives her award from CIPEO’s committee members Loui Hendrickson (left) and L. Gineriette.

Community Improvement and Personal Empowerment Organisation’s President, Evron Warner, introduced the honourees. They were Marilyn Guishard-Bertie, Bertram Caines, Alexandrina Caesar, Calvin Farier and Angeline Revan who were present and William Hodge who was represented by his son.

Also addressing the awards ceremony was the area parliamentary representative, Shawn Richards, who said, “It is indeed a privilege and pleasure for me this evening to salute six persons whose contribution to the teaching profession have impacted many lives and will continue to do so even after their sojourn in this part of the vineyard would have come to an end.

“In my capacity as parliamentary representative, as a Sandy Pointer and also a past student of most of the honourees I take the opportunity to extend heartfelt gratitude on behalf of myself and the entire constituency for their sterling contributions.”

Richards told the meeting that since education provides the framework for the advancement of the nation, there was need therefore for leaders and thinkers to educate and serve as mentors for the nation’s young people. He advised that when such people are found, they should be recognised and celebrated for their contribution, since it is oftentimes a thankless task.

“Today we honour such people who have made their mark and who have served their community and country with distinction,” said the area parliamentary representative for St. Christopher Five. “We have before us six illustrious and distinguished persons who collectively have given over one hundred years of exemplary service to the teaching profession.”

VonDez Phipps announces the launching date for Sandy Pointers Inspiring Real Improvement Throughout (SPIRIT).

At the same venue, journalist and community member, VonDez Phipps, appeared to be responding to Dr. Harris’ challenge, when he announced that a new community group, Sandy Pointers Inspiring Real Improvement Throughout (SPIRIT), will be launched on Friday May 7. He said that it will help, among others, to address situations where persons in communities tend to mask problems facing them.

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