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Another Community Resource Centre opens in the north of Montserrat

As promised, the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, the St. John’s Action Club (SJAC), along with the Ministry of Education, Health and Community Services gathered on Saturday evening, May 6, 2017, at Pump Ghaut, St. John’s, for the official handover and opening of the St. John’s Community Resource Centre.

Beginning with an opening prayer led by Fr. Carlisle Vyphuis who beseeched God’s blessing, “on those responsible for funding this resource center the Basic Needs Trust Fund; on all those who will use this building and on everything that will be said and done here this afternoon,” may be done to God’s honor and to His glory.

SJAC president who performed as master of ceremonies next gave opening remarks  of welcome in which he featured “a bittersweet taste for me.” He began by being, “indeed thankful for this beautiful building and we know it’s a blessing for the St John’s community. The benefits that would be derived from this is tremendous and just to name a few our masquerades and even our guppies would have a venue for practice, social events and meetings for the community, the continuation of our homework program, the start of our music lessons, guitar and ukulele lessons which will start immediately,” he announced.

As to the bittersweet taste, Kenneth Silcott said it comes from the depth at which the building was placed. “To me it presents a dangerous cliff-side which you’ll see at the back there, for our children,” he said, adding that the destruction of the land resulted in minimizing the space for a playground and a basketball field, “that would have been up top.” (the site had been split and the lower level used for the building)  “Promise us the stars… As I look at it there are two projects in my mind, there’s a beautiful wall that needs to be done to protect our children and the roads need to be completed…,” Silcott demanded.

BNTF Manager on the ground, Mervyn Browne gave the usual overview of the eventual Resource Centre, recalling that the masquerades and guppies emerged from funding by BNTF for a project, ‘the revival of traditional music and dance.’

The Resource Centres he said, were part of the BNTF’s human resource development project under this sixth cycle of the BNTF program. Former MP Victor James several years initiated the request for the Centre. GoM provided the funding for the purchase of the land on which the building sits with land above, for future development.

The Hon. Minister of Community Services Delmaude Ryan then gave remarks during which she alluded to Mr Silcott’s “bitter-sweet taste”, speaking directly. “I have a vision for this place,” she said, noting, “the very same things that may appear to be a challenge are those that will stimulate our intellect and creativity to foster the gelling of the community spirit required, to allow the light of this community Centre, though appearing to be hidden, in terms of its physical location, to be the beacon of this community.” 

She praised, “The village of St. John’s and its surrounding held a greater share of the rich heritage of Montserrat. It was identified first by the reservoir of talents in the arts and its strong intellectual capacity. “When you hear St. John’s, the first thing that came to mind was calypso, music, masquerade, and goat water.”

“Its loneliness will not be for too long,” she asserts, “as it awakes to laughter, music and dance, cooking and studies which will be etched in its walls, a new story of development of a people will birth, the true essence of ‘it takes a village to raise a whole child’ and a new St. John’s will emerge from beneath the hill.”  

The Minister concludes, impressing on the people of St. John’s hoping that, “lives that will be changed here,” and that, “it will take a Community effort, whether your navel string was buried here in St John’s or not…the success of the positive changes and life transforming experiences given root through this community Centre, depends on…your commitment to participate in the programmes, giving of your time and resources whether young or old, on island or overseas.” 

A vote of thanks ensued, delivered by Ms Jose White, followed Fr. Vyphuis’ prayers of dedication of the building, declaring the building open and the ribbon cutting by the SJAC princess, Minister and BNTF Manager brought the proceedings to an end followed by a tour of the building with refreshments served.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

As promised, the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, the St. John’s Action Club (SJAC), along with the Ministry of Education, Health and Community Services gathered on Saturday evening, May 6, 2017, at Pump Ghaut, St. John’s, for the official handover and opening of the St. John’s Community Resource Centre.

Beginning with an opening prayer led by Fr. Carlisle Vyphuis who beseeched God’s blessing, “on those responsible for funding this resource center the Basic Needs Trust Fund; on all those who will use this building and on everything that will be said and done here this afternoon,” may be done to God’s honor and to His glory.

SJAC president who performed as master of ceremonies next gave opening remarks  of welcome in which he featured “a bittersweet taste for me.” He began by being, “indeed thankful for this beautiful building and we know it’s a blessing for the St John’s community. The benefits that would be derived from this is tremendous and just to name a few our masquerades and even our guppies would have a venue for practice, social events and meetings for the community, the continuation of our homework program, the start of our music lessons, guitar and ukulele lessons which will start immediately,” he announced.

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As to the bittersweet taste, Kenneth Silcott said it comes from the depth at which the building was placed. “To me it presents a dangerous cliff-side which you’ll see at the back there, for our children,” he said, adding that the destruction of the land resulted in minimizing the space for a playground and a basketball field, “that would have been up top.” (the site had been split and the lower level used for the building)  “Promise us the stars… As I look at it there are two projects in my mind, there’s a beautiful wall that needs to be done to protect our children and the roads need to be completed…,” Silcott demanded.

BNTF Manager on the ground, Mervyn Browne gave the usual overview of the eventual Resource Centre, recalling that the masquerades and guppies emerged from funding by BNTF for a project, ‘the revival of traditional music and dance.’

The Resource Centres he said, were part of the BNTF’s human resource development project under this sixth cycle of the BNTF program. Former MP Victor James several years initiated the request for the Centre. GoM provided the funding for the purchase of the land on which the building sits with land above, for future development.

The Hon. Minister of Community Services Delmaude Ryan then gave remarks during which she alluded to Mr Silcott’s “bitter-sweet taste”, speaking directly. “I have a vision for this place,” she said, noting, “the very same things that may appear to be a challenge are those that will stimulate our intellect and creativity to foster the gelling of the community spirit required, to allow the light of this community Centre, though appearing to be hidden, in terms of its physical location, to be the beacon of this community.” 

She praised, “The village of St. John’s and its surrounding held a greater share of the rich heritage of Montserrat. It was identified first by the reservoir of talents in the arts and its strong intellectual capacity. “When you hear St. John’s, the first thing that came to mind was calypso, music, masquerade, and goat water.”

“Its loneliness will not be for too long,” she asserts, “as it awakes to laughter, music and dance, cooking and studies which will be etched in its walls, a new story of development of a people will birth, the true essence of ‘it takes a village to raise a whole child’ and a new St. John’s will emerge from beneath the hill.”  

The Minister concludes, impressing on the people of St. John’s hoping that, “lives that will be changed here,” and that, “it will take a Community effort, whether your navel string was buried here in St John’s or not…the success of the positive changes and life transforming experiences given root through this community Centre, depends on…your commitment to participate in the programmes, giving of your time and resources whether young or old, on island or overseas.” 

A vote of thanks ensued, delivered by Ms Jose White, followed Fr. Vyphuis’ prayers of dedication of the building, declaring the building open and the ribbon cutting by the SJAC princess, Minister and BNTF Manager brought the proceedings to an end followed by a tour of the building with refreshments served.