In his remarks before a crowd of villagers and other Ministers in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), the Minister said the new centre would present an opportunity for a collective effort to tackle the evils of crime, violence, poverty and underdevelopment.
“Here is an opportunity to increase the skills set in the country. There will be training in Blue print Reading, Plumbing Installation and Electrical Installation.
“This will allow us to chart a new course with respect to skill development. Never again must we be short changed. Here is the chance for Adult and Continuing Education with classes in CXC Courses in English, POB, Social Studies, Accounting and Mathematics. Remember all knowledge is useful. You are never too old to learn,” he said.
Mr. Daniel further urged the Villagers to grab hold of the opportunity to begin anew with the reading Starts With Us programme, which he said helped build a culture of reading in the society. He explained that the programme would also begin the steps toward the creation of a knowledge based society in which thinking and reasoning replaced emotional outbursts.
“Join the Book Clubs that will be established. We have already started to mobilise persons to participate. Bring your books and share,” he said while he encouraged the villagers to help the NIA to develop and manage the Arts for Economic Development.
“We shall have classes in music, dance, drama and poetry. A community so full of raw cultural talent must welcome the opportunity to harness such talents,” he said.
The Social Development Minister noted that the Centre would serve to bridge the digital divide through comprehensive Computer Education that would offer courses at the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
With regard to the area’s social advancement, Mr. Daniel said the Centre would also help the NIA to arrest the social problems through the facilitation of training programmes in Parenting, Anger Management, Communication and Team work.
“We will create a class of capitalists with extensive training in Business Management, Finance and Entrepreneurship Education.
“The Centre will once again capture the tempo of village life here in Cotton Ground and serve as a place for public education, lectures, film shows, movies and concerts,” he said.
According to Mr. Daniel, the seniors in the community were all fired up to take advantage of the new programmes that would be available and warned the young people of the village to watch out and sharpen their saw.
The Department of Community Development, he said, would work with individuals, groups, families and communities to bring about meaningful social cohesion.
“To those who are tuned at our wide range of activities bear in mind that for more than 30 years I have been pounding the pavement for social and economic development.
“Further, I have as my lieutenants two men the Permanent Secretary and the Special Advisor in the Ministry. They have been with me so we know what we are doing. We know where we are going. This is part of the process of social transformation,” he said.
The ceremony was chaired by villager Mr. Chesley Davis with brief remarks from Director of Community Development Mrs. Janette Nisbett-Meloney. The programme included a pan rendition of the National Anthem by Ms. Jinnel Tyson, the Opening Prayer and Dedication of the Building was done by Pastor Muriel St. Jean, a poem was delivered by villager Mrs. Maureen Stapleton.
The Cotton Ground Masquerades thrilled the crowd with a lively performance while also from Cotton Ground Village renowned Calypsonian, Crefton “King Meeko” Warner sang two of his popular compositions. There were also renditions from the Brighter Moments Brass Ensemble. The Vote of Thanks was given by Community Development Officer Mr. Delroy Pinney.