NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 31, 2022) — Ms. Shadé Bridgeman, a student of the Charlestown Secondary School (CSS), is the first to receive from a Wallace Family Bursary, thanks to former student turned diplomat Mr. Eustace Theo Wallace of Hamilton, who says his experience with foreign languages as a student at the school has helped influence his career.
At a small but significant handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Education on August 30, 2022, Mr. Wallace who serves as Minister-Counselor at the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission to Canada, spoke of his experience and the reason behind giving back to his school.
“For me being a diplomat for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, it is really important that as a small island state we are equipped with the necessary linguistic skills to be able to build relationships and networks.
“During my time at the Charlestown Secondary School, the Modern Languages Department really helped to mould my curiosity for the world. Through French, through Spanish I was able to learn of Africa, Latin America, Florence, Europe, the Pacific. There’s no limit to where you can go in the world if you speak one language, imagine if you can speak two. So this basic motivation really shaped me in terms of my willingness to not just represent St. Kitts and Nevis in different capitals around the world but just to help brand Nevis specifically and I think that’s important,” he said.
An emotional Wallace who noted that he was experiencing a rush of nostalgia, memories and experiences which led him to help others to get involved in Foreign Languages.
“When I think about everything Ms. Angela Monzac; Mr. Chesley Manners; Mrs. Marjorie Brandy and of course all of the other teachers at CSS did for me it really brings a lot of emotions to the surface, and so, I just want to use this opportunity and this small token of appreciation to pay it forward, and so that’s why I’m pleased to be here today with not just the principal but Ms. Monzac and the teacher and my mom… without her nothing would have been possible, as well as my grandmother and the entire Wallace family, and so that’s why I’m proud to call it the Wallace Family Bursary, and I hope this is something that I can do for years to come,” he said.
In response, Ms. Bridgeman expressed her gratitude for the gesture.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Wallace and his family for this contribution. It would be of great assistance to me, and I pledge to put it to good use. I thank you,” she said.
Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and a former Principal of the Charlestown Primary School where Mr. Wallace also attended, described the moment as a delightful one for him, the Ministry of Education, the Department of Education and the Charlestown Secondary School.
“It’s a very momentous occasion for us that one of our sons of the soil in Mr. Eustace Theo Wallace, and I have a great relationship with him, being one of his past teachers at the Charlestown Primary School…He’s here to hand over, I think, something that is really significant, something that will be extremely helpful to one of our students.
“I remember a phone call I received from Mr. Wallace last October and he told me he wanted to give back to his alma mater the Charlestown Secondary School something that would help a student there and by the end of the conversation I was really delighted with what he imparted to me,” he said.
Ms. Angela Monzac, Head at the Modern Languages Department at CSS, was responsible for selecting a student based on Mr. Wallace’s criteria.
“Mr. Wallace indicated that the bursary should be given to a student who does both languages, and our first candidate this year is Ms. Shadé Bridgeman who is an excellent worker. She does both languages and she is very keenly interested,” she said.
Also present to witness the occasion was Mrs. Hyacinth Wallace-Forbes, the mother of Mr. Wallace; and Mr. Juan Williams, Principal of the Charlestown Secondary School.