President David Granger: I don’t know what the official designation is immediate past patron? Thank you for presiding over this simple ceremony. It is an honour to follow you, you have personally set a tradition, a reputation and a record of public service and I’m sure that the work that you have done in the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club [has] not only helped to enhance the club, but also enhance the community itself and the region where this Club was born and where it functions. It is an honour to follow you and I hope that during my tour of duty I would be able to measure up to the high standards that you have set although I don’t have a corporation behind me.
To you Mr. Foster, thank you for your leadership in the Club, in the community, and in the region. Again, you have explained the record of service of your Club; a Club that has gained international recognition, national recognition, regional recognition. I could only wish that there were more Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Clubs throughout this country.
In my less than one year, I would like it to be remembered that we have created three new towns: Mabaruma, Bartica, and Lethem have become towns and soon Mahdia will become a town. And if I can use this model, the Rose Hall Town model to have youth clubs in every town in Guyana, soon we will have ten towns in Guyana.
You can see that we have been lifting the river and all the boats floating therein will rise as well. This is a real role model and if I can be of service to Rose Hall Town I would be a very satisfied President indeed. I spent part of my upbringing in Whim; not far from Rose Hall Town and I have great affection for the Corentyne. I used to leave Whim to go to church at Port Mourant where the Anglican church is. Although I went to Auchlyne Church of Scotland School I remember passing the school and asking my father, “why are we passing the school, there is a perfectly good church there?” it was then called the Scots Church and of course now it is called St. Saviour’s Presbyterian Church.
…As I grew up I learnt that my family was Anglican, so we had to leave Whim to get to Port Mourant but even going back there in other phases of my life I have learnt to love and respect Rose Hall Town… But the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club is what I would call now a national icon and I would like to ask that whatever magic the foster family used or you particularly Hilbert, to bring youth together; the vision that you have articulated, the work that you have done, the contacts you have made in the corporate community, if perhaps you could let us know your trade secrets so that in Bartica, in Mabaruma, in Lethem, in New Amsterdam you know, in Anna Regina we can use the same model.
I would like to thank you for this honour you have bestowed upon me today. I would like to congratulate you on the work that you have done and I would just like you to join me in hoping that during my tenure of office we will continue to build on the good work that Mrs. [Beverly] Harper has done and that you have done and you all together as members of the youth club have done. You are a treasure of Guyana on this our 50th Anniversary year and I am very happy to have had this honour of being made your patron.
Thank you very much.