William V. Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Positive role models were a major influence when William V. Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, said after receiving an award for influencing youth during the Nov. 19 International Men’s Day Ceremony.

“With humility, I accept your kind invitation to examine and discuss the theme ‘Positive Male Role Models,’ Hodge said. “Many persons, not only here in our Federation but across our region and the world, continue to advance the view that in today’s world we suffer from a severe shortage of male role models.”

Hodge, who had 11 siblings, shared his personal life experiences to showcase the positive role models in his life and reflected on his childhood.

“I look back at my own dad who is now deceased, I remember him fondly,” Hodge said. “I know for certain that he provided much financial and material support for all of his children. I cannot say that I was raised by my father, but if you ask me if he was a role model, I would most definitely have to say yes. One thing that stood out about my dad was the fact that he fathered 11 children and had the ability to bring all of us together and unite us as siblings.

“A positive role model is not a male that is polished to perfection or revered by his community, or one who is without blame or flaw. A positive role model is a man “by whose life another individual can pattern his or her own life.”

Hodge reflected on his relationship with his godfather, who worked as a “mountain man” and said that he was the hardest-working man he knew.

“I look back and say the inspiration that I get to work hard came from him,” Hodge said. “It wasn’t genetic or by blood, it was the model that I saw.”

He said there are men in the community whose influence continues to be felt in society and over generations, men who have stood the test of public scrutiny, whose lives and roles in the community have made great examples for emulation.

Hodge has dedicated 26 years of committed service to the children of St. Kitts and Nevis.