By S. Williams
On Wednesday, Jan. 11, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) and the Department of Community Development, hosted the Alexander Hamilton Scholarship Fund Awards ceremony and Tea Party at the Alexander Hamilton Museum Grounds.
This year’s recipients, Abigail Swanston and Levonski Jeffers of Charlestown Secondary School, and Shelliqua Carmichael and Hallie Yankey of Gingerland join a long list of students past and present who would have benefited from the Hamilton Fund.
The Fund, established in 1966 by the Trott family, assists deserving secondary school students with uniforms, fees, books and other school supplies. Locally the fund is supported by members of the NHCS and members of the wider community and is administered by the Ministry of Social Development.
The evening’s program included welcome remarks from Shefton Liburd, Secretary of the NHCS Board of Directors, who said education drives the economy and people who take the time and opportunity to invest in education are operating with wisdom as an investment for the future.
Remarks were also given by Nicole Liburd, Executive Director of NHCS who led the audience in singing Happy Birthday during a telephone conference with a number of persons from the Hamilton Celebrations 2016 in New York City. Cultural Presentations included a Fishermen’s Dance by Maude Crosse Preparatory School and a performance by the “Mighty” Sookie, reigning Culturama Junior Kaiso King.
During the report on the Alexander Hamilton Scholarship Fund for the year 2016 given by the Tracy Paris, Community Development Officer for St. Georges parish, she urged students in the program to treat their scholarships as a privilege and a responsibility.
“Your school reports have shown that some have not worked to uphold the integrity of this scholarship,” Ms. Paris said.
“There have been instances of poor performances throughout the year. There have also been instances where 50 hours community service which has to be completed within the year has also been neglected even though placements have been assigned for those hours to be completed. It is hoped that there will be some major improvement in your work as of this term.”
Aneka Stapleton, one of two guest speakers and former recipient of the scholarship, said while Education is the key success, determination, it also plays an important role in achieving success.
The second Guest Speaker Orian Stapleton, another former recipient reminded this year’s scholars that faith can move mountains and that “Once you want something as badly as you can breathe, humanity cannot stand in your way.”
This celebration marked the 260th birthday of Alexander Hamilton, the Nevisian born Founding Father of the United States.
Mr. Hamilton lived on Nevis until he was nine and went on to become the chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the founder of the nation’s financial system, the founder of the Federalist Party (the world’s first voter-based political party) the Father of the U.S. Coast Guard and founder of the New York Post.