BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Positive male figures in society, men’s contributions and sacrifices and issues affecting the male community were highlighted during International Men’s Day observed annually on Nov. 19 with the theme, “Positive Male Role Models.”
Special awards were presented to men who were honoured for their positive impact on society. They included Williams V. Hodge for Education; Dr. Jerome Thomas for Agriculture; Augustus Shelford for Religion; Tyrone O’Loughlin for Youth Development and Sports; Royd Phipps for Creative and Performing Arts; and Mitchel Slader for Media.
Three commemorative awards went to Michael Weintraub for his humanitarian efforts and Livingston Huggins for his work with the National Men’s Council. Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris also presented a special award to Jefferson Fraites, owner of Fraites Supermarket in Molinuex for his charitable contributions in the community.
Minister of Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton stated that a positive male role model is someone who is genuine, confident, humble, successful, and a good listener.
“While everyone may not be seen as a positive role model, we all have the capacity to be one,” Hamilton said. “Today, you will hear the good work that your father, husband, son, uncle nephew, brother, cousin, fiancé or neighbour has done to improve the lives of those around them. The event is designed for persons to learn from positive role models.”
The minister said too many young men in society are being marginalized. There is a misconception that men do not need as much empowerment as women. This leaves men without proper guidance and increases the potential for them to engage in anti-social behaviour.
“We all need to encourage men and boys in our lives to unlock their full potential,” Hamilton explained. “The more we encourage and emulate positive behaviours, the more we will see positive change in our society.”