Nevis retains debate championship title
From the NIA
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – The team of debaters from the Nevis Literary and Debating Society returned to Nevis from Anguilla on March 5 after winning the 46th Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) title for the second consecutive year. They were met at the Vance W. Amory International Airport by a delegation of elated education officials led by Hon. Mark Brantley, the premier of Nevis and minister of education, President of the Nevis Island Assembly the Hon. Farrel Smithen, their peers, family and well-wishers.
At the welcoming ceremony at the airport’s VIP lounge, Brantley praised the debaters for the feat and said he expected them to do well in the annual completion. He urged them to be examples to not only their peers, but also for all of Nevis.
“I’m extremely proud as premier to welcome you home, to welcome you as champions and to say to the team for next year that obviously the pressure is on and you would now have to three-peat, so that we can know that this is certainly no fluke. I want to congratulate you…You are an inspiration not only for your peers, but I think for all of Nevis. When bad things happen on the island, it affects all of us, and when good things happen, it equally inspires all of us,” he said.
Brantley stated that the young people are not only the future, but the present, and told the debaters they have a lot to offer and they are making all of Nevis proud in the process.
Junior Minister of Education the Hon. Troy Liburd lauded the team for the high standard of debate. “The level of debate I saw from our debaters here was unparalleled,” he said. “All of the other debaters did well also, but I think Nevis was a cut above the rest and the judges also agreed with that.”
Liburd added that he saw in the team future leaders of Nevis and looked forward to their doing great things for Nevis. “I believe, in you, we see the future of the island.,” he said. “We see future leadership here and…I am looking for great things in the future from those of you here and from your other classmates and peers. I hope that you will be an inspiration to other young people here on the island of Nevis.
“We often times hear of so many bad things, but I think that you guys here could be the inspiration to spur on many of your peers and many of the younger ones to doing positive things and to doing great things. So, I am looking forward to great things from all of you into the future,” he said.
Rol-J Williams, who earned the award for “Best Overall Speaker” of the competition, expressed gratitude to the teachers, including staff sponsor Anselm Caines and the entire Nevisian public for their overwhelming support.
On the final night of the competition, Nevis opposed the moot “Black People’s Suspicion and Resentment of White People is Justified” and won that debate 651 to 558 points over St. Maarten. The debaters were Rol-J Williams and Kjel Smithen, who earned the award for “Best Speaker” on that night.
On Saturday night, Nevis won 628 to 591 points against Anguilla, proposing the moot “Climate Change Supersedes Crime and Drug Trafficking as Greatest Threat to the Stability and Development of the Caribbean.” The debaters who represented Nevis in Saturday night’s debate were Rol-J Williams and Lauren Lawrence.
The competition took place at Blue Ridge Auditorium in Anguilla March 2-4. The ceremony was chaired by Kevin Barrett, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education.