Mar. 12 — The St Kitts Teachers’ Union (SKTU) has established the Hillery Hunkins Memorial Award. This announcement was made By the St Kitts Teaches’ Union President, Bishop Ron Dublin-Collins, during his passionate tribute delivered at the Home Going Service for former President Hunkins. President Collins outlined that the memorial award was in recognition of the importance of Hillery’s exemplary work, his visionary leadership, and his sacrificial service to the teachers of St Kitts. He added that it was a tribute in recognition of his commitment, creativity, and contributions as an educator and unionist. The award will be presented to the student-teacher at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College with the Best Performance in the Associate Degree Secondary Education in the Teaching Division. In show of solidarity hundreds of teachers flooded the Old Road Ebenezar Methodist Church and its lawn, nestled under tents to view the service on large screen television in a show of support, solidarity and to pay tribute to this outstanding young union activist. President Collins chronicled his achievements and struggles, hardships and successes in his untiring fight for the welfare of teachers. Mr Hunkins served two consecutive terms as President of the SKTU. Under his leadership, he passionately advocated for a collective bargain agreement, awards to teachers, creating career path for teachers and the overall improvement in the working conditions of teachers in St Kitts. President Hunkins was instrumental in recruiting young blood into the union and successfully fought for official recognition of the Union as the bargaining agent for teachers in St. Kitts. During his presidency, the union was also able to put in place a structured grievance procedure, which Bishop Collins said is yet to be observed By Education officials. Hunkins taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and also served as a guidance counsellor. Also in attendance were the Mr Rouston Job, President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers and Ms Virginia Albert-Poyotte, Regional Director of Education International. Both of these regional teachers’ union leaders paid glowing tribute to the life and work of Mr Hunkins, praising him for his sacrificial contribution to the development of the union and the teaching profession and describing him as a “fire brand, a rising star and the thorn in the side of the Ministry of Education”. Tributes were delivered on behalf of the General Secretary of Education International Fred van Leeuwen, Executive Board members, and the general membership comprising of 30 million teachers and education employees from across the world and also from all the unit members of the Caribbean Union of Teachers. Hillery’s funeral cortege toured the historic Old Road community, heading to the Middle Island Cemetery where his remains were laid to rest as members of the Teachers’ Union presented a tribute in song, Home Going Day.
- Advertisement -