Courtesy Call – Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda

His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, ORTT, SC, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received Sir Rodney Williams KGN, CCMG, KSt.J, MBSS, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda on a courtesy call.  The Governor was accompanied by his wife Lady Sandra Williams.

In keeping with his initiative since his inauguration, the President had school students present at the event which surprised the Governor.  However, he was even greater surprised when he noticed among the other invited guests were three (3) of his classmates from his time at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.  All professionals themselves, they were Dr Lynette Welch, Dr David Toby and Dr Raphael Howchung.

Also in attendance was renowned martial artist Professor Soke Francis along with some of his students who are currently enrolled in his 39th Annual Martial Arts Camp of Trinidad and Tobago Unified Martial Arts Federation.

When invited to address the gathering, Governor General Williams first spoke of how comfortable and at home President Carmona made him feel.  Going through the lengths to have his schoolmates and engaging school children to be present for his visit was extremely impressive and he felt most humbled.

His Excellency gifted the Governor General two (2) books by local authors, the late Angelo Bissessarsingh and Virginia Pacifique-Marshall.  Both these persons have been praised for their invaluable contributions to Trinidad and Tobago in the form of literary works due to them overcoming many personal challenges to document the country’s culture before it became obsolete.

President Carmona and the Governor General spoke of the many Caribbean giants in the form of Nobel Laureates Dr Lewis, V.S. Nipaul and Derrick Walcott as well as Oscar Award winner Dr Kokaram.

His Excellency, referring to the students said to the Governor General, “Our education system does not afford them the luxury of having all the qualities they need to navigate this very complex world.”  He went on to urge the students to refrain from using the social media platform as a means to lower the self-esteem of their peers but instead they should become “game changers”, ensuring conversations in social media and in day to day living are respectful and based on compassion.

The Governor General when addressing the students advised them to obtain a good education and aspire to be the greatest they can be, because anything worth having is worth the sacrifice.

In concluding, Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams again extended his gratitude to President Carmona for such a profound and memorable experience.  He hopes to continue collaborating with him on other initiatives aimed towards improving integration among Caribbean states.

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