Visit to the “Black Hawks” Martial Arts Summer Camp

His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona ORTT, SC, President of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago visited the “Summer Camp” of the Black Hawks Martial Arts Academy which was hosted at the Aranguez North Secondary School.

Present for the visit were not only participants of the camp but students of the martial arts school, parents, supporters and the school’s Principal, Mr Gerard Thomas and Vice Principal, Ms Denise Gosyne.

The President was entertained by a series of contemporary dances and theatrical performances as well as a display of swift and coordinated martial arts techniques.  Both these aspects of entertainment were done in synchrony with each on the same stage.  Additionally, His Excellency, given his front row seating, had a close encounter with a series of flips, kicks and karate routines executed by the students of various ranks and ages.

His Excellency, in addressing those gathered, thanked the members of staff who took the time to organize the event especially the Principal and Vice.  He highlighted the dignity inherent in every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago saying, “We must always remember that everybody is somebody, and we must never forget to treat people like people.”

President Carmona further stated that the Summer Camp, led by Professor Christopher “Soke” Francis which is in its 39th year is a demonstration of a positive initiative.  He further said, “I must say that there is a change occurring along the East – West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago, and that change is coming from the individuals and organisations such as the Black Hawks that are working in the trenches of social dysfunction to make a change in our society.”

His Excellency went on to affirm the faith he possesses in the youths in his presence at the event.  This, he stated, was made even clearer yesterday, when some of the Black Hawks students were present at the Office of The President for the Courtesy Call of the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda.  Saying, “Just yesterday, the Governor General was surprised to see that young students were part of the audience at the Office.  The Governor General was even more impressed by the profound questions and critical thinking of our young people.”  He was assured that the youth of this generation are becoming critical and independent thinkers, rather than “yes” men.

President Carmona applauded Professor Francis for doing his part in creating solutions to the social dysfunction which is plaguing Trinidad and Tobago.  It presents a measure of satisfaction that because of the work of Professor Francis, there is a greater probability that “kids would not be going to the Golden Grove Prison, or to ‘Death Row.’ Kids can now go to great Offices, and also abroad.”

His Excellency concluded by stating that the essential solutions to the social ills affecting our society are love; compassion; respect for parents and teachers; order and discipline.  This he reaffirmed by stating “My vision is to not to nurture big fishes in canals.  My vision is to create, nurture and support big fishes to swim into the oceans of the world.”