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2018 Executive Chairman’s Feature Address: St. Anthony’s Awards Function

Principal Maurice Inniss, student body, teachers, parents and guardians, other special invited guests and last but by no means least – the awardees themselves, good evening everyone and thank you for this opportunity to address you on this special occasion to recognize achievements of excellence.

This function represents the dedicated and accomplished efforts of the many recipients from both the student and teaching faculties of St Anthony’s College for the year ending 2018.
It is indeed a special occasion to celebrate excellence in academia, sports and extra curriculum. The achievements of these awardees should be recognized and celebrated and I hope today’s exercise accomplishes that.
It is important for me at this time to put into perspective how the Aboud brothers and through their company Amalgamated Security, came to sponsor this event in its entirety

You may not know this, but I was once a student of this college as well as my brothers, John and Edgar. Owing to this, the designed logo of sponsorship includes the three-leaf clover, each representing one of us and a set of wording which I think is aptly used. This can have an alternative interpretation of faith, hope and love and in some circles it represents the trinity but whichever the selection, fitting to the occasion.

During our period and as early as 1969 form three was the highest form and only two buildings stood on the grounds then with the pool, and other buildings followed which helped to increase additional applied technical subjects in the fields of air-conditioning ,auto- mechanics and electronics to the school curriculum as I can recall. The founder was the late Fr. Gerald Pantin CSSP of the Holy Ghost Fathers and the college was named after the late Archbishop of Port Of Spain Anthony Pantin.

It was a private school then with the Holy Ghost fathers having the responsibility for its operations and it became an assisted school in 1982 I remember clear like day light, a function just as this presided over by then the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin when John and I received similar recognitions for academic merit. Edgar later followed in the same footsteps. And I am pleased to see that this tradition continues to date and more so, that we could be part of it, almost 50 years later.

It is not often that one gets an opportunity to give back to the foundation that helped to mold them to become successful and realize their dreams. It is in this vein that the sponsorship came to life.

The words alma mater variously translated as “nourishing mother”, “nursing mother”, or “fostering mother”, suggests that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students and this is so true and is a testament of our successes in life today.

Other notable names to mention would be Don Ramdeen, the Peake brothers and Louis Aleong of Albrosco ltd in the sphere of business. In sports, it would be Kenwyn Jones and Carlos Edwards for Football, Lester Cassimir – Cricket…. and for creativity you have Brian Mc Farlane for Costume Designer, Roger Mohammed – Calypsonian, Jason Huggins and Paul Mowser – chefs ,Joey Ng Wai – Second Image and Nigel Rojas – Musician from the group Orange sky.

As an institution we have been producing many success stories and I am sure we will continue

Along with my good friend, Louis Aleong, also an alumnus of St Anthony’s, we met with Mr Innis and discussed a number of initiatives including my offer to sponsor this award which was readily accepted and this is how I am here today and hopefully for many more years to come, as we continue to develop the program to recognize excellence.
I can also say that the development of the alumni is on-going and you can expect that many good things will result and resonate to the benefit of the college.

As feature speaker it would be remiss of me if I did not provide the motivation that is warranted at this time, not just for the awardees but for the whole student body. I have chosen to speak about my own life experience and what has made the difference in my life and the success story it is, as I believe that if you apply these principles, you too will enjoy the success of your own dreams.

I started with nothing…… no that is not true, I started with a dream and the will to achieve. I adopted the attitude that nothing will stop me if I work hard and use my mistakes as a learning bed; if I fall I would pick up and work harder towards my dream. And, here I am today operating from a starting position of one Security Officer (myself) at Amalgamated Security to hiring over 5000 employees, providing diversified and integrated security systems, regionally.

All of this came through my learning. I have frequently spoken about how much I owe to the many inspiring, patient, passionate, strict teachers that I was fortunate to encounter during my years at this college. But you all should know that without devoted and committed teachers, you could hardly reach your full potential.

I say this because I see value in emphasizing that you need to respect and appreciate every one of your teachers and when they drive you to perform and make demands that you think are unreasonable, remember, it is for your own good and in fact sets the standard for your future performance. This was my case

It is also important to remember this story because it tells of starting from nothing and building something which means that every one of you in this audience has the same chance at succeeding in life

So I say to you, dare to soar. Because

The greatest discovery one can make is to realize that nothing is impossible;

The can-do attitude will make a positive difference.

Also remember this ….

The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best you can become. It’s in reaching for the stars that will stretch you to the height of your full potential.

It takes courage to embrace the possibilities of your potential and wisdom to recognize it. Having flown past the summit of your fears, nothing will be impossible to achieve and the strength of your achievement is rooted in the depth of your passion. To sum this up the difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

So, your individual achievement today is all part of your efforts to fulfilling Excellence in your life’s journey and, you have only just begun.

This is only now being implanted into your DNA……. as a state through your vision, dedication and determination. Like a circle, the pursuit of excellence has no end.

I salute your unwavering commitment to outstanding personal performance.

Please give the awardees a round of applause at this time ……..thank you

As I sum up the foundation of excellence is built with the quality of actions which you demonstrated and which is being recognized today.
Your future achievements will be shaped by the strength of the foundations you set. Thank you for your commitment to excellence and once again congratulations on raising the banner of excellence.
Your school, your principal, your teachers and your parents are all proud of your achievements including the alumni….so keep that flag flying high and help us to build St Anthony’s reputation and become the dominant or preferred college for other generations to come.
Teamwork and leadership at this institution continue to grow and develop with academic and sporting successes which allows you and the college to reach the heights of excellence and perform extraordinarily.
I can also say that from my own experience Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results. And if you join with your teachers you will achieve success beyond your imagination in your academic journey in life.
As henry Ford once said Coming together is a beginning…keeping together is progress…working together is success.
so in closing I hope that you would have assimilated and appreciated what I have said and if you take away most of it, if not all , your life would change forever.

If nothing, remember… Have a dream, and the will, and know that you will make mistakes and when you do, pick up and work harder, success does not come without hard work and sacrifice.

I wish you all a wonderful, joyful and rewarding future. Believe in yourselves! You are getting an excellent education so don’t waste it. I thank you the teachers for your part in molding these young men and the role you play as a member of the St Anthony’s family of educators.

Be firm, continue to promote positivity and maintain your discipline as you continue to follow you passion as educators in molding and shaping the lives of your students… I feel so proud of your achievements and look forward for greater achievements for our school – St Anthony’s College. Good luck, God bless.

Thank you and Good evening

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