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Hon Samal Duggins: We are working hard for you to have a better future to inherit


BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 1, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — Friday July 28 was a day like no other for the four recipients of the 2022 Samal Duggins Follow Your Passion Scholarship Award, as they were given a first-hand opportunity to see real life experience in the day of a Government Minister.

“Today I wanted to expose all of you to the work that we do as ministers of government – what our days are like,” the Hon Samal Duggins told the four scholarship recipients as they took a break to enjoy their lunch.

He added: “So today you got a little glimpse of what my day is like. Most of my days I start at 8:30 to 9 o’clock in the morning and I do not finish until 10 o’clock in the night. And so after we leave here we have a long day to go, so we are going to finish at 10 o’clock tonight.”

The Hon Samal Duggins welcomes to his office in Port Zante, the four 2022 recipients of the Samal Duggins Follow Your Passion Scholarship Award and three of their friends.

The Honourable Duggins, who is the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Four, and Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and The Creative Economy, launched the Samal Duggins Follow Your Passion Scholarship Award last year. It gives four scholarships to children entering his alma mater, the Verchilds High School.

“So you see, as Ministers we work very hard, and we do all this hard work to make sure that St. Kitts and Nevis is better for all of you, that there is a better future for you to inherit,” he told the attentive scholarship awardees at the end of the tour. “I wanted you to see some of what we do, so that you understand and appreciate the work of a minister.”

The four recipients are Master Orrin Hughes, Miss Kaaliyah Pereira, Master Anthony Perdereaux, all 13, and Miss Haley James, 12. According to Hon Duggins, criteria used to select them are that two of the students are from the Tyrell Williams Primary School, and the other two from the Bronte Welsh Primary School.

“We started the day with a radio interview at WINN FM and then we went to do our visit to the children’s summer camp at the Samuel Williams Sports Complex in Verchilds, where we spoke to a number of young persons engaged in the sporting camp,” observed Hon Duggins. “I think that was a wonderful experience, being able to share with the youngsters there and have them share their experience with us.”

Top picture on the left: Hon Duggins and the children outside WINN FM office in the Sands Complex on Bay Road; the other three pictures show the Minister and the children at the Verchilds play field, where the 2023 Summer Sports Camp was taking place.

Joining the four recipients of the scholarship award were a nephew of Hon Duggins, Master Darrick Stephens, 8; and two special ‘young women’ Miss Naviska Glasgow, 9; and Miss Deomique Williams, 9, both who were chaperoned by Ms Janelle Mason, a web designer.

“The two amazed me when I was campaigning because they were at every event right in front of the stage every time,” explained the Honourable Minister. “I remember seeing them wearing Samal Duggins T-shirts and they said that I am their favourite politician, and I always try to involve them in whatever I am doing, when I have the time.”

After leaving the Samuel Williams Sports Complex, they travelled to the Agro Strip in Pond Site, Newtown, where the St. Kitts Farmers’ Cooperative Society was holding the Freedom Food Fair. Hon Duggins visited and toured the various stalls in his capacity as the Minister with responsibility for Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Here the children were treated to a variety of locally grown fruits including silk bananas, water melons, pineapples, and guava among others, which they ate with relish. Even as they listened as the Minister engaged the farmers, they too also talked to the farmers.

Lunch for the Minister and the four 2022 recipients of the Samal Duggins Follow Your Passion Scholarship Award and three of their friends was at the Splash Pool Grill at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay.

Lunch was at the Splash Pool Grill at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay. While they were enjoying the lunch, Ambassador His Excellency Kervin ‘Infamous’ Benjamin briefly stopped by to talk to the Minister. When the Minister asked the children if they knew who he was, they collectively said ‘no’. But when he started singing the song ‘Love St. Kitts’, they all shouted, ‘Infamous!’

The team then came to Port Zante where a business expo was taking place in readiness for the official launching of the Department of Creative Economy that evening. Accompanied by Hon Duggins, here in his capacity as the Minister with responsibility for Sports and The Creative Economy, they toured several stands and engaged the various stall owners.

The tour ended with a visit to the Minister’s office, also in Port Zante, and offices of the ministries housed in the same building.

“It was a pleasure for me to also give them a walkthrough of what we are doing here with my ministries, so that they could see where work occurs, and what a minister’s office looks like,” said the Minister. “All in all I think it was a wonderful experience – it was indeed for me to give them that experience and see the reaction on their faces and to see their own charisma and have them keep up for so long. It is now 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”

In Master Orrin Hughes’s opinion, the day went on well noting that “the Minister treated us very well. My colleagues and I are happy because we learned many things from what he is doing in his big job. Being a Minister is not bad, but I want to be a marine biologist and with the assistance he is giving me, I will achieve my goals.”

Miss Kaaliyah Pereira said the whole day with the Minister was very good, and she and her colleagues were very happy. Though she wants to become a makeup artist, she noted: “The Ministers do a tough job. He has been working so hard to help people and so on. I will also benefit from what he is doing. When I went by his office, he showed us different areas.”

Master Anthony Perdereaux, who said that he might want to become a minister, said: “The day with the Minister has been great. I am benefitting by being in the minister’s entourage today, because we are learning more and more, every time we have been learning more about life, how hard his job is, and we have fun sometimes.”

Miss Haley James also appreciated that a minister’s job is very hard. She said of the Minister:  “He is doing a good job as a minister. I don’t know yet what I will want to be when I grow up. Along with my colleagues we are very happy with what the Minister is doing for us.”

According to the Minister, recipients of the 2023 Samal Duggins Follow Your Passion Scholarship Award will be revealed on Friday August 4. He announced: “This year we have another four students coming into the programme, however, the installation ceremony will be on the 4th of August, and that is why they are not here with us today.”


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