Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 30, 2015 (SKNIS): Former Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, Sir Cuthbert M. Sebastian, has encouraged young people of St. Kitts and Nevis to make use of available opportunities in order to pursue their goals.
During a visit from the Ministry of Social Development, along with several guests on his 94th birthday, Sir Cuthbert encouraged youth be ambitious.
“Well they [youth] should take advantage of what’s there,” he said. “It wasn’t easy in my day. There were no scholarships in medicine and one had to make up his mind what he’s going to do and get along with it.”
Sir Cuthbert explained that since his boyhood days he had aspired to become a medical practitioner and so upon completing school and working a stint as a pupil teacher, he sought a job at the then Cunningham hospital and became the learner dispenser. He later attained the necessary qualifications and was promoted to senior dispenser and hospital steward.
The former Governor General noted that in this post he played a major role in the hospital and carried out several tasks including anesthesiologist. It was revealed that at that time there was only one surgeon at the hospital and so he had to be assisted by the hospital steward who had the role of giving the anesthesia. This he said was one of the many tasks of a hospital steward.
With this experience under his belt, Sir Cuthbert went to Canada to pursue his medical qualifications and initially obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, then his medical certification from Dalhousie University, Halifax. He said the year that he was accepted, Dalhousie had offered 55 places in medicine but received over 3,000 applicants. His outstanding performance at Mount Allison University had assisted in his attaining placement. Sir Cuthbert returned to the Federation to practice medicine in 1958.
The way in which the former Governor General went about pursuing his goals prompted current Governor General, His Excellency S. W. Tapley Seaton, to describe him as exemplary.
“The Government wanted to recognize the very outstanding and sterling contribution of Sir Cuthbert in his role as Governor General and his role as one of those older persons, most distinguished persons who continues to inspire us from day to day,” His Excellency Seaton said.
Deputy Director of the Ministry of Social Development, Ann Wigley, noted that the brief visit was one of many that her ministry usually carries out to senior resident throughout the year, including during the Month of Older Persons.
“We are happy to be here with Sir Cuthbert and his family to wish him all the best and we from Social Services hope that this would not be the last time that we are coming to celebrate with him and all the other seniors in our Federation,” Mrs. Wigley said, noting that Sir Cuthbert certainly does not look his 94 years of age.
Other activities coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development in acknowledgment of older persons in the Federation included a church service, visits to schools by seniors, adopt an elderly by school children, movie day, tea party and hat parade. The annual parade is scheduled to take place Friday, October 30.