Shadwell Explorers Youth Club launched: PM Harris lauds Skerritt family for ‘best Christmas gift’

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 28, 2017 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Following the phenomenal success of Mol-Phil Explorers Youth Club which was formed and launched earlier this year as part of the Community Policing Initiative of the Ministry of National Security, a second explorers youth club has been formed.

Shadwell Explorers Youth Club was launched on Wednesday December 27 at a colourful ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley and members of the Police High Command, founder of the Mol-Phil Explorers Youth Club Inspector Rosemarie Isles-Joseph and a contingent of its club members.

The function was held on the grounds of the Skerritt family residence in Shadwell where the new club has its home base thanks to businesswoman Mrs Agnes Skerritt who offered them a building in the compound to be their home base. Mrs Skerritt and her daughter Dr Lisa Skerritt were also present. The ceremony was chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Mr Osmond Petty.

“Let me thank the Skerritt family for their tremendous support to this community outreach,” expressed Prime Minister Harris. “There aren’t a lot of Good Samaritans that we find even at Christmas time, and so when the Permanent Secretary told me that the Skerritt Family had agreed to make available their property here for such an important community activity.”

Dr Harris said that he felt blessed and thought that they had delivered the best Christmas gift. He lauded the Skerritt family for their thoughtfulness, community spirit and benevolence in doing such a wonderful job for the community of Shadwell. According to Permanent Secretary Petty, the new club has started with about forty members.

“I am happy that today the young people have come forward in large numbers to indicate that they are going to help us redeem the future of law and order in the pledge which they recited,” said Dr Harris. He noted that in their pledge they had assured that they would be model citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, who would be loyal to the country and its Constitution, laws, and loyal in the efforts to ensure that communities are kept safe.

Prime Minister Harris appealed to parents and guardians and the significant adults in Shadwell and in enjoining communities to support the young people in the pledge which they made.

“And there are very simple things that we can do,” observed Dr Harris. “We want each parent to protect the home because law enforcement starts actually within the family. If the parent provides the leadership, guidance and support, the children of those households are not going to become problem children for the rest of the society.”

Parents were advised by the Prime Minister to take the responsibility of standing firm in creating a safe and loving environment in which the development of children can be nurtured.

“Too often we know, we see, we hear of criminal activities and we remain silent,” noted Dr Harris. “So long as the silence is deafening, those who are guilty of the crime they will get away scotch free. So we need more of you, when you see something, when you hear something, to report it to the police.”

The Minister of National Security, Dr Harris, introduced members of the Police High Command: Deputy Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy, Assistant Commissioners of Police Andre Mitchell, Merclyn Hughes, and Terrence James. He said to them: “Could you stand and let the young people of Shadwell and enjoining communities get a look at our police officers.”

Permanent Secretary Osmond Petty announced that members of the Community Policing Initiative who included Sgt Donna Henderson, Sgt Paula Jacob, Cpl Hyacinth Taylor, Constable Lauston Percival, Constable Mark Handley, and Woman Constable Neikisha Thomas were present at the ceremony.

He noted that the new youth club was named Shadwell Explorers because “we have taken the explorers to be a movement going forward. Explorers are people who are adventurers, who face the odds no matter what they come up against. No matter what challenges they follow them, they go forward, they conquer and they overcome the territory. You can be proud and achieve your goals and do not be detracted by criminal activities and so on.”

Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley noted that community policing is a major and critical part of the policing plan, and although the police are mandated to lead in the fight against crime, members of the Shadwell Explorers Youth Club could from an early stage help the police as they go forward.

The Commissioner told members of the club that there was good and bad peer pressure. “Positive peer pressure can yield good results, because if you go to school and you tell your friends how exciting to be part of this group and how important it is and the fun that you are having, you soon find that your friends become jealous and want to join you and they will put some pressure on their mummy and daddy, they want to join and you will see that the group will become bigger and bigger and more meaningful.”

Formal handover of the Shadwell Explorers Youth Club was done by Inspector Rosemarie Isles-Joseph, founder of the pioneering Mol-Phil Explorers Youth Club, who handed it to its leader, Officer Lauston Percival who committed to do the best to run the new club.


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