President of the Learning Centre, Joseph “Johnny” Tudor, has lauded outgoing former patron of the institution, Sir Frederick Smith, for his 15 years of sterling service.
The former Cabinet minister and St. Michael East MP offered this commendation today while addressing the handing over ceremony at the institution’s headquarters, in Orange Hill, St. James.
Tudor welcomed the incoming patron, hotelier Peter Odle, saying he was honoured to welcome another outstanding Barbadian to fill the position.
He said: “You have agreed to fill shoes that will demand special attention, dedication and even sacrifice if you are to meet the requirements of this position. I am sure that everyone here who has had the opportunity to interact with you has no doubt that your competence to meet these requirements is not in question.”
Tudor argued that “in these extremely difficult economic times, sacrifice and voluntarism will be the catch words that will dictate whether we not only survive, but move forward positively and effectively along the path we have chosen”.
He noted that the school’s students had excelled in such fields as music, sports, culinary arts, cosmetology, wood work, landscaping and academics. The former St. Michael East MP lauded the efforts of parents for their hands-on input in the children’s development.
Tudor thanked successive governments and corporate Barbados for their continued support in promoting the interests of the students attending the centre.
He also thanked visitors to our shores who understood the need and gave full support to ventures such as the Learning Centre. Tudor called for the absorption of students of the Learning Centre into the corporate and the academic worlds.
“There are projects that need support for positive proposals that if given the support, will not only be of assistance to children of the Learning Centre, but will offer significant ease to caregivers and providers,” he added.
Tudor acknowledged that obtaining jobs was a priority for children with learning difficulties, but he warned that many business appeared to show little interest in investing the time to create niches in their businesses for vulnerable children.
Identifying the positive impact these graduates can have on a business, Tudor said: “I can assure you that if given an opportunity, these children or rather young adults, may be the ones that play an integral role in the image of an otherwise dormant business.” (NC)