By anguillian November 13, 2017 11:41 Updated




On the morning of Friday, November 3rd, in an atmosphere of grateful anticipation and goodwill at Social Security’s conference room, Mr. Timothy Hodge, Director of Social Security, presented a check of EC$3,500 to Ms. Camarlla Blake, business student of the Anguilla Community College. The presentation signified the launching of the James Ronald Webster Scholarship Grant on the 35th anniversary of the Social Security’s System to the Anguillian community.
The event took place amidst a company of well recognized individuals representing the Anguilla Community College: Mr. Karl Dawson, College President; Mr. Quincy Harrigan, Dean of the College; as well as Ms. Carla Harris and Mrs. Shellicia Brooks-Johnson, the institute’s Registrar and Assistant Registrar respectively. Several members of the Social Security staff were also on hand.
Chairing the event was Ms. Rosanna Brown, Social Security’s Public Relations Officer. She explained that the day was a very significant time for Social Security, for it was on November 3rd, 1980 that the Social Security Act was signed into law. She remarked that Social Security highly regards the late Mr. James Ronald Webster as the “Father of the Nation”, and the Board found it necessary to honor him by launching a scholarship grant in his name, seeing that one of the major focuses of Social Security is on educational development. She further mentioned that, indeed, Social Security has contributed in a major way to education over the past thirty-five years of its history.
In addressing the gathering, Social Security’s Director, Mr. Timothy Hodge, first drew attention to a replica of Mr. James Ronald Webster on the wall of the conference room. After explaining some of the history behind the signing, he said that the signature on the painting was the actual replicated signature of Mr. Webster, himself, who signed the Act into law exactly thirty-seven (37) years ago on November 3rd, 1980. He noted, however, that Social Security began serving the public on January 1st 1982, and thus this year marks the institution’s 35th anniversary.
Mr. Hodge explained: “We decided that in this year, seeing it is the year in which we said good bye to Mr. Webster, it would be appropriate to name a scholarship in his honor, providing for the first time a grant for students of the Anguilla Community College. Thus, we have named this grant the James Ronald Webster Scholarship Grant. Seeing that it is our 35th anniversary, we felt that we would contribute a handsome figure of thirty-five hundred dollars for the scholarship amount.
“It so happened,” he said, “that $3,500.00 is the exact cost of the course which our recipient is undertaking in the first year of her schooling at the College.” Mr. Hodge expressed his appreciation for the faculty of the College, and he said that Social Security doesn’t just want to support the students, but wishes to commend the Anguilla Community College in general. He said that he would encourage all local residents who aspire towards developing their education to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them at the institution.
Mr. Quincy Harrigan, the Dean of the College remarked: “I would like to congratulate the Social Security Board for this initiative. Opportunities like this should not go unanswered. Obviously, it means that a door has been opened, and once a door has been opened, it means that opportunities avail themselves for further education. We hope that the recipient would make good use of the opportunity afforded to her. We also want to point out that both the Anguilla Community College and the Social Security Board have been partnering in many initiatives in the past, and we look forward to working together in the future.” He stated that there was a whole lot that the Anguilla Community College and Social Security can do together for the good of Anguilla, and he appreciated the opportunity for cooperation.
President of the College, Mr. Karl Dawson, also made sound congratulatory remarks to the recipient and grateful comments to Social Security. He stated in part: “On behalf of the College, I am grateful for the courage of Mr. Hodge and the Social Security team, at this crucial time, when resources everywhere are so slim. I want to thank you for making this grant a priority, and we want to assure you that we do appreciate it.”
Both the College’s Registrar, Ms. Carla Harris, and her Assistant, Mrs. Shellicia Brooks-Johnson, echoed sentiments of appreciation to Social Security for providing the grant, and mentioned that it was a wonderful opportunity for them to collaborate on this initiative. They commented on the rewarding experience they had working with the candidates, but especially the awardee, Ms. Blake. They mentioned that they admired the willingness and the readiness which she displayed in taking advantage of the opportunity provided. Both of them expressed the fact that they looked forward to working closely with the Social Security Board in offering such opportunities to the College’s students in the future.
In introducing the recipient, Public Relations Officer Ms. Brown congratulated Ms. Camarlla Blake for making history as the first recipient of the JRW Scholarship Grant. She mentioned that it was a great privilege to interview her as one of the seven candidates vying for the grant and, at the end, she emerged as the top candidate. Ms. Brown said: “We are positive that Camarlla will make very good use of this grant, and we are sure that she is well on her way to a bright future in her academic and personal development.”
Finally, expressing grateful acceptance as the first such scholarship awardee, Ms. Blake responded by saying: “I wish to express how grateful I am to be chosen as the recipient of this scholarship. This gives me an opportunity to be more determined to work towards my goals. I appreciate the opportunity given me to express myself during the interview, and I highly appreciate being the one selected.”
Public Relations Officer, Ms. Brown, noted that this 35th anniversary year was divided up into four segments, with each segment being highlighted in its respective quarter throughout the year. She made note of the fact that the focus was on giving back to the community under four main pillars: health, sports, culture and education. These areas were outlined under Social Security’s Social Development Fund, and contributions were earmarked for each sector – with focus on education being now shown by the launch of the JRW Scholarship Grant.
Last Friday’s grant presentation marked the beginning of the observance of the 2017 Social Security Week. According to Ms. Brown, it was rather strange to have begun the week on a Friday, but it was because Social Security Week always started on November 3rd – which has fallen on a Friday this year. She announced that the rest of the week of activities would have been as follows: Saturday, November 4th – an early morning health walk; Sunday, November 5th – a church service at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church; Wednesday, November 8th – a Social Security staff retreat; Thursday, November 9th – an evening lecture, on climate change, on the grounds of the Social Security Office.
The Anguillan wishes to heartily congratulate the Social Security Board on their 35th anniversary, and commends the institution as a reputable, community-minded partner of our Anguillian society.

By anguillian November 13, 2017 11:41 Updated


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