ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The dream of a gazebo and paved pathway for the children of St Benedict’s Children’s Home became a reality with an official opening ceremony on a day which most Vincentians would go to the beach or a picnic. June 11 had been declared a one-off, non-working public holiday in the country in celebration of the country’s appointment as a member of the UN Security Council.
The project was funded by the Government of Australia, through the Direct Aid Program. Present at the ceremony were His Excellency John Pilbeam, High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission, Vicar General Msgr Michael Stewart, Sr Nyra-Anne Pajotte, among other well-wishers.
After an opening prayer and a rendition of both the anthems of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Australia on pan by one of the children, Sr Nyra-Anne gave the welcoming remarks.
She thanked the Australian Government for their commitment to the project and their financial contribution towards its completion, according to a report by diocesan monthly Catholic SVG. She also expressed her hope for their assistance in future projects.
His Excellency’s address, which was “brief and witty”, saw him expressing satisfaction with the completed gazebo and paved pathway. He was also pleased to see the turnout of the gathering on a public holiday and affirmed his Government’s commitment to future projects.
Following the cutting of the ribbon by His Excellency and one of the children, the children were invited to test the new pathway. The excited and happy expressions on their faces as they rode their bicycles, scooters and even some in wheelchairs were an indication that this was indeed a much-needed addition to their environment.