Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles’ has advised Tobagonians to “never settle for mediocrity.”
He made the comment as he delivered the feature address at the annual Tobago Day Awards at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex on Tuesday in celebration of the 38th anniversary of the current Tobago House of Assembly.
Calling on Tobagonians to recommit themselves to loving Tobago, Charles said: “We must challenge ourselves to a new level of patriotism for this island and by extension our beloved country. It cannot be that those on the outside who will visit our shores see more value and have a greater appreciation for our own land far more than we do.”
He said the recently rebranded tourism strategy had defined Tobago as beyond ordinary but the tourism product is only as good as Tobagonians make it.
“The time has come for us to understand that you do not have to be directly involved to have an impact in the tourism industry. The truth is by virtue of you residing in Tobago you are a part of the tourism landscape,” he said.
He said everyone is a part of the tourism product as islanders’ efforts to smile, greet tourists or give directions “with a touch of patience” is part of the tourism product.
This year’s awardees included Gwyneth Armstrong and Dr Robert T Yorke, who were awarded the Tobago Medal of Honour Gold for their contribution in the sphere of music and contribution to the tourism sector respectively.
Annette Archer won the Tobago Medal of Honour Silver for her contribution to education and community service, while Martha Archer was also awarded the medal for her contribution in the sphere of sport.
The Tobago Gold award, the highest honour, recognises people who have made tremendous contributions to the island’s development while the silver and bronze medals recognise those who contributed significantly to Tobago over the past year.
No awards were given last year as the awards organising committee received names for only three people who fell below the required nomination standard. • See Page A4