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Stepping Stones
Edition 7
Stepping Stones
Edition 8
Stepping Stones
Edition 9
Stepping Stones
Edition 10
Stepping Stones
Edition 11
Stepping Stones
Edition 12
Stepping Stones
Edition 13
Stepping Stones
Edition 14
Stepping Stones
Edition 15
Stepping Stones
Edition 16
Stepping Stones
Edition 17
     

The pain of losing a loved one is also a reminder of how blessed we are to have loved and to have shared in the life of another. This week’s column is a tribute to Nichelle Farrington, her life, her family and the young people of our Turks and Caicos Islands. She was a great example of what we need to see in the redevelopment of our Islands. She had the ability to change, to dream and shape our country and make the transformations and decisions that we badly need today.

She was real and sure of herself. This was demonstrated in the poetry that she wrote and how strongly she recited them; always emphasizing points she wanted us to remember.I will forever remember the expression she wore and the words that she spoke during the civil servants protest last year. She spoke about the need for us to come together as a people with one voice and as Bob Marley said, to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. Nichelle insisted that anything less than a total unity, would have very little or no impact. During my time as Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, Culture and Arts, I am thankful that our Government had the vision to educate our people especially our young Turks and Caicos Islanders. One of our objectives when we conceptualized and implemented the National Scholarship Policy was to ensure the ownership and effective participation of Turks and Caicos Islanders in the growth and development of our country’s economy.

Among those objectives I want to single out is: “To encourage the development of independent thinkers who are cognizant and responsive to their responsibilities in the sociopolitical fabric of the Turks and Caicos Islands society” Nichelle was the epitome of that ideal. She was a gem, and I am thankful to God for her life and the contributions that she made in such a short time with us.

Death is a sad, but inevitable part of life. However it is not the end. We can find solace in reminiscing about those we have lost and remind ourselves of the many ways our lives have been touched by theirs. Death is a harsh reality, but it can also act as a stepping stone in the unending process of our unfolding. Nichelle’s physical work has ended, the sound of her voice reporting the news or giving advice has been silenced and her efforts are no more. But you, my young people, are talented, skilled and educated and you are still with us. I am calling on you to start your good work or continue to challenge the current social, political and economic policies. Our Country needs you.

In these difficult times, when the Government, who’s mandate is to develop policies to ensure that Turks and Caicos Islanders are given opportunities, continually deprives our people, it is now more than ever that your voice must be heard and your actions felt. In the last two years education, and especially the scholarship budget has been treated carelessly. It has been slashed and hacked to death, until it is a shade of what it once was. And although this is a pattern symptomatic of many other budget allocations, I believe it is a deliberate attempt by the current administration to deprive you and prevent you from qualifying yourselves to take up the rightful place in our country.

We are few in numbers as a people and any life lost, especially the life of a promising youth, is nothing less than a national tragedy. So as we mourn her passing, let us remember the families, friends and well wishers of Nichelle Farrington. We must also as a people pray for the Walkin family during these times.

Grief is a natural response to the death of someone we loved, and an important part of the long term healing process. In her memory, let us push forward and continue to pursue the ideals that she lived.