Nevis Tourism Minister With Local FCCA Winners
July 11, 2013
St. Thomas’ Primary School student Ms. Ercha Stapleton and Lyn Jeffers Secondary School student Ms. Keelia English were adjudged local winners of the annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation 2013 Children”s Essay Contest. The students were required to write on the theme “What makes my destination different from others?”
The announcement came from Tourism Education Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Ms. Vanessa Webbe when she spoke to the Department of Information on July 05, 2013.
“We”re pleased to announce the local winners of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation 2013 Children’s Essay Contest. This is an annual essay contest that the Ministry of Tourism promotes in collaboration with the FCCA.
“This year’s winners are, in the junior category, Ercha Stapleton of the St. Thomas’ Primary School. Keelia English from the Lyn Jeffers Secondary School, she is the winner in the senior category of the contest. We congratulate the students and the schools as well as their parents,” she said.
Ms. Webbe also registered the Ministry’s appreciation to the schools that participated in the exercise and said it was grateful for the support received from the Education Department and the Ministry of Education.
“We say thank you for supporting these initiatives where students can learn more about tourism and what we have to offer in Nevis, where our tourism product is concerned. This year”s topic was “What makes my destination different from others?” and the students” essays really highlighted the unique features of Nevis” tourism product.
“In the end, we can only have one winner in each category but we certainly want to congratulate all the students who participated. That, in itself, made you a winner and to say special congratulations to those who were selected first place positions,” she said.
The announcement signaled the end of the local leg of the contest. The final round of judging would take place at the FCCA headquarters in Miami. Their winning essays would be judged among other winning essays from around the Caribbean the results of which are expected at the end of July when the top three overall winners in the Caribbean would be announced.
The Tourism Education Officer said she was hopeful that the accolade would be captured by Nevis since it was nothing new to participants in past years.
“We are hoping to hear who the top three winners are overall in the Caribbean. It is not new for us to have persons placing in the top three positions and we are again very hopeful this year.
“The prizes are very attractive. The FCCA offers US $3,000 to the first place winner and the same amount goes to the school. The winners also get to attend the FCCA conference, wherever it is held, and read their winning essays in front of a large delegation of delegates who are attending the FCCA conference and that could also be something very exciting. It’s a wonderful opportunity to promote our island,” she explained.
Meantime, during a visit to the Ministry of Tourism, the students, accompanied by their parents met briefly with Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism on Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley. He extended congratulations and thanked them for their interest in tourism.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to my office here and to thank you both and your parents for your continued contribution and interest in tourism. Tourism, as we like to say, is everybody”s business. It’s very important that we are, particularly our young people, buying into tourism as a very important industry here and the lifeblood, in many ways, of the island.
“So Ms. Stapleton, I want to congratulate you on winning in the junior category and Ms. English, who has won in the junior category before, I want to thank you now for winning in the senior category and so Ms. Stapleton, you now see that you can win in different categories,” he said.
The Minister encouraged the winners to continue their participation in the competition and to keep winning since it was important to both them and the island.
Mr. Brantley also addressed the parents on their children’s success and thanked them for their involvement and guidance. He also wished the students success in the second leg of the contest.
“We know that children excel when parents are involved in their lives and so I want to thank the parents who are here for their own involvement and for guiding you in the right way.
“Congratulations, I want you all to go on to win the big prizes. You hear big money, US $3,000 for yourselves, another US $3,000 for your schools and I’m sure Lyn Jeffers can do with that money. St. Thomas’ Primary can do with that money and so, we look forward to you bringing home the bacon, if you will, and going on to do well. Thank you so much. Congratulations again and I wish you all every success in the ongoing competition,” he said.