Friday, April 19, 2024

Here ‘to serve mankind’

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Acting commissioner of The St John Ambulance Association of Barbados, Rodney Yarde, says the organisation is still relevant.
He was addressing participants and supporters at the St John Ambulance Association of Barbados [formerly St John Ambulance Brigade] commissioner’s Parade and enrolment ceremony, which was held over the weekend at the Main Guard, Garrison, St Michael.
“The St John ambulance association is just as relevant today as it was in 1942 when first established in Barbados.
We remain relevant because our purpose for being is to serve mankind. So as long as mankind remains relevant we as an organisation remain relevant . . . I see people giving of their time and energy in keeping with our motto – ‘For the service of mankind’. Many of our members continue to give selflessly,” Yarde said.
The acting commissioner said the association continued to do good work in the communities across Barbados, especially with the youth.
“Our members engage [the youth] in particular programmes because they recognise how important it is to fight against the voluminous negative influences that can plague our youth.”
He also stressed that the members were not working for money or praises. “We in the St John Ambulance who seek to serve do not do so for money. We do not do so for praises but because of that resolute belief that we must look out for our fellow men.
“So those of you who are enrolled today, yes, you will become frustrated at times and when those negative forces come upon you, you must cast your mind back to the day you were enrolled and made these pledges and remember the true reason you joined the association. I am sure when you do that you will grow from strength to strength and carry on,” encouraged Yarde.
During the special ceremony, more than 20 individuals were enrolled, including eight cadets. A number of others were awarded for outstanding performance in their first aid examinations. Germaine
McClean was given a special award for accumulating 469.5 hours of work in the association so far.
Yarde congratulated the awardees. He said although the association continued to be relevant it should seek to “improve” what it did.
“We must seek to achieve our strategic goals by 2011, goals of attracting more youth, better recruitment, better marketing, increased community activities, and an improved administration system,” he advised.
Yarde said he was focused on getting more youths involved in the association. He said the association had started a “very robust” campaign offering training to primary school students.
The acting commissioner said it was “unfortunate” that when people heard about the association the first thing they associated it with was “old women”.
“What we want people to see are dedicated persons who have invested their lives into St John Ambulance. We also want them to see some young [people] who are willing to take up the mantle and carry on our traditions and our motto. We want to continue to chart the way as far as first aid is concerned in this country.
“Cadeting not only teaches first aid but life skills, where youngsters can come and learn how to cook, camp and do certain things that will help them in life,” informed Yarde.
According to him, the Ambulance Association of Barbados is an organisation set up to give services, teach first aid, assist in mass casualty situations and go out and help in communities whereever it can.
The association’s week of activities starts this Sunday with a church service at James Street Methodist Church. (MM)

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