Posted by Dorwin Manzano, CUDE 2008
It’s my pleasure to blog from the beautiful sunny isle of St. Lucia on the final day of the historic and first ever, CaribDE Programme May 2010.
This morning’s breakfast lived up to the excellent standard that the hardworking and dedicated Nuns established over the period. Certainly, participants were well fortified to present their Case Studies in a cogent, convincing and compelling manner.
All four (4) groups made sterling presentations capturing key developmental issues in the various scenarios and were well received by participants. There was strong evidence of research, teamwork and other key strategies employed by participants. Convincing arguments were advanced for:
(i) the merits and strategies for serving a youth market.
(ii) the merger of a Credit Union which comprises of indigenous Caribs in the Island of Dominica with another leading Credit Union in the Island.
(iii) the importance of establishing a robust succession plan for CEO’s of Credit Unions at the very early stage .
(iv) the benefits of establishing a National Branding Campaign for Credit Unions, whereby all credit union advertising is done through one medium and not by the various credit unions. The objective was for all credit unions to speak with one voice. It was resolved that National Branding was worth pursuing.
Keynote Graduation address by Melvin Edwards
The Keynote Graduation address was delivered by Melvin Edwards, who is a past Chairman of World Council of Credit Unions Incorporated (WOCCU) and a graduate of the 2009 DE Class. The title of his address was “First Class”. He charged graduates to sharply defend and uphold the Co-operative Principles and Philosophies and to develop ways and means to correct and expunge the myths that have been promulgated about Credit Union Best Practices, Philosophies and Principles.
The presentation of Certificates took place on the beautiful lawn garden adjacent to the dining area. The pure, fresh, natural and environmental facade provided a special compliment to the entire ceremony. Twenty Four (24) new people earned the right to be called “Development Educator” and joined the ranks of DEs around the world who dedicate themselves to the promotion and practices of credit union ideals, social responsibility, credit union and community development, and the credit union philosophy of People Helping People.
Fund Raising Auction
The Live and Silent Auction was conducted by the Right Honourable Bob Schumacher who did an outstanding job. Approximately 25-30 items were auctioned. The high point of the auction is the sale of a Mini Bat which was purchased for $10 EC by Craig Stapleton and was auctioned for the mega price of $3000EC (just over $1,000 U.S!) The bidding for the Mini Bat was very competitive and was driven by the fact that it was labelled with the name CaribDE 2010 and had the signatures of all participants of the Programme.
The CaribDE 2010 culminated with a signature event of a party in true Caribbean style. We actually formed a music band led by guitarists David Marquez of Trinidad and Tobago and Bert Mullings of the Bahamas. It was sweet moments of calypsos from the Might Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Arrow and other famous Caribbean Icons. By the unanimous vote the most popular song was “Good morning Mr. Walker” which was sung at least four times, led by Bob Schumacher who is now a certified Caribbean Calypsonian. The curtains came down at 11:55 p.m. with everyone hugging and greeting each other saying and singing sweet songs of good bye, au revoir, hasta luego... What a marvellous way to bring the curtains down on this historic and memorable event…
CaribDE 2010, what a fantastic experience!