Minister of International Transport, George Hutson, admiring the winning entriess??of the Maritime Week Poster Competition. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Winners of the Ministry of International Business and International Transport’s 2011 Maritime Week Poster Competition for primary schools have been lauded for their insight into safety at sea.

The kudos came from Minister of International Transport, George Hutson, during a recent prize-giving ceremony at the Ministry’s Warren’s, St. Michael, office.

Minister Hutson, who said the poster competition was one of the major activities held last year to celebrate Maritime Week, noted that the juniors were asked to create a poster on the subject Safety and Security at Sea.

"I am heartened by the participation of the primary schools in the Poster Competition and was very impressed by the high quality of the entries. They revealed a depth of thinking and awareness by these young people of the perils which may be encountered at sea," the Minister underlined.

He told the gathering, which included parents, teachers and schoolmates of winners,?? as Minister responsible for maritime matters he believed?? one of the most important aspects of his mandate was to revive interest in the maritime sector among the youth.

"This interest can only be achieved by exposing our young people to the many facets of the maritime industry. Great strides have been made since the early days when Barbados had a thriving seafaring industry fuelled by thriving exports of sugar and rum, bananas and other agricultural products from neighbouring Caribbean islands, [and] mass emigration to Britain," he contended.

In reflecting on the competition, Chief Technical Officer (Ag.) Jacqueline Blackman, said they had hoped, through this medium, to give the students free rein to express themselves about safety and security in our waters.

"It was also a learning experience for us, to find out what the very young think and feel about the protection of our waters and the vessels that sail thereon.?? We were very happy with the results," she explained.

From all indications the youngsters were themselves happy with the results.

Joshua Phillips of Welches Primary, who was awarded first prize in the five to seven age group told the Barbados Government Information Service, "I feel good that I came first.?? I like Art. It is one of my favourite subjects."?? Charmaine Ottley, a teacher at the school, described the student as a quiet and "generally well-behaved student," who was also a scout and sportsman.

Meanwhile, Charles F. Broome’s Chaquon Griffith, who came out tops in the eight to eleven age category, admitted: "I feel very excited. I am happy that I won."???? He was described by class teacher Rhonda Forde as a dedicated student who had always liked art.

??"He puts a lot of time into the work, so he is successful because of this. He does not talk a lot, but he works," Ms. Forde remarked.

??The remaining three top prizes were claimed by The Rock Christian School. The youngest entrant in the competition, Woletta – Israel Yaicob, who placed second in the five to seven category, said she felt good and "enjoyed working on the poster."

Her brother, ZeraYaicob A. Yaicob, who placed second in the eight to eleven age group, expressed pride on his behalf as well as that of his school. "I feel a sense of pride in myself. I really didn’t have a lot of time to put into the poster. I had to cram a lot in a short space of time so I felt really proud."

Classmate, DeQuan Carter, who placed third in the older category expressed surprise at his win. "I feel happy. I was surprised to get it. All the hard work paid off," he said.

The closing date for the competition was January 31, this year and the entries were judged on March 5.??


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