??Accountant Samuel Alleyne receives ‘The Student Award’ for perseverance from Graham Clarke, CEO of CGA Caribbean Inc., on May 14th at the 28th Annual Awards and Cocktail Reception for CGA graduates at the Courtyard by Marriott, Hastings, Christ Church. (Vincent Tempro/BGIS)

Mediocrity should not be the hallmark of a graduate with a Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation.

This was stressed last Saturday as Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones addressed graduates of the CGA programme at the 28th Annual Awards and Cocktail Reception at the Courtyard by Marriott’s, Hastings’, Christ Church.

He said: "It cannot be one of the attributes that you carry into the world of business or the world of work. Too often, persons are comfortable existing simply at the level of mediocrity, satisfied or expressing satisfaction that this is where they want to be and no further. They are comfortable with that… and this is in fact a state of mediocrity."

Urging the CGA graduates to leave that type or thinking behind, Mr. Jones added: "It is important to rid yourselves of mediocrity… the constant pursuit of lifelong learning is where it is at.

Don’t be satisfied that ???I am now a CGA’; there are other designations beyond that. It is not for the sake of having a designation; it is for the sake of continuous learning. He who stops learning is already dead. You become ossified in your mental state; you are not able to see new vistas and new opportunities to encounter new challenges or conquer those challenges."

Minister Jones drew the parallel with teachers noting that the concept of lifelong learning was constantly reinforced. He remarked: "We say to teachers and educators, don’t be satisfied that you have a [Bachelor’s] degree or a Master’s degree or you have done teacher training. We encourage them every year to refresh themselves, go back into some institution, do an online programme, the technology allows for that now. Create the opportunities that you constantly refresh your knowledge, you constantly develop new skills, new competencies new attitudes and new attributes."

The 2011 graduates were also warned against unethical behaviour that would lead to corruption. ??And, they were encouraged to "give back through service to their fellowmen". Maintaining that Barbados was more than an economy, Minister Jones noted that service was important "regardless of what ever designation you carry or station of life you occupy" and that by so doing CGAs would be "enhancing the society".

Graduates were commended for their hard work, as Minister Jones expressed the hope that CGA Caribbean Inc. would continue to grow and reach out to the region’s youth.

Meanwhile, Head of CGA Caribbean Inc., Reuben John, in welcoming the new graduates to the fold, acknowledged that they had reached a significant milestone in their lives through hard work. He stressed that they had "now joined a group of elite professionals holding a very prestigious qualification that was well-respected and accepted internationally" and said, "In your organisation you are seen as someone who is an advisor and a mentor to others."

While reminding them that it was just the beginning, Mr. John urged: "Become familiar with the standards; develop your skills and competencies by reading and speaking to other CGAs. As you are given the right and privilege to use CGA… do not affix that signature unless you feel honest within yourself that you will not bring that signature into disrepute. Be very careful; be honest with yourselves as you use that prestigious designation given to you. A CGA designation is a privilege."

Dr. Hartley Richards, retired Senior Manager of the Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd. (right), is presented with the first ever ‘Lifetime Membership Award’ from??Dr. anton ‘Tony’ Diminck, Professor at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, on May 14th at the 28th Annual Awards and Cocktail Reception for CGA graduates at the Courtyard by Marriott, Hastings, Christ Church. (Vincent Tempro/BGIS)

He too conceded that graduates should give some of their time to the less fortunate as well as their parent body, the CGA. Mr. John charged them to "give voluntarily and do not ask for money… Represent CGA in a manner that is impeccable."

Barbadians emerged with top awards at the graduation ceremony including Natasha Branch of Ernst & Young, who was recognised as The Most Outstanding Student and Accountant Samuel Alleyne who received The Student Award for perseverance. Dr. Hartley Richards, a retired senior manager of the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited was presented with CGA’s first ever Lifetime Membership Award. (JG/BGIS)


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