The St. Maarten Guyanese Association has named its first educational event – a spelling bee – in honour of its first president and co-founder, the late Courtney Gibson. In photo: Gibson’s wife Juliette and representatives of the association with the winners. Story on page .
PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Guyanese Association has named its first educational event – a spelling bee – in honour of its first president and co-founder, the late Courtney Gibson.
The competition has been named the Courtney Gibson Memorial Spelling Bee Competition. Gibson, who had served as Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Herald before his passing in 2013, was also Editor-in-Chief of the Guyana Chronicle in his native Guyana as well as Chief Editor at several other publications in the region.
He was also an author of two books – a religious book and Zimbabwe: a nation in waiting. Gibson was amongst the first grouop of students to complete a degree course in Communication at University of Guyana (UG). He was a highly respected person of principle.
Current Association President Malcolm Mickle said the association felt the need to have an educational activity for children, as the youth represent the future of tomorrow and the board decided to name the event in Gibson’s honour in recognition of his serving as the association’s first president and in honour of his educational standards.
“With such a vast experience, exposure and education, the board thought it fitting to name this event the Courtney Gibson Memorial Spelling Bee Competition,” Mickle said.
The Association held its first annual Courtney Gibson Memorial Spelling Bee at its office on Back Street, on Tuesday evening, which saw a number of children ages 7-12 go head-to-head spelling a range of words.
Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) Ardwell Irion was on hand at the event to offer words of encouragement to participants. He said he was happy to see so many parents and supporters at the event backing students. He was also happy that the educational event is a spelling bee, as an avid speller himself whom he said in jest was always beaten at spelling by his mother.
He said the current generation has no reason not to excel with the vast array of information now available at their fingertips via their mobile devices through the Internet. All that is needed is determination and the will to succeed. He said the spelling bee can be an asset to students, as communication is a gateway to opportunities.
The Association’s office was packed to capacity with family members and supporters rooting for the young super-spellers. After a tough battle, six students emerged overall winners.
Coordinators thanked all participants, noting that they are all winners for their efforts and bravery in competing. The trophy holders of the two categories will have to defend their titles at the second annual event to be held next year.
Gibson’s wife Juliette was on hand at the event to help present the prizes to the winners of the spelling bee.