Before his departure, Professor Mellows paid a courtesy call on Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy and Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony.
As an official welcome, the St John’s Association of Saint Lucia organized a forum to educate business professionals on the critical need for first aid training and disaster risk management. This event was held at the St James Morgan Bay on Monday, August 26.
Chairperson of the St John’s Association of Saint Lucia, Debra Worrel, stressed the importance of occupational health and safety.
She said, “Health and safety should be an integral part of a company’s business performance. Its employees are its most valuable resource and it should be recognised that their health and safety and welfare is of paramount importance. A company who has its employee’s welfare at the heart of its business plan, should not only ensure that they are compliant with all legislative and regulatory requirements but they should also ensure that their staff undertake basic health and safety training so that they know their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.”
Two organisations came forward to give testimonials on the importance of the St John’s training. First, Victor Price from the group “ I believe in Volunteering” lauded the organization for its lesson plans.
“We found it very professional and we found that he handled himself in a way that he could come down to different levels like if the children were 9 years, 8 years that he could relate with them, talk to them, explain to them and go through to the senior levels so it was really informative and a very interactive session.”
Tennyson Scott from the ECFH Group of Companies shared the reason his company decided to seek assistance from St John’s.“Occupational safety is a nightmare in Saint Lucia. People just don’t adhere. They put themselves at risk all the time. And that is why at ECFH we emphasise prevention first so we are hoping we never have to do CPR on somebody because we take the necessary steps.”
Meanwhile, Professor Anthony Mellows, the Lord Prior of the Order of St John, who is the highest ranking non-royal member in the world, expressed his great pleasure at the work being done by the organisation in Saint Lucia.
The St John’s Association in Saint Lucia fell by the wayside some ten years ago, but in recent times, a concerted effort has been made to restore its spirit. He expressed his pleasure at its progress.
“I am glad that I am here now because I’m able to see the dramatic improvement in the way in which St John’s now functions in its plans. As I was saying to the Governor General, this feels like an organisation where red blood is now flowing through the arteries.”
Professor Mellows believes St John’s Saint Lucia can continue to foster a legacy of volunteerism which will redound to the benefit of all.
“I think the volunteers of St. John, they get a sense of satisfaction at knowing that they are learning skills. That those skills can save a person’s life. They also know that those skills can mean survival. But quite apart from that, it’s an immense sense of quiet personal satisfaction to know that what one is doing can actually save a person’s life.”
The Order of St John can trace its origins back some 900 years and prides itself on the immense responsibility of its mandate.