Friday’s Compass (17 July) was one of the most uplifting and encouraging papers I have ever read. Of course, we are all delighted with our position with regards to COVID-19 and encouraged by the way the government is cautiously trying to restore our tourism product. There was good news on scholarships, promotions, opportunities and successes of various people in our community, but I received the greatest satisfaction from two articles:
1) The article, ‘The green recovery’, concerning the amazing thinking and planning by Gina Ebanks-Petrie and her team at the Department of Environment. Instead of coasting through and just applauding the recovery of nature, this group has doubled down to think, plan and come up with ways to protect and appreciate our environment while connecting to the economic needs of the islands. I say kudos to Gina and the DoE. I hope that those that make the decisions concerning our culture, our environment and our economy will listen and put some or all of the recommendations into practice. The possibilities and the future of our islands can be bright if our eyes are not focussed primarily on money. There may be a way, through out-of-the-box thinking, to have our cake and eat it too!
2) I was immensely touched by the article about Xander Lee [‘Climbing Everest, one stair at a time’] and the effort he made to ‘climb’ Mount Everest in his own home. What a novel idea – not just that he undertook to do it to raise money for the Botanic Park, but to think that a 10-year-old would be so sensitive, so committed and so willing to do something like this for his community has really touched me. We need more Xanders (and Zachs, Jakes and Bens, who also thought of a unique way to raise money to help people in need).
I applaud these boys and their parents. This sensitivity had to come through parental guidance, parental support and parental modelling. Thank you parents. I know you are proud of your sons, and I am too! This kind of effort will always have my appreciation and support.