The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

For­mer St Lu­cia Elec­tric­ity Ser­vices Lim­ited (LUCELEC) Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Bernard Theobalds spoke of the syn­er­gies of the past and fu­ture when he ad­dressed the open­ing of the LUCELEC Elec­tron­ics Work­shop at the Sir Arthur Lewis Com­mu­nity Col­lege (SALCC). The work­shop is named in hon­our of him and for­mer LUCELEC Di­rec­tor Joel Hug­gins.

The fa­cil­ity will al­low the Col­lege to in­tro­duce more spe­cial­ized and a wider range of cour­ses in elec­tron­ics and elec­tri­cal tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing video, au­dio, light­ing, se­cu­rity sur­veil­lance and in­stru­men­ta­tion. It will also al­low the Col­lege to ac­cept more stu­dents into the pro­gramme.

The LUCELEC Trust con­trib­uted $300,000 to re­fur­bish and equip the work­shop. LUCELEC’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Trevor Louisy says this gift to SALCC and the na­tion fits in per­fectly with the re­cur­ring themes in all the ini­tia­tives the com­pany sup­ports - learn­ing, ed­u­ca­tion, ex­cel­lence, pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, and lay­ing foun­da­tions for the fu­ture.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Honourable Dr Robert Lewis com­mended LUCELEC for its un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for ed­u­ca­tion, es­pe­cially in science and tech­nol­ogy. He noted that the power com­pany was the main con­trib­u­tor to the an­nual Na­tional Schools Science & Tech­nol­ogy Fair and the an­nual Stu­dent Pro­gramme for In­no­va­tion in Science and En­gi­neer­ing (SPISE) in­tended to nur­ture and groom the next gen­er­a­tion of tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneurs in the Caribbean. This con­tri­bu­tion to the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Elec­tron­ics Work­shop at the SALCC, he noted, helps to po­si­tion the Col­lege to de­liver the cadre of science and tech­nol­ogy pro­fes­sion­als of the fu­ture that the coun­try needs to solve some of its chal­lenges.

For Mr Theobalds, the es­tab­lish­ment of the LUCELEC Work­shop con­tin­ues a part­ner­ship that be­gan when the then Tech­ni­cal Col­lege (now the Di­vi­sion of Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Man­age­ment Stud­ies where the LUCELEC Work­shop is lo­cated) in­sti­tuted the na­tion’s first for­mal ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gramme for the tech­ni­cal train­ing of LUCELEC em­ploy­ees. He says, “This was at the heart of the com­pany’s ef­forts to cre­ate a highly dis­ci­plined and pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tion and the re­sults, thanks largely to the Col­lege, re­main with us to this day.”

Mr Theobalds was also very pleased to share the hon­our be­stowed upon him with Joel Hug­gins, a man he says was his “old con­tem­po­rary and friend.” He rec­og­nized Mr Hug­gins for his role in the “vanguard of the in­tro­duc­tion of pro­fes­sional West In­dian engi­neers into the elec­tric­ity oper­a­tions in the ter­ri­to­ries where the Com­mon­wealth De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (CDC) op­er­ated, which prior to 1971 was an al­most ex­clu­sively white, ex­pa­tri­ate or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

It was Mr Theobalds, Mr Hug­gins and Frank Mc­Conney of Bar­ba­dos Light and Power who changed the land­scape of the re­gional elec­tric­ity in­dus­try, cre­at­ing the Caribbean Elec­tric Util­i­ties As­so­ci­a­tion (CARILEC) which cur­rently boasts a mem­ber­ship of “vir­tu­ally ev­ery power com­pany in the en­tire re­gion.”

In his re­marks, Mr Theobalds was just as com­pli­men­tary of LUCELEC staff who he worked with for 25 years, rec­og­niz­ing “the con­tri­bu­tion of LUCELEC em­ploy­ees - past and present, some de­ceased, some re­tired, some still with the com­pany - who demon­strated the ca­pac­ity of peo­ple work­ing to­gether as a team, to achieve any pin­na­cle and who cre­ated what is widely rec­og­nized as among the premier power util­i­ties in the Caribbean.”

Mr. Theobalds and the widow of Joel Hug­gins, Cly­della Hug­gins, un­veiled a plaque at the en­trance to the work­shop and cut the rib­bon to of­fi­cially open the fa­cil­ity.

Open­ing of LUCELEC Work­shop.

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