An international group committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world now has a local branch.
The Antigua and Barbuda branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) was launched yesterday at Government House.
In attendance were its patron, Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, and its president, Lady Williams, along with Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Lindsy Thompson, and members of the RCS executive board, Patrice Skerritt, John Duffy and Joanne Turner.
Lady Williams expressed appreciation to both the British government and the RCS’s Barbados branch for providing the necessary financial assistance.
She spoke of several initiatives the body plans to undertake over the coming months.
“One of the first things we wish to encourage is greater participation in the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition which draws to a close at the end of June,” she said.
“Last year, there was only one entry from Antigua and Barbuda. We hope that many more young people will participate in 2021, in both the junior and senior categories.
“The winner and runner-up will be flown to London for a week of educational and cultural events, which will culminate in an awards ceremony and medal presentation.”
Sir Rodney recalled that in 2016 the Barbados branch had made a compelling presentation at the Governor General’s Conference in St Kitts, which has now resulted in the set up of a similar operation in Antigua and Barbuda.
“This is the 153rd year of the Society’s existence, and history has shown that the RCS has played a significant part in all of the member Commonwealth continents — and quite significantly in Africa,” he said.
“Upon his release from prison, the Royal Commonwealth Society was asked to host the first press conference for Nelson Mandela on a visit to London. The overall Antigua and Barbuda branch vision is for closer people-to-people collaboration and stronger engagement, especially for the youth,” he added.