PEP participants hold surprise party for SKNAPD officials

Mr Earle Clarke who dutifully volunteers as the counsellor to members of the group had his birthday on Wednesday November 26, while Mr Anthony Mills, the People Employment Programme (PEP) their Facilitator for Computer Graphics had his birthday the following day, Thursday November 27.

Members of the PEP group conspired to hold a surprise combined party for Mr Mills, who is also the President of SKNAPD, and Mr Clarke, who is a past Treasurer of the SKNAPD, on Wednesday November 26, but due to technical reasons the surprise party was held on Thursday.

To pull off the perfect surprise, Ms Mary Clarke who is the secretary of the St. Kitts-Nevis Association of Persons with Disabilities made arrangements to have Mr Mills taken out for a field trip, and when he returned he found everyone ready to surprise him, including the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Earl Asim Martin, and Hon Marcella Liburd.

“I appreciate this and all of you guys in this room, you conspired against me,” commented an overwhelmed Mr Mills. “It is a pleasure, I will enjoy it and I hope to live to 100.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, who could not make it, sent a fruit basket each for the honourees. He was represented by a high powered delegation from the East Basseterre Branch of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, of Ms Sharylle Richardson, Dawud ‘Mudada’ Byron, Ms Yvonne Hanley, and Mr David Maynard.

Minister of Health, the Hon Marcella Liburd, who had travelled and therefore could not make it to the surprise party, sent a birthday cake which was delivered by Mr Delroy Prentice, the local Community Development Officer.

To the amusement of those present, Mr Earle Clarke who was first to arrive at the party venue said that he was celebrating this 15th birthday, while Mr Anthony Mills who came after Mr Clarke would have made his speech, said that he was celebrating his 10th birthday.

“The surprise party was organised by the PEP members of the SKNAPD who meet at the McKnight Community Centre,” said Ms Mary Clarke, who was the organiser of the surprise party. “We asked everybody to give ten dollars donation just to get some extra snacks, but the food was provided by the association.”

According to Ms Clarke, the pizza eaten at the party and the cheesecake presented to Mr Mills were prepared by SKNAPD’s Vice President Mr Joseph Bergan and his wife Mrs Sharolie Bergan, and the celebratory balloons came from PEP and were presented by PEP Monitoring Officer Ms Shirley Adams.

“All the other dishes were done by us, members of the PEP group,” explained Ms Clarke. “Ms Sharon Fredrick did chicken and macaroni pie, Ms Velma Hanley did the vegetables and rice, Ms Nadia Benjamin did the pancakes, while the guava, sorrel, and passion drinks were done by Ms Claudette Peets, a vendor who sells food items to us and she also gave a donation of some of her goodies.”

Opening prayers were offered by PEP Participant Ms Vincentia Wilkenson, while prayers for the food were offered by SKNAPD member Mr Eugene Samuel. SKNAPD’s Vice President Mr Joseph Bergan, better known as the Navigator, led the group in singing the Caribbean version of the popular ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

Ms Sharylle Richardson, on behalf of the team from East Basseterre presented a fruit basket from the Hon Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Earl Asim Martin to Mr Clarke and in doing so, she talked highly of the unique virtues that distinguish Mr Clarke. She later presented another basket to Mr Anthony Mills.

PEP Graphic Design student, Mr Antonia Richardson presented a birthday card to Mr Clarke and later to Mr Mills. The cards had jointly been designed and produced by him and another PEP Graphic Design student, Mr Jamal Herbert.

In reply, Mr Earle Clarke said that being disabled did not imply an end to life. Referring to them as the less abled, he praised the training PEP was offering the graphic designers as what they were doing could develop into a lucrative business of making cards for all occasions.

Ms Mary Clarke along with PEP participant, Ms Sharon Fredrick presented a skit to further entertain those present.

“I want to say thanks to PEP,” said Ms Clarke. “It is because of PEP why we were able to do this today. We are here trying to make our lives better and to help the people with disabilities. When I spoke to Mrs Diana Pemberton (PEP’s Assistant Training Coordinator) about what we were planning to do, she jumped on board and she said, go ahead and do it.”


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