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2003 Graduate – Joel Ward


Joel WardSt. Vincent, the largest island in the West Indies, is a lush, volcanic island with steep mountainous ridges, valleys, waterfalls and a rugged coastline dotted with beautiful black and white sand beaches.

The country’s first known inhabitants were Arawaks, later driven out by Caribs; the latter put up a strong resistance to European colonization. Columbus sighted the principal island on 22 January 1498, and named it after the saint whose feast falls on that day. No immediate European immigration followed his discovery. In 1627 Charles I of England granted the island to Lord Carlisle, but no settlers arrived. Charles II granted it to Lord Willoughby in 1672; possession was disputed by the British, French and Spanish. All these claims were resisted by the Caribs. The Caribs did not, however, oppose the settlement of a shipload of enslaved Africans who escaped after a shipwreck in 1673, and in due course seem to have merged with the Carib community through intermarriage. In 1773, under an Anglo/Carib treaty, the Caribs were allowed to continue to live independently in the north of the island.

France took the island in 1779, but restored it to Britain in 1783, under the Treaty of Versailles. There was a Carib revolution in 1795 96, with some French help from Martinique; when this had been crushed, the rebels were deported to the island of Roatan in the Bay of Honduras. In 1812 La Soufriere erupted and devastated much of the island, on which a plantation economy, based on slave labor, produced sugar, cotton, coffee and cocoa. After the emancipation of slaves by Britain in 1833, indentured labor from the East Indies and from Portugal was brought in to remedy the labor shortage.

In the second half of the 19th century sugar slumped and a depression lasted until the end of the century. A series of natural disasters followed: a hurricane, and also a further eruption of La Soufriere in 1902 which devastated the northern half of the island and killed 2,000 people.

St Vincent and the Grenadines being a small agricultural country, the move to full independence started relatively late, after the break up of the West Indies Federation, of which it had been a member, in 1962. Universal adult suffrage to vote for the Executive Council had been gained in 1951, and internal self government was achieved in 1969, when the country became a self governing state in association with Britain. Full independence came in October 1979.

With Independence comes responsibility and accountability. Please meat a young man who is independent, responsible, and accountable. This is Mr. Joel Ward. Joel is a recent Graduate of Citizens’’ High School. He is also one of four siblings that are using Citizens’’ curriculum to earn their diplomas. Joel has an older sister that has graduated and two younger brothers that are currently enrolled with us.

Joel went to public schools in Baltimore before moving to the West Indies. He stated “It was alright” but he much preferred the Citizens’’ program. Joel’s parents must have a real appreciation for the quality of education that can be obtained from home schooling, especially when away from the continental United States.

Joel has plans to work in the family business in their accounting division. He is eager to continue his education in the accounting field. He hopes he can update the present accounting methods his family utilizes. He realized that achieving a high school diploma was a critical step in the process of pursuing advanced accounting courses. Although, Joel is pleased with himself for accomplishing this goal, he is not resting for long. He is now questing after extra accounting courses.

We know he will succeed. With his determination and the values his family has instilled in him, Joel will always be responsible and accountable.

Citizens’’ High School is very proud of Joel for accomplishing his goal and earning his diploma. We are also very grateful for the guidance and support of his family. We humbly and with an appreciative heart, award Joel Ward Graduate of the Month for July, 2003. A special mention must go to Joel’s folks and siblings too!

Mr. Joel Ward is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for July 2003.