By Jáedee S.K. Caines
THG Network (Feb. 23, 2017) — The delayed start and brief power outage were no match for the Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) which got underway on Thursday night at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NePAC).
Chaired by Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Hanley Group (THG) Network, Mervin Hanley, the opening ceremony featured remarks by Principal of the Charlestown Secondary School Edson Elliot, Nevis’ Deputy Premier Hon. Mark Brantley and Observer Milton Lawrence.
Perhaps the highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of greetings by the various debating societies. It was then that the audience got its first taste of the oratorical skills of the debaters. The debaters also read the LIDC pledge which, among other things, called for debaters to be governed by the rules of the competition.
Although not filled to capacity, NePAC provided a lovely setting for the opening ceremony with comfortable seating in the Michael Herald Sutton Auditorium.
The Nevis Cadet Corps played a huge role in the introduction of the teams and staff sponsors as cadets held the various island flags and escorted the teams to their seats. They then placed each flag on the stage and remained poised during the renditions of each national anthem.
Shonroy Caesar provided entertainment with a spirited dance that had audience members tapping their feet and moving in their seats.
The opening ceremony was followed by the first debate, which featured Khalifa Pencheon and Kazmau Grant of Team St. Kitts and Dawud Mohamaud Chapman and Diandra Dieudonnee Marlin of Team St. Maarten. They spoke on the moot “the high cost of youth unemployment relief programmes outweighs the benefits.”