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VON Radio celebrates fifteen years of community service
June 20, 2003

Charlestown Nevis (June 17, 2003) -- Voice of Nevis (VON) Radio’s General Manager, Mr Evered ‘Webbo’ Herbert, says that the privately owned radio station has lived up to the ideals that it was founded on when it first hit the airwaves on June 18, 1988.

As the radio station, which is fondly referred to as the Caribbean’s Powerhouse, readies itself to mark the 15th anniversary with an array of activities under the theme ‘Only THE BEST Will Do!’ Mr Herbert is of the opinion that the public has been served well, and empowered at the same time.

The celebrations kick off Wednesday with an Open Day at the radio station’s studios at Bath Village, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while Governor General His Excellency Sir Dr Cuthbert Sebastian will grace the anniversary ceremony and reception that will be held on Friday June 20 at the VON Radio studio premises.

“Our operations have been community-based,” Mr Herbert told GIS in an interview, “and as a consequence of that maybe we don’t make a lot of money. But the objective is being served and whenever there is a disaster, whether it is a hurricane or a flood, which we have done, we put a lot of focus on helping to solve problems in the community.”

VON has supported schools, sporting and community groups on Nevis in whatever they do and it has also supported the government, “whichever government is in office at the time, as we have spanned over both (NRP and CCM) governments, because we feel that it is important to oppose, yes, but at the same time support what is good.”

He pointed out the several occasions the Voice of Nevis Radio had teamed up with the Government Press and Public Relations Department (GIS), to bring to the public live broadcasts of important events via the GIS TV on the Cable TV of Nevis, channel 8.

Other areas that the station has done well in community empowerment is the internship programme with the schools, where a number of persons are attached to the station in summer, and according to Mr Herbert, some of them have at the end been employed at the radio station.

The hugely popular Tuesday evening live call-in programme, Let’s Talk, and the Saturday morning’s Youth on the Go, are some of the programmes that make the station stand out tall among the faithful listeners, many who listen from far corners of the world via the World Wide Web on the internet.

The General Manager explained that during the Open Day on Wednesday, the actual day that the radio officially went on the air, visitors to the studio would be able to meet the staff and be able to find out what happens inside the studios of a radio station.

On Friday it will be the Anniversary Ceremony and Reception at the studios, which will be attended by the Governor General, and the Premier of Nevis, the Hon Mr Vance Amory, invited dignitaries and persons from all walks of life.

“One of the things I would like to mention is that on Friday we are going to highlight and honour two of our staunch supporters, Mr Noel Liburd of Noel Courtesy Car Rental/Garage and Ms Vanita Walters of the Hilltop Bar and Restaurant,” noted Mr Herbert. “These are two very quiet and reserved but very powerful people, who make great contribution and they support us heavily.”

Following the reception, there will be an anniversary party and dance hosted by Nevis’ Ultra Sonics Band and Grand Masters from St. Kitts. On Saturday, starting at 7 a.m. will be the Anniversary Road Race/Walk/Run from the Charlestown Secondary School Villa, via Main Street, to Pinney’s Road, Lower Hamilton, Pump Road and back to the Villa.

Celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of VON Radio will come to and end on Sunday with a Thanksgiving Service at the St. John’s Anglican Church at Fig Tree at 9 a.m., which will be conducted by Rev Dr Canon Alson Percival.

Meanwhile, winners of VON Radio’s 15th Anniversary Essay Competition were announced on Monday evening. Fifth grade student at the St. Thomas’ School, Denesia Smithen, emerged winner in the primary school division writing on the topic: ‘The Impact of VON Radio on St. Kitts and Nevis’.

In the secondary school and adult categories, it was Kimala Swanston of the Charlestown Secondary School and Mrs Sylvine Henry of St. Kitts taking the top spots. They were required to write on the topic: ‘VON Radio at 15 – Its Impact on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’.

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