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Posted: Wednesday 23 November, 2005 at 3:36 PM
Erasmus Williams
    Ms. Omelda Dasent
    Over 200 graduates of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College were told Tuesday night that lack of parental role models is no justification for a life of degradation, violence and crime.
    Nevisian barrister and diplomat, Mrs. Omelda Dasent-Tross, who disclosed that she came from a dysfunctional family, told graduates at the 17th  Commencement Exercises that integrity and self-esteem are ingredients to lead a productive life.
    "Integrity and self-esteem are not legacies to be passed on from one generation to the next, or to one family member and not to another.  They are free gifts that are available to any one who chooses to reach out and grab them. And so I take a dim view, society takes a dim view, of anyone who becomes a liability to society and explain it away by saying "I  had no role model," said Dasent-Tross,  who added that she winces when she looks at some of her contemporaries who have become drug addicts and criminals and who had both parents and the same teachers she had.
    Providing words of advice to the graduating class of 2005, she guided them where to look for their role models.
    "They stood before you every day imparting knowledge to you.  That Teacher who taught you on Saturdays and Sundays, that's a hero; that Tutor who held make up classes in the Summer just to ensure that you completely covered and understood a topic, she ought to be your hero.  That Tutor who encouraged you to express your ideas in class, shy as you are and as silly as you thought the idea was, he ought to be your hero," said Dasent-Tross.
    Speaking to the graduant who is satisfied with the status quo and has no desire to change anything because he or she is only one person, Dasent-Tross pointed to the life of the late Rosa Parks, the American Civil Rights fighter who died recently.
    "Her life taught us that one person with a single idea can make a difference.  I say to you like Peter Ustinov said on the occasion of being installed as the First Rector of the University of Dundee in 1968 Know that every single great idea that has ever illuminated this earth of ours, this existence, has been sparked in the mind of the individual."
    A section of the 2005 Graduating Class
    She said that Ustinov went on to elaborate that the idea may have been perfected, changed, adapted, approved, translated, improved by others alone, in collaboration or in committee, but the idea was born in a single mind.
    'I challenge you to let that idea that brings about change in your community, in your home, in your school be yours. When you leave here today with diploma in hand, consider it as the key to excellence in this practical world of competitive existence.  Embrace the opportunity to effect change wherever you can and do it with passion,' she advised.
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