BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - DEVELOP your skills and mindset so that you can become entrepreneurs and your own bosses in the area of music.
That was the charge given to inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) by businessman Eustace Warner.
Warner, the proprietor of Warner’s One Stop Shop, donated US$5,000 worth of equipment to HMP Band RGI for the continued development of music to aid in the rehabilitation of inmates.
At a simple handing over ceremony on Thursday (Oct.17) in the prison compound, the businessman underscored the importance of knowing how to play an instrument.
“And so you can make a living and make a lot of friends, and you can go to a lot of places. Learning to play an instrument, it can be your passport. Learn to play an instrument, develop your skills while you are here and when you leave it can be used for work or recreation. As owner and manager of Warner’s One Stop, I present these instruments to you today as encouragement for you to develop your musical talents and skills.”
According to Warner, the donation originated from a visit he had made to the facility to discuss with the Commissioner of Prison, Terrance James, in what way he could assist the penal institution.
“After our discussion, I made a short tour and met some very interesting and talented people. My visit to the music hall was very impressive and stuck a note that made me realised that there were musical talent here that has potential for development. I am a lover of music and wherever I can assist I try to do so,” he noted.
It was out of that visit and a request from the Commissioner for several items that saw the donation of a number of equipment cases, a guitar set, cordless microphones and speakers.
In thanking Warner for the timely gesture, Commissioner James reminded of how the instruments came to be presented to the facility.
He emphasised that high on his agenda for the prison is the rehabilitation of prisoners, which he stated could be done through music.
“I think that through music the inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison can be rehabilitated...and, so Mr. Warner, I want to thank you for coming on board. It is not only through music that we are embarking on rehabilitation here at Her Majesty's Prison. In the last two weeks we have also embarked on a general mechanic course at the AVEC Center.
“And so we are trying to develop the skills programme here at Her Majesty’s Prison so that inmates can prepare themselves for when they are being discharged back into society. And we think that the public generally have to give the inmates a second chance! They are human beings and would have paid their debt to society.”