A West Indian judge in Canada urges Caribbean youth to take advantage of the educational and professional opportunities available to their generation. Dr. Irving André of the tiny island of Dominica is a highly respected Justice in the Ontario Court of Justice, and he believes students in the Caribbean have more educational opportunities going for them than in generations past.
The world was changing rapidly and he urged the younger generation to recognize the special opportunities available to them:
"I think given the complexity of the world, the need for innovation, and the plethora of opportunities which now exist, our young people must regard themselves as privileged to be young within this period."
Dr. André's own success included earning three law degrees in Canada - the government of the day did not fund law scholarships when he was growing up in the region. But these are different times and the Dominican national wants Caribbean youth to reflect on where they are in history:
"The generation before them struggled tremendously to take advantage of the educational opportunities which presented themselves in the Caribbean." Dr. André contended educators needed to "wean our young people on an intellectual diet which includes self motivation, dedication and a relentless commitment to make something of themselves."
Born in Curaçao but raised in Portsmouth, Dominica, Irving André has authored or co-authored 15 books on History, Literature and Economics. He believes life is a gift and recalls being nurtured on the Biblical scripture 'to whom much is given, much is owed.' "I think we as West Indians have to revisit those maxims which served our generation and we have to make the younger generation familiar with those teachings," André counseled as he also recalled the principle "success is the best revenge."
The Honorable Justice André, one of the first justices in Ontario to hold a Doctorate Degree in Law, was honored in Toronto last month by the his alma mater the University of the West Indies (UWI) which he credits as integral to his early progress.