As crime continues to escalate, as respect continues to decline, as leadership roles come under heavy scrutiny and parental guidance remains highly questionable, there are still some positive signs within our community.  It is henceforth necessary to encourage and assist in every way possible those individuals who are trying to make a positive difference, especially when it relates to our children.

Mr. Vincent Maynard, a role model Nevisian who is qualified in martial arts, USA GoJu/Sensei is such a person.  With over 33 years in the business he brings to our people tremendous experience, skills, training and a general know-how when it comes to motivation, discipline and respect.

He does his part by helping our youths get into training programs and keeping them there while helping them to be positive, motivated and to stay out of trouble. Maynard dedicates 4 afternoons during the week towards these children.  Two afternoons per week he is at the Old Mill House at Hard Times, Gingerland while on Tuesdays and Thursdays he is at the Albertha Payne Community Center at Bath Village.

He has been conducting classes for children and adults on our island and presently has a total enrollment in excess of 70. The fact that my son attends the class at Bath Village gives me on hand opportunities to witness live works in progress.

The rapport between instructors and students, students and students, parental involvement as well, makes it a decent and healthy atmosphere while our children learn a whole range of disciplines.  Scholastic achievements of students are frequently shared with the class who then join in on congratulating those students.  The encouragement to focus and concentrate is always drilled into the young minds during training sessions.

While all the good and positives are being done to aid our children and helping them to prepare them for the future, the frustration is being borne out as ever so often these children and their instructors are unfortunately locked out of the building at Bath Village.  Mr. Maynard and his group have shown their frustration when this happens.  Parents become upset, children are disadvantaged and hampered, and a program that should be strongly encouraged is sometimes dampened because of the lack of a simple key.

Mr. Maynard, who started the USA Goju program here on island in 1997, confesses that he always held in possession a key for the complex prior to July 2006.  Incidentally, the fact that he had access to a key played a vital roll when Hurricane Lenny hit our shores in 1999.

The situation with the key now causes great concerns.  What policy could there be that denies Mr. Maynard from being in possession of a key to the building in which he does such a wonderful service?

Why isn’t there a reliable back-up plan to ensure that in case for any reason the individual responsible for holding the keys cannot make it on time, someone can unlock the door?

The number of times the class has been locked out and the number of times the key arrives late are not encouraging signs for anyone who is doing such a worthy community service.

I’ve been reliably informed that such unfortunate occurrences have exceeded 10 within the past two years.

One would think that with the responsibilities taken and shown towards our children by Sensei, with the program helping so many to focus and stay positive, Mr. Maynard should be respected and trusted enough to hold on to a key, regardless.  Positive alternatives during these trying times are considered as blessings, responsible individuals who make a difference should be cherished dearly.

Mr. Community Affairs Minister, Mr. Permanent Secretary in that department, why cannot Sensei Maynard hold keys to the community centers that he uses?

Why isn’t there a back-up plan to eradicate the lock out and late opening problem?  Do we truly appreciate his service and the impact he has on so many children?

Please allow Mr. Maynard to hold keys for the centers that he uses for this noble cause. Many will be highly appreciative of this gesture.