Higher heights

Maria Bradshaw,

Added 28 October 2012

uwi017

LAST weekend was a triple celebration for Wayne Webster and his sister Kim. On the Friday the two watched proudly as Wayne’s 23-year-old son Kevin was called to the Bar at the Supreme Court. The next day they both collected degree scrolls at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) graduation ceremony at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. Wayne, a manager at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), received his law degree while Kim, a social worker in the Welfare Department, collected her Master of Science degree in management with international business. For Wayne, a strong proponent of education, the two occasions were simply gratifying. “I saw the moment as an endorsement of the progress Barbados has made as an independent nation, when two sons and a daughter of this nation from different generations can stand shoulder to shoulder on two consecutive days to receive such award of achievement. “The attainment of higher education is the single most significant factor to attaining upward social and economic mobility in most societies, Barbados being perhaps one of the leaders in this phenomenon,” he told the SUNDAY SUN. “So for me it was an honour on Friday to witness my son being admitted to the Bar to practise law as the youngest male attorney at law in Barbados, and the next day my youngest sister joining me in a graduation ceremony to receive an award of a master’s degree in management studies.” Wayne already holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in human resource management from Surrey University. He also tutors in management studies at UWI. His educational discipline probably came from the 17 years he spent in the Royal Barbados Police Force before resigning at the rank of station sergeant to take up his current post at the NCF. While there, he was appointed an international assessor on law enforcement standards by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The commission made him the first police officer outside of North America or Canada to be appointed as an assessor by this highly respected organization which is based in Fairfax, Virginia, the United States. Kim, a product of Springer Memorial School, also holds a bachelor’s degree in social work. She said she was guided by her big brother in choosing her educational path. “I always go to him for advice and I had decided to do human resource management as well, but he told me to expand my scope, that there would be more advantages if I did that, so I added international business,” she said. And while she knew Wayne was doing his law degree at the same time she was doing her master’s programme, Kim said she never envisaged they would graduate on the same day. “When I heard his name called I wanted to scream. I wanted to shout, ‘That is my brother!’ I told everyone sitting next to me to clap because that was my brother. I felt so happy,” she said. Kim is now looking forward to seeing her only child, Paul Stefan, a fifth former at Harrison College, fulfil his dreams of becoming a civil engineer. Wayne has already packed his bags and headed back to the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, where he is completing his legal certificate.

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