Members of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service (SVGCGS) celebrated the contribution made to the organisation by Sub-Lieutenant, Anthony Joel Delpesche who proceeded on pre-retirement leave on December 9, after more than 30 years of service.
A small ceremony was held at the Coast guard base at Calliaqua to honour Delpesche, who started his coast guard career in Antigua/Barbuda.
He recounted that his journey started in 1988 when he was recruited in the police force there and after a few weeks of training was transferred to the Coast Guard unit, which was then an extension of the police force.
However, after serving two years in Antigua, Delpesche became homesick and when he learnt that men were needed in the Coast Guard in SVG he applied and was recruited on May 14,1991, a release from the Coast Guard said.
Sub Lt. Delpesche said it was not always smooth sailing admitting that there were many times he wanted to leave.
The coast guard officer revealed that in 2007 when he was transferred to ‘beat and patrol’ he learnt a valuable lesson that stayed with him, which was, “’do your shift and go home’. It had to be something important for me to find myself around work after my shift is completed.”
Not being in a celebratory mood, Delpesche nevertheless was persuaded by his colleagues and said he made an effort to put together a response.
“As a trained specialist in Marine Electrical Engineering my heart always goes out to the engineers as we are the backbone of the organisation and for the hardworking engineers my motto has always been ‘we make things work’”, Delpesche said.
“Please remember that first of all you are to look out for you and your fellow workers. Protect yourself always and be safe in whatever you do.
Go and study if you so desire but remember this, while you are away studying for you, gaining knowledge for you, sacrificing for you, there are persons holding down the fort while you are away and that piece of paper you acquire doesn’t make you any better than anyone,” he added as he thanked the Commander and other members of the coast guard service.
The officer pointed out that while he attended the Emmanuel High School, “some went to Grammar School and some went on to college but guess what, after all the prestige we all end up working the same place, same pay, same dorm. I have learned over the years that basic common sense goes a long way in getting the job done. Mind you, that paper can make you more marketable but what benefit is it to the organisation if you are not productive or putting what you learn into practice for positive outcome and betterment of the organisation”? Delpesche questioned.
“While you are here learn to do something, learn a skill. Make yourself useful in such a way that you can be an asset to the organisation. Be that someone the Coast Guard can always depend on whatever the situation may be. It is satisfying for me to know I have left a mark. That I have helped someone in whatever way,” he added.
The retiring officer expressed his gratitude to those “who helped me pass my time…when they are not at work the base feels empty. We have such camaraderie, jokes shared, carpentry project plans, or even just to ole talk about anything.”
When he began his response, Delpesche first thanked God for his goodness and mercies throughout his journey and said that he is looking forward to continued blessings as he moves from one stage of life to another. He finally thanked the SVGCGS and wished it success.