As you may all know, slavery and colonialization have not been the best recipes for building good families and family life.
In fact, the mission of slavery was to divide families and sell the off-springs to the highest bidder, often at far-away plantations, never to be reunited again. And with colonialism, ‘divide and rule’ was the order of the day.
Not only did historical systems of slavery and colonialism inhibit family life, it actively discouraged and destroyed families. But this does not mean that there are not brilliant and wonderful families in the Caribbean today. And it is amazing that, in spite of the negatives and hindrances, there are wonderful examples of pure dedication.
It shows that the Family is probably one of the most resilient institutions in the world today.
One example of one dedicated man in one family is worth reflecting on. An accountant by profession, John Lum Young 61 years of age, is an avid cyclist and marathon runner, completing 152 marathon races in his lifetime.
Twenty-five (25) years ago, he encouraged all of his family and friends to join him in a 26 mile walk, every January in Trinidad from Point Galeota to Manzanilla.
This year, 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of this walk. It shows how dedication and pure will power, plus a passion for family and fun, can create a wonderful and Exceptional Caribbean family experience for all.
Young family members completing the 26 mile walk in 2010.
Even more interesting is to see what became of many of the young family members that participated in the walk. From the photo above:
Michel-Yannick Poon-Angeron, the youngest ever to finish the walk at 5 years nine months, is now a footballer on the Trinidad and Tobago National Squad.
Luke Girod works in Insurance while pursuing an economics degree at University of the West Indies St Augustine.
Jonathan Poon is pursuing his degree in Biology/Computer science at UWI St Augustine.
Sarah Girod completed her accounting degree at UWI St Augustine.
Josh Ashman is at Medical School UWI St Augustine.
Ray Hinds completed course in auto mechanics.
Jason Ashman is at UWI St Augustine studying biomedical technology
Other children to finish the 26 mile trek over the years include:
Aaron Hosein, Electrical and Electronics ; Carlos Hadaway, completed Law degree; Danielle Girod, Medical Doctor; Diego Poon, Engineer; Joel Roberts at Medical School; Jon Kumar, IT; Justin Ashman, Medical Doctor; Lui Chin, pursuing degree in Sports Management; Nathan Laveau, Environment and Natural Resource Management; Peter Kumar, Engineer; Rebecca Girod, studying degree in Architecture; Roberto Guiseppi pursuing law degree, Samir Elatwwy studying Actuarial Sciences.
Walkers over 60 of age completing the full distance include: Malcolm Smith, Coy Honock, Elizabeth Girod , John Lum Young , Roger Poon, with Coy Honock being the oldest walker at 75 Years 10 months in 2009.
This example shows what pure dedication and will power can achieve for an entire family; for the sustainability of family life and for civilization.
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Dr. Auliana Poon
Dr. Auliana Poon is the founder and Managing Director of Leve Global and Exceptional Caribbean. Auliana loves the Caribbean and believes in its people. Her personal mission is to change the world; to transform our societies. And this is precisely why she has spearheaded Exceptional Caribbean – a continuing mission to elevate tourism, trade and lives.