Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 21, 2018 (SKNIS): The Honourable Shawn Richards, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, was joined by Cabinet colleagues on Friday, September 21, to warmly welcome home the 17-member delegation of the Cayon Pantastic Steel Orchestra, who journeyed to the Republic of China (Taiwan) to showcase their talent as part of a cultural exchange.

“It is my pleasure to be here as Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture in particular, to welcome back to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis members of the Cayon Pantastic and also to congratulate you on a splendid performance in Taiwan,” he said. “It is often said that music is a universal language and I think that you would have displayed that in Taiwan, although you may not have been able to speak the native language.”

Minister Richards expressed how happy he was for the Pantastic Steel Orchestra group to be given such opportunity during the welcome ceremony held at the VIP Lounge at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport.

“I am happy that you were able to go to Taiwan because sometimes when we encourage young persons to take part in different organizations, the question is why should I participate, what am I going to get out if it,” he said. “You, apart from being able to perform here in the Federation, you have now gone overseas and you have displayed your talents there. You not only got the opportunity to display your talents but of course, you were able to meet persons of a different culture and get an appreciation for their own culture.”

Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory, who was also present in Taiwan to witness the group in performance, welcomed them and noted that their experience is something to celebrate and be proud of, especially seeing and knowing that they performed exceptionally well.

“Each one of them can be proud of the way they performed but more than the performance itself, I think you were professional, your performance on every occasion was excellent of the highest quality,” said the senior minister. “For me as a minister of government and you representing your country, you did a wonderful job of being true delegates, true musical and cultural ambassadors of your country.”

This initiative formed part of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 35th Anniversary of Independence, as well as the 35th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries.

The group departed the Federation on Tuesday, September 11.

The welcome ceremony was also attended by Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins.