The Maria Holder Hospitality centre, a centre that is expected to empower vulnerable people with relevant skills and certifications has been officially opened at the New Life Organisation (NEWLO) in Palmiste, St. John.
The ceremony was attended by Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade and Chairman and Co-Founder of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Christopher Holder.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is a charity creating longevity, and was done in memory of Christopher’s Mother, Maria Holder.
The Trust works with Governments and registered NGO’s and charities in Barbados and some Caribbean countries to implement projects that have a direct impact on the lives of vulnerable people .
The Trust works in the areas of Education, Health, Poverty, Alleviation, Culture, and Disaster Relief.
In brief remarks, Dame Cecile, an avid supporter of NEWLO, thanked the Trust for its donation to NEWLO.
“I commend The Maria Holder Memorial Trust for their generosity, compassion, and thoughtfulness in reaching out in such a tangible and meaningful way to the most vulnerable people of our Caribbean countries”, she said.
”I am especially pleased that Grenada continues to benefit from this organisation , a relationship that began just about a decade ago with the tremendous assistance given to the Queen Elizabeth Home in Tempe, St. George’s of which I am the patron,” she added.
Executive Director of NEWLO, Sister Margaret Yamoah who also delivered remarks on the opening of the centre said it marked the fulfillment of a dream that started with her predecessors.
She said: “This dream wasn’t my dream; this was a dream by previous Executive Directors. We are only putting out, working with the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, a dream that NEWLO has had for years, and it is very important that we remember that on an occasion like this we let people know exactly what goes on here..”.
According to Sis. Yamoah, it is also an occasion for NEWLO “to say thank you to the people who make our work possible and to have something like this from the Maria Holder Memorial Trust to give us that hope, and no matter how hard we work, and no matter how little we receive, those we are serving get the best, and if they get the best, even if you don’t have money, you get to have a good sleep..,”.
Also delivering remarks and promising to make further investments to NEWLO was Chairman of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Christopher Holder.
“This is huge, having spoke briefly with Bishop (Sydney) Charles whose vision this was, and he pointed out that God that led him to do this, and God does work in wonderful mysterious ways and he does do a lot for all of us but Bishop Charles, now retired, thank you very much for your idea and your commitment. This is actually my first visit to NEWLO, to the site. I have seen pictures…and I can see from what was to what is, and what was also we can look at further investment in which is I’m sure we will do,” he said.
The commissioned building, located at NEWLO’s main centre at Palmiste, will house the Hospitality Arts Programmes which comprises of Commercial Food Preparation, Cookery, Front Desk Operations, Restaurant, and Bar services.
The centre is expected to cater to over ninety students per year who would not otherwise have access to this opportunity of technical and vocational training to pursue a career in the hospitality industry as part of Grenada’s thrust to enhance its Tourism Sector.
With a construction period of ten months, the Maria Holder Hospitality Centre was built at a cost of $1.7 million by a company out of Barbados called Cooper Kauffman Consultancy Ltd.