IN his New Year’s message to Tobago, Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said his administration will remain duly committed to finding tangible and sustainable solutions to challenges plaguing the island.
He encouraged Tobagonians to have patience and remember the goal.
Comparing governance to the science and patience that goes into baking, Augustine said similarly the most important lesson of baking and governance is that good things take time and are often worth the wait.
“In order to deliver any product of quality that can be thoroughly enjoyed, an intensive process is usually required
“The business of governance strikes a similar chord and requires an even healthier dosage of this triad as the stakes are higher.
“As an administration, we contend with several long-standing issues, which will take some time to address. However, I can assure you that we remain duly committed to finding tangible and sustainable solutions to these challenges.”
In 2023, he urged each citizen on the island to exercise a measure of healthy patience in their personal lives.
“Often times, many are guilty of creating personal resolutions, without giving themselves enough time for the transition. So some call it quits before the desired change manifests.
“When the ultimate goal is change, then a delicate balance should be sought between accountability and patience. This type of patience ought not to be passive, but more so a pragmatic understanding that any evolution is a process. It is a time not to be daunted, instead, this is a phase that should be wholeheartedly embraced as the possibilities are endless.”
Similar to the art of baking, Augustine reminded Tobagonians with governance there would be challenges and difficulties in the process, even with the right ingredients, resources and recipe.
“But as it is with baking any cake, one has to be careful with how ones use the ingredients at hand. The right ingredients used improperly can result in an imperfect cake. As we say in Tobago, the ‘cake go drop.’ But as it is with any family, when the occasional cake drops, we still eat and make merry.”
He admitted in 2022, Tobago got “perfectly moist and fluffy cakes but we had one or two that dropped.”
“These scenarios may feel disappointing at the moment, but they allow us to further improve our skills. It is the unexpected outcomes in the kitchen which help us to get it down to a science and ultimately boost our confidence.
"With more time and experience under our belts, we can boldly add our own unique touches to the recipes. We start infusing the elements that we believe would make the finished product even more enjoyable.”
He boasted that even with minimal experience in governance, his team was able to construct King Peter’s Bay Hill Road, clear the backlog for cataract eye surgery, host the island's first stand-alone carnival in October, increase the salaries for CEPEP and URP workers and remove the colonial dress code, to name a few in the first year of governance.
He predicts his administration will make a greater difference in the lives of Tobagonians in the coming year.
“We have the ingredients, from our irresistible natural treasures to the hearts of our people, to build a truly remarkable island."
He added: “This New Year now offers us a reset and a recharge; the opportunity to get us closer to those aspirations yet to be achieved. As the ones you entrusted your faith in, I can say that we are not afraid of the elbow grease and heat that must be endured to usher in the future that you so rightfully deserve. So hold tight and maintain a posture of expectancy. Continue to work diligently to elevate yourselves and this little promising island. There is much more still baking in the oven for Tobago in 2023.”