Dr. Gilpin’s Podium opens in Lunji


The Managing Director of the Rokel Commercial Bank (RC Bank), Dr. Ekundayor Walton Gilpin has officially opened a podium for debate and public speaking at the St. Augustine Agricultural Senior Secondary School, at Tintafor in Lungi, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom. The event which was held on Wednesday April 26th, 2023 attracted several dignitaries in and out of Lungi.

Chairman of the event, Sheku Putka Kamara who also doubles as the National Secretary General of the national St. Augustine Old Students’ Association (SAOSA) expressed delight for the construction of the podium, noting that it is a step in the right direction. He urged the pupils and the school administration to make a judicious usage of the facility whiles restating that public speaking has the penchant of allowing one to create a fan base of followers, if aptly executed. He cited appreciable examples of various SAOSA members that inevitably did go through St. Augustine and encouraged the pupils to follow such positive trajectories with a view to even do more.

President of SAOSA, Ansu Moiba whiles welcoming all and sundry said that there was every need to appreciate Dr. Gilpin for the good work done. He said that when SAOSA was approached regarding the construction of a school podium, they could not forecast all of what the plan would entail, but stated that through his astute stewardship, the executive of the association and general members were able to co-fund the construction of the podium. He therefore thanked and appreciated executive members and general members of the association that did aid in making sure that the construction of the stage was finalized. He said that the newly constructed podium was undoubtedly one of the very best in the country, adding that pupils and staff of the school should now do all within their powers to make a good use of the platform. He said that the GEED Foundation is further appreciated for the initiative to fund the construction of a standard podium for the St. Augustine Agricultural Senior Secondary School. The SAOSA President noted that there was every need to maintain and further improve on the pace that has already been set for more progress for and at the school.

GEED Foundation representative, Mr. Bassie gave a succinct background of the project and expressed unreserved appreciation to the Chief Executive of RC Bank, Dr. Gilpin. He said that the constructed podium when reasonably used, would act as a source of uplifting the public speaking potentials of pupils of the school and the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom in general.

In his remarks, Hon. Abdul Kargbo who is also a product of St. Augustine expressed how the school had played a key role in enhancing his public speaking potentials. He made reference to his numerous achievements and urged the pupils not to treat public speaking with levity. He said that he’d continue to mentor the younger ones and to see that they are also able to realize their aspirations.

Principal of the St. Augustine Agricultural Senior Secondary School, Rev. Fr. Paul Turay stated that he was appreciative of the construction and thanked Dr. Gilpin and the GEED Foundation, SAOSA and all other participants that did play roles in making sure that the podium is completed.

In his keynote address, Managing Director of the RC Bank, Dr. Ekundayor Walton Gilpin said that the initiative to construct the podium is borne out of the desire to propagate the values of debating and public speaking. He said that young people need every form of encouragement because they are the leaders of the future. Dr. Gilpin added that it is also necessary to help in coaching and training the pupils and to see that they are able to do reasonable things for themselves and the society by extension. He added that pupils of St. Augustine should inculcate never give up attributes and to make sure that they match standards as they progress in life. The RC Bank MD stressed that excellence is something that should be recognized and celebrated, noting that the school authorities and pupils of St. Augustine should therefore make a good usage of their facility.

There was a 16 minute debate by four pupils pupils of the school. There was also a short poem that was read and a skit that was acted much to the admiration of all and sundry.

Hon. Abdul Kargbo used the opportunity to present two brand new PA systems to both the St. Augustine junior and the St. Augustine senior school. Shyabatu Etta Williams, a member of SAOSA also presented a token to the best debater. This followed after the RC Bank MD had presented certificates and prices to the best debating team, best debater, second best and best female debater. There was also a consolation price for the runners up.

A good number of SAOSA executive and general members were in attendance and they all played pivotal roles in making sure that the event was a success. The taking of a group photo climaxed the event.


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