"Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." I've spent this July 4th marking 30 years in my vocation, thanking the Almighty and the giants on whose shoulders I stand, the people without whose direct action I would not still be standing after 30 years:
*Julian Rogers (who did better than hire by lighting a fire) *Tony Cumming (who actually did hire me first) *Claude Graham (who put me on the announcer's roster and my programmes on the schedule) *Clairmonte Taitt (who first opened the CBC microphone to me in my Bajanised reading of a VS Naipaul short story) *Leslie Seon (who gave me my first Outside Broadcast anchor shot in his own patch of perfection, Remembrance Day, 1985) *Milton Gibbs and *Sharon Marshall who shaped me into a television journalist) *Jim Brown (for almost everything good in Washington DC) *Harold Hoyte and *John Wickham of The Nation *CANA's Trevor Simpson, *Ulric Hetsberger, *Reudon Eversley, and *Wendy Thompson Sargeant - all of who set me on my way.I remain grateful to those whose friendship, support and guiding hand propelled me even further - especially Olutoye Walrond and Harold Phillips, and my greatest partners in crime, Trevor Hollingsworth and, yes, again, Julian Rogers. There are others, countless others, some here, some abroad, some no longer with us, whom I think of every day and thank, even if I haven't named them. Today was a day to honour those present at the creation, who shaped and moulded me in my first decade especially. I am doubtless that I have not lived up to the highest expectations of some, perhaps many, and certainly not always. Fear not, for I've been tougher on me than you ever could be, but I have tried, and still strive to live up to the principles and standards I have set myself, especially those of Keith F. Gittens, my father, who said that all he wanted of me was to strive for excellence and demand a place in broadcasting in the 21st Century. In the name of my parents, relatives, teachers, friends and role models who planted seeds and values so many more years than three decades ago, and in the name of Him whose gifts have made possible any good that I have done, I give thanks and can offer no worthy words of my own - only Mr Valiant-for-Truth's:
"...though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am."