Unsung Heroes – Retired – 2003-2013
They have committed their lives and sacrificed unconditionally to help others. They make our communities and countries a better place.
In the spirit of our 10 anniversary as a financial institution we saluted our Unsung Heroes with this commemorative eBook (10.4 MB) to share in their inspiring stories. CIBC FirstCaribbean's Unsung Heroes programme became the flagship for volunteerism in the Caribbean.
From 2003 until 2012 entries were received from the countries in which CIBC FirstCaribbean operates. They came from individuals who wished to recognize the region's selfless heroes who generously gave of their time and resources to improve the lives of the less fortunate in their communities.
With an esteemed judging panel led by prominent regional personalities such as Sir Shridath Ramphal, Sir George Alleyne and Sir Neville Nicholls, entries were evaluated based on the impact of their service on their community as well as the time and sacrifice committed to their efforts.
Those aspects determined each year's overall regional Unsung Hero and the two runner-ups. When competition was particularly high, special commendations are given to key individuals.
2012 Regional Unsung Hero
Gerda Gosepa, our Regional Unsung Hero is many things to many people. What is clear, however, is that she is well loved by all in the rural communities she serves across the Curacao landscape. Since 1978, her life’s work has revolved around volunteerism and advocacy for impoverished groups, while she has been a powerhouse in speaking up for women’s rights. She admits that helping others has come at great sacrifice but, despite this, she has turned these into many teachable moments. Gerda Gosepa – women’s advocate, champion of the poor, friend and humanitarian. There is little doubt that she has earned the right to be called the CIBC FirstCaribbean Regional Unsung Hero.
2012 Unsung Hero Awardee
Bonti Liverpool was a well-respected Scout Leader in his homeland of Dominica, secretary of the credit union, organized community sporting events, promoted literary activities and more. Until the lure of drugs – cocaine, marijuana and alcohol led him into the abyss. He lost it all, including friends and family. Fortunately, he escaped with his life and the wisdom to know that he never wanted to sink into desperation ever again. And so was born, Wisdom to Know, a drug rehabilitation programme with the ambitious plan of creating a drug-free Dominica by the year 2030. Little by little, Bonti has regained the life he knew. With few resources, he supports his labour of love with income from motivational lecturers at schools and service clubs. He is also back in the scout movement, serving as the country’s Chief Scout Commissioner, Unit Commander of the Cadet Corps and heads the Grand Bay Tourism & Environmental Committee. His life’s mission is to actively search for those needing his help and to place them on a sound mental and emotional footing. Many have taken their rightful place in society with his help.
2012 Unsung Hero Awardee
“Brother Fred” as Edward Williams is fondly known is the pride of Belair, St. Vincent and the embodiment of the meaning ‘triumph over adversity.’ Years of physical abuse in his early childhood and a debilitating bout of polio have robbed him of his mobility, but not his spirit. While his legs have failed, his hands and his heart, have not. A master craftsman, he has used his hands to carve and create, even when hospitalized, and his heart to care for and adopt the children in his community who, like him, have needed a head start and the love that he was denied. He has been rewarded with love, not riches, and plans to continue providing for others, including his pride and joy Danesha, for whom he has cared since she was a year old. Swelene Daniel, his nominee and beneficiary of his care wrote, “The love, care, generosity and affection of Uncle Fred would drain all the pens of this world dry. Words cannot express how appreciative we are of Uncle Fred. He is our friend and counselor, our comfort, our guide. He always has a scripture, some word of counsel, courage and comfort to give to all who come into his presence. Fred is our hero!”