Gregory Slayton, US Consul General spoke to us on strengthening Bermuda's public and private education; Upgrading Bermuda's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding laws and infrastructure; and Unity

Education : It goes without saying that today's youth are tomorrows leaders and we all recognise the pivotal role that a good education plays in preparing our young people to assume leadership and to become all-round good citizens.  We all recognise that Bermuda's education system is in urgent need of upgrading.  Government and corporate Bermuda is taking action to correct it.  However, corporate support is not enough; Government cannot do it alone, nor teacher or parents.  What is needed is a partnership of all of these elements, with our children in the middle.  The mindset must be one of educational excellence, which generates opportunity in the workplace and social cohesion.


Anti-Money Laundering : To continue its dominance in the field, it is important that Bermuda strive to be among the leaders in the arena of meeting global financial standards.  This has been agreed by both industry and government as in the islands best interest.  The Bermuda Monetary Authority are pursuing legislation that will strengthen regulation of the Islands financial industry and make it even less subject to abuses such as money laundering and terrorist financing.  With the tremendous focus on anti-money laundering and anti terrorist financing since 9/11, I believe Bermuda is well on the road to being a world leader in this arena.


Unity: Aesop said it in five words:  "In union there is strength".  There are political, economic and social divisions here in Bermuda - as well as there are all over the world - that need to be healed.  But the only way forward, is together.  This is a small island, but in many ways a truly great Island.  Only by working in tandem and putting division behind us can issues be acknowledged and resolved; only together can we advance the cause of health, happiness and prosperity for all.  There must be progress in racial harmony on this Island.  I believe in what former United Nations leader Kofi Annan said "We may have different religions, different languages, different colour skin, but we all belong to the human race."  Truer words have never been spoken.  Together we can achieve the goal of race blind unity and enrich ourselves in the process if we value our differences.


The Consul General closed with his hope and prayer for Bermuda going forward, a quotation from Psalms;


"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity"


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