REMARKS BY THE CHIEF COMMANDER/CHANCELOR, MR.ELIAKIM M. MASALE,MBS,SYM,C. ST.J, AT THE 89TH ST JOHN ANNUAL PARADE & INSPECTION ON 18TH JUNE 2017 AT THE KICC, NAIROBI.
The Chief Guest, Maj. Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaisery, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior & National Coordination, the Prior, Hon Maj. (Rtd) Marsden Madoka, Council Members, Staff, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with great pleasure and honour to have you grace this year’s Annual Parade and Inspection out of your busy schedule. This is the 89th Parade and 4th since we achieved the Priory status. Historically, St. John Ambulance was introduced in Kenya in the 1920s and later anchored by an Act of Parliament by the British Colonial Government.
Due to its value in saving human lives, Kenyans have embraced it since then and it continues to grow in strength. This annual event is hence St. John Day in which we celebrate the spirit of Volunteerism as a core function expressed in our motto ‘’ Service to Humanity’’
In front of you, Sir, on parade today, are patriotic volunteer men and women who have bravely offered themselves to serve humanity. The Senior Veteran Volunteers are in the dais behind you. They are prominent names in various professions i.e. Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, Administrators, Community Organizers and politicians.
They have braved tough conditions to save lives, often going several days without sleep or even food during disaster incidents and national catastrophes. Many people today have a story to tell of how they were rescued by a First Aider from St. John Ambulance. Therefore, we are here to recommit our resolve to continue saving lives, preventing casualty’s condition from becoming worse, and hence promote recovery as necessary.
More than 80 % of 26,000 active membership of the brigade consists of young people aged below 35 years. Programmes have been developed that positively impact and propel them towards patriotism and Nation building.
The membership starts from the Dolphins at age 7 years throughout the whole Primary schooling, to graduate having gone through ‘’ Super Dolphin Programme” and attain the award. The cadets begin from age 13 and run through the high school level. At that stage they go through the Grand Prior’s Award Programme which they accomplish by age 18 and, thereafter, enlist in the Adult Brigade membership. They are then ready to be launched into the world to pursue various interests in their life careers to make better citizens.
Our membership is drawn from all the 47 Counties and as intimidated includes primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, the Kenya Police Service, Kenya Railways and Kenya Ports Authority. At this juncture, let me thank our Government for continued support, through the teachers, schools heads and leaders of various Government agencies who continue to support St. John Kenya to provide the backbone of our membership. Without, a shadow of doubt the Government is indeed a key stakeholder as we all strive to serve humanity. Our Vision is to ensure that there is at least one First Aider in every household in Kenya by the year 2030. With the support of the various Government Ministries and Agencies we should achieve the target to ensure the full implementation of OSHA requirements of Staff- First Aider ratio to mitigate against loss of life.
The vigorous First Aid training that we subject our trainees cannot be easily found anywhere else. That is why St. John Ambulance will continue to be the premier and leading First Aid Trainer and provider within Kenya and East and Central Africa. We indeed attest to have one of the best First Responders Units in Emergency Medical Handling First Response, as we have some of our Doctors and Nurses who recently trained by CBRN agencies to handle Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Emergency Incidents. The Administration Police and the Kenya Prisons Services have also joined this year to benefit from the offered First Aid training programme.
Finally, Mr. Minister, it is with pleasure to report that our membership has continued to steadily grow; but that expansion has resulted in our resources continuing to diminish. The desired growth needs to be matched with resources for mainly training equipment, and transport for the required outreach. The donors we rely on for support are getting fewer, hence the need for additional local support. We, therefore, appeal to individuals and the private sector to generously support this worthy cause, starting with the forthcoming Flag Day on the 8th July, 2017.
In all these endevours, Sir, we remain resolute and steadfast in support of our Government as a National duty to our motherland.
It is now my pleasure to request the Prior; Hon. Maj (Rtd) Marsden Madoka to make his remarks and invite the Chief Guest to address the Annual Parade.