Lester Blackett Profile (draft)
He returned home where he taught at the Cayon and Sandy Point High Schools in St. Kitts until he accepted an offer from the late Rosalie Andre to join the staff of his alma mater, the Charlestown Secondary School as a Science teacher. He was subsequently asked to Chair the Science Department and was involved in the development of the Nevis Sixth Form College. He taught Physics from 4th to 6th form and Chemistry from 3rd to 5th form and occasionally Maths & Biology.
He was also the Sports Master, with particular focus on Track & Field and Football. The CSS team became one of the best teams in Nevis under his tutelage, playing a unique type of football, utilising skills developed with focused training. Track & Field also blossomed in the school and island under his direction with teams competing successfully in local and National competitions. He also trained a number of Track & Field athletes who excelled locally, regionally and internationally, with some obtaining athletic scholarships to U.S. universities.
After nearly 10 years of teaching he matriculated to the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad where he obtained a degree in Civil Engineering. While there, he captained the University Football team and led his dorm to an unprecedented Championship win for the University Football competition.
On his return to Nevis, he worked at the Public Works Department as an Engineer before being promoted to Director. He also was seconded to the Project Management Unit where he was responsible for major infra-structural projects including the “Rehabilitation of the Charlestown Waterfront” and the expansion of the then “Newcastle” Airport runway and Air Traffic Control Tower construction. He also worked as the Director of Physical Planning, Natural Resource & Environment, where he assisted in drafting the Physical Planning Ordinance, in addition to many other innovations and developments.
On the resignation of Mr. Llewellyn Newton from the then Office of Disaster Preparedness, he was transferred to the post in 2005. He developed the renamed Nevis Disaster Management Department to a current staff of six persons (from an initial staff of one) and coordinated the construction of the Llewellyn Newton Disaster Management facility at Long Point, which includes an Emergency Operating Centre, Offices, Warehouse and other areas. The facility is expected to be expanded in 2013 with a custom built EOC to further expand the capabilities of the Disaster Management team and its coordination of Disasters and Emergencies for the island of Nevis.
Mr. Blackett was also involved in a number of Sport related activities including:
• Track & Field as President of the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (NAAA) where he spearheaded the development of the single biggest event in Nevis (with the support of the Department of Education and other stakeholders), the Gulf Insurance Primary Schools Championship and the Nevis High School Championship. He also coordinated the development of the skills of the local coaches and Meet Management personnel.
• The formation of the Leewards Islands Athletic Association for the regional hosting of the Leeward Track & Field Island Championship series, including the Senior (Open Class), Junior (U-17 & U-20) & Youth (U-11, U-13 & U15) Championships.
• Physical Fitness Trainer for the Leeward Islands Cricket team for one year
• Netball trainer and coach for more than four (4) years with competitions at Caribbean and other regional events.
• Football coach for the Nevis team for nearly ten (10) years during which time the team significantly developed its skills and capabilities at the local and Leeward Islands level. He was also arguably, the best football player ever in Nevis, with skills previously unknown at a local level.
Mr. Blackett has been and in some cases is still involved, in many other activities including:
• Photography and Video Production
• Website development and Event Internet streaming
• Track & Field Coaching and Sports & Meet Management
• Computer Programming and Software development
• Volleyball and Basketball as a player for local and Nevis teams
• Computer proficiency at a high level
Lester is married to Vernice Wattley of Gingerland and has a daughter Nicoyann Blackett currently attending the 5th form at the Charlestown Secondary School.
Mr. Blackett obtained his approach to life under the tutelage of his parents, Eileen & Ingle Blackett and other parental figures in his life and that has “stood him in good stead” for most of his life. The discipline instilled as well as the goal of "striving to be the best you could be" enabled him to excel in most activities he involved himself in.
I will sorely miss my Mom as I have missed my Dad but they are in a better place in peace, and joined in eternal bliss.