By Frederick Halley
A DISTINGUISHED scholar with Guyanese roots, who recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Policy Management and Informatics, is the new general manager of the Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association (MACCA).Dr Dionne Patricia Duncan, whose parents, Hector and Util Duncan, are both Guyanese, took over the reins of the Ontario Trillium Foundation-funded entity a few months ago, and is extremely proud to be part of that body.
Delivering the charge at the recently-held 28th Annual Scholarship Awards Ball, the first under her stewardship, Dr Duncan’s address focused mainly on the importance of education as it relates to realizing career goals.
Directing her remarks to the several young people who were awarded scholarships, Dr Duncan reminded them “that education is important because it equips us with the expertise that is needed in helping us to realise our career goals.”
Dr Duncan, who also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Mass Communications, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, an Executive Degree in Business Relations from York University and Kellog-Schulich School of Business, exerted that “education is instrumental in the development of our values and virtues. It gives us an insight into living and teaches us to learn from experience. It makes us self-confident and develops our abilities to think and analyze and judge. It fosters equality and socialism.”
According to Dr Duncan, her Guyanese parents taught her from an early age that education was more than reading, writing and arithmetic. “It is one of the most important investments a country can make of its people and its future and is critical to reducing poverty and inequality.”
Dr Duncan told the students that their education process should be considered a self-enlightening one and “it is critical to the overall development of an individual and society at large,”
She posited that education provides knowledge about the world. “It paves the way for a good career. It helps us to build character and increased enlightenment, all the while laying the foundation of a stronger nation.”
Extending congratulations to the students who were being honoured, Dr Duncan declared “you are all distinguished and worthy of this auspicious scholarship. Remain focused throughout your social and academic careers. She also praised MACCA for its ongoing work to support and recognize student achievement. “Through your services, programmes and scholarship, you have truly made a great impact on the lives of Markham youth and York Region.”
The association offers a wide range of services, including Saturday morning tutorial programmes for Grades One to 12, monthly book club meetings, steel pan classes and summer reading programmes.
Apart from being general manager for MACCA, Dr Duncan also serves on several boards within the Greater Ontario Region, including Wychwood Open Door, a charitable organization.