On December 9th, 2021, Sub-Lieutenant (Sub Lt.) Anthony Joel Delpleche proceeded on pre-retirement leave from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service after serving some 30 plus years. In a small ceremony at the SVG Coast Guard base to celebrate his service to the Coast Guard and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Sub Lt. Delpleche reflected on his career and gave some timely and parting advice to the members of the Coast Guard family.
He first recognized and thanked Almighty God for his goodness and mercies throughout his journey and said that he is looking forward to continued blessings as he moves from one stage of his life to another.
Sub Lt Delpleche’s journey started in 1988 when he traveled to the country of Antigua and Barbuda and was recruited in the Police Force there. After a few weeks of training in the Antigua and Barbuda Police Force, he was transferred to the Antigua and Barbuda Coast Guard Unit which like St. Vincent then, was an extension of the Police Force. The Defence Force now runs the Coast Guard in Antigua and Barbuda.
According to Delpleche, after serving two years in Antigua, he became homesick and after learning that men were needed in the Coast Guard in St. Vincent, he applied and was successfully recruited for the Coast Guard in St Vincent on 14th May 1991.
Sub Lt Delpleche admitted that after thirty (30) plus years of service he can now say it was not smooth sailing all the time. Delpleche said, “I cannot count the number of times I wanted to leave this organization.” He revealed that in 2007, he was transferred to Beat and Patrol. He recounted “that transfer taught me a valuable lesson that stayed with me throughout the rest of my journey, that lesson was ‘do your shift and go home.’ It had to be something important for me to find myself around work after my shift is completed.”
Delpleche acknowledged that he was not in a celebratory mood, but several members of the Coast Guard asked for words of wisdom hence, he made a conservative effort and put something together. He said, “as a trained specialist in Marine Electrical Engineering, my heart always goes out to the Engineers as we are the backbone of the organization and for the hard-working Engineers my motto has always been “we make things work’.
Delpleche, thank the Coast Guard Commander and every member of the Coast Guard and offer some candid advice. “Please remember that first of all you are to look out for you and your fellow workers. Protect yourself always and be safe in whatever you do. Go and study if you so desire but remember this, while you are away studying for you, gaining knowledge for you, sacrificing for you, there are persons holding down the fort while you are away and that piece of paper you acquire doesn't make you any better than anyone. I went to Emmanuel High School, some went to Grammar School and some went on to college but guess what, after all the prestige we all end up working the same place, same pay, same dorm. I have learned over the years that basic common sense goes a long way in getting the job done. Mind you, that paper can make you more marketable but what benefit is it to the organization if you are not productive or putting what you learn into practice for positive outcome and betterment of the organization.
Sub Lt Delpleche went on “while you are here, learn to do something, learn a skill. Make yourself useful in such a way that you can be an asset to the organization. Be that someone the Coast Guard can always depend on in whatever the situation may be. It is satisfying for me to know I have left a mark. That I have helped someone in whatever way. During my journey, there were persons who helped me pass my time and when they are not at work the Base feels empty. We have such comradery, jokes shared, carpentry project plans, or even just too old talk about anything.”
Sub Lt Delpleche thanked the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service and wished it success in future endeavors.