Attorney-at-Law, Heather Felix-Evans has been appointed Finland’s new Honorary Consul to Dominica.
She replaces former Barrister-at-Law, Julian Johnson who was appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Finland to the Commonwealth of Dominica in June 2010.
She officially took up her new position during a special ceremony held at Fort Young Hotel on Monday night.
“It was quite an honour and indeed a privilege to have been recommended, considered and appointed to the post of Honorary Consul of Finland in the Commonwealth of Dominica and also approved by the government of Dominica,” Felix-Evans said.
She said she has read and understood what the functions of the post are.
“I understand my duties to include getting in contact with the Embassy in crisis situations involving Finnish citizens and foreign nationals permanently resident in Finland, providing advice and assistance to Finnish citizens and foreign nationals permanently resident in Finland who are in distress in Dominica, either because of accident, illness or they may be victims of crimes in Dominica, or they may be charged with an offense,” she explained.
She said in this situation it is her responsibility when contacted to assist them [Finnish citizens] whether with medical care, in accessing medical care or direct them to the relevant authorities or institutions.
Furthermore, Felix-Evans stated that her duties will also include notarial acts, such as authenticating signatures, certifying copies and providing life certificates.
Felix-Evans pointed out that Finland has a publicly funded comprehensive school system.
“No selecting, tracking or streamlining of students during the basic education years which runs from 7 to 16 years,” she explained. “Did you know that there is no standardized testing in Finland until they reach the equivalent of what is grade 12 in the US [United States] and 2nd year of 6th form Dominica State College [DSC] – no standardized testing?”
Felix-Evans added, “Did you know that children begin elementary school at 7 years of age and prior to that they learn at their own pace…”
She mentioned also that all teachers are required to have a Master’s Degree before entering the teacher program.
“Did you know that the status of a teacher is equivalent to an attorney-at-law and a medical doctor in Dominica?” She asked. “Did you know that the education system promotes cooperation not competition and the schools, the gap between the worst performing schools, if there is any, is very small.”
Meantime, Honorary Consul of Trinidad and Tobago in Dominica, Francis Emmanuel who endorsed Felix-Evans, described her as an outstanding member of the bar.
“I say without any hesitation that it would be difficult to identify someone in Dominica more suitable than Mrs. Felix-Evans for the position of Honorary Consul of Finland to the Commonwealth of Dominica,” he noted. “Mrs. Felix-Evans commands high respect in the Dominican community as an outstanding member of the bar.”
Emmanuel continued, “The legal work she has done for me personally is at exemplary standard.”
He expressed “undiminished” admiration for Felix-Evans.