“I believe in family values, I believe in community, and as humanitarian I also believe in giving back service to my community.”
By Gordon French
Achieving your goals in life requires a strong desire to build a career, secure wealth, fame, or simply serving your community. It is well established that any kind of success is achieved by first having an ambition
Michael Anthony Hercules, a 40-year-old resident of Central Amelia’s Ward, Linden, is a businessman who is on the pathway of advancing his goal of tangibly and meaningfully serving the mining town.
“I believe in family values, I believe in community and as humanitarian I also believe in giving back service to my community and so I see myself getting more involved in community development work in the future,” Hercules shared.
He currently oversees the family business – Lucrative Propensity – which undertakes consultancy, security and entertainment.
If given the chance, Hercules intends to represent the community at both the local and national level on issues affecting their wellbeing.
“My ambition and vision in life is best described by Abraham Maslow, who spoke about the hierarchy of needs theory. One of the key variables in that pyramid is self-actualization. I believe that the sky is just the limit and that we can go beyond. I am aiming to complete a master’s degree in business administration and who knows, maybe go on to become someone greater in life. I am an optimist,” Hercules stated.
FAMILY & EARLY LIFE
For Michael, his parents, wife and children remain his greatest motivation. He is married to Latoya Hercules, a union that has borne three handsome boys in Louwayne, Ishmael and Sylvon. His mother, Mrs. Penelope Hercules-Victorine gave birth to four children. He is the only survivor. Michael’s father, Monty ‘Brentnol’ Barnwell continues to play an invaluable role in his life.
“He is chiefly responsible for the desire I possess in wanting to achieve more academically because of his philosophy and guidance that he imparted. I intend to ensure that my children get the best education which will ultimately prepare them for the future. I love them dearly. My parents, my wife and children are my biggest fans and motivators,” Hercules explained.
He attended the Burnham Drive Nursery School, then St. Aidan’s Primary before gaining a place at the New Silver City Secondary School. Afterwards, he enrolled at the Linden Technical Institute. There, he successfully completed a certification course in Internal Combustion Engine.
“As a certified mechanic I was doing a lot of volunteer work at the time for some of my friends who had their own cars, but after a while I began to realize that I had a much bigger calling and purpose in life,” Hercules recalled.
He enrolled and pursued courses at the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE), Critchlow Labour College and the Linden Technical Institute, respectively. During the period, he acquired certificates in Industrial Relations and Management; Supervisory Management; Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship; Business Management; Human Resource Management; and Commerce.
Hercules was first employed by the Ministry of Education as a teacher, stationed at the Wismar Hill Primary School. There, he taught forms 3, 4 & 5, for nearly three years. This new teaching profession became his temporary passion.
While there, he also assisted in the physical education department and was selected to attend a football referee training programme. He graduated as a Class 3 football referee. He expressed hope of returning to refereeing someday.
According to Hercules, the late Mrs. Cort, head teacher of Wismar Hill Primary School, always encouraged him to keep striving for the best in life. He said heads of departments at the time – Mrs. Vernell Razak and Mrs. Mayfield Taylor-Trim – were also very good leaders and the general staff was always supportive.
Having a desire for upwards mobility, he was admitted to the University of Guyana to read for a diploma in Public Management. During this time, with the advice of Mrs. Cort, he applied to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Guyana Police Force (GPF) and Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) for employment.
“I wanted to get enlisted into the cadet course or become a customs officer, a passion I harboured for many years. So I thought to myself, that I would attend the first organization that responded to my application,” Hercules related.
The GRA was the first to respond. He resigned from the Ministry of Education to join the GRA. While being at the GRA, he was exposed to a whole new world of operations, commerce, taxation, procedures and policies.
During his time at GRA, he was exposed to numerous internal training seminars and courses, including customs officer I and II training programmes; managerial skills workshop; firearm; psychotropic substances and narcotic drug; statement and report writing; evidence gathering and investigation; international trade; and national self-assessment of trade facilitation negotiation needs and priority.
Over time, Hercules was transferred to various locations. He served as the officer-in-charge of customs operations at Lethem, Linden and Corriverton. He also served as a law enforcement officer, in the Law Enforcement & Investigation Division (LEID).
“There were occasions where I performed the functions of manager and branch manager respectively. Being at the border frontier I was privileged to meet, greet and had light discussions with Presidents, Ministers of Government, diplomats, other public officials. I was attending meetings in those regions, representing the organization,” Hercules said.
Still looking for more, he signed up with the GDF’s Reserve Cadet Officer training programme and was selected to spend one weekend in training which would determine his eligibility for the entry- regimentation level.
After a weekend of training, everyone returned to their regular life. Hercules recalled that at that time he was stationed in Lethem and so he had to rely on his colleagues and some of the new friends that he met during the training, for information as to when the next stage would commence.
He recalled that sometime later, he called a colleague, who informed him that he had half an hour to get to Camp Ayanganna in Georgetown.
“I remembered him saying, “Hercules, boy you have to come now, these people ain’t call nobody back….I seeing nuff people here who getting through.” I immediately called the GDF headquarters to validate this news and was given an affirmative. Now, I am all the way in Lethem. I thought to myself how I am going to reach to Georgetown in half an hour,” Hercules recalled.
He was upset and sad because he really wanted to be on that course to fulfill a childhood dream.
“Due to the circumstances, I had to pass up that opportunity. To date some of my colleagues and friends who I met there are now two pippers. But I am not giving up…I will apply someday to be an honorary officer. Winners never quit and quitters never win right,” Hercules stated.
He subsequently placed his studies at the University of Guyana on hold, because it became difficult travelling daily and juggling work at the same time.
He parted ways with GRA in 2014. He then became a local Government Officer at the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.
“I am extremely grateful for the working experience that I have acquired over the years. It is partly because of those people, the experiences and coupled with my ambition to achieve self-fulfillment that I am better prepared for the best that is yet to come.”
In life, according to Hercules, there are two definitions he lives by.
“One which states that the slow advance of a veteran is better than the mad rush of a recruit. I believe in exercising patience in anything I set out to accomplish. And the other one is perseverance, which is to pursue one’s objective regardless of the obstacles which may present themselves. When I set out to achieve a goal, failure is not an option. Essentially, principles, patience and perseverance are the three fundamental factors that must be applied to attain success.”
CONTRIBUTIONS TO LINDEN
He contested and was elected as Junior Vice President of the Linden Chamber for Industry Commerce & Development (LCICD), which has overall responsibility for private sector development in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
“In business, I believe that profitability becomes inevitable when the principles of business are continuously applied, correctly. Many businesses fail to succeed simply because those essential principles are not adhered to. So with the support of the Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce & Development we will and have been instrumental in crafting training programmes, seminars, workshops to assist businesses to reach their full potential,” Hercules explained.
He is also chairman of the public relations/ membership committee and represents the LCICD on the Local Government Committee for Regional Democratic Council in the region.
Hercules has served as Chairman of the North Christianburg Co-Opted, former Secretary of the Egbert Benjamin Exhibition Conference Centre Management Committee and Former Secretary of the Region 10 Road Safety Association.
He is also former president of the Four Corner Panthers Basketball Team. He speaks Portuguese and enjoys playing basketball and football. He favours reggae and hip-hop music from artistes the likes of Natural Black, Beres Hammond, Jah Cure, Christopher Martin, Chronixx, Peter Morgan, Lloyd Banks, Jah Rule and Tupac.
He was previously featured as Kaieteur News’ “Hunk of the Week”.
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