P.J. Patterson with PM Douglas (r)
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 05, 2010 (CUOPM)
“You change the gear only when you want to reverse or park,” one of the Caribbean’s elder statesmen told over 600 patrons at the Ninth Annual Prime Minister’s New Year’s Gala at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Using the analogy of a cricketer and a motor vehicle to explain his theory of change, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson said that in life change is not a destination, but a continuing process.
Noting there is a lot of talk in the air about change, the four-term Jamaican Prime Minister and keynote Speaker, who retired from active politics a few years ago, gave a story on change.
“In these days when our cars have automatic transmissions, you change the gear only when you want to reverse or park. If you want to keep on going forward, the driver’s foot on the accelerator will determine the speed at which you can go safely upon your journey,” said the four-term former Jamaica Prime Minister, who was the keynote speaker.
“Indeed I would rely on the words of an ancient Greek philosopher who said the only constant in life is change. Change does not entail discarding what is good and what is wholesome. It involves building brick by brick, room by room, an edifice which can provide more of a better life for every citizen to exist and those who will be born in the years to come,” said Patterson.
He said what the Caribbean region needs is a greater sense of a shared destiny and the necessity of all members of our Caribbean family to be fully involved in shaping it.
“It needs wise, experience, dedicated and visionary leadership. It is through enlightened leadership and a creative spirit that we will realise our dreams and fulfill our vision,” said Mr. Patterson.
“I wish the entire family in St. Kitts and Nevis a truly happy new year and may the wish of every citizen of faith and sober judgement come true,” concluded Mr. Patterson to a standing ovation.