St. Kitts – Nevis Nationals In Leeds, UK
Photo By Cris Collins
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 17, 2008 (CUOPM)
Nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis from several areas of England converged on Leeds on Sunday to mark the Federation’s 25th Anniversary of Independence.
According to Kittitian Cris Collins, nationals residing in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester turned out in large numbers to attend the Service of Thanksgiving at the St. Martins Church.
He said that local Member of Parliament, Hon. Fabian Hamilton along with the Deputy Mayor of Leeds were among the officials who attended the service, which was led by Rev. Steven.
The Sermon was delivered by Bishop Beulah Lee who gave the sermon.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, His Excellency Dr. James Williams, delivered the 2008 Independence Message from the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
In his message, Prime Minister Douglas said the special milestone is celebrated in the knowledge that the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis have been able to make significant strides in the socio-economic development in spite of the numerous challenges faced.
“It is a time when we must all recognize the input of those who made it possible, and we recall the sterling efforts of leaders such as the late Rt. Excellent Sir Robert L. Bradshaw, the Rt. Excellent Sir C.A. Paul Southwell, the Rt. Excellent Sir Joseph N. France, all of them National Heroes, Sir Lee L. Moore, and the Rt. Hon. Dr. Sir Kennedy A. Simmonds, our nation’s First Prime Minister. These men rightfully placed “Country Above Self,” and supported by many others, they constructed the foundation upon which we continue to build today. It is important for all of us to understand, therefore, that our nation will grow and succeed only when we work together as a people,” said the Prime Minister’s Message.
Dr. Douglas is of the view that the “best is yet to come, but success is dependent upon our level of commitment, perseverance, drive, foresight and creativity.”
“The challenges would be domestic, regional and global all at once, yet we as a people must be strong, resolute and resilient. And while we harness our energies in the service of our country, we must also be aware that our strength depends also upon the strength of our regional nations. Hence, we must continue to give support to the development of Regional socio-economic infrastructure that have served us well in the past, and which no doubt would play important roles in the future. We must be prepared to take on board new ideas and pursue new pathways towards regional integration and economic growth and development of the OECS and CARICOM Regions,” he said in the message read to the congregation by High Commissioner Williams.
Dr. Douglas expressed pleasure that many Nationals in the Diaspora have continued to hold strong links with the homeland.
“Not withstanding the links of family and friends, many of you share a burning passion to assist in the development of your land of birth. Your contributions have been welcomed and appreciated, and we hope that you continue to take advantage of opportunities to invest in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
Prime Minister Douglas said that it was important to welcome diversity of people involved in building a stronger St. Kitts and Nevis.
“It is such diversity of people and of investment that would make this nation richer in its culture and experiences for nationals and visitors alike. In any case, it is important that citizens take advantage of the opportunities that exist and those that are ahead. Our policies are aimed at creating a progressive economy in the Federation. They point to the strengthening of the small business sector, the facilitation of investment projects by Nationals and non-Nationals and creating a vibrant tourism infrastructure that is supported by light manufacturing, a revived food and livestock agricultural sector, a refined financial services sector and modern telecommunications services that support growth and development,” he added.
Prime Minister Douglas referred to the record numbers of students are now pursuing degrees in universities around the region and elsewhere and the substantial improvement in the quality of life of the people of the Federation as indicated by the United Nations Human Development Index, which puts St. Kitts and Nevis in the High Human Development category with an HDI of 0.821 and a ranking of 54th out of 177 countries.
“Crucial to the success achieved so far has been the empowerment of our people through education, housing, special development programmes for our women, and the increased availability of land for farmers. Our policies would continue to lean heavily towards a diversified economy, with the intention of making it more resilient against the impact of global economic fluctuations,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader, who concluded by expressing thanks and appreciation to the Governments and people of nations that have been good friends and allies to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Their contributions, together with the human resources of our nation, have enabled our country to prosper, even as we face new challenges in a post-sugar era. So we celebrate with pride our Jubilee Anniversary, remembering the pre and post colonial periods and our struggles to achieve self-determination. Let us join hands and pray to the Almighty for His continued guidance and protection of our proud nation. I wish everyone happiness and prosperity, and most of all, the best of health. Happy Independence Day!,” concluded the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.