Deputy Premier Hon. Eric Evelyn
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 02, 2023)- In recognition of the 40th Anniversary of Independence of St. Kitts and Nevis, elected and nominated Members of the Nevis Island Assembly shared their perspective on the evolution of Nevis and their outlook for the island and its people forty years into the future and beyond, during a Special Sitting held on September 28, 2023.
The Nevis Island Assembly and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) are also celebrating forty years since their inception.
Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley: We have been engaged in a remarkable experiment in governance, in nationhood and in progress. Who among us can deny that in forty years this country has grown in leaps and bounds from whence we were.
For those of us who do not know our history some may feel that only some people contributed to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis. I want to say that that is not so, and that all of us who have had the privilege of serving whether in government, other institutions, civil society, must be celebrated because all of us are making our contribution. I believe it is important for us to pay homage to all who would have served.
Deputy Premier Hon. Eric Evelyn: Let us on this our fortieth Independence Anniversary take the oath. Take the oath to love our country, take the oath to build our country, take the oath to respect our national symbols, take the oath to unite for the good of the nation, and take the oath to work together to keep our nation on the path of stability.
So as we continue to celebrate and bask in the glory of our fortieth anniversary of Independence, let us with confidence and renewed hope look towards the next four decades of continued growth. Let us together build a land of beauty and a country where peace abounds.
The Hon. Spencer Brand: In our forty years of Independence we have seen significant development in infrastructure, in roads, in water, in electricity. It has not all been smooth sailing.
I am hoping that while we celebrate this fortieth anniversary of Independence and we ask the question from whence have we come, we would thank those men and women who would have laid the foundation for us, many of whom would have made tremendous sacrifices to secure what we are now enjoying today. And I want to say to our children that you must take ownership of the development of our country. The hard work, the dedication, and the commitment of men and women before them must not go to waste.
The Hon. Troy Liburd: I believe that we as Kittitians and Nevisians have a lot for which we can rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and there is hope for a future that can be even more successful. But we can only continue to progress if we pool our efforts. It will take the efforts of all of us working together day by day doing our little part.
What we need in St. Kitts and Nevis is not division, is not hatred, not violence or lawlessness but love, compassion, wisdom, and a feeling of empathy and justice to those who are less fortunate.
The Hon. Jahnel Nisbett: Four decades ago our nation embarked on this journey toward self-determination and sovereignty. Over the years she has transformed from that stage of infancy to maturity. As a nation, we have weathered storms, both natural and economic, and emerged stronger each time.
It was a path fraught with challenges, but nevertheless one that those before me embraced with unwavering determination and resilience, and on which my generation and those to come remain committed to not only maintaining, but to advancing.
The Hon. Dr. Janice Daniel-Hodge (Opposition Member): I trust that this Fortieth Anniversary of Independence under the theme ‘Growing sustainably, developing maturely, and building resiliency, will serve as a new starting point, our reset for economic development of Nevis.
The Hon. Cleone Stapleton-Simmonds (Opposition Member): We cannot regret the strides, particularly the economic strides, that we have made in this little island. Upon reflection we must be grateful for being able to have access to running water, access to electricity, to transportation, to technology, to the internet, access to the convenience and efficiency of banking services, access to healthcare, access to decent roads, access to quality education and so on. We must be thankful, we must be grateful that we have indeed come from far.
Also invited to make a contribution was the Hon. Joseph Parry, a former Premier of Nevis: I want to say to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis we have done great things together, we have come far, and we have to now think what direction we are going to take because we have to develop the country, not for us anymore, but for the young people of this country. We have to guide them; we have to discipline them; we have to help them.
We have to be there for them so that the next forty years will be a great difference in St. Kitts and Nevis, and that we can stand proud among the nations of the Caribbean and the nations of the world.