Under the theme “A Nation on the Move: Celebrating our Progress”, the entire month of September is designated for weekly activities that involve a wide range of sectors in the federation.
Commenting on the relevance of the theme, Freeman said, “I think it’s very appropriate. Independence didn’t just happen. Celebrating it isn’t just about the 31 years we’ve been independent. The thrust towards independence began before 1983. So this theme speaks to the strides we’ve made in terms of leadership, economic development and social progress. We have a lot of progress to celebrate and for which we can be thankful.”
In addition to traditional events such as the Prime Minister’s Annual Lecture Series, School visits by Ministers of Cabinet and the celebration parade at Warner Park, some new activities will incorporate key cultural and social characteristics of the federation. All high schools will participate in a national t-shirt design competition, the Prime Minister will lead a health walk and a special event will recognize the work of the nation’s 5000 civil servants.
Freeman stressed that this year’s celebrations will draw a contrast between pre-independence struggles and the goals of today.
“Beyond 31 years ago, the fight was about getting better living and working conditions for the poor man on the estate,” said Freeman. “Today, we are focused on advancing ourselves educationally and taking up more opportunities in business and in services so we’ve progressed quite a lot and this theme and the activities planned appropriately reflect that.”
The list of activities planned is as follows:
September 01– Live broadcast of Cabinet members sharing the meaning of independence to them, accompanied by a message from Governor General
September 03 – “Treat on Fort Street”
September 05 – National Colours Day
September 09/10 – Cabinet Ministers visit schools
September 10– 15th Annual Prime Minister’s Lecture Series featuring Justice Selwyn Walters – Kittitian national, based in New York
September 12 – Independence Gala Night, Old Treasury Building and presentation by Royal Saint Christopher and Nevis Police Force Drum Corps
September 13 – Health Walk led by Prime Minister Douglas, and Wellness Lecture
September 14 – Caribbean Wellness Day, National Day of Prayer
September 16 – National Heroes Day – Flag Raising island-wide , National Awards Ceremony, laying of wreath at grave of Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw
Thursday 18 – Event in recognition of work of civil servants
September 19 – Independence Day – Ceremonial Parade at Warner Park, Governor General’s Toast at Springfield, Governor General’s Reception
September 20 – Drill Competition, Gospel Concert
September 22 – Secondary Schools Elocution Contest
September 26/27 – Street Market at The Circus