Included amongst the line of dignitaries who have been scheduled to share their perspectives are the Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Sam Condor, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, and law partner of Daniel, Mr. Mark Brantley and the current Premier of Nevis, Mr. Joseph Parry.
Daniel will be eulogized by his former colleague in the NRP Cabinet of 1983-1992, Mr. Victor J Martin. Martin is expected to trace the rich history of Daniel’s life, his political career and his vision for the people of his beloved homeland-Nevis, as Daniel himself 20 years ago referred to his island, after his party was voted out of office.
Following the local elections in Nevis which took place on 1st June, 1992, the ruling Nevis Reformation Party, led by Simeon Daniel, was voted out of power, paving the way for the reign of the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, (1992-2006).
Immediately after that defeat, Mr. Daniel resigned his position as party leader and announced his retirement from active politics. It was shortly before that poll in 1992, Dr. Daniel took the bold and unselfish step to move from his save seat in St. Thomas, to allow Joseph Parry to run in that constituency, while he Daniel moved to the St. George Constituency, that was expected to be a battleground. Daniel’s gamble did not pay off and he lost the seat, forcing his Administration into the opposition, with CCM gaining three seats to NRP’s two. With Daniel’s exit, Joseph Parry was selected to head the NRP.
Though somewhat known for his quiet disposition, at least in public, Daniel was also respected for his integrity and strong desire for the full autonomy of his island, despite his decision to form a coalition government with the People’s Action Movement, (PAM), at the Federal level.
Instead of turning to the dark dungeons of gutter politics, Daniel displayed statesmanship, in the hour of defeat, going on the Voice of Nevis, VON Radio, to address islanders and dispelled what he considered were false rumours that were circulating at the time about his government’s record in office.
But instead of using the address to spew hatred and visions of gloom and doom ahead with the new CCM Administration, Daniel said, in reference to his, and the NRP’s loss, “This is what democracy is all about, and of course, we abide by the results. The people have opted for a change of government and that is their right in a democratic society.”
Daniel continued, “Now that the noise and tumult has died down somewhat, it is time for us as a party, and as a people, to get our thoughts together and consider seriously the Past, Present and Future; where we go from here, or life must go on, and together we must achieve our stated triple goals of-Peace, Progress and Prosperity.” It was interesting to note back in 1992, that Daniel had not included a fourth goal…that of political independence for Nevis, separate from St. Kitts. This had been an ideal he had fought for since he helped form the NRP in 1970.
In true Daniel style, he dedicated a portion of his farewell speech to wish the new government well, “We congratulate the Concerned Citizens Movement on their victory at the polls, in particular the three successful candidates.” But he promised the new Administration of Premier Vance Amory, that “Although we are no longer government, we shall still keep a close watch on the way in which the country is being run. It is our duty, even though now in opposition; not merely for the sake of opposition, but with the welfare of all our people in mind.”
Daniel is said to have touched the political career of all the major players on the local political scene today, especially Parry and Amory who were both recruited by the former Premier to serve in top government positions as Permanent Secretaries. Even Brantley, the current Federal Opposition Leader, was mentored by Daniel when he was invited to work with the elder in what is now the Daniel, Brantley & Associates Law Firm in Charlestown.
It is therefore fitting that so many, across party political lines, have been expressing nothing but the highest praise for the work of Daniel. Both the NRP and CMM leaders have given Daniel due honour, for the tremendous achievements he delivered while in office. These included the establishment of the Four Seasons Resort, introduction of the Sixth Form College, improved electrical supply, new water development initiatives, new roads. It was also his Administration that had already obtained funding for the expansion of the old Newcastle Airport, which was eventually built under the CCM government and is today known as Vance Amory International.
Among the final words spoken by Mr. Daniel as a politician, in that same June 1992 farewell speech, was a personal announcement. He said to Nevisians then, “On a personal note, I beg to announce that I have decided to step down as party leader-a post I have held for the past 22 years. The Hon. Joseph Parry has been elected to serve as interim party leader until there is a formal election at our party convention. I feel certain that all our party supporters and well wishers will rally around our new party leader, congratulate him, and respect his considerable personality and political ability. And, above all, continue to support your party, my party, the Nevis Reformation Party, which has literally brought Nevis out of darkness into glorious light”.
Later in life Daniel would criticize the leadership of Parry, when he Parry elected to campaign against the separation of Nevis, from St. Kitts, during the referendum, called by the CCM in 1998. Daniel saw the occasion as the best moment when the ultimate goal of Nevis and NRP, could have been achieved, but due to the anti secession stance of NRP, led by Parry, Nevis failed to meet its appointment with destiny, as was proclaimed in the first NRP manifesto in 1971, “Secession of Nevis, from St. Kitts, at all cost.”
On this solemn occasion, and on the day when former Premier Daniel will be laid to rest, the management and staff of MiyVue.com extend deepest condolences to the family of the late Dr. Simeon Daniel.