As Vincentians at home and abroad celebrate the 32nd anniversary of political independence, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves has urged nationals at home and abroad to be their “brothers’ keepers.”
“At this juncture, as a nation, we must not become complacent but position ourselves to cultivate that which is noble and good in all of us,” Gonsalves said in a special independence message to the Diaspora.
“Let us be our brothers’ keepers as we commemorate this historic milestone in our nation’s history,” he continued.
During the 32 years of independence, Gonsalves said, Vincentians have built an economy that is “resilient – one that has been tested by the challenges of difficult economic times and the ravages of nature.”
But, he said, despite these challenges, the nation’s achievements are numerous, bearing “testimony to the hard work of the government and people of our blessed land.”
The Vincentian leader said successes in education, health, housing, capacity-building, law reform, protection of workers, provision for preschoolers and the elderly, national security, among others, indicate that “democracy is briskly at work.”
“Today, our nation stands proud, and the hearts of our people are filled with patriotism, as we celebrate 32 years of Independence,” he said.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Massachusetts, Inc. was among the first Vincentian groups in the United States to begin celebrating the 32nd independence anniversary, with a dinner/dance on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Boston.
Speaking on behalf of New York Consul General Selmon Walters, Deputy Consul General Edson Augustus noted that “we have grown rapidly for a young independent nation.
“In spite of the challenges of the world’s economy, we are still able to build a strong economy as a people,” he told the gathering, which was attended by some members of the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organization, U.S.A., Inc.(COSAGO), the umbrella Vincentian group in the U.S.
Nationals in New York, which has the largest concentration of Vincentians in the United States, will commence their independence celebrations this Sunday, Oct. 23, with an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, 265 Decatur St. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
Vincentian-born The Rt. Rev. Leopold Friday, Archdeacon of the Windward Islands, will deliver the homily.
The curtains will come down on independence celebrations in the “Big Apple” the following Sunday, Oct. 30, with a gala luncheon at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue, also in Brooklyn.
The church service and luncheon are organized collaboratively by COSAGO and the New York Consulate General.
Nationals in Pennsylvania commenced commemoration of their independence anniversary with a Service of Thanksgiving, on Oct. 16, at St. Michael’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church in Yeadon.
The Rev. Nelson Samuel, pastor of Love Tabernacle Fellowship International Church in Brooklyn, delivered the homily.
A gala Dinner Dance and Awards Ceremony, on Nov. 5, at Penn’s Landing Caterers in Philadelphia, culminate independence celebrations in Pennsylvania.