Contributions of Senior Citizens Must Be Documented and Cherished, Says Prime Minister Harris

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 21st , 2017 (PRESS UNIT IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris spent the morning of Thursday, January 19th, 2017, on the sister island of Nevis where he participated in the celebration of the 105th birthday of Celian “Martin” Powell.

Prime Minister Harris joined family, friends and well-wishers at the Flamboyant Nursing Home for a celebratory programme in honour of Miss Powell, the oldest centenarian in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Also present at that ceremony were the Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps.

In his remarks to mark the occasion, the honourable prime minister thanked Miss Powell for the contribution she has made to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis over the years.

“We all come, in a manner of speaking, to say thank you. Thank you for a life of service, thank you for your contribution as a member of the family, as a member of the community, and as an island of Nevis we say thank you because in a very special way, I believe we have all come to cherish the contribution which ‘mama’ has made. We have come in a very special way to appreciate the contribution that the caregivers, as family members and institutions have made to her health and well-being,” Dr. Harris said.

While it is important to highlight the significant role young people play in the future development of the twin-island federation, Prime Minister Harris said the contribution of the elderly must never be forgotten.

“Many times when we speak about our country and its development, (we) speak about young people, and as important as they are as the largest sub-sector of our population, at times we forget the contributions of those who went before. So today we honour the service of all of our seniors; we honour their contribution, their knowledge of our history, their contribution to the stability of our country.”

The prime minister charged the historians and others in St. Kitts and Nevis to capture, in writing, the wealth of knowledge and history these seniors possess that can be passed down to the next generation.

“Wrapped up in her life and in the life of the selected few who are now centenarians are a lot of memories that somehow our historians have to find a way to capture,” Dr. Harris stated.

“Imagine in the life of one person is the history of what it was for the First World War, the history and knowledge of what is was for the Second World War, the history and knowledge of what it meant in 1952 when for the first time ordinary people had a chance to vote. In the history of one life, is the knowledge about the Christena disaster, is the knowledge about all the federal administrations and all of the administrations on the island of Nevis. That is a lot of history to be residing one place.”

Celian “Martin” Powell, originally of Zion Village, Gingerland, was born on January 19, 1912. She is now a resident of the Flamboyant Nursing Home.

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