By:Curtis Morton

Charlestown-Nevis-A historic event took place at the Charlestown Methodist church in Nevis on Sunday 13th September.

That is when the state service to celebrate the anniversary of independence for the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, took place.

Significantly, it was the first time in the 32 years since achieving independence, that the state service was held on the island of Nevis.

Special arrangements via boats were made for persons coming over for the service from St.Kitts. Some three boats were specially hired to make runs out of Basseterre from 2.30 pm: The MV Sea Hustler; The MV Caribe Queen and the MV Lady B.

Persons attending the service did not have to pay and the boats returned to St.Kitts at 7.00 pm.

The service commenced at 4.00 pm to a packed church, with other individuals having to witness the event unfold, from under a huge tent placed in the yard of the church, complimented with a large monitor.

The service, which was coordinated jointly by the St.Kitts and Nevis Christian councils and the St.Kitts and Nevis Evangelical Associations, was held under the theme: ‘United in building a stronger nation.’

Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris arrived ten minutes prior to the start of the service and His Excellency, Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St.Kitts and Nevis, arrived five minutes prior to the start of the service.

There was an impressive procession of the clergy along with the flag bearers which preceded the start of the service. During this time, the introit was rendered by the national mass choir which comprised of choir members from both islands and was ably directed by Messrs Clyde Richardson and Wayne Moore.

The Rev. Telford D. Matthew of the Methodist church delivered the prayer for St.Kitts and Nevis and the official welcome.

Government and opposition parliamentarians and other officials were well represented at the service and some participated actively:

Leader of the opposition, Hon. Denzil Douglas read the old testament lesson which was taken from the book of Nehemiah, chapter 2: 17-20 and chapter 4:6.

The reading of the epistle 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, was done by Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris.

Some of the other features of the service included:

The responsive psalm led by Mr. Rol-J Williams, youth parliamentarian and Junior Minister of Tourism in the Eastern Caribbean.

The gospel was read by Major Roxroy Campbell of the Salvation Army and Bishop Ron Collins of the New Testament Church of God of Prophecy led out with the prayers of intercession.

There was also a song by Mrs. Anne Marie Smith and a dance which were both well received.

The sermon of the day was ably delivered by Pastor Arthur Freeman of the Nevis Church of God of Prophecy, who concentrated on the theme ‘working together.’

‘Talk first to the master builder. When you get his approval, you will never go wrong. Working together works,’ he said.

The offering collected was blessed by Pastor Marcia Thomlinson of the Wesleyan church in Nevis. The stated purpose of the offering is for the outreach ministries of the Nevis Christian council and the Nevis Evangelical Association.

The final blessing was pronounced by Arch deacon Valentine Hodge

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