BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister of the Federation St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon Dr Terrance Drew, is acclaiming the camaraderie that is being exhibited by citizens and residents as they indulge and participate in the celebratory events that are being put out by the Government as the country celebrates the 40th anniversary of its independence.
“The people are coming out to the activities – you can see people came out to the service and the camaraderie,” expressed Prime Minister Drew. “People meeting each other is a demonstration of our gratefulness for what we have achieved, and I like the spirit of the people. I also want to recognise our international partners who have come to celebrate this 40th Anniversary with us.”
The Honourable Prime Minister made the remarks at the National Service of Gratitude and Gospel Concert that was held on Sunday, September 17 at the Conaree Cricket Centre, adjacent to the National Heroes Park, that was attended by a hugely enthusiastic wide cross-section of nationals and residents that was led by the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, GCMG, JP.
Also in attendance was the Deputy Governor General for Nevis, Her Honour Hyleeta Liburd, O.B.E., M.H., and Mr Elmo Liburd, and the Premier of Nevis the Hon Dr Mark Brantley, who is also the Leader of the Royal Opposition in the National Assembly.
Supporting them were members of the Federal Cabinet who included, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, Senior Minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas, the Hon Marsha Henderson, the Hon Konris Maynard, and the Hon Isalean Phillip, and Cabinet Secretary Dr. Marcus Natta.
From Nevis, Premier Brantley was accompanied by Deputy Premier the Hon Eric Evelyn, Junior Minister the Hon Jahnel Nisbett, Federal Parliamentarian for Nevis 11, the Hon Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon Latoya Jones, and Cabinet Secretary in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr Stedmond Tross.
Others present included Commissioner of Police, Mr James Sutton, Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Lieutenant Colonel J. Anthony Comrie, and other senior members of the armed forces, and members of the diplomatic corps.
“Today was the National Service of Gratitude for the 40th anniversary of independence, and I think we have a lot to be grateful for,” pointed out Dr Drew. “Our country has come far, it has been battling through post-Covid with all the challenges, but we are faring well and we will do even better as we go forward, so happy 40th Anniversary to all Kittitians, Nevisians, and residents on this momentous occasion.”
Held under the theme ‘Growing sustainably, Developing Maturely, Building Resiliency: Independence 40’, the service saw Prime Minister Drew read the Old Testament Lesson from 1 Chronicles 16: 7-14, while Premier of Nevis the Hon Brantley read the New Testament Lesson from 1 Peter 2: 4-5, 9-10.
The sermon was delivered by Pastor Renecia Huggins of St. Paul’s Wesleyan Holiness. Other clergypersons taking part in the service included Rev Onita Samuel-Warner, Apostle Debbie Isaac, Pastor Ron Daniel, Pastor Boris Johnson, Prophet Tariq Hercules, and The Rt. Rev Ernest A. Flemming.
The highly anticipated Independence 40 Praise & Worship Concert was held by Bishop Dr Phillip Webb and Mrs. Jasmine ‘Jazzy-D’ Thomas of ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). It featured local acts led by Nevis-based Ms Venelle Powell, Blestina, and Paige Gumbs from St. Kitts, and the Rootz Gospel Band. Guest artists were the evergreen Grace Thrillers out of Jamaica, and Todd Dulaney from the USA.
Prime Minister the Hon Dr Terrance Drew remained behind and mingled with members of the public as they swayed with the rhythm of the gospel music being belted out. Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Geoffrey Hanley joined the crowd and could be seen swaying along with members of the public, even as the Ombudsman, Bishop Cyprian Williams, carried a huge national flag and did not seem to tire even as outdid the other celebrators.
Later Dr Hanley took members of the Grace Thrillers to meet with the Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, Prime Minister the Hon Dr Terrance Drew, and Minister of Tourism et al, the Hon Marsha Henderson.