The following is the full text of an address by Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory at his Bath Plain office on September 17, 2013 on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Independence of St. Kitts and Nevis which will be observed on September 19, 2013. It was subsequently aired later that day on Nevis Television Channel 8 and on local radio stations.
My fellow citizens,
It is a great honour for me to extend congratulations to all our people on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Independence of our Federation St. Kitts and Nevis.
The 30th Anniversary of Independence is a time for serious reflection and introspection as we, the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, look back over the years we have come, as a people, seeking to “find out place in the sun” and to provide a better way of life for ourselves as a nation as we move forward into the future.
In 1983, when the PAM/NRP Government decided to request the British Government to give St. Kitts and Nevis a new constitution and move this Federation into independence, there were many who were skeptical about the future existence of our country and our people. There were questions raised about the viability of our country and whether or not we would not experience hardships.
Thirty years later, we are celebrating the attainment of that independence with pride and a sense of accomplishment which were but dreams in the years leading up to that momentous day, 19th September, 1983.
The strides that our people and our country have made are a tribute to the sacrifice which our forefathers made in the hard colonial times and the two decades leading up to the accession to our independence – the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The road has not been easy and the effort of our citizens in all walks of life, as governments and workers in the public sector, as leaders in business and commerce in the private sector and as citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis generally, must be commended.
The accomplishments of the last 30 years are not the domain of any one group or any one political party. We must attribute these achievements to the combined efforts and sacrifice, the enterprising spirit and the resilience of all our people, making it possible for us to celebrate with some degree of satisfaction our accomplishments in Education, in Business, in Sports and Games and in so many other areas of human endeavour.
In these 30 years, however, we have seen changes in our social and community development which may have marred the successes which we have achieved. We have developed some behavioural attributes which have coarsened our social interactions and which we need to reverse if we are to feel a true sense of being an independent St. Kitts and Nevis and be able to hold a place of pride in this global environment.
The increase in crime has threatened the safety and security of our nation. The recent court cases dealing with the misbehavior of persons in public office causing the electoral system to come under serious scrutiny, threatening the very existence of our democratic system and the rule of law of our country, these are areas of grave discredit to our country and must be seen as areas to be corrected if the future of our independence is to be assured and secure.
However, in all of this, there have been incidences of hope and great expectation as our young people aspire to great things and continue to demonstrate their great talents and abilities and to excel in Education, in Sports and in other areas in which they have been challenged to take opportunities. There is hope and it is to our people, especially our young people, that we must look for the future development and achievement of our independence as a nation.
Again, happy 30th Anniversary, St. Kitts and Nevis and may “God grant all of us, as citizens of this country, the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the Courage to change the things we can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
May God bless us all. Happy 30th Anniversary, St. Kitts and Nevis!
Hon. Vance Amory