Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 04, 2015 (SKNIS): Older persons in St. Kitts and Nevis were publicly commended for their contribution to nation building at the Older Persons March which culminated the activities of the Month of Older Persons, last Friday (October 30).
Minister of Social Development, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, thanked all who participated, especially the students who marched along with the seniors. He encouraged the youth to communicate more with older ones and give them the honour they deserve.
“When you see older folks, some people tend to think that they should shy away from them, but a lot of these older folk have contributed big time to the development of this nation,” Minister Hamilton said. “They have worked hard when you were small, helping to look after you. And so I want you, whenever you see the aged in St. Kitts and Nevis to honour them.”
Similarly, Honourable Hazel Brandy, Junior Minister in the Ministry of Gender Affair and Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) was on hand to acknowledge older persons. She revealed that she had journeyed to St. Kitts as part of a 55 member contingent to take part in the March for Older Persons.
“We as young persons have to look after our seniors in this their golden years because of the hard work and dedication and commitment that they would have put into nation-building,” she said, noting that the current young generation is reaping the fruit of their labour. “So we are eternally grateful to you for building such a sound foundation that we as young people can build on.”
Minister of State responsible for Social Development in the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Wendy Phipps, thanked the representatives who journeyed from Nevis as well as those who had come down earlier in the month to take part in the Scenic Railway tour. Meredith Amory was also acknowledge for organizing the inaugural Seniors Games which took place in Nevis.
Minister Phipps noted that while the main theme of the month was “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment,” the sub-theme of “Nothing for Us without Us,” was also critical.
“We are sending the message that we cannot make decisions for our older seniors without involving them because they matter,” Minister Phipps said, adding that occasionally it is forgotten that the country was built on the “backs” of our seniors.
“We tend to make decisions without consulting them because sometimes we think that they’re so fragile that we are supposed to be doing everything completely for them. At the end of the day, they want to maintain their dignity, their self-respect and their self-worth.”
Minister Phipps thanked the primary school teachers and students who took part in the march noting that their participation silently expressed the legacy that will assist in the future development of the Federation.