Thursday, July 18, 2024
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The journey to 50 begins

The National Celebrations Committee (NCC) is expected to have begun planning in earnest for Grenada’s 50th anniversary of Independence.

The NCC chairman announced at the Independence rally on Tuesday that “the journey to 50 begins tomorrow” sharing that the rest of 2023 will be filled with activities in the lead up to what she proposes will be a “spectacular” celebration in 2024; one that will be spoken off by generations to come.

To build on previous and this year’s participation from the general public in the commemoration activities, we suggest that the committee immediately embark on an aggressive awareness campaign on what Independence and true patriotism means; Grenada’s achievements and challenges over the past 49 years; and the importance of honouring patriots for their contribution to nation building, especially while they are alive.

We suggest the NCC use all available mediums to get the message out to as large a cross-section of the populace as possible. Take advantage of the celebratory mood now.

Some of the public utterances by citizens indicate that many do not participate in the annual Independence celebrations because they view that Grenada is not an independent nation as it borrows monies from international agencies; we have to import many goods; and we are not self-sufficient in food production.  

This, however, is a misconception that needs clearing up! Grenada gaining independence in 1974 under the leadership of Sir Eric Gairy means Grenada gained the freedom to make its own laws or decisions without being governed or controlled by another country. And consequently, Grenada is part of the 195 politically independent countries in the world governing its own affairs.

Further, few countries in the world are self-sufficient not needing to borrow monies from external sources and do not import goods to complement its food security.

Nonetheless, understanding that citizens want to see their country produce and export more, which would add to the pride they feel to be a Grenadian, as the government’s transformational agenda rolls on, we expect the discussion and plans to unfold to build on Grenada’s food security.

We agree with former ambassador Arley Gill and others that education is critical for liberation to change mindsets and attitudes to contribute to nation building.

Education will help citizens understand that patriotism is a daily way of life and is not limited to heightened awareness around the Independence celebrations. And in so doing, we would always maintain cleanliness in our surroundings and beautify our communities. We would not litter and discard our garbage in what the Prime Minister calls our “pristine environment” and we would insist that Independence songs be played on our airwaves throughout the year and not only a few days before Independence Day. As it is now and has been for a few years, as soon as the celebrations broadcast ends on radio, we go straight to foreign soca music like “we just couldn’t wait.

Further, with a true understanding of being a patriot, we agree with Gill that it means “getting to work on time, giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage and our tradespeople, farmers and fishermen [will] give us value for money…it begins with education.”

In addition, education will help citizens recognize and be overjoyed to nominate fellow men and women who gave exceptional service to others and country; worthy of commendation. And consequently, the NCC won’t have to beg or extend deadlines for the submission of names to consider to award.

For a second year, the annual Independence award ceremony was not held. It seems the committee received only a couple nominations; though it said in a release “few” were received and “many” submissions were incomplete. This is ironic, as we see an increasing number of citizens participate in the national celebrations, organise local activities and display our national colours in so many creative ways every year. Yet, no one is putting together proper nominations of patriots worthy of commendation.

Building this nation requires the collaboration of all Grenadians, irrespective of religious backgrounds, shades of our skins, societal status or political affiliation.

Admitting that politics has divided our people for years, to the extend where it hampers our genuine contribution to nation building, we welcome the call by the Leader of His Majesty’s Opposition “for one and all to embrace unity as the beacon that will successfully guide this ship, our beloved nation, towards sustainable development.”

In his Independence address, he shared that his vision for Grenada “is to see a successful nation where all can dwell in love and, live in peace and harmony with each other…As Opposition Leader, I once again pledge my support to the further advancement of our beautiful nation. I stand ready to lend my experience to the government if called upon.”

With those affirmations, we now look on in anticipation to see if Dr Keith Mitchell will soon publicly encourage his fellow Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) to follow the lead of Hon Delma Thomas in working along with the government MPs on people-centric and community initiatives geared at benefiting citizens, and by extension the country as a whole.

The journey to 50 begins

The National Celebrations Committee (NCC) is expected to have begun planning in earnest for Grenada’s 50th anniversary of Independence.

The NCC chairman announced at the Independence rally on Tuesday that “the journey to 50 begins tomorrow” sharing that the rest of 2023 will be filled with activities in the lead up to what she proposes will be a “spectacular” celebration in 2024; one that will be spoken off by generations to come.

To build on previous and this year’s participation from the general public in the commemoration activities, we suggest that the committee immediately embark on an aggressive awareness campaign on what Independence and true patriotism means; Grenada’s achievements and challenges over the past 49 years; and the importance of honouring patriots for their contribution to nation building, especially while they are alive.

We suggest the NCC use all available mediums to get the message out to as large a cross-section of the populace as possible. Take advantage of the celebratory mood now.

Some of the public utterances by citizens indicate that many do not participate in the annual Independence celebrations because they view that Grenada is not an independent nation as it borrows monies from international agencies; we have to import many goods; and we are not self-sufficient in food production.  

This, however, is a misconception that needs clearing up! Grenada gaining independence in 1974 under the leadership of Sir Eric Gairy means Grenada gained the freedom to make its own laws or decisions without being governed or controlled by another country. And consequently, Grenada is part of the 195 politically independent countries in the world governing its own affairs.

Further, few countries in the world are self-sufficient not needing to borrow monies from external sources and do not import goods to complement its food security.

Nonetheless, understanding that citizens want to see their country produce and export more, which would add to the pride they feel to be a Grenadian, as the government’s transformational agenda rolls on, we expect the discussion and plans to unfold to build on Grenada’s food security.

We agree with former ambassador Arley Gill and others that education is critical for liberation to change mindsets and attitudes to contribute to nation building.

Education will help citizens understand that patriotism is a daily way of life and is not limited to heightened awareness around the Independence celebrations. And in so doing, we would always maintain cleanliness in our surroundings and beautify our communities. We would not litter and discard our garbage in what the Prime Minister calls our “pristine environment” and we would insist that Independence songs be played on our airwaves throughout the year and not only a few days before Independence Day. As it is now and has been for a few years, as soon as the celebrations broadcast ends on radio, we go straight to foreign soca music like “we just couldn’t wait.

Further, with a true understanding of being a patriot, we agree with Gill that it means “getting to work on time, giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage and our tradespeople, farmers and fishermen [will] give us value for money…it begins with education.”

In addition, education will help citizens recognize and be overjoyed to nominate fellow men and women who gave exceptional service to others and country; worthy of commendation. And consequently, the NCC won’t have to beg or extend deadlines for the submission of names to consider to award.

For a second year, the annual Independence award ceremony was not held. It seems the committee received only a couple nominations; though it said in a release “few” were received and “many” submissions were incomplete. This is ironic, as we see an increasing number of citizens participate in the national celebrations, organise local activities and display our national colours in so many creative ways every year. Yet, no one is putting together proper nominations of patriots worthy of commendation.

Building this nation requires the collaboration of all Grenadians, irrespective of religious backgrounds, shades of our skins, societal status or political affiliation.

Admitting that politics has divided our people for years, to the extend where it hampers our genuine contribution to nation building, we welcome the call by the Leader of His Majesty’s Opposition “for one and all to embrace unity as the beacon that will successfully guide this ship, our beloved nation, towards sustainable development.”

In his Independence address, he shared that his vision for Grenada “is to see a successful nation where all can dwell in love and, live in peace and harmony with each other…As Opposition Leader, I once again pledge my support to the further advancement of our beautiful nation. I stand ready to lend my experience to the government if called upon.”

With those affirmations, we now look on in anticipation to see if Dr Keith Mitchell will soon publicly encourage his fellow Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) to follow the lead of Hon Delma Thomas in working along with the government MPs on people-centric and community initiatives geared at benefiting citizens, and by extension the country as a whole.

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