A packed program of activities is expected to mark the island's 38th anniversary of Independence. That’s according to Minister for Local Government and Culture, Sen. Hon. Fortuna Belrose, who recently called on citizens to reflect on the significance of Independence.
“We must all be concerned about where our country is headed and the role that we each must play in keeping it on track,” she said during the launch of activities in observance of Saint Lucia’s 38th Anniversary of Independence. "This is a time when we put our differences aside and focus on the things that make us uniquely Saint Lucian. This year we have created an abundance of opportunities to engage [the public], to learn about our history and our heritage, and to truly evaluate how to become meaningfully involved in the development of our country.”
The Minister noted two other important milestones for 2017 - the 50th anniversary of the flag, designed by Dunstan St. Omer on the attainment of statehood in 1967; and the 50th anniversary of the elevation of Castries to a city.
Permanent Secretary in the Department of Local Government and Culture, Donovan Williams, announced the theme: “I Am Saint Lucia.”
“Ultimately Saint Lucia is what we, individually and collectively, make of it. If we contribute to the positives, we will have a positive Saint Lucia, if we contribute to the negatives, we will have a negative Saint Lucia. The time is right to have a serious dialogue about what we want Saint Lucia to be.
“We have been inundated with initiatives for inclusion,” he added. “The diversity of the activities is impressive, not just by the types of activities but because of where they are coming from. In an era where we have often spoken about ensuring that we span all of the regions in our country, this set of activities is very much representative of that.”
Among the activities are several sporting events including a table tennis championship, a netball tournament, the National Sports Awards, a rugby sevens tournament, and invitational football. Members of the Drag Race fraternity, the Trail Finders Off Road Club, and the Saint Lucia Moto X Club were also on hand to speak of their activities. The Northern Long Distance Walking Group will host an Independence walk-a-thon starting on February 21st which has also been designated National Colours Day. The Independence Youth Exposé at the William Peter Boulevard is also scheduled for that day.
A special feature of this year’s activities will be a praise and worship celebration. Other major activities include the Prime Minister’s Grand Independence Ball and an exciting new addition called “The Best of Saint Lucia.”
Activities will be held throughout the month of February, ending with a beach bash on February 26th and the Order of Saint Lucia Investiture Ceremony.