BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – A fine display and parade by the Guard of Honour comprised of personnel from the St. Kitts Nevis Regiment and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force pleased an audience of close to 1,000 people who turned out in strong support for the dedication of the National Heroes’ Park today, Friday, September 16th, National Heroes Day. Thousands also tuned in via TV, radio and live stream to view the historic National Ceremony, which featured wreath laying in tribute to the Federation’s National Heroes.
Children, young adults, as well as the middle-aged and elderly from all across the Federation attended the National Ceremony today in appreciation of the Government’s vision to create a home to honour every single one of our National Heroes.
The Honourable Prime Minister said that, “National Heroes belong to the entire country and all the citizens of the country irrespective of their party political affiliations. They are celebrated as a country’s most outstanding and meritorious personalities, whose lifetime contribution to nation building is stellar and incontrovertible in terms of their indelible impact on a country’s history, direction and development.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that he looks forward to seeing more diversity among the distinguished pantheon of National Heroes: “Who is next? In the future I would like to see women also being included in this illustrious list. They too must be able to break through the glass ceiling and be recognized for their worth and contribution to the betterment of our beloved and proud Federation. So, let the daughters of St Kitts and Nevis step proudly forward…My fellow citizens, and students in particular, you should remember that age is just a number. You do not have to reach the sunset years to make your mark of distinction. Many National Heroes, for example in Jamaica, achieved greatness and had very brief lives.”
Dr. Harris outlined the achievements of all five National Heroes: the Rt. Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (1916-1978) whose centennial birthday is today; the Rt. Excellent Sir Joseph Nathaniel France (1907-1997) whose 109th birthday is today; the Rt. Excellent Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell (1913-1979); the Rt. Excellent Sir Simeon Daniel (1934-2012), and Dr. the Rt. Excellent and the Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds (b. 1936).
Dignitaries in attendance included His Excellency the Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Premier of Nevis the Honourable Vance Amory and other Cabinet members; Dr. the Rt. Excellent and the Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds, our first Prime Minister and only living National Hero; former Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis Sir Dr. Cuthbert Sebastian GCMG, OBE, and Mr. Osbert DeSuza, the Chairperson of the National Heroes’ Park Committee. The Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian Queeley and the Commander of the Defence Force Lt. Col. Patrick Wallace were also in attendance, as well as Ambassadors from the Federative Republic Brazil, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela who all laid wreaths.
His Excellency the Governor General led the wreath laying in honour of the National Heroes, and our only living National Hero stood on the dais and received a salute from the Guard of Honour. Father George Agger of the Immaculate Conception Co-Cathedral Roman Catholic Church blessed the grounds.