Toronto, 28 September 2015 – The Consulate General of St. Kitts and Nevis in collaboration with the 2015 Independence Planning Committee hosted two events to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of Independence of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
A church service was held on Independence Day, 19th September 2015 at St. George-on-Yonge Anglican Church in Toronto. Sister Constance Cudjoe, Reverend Leonard Leader and Reverend Vernon Duporte were the presiding clerg. This was truly a memorable service for nationals and friends, particularly as the clergy present were well known individuals within the St. Kitts and Nevis diaspora.
The Independence Gala was held on Saturday, 26th September 2015 at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel Toronto. The Featured guests were the Hon. Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and Deputy Premier of Nevis, and Her Excellency (H.E.) Shirley Skerritt-Andrew High Commissioner of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to Canada. Mr. John Allen, Honorary Consul General of St. Kitts and Nevis in Toronto, extended a warm welcome to the distinguished guests from St. Kitts and Nevis, the Diplomatic Corps, awardees, nationals and friends of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Hon. Shawn Richards and the Hon. Mark Brantley delivered special messages. The Hon. Shawn Richards extended greetings on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris and the people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke of the development of St. Kitts and Nevis since its Independence in 1983 and its many contributors. Special reference was made to the Rt. Hon. Sir Dr. Kennedy Simmonds, our newest National Hero, and his contributions to the advancement of the Federation.
The Hon. Mark Brantley commended the Consulate General and the 2015 Independence Planning Committee for their efforts in making the 32nd Anniversary of Independence celebrations possible and Minister Brantley also emphasized that 2015 is significant in our relations with Canada. He indicated that, “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis appointed for the first time, a High Commissioner to Canada and plans are underway to open the High Commission before year end. This move clearly demonstrates our commitment for closer and deeper ties with one of our most significant international partners.” Minister Brantley expressed confidence in the newly appointed High Commissioner and stated, “Our eminent High Commissioner, H.E. Skerritt-Andrew, a diplomat par excellence will strengthen collaboration between our two countries. H.E. Skerritt-Andrew will work together with the Consulate in Toronto to harness the skills of the members of our Diaspora across Canada to advance the interest of our nationals and country.”
Ms. Katrina Tyson, a first generation Canadian and Mr. Ingleton Liburd, General Manager with Cricket Canada officiated the event. Mr. Hugh Jeffers of Nevis and Mr. Desmond Bowery of St. Kitts were presented with Community Service Awards for their sterling contribution to St. Kitts and Nevis and their adopted country of Canada. A Corporate Citizen Service Award was also presented to Centura Tiles for its contributions to the community in Canada and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.