Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 30, 2018 (SKNIS): This year’s 35th Independence Anniversary will be celebrated under the theme “Love, Service, Patriotism and Pride, Independence 35.” The theme was chosen from 34 entries that were submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat, and was won by Yvette Slack, a renowned early childhood educator in St. Kitts and Nevis.
William V. Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Chairman of the Education Sub-Committee for Independence 35, commented on the theme and noted that it was important to have love and patriotism at the core of this year’s celebrations.
“This year the thrust of the theme is that persons were asked to ensure that patriotism and love of country were the two key components that would be highlighted and so, just using the words alone to some degree, met that criteria. As a people, we feel that we have to do more in terms of it but I think it is something that we have to live,” said Mr. Hodge. “We can’t have pride in our country if we are not patriotic and we can’t be patriotic if we are not willing to offer service paid and unpaid to our country.”
Mr. Hodge encouraged citizens to always show love and patriotism for country as it is a sign of respect not just for country but for self.
“The aspect of volunteerism is something that demonstrates love of country. We are a small developing Caribbean island state, we don’t have a lot of money to pay for everything and so our people have to learn that we have to give. We have to give of our time, of our talents, of our expertise without soliciting payment,” said Mr. Hodge. “We have to give back so that others would forward. We have to give back so that we can accomplish those national goals that a country aspires towards.”
He reflected on his time living abroad and noted that Kittitians and Nevisians would make it a point of duty to show love and patriotism for the Federation at various events. He added that this type of heightened interest is what he hopes to see manifested in St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly among the youth population.
The permanent secretary made a clarion call for citizens to continue to support the Independence activities, especially the theme competition. He also urged them to always have a love for their country.
“We would just simply like to encourage persons to use their gifts and talents. There are some persons who are really witty in their thinking and they can come up with slogans and themes. They can put words together in a way that sounds appealing to the ears. So it is just for persons to show more interest and more enthusiasm,” he stated.
Mrs. Slack will be duly recognized by Cabinet, including being issued with official invitations to all major Government Independence events. The winning theme will also be incorporated in all communications and events surrounding the Independence celebrations.