Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis were given a preview of several activities planned for the month of September as the nation gears up for the 33rd Independence Anniversary celebrations.
In her address at the sitting of National Parliament on Tuesday, August 23, Senator Honourable Wendy Phipps, Chairperson of the 2016 Independence Committee, noted that although the events will be staggered throughout the month of September, a pre-Independence event begins on Wednesday.
“I am happy to report to the country that there is a pre-independence event beginning tomorrow August 24 and running through the 25, and that has to do with a National Protocol Training Programme being put on to train a new cadre of protocol officers in the Federation, both in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Senator Phipps. “And for the first time, changing the paradigm in making sure that we train protocol officers across the various parishes and constituencies in St. Kitts and Nevis so that we build up a cadre of protocol officers who can serve at various events, and thereby not overburden the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Senator Phipps said that the training will be done by His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, and former Diplomat and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Clarita Richards.
A major event scheduled thus far for this year’s celebrations is the Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series, which is slated for September 12 at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC).
“And at this juncture, I would like to add that this Team Unity Government would have adopted a new position since taking office last year in that we want to ensure that at least one major Independence event is taking place in Nevis,” said the Chair of the 2016 Independence Committee. “The previous practice is that most if not all of the events are concentrated in St. Kitts and last year for the first time, after 32 years of Independence, we finally had a state service held in Nevis. This year we are continuing the tradition.”
Another major scheduled event is the dedication of the National Heroes Park on Friday, September 16. The site for the National Heroes Park is located at the North-Eastern end of the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport, just off from the roundabout.
“This is a new development. It is based on a commitment that would have been given by the Honourable Prime Minister [Dr. Timothy Harris] at the Independence Day Observances in St. Pauls last year,” she said. “And it is meant to be a National Heroes Park that recognizes and allocates a place of pride for our five National Heroes. This space is intended to be large enough that it would be surrounded in terms of a park with additional features.”
In further updating the general public, the Honourable Wendy Phipps said that this year’s Independence State Service is set for Sunday, September 18, at the St. George’s Anglican Church, while the Independence Day Parade and the Governor General’s Cocktail will be held at the usual places on Monday, September 19 at Warner Park and Government House respectively. She noted that the Government will be undertaking a number of other events including the schools visits, patriotic programmes and the ceremonial tree planting.
The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, will be joining Cabinet Ministers on a number of the events, especially those slated for the primary schools. A cricket match is scheduled for September 11, while a football match is scheduled for September 17, at Warner Park. According to the Honourable Phipps, the Department of Culture will take up the responsibility to host at least three events.