The life story of one of the most celebrated nationals of St. Kitts & Nevis is now being shared with the world, as former Prime Minister and now National Hero, Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds releases his autobiography, some 25 years since he last served his country at the highest level of government.
The book is entitled, The Making of a National Hero.
It chronicles his life from his early days as a boy living at Rosemary Lane in the center of Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts, through his primary and grammar school days, before going on to become a medical doctor and then the last Premier and first Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis.
Simmonds, who is now retired from both politics and medicine, explains that the book covers many topics that affected his life and characterized his tenure in government, but that it also shares some of his passions, including football, cricket and tennis.
The former Prime Minister represented St. Kitts in cricket and football, while also racking up various awards in tennis, a sport in which he is still engaged.
Readers of the book will have the opportunity to get insights into important political issues that include the formation of the People’s Action Movement, (PAM); the historic 1980 elections that paved the way for the PAM/NRP coalition; the road to independence in 1983; the two commissions of enquiry; the 1993 election impasse; the State of Emergency over the forced acquisition of his West Farm lands by the Bradshaw administration; and his career as a medical doctor in St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, USA and Bahamas.
The autobiography also looks at secession for Nevis and how he, (Simmonds), worked with another National Hero, Sir Simeon Daniel, to avert the separation of the two islands. Simmonds gives much credit and praise to Daniel for his role in facilitating the twin-island country’s independence in 1983.
One other issue of national importance that made its way into the pages of Simmonds’ memoirs, is the Christena Disaster of 1970, when scores of Kittitians and Nevisians lost their lives on that dreadful Emancipation weekend, some 49 years ago.
The book, which is already being considered a “must buy” as a Christmas gift, has been released on Amazon and is available in kindle format.
However, Simmonds said that two events will be held next month in St. Kitts and Nevis to formally launch the autobiography.
These will be on 19th December, at the Methodist Church Hall, (Old Boys School), St. Kitts, and the Anglican Church Hall, in Charlestown, on 20th December.
At these events, the author says that persons attending the launch ceremonies, which are open to the general public, will have the opportunity to have their books autographed.
The books will also be sold at local bookstores in Charlestown and Basseterre.
Simmonds served as Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, from 1983-1995 and as Premier, from 1980-1983. He also served as Political Leader of PAM, from 1975-2000.
He is married to lady Mary Simmonds and has five children.