Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 09, 2017 (SKNIS): Scores of youth from various national and community groups were featured prominently at the 34th Annual St. Kitts and Nevis Independence Parade that was held at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium on Saturday, October 07, 2017.
The parade is traditionally held on September 19, Independence Day, but had to be rescheduled due to the passage of Hurricane Maria.
The young people represented the Cadet Corps, the Girl Guides and Brownies, the Boy’s Brigade and Pathfinders, and the Mol-Phil Explorers Youth Club.
The Mol-Phil club had the largest contingent on parade with 105 members decked out in matching blue t-shirts, khaki pants, black berets and white gloves. Mol-Phil was formed on June 24 of this year and was designed for children between 05 to 17 years old from the Molineux, Phillips’ and Lodge communities. However, the group allowed some members as young as four years old and as old as 21 years because, as the founder and leader of the group, Police Inspector Rosemary Isles-Joseph, said today, Monday, there has been an overwhelming response to the initiative.
“They (the children) were very excited to be on parade,” Inspector Isles-Joseph said on Monday, while reflecting on the event last Saturday. “Some of them were very eager to take to the field to proudly showcase the drills and salutes that I taught them.”
The performance of the 105 group members on parade did not disappoint.
Congratulatory messages from proud parents and community residents filled the inspector’s phone:
“Words can’t explain how these children were looking. Honestly, I am speechless,” one proud parent’s text message read.
“Yes Ms. Rose, thanks,” said another parent, who added: “We appreciate what you have done for them so far. Thanks for being there and I pray God’s guidance.”
Some shared that it was a proud moment for the parents and the community, while others confessed to being teary-eyed as a result of the tremendous pride they felt.
Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, saluted the members of the Mol-Phil Explorers.
While giving the Toast to the Nation at Camp Springfield after the parade, Prime Minister Harris said: “I congratulate them, for not only were they the youngest participating group on the parade, they were also the largest participating group …We are delighted by the participation of youth, particularly as the theme this year focuses on the young people of our nation.”
The theme for the 34th anniversary of Independence in St. Kitts and Nevis was “Youth, Vision, Integrity – Securing Our Nation’s Prosperity.”
Visiting dignitaries commended the Government’s inclusion of young people in the Independence Parade.
At a bilateral meeting held at Camp Springfield following the toast on October 07, France’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Philippe Ardanaz, told Prime Minister Harris that, “It was a beautiful parade and it was very nice especially with the kids. I think we need to do the same thing in France.”