October 22, 2004
Our Silver Jubilee

Before all, let us wish a happy 25th Anniversary of Independence to the People of this nation.

At this time of celebration, it is customary to hear a lot of messages of reflection of our 25th year and therefore this editorial does not pretend to be another. We carry, within these pages, many messages from just some of the persons chosen to be leaders in several areas of endeavour. {{more}}They span politics and religion as well as contributions from some of our readers. We are celebrating a Silver Jubilee, the term given to the celebration of 25 years of Nationhood and the slogan chosen is Proud to be Vincentian

This issue of our pride in things Vincentian has sparked much debate on the radio talk show circuit and we are sure everywhere that caring Vincentians gather.

But the question of pride hardly arises, it might more be a question of how proud we are our of nationhood and this all depends on how one views oneself within the scheme of things.

We can point to considerable proud moments in the field of education where we have seen the fruits of a new spirit of ambitiousness blossoming. Over the last twenty five years we have seen a marked increase in the numbers of persons pursuing tertiary education. And with that Independence we have seen Vincentians embrace opportunities presented even in countries where before then it may have been considered taboo. We now have working both at home and abroad graduates from universities in the former Soviet Union and Cuba. Travel and study in these places is now accepted almost as commonplace as going off to the traditional centres of learning in the United Kingdom, United States and at our own University of the West Indies. Only in the last week we learnt of two young Vincentian females of humble origins who have both been selected as Valedictorians in their respective centres of learning at the Mona and Cave Hill Campuses. Hats off to Shermalon Kirby and Halimah Deshong. And we are confident that their examples will be emulated by the likes of Kamal Woods, who topped the CXC results throughout the Caribbean with 11 Grades One , and his colleagues at the Community College.

In sport our Vincy Heat soccer team continues to do us proud, this way continuing to blaze a trail which was set by our 1979 squad coached by local legend Rudy Boucher and which included a veritable who’s who of the Game of the People including the Lowe and Morris and Millington brothers.

Our athletes enjoy moderate success and we fielded a small team to the Athens Olympics which included sprinter Natasha Mayers who missed out on a possible final run due to injury. But there in the stand looking on was top Caribbean junior 400 metres star Kineke Alexander who brought home gold in Central American and Carribbean Games in Mexico. She has followed other local athletes before her on athletic scholarships at prestigious US universities.

The Kevin Lyttle storm which has rocked the charts worldwide was brewed right here at home where many other singers and musicians, including his producer Adrian Bailey, have been propogating some of the most original music in the region. While 25 years ago we depended on imported music from Trinidad and North America, we today are exporting talents.

The explosion in the media, which is often heavily criticized, is set to level off with proper standards as media personnel reorganize and take advantage of training opportunities out there. The media still has freedom to express ourselves and thus protect our young democracy.

We continue to struggle against very unfriendly economic forces on a global playing field that is increasingly uneven. It is going to take very creative solutions to stay afloat as we are often caught between a rock and a hard place.

Finally, as we try to instill pride in being Vincentian, we must lament the increasing political tribalism which marks support for one’s chosen political party. In this area we have a lot of work to do, in acting as though we are really one people, on the same rock, celebrating our Silver Jubilee.