‘We need our own awards!’
March 18, 2005
‘We need our own awards!’

Feature speaker at the Sandy Bay rally, historian Curtis King has called on those in authority to abolish British Awards. King said that the Calinagos and Garifunas fought against the Europeans who wanted to conquer this land and to award persons with British titles is to insult the indigenous peoples who shed their blood for freedom. {{more}}

“Due to Chatoyer’s contribution,” he said, “the British and French gave up attempts to conquer SVG.”

He pointed out that Chatoyer helped to unite the Garifunas and the Calinagos to fight against the Europeans in a 12-year struggle against the might of Great Britain. That although they had canons and guns and the indigenous peoples used guerilla warfare, they had to fight for their freedom.”

King also imagined that Chatoyer must be “turning in his grave” because of the MBE’s and OBE’s that continued to be awarded to Vincentians.

“Chatoyer had a great contribution to the freedom we now celebrate and sometimes we take it for granted,” King said. “We have become like empty shells, freedom is what we have in our hands, but it depends on what we do with this freedom.”

The historian also noted that “Chatoyer was an outstanding military fighter on the battle field, but he was also a diplomat. He was skillful at maneuvering between the French and British and played one off against the other.” He therefore called for the creation of our own national awards since “the state has to do much more to observe his memory.”