More persons may soon be named as National Heroes
March 17, 2015
More persons may soon be named as National Heroes

This country may soon see the naming of a person or persons, who would be called national hero(es) of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

At the wreath laying ceremony on Saturday, March 14 to honour the memory of the lone national hero The Right Excellent Joseph Chatoyer, {{more}}Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves hinted that the advisory committee, mandated to recommend national heroes, is close to submitting their report to Cabinet.

“The Honoruable René Baptiste indicated to me that the report is on its way to me, and then naturally, Cabinet will reflect on it and we will advise His Excellency the Governor General, who is the Chancellor of the Order of National Hero.

“We will reflect in what they send to us and we will be very scrupulous in respect of the law and sentiments.”

The Prime Minister stated that four names: George McIntosh, Robert Milton Cato, Dr JP Eustace, and Ebenezer Joshua, are among the forerunners regarded for selection, and that he had stated in his own personal capacity, that all four are worthy of serious consideration.

He pointed out that the selection of a national hero or heroes should not be debated along political lines, and he was hoping for a consensus going forward on the selected.

“George Augustus McIntosh, the heroic figure of the 1935 anti-colonial struggles. Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, the great trade unionist and political figure, tribune of the working people. Robert Milton Cato a fighter for social democracy and the father of independence and we can’t devalue his work by simply saying that independence the British wanted to give you and who was there is who got it…. And then of course there is Dr JP Eustace, a phenomenal educator…”

He also hinted that the name(s) may be announced as early as August, or as late as October this year.

“And I don’t believe that national heroes have to wait to be declared on National Heroes Day, they can be declared any time. An appropriate occasion could be August the first, which is our Emancipation Day. It could be October the 21st, which is the historic day, an anniversary date of the 1935 uprising, or it could the day of independence. There can be any set of days,” Gonsalves said.

Joseph Chatoyer, the leader of the Garifuna, was declared National Hero in 2002.(JJ)