Gerry Hopkin, JD
As the Spice Isles — Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, preparing to celebrate 41 years of independence on 7 February 2015, it is important for us to be cognizant of the fact that INDEPENDENCE is about much more than a day when we officially earned the right to have our own flag, sing our own anthem, pass our own laws, and design our own foreign policy on a basis of sovereignty.
It is more importantly, a time to reflect on the fact that INDEPENDENCE DAY merely marks a day in a process which started long before that day, and continues to this day and beyond.
The efforts of Julien Fedon, William Galway Donovan, Henrietta Millicent Douglas and T A. Marryshow, along with that of every slave that rebelled against slavery, are just as important as the contributions of PM Eric Matthew Gairy — because they paved the way.
Similarly, the efforts of PMs Maurice Bishop, Herbert Blaize, Nicholas Brathwaite, Ben Jones, George Brizan, Dr Keith Mitchell and Tillman Thomas, have also contributed, albeit with some setbacks in between, to the process of nation building and sustainable growth.
And while we call it a celebration of independence, it is important for us to know that we are not there yet; and that this is really about a process which is most rewarding for the nations whose leaders understand, practice and prioritize:
- having a balanced and inclusive approach to celebrating heritage, culture and identity;
- effectuating real sustainable development of people and available resources;
- valuing every resident/citizen/player on the field, regardless of his team membership for we are all in the same game and arena together; and
- acknowledging the fact that we live in an interdependent world, where trading/ bartering and protection of our environment are much more important than greed, selfishness and subscription to isms and schisms.
- May we all have Aristotelian knowledge — live as if we truly know — that it still does take a village to raise a child, just as it takes an entire nation adding value to what God has given us, in order to secure real, sustainable socio-economic growth and improved quality of life, for ALL.