The National Democratic Congress held a special post-convention event on Saturday, 13 November where the newly-elected executive team took the opportunity to recognise and honour some of the party’s founding members.
The event was attended by members of the new and outgoing executive, and also included many party stalwarts, long-standing members, and supporters. The newly elected executive formally thanked the outgoing executive before moving into the recognition segment of the event.
The event featured passionate speeches from Joan Purcell, former party leader, and the newly-elected party leader Dickon Mitchell. Both addresses were well received by the audience present. During the event, several former leaders and members were specially recognised for their contributions. Some notable awardees included the family of former Prime Minister George Brizan, a founding member of the party; former political leader and former Prime Minister the Honorable Tillman Thomas; former political leaders Nazim Burke and Joseph Andall; outgoing General Secretary Glen Noel; long-standing member and former executive member Kent Joseph; Jerome Joseph and Crawford Best.
Dickon Mitchell conveyed his thanks in a heartfelt and emotional speech. Mitchell remarked, “The purpose of this evening’s post-convention was to say, ‘thank you!’ to all of you who made the beginning of this journey possible for myself and all of the recently elected members of the national executive. We believe it was important to get together to honour each of you for the service that you have given to our organisation and for your unwavering commitment to the principles and ideals of the NDC in what were difficult and trying times. The newly-elected executive is extremely appreciative of all you have done, and we are aware that we stand on the shoulders of those who went before.”
This event allowed for deeper bonds to be forged within the party, and signals that the party is extremely unified under one common vision, steered by a new generation of leaders.
“Today I am so pleased. My heart is thrilled to see the young people, the next generation of leaders,” stated an emotional Purcell, the first female leader of the National Democratic Congress. She recalled how far the party has come and the impressive strides made since she joined in 1989, which was just 2 years after the party was founded.
“I believe God has spoken, and with Dickon Mitchell as our leader. I feel hopeful for our country,” declared Purcell. “I am a warrior and I will be warring for good governance, transparency, accountability, and competence.”
Throughout the evening, the new executive stressed the importance of putting people first as the baton is passed from the former leaders. The team pledged to inject their commitment, fresh enthusiasm and new skills into forging the way forward for the party.