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Preparing for the homecoming

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Before the dust settles on our Independence Anniversary celebrations and our attention gets diverted into the organization of the annual Nine Mornings festival, we should begin to put the mechanisms in place for the celebration our 30th anniversary of Independence next year.{{more}} Already that occasion is being dubbed as the “Homecoming”, presumably because emphasis is being placed on encouraging a massive influx of overseas-based Vincentians for the occasions.

That in itself is a task which requires meticulous planning and execution and, above all, since it involves recruiting persons whose roots are sunk in every nook and cranny of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it necessitates the full involvement of each and every community that makes up our nation. All too often, we embark on ambitious but well-meaning projects which do not always flower and bloom in the manner they were perceived because of an inadequate level of participation.

Whether due to omission or commission, that is, either enthusiastic organizers hogging the show or persons who ought to be involved staying on the sidelines, the end product often falls short of what we can and should deliver. We do not always get the mix between the state and the people right and much suspicion and misconception often cloud our thoughts and sully our efforts. This is the challenge we must confront if we are to put on a worthy show to the rest of the world, to fittingly host our own and to imbue them with everlasting pride in our country, its people and their achievements.

We must be mindful too, that given the rapid pace of economic and political integration, next year’s Independence celebrations may well be the last major one as Independent St. Vincent and the Grenadines, for who knows where 2019 may meet us. All the more reason for us to ensure that we put our best foot forward. That means early planning; it means too, making every conceivable effort at the national approach, beginning with the political forces, often the barometer of divisions in our nation. Can they at least begin to agree on a common focus, to place such an historic milestone over understandable and justifiable differences?

Then it means national involvement in the planning and implementing process. While government must provide and sustain the momentum, it would be to the nation’s credit if the Planning Committee for such an occasion is as broad-based and as all-embracing as possible. Community organizations in particular must have strong representation and some creative and flexible solutions should ensure representation by track record of working on behalf of the entire Vincentian nation.

Homecoming will be officially launched on Sunday November 9th at Heritage Square. We should dally no longer but take the initiative to get involved, get the discussions flowing and have the relevant structures put in place.