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National Independence Committee launches 35th anniversary events

National Independence Committee launches 35th anniversary events

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In the run-up to celebrating Independence Day (October 27) in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the National Independence Committee (NIC) has launched its schedule of events.

Yesterday, September 29, the organising committee held its launch event at the new Public Library conference room at Richmond Hill, with Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Cecil McKie delivering the feature address.{{more}}

McKie, who is also the chair of the NIC, commended the various groups and organisations for their hard work and dedication in coordinating the various events that will occur throughout the month of October to celebrate the nation’s 35th anniversary of independence.

“We have covered a wide gamut across the various sectors in coming up with a schedule of activities for the month of October,” he said.

“October… is the most diverse in terms of activities that we have in any one month throughout the calendar year… This means that the committee and all of the stakeholders would have worked together to build it to this level.”

The scheduled activities range from the religious to the educational to the cultural, and also include sports, tourism, agriculture, and issues of a social, economic and security nature.

“When it comes to working together, we are indeed going forward and achieving our objectives there,” added McKie.

He further went on to point out that the increase in size and diversity of the independence activities enhances the packages that SVG has to offer to not only locals, but also visitors – thereby extending the tourism season.

McKie also explained that with the increasing numbers of non-nationals coming to our shores for extended periods of time (e.g. medical students, Ecuadorians coming to learn English, and Chileans and Venezuelans having shown an interest in sending person here to learn English also), the increase in local activities will cater to visitors both in terms of entertainment and fulfilling their desire to experience local culture.

“We would have more and more nationalities on our shores, and we have to cater to them. When the international airport opens in 2015, we will have more nationals coming… we also have to cater to them,” he said.

“We are known to have the most diverse tourism product in the region, but we must now convert that even further… to have that cutting edge.”

McKie also acknowledged the contributions of Vincentians in the diaspora, and surmised that it would be just a matter of time before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a move to have overseas Independence events included in the line-up.

“Who knows – persons may wish to leave down here one year and go up to the diaspora to be part of those activities,” he predicted.

McKie also made an appeal to the various communities to support not only the events in their areas, but to also support Independence events on a national level, as it would boost economic activity.

“We are asking the entire nation to get behind us.”