National Pride, Productivity and Achievement
The outward manifestations of our national pride have definitely grown in the last 39 years.
You can see it in the way our people proclaim that they are “100 per cent Vincy,” and in the manner in which we wear our Independence attire, creatively designed using the blue, green and gold of the national flag. We now see modest private homes flying the national flag throughout the month of October and vehicles and businesses places draped with the national colours leading up to the anniversary of Independence.
We see it in the many exhibitions of locally produced items held around the world, where ever Vincentians live, and in the explosion in our creative industries.
We feel the improvement bears a direct relationship to the achievements of young Vincentians in various spheres of endeavour on the world stage.
Among them are our many valedictorians at the University of the West Indies, other scholars like Michael L Thomas and Gerard Porter; performers and musicians like Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle, Shertz ‘Problem Child’ James, Sean Sutherland, Kevin Lyttle, Rodney Small, Darron Andrews, Geran Maule, Saeed Bowman and Marlon Roudette; fashion designers like Kimon Baptiste and Lisa Cordice; artists like Calvert Jones; entrepreneurs like Jasmin Deane; sportspeople like Alex Joachim, Handel Roban, Kailon Kirby, Kesrick Williams and Jomel Warrican among others.
These young people have taken the baton from older generations of Vincentians who first put St Vincent and the Grenadines on the map and are making their mark all over the world by excelling in the areas of academics, music, fashion, sports, art, business.
Then there are internationally acclaimed products like Vincentian Chocolate and the rums of St Vincent Distillery Limited, and national accomplishments like the opening of the Argyle International Airport.
Our young people look at these people, businesses and accomplishments as very tangible examples of what is possible.
The work that is done in our schools cannot be overlooked. Our teachers work hard, especially at this time of the year to get our children to recognize the tenets of nation building, to feel a sense of pride about our country and to love it above all others. It is to be hoped that they will take the lessons learnt into their homes to help spread the message to the adult population, not only in terms of pride, but productivity and an improved work ethic.
Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of book of our good friend and ally, the Republic of China on Taiwan. Through sheer hard work and ingenuity, they were, in 50 years able to transform their country from an agrarian economy to one of the top 15 economies of the world. We need to increase our productivity so that we too can grow our economy, create employment and improve the quality of life for all Vincentians.
That is why the Everything Vincy Plus expo held last week was so encouraging. The impressive display of entrepreneurship, creativity and hard work must have elicited pride of achievement in most visitors to the expo.
It is also hoped that the expo served to motivate citizens to work harder towards achieving an improved quality of life, greater freedom and a stronger sense of identity.