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Cato, Joshua recommended for national hero

Cato, Joshua recommended for national hero


Former Prime Minister Robert Milton Cato and first Chief Minister Ebenezer Theodore Joshua are among three persons who have been recommended for consideration to be named the next national heroes of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at the Unity Labour Party’s convention, last Sunday, at the Campden Park Secondary School, said that Cato, Joshua and George Augustus McIntosh are among those fit for consideration.

Gonsalves made the case for Cato, saying that the former Vincentian leader said yes to independence in 1979, at a time when other regional leaders were saying no.

“He had the courage to say yes to independence in October 1979, whilst 20 per cent of the people of this country were still living in tents and in places of abode other than their home,” which was a consequence of the April 1979 volcanic eruption, Gonsalves explained.

“Cato and his other leaders said we are going to have independence; now that is confidence in a people’s capacity to develop themselves,” he continued.

“I am asking, next year, when we have to consider this matter as a people, for the legitimate channels to be put down into law, that we address it because Milton Cato was the founder of our Labour movement here and Joshua’s base went to NDP (New Democratic Party).”

The prime minister, however, noted that there would be some who would be divided about which of the two men should be recognized as national hero.

But he said that he was calling on persons to be mature, reflective and to consider that an elevation of both men for national hero could help to bind the divisiveness that exists today.

“That if NDP supporters can recognize the virtues and value and heroic status of Milton Cato and the Labour family can do the same with E T Joshua, I think we would go somewhere,” Gonsalves explained.

He further contended that this would be a way of signaling an era for greater unity among the people.

Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cato, Gonsalves explained.