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Embracing our Independence

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Fri, Oct 8, 2010

Editor: As we approach our 31st anniversary of independence, I am certain that we will be looking back and comparing St. Vincent and the Grenadines to where we were prior to this great achievement.{{more}}

On the 27th October, 1979, six months after the violent eruption of  La Soufriere, Vincentians cut the navel string that tied us to our colonial mother Britian. I am sure that many Vincentians have wondered if this was a premature delivery and whether we should have waited a few more years to see if we could have sucked a bit more milk from Britain. We were recovering from a national disaster and Independence should never have been the first thing on our minds. Indeed the natural human response would have been to hold on and cry for help. However, others will differ and say that this decision was without option, as we have constantly heard the the cry against the abuse that colonialism has handed down on us.

Looking back at that crucial point, it would be fair to say that as a small nation we have made a very brave step, and also during the 31 years of independence we have made numerous strides as a nation, which should be applauded. There is no great feeling than to know that we are charting our own destiny.

When we look back on things like Education, Health, Economics etc… I must say that we have done tremendously well in these 31 years of independence, compared with other countries that got independence many years before our small nation.

In the field of education, universal primary and secondary education has been achieved. The coming of the education revolution must be commended. No longer is education only for the select few, but it is available to everyone. Health care has seen its fair share of development.There has been a significant decrease in maternal and child mortality. Infectious diseases have decreased significantly. Our economy is developing with our own fights and struggles, and we are not totally dependent on handouts from our colonial power.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines as an independent nation never had smooth sailing, but we still continued to struggle. It is the effort of hard working Vincentians that has helped us to be where we are today as a nation. Thirty one years is indeed something to be proud of. As we celebrate, let us raise the Vincentian flag with pride. Let’s make a commitment to nation building. Let us continue in the spirit of “Together Now”.

Dr. R.O.Adams