Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 19, 2013 (SKNIS):
Three decades of stability, creativity and prosperity was celebrated on Thursday (September 19) in St. Kitts and Nevis as the twin-island Federation marked 30 years of Independence.
Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Wickham Lawrence and Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas were joined by Members of the Federal Parliament, Senior Government Officials, security chiefs, members of the diplomatic and consular corps and ordinary citizens in attendance of the traditional ceremonial parade held at the football stadium at Warner Park.
A number of diplomatically allied countries sent representatives including Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. A delegation from Nigeria headed by the Executive Governor of the State of Akwa Ibom, His Excellency Chief Godswill Akpobio also attended today’s parade as well as dignitaries from the European Union.
While addressing the troops at Camp Springfield after the parade, Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas thanked the visiting and resident diplomats, for sharing in the celebrations noting that the evolution of the country from 1983 to present has been supported by many foreign nations.
The Prime Minister also expressed appreciation to the Security Chiefs Leftenant Colonel Patrick Wallace and Commissioner of Police Celvin G. Walwyn for leading the respective agencies responsible for the security and peaceful stability of the twin-island Federation.
“Both of them are leaders par excellence, doing a fine job in maintaining stability in the country,” he stressed.
In addition, Prime Minister Douglas saluted the men and women of the Fire and Rescue Services and the HMP for contributing to this effort.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader expressed that while achieving 30 years of sovereignty was significant there was still a lot left to be accomplished.
“There is much more that we have to achieve, there is much more work to be done. We are not yet finished and so we ask you to help us to finish the job in the future,” he exclaimed,” before offering a toast to the nation.
Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence congratulated the units that were on display during the parade and said all did the “Federation proud.”
There were a total of six armed units on parade. The number one and two platoons were made up of infantry men and women from the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force, while the third was comprised of personnel from the Coast Guard Unit. The fourth armed platoon featured men from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the fifth were made up of female officers. The final armed unit represented the Cadet Corps. Unarmed units from the Fire and Rescue Service, Her Majesty’s Prison, Customs, Port Authority and several community organizations also participated.
The St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force Band provided musical accompaniment for the parade and received high praise from officials as well.