St. Lucia celebrates 40 years of political independence

St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on Friday urged St. Lucians to reflect on the country’s journey as the nation observed the 40th anniversary of political independence from Britain.

In his message to mark the occasion  Chastenet said St.Lucians should “keep in mind the things that bind us together: our faith, our values, our community, our shared accomplishments, our families.”

He urged them to make the next 40 years count, noting that there is still a lot to be done in the areas of crime, education, health care, agriculture, housing, environment, and in the eradication of poverty.

However he said he was confident, now more than ever, that together the country will solve these problems.

“As a grown up nation of 40, we need to be bold and confident, to be disciplined, family-oriented, show maturity and above all remain humble.

“On this 40th anniversary of our independence, let us as Saint Lucians make a solemn pledge to turn over a new leaf. Recognizing our ability as a small country to compete with the rest of the world.

“When people think of St Lucia we must be seen as innovators, a country of excellence, a nation that is peaceful and God-fearing,”  the Prime Minister noted.

He said citizens should start with the little things –  “there is no reason we should be dumping garbage indiscriminately, tossing trash out of car windows, parking derelict vehicles anywhere we please, and paying no mind to our community members who roam the streets.”

He added that there is also no real reason why people should be resorting to physical aggression as a solution to disagreements, and steal from each other or take advantage of guests to the country.

” Now at 40, we have no choice but to accept our responsibilities, the first being to guarantee ourselves, and those who rely on us, a better now and tomorrow—regardless of impediments; come rain or shine. We can no longer afford to be distracted by small-mindedness and selfish considerations,” Chastanet noted.

At beginning of February, St. Lucia was already in   full Independence mode  – preparing for a year-long celebration under the theme: “All in, our journey, our future.”

Some  of the planned activities   include calypso competitions, teen pageant competitions, ecumenical services and school rallies across the island.

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