BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Hundreds of seniors converged at Government House in Basseterre on Feb. 16 where they attended a luncheon as part of the Team Unity Government’s Fourth Anniversary celebrations. The seniors were served by, among others, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris.
“We have come today out of love — love for you,” said Dr. Harris. “Love for your service, and we have come as a government to say ‘thank you’ for the many ways in which you have helped advance the development of St. Kitts and Nevis – this beautiful Federation that we love.”
The luncheon was held on the second National Volunteer Day, Dr Harris noted, for the government to thank them for what they have done in the past and what they continue to do as role models and as exemplars by sending and passing on the values of industry and pride in themselves to the younger generation who need that kind of father figure.
Prime Minister Harris explained that when the government introduced the $500 monthly pay out in the Poverty Alleviation Programme, “it was to help some of you who have laboured so hard and so long in the vineyard and to ensure that your days now and your latter days could be better and happier because the government carries you in its heart. The government understands and we want you to age feeling happy and loved.”
He asked the seniors who in their youthful days had worked hard, and had discipline, obedience, and respect for all in society to pray for the Government and the country saying that nothing beats prayer. Dr Harris also implored them to pray for the young people for greater discipline that they will turn from their spirit of revenge and disrespect for life, and disrespect for law for the country to be what it is – a beautiful country where peace abounds.
The Seniors Luncheon was held under the patronage of Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton. It was attended by among others Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs the Hon Lindsay Grant, Attorney General the Hon Vincent Byron, Deputy Speaker the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Ambassador His Excellency Jonel Powell, and former Junior Minister of Finance Mr Richard Caines.
The oldest person at the luncheon was 103-year old Samuel Depusoir who had a lively chat with the Prime Minister. A number of seniors were recognised on the celebration of their birthdays, among them Mrs. Clarita Liburd, who celebrated her birthday on Feb. 12; Mrs Marilyn Richards, mother of Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards), who celebrated on Feb. 14; Calvin Farier, who celebrated on Feb. 15; and his wife Mrs Naomi Farier, who was celebrating Feb. 16.
Chairing the proceedings was the Acting Director of Community Development and Social Services, Mrs. Anne Wigley, while welcoming and greeting the seniors and presenting them with a rose each, compliments of Dreamy Décor were members of the Volunteer Corps who also assisted with the serving of the food to those who could not go to the serving lines.
In welcoming the seniors at the luncheon, Senator the Hon Wendy Phipps, Minister of State with responsibility for Social Services and Community Development, said the luncheon was the government’s simple and small way of saying thank you to them for their service to the country.
“You are valued to us,” said the Hon Phipps. “You are our most great assets in the Federation, as persons on whose backs the economy, the communities, the families of this country would have been built and this is our time to give you your own flowers because if you did not lay the kind of foundation we have, we won’t have what we have here today and it is for us to continue that trend for future generations.”
Minister Phipps said food was being delivered during the day to the shut-ins and home-bound persons in the various communities.