Photo: Prime Minister Harris said that celebrations for the 34th anniversary of independence will go on despite weather delay. 


Independence celebrations continue on through weather delay



Basseterre, St. Kitts – Independence in St. Kitts and Nevis has been known to be one of the most celebrated events where citizens and residents alike look forward to the many activities planned to commemorate the auspicious occasion. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris announced that despite the recent weather conditions, a number of independence activities will continue as planned.

“Independence certainly is an event worthy of commemoration and we will commemorate our 34th anniversary of independence,” Harris said. “What we have… [in] regard to the weather, the hurricanes – Irma, which did damage and Jose, which threatened us, we have taken a decision that the national attention ought not to be distracted at this time.

“Having regard to the limited resources that are available in times like these, we had to have a more restricted programme,” said Harris during his Sept. 11 appearance on the People’s Voice Morning Talk Show on Sugar City 90.3 FM. 

Prime Minister Harris noted that a number of activities that were scheduled for Sept. 11-12 were postponed until a later date, including the cabinet’s visit to schools and the Prime Minister’s Lecture Series. He added that once the weather holds favourably, the schools’ patriotic programme and treat will be held Monday, Sept. 18, as originally scheduled.

“Students look forward always to that patriotic programme, [to] showcase their talent and [to] the social events that they engaged with thereafter, and so we want to sustain that,” he said.

While making reference to the Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series that was scheduled for Sept. 11, he said “we have had to postpone or one can say cancel that, but we are thinking later in the year to have someone come in to present a Prime Minister’s Lecture on an issue related to our own development. So that will not be entirely lost.”

Another important event that formed part of the Independence Calendar of Activities, namely, the reopening of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Center at the Paul Southwell Industrial Park, which was scheduled for Sept. 15, has been postponed. Prime Minister Harris said that the general public will be updated on the new date for the grand opening of the centre as this is a very important initiative of the government and for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“This is important because technology is a way to go and what we are doing is to create a platform which we can build and have greater successes in ICT,” Harris said. “Last year… we stood alone in the world as the only country to have received international recognition for the growth in the access of persons to ICTs,” he said, adding that St. Kitts and Nevis was the only country in the world of about 180 other countries evaluated to receive two awards for its performance in the ICT sector. “So we are moving paces with that and we want further to have more of that.”

In the wake of the recent storms, a National Day of Prayer is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Wesley Methodist Church. Prime Minister Harris used the occasion to extend a warm invitation to the general public to attend the service, “as we seek to unite, rebuild and acknowledge God’s providence in the passage of the storms so far.”