Members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) at the Independence Parade in 2017.

Independence 35 theme competition officially launches


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – A call is going out for suggestion submissions for the official theme for the 35 anniversary of independence of St. Kitts and Nevis. Against this backdrop, citizens and residents alike are encouraged to tap into their creative minds.

The theme competition was officially launched April 16 by William V. Hodge, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education and chairman of the Education Sub-Committee for Independence, who noted the deadline for submission of entries is Wednesday, May 2. Late entries will not be acknowledged or considered.

All entries must be submitted in writing and sent via email, postal mail or placed in a drop box at the entrance of Government Headquarters on Church Street in Basseterre or at the administrative building of the Ministry of Education on the third floor of the Cable Building. Entries can also be dropped off at the headquarters of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) in Charlestown.

The chairman shared the guidelines for the theme competition to give participants a better understanding, and encouraged them to pay attention to the criteria to ensure they meet eligibility requirements.

“The theme must be concise, memorable and certainly no longer than a sentence,” Hodge said. “Composers should aim for no more than six to eight words. The theme should focus on patriotism and love of country. An internal rhyme scheme and rhythm will enhance the theme or the slogan. The theme should accurately reflect the country’s realities on the ground and common shared future to which all citizens should reasonably aspire.”

Permanent Secretary Hodge said that the committee looks forward to receiving an abundance of submissions, especially from young people, as it is important for them to play a vital role in the country’s future development.

“The 35th Anniversary of Independence is a significant event in the life of our people,” he said. “As a sovereign nation, it is imperative that our young people, in particular, develop and foster a sense of patriotism, pride and love for country. They are our greatest human resource and it is imperative that their sense of patriotism be enhanced.”

A maximum of two submissions are allowed per person, and every submission “must be new and original” since old or plagiarized entries will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries can be emailed to, or If participants are using the postal service, entries must be addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, 3rd Floor – Cable Building, New Street, Basseterre.

The 34th Independence Anniversary was celebrated under the theme from Donnette Dyer-Maloney of Nevis: “Youth, Vision, Integrity: Securing our Nation’s Prosperity.”