BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Life-like statues of five St. Kitts and Nevis National Heroes will be unveiled Sept. 17 at the National Heroes’ Park during the annual ceremony that pays tribute to the foremost nation builders of the twin-island Federation. It is the first time that all five national heroes will be found in one place dedicated to them, making the moment a historic one.
The park is now a hive-of-activity as work crews are mounting tents, tending to the lawn, preparing the Welcome Centre, and completing other tasks in preparation for the ceremony.
The event will be attended by family members and friends of the late Right Excellencies Sir Robert L. Bradshaw, Sir C. A. Paul Southwell, Sir Joseph N. France and Sir Simeon Daniel, as-well-as the Right Excellent and Right Honourable Sir Kennedy A. Simmonds, the only living National Hero. Also in attendance will be Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, and other dignitaries, invited guests, students, and the general public.
It will feature a Guard of Honour from the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force. Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Osbert DeSuza, said the profiles of each National Hero will be read at the ceremony and the statues unveiled. He said it will be a special occasion.
“I want to take this opportunity to invite the general public to be a part of this ceremony on National Heroes Day,” DeSuza said. “It is a one of; we will unveil the statues of the five National Heroes and it is only going to happen once so everyone should be there to be a part of history.”
In anticipation of the large number of persons expected to attend the ceremony, additional seating will be available. In addition to mounting the statues, construction of the Welcome Centre is essentially complete. It features an exhibition wing where information on and pictures of the five prominent figures will be on display. Offices for staff are hosted in the centre’s administration wing. Restroom facilities are being built.
DeSuza said the atmosphere at the facility has been greatly enhanced and everyone will be in for a treat on Monday.
“The ambience and the physical appearance of the park have being enhanced from the last National Heroes Day,” DeSuza indicated. “I think everyone will be impressed with the layout of the parade square, the fact that we have been able, over the past year, to have quite a bit of ornamental plants growing in the park and its [a] totally different physical appearance to what we had in 2016 and 2017.”
Sunday, Sept. 16, is National Heroes Day in St. Kitts and Nevis. However, because that day falls on a Sunday, the public observances will occur on the following day – Monday, Sept. 17.