Basseterre, St. Kitts, (September 16, 2015) —The Government of National Unity today (September 16) honoured in the traditional manner St. Kitts and Nevis’ four national heroes in a simple but profound wreath-laying ceremony at Robert Bradshaw’s Memorial Park in St. Paul’s.
Wreaths were laid at the feet of Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw’s statue by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; the Governor General, His Excellency Tapley Seaton; Commander of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defense Force, Patrick Wallace; Acting Commissioner of Police, Stafford Liburd; Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas; a member from the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union; a family member of the late Sir Robert Llewelyn Bradshaw; and Ambassadors from Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Taiwan.
It was the first observance of National Heroes Day under the Team Unity Government to acclaim the national heroes for their contribution to national development.
In his brief remarks, Prime Minister Harris hailed the country’s first national hero and premier, the Right Excellent Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw as one who “blazed the trail for trade unionism and political rights.”
Prime Minister Harris also acclaimed national heroes, Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell (who was the country’s second premier), and the Right Excellent Sir Joseph Nathaniel France, the long serving General Secretary of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union “who championed the rights of the masses in those dark days of the plantation and the need to strive to achieve personal political rights including adult suffrage.”
In 2013, Dr. the Right Excellent Sir Simeon Daniel, the first premier of Nevis under the Independence Constitution, became the fourth national hero. Prime Minister Harris said that he “was at all times a champion for the rights of Nevis and Nevisians.”
The Prime Minister also announced that on Independence Day a fifth national hero will be added to the “pantheon of national heroes.”
“National heroes are recognized as persons who made a significant and lasting contribution to our Nation’s development. The National hero must have enriched the lives of others and their legacy must stand the test of time,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“We recognize that our young people need to have symbols of our heritage and of our nationhood. They must be able to tell their children and grandchildren the story of a determined people that beat all odds of wretched slavery, the vicissitudes of plantation life, and colonialism to create an Independent St. Kitts and Nevis. They must understand that they were also made in the image of almighty God and that God made them to be free. With this knowledge, the young people of St Kitts and Nevis have a responsibility to take and carry the torch of freedom, of justice, of fairness, of equality and now prosperity. They must pass them on to the next generation in a better state than was bequeathed to them,” he added.