“After 33 Years do we Ask for a Hand-out or a Hand-up?” asks Hon. Mark Brantley at 14th Annual Independence Gala



Basseterre, St.Kitts (September 20th 2016):- The People’s Action Movement on the weekend held its Annual Independence Gala at the St.Kitts Marriott Resort . Over 500 guests packed the Resort Ball Room and Conference center for the 14th Edition of the PAM National Women’s Group Organised signature event.

The event featured a number of speakers including Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris who brought greetings and in his usual style inspired the audience with an uplifting presentation which implored all listening to love our country, strive for prosperity and unity and give god the glory . PAM Leader and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn K. Richards delivered one of the two featured addresses .

Deputy Premeir of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mark Brantley was the special guest speaker . Brantley who was forced to charter a flight from Washington, DC to make it to the Gala in time to deliver his address was as usual charismatic , thought provoking and intriguing in his featured presentation. Greeted with a rousing round of applause upon his arrival Brantley delivered a memorable speech which outlined the journey of St.Kitts-Nevis as an independent Nation and the critical role the PAM Political Party played in the development of an Independent St.Kitts-Nevis .

“Tonight we gather in the towering shadow of Sir Kennedy to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of independence of this our beloved Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. Our theme for our independence celebrations is “Promoting Prosperity through Sustainability and National Unity.” I am advised that tonight the People’s Action Movement celebrates under the theme “Celebrating our Heritage, Ensuring a Brighter a Future for All,” said Hon. Brantley

“It is a fitting theme for this Party to celebrate the independence of a country of which it was the principal architect. Whilst many might seek to posit various iterations of our history, it cannot be denied that the People’s Action Movement under the leadership of The Right Excellent Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds was, together with the Nevis Reformation Party led by another national hero, The Right Excellent Sir Simeon Daniel of blessed memory, the architects of our independence. Some talked about it. Some wrote about it. Some perhaps dreamt about it. But it was PAM and the old NRP that delivered it,” Brantley declared.


While Brantley listed the many achievements of the PAM particularly at the genesis of and since our Independence he took the opportunity to highlight and reflect soberly on where we are today and from whence we came. The Foreign Affairs Minister indulged the audience to ponder a question which inspires us to seriously consider where we are and where we want to go as  nation.


Brantley declared “ If our independence is to prove meaningful 33 years on, we must soberly and critically assess how we feel as a people and how far we have come. What have been our gains individually and collectively? What is the level of our patriotism? Have we been true to our country’s creed of Country Above Self? Have we instilled in our children the lessons of hard work, honesty, good manners, ambition, self respect and respect for others? Do we after 33 years of independence still look for a handout instead of a hand up? Do we see our government as an engine of patronage or a critical catalyst of social and economic transformation?”

“My challenge to you my friends and to all nationals of this fair land is that we measure ourselves not by a sense of entitlement to the largesse of our Nation’s resources but rather to a sense of genuine contribution to our Nation’s development. If I can borrow thematically the oft quoted lines of US President John Fitzerald Kennedy of blessed memory, we, you and I, Kittitians and Nevisians must ask not what St Kitts and Nevis can do for us but what we can do for St Kitts and Nevis,” Brantley continued.

Brantley’s presentation was well received by the large audience and was labeled as one of the best presentation’s in the Gala’s 14 year history.

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