Reflection on 27 years in politics: Prime Minister Harris thanks supporters

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 7, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, on Sunday December 6 joined the congregation at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Lemon Hill, Bourryeau, for worship as he celebrated the 27th anniversary of service to the country as a Parliamentarian and his birthday, where he took time to thank his supporters over the years.

“It is really a good feeling to be here and I want to thank all who have taken the time out to be part of this very special service intended to acknowledge God’s presence in my own life,” said Prime Minister Harris as he reflected on the 27 years he has served the people of St. Kitts and Nevis first as a parliamentarian, Government Minister and now as the country’s third Prime Minister.

Officiating at the service was Pastor Michael Penny who also delivered the sermon. He noted that Prime Minister Harris drew many people to church irrespective of whichever church he attends, and thanked him for choosing Mt. Carmel Baptist Church as the venue for the combined anniversaries celebration.

Prime Minister Harris who was first elected to Parliament on November 29, 1993, told the congregation that he had never considered that his future would be one involved in politics, noting that at school he was shy and did not anticipate the (political) journey that he later embarked. He told the congregation that his ambition was to become a teacher.

“I got there (political arena) largely on the wings of love of the good people of St. Christopher Seven way back in 1993 November when I was called home (from Canada) to duty,” he explained. “They gave me outstanding support beyond belief and for that I will always be internally indebted to the wonderful people of St. Christopher Seven.”

The Honourable Prime Minister added: “Time after time, through seven elections you have never let me down. And it has never been the question of whether we will win, but by how much we will win. So I thank you for all those years of long faithful support and for the strong bonds of friendship and love which we have developed and the unbreakable connection between all of you and myself and my family.”

He thanked members of his family noting that every pain he went through they would have felt and they stood with him all the years. According to Dr Harris, before his entry to politics his family was not a political family noting that the family was then split in terms of party loyalty, as his grandparents supported a different party.

“And so I want say thank you to all of them,” said the Prime Minister. “I want to thank Donna the oldest on my mother’s side, I want to thank Janine the youngest on my mother’s side, and Lenworth who in the later years became campaign manager in the constituency and led us through four general elections successfully.”

Now the National Political Leader of the Peoples Labour Party (PLP) which he founded after he left the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, Prime Minister Harris told the congregation that one of the most difficult elections was that of 2015 because by then he had parted from the natural base of the Labour Party. He explained that it was a very difficult time because everything was being done to prove the point that his party could not prevail outside of the Labour Party umbrella.

“I want thank the extended Team Unity Family though, and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis who knew that the time had come for something different, for a reuniting of the country, for bringing back positive energy, for an attempt to take the country to some place better, some place stronger, some place more united, some place where the hopes and dreams of people could be realised,” commented Dr Harris.

The Prime Minister added: “Allow me to thank the leader of the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), my Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Shawn Richards, for being one of those persons who believed in the vision of Unity.”

He wished his Deputy, who was present at the church service, advance birthday wishes as he celebrates on Tuesday December 8.

Dr Harris also thanked Ambassador His Excellency Vance Amory, who was then the leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) party, noting that Hon Amory was then the most senior of the politicians being in the Federal Parliament for a long time. He recalled that they met and chitchatted at which time Amory said to him, “Timothy, I think you should lead – I will give my support to you.”

He was joined at the service by Cabinet colleagues Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, and Attorney General the Hon Vincent Byron Jr. Others included Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett, Ambassadors His Excellency Michael Powell, His Excellency Ian Patches Liburd, His Excellency Kevin ‘Ninky’ Williams, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Mr Marco Guzmán, and the Director of St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board Mr Antonio Maynard.

Also present were members of the National Executive of the Peoples Labour Party, the various PLP Constituency Branch Executives, and members of Constituency Number Seven Women’s Group who presented Prime Minister Harris with a bouquet of flowers and a plaque with a collage of pictures depicting a reflection of his twenty seven years of exemplary service to country. He was also honoured by the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church’s Camp Ezekiel which he has supported over the years.

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