CASTRIES, St. Lucia– St Lucia celebrated its 40th year of political independence on Friday.
In his Independence Day message Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urged St. Lucians to reflect on the country’s journey. He said St. Lucians should “keep in mind the things that bind us together: our faith, our values, our community, our shared accomplishments, our families.”
He urged citizens to make the next 40 years count, noting that there is still a lot to be done in the areas of crime, education, health care, agriculture, housing, environment, and in the eradication of poverty. However, he said he was confident, now more than ever, that together the country will solve these problems.
“As a grown-up nation of 40, we need to be bold and confident, to be disciplined, family-oriented, show maturity and above all remain humble.
“On this 40th anniversary of our independence, let us as Saint Lucians make a solemn pledge to turn over a new leaf. Recognizing our ability as a small country to compete with the rest of the world.
“When people think of St Lucia we must be seen as innovators, a country of excellence, a nation that is peaceful and God-fearing,” the Prime Minister noted.
” Now at 40, we have no choice but to accept our responsibilities, the first being to guarantee ourselves, and those who rely on us, a better now and tomorrow—regardless of impediments; come rain or shine. We can no longer afford to be distracted by small-mindedness and selfish considerations,” Chastanet noted.
At beginning of February, St. Lucia was already in full Independence mode – preparing for a year-long celebration under the theme: “All in, our journey, our future.”
Some of the planned activities include calypso competitions, teen pageant competitions, ecumenical services and school rallies across the island.